Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trying to get some answers

James was growing and becoming a fun loving little boy. We were enjoying (almost) every minute of it! Sure there were hard nights when he wouldn't sleep, breastfeeding didn't work after 12 weeks of trying and expressing full time, and we had some hard times with reflux - but all in all it was awesome!

Around James' first birthday we decided that we were ready to start to give him a baby brother or sister. The waiting game started all over again. When we had been trying for number 2 for just over a year we went to the GP to ask for some help. I had an ultrasound done. It came back showing several cysts - 5 on one ovary and 7 on the other. I was told that I didn't have "enough" cysts (at least 10 on one ovary) to be able to be diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - PCOS. We were referred to a fertility specialist in our area. I rang to make the appointment and when I was told that it was $260 for the first appointment, we decided to try to wait a bit longer. We just didn't have the money like that at the time. 

So we waited... and tried... and negative tests... and waited... and tried... and more negative tests... You can see the pattern.

We got down. We got upset. I cried many months when the tests came back negative. Nick had to pick me up again and again. When were we going to get pregnant?! Lord why are we not having another baby yet? What is wrong with me?! I can't do what a woman is meant to be able to do!

James' 2nd birthday went by. No baby. His 3rd birthday went by. No baby. It's time we have to suck it up, save money, and see the specialist. 

This was absolutely me!

September 2012 we visited the GP again who did some blood tests. They came back with Insulin Resistance and higher levels than normal of testosterone. The Dr perscribed Metformin - a drug that manages and treats insulin resistance and is often used with diabetic and PCOS patients. I was on that for a couple of months until she gave me a referral to the specialist. 

In Jan 2013 after waiting two months for an appointment we finally saw the fertility specialist. At this stage we had been trying for number 2 for 2 years and 5 months. I was so nervous about what they would find out. The specialist was so nice and put me at ease - even though he was a male looking up there! He took a couple of swabs and ordered a full slate of blood tests, an ultrasound and a test nicknamed HSG - Hysterosalpingogram. 

I had to do the blood tests in two lots as they needed to take so many different viles! I also had to do a glucose fasting test which meant no eating from the night before - get a blood test taken when I arrived at the pathology lab before drinking a horrible yucky sugar drink - sit there waiting for 1 hour and do another blood test - sit for another hour and do another blood test! My arms were aching at the end of that! I ended up with a big bruise on one arm from the sympathetic nurse taking blood in the same spot twice!

I had to do my ultrasound on CD4 (calendar day 4 of my cycle eg 4 days after I started my period). It came back with several cysts again on each ovary. The same mostly as my ultrasound a year and a half earlier. The HSG test was something I was nervous about!! I had been told by the specialist to take 3 codeine before I had the test done. A radiologist inserts a spectrum (the duck lips they use on you to open your vagina up when you have a pap smear). Then they clamp your cervix and open it in order to insert a tube into your uterus. Once the tube is in they blow up a little balloon inside to hold the tube in place and prevent it from slipping out or moving. Once everything is in place they insert a dye. If your tubes are clear the dye will show up on the xrays as filling your uterus, down through your tubes and then spill out in a cloud into your abdomen. If you have any blockages then the dye will not show up spilling out of the end of the tube.

I expected pain and yes there was some. I think perhaps there had been a small blockage as the pain occured when they pushed the dye through. I had clear tubes but the radiologist said that the pain may have been pushing some debris out of the way before it cleared the tube. This test was done on CD 8 (needs to be done between CD7-CD10). 

Last week - 18th of April 2013 - I went back to the specialist to get my results. Yes I have cysts but again not quite "enough" to be diagnosed with PCOS. The HSG showed clear tubes. The blood tests however showed more than enough data to diagnose PCOS and so the diagnosis was made. I have high levels of insulin resistance and high levels of testosterone because of it. 

I have been put on a medication called Clomid or Clomiphene. It is a common fertility drug used with PCOS patients. I will be starting this today - Tuesday 23rd of April 2013. I will detail more about this later this week and will follow through with posts about my experiences. 

I want to say a quick thank you to those of you who have written to me to express how reading our journey so far has encouraged you or someone you know who is going through fertility issues. I really hope and pray that you will get some answers for yourselves soon! I love reading your feedback and stories so please - keep them coming!

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