Trying everything, gathering information, breaking my heart

Oh goodness, this has been a rough time.

In late January, I went back to my endometriosis surgeon for a check-up. I’ve been returning for check-ups since my laproscopic surgery in 2012. At the time of my appointment, he didn’t believe I had a recurrence, but sent me for an ultrasound anyway which diagnosed endometriomas on both ovaries. This was obviously a major disappointment and I described it in these previous posts – https://snowdroplets.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/ultrasound-ultrablues/ and https://snowdroplets.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/bad-news-recurrence/.

Along with discovering this recurrence, the doctor also stirred up my hopes about having a child. I had given up hope based on all of the health and other factors that come into play for me. I was coming to terms with this, even attending grief classes and preparing for another plan (which we will still pursue). Yet I also became severely depressed as a result and, apparently, found it impossible to completely give up hope in my heart. The doctor, hearing about my depression, encouraged me to visit a fertility specialist and check out every option.

So we went to our first appointment with a fertility specialist – a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) to be exact. The way I looked at it, I wanted to be sure that I had tried everything and I figured that we should have more information for the decisions ahead of us.

First visit with the fertility specialist:

I liked our RE doctor very much. He took a long time during our first visit to explain fertility, infertility treatments, advanced reproductive technologies, success rates, etc. We came up with a plan to move forward. For financial reasons, we decided to do the basic female and male fertility screening tests. Then, if those tests were promising enough, we would proceed with an ultrasound and physical exam.

Initial tests – The first tests for me were the “Day 3s” blood tests. These are screening tests of ovarian reserve, an idea of how many eggs are left and their quality. They’re referred to as Day 3s because their tested on the third day of a woman’s cycle. I’m not an expert so this is just my understanding. The tests for me included Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), estradiol, and anti-muellerian hormone (AMH). My results were all good for my age.

My husband had the semen analysis which looks at count, motility, and morphology. Out of respect for his wishes, I won’t share any details about that. They said the results would not rule out success with IVF.

As an aside, the results took a very long time to come back and the office’s communication was incredibly frustrating. They initially said it would be about a week to get results and then it was around 3 weeks of waiting. I was so stressed during that wait and frustrated with their communication that I also doubted moving forward with them. If they had just said it would take 3 weeks to get results, it would have been better.

Having our results, we proceeded with a second appointment with the fertility doc:

Since the screening tests did not rule us out as prospective parents through IVF, we proceeded with a physical exam. First the doctor took a lot of time to again describe the success rates and options ahead of us and to answer all of our questions. Then we went ahead with the exam, primarily a transvaginal ultrasound. It was the first that my husband joined me for and I think it was a real eye-opener for him.

Anyway, the doctor wanted to see the status of my ovarian cysts and whether he could work around them for egg retrieval. I think there would also be a uterine exam and follicle count. The long and short of it is that I have too many cysts and they are too large. I am not a candidate for egg retrieval at this point.

After I’d gotten my hopes raised.

Given all of the various factors, he suggested I be prepared to discuss the removal of my ovaries with my surgeon at the appointment I’d scheduled with the surgeon for the next day. I actually appreciated how frank he was with us and it helped me prepare for the next day if anyone can be prepared for news like this.

There’s much more to say about that, but that will be in my next post…

I feel like my writing probably comes across much more matter-of-fact than I actually feel. Given everything that’s going on, I’m an emotional wreck. So I’m blogging. I hope this will help me process the emotions, find support from people who really understand, and potentially help others who are going through similar struggles and heartbreak. I will get through just one step at a time.

Oda_Krohg_-_A_Japanese_Lantern_-_Google_Art_Project-Small

Text Copyright Snowdroplets 2016

Image: A Japanese Lantern by Oda Krogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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9 responses to “Trying everything, gathering information, breaking my heart

  1. I’m so sorry…I don’t know what to say, this is heartbreaking news. The only thing I can think of that might help in some small way…is to try to find someone who completely understands your situation. Not online, but someone you can actually talk to. I found out that someone at work had severe endo, and she knew exactly how I was feeling – all of it, like, she was finishing my sentences. I think that the loneliness is a part of the anguish, and if you can find people who understand it might help.
    take care of yourself, and stay strong when you can. Xxx

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    • Thank you so much. I think you’re right about support. I have found people irl who can understand parts, but no one yet who can really understand the whole thing. For example I have a friend who had infertility, but she still has a child and all her parts. She’s been a godsend anyway. Thanks for your note!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry you didn’t receive better news. Sending you lots of love and hugs. I can’t relate in the exact same way, and I don’t want to come across as insensitive, but I’ve had a stillbirth due to my illnesses and there has been a lot of uncertainty about whether children will ever be in the picture. It’s definitely a process of grief. I just wanted to let you know in case you ever want someone to talk to. Xxx

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      • Hi Kate, thanks for your note. I’m so very sorry for your loss as well and uncertainty you face. It can be really heartbreaking. I thought I had started coming to terms with not having my own biological children and then they got my hopes up again and I realize I had never completely given up hope. That’s the toughest part right now, letting go of that little remaining hope that was buried deep down. But I realize it’s probably better for me to give up that version of my dream for parenthood in order to build another version of the dream that can really happen. Hugs to you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Big hugs. I can’t even imagine how tough it must be. You must feel like you’re on a complete emotional rollercoaster, being told one thing and then another. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It really isn’t fair. I hope you are able to access some support from others who have been through or are going through similar things – I truly found that support so comforting. Thinking of you xxx

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