Nine things.

Stuff I knew before TTC

1. No one is guaranteed a baby when they want it. And yet, some people are able to plan like that. This makes it ridiculously difficult for them to understand those who can’t plan.

2. I really, really wanted to be among those who could plan for a baby and have it work totally correctly.

3. If you can, waiting to start trying is not the wrong decision. Having a baby is a big deal.

Stuff I realized when we started

1. Sex ed in this country is 99.9% about how not to get pregnant. For a huge percentage of the population, that makes total sense. For the rest of us, it means that not only do we not get the info we need, but it leaves the majority population totally stumped about what’s going on with us.

2. There’s actually a lot that I can know about my body by paying attention. I can figure out if and when I’m ovulating, if my basal body temperature is high or low, if it’s erratic. I can find out what my luteal phase looks like, and predict which day I’m going to get my period.

3. However, pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms can be the same. Like seriously. Heartburn, fatigue, being emotional? Yeah, that can all be PMS OR pregnancy symptoms. Really? Who decided that. I mean, it makes sense – your body can’t really tell the difference either until it realizes that nothing burrowed into your uterus, and the luteal corpus dies and you get your period. But still. Totally useless for those of us TTCing. Especially since no chart can ever tell you if you’re really pregnant.

Stuff I know now, as we’re rounding 20 cycles out

1. How much harder it would get to watch other people be pregnant. And also, how hard it is being different depending on who it is. There’s always jealousy – doesn’t matter what the story is – because they have something that I desperately want. But there’s a difference. It’s easier for that jealousy to be mixed with happiness when it’s someone I know struggled. It’s impossible when I know the baby wasn’t so planned, or the person can’t shut up about it. It has a lot to do with how much I like the individual as well.

2. I keep hope each cycle, but I’ve started planning like it’s not going to work. Early on, I’d think sometimes about “Oh, what if I’m pregnant when X happens?” And sometimes, I’d set my heart on it. And it hurt more than it was worth. So I’ve stopped saying it. Sometimes, it pulls me back in, but I’m better about it. I don’t hang a star on it. It’s just there. Milestones hurt, but there’s nothing to do for that. Going on our annual family vacation, my birthday, our anniversary. Praying that by this time next year, things will be different.

3. The grief and the uncertainty, and that they feed into each other. I feel grief about our family that we wanted. I saw a note I wrote about our ideal family, years and years ago, and I just laughed. All the dates I wrote for starting our family have already passed. So, we sit in the uncertainty, and I grieve for that timeline, and feel that I’m missing something. Not to mention, the Big Fear. The one that says I will always feel like this – that there will never be a baby for me. I can feel the lie in it, but it’s really difficult in the moment to separate it from my daily truth. Still waiting, sad and uncertain.

 

ETA: Expecting AF tomorrow. Think of me if it does turn out to be CD1 again.

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So…what’s the diagnosis?

In the world in my head, I imagine people sitting around discussing fertility diagnoses like they do on those medical shows, where there’s a rapid-fire discussion of symptoms and possible problems that fit. A round of testing, and suddenly, the mystery is solved. Unless of course you’re House, in which case it’s some brilliant bit of deduction (disclaimer: I have watched +/- 1 episode of House)

What’s Been Going On

So, after 12 cycles, almost all of those charting, we have some pretty good info on what’s going on with me.  The good news is that my cycles are fairly regular. The exact day I ovulate tends to differ depending on the month, but aside from that, it’s between 28 and 30 days. Even the three cycles that were longer followed the same pattern – during a time of stress, my body geared up to ovulate, stopped, waited just about ten days, and then ovulated. Which means, that in all 12 cycles, I ovulated. Big bonus.

DH and I have had some testing done, at around 6 months of trying deliberately. I had an HSG, which showed that my uterus is in fine shape, but there is potentially a blocked tube lurking. It’s hard to say without more investigation, but…that’s there. DH’s Semen Analysis came back normal, so as he says “I’m feeling potent!

Things I’m Pretty Sure it’s Not

  1. Male Factor Infertility (MFI) – Since DH’s SA came back normal, it’s unlikely to be Male Factor Infertility. This is important to rule out, since a lot more cases of infertility are caused by MFI than people realize – it’s seen as a “woman’s” problem.
  2. PCOS – This is a big deal, because I’m fairly sure this why my parents had trouble conceiving. Sometime soon, I’ll write a post talking about the family history of infertility, but for now, it’s nice to know that, whatever is going on, it’s not the same as theirs.
  3. Endometriosis – No symptoms, and no diagnosis. Obviously, this one can lurk in the background, but for now, I’m leaving it here.

Things it Could Be

  1. The most obvious – the potentially blocked tube is actually blocked and has just been messing with our timing, and either opening it or just riding it out for a little longer will get us where we want to be. If so, maybe this will be the shortest infertility blog ever.
  2. Some kind of hormone problem. This would most likely be progesterone, but there are other issues that could be there too.
  3. Premature Ovarian Failure – Meaning, my eggs are older than me and getting pregnant will be hard. Doubtful, as I have no symptoms of premature menopause, but it can also be asymptomatic.
  4. Hypothyroidism – My mother and my aunt (her sister) both have this, so I wonder sometimes if this could be it. I am hopeful that the RE will test for it, and if he or she doesn’t, I will likely ask for it.
  5. Something else that I don’t know about yet. And that’s really where this whole thing is going – what else are the doctor’s going to find out?
  6. Lastly – the hardest to understand – “unexplained” – meaning – we don’t know. And maybe we won’t know.

And that’s the thing of it. We’ve only just begun on this journey, and we don’t know what will happen next.

But we’ve started, and we have a direction to go. So that’s something.