Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Infertility: Explained

Well, mine at least, and for this cycle anyway. That's right folks, we have a winner in the where the heck did my period go? challenge. My luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were at an underachieving 0.69, well below the normal range. This means I almost certainly didn't even ovulate this cycle.

This also apparently means, since my follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) was within the normal range, that I am now at increased risk of ovarian cysts, since the stimulated follicle, once large enough to do its thing but unable to release an egg, can easily fill with fluid. 

I got the news from my favorite nurse who did nothing to endear herself yesterday, I am afraid. The honeymoon might be over. When I had gone for my Day 21 bloodwork a few weeks back, I was assured that they would review my results and call me back in for Day 3 on the basis of that. In other words, that I'd get a call which could have clarified this whole weird body limbo business and at least put my mind at rest. (Not to mention arranging for the next set of bloodwork, which will now happen only because of my initiative). But no, that never happened. As usual, my 'care' providers filed me away under the we can't figure it out so since it doesn't ensure the omnipotence ego boost we need, we don't care file and forgot about me I had to chase down the result only because I caught site of the abnormalities. If I had the energy to rant, I would.

Instead, right now I feel deflated and hopeless. That nasty cervical polyp, while not a massive health risk, has downed our chances for this last cycle and added to our already weighty load of worry. And now I have worrisome hormone levels to add to the cocktail. So much for the 'unexplained', huh? I fear I came across a little too smug; I fear I was a little too smug in my estimation that what we're really dealing with is the pregnancy loss aspect of things, because all of a sudden, it looks like a very healthy does of infertility indeed. That's what I get for thinking, even for a second, that we might get on top of the game.

And it gets better, because within thirty minutes of leaving the doctors office, my real period started (and oh, what a doozy), almost as if, once the dirty little secret was out, there was no reason to hold back. So yes, depending on how long this lasts my worry about this period threatening our regularly scheduled programming, er, polyp removal procedure, is once again valid.

This was my last cycle, my last chance of grasping at what feels like an ever-receding dream, before my 38th birthday later this month. As much as I try to release myself from expectations, those milestones still matter, and it hurts. And it's scary as all hell. Despite the fact I am awfully puerile much of the time still feel youthful in every other respect, this whole acronym-laden baby making business makes me feel like a wizened crone. In baby-making terms, the hill I've passed over is already receding in the distance.

And the icing on the sh*t cake? I got home to a message that the university is cutting the programme on which I teach, due to 'funding strictures and falling student enrollment'; so even my paltry financial contribution to this household will be gone by the end of the month. Since I work on a kind of on-call basis, they only need to give me two weeks notice.

Seriously Universe, WTF?

What I'm thinking now: Lift duvet. Insert inert self.



Brightly coloured to increase the feelgood factor.

24 comments:

  1. Oh I am so sorry to hear all of this.
    But you know, hormones go up and down, they stabilize again. Next month / months everything could get back to regular.
    (In January we had to skip a cycle because I developed a luteal cyst, that is, I ovulated, but the corpus luteum stayed for longer, and they did not hormonally (PGF2alfa) induced its lysis as us vets would do with cows, but had me wait. Which I was happy about because all that injecting can not be good).
    But then next month I ovulated. (And then the month after that they totally missed my ovulation, but you know that).

    Birthdays are hard times... but you have to keep on hanging there. Each day you are closer to your happy ending. If you need so, have a good cry, let it all out, pamper yourself a bit, disconnect, or see friends.... and then pray for the best.

    I am sending you hugs, if you need anything let me know.

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    1. Amanda, you are absolutely the sweetest. Just by being around and listening to - and understanding! - my rants you're already doing so much. I like the thought that each of these disappointing days brings us closer to our happy ones, and I'm holding on to that for now.

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  2. So sorry, Sadie. There's no way around it, this is shitty. The disappointment, the uncertainty, the colossal screw you that the universe has dealt. I must say, it seems that when it rains, it pours - on top of getting my own you're-not-pregnant-reminder yesterday, I was also completely drenched by a mad city bus who hit a puddle at approximately 65 mph, covering me in dirty rain water on my way home (I don't suppose they'll entertain my dry cleaning bill?). Quickly followed by some not so great work related news and it's taking all I have not to call in sick today. Sigh. Trudging on, hope you can too.

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    1. Thanks for the commiserations Sarah, I'm so glad to have you along for the ride (though I wish you didn't have to be). I truly hope that such crap-tastic days will soon be a mere footnote in more optimistic times for both of us. I say send them the drycleaning bill!

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  3. I'm so sorry... Sarah is right. When it rains it pours, and we've all been there. I had to laugh when you wrote "and the icing on the shit cake" because it was such a perfect way to describe how it feels when one thing after another after another keeps bringing us down. I'm sending you lots of good vibes and hoping things start to look up for you soon

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    1. Thanks so much for the vibes, they were very much felt! It's true, (my sailor-mouthed tendancies aside), sometimes there is just no way to, er, sugar coat it is there? Luckily, I've finally managed to find my silver linings for yet another go-round, though it wasn't easy. I am so excited to see that your journey is going in a very hopeful direction at the moment!

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  4. Oh Sadie, this breaks my heart. I feel your pain. I know these days all too well. Hugs. Hang in there. This road is not for the faint of heart, is it?

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my recent post. If anything, I hope it offers you a glimpse of hope that dreams really do come true.

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    1. Alicia, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. It really helps to have the support of women who have been there done that. Your own story is indeed a reminder of how right things can sometimes go if you persevere. I'm so so delighted for you, and I confess - I can't stop peeking at those pics of your beautiful Johanna! (And I'm not even typically a baby gawker).

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  5. I am so sorry - especially that you had to chase down the results. Thinking of you.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts! It's never fun having the disappointment of another failed cycle alongside the knowledge that some professionals entrusted to care for you just can't be bothered. C'est la vie, I suppose.

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  6. Oh, Sadie. There is nothing worse than thinking your pregnant only to find out you're not :( And then to find out about your work? That's just too much. World, please take a break on Sadie...she needs it right now.

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    1. Thanks Brianna, it has indeed been a rollercoaster the last week or so! The work situation will sort itself out, I suppose, and at least for now, it seems we're on the right track with the baby making stuff.

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  7. Sorry about the shit cake. And I hate that doctor's offices can't just call when they're supposed to! I feel like I'm always tracking down my test results. Makes me wonder how many less proactive people are sitting around with abnormal results not knowing it. But like Amanda said-- hormones vary & everything could be A-OK next cycle. I'm hoping 38 is your magic number :)

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    1. It really is frustrating, isn't it? And yes, I too sometimes worry for those people who don't have the where withall and (angry?) energy to advocate for themselves. I feel fortunate to have that at least! Thanks for the wishes, I really hope 38 will be the lucky one for me!

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  8. So sorry you are having such a craptastic time right now. Fingers crossed your polyp removal is not delayed and you can start moving forward again.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. We're alreayd headed in that direction again!

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  9. so sorry to hear that mix of bad news! hope you got a good nap/rest in bed! birthdays and anniversaries of TTC can be tough - you deserve some 'feel bad for yourself' time!! hugs! and polys may not ber serious, but still annoying! hope its not delayed!

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    1. It all went according to plan, and my birthday (reminders of ttc and all), will not be delayed either, so... Well, I've decided just to embrace it and try to enjoy the week ahead. Thanks for your support Kimberly, it means a lot!

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  10. Oh Saide, What a fabulously horrible time... I'm sorry. Hang in there, we feel for you. I too seem to have not ovulated and have a cyst but since I'm not cycling I really am not sure what's going on in there... Take care of yourself the bast way you can, it will get better.

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    1. I'm not normally a massive control freak, but it really is hard to just trust in our bodies when it feels like they've let us and our babies down in the past, isn't it? I'm still working on it, with placing trust in these new medical professionals and hoping for the best. I hope they sort out your cycle too, in prep for May. Very hopeful for you!

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  11. I'm SO SO SO sorry! I really hope this is a brief phase and things get better soon! ((HUGS))

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    1. Thanks for the hugs Catherine. I keep hoping we'll be entering a brighter phase soon too. Watch this space...

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  12. Ugh, it seems like bad news often have company. I hope it was a one off cycle without ovulation though. So sorry about your notice from work on top of things. One would think things should start to turn around soon after all that you have been through...

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    1. I hope it was an off chance with this cycle too, and the doc we saw yesterday certainly seemed to indicate that. I wish I could believe that there was some kind of existential balancing scale that would bring us some better news soon. For now, I'm just trying to hold on to the thought that crazy bad luck can just as likely become crazy good luck. It's all random. Thanks so much for your support Marwil, it means so much.

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