Never Saw This Coming

14 Sep

I know it’s been some time since I updated on what’s going on over here. I guess that when I started documenting this journey to conception I naively thought it would be a rather short, painless process. You know, like it seems to be for everyone else I know. Alas, that has not been the case.

After the strange month I had back in July, I decided it was time to talk to my midwife about why I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. I know we have only officially “tried” for 7 months and that technically you are supposed to wait a year before worrying, but I just had a feeling that something wasn’t right. There is nothing wrong physically and maybe it was just me being paranoid, but I couldn’t deny the feeling that I have been having. I try to listen to my body and my intuition was telling me that is was time to start exploring the possibilities.

My midwife had me get blood work on the third day of my cycle. I’m not sure of everything that was tested, but I know it was quite a work up: estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, prolactin, and LH levels, as well as checking the functioning of my thyroid and pancreas.

Two days later she called me and told me that everything looked great with the exception of my prolactin levels. Prolactin is secreted by the pituitary gland and is also known as the “milk hormone.” It’s the hormone that responsible for making breast milk and allowing new mother’s to breastfeed, meaning that it shouldn’t be elevated in a women that isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding (i.e. me). It is the same reason why breastfeeding women can’t get pregnant. Increased prolactin levels do not allow for ovulation to occur.

Prolactin levels are considered normal if there are under 20. Doctors don’t start to get concerned until levels reach 23. Mine is 37. My midwife explained that this number is indicative of a small tumor (non-cancerous) on my pituitary gland which is preventing me from ovulating. According to her prognosis, the treatment plan would be medication to shrink the tumor followed by medication (Clomid) to induce ovulation. She also  referred me to an endocrinologist for further evaluation.

I met with him this past Monday and he seems to think that we shouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions. He explained that even if there is a tumor that it would be too small to picked up by and MRI. He also believes that I am ovulating as evidenced by the fact that my menstrual cycle is completely normal. Every 28-29 days without fail. It lasts 4 days like clockwork. And I get mild menstrual cramps which is a good indication that my body is making progesterone as it should. Apparently, this wouldn’t be the case if I wasn’t ovulating. I, on the other hand, am not so sure.

For now, he is having me take my basal body temperature (BBT) every morning for the next three months so we can chart it, see the patterns, and determine if I am ovulating or not. In three months, I have to repeat the prolactin test and bring him my BBT charts. If the prolactin levels increase significantly or the chart shows that I am not ovulating then we will talk MRIs, tumor (non-cancerous!) reducing medication, and Clomid. Not to mention, that he recommended that I perform this test every year until I reach menopause to keep an eye on the growth.

If my prolactin level stays the same, my charts show that I am ovulating, and I am still not pregnant then we will explore other reason as to why I am not conceiving.

However, if I am pregnant within the next three months then it’s all good. Obviously, this is the outcome that I am hoping for.

As the title of my post suggests, I really never saw this coming. I really thought this process would be quick and easy. All I have ever wanted to be is a mother for as long as I can remember. I have spent the last 11 years of my life taking care of other people’s children. I reasoned that I deserved this. That I had earned this.  What I have learned is that there is no such thing as the karmic justice that I so whole-heartedly believed in.

I am exhausted, frustrated, and angry that this is happening to me. I feel so much guilt that I am causing this to happen to my husband. I am jealous of everyone I know who has babies or who is pregnant. I am good at feigning support when what I really want to do is avoid them. But the other side of me is so unbelievably happy for them despite and above every thing that is going on inside my head and my heart. These conflicting thoughts and emotions are paralyzing to me. The few that I have told about my situation have complimented me on how well I am handling this process. Or they have asked why I am so upset, depending in which version of myself shows up that day. Truthfully, I have no idea why some days I am fine, some days I anticipate the worst, and why most days I am just overwhelmingly numb. These are new emotions for me based on circumstances I have never found myself in until now. I am navigating as best I know how, but this path is largely uncharted for me.

I truly, truly believe that in the end we’ll have our baby. That’s just how my life works. I always seem to be on the long road, the path of most resistance. But in the end, I always get what I want. I don’t see why this situation should be any different.

So, that’s where I’ll be. Charting my BBT for the next three months. Considering trying acupuncture. And waiting with bated breath for those two pink lines…..

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2 Responses to “Never Saw This Coming”

  1. Jen September 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Check your email for my comment 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Questions Without Answers « The Future Fords - June 19, 2012

    […] I am well aware that this method has failed me before. I got my hopes up about the BBT charts, elevated prolactin, the potential uterine septum, the HSG, and my husband’s varicocele. I put my trust in […]

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