Fresh Conceptions Teams Up With Fertility Authority

I’m convinced God has a master plan for both the good and the bad that comes along with life.  A few weeks ago I learned my government contract was cut, and it was time to look for something new.  It all came as quite a surprise, but I’ve seen God work through trials before so I knew He would do the same now.  As I began submitting my resume to places, I received an email asking if I would like to blog for Fertility Authority.  Blogging professionally is something I’ve been interested in since starting Fresh Conceptions, and to be asked to professionally blog about my journey with infertility really blew me away.  After a quick phone call last week to iron out the details, I’m excited to say that I’m officially joining the team of bloggers on FertilityAuthority.com.

My blog and first post will be published this Wednesday, and there’s no way of describing this opportunity except to say it’s a God thing.  I will have a new post published each Monday and Wednesday, will be choosing the topics I want to write on, and will continue to share how God has revealed Himself through infertility.  The only major change with Fresh Conceptions is that the brand will be expanding to FertilityAuthority.com, and when I have a new post I will let you know by offering a brief preview here with a direct link to read more.

Please continue to follow Fresh Conceptions, and show your support as I join forces with Fertility Authority.  You will have the opportunity to comment on my professional blog, and share the link to my posts with others.  If you haven’t subscribed to Fresh Conceptions, then this is the perfect time to do so.  Simply enter your email in the subscription area found in the right column of this page so you can receive an email each time a new post is available. I truly can’t thank you enough for your thoughts, prayers, comments and support.  I seriously wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, and I’m excited to see God move through this new opportunity.

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The Diagnosis – PCOS

Since I was going to be off the pill due to side effects from medication we decided it was time to become a family of 3.  I had been on the pill for nearly 7 years, and had always thought when we were ready to get pregnant it would simply just happen.  I remember being told in 6th grade that sex was evil, and if you did it once then you’d end up pregnant.  I’d almost like to go back to that teacher and say she was wrong, but I know that wouldn’t change anything.  I’d also like to go back to the doctor that said an irregular cycle was nothing to worry about, but again, what’s the point.  On one hand it amazes me that people just sugar coat things until you’re faced with reality, but then I wonder if I was in their shoes, what I would tell a girl so young… probably the same thing.

So I was off the pill for 7 months and still did not have a cycle.  At first I thought I was lucky and our first month just waiting for my cycle to come had worked.  Then when I wasn’t pregnant, and a few more months passed, we started to wonder if something was wrong.  Finally after 7 months I went to the doctor.  She took the usual look around and said everything looked good.  She was impressed with the fluid I had produced, and said I was either ovulating or had recently become pregnant.  She had me schedule an ultrasound for two weeks so if I wasn’t pregnant then we could move on from there.

So the two weeks passed and still no cycle.  I went to my ultrasound appointment, and all was confirmed….I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  Both of my ovaries showed an amazing amount of cysts, and my blood tests confirmed a hormone imbalance.  I learned that I hardly (if ever) ovulate on my own and I would need medical assistance if I ever wanted to get pregnant.  Though many with PCOS are overweight and have high blood pressure, I didn’t have those problems.  Instead I easily maintain a healthy weight for my height, and my blood pressure has always been on the low side.  So treatment for me were two prescriptions.  The first was Provera to induce my cycle, and the second was Clomid to help me ovulate.  I was told to take Provera for 10 days, stop, and then my cycle would come a few days after that.  Then once my cycle came, I was to take 25mg of Clomid days 5-9 of my cycle.  Throughout the cycle I was to take my basal body temperature each morning before getting out of bed, and use ovulation sticks to confirm when I was ovulating.

All of a sudden getting pregnant was a complicated science.  My husband and I agreed that we’d go ahead with the meds, and I took them just as I was told.  My cycle came with Provera, but Clomid wasn’t working.  After another month passed with no cycle, my Clomid dosage was doubled.  I took Provera again to bring on my cycle, but Clomid still wasn’t working.  Each month I wouldn’t ovulate so my Clomid dosage was increased.  Finally after 6 months of trying I had reached 250mg of Clomid, and was still not ovulating.  Since 250mg is the most a person should take, my doctor referred me to a fertility specialist.

I often feel like we were robbed of trying for a baby naturally.  We went straight from waiting for my cycle to come; to having charts, doctors and medications all part of the routine. We were immediately out numbered by tests, medications, charts, doctors, and nurses… and  just trying to get pregnant on our own was never  an option.  And thinking about it all now makes me realize it’s been both a blessing and a curse.  I hate that we got robbed of just enjoying each other without much stress, but I’m glad the process didn’t drag out longer than it did and we didn’t have to wait for intervention.  There are so many couples out there that just don’t know what’s happening, or don’t have the option of being tested due to the financial stress of it all.  Instead for us, we were blessed with great insurance and because my cycle wasn’t coming, we could be tested much sooner than most.

The Two Week Wait

Two weeks really isn’t a long time unless there’s a chance you could be pregnant.  I don’t know how many of these two week time periods I have agonized over, but I do remember my first.

It was August of 2005.  I had just begun to experience some of the first signs of pregnancy, but was still on the pill.  I was tired all of the time, cramping, and had strange food cravings.  My cycles had become pretty regular since going on the pill, and we definitely weren’t trying.  But the symptoms continued and so we started to wonder.  I knew it was too early to test, but after a few days passed I started to get a little hopeful.  I decided to try my luck, but the test ended up negative.  Once the result came back I started Googling my symptoms to search for any glimmer of hope.  I even called Ask-A-Nurse to go over my symptoms and get their thoughts.  The nurse I spoke to warned me not to get my hopes up.  She said it was way too early and not to bother testing again until my cycle was late.

But each day my symptoms continued so my husband and I kept thinking that maybe this was it.  We thought about what we’d need to do to get our house in order, and wondered what’d be coming next.  Finally it came.  The two weeks ended, and my cycle was there just as it was the month before.  I was pretty disappointed, but knew God had a plan.  I remember thinking how much better it would be to finally see a positive after deciding it was actually time.  I reminded myself of how much more my husband and I wanted to do before that time came, and how much more we could provide for our child if we just waited a little longer.

And looking back now I definitely think God was using that time to nudge us where we needed to be.  Shortly after, we decided to move out of state and follow a new dream. We didn’t know what the future held, but that was part of the thrill. It was scary, exciting, and crazy, but we knew it was time to go.  Quickly and amazingly God allowed everything to fall into place. Within two short months we had jobs, a place to live, and the love of a new adventure.

I still haven’t seen a positive pregnancy test, and we’ve been through a lot since that first move.  But it still amazes me to see how God continues to work out His plan.  The move provided us with new jobs, and with them came new insurance.  It was that insurance that allowed us the ability to go through testing, receive treatments, and have access to some of the best doctors in the world.  Even if I had tried, there’s no way I could have planned it.  This move was truly a blessing, and though we still miss friends and family, I know now that God had an underlying purpose to get us where we needed to be.

First Glimpse

Let’s back up 10 years.  I was a freshman in college, my husband and I had just started dating, and I got my first glimpse at infertility.  Like  many young girls fresh out of high school I never paid much attention  to my cycles.  Then when it didn’t come for 5 months I thought I’d  stop by the school’s health clinic.

After a mound of paperwork I sat on the always lovely, cold,  paper covered table.  The nurse asked if I was pregnant to which I replied that wasn’t possible.  She asked if I was sure and I said of course.  I could tell she didn’t believe me so I finally gave in and let her to do a  test.  I rolled up my sleeve, she took a blood sample, and I endured my very first pregnancy test. A few minutes later the nurse came back in and said, “Well, you’re not pregnant.” I looked at her and chuckled, said I know, and asked what’s next.  She suggested I make a “well woman’s” appointment and sent  me on my way.

About a week later I was headed home to see my family doctor.  I had never been to one of these appointments before, and was not thrilled about starting.  After a series of questions, I heard what would come to be the most common phrase heard out of a doctor’s mouth….”Lay back, put your feet into the stirrups, and scoot all the way towards me.”  The doctor then shined a bright light on my girl parts, and I experienced the most uncomfortable and embarrassing moment of my short, naive life.

The final conclusion of my visit was to go on the pill.  I told her I didn’t need it, but she insisted that I did to stay “regular”.  She said being “irregular” is very common in woman, and I didn’t have a thing to worry about.  All I have to do is take one simple pill at the same time each day and I’d be just fine.  I diligently set my phone alarm for 7 PM sharp so I wouldn’t forget to take my pill and went merrily on my way.

Welcome

Thanks for visiting my blog. It is something that I have thought about starting for quite some time, and I’m excited to write my first post.  The last few years have been a true growing experience, and I feel compelled to share my story in hopes of helping others going through similar life events.  To get down to it, over the last few years I have undergone multiple infertility treatments, and have learned that conceiving a child biologically is not what God has planned for my family.  This has been without a doubt the most challenging experience I have ever encountered.  There have been many high and low moments, but quite honestly I can look back now and say that I am blessed.  God has taught me so much during this time, and it’s amazing to see how He can use the deepest desire of my heart to change and mold me in ways I never could have imagined.

For a while I’ve questioned why I would even start this blog; write about something so personal; tell a story that I have no ending to; and reveal my heart’s deepest desires, fears, and wounds to anyone that comes across this site. I mean, infertility is a private battle that many keep hidden so why should I be any different? Then the answer came. I need to share my story to reach out and hopefully encourage others struggling privately. Those afraid of speaking up or feeling it is just too personal to share, but still long to have someone tell them they’re not alone. Connect with those that have a friend or family member struggling with infertility, but don’t know what to say or how to relate. Finally I decided to just throw away my fears and go for it. There are too many hearts out there hurting, and if my story can touch just one of those than it has all been worth it.

So here I am, opening myself up, exposing my wounds and letting you decide if you want to join me on this blogging journey.  It will be a glimpse at my heart, what I’ve gone through over the last few years, my reflections on the good and the bad that’s come along, and the many ways that God has revealed Himself through infertility.

But before I get too far into this blog here is my disclaimer…

I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, and only God knows where things will go from here.  Some of my posts will be serious, others written with humor, but all will be near and dear to my heart.  This blog is not to be advice, and I definitely don’t have all of the answers.  Truth be told I still have my good and bad days just like everyone else.  I understand that infertility treatments are not for everyone, and no matter what path you choose, trying to become a parent can make you crazy…trust me, I’ve been there too.  I’m also a child of God so you’ll find references to that in my posts, but I hope they don’t keep you from reading on.  They’re just a part of my story and who I am so if I left them out I wouldn’t be giving you my all.  Really I’m just a very blessed lady inviting you into my life to see how God can use even our worst fears to shape us for the better and bring about good.