I have so many thoughts and feelings running through my head at all times, and yet, when it comes to expressing them, I fall short. I have a brain fart. I mix my words and sound like something that I would presume resembles a dolphin and an ogre mix. Everything that I feel is so raw, so vulnerable, and so real that I sometimes feel it is too sacred to even leave my lips. I am, however, really needing support from family and friends. So here I am. Ready to open it up and share it all (not like I haven't already done that). Here's a little more information about me. About infertility. All the information you need to know up to this point that will help you to understand us.
We are now entering our twenty-second month of trying to start our family. To some, that number may seem trivial; like we haven't really even been trying that long. But to me, to us, that number is daunting, as it represents heaviness, trying, so much sex (which I guess isn't always a bad thing), so. many. emotions, and so much failure.
When we first started "trying," I figured it would take us some time to get pregnant. I don't know why, but something deep inside me just... knew. My mom didn't have me (her first child) till they had been married nine years. I guess I just thought that it ran in the blood or something. A few months after we started actively trying, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which just confirmed that, for me, it ran in my blood. I started taking antibiotics, so my immune system was shot, I was constantly sick, my temperature was never regulated, I gained and lost weight. But through it, we kept trying.
In January of 2017, after finding out that one of my good friends had gotten pregnant very quickly and without much trying, I lost it (no literally). Not because I wasn't happy for her, but because I was so sad for me. We were about to hit our year mark and it felt so defeating. The day after this mega meltdown, I went to my moms house, where she had left a note for me. This small, square, yellow sticky note said, "Hunter! I love you. Have an amazing week. You will be in my prayers." I took it out to my car, placed it on my dash, and it is still there. A sometimes super painful reminder that we are still in it. And other times, a reminder of hope; that we've made it this far and ~could (emphasis on the "could," God. Please don't make me) make it through more.
After a year of trying, exactly, I made an appointment with a hormone and fertility specialist. I had my initial appointment with her where I cried and cried, and explained where we were and what had brought us to that point. She scooted her chair closer to me and passed me the tissues. She understood that what I was feeling was raw, vulnerable, and real, and I appreciated that. It felt safe in her office, sitting on that purple IKEA chair. After that appointment, we decided to continue testing with her and I got my blood drawn. We made an appointment for two weeks later and I went on my way. That was May 24, 2017.
That same day, I took a pregnancy test. I so wanted it to be positive so I could surprise Mitchell for his birthday. It wasn't, and I threw it in the trash. I actually think I threw it deeeeeep in the dumpster so Mitchell wouldn't see it and know that I had even taken one in the first place. I was sad, of course, but continued on. I had to.
The next few weeks were weird. I remember feeling really tired and fatigued, like I NEEDED a nap or else I'd die. I was super emotional, but figured that was just due to everything. I started noticing that I was becoming forgetful, and I also noticed that my already huge boobs were even more huge. I actually have a picture of them on June 3, but I'll spare you. Just think cantaloupes in my grey Nike workout shirt. I truly, truly didn't think anything of it. At this point, I had missed a period but hadn't realized. I just figured I was doing my normal crap... You know, being late and going nuts.
On June 8, we were scheduled to have a photoshoot with one of my film photographer friends. I had spent the day editing when I found out that another one of my friends was pregnant (same situation as before). I think saying that "I lost it" would be putting it in simple, sweet terms. I had to call Mitchell and my mom. I was unconsolable. Devastated. How could it be that, now, TWO of my closest friends had gotten pregnant their first or second or zero month trying? I sat on my couch, sobbing into my moms shirt. Mitchell was trying so hard to calm me down and slow my breathing, but it just wasn't working (can you say, HORMONES).
I was angry. Mitchell was praying and feeling the spirit, but all I felt was anger. I threw a dress on and, without saying anything, hopped in the car to drive off the aggression. As I was driving, the word "soon" popped into my head multiple times (I think I've told this story before, but you'll hear it in short terms again). I thought, "k thanks. Super vague. Awesome," and continued on my drive. To make a long, sacred story short, as I was driving home, I heard the words (clear as day), "go take a test." So I did, I was sure it would be negative. With Mitchell in the room next to me, I started to shake as the one blue line turned into two. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't tell if it was real or my eyes playing tricks on me. I texted my cousin and said, "umm..." to which she responded, "DUDE YOU'RE TOTALLY PREGNANT! THAT'S TWO LINES! OMG!" I cried. Trying to hold myself together so that Mitchell wouldn't suspect anything. I hid the test in my purse and didn't say anything. I blotted my eyes and cleared the snot from my nose in hopes that my face would be reconcilable. Wishful thinking after my second mega meltdown in this story.
... And you're thinking, "why did you mention the photo shoot?" I'll tell you. Patience.
I got ready for this shoot and met Mitchell there. I had previously told my photographer, so she knew that I wanted to surprise Mitchell with the positive test. To make another long story short: I surprised him, he didn't believe me (lol @ the mega meltdown #2), I told him it was for real, and we died of happiness.
That happiness was somewhat short lived when we went to our ten week appointment three weeks later to find out that there was no heartbeat and that our baby had stopped growing at six weeks, one day. We were devastated. I was heartbroken. But just like my first specialist did, my doctor scooted his chair closer to me and passed me the tissues. He placed his burly hand on my shoulder and shared my sadness. He understood that what I was feeling was raw, vulnerable, and real. He explained that women are most fertile after they have a miscarriage, and the nurse echoed in with, "we will see you back in here shortly, honey." I believed them.
Here we are, almost seven months later, still not pregnant. We've passed those "most fertile" months after a miscarriage. I honestly believed that I would get pregnant fairly shortly after. Between the miscarriage and now we have switched fertility specialists. As much as I appreciated our first female specialist, she just wasn't thorough and attentive enough for me. We had already been trying for a year, were pregnant for four months, and then waited two or three before going back into "treatment" mode. I just needed someone to be hands on with me and my situation. Our current fertility specialist is all that and so much more. In fact, I think he might hate me after this because I text him so frequently. We are BFF's, he just doesn't know it yet.
Somewhere in between switching fertility specialists and now, we have:
1) Found out that my thyroid was working too hard. I have a condition called "hypothyroidism," which, in short, means that my thyroid doesn't really work that well on its own. However, the medication that I had previously been taking was, and has been causing me to have the adverse: "HYPERthyroidism." Pretty much just means the exact opposite, that my thyroid works too hard. This causes exhaustion, increased heart rate, anxiety, bacne (? I'm with you, I literally I don't know how), and most importantly, a lack of ovulation. You have to ovulate to have a baby. You see my problem here.
2) Learned how to give a semen sample like a pro. It's not as complex as you make it, I promise. Ha.
3) Found out that Mitchells sperm was "stew-like" and too thick to make it to my cervix/tubes/the egg in time. Slow, chunky swimmers. Super yummy.
4) Found out that my thyroid was STILL working too hard, even with a switch in brand and dosage.
5) Found out that by drinking more water/fluids and cutting unnecessary carbs out of his diet, Mitchells sperm/semen/whatever you want to call it quality had improved. Much less glue-like stew-like now.
6) Found out that, even with the use of Clomid, I. Still. Don't. Ovulate (slow clap)... and this is because today we...
7) Found out that MY DAMN THYROID IS STILL TOO HIGH. We have switched it five, maybe six times in the last few months. All decreasing in strength. All still too high. Like what the freak.
My specialist told me this news today and my eyes immediately went blurry. He looked at me for a second, continuing to explain what he felt we needed to do, and then stopped in his tracks. He then scooted her chair closer to me and passed me the tissues. He understood that what I was feeling was raw, vulnerable, and real. He slowed his speech and assured me that he would do whatever it took to get me pregnant; to help me fulfill my dream of becoming a mother. He looked into my eyes and said, "you're not as broken as they say you are. We just need to fix some things." He continued to say, "I think what we should do is take you off all synthetic medication and give your body a month to clear its system. No thyroid, no metformin, no clomid. We will draw your blood in four weeks and that will give us a baseline of where your body is without any medication. Maybe the problem here is that there isn't a problem. Maybe you're taking thyroid and don't need it." I think I could use the term, "lost it" here too. I was so sad. It's been a day.
Although I trust my doctor and know that he's gotten people pregnant before, I am scared. "Taking a month off medication and trying," is a sentence that just doesn't sit well with me. How am I ever going to get pregnant without taking clomid? How am I ever going to get pregnant if I'm not having sex on day 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20? How am I ever going to get pregnant if I'm not hanging upside down for an hour after and praying to the oil gods that "THAT" was the time?
But like my doctor says, "maybe the problem here is that there ins't a problem." Maybe after this month "off," we will have a clearer idea of where my thyroid, and where my body is at on its own. Maybe we'll be able to continue forward knowing where to make adjustments by understanding where I am at "ground zero." But ugh. I don't like it. It feels uncomfortable. I see the number twenty-three or twenty-four flashing in my mind. Like, "hey sorry. I'm here to remind you that taking a month off will just go against your fertility calendar." But we will keep going. Because what other choice do we have?
Here we are. All caught up.
I wanted to write this post to update family and friends, to put it all out there, and to express that I am scared for what this next month will bring. I'm afraid that even doing this won't bring good news. I've never been good at letting go. I don't know how to "give it to God." In fact, full disclosure here (because we've now talked about how I hang upside down after sex and the viscosity of my husbands sperm), I don't remember the last time I prayed. I think that scares me too. So I think it's okay for me to ask that you pray for me, because I can't do it for myself right now.
So, next time you see me, scoot you chair closer to me and pass me the tissues. Please understand that what I am feeling is raw, vulnerable, and real. And please, send all the prayers you have that this next month will finally take us in a direction. Preferably up.