This last year (exactly 13 months) has been quite a rocky one. I’ve been pregnant twice and miscarried both babies. Heartbreaking doesn’t even quite sum it up since there is such intense sadness, anxiety and hopelessness in it all. If you haven’t read about my previous journey, please see here.
Since my last miscarriage in March, I’ve gone to see several different specialists, undergone tons of bloodwork, and received 2 uterus checks. All of it shows that I’m healthy, but there are some tiiiiiiny things that need to be adjusted so that my body is in the “optimal fertility window”. *shrug * It’s all very confusing, so I thought it might be helpful for me to outline my own journey to help other mamas going through something similar.
Overall I am a normal, healthy woman with a good number of eggs/follicles and there is nothing that is obviously causing my miscarriages. That being said…I’m still having them, so the doctors are trying to get my body into an “optimal fertility window” so that I can conceive, carry the baby to full-term, and have a “live birth”. Aren’t those words just… cold and negative sounding? sigh.
BLOOD WORK + MEDICATION
Anyway… through all my blood work there were a few things that came up.
- I have a small genetic defect in my blood called/labeled “MTHFR”. MTHFR sometimes has to do with risk of blood clots in your legs or lungs or recurrent miscarriage. They do not think this is what caused my two miscarriages, but they put me on daily baby aspirin to thin my blood.
- There is an optimal range for Thyroid levels. I was well within the normal limits, but not the fertility range levels. SOOO I take a very small dosage of thyroid medication every morning.
How long do I have to take both of these medications for? I think until I have a live birth…or until a doctor says otherwise. *shrug *
I also had to undergo two types of uterus testing/screening to make sure everything was good:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)–they put dye in your uterus and watch the dye go through the tubes to check for blockage. They also look to see if the uterus is mishaped or blocked inside as well. You also need to take antibiotics before this exam in case there is an infection.
- Saline ultrasound uterine scan is a test where a small volume of saline is inserted into the uterus. The doctor looked at the lining of my uterus and was able to count how many follicles I had. This exam is different from the HSG b/c it looks at the walls and ovaries. It looks to see if there are bumps or weird growths inside the lining of the uterus.
For the two exams above, LET ME TELL YOU, take some Ibuprofen 1 hour beforehand. They stick a little tube through your cervix and that doesn’t feel awesome. The Dr. who did the HSG exam was much better at it than the saline ultrasound Dr., which meant the HSG was less painful and uncomfortable.
THE WAITING GAME + MEDICATION
After all those tests and ALLL of the Dr visits~ basically all my lady parts and my blood work are good.
Now my “action plan” is to get busy when I ovulate and then take progesterone starting 4 days after that Ovulation day. I take the progesterone until 2 weeks after I tested positive and take a pregnancy test. If I am not pregnant, I stop taking the progesterone (b/c it delays your perioud). If I am pregnant, then I take the progesterone until about Week 10 or 12.
I’ve taken 3 rounds of progesterone and I have to say…I do not like it. I think it is VERY messy (you have to insert it vaginally twice a day), I think it inhibits my body from ovulating (I never get a strong positive), and it is SUPER expensive ($130 for 15 days).
In June, my ovulation sticks never turned positive. They were ALMOST positive, but not the same color as the control line. I told my Dr. and I got a blood test done that said I had ovulated. Same thing happened this month (except no blood test). I just feel like the progesterone and ALLLL the crap I’m putting into my body is too much.
For July, I’m going to just… be normal and not do anything. I’m not going to do the blood work or the progesterone. If I get my period, I’m going to wait and see if being progesterone-free helps me to ovulate properly (which is my gut feeling). If I am pregnant, then I can start taking the progesterone as soon as I find out.
I’m not sure about other clinics/hospitals out there, but with Kaiser, I am not finding this process helpful AT ALL. The Drs all tell me something different, I can never get a hold of a Dr unless I go into an appointment (only nurses respond to the emails), and I have to fight each time about the fees. If you’re a “infertile” patient, then you pay like 50% of everything you do. If you’re a “reoccurring pregnancy loss” patient, then you don’t pay anything extra beyond the co-pay. But b/c of the way the clinic is set up, they automatically label you as “infertile” and I have to triple check before everything that I am labeled correctly. SO ANNOYING!
This is a little update about my journey. If other mamas or wanna-be mamas are struggling with this~ you are not alone! I am more confused than ever and just hoping to take a little break from all this medical stuff. My family is taking a vacay to Hawaii and hopefully it’ll be a good time to just sleep, enjoy the baby I do have, and let go of this fertility/baby stress!
**Oh and random, the fertility Drs haven’t said this, but I geniunely think if I lose about 10% of my body weight, it’ll drastically help with my fertility. It’s my gut feeling on the matter, so I’m gonna try incorporating a little fitness/sweat routine into my evenings while I’m waiting for C to fall asleep. <3**