Sunday, November 30, 2014


The last several days I have been down and depressed about our 1st attempt to do IVF, which failed. Today in the middle of our Sacrament Meeting I had a peaceful feeling that everything was going to be OK. Yeah it sucks that we just lost $12,000, I don't have any more vacation left until the end of next July, and the torture and pain I went through over the last month didn't give us a child. When you dwell on all of the negative you forget to see the positive. The thought came to me today that now is just not our time to be parents and that is OK. Yeah it's hard to watch everyone have baby's right and left, but I know my time will come one day! Today I am grateful for my loving husband, who I will enjoy spending my time with until our day comes. I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I am grateful to have an awesome job where I get to work with the most awesome people. I am grateful for my home. I am grateful for my puppy. I am truly grateful for my health and the gift of living on this earth to enjoy the many things we have to enjoy! I know my Heavenly Father has a plan for me and for all of us. It may not be the way we imagined or the way we think it should be, but I know that he has never failed me and that I have to trust in him and his timing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Background of Infertility to Present

I wanted to give myself and others a history of what really happened to lead up to the circumstances I am now in with infertility. For me it all started in 9th grade when I had my first menstrual cycle. It was a year before my next and I had about 2 per year through high school. When I went to the doctor about this they put me on birth control, telling me this would help regulate my cycles and that after being on it for a few years my cycles should be regulated. I didn't worry about anything immediately but after the first year I did not like how the pills made me feel bloated, fat and just blah. So I went off of them and I started my first cycle. It continued for quite awhile, but I kept thinking eventually it would stop. Several months passed and i started to feel light headed and dizzy; overall awful. When I still had not stopped after six months of bleeding I finally told my mom about it. She couldn't believe I hadn't said something sooner because all of my symptoms frightened her. She took me to the hospital and I was one point away from having a blood transfusion. I was super anemic and had lost a lot of blood and I received treatment just in time to prevent further complications. Instead of the doctors looking at the root cause of my problem they just put me on another birth control as a "quick fix." This one was very low dosage with low side effects, unlike the other pill I was previously on. So I continued on that for the next several years until I was married to Tyler for about 7 months, from there we began the struggle down our road of infertility.


When I went off birth control in 2009 I started my first cycle. Again my body did not know how to stop just like the first time as a teenager. It just kept going some days worse than others. When I called the doctor he told me to start taking Provera, meant to "finish" the cycle, and we went straight to taking Clomid, common for women who do not ovulate normally meant to make follicles mature to a stage where the body will release them normally to be fertilized. We did one pill for a few months and then on to two pills for a few months. He was a doctor that always just gave me pills to fix the problem instead of really looking into what was going on with my body. If this doctor would have looked into things from the beginning we might have had a different story. I do not wish to place blame on him, but to emphasize the importance of finding the right physician!

"Honey Moon" Cruise to Mexico


In the summer of 2010, as I continued to take Clomid, we still had not had any success in becoming pregnant. Even taking Clomid my cycles were irregular and I eventually had another cycle where it did not stop and the doctor told me I needed to start Provera again to stop the bleeding. This time, instead of making things better, it made it a whole lot worse. I was at work one day and had to leave early because it was so heavy. I had a pad and a tampon in and it felt like it was pouring out of me. By the time I got home it was all over my car seat and all over my pants. I literally thought I was bleeding to death. When I walked inside I was bawling and covered in blood and my poor husband was in shock. We called the doctor and he told me he wanted to higher the dosage of Provera. I was totally against this as I believed it had just made my situation worse. I was insistent that he get me in to check things out because I knew something was not right since everything felt so wrong. After literally begging while sobbing, he finally agreed to see me. When they did an ultrasound they found 3 different polyps,abnormal tissue growths, in my cervix and uterus. These polyps can cause and aggravate the bleeding I was experiencing. In September I had a D&C . D&C stands for "Dilation and Curettage," and it is used to physically remove the lining of the uterus, including the polyps, with sharp hooped instruments called curettes.  After the surgery I decided to switch doctors. I felt uncomfortable staying with him since he had never tried checking into why I had such long periods and didn't really listen to my concerns.

Road trip to Chicago and New York


This year I went to several different doctors and was not impressed with a lot of them. They all had the same plans for me to start Clomid again and at this point we were not sure if we wanted to keep doing that. I hated putting all these hormones into me and just wondered why my body did not work like it should; like everyone else's. I started thinking about taking more of a natural approach to infertility. So I started seeing a nutritionist. She did a food sensitivity test on me and I did a "cleanse," recommended by her, which required me to take a lot of pills every day (around 30) for 3 months. I cut out everything except meat, veggies, and a little fruit. I struggled a lot with this and it got to the point where I got really sick because I just could not eat the same thing all of the time. The restrictions on my diet included some fruits and vegetables which made it very difficult for me to be creative with what was left. She did quite a bit of blood work on me and she had me on fish oil, vitamin D3, Vitamin C, etc... The blood work, according to her, had shown that i was borderline diabetic, had high cholesterol, and I was Insulin resistant. Anyways, I stopped seeing her because it was pretty pricey with all of the pills and blood tests on top of visits, and insurance does not cover nutritionists. She gave me some valuable information on what was going on with my body, but I didn't feel like she had the answers that I needed. After various new doctor visits I eventually found a doctor who diagnosed me with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). I had pretty much most of the symptoms except being over weight (60% of women who have PCOS are). A lot of people are shocked when I tell them that I have it because I don't look like the typical girl who would. But pretty much all of the other symptoms are there. My doctor told me I should start a medication called Metformin which helps with my Insulin Resistance, one of the results of PCOS, and they use it a lot with clomid which is suppose to better your chances of getting pregnant. So I was excited that she had finally figured something out and thought that this might be the answer to my problems. I started taking it and hung in there for a few months, but it got to the point where I just could not do it anymore. I got so sick to my stomach and was losing super big chunks of hair. My newfound doctor then took me off of it and told us that she really didn't have the expertise to treat my condition and that we should seek an endocrinologist and infertility specialist. In the mean time I felt really weird and started having some severe stomach attacks, nausea, the "runs" and it would not go away. I had to take 2 months off of work on FMLA and I was literally in bed dying of pain for those 2 months. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong. After being hospitalized for my pain I had to do a colonoscopy (camera in the back end) and endoscopy (camera in the throat) in which they did biopsy's to see what they could find. The only thing they found was that I may be lactose intolerant, but they said even that was inconclusive. So I still don't really know for sure what was wrong, but it was the weirdest and most miserable thing that has ever happened to me.



We started seeing an endocrinologist and infertility specialist. He was probably the worst doctor I have ever seen, but I really didn't know it at the time. He did some procedures like "blowing my tubes out" (can't remember the real term for it), sonohysterogram, etc.. He found that I had some polyps that had grown back and he wanted to do a biopsy of my uterus. Well, he decided to do the procedure in his office to save us money and told me that it would be relatively quick. I received no anestetic and was told to remain as still as possible to prevent rupturing the uterine wall. He removed one polyp and continued scraping. When he finished he told me that, since I hadn't kicked him in the head, he was able to do another D&C on me. The entire time I was thinking that I would pass out from the pain, but I couldn't for fear that I would move and get sliced open by the doctor. I know that Tyler wasn't in the room with me, but I still remember the experience as if he was holding my hand the entire time. It was the worst pain I ever felt and I hope no one else ever has to go through that. After allowing me a few months to heal, he put me on Clomid, Metformin and Dexamethasone which I was very hesitant about, but really didn't see another option, he was the specialist after all. He did add a little value to my program by having me take my temperature every day, do ovulation tests, etc.. He also had me on a lower dosage of Metformin. When I told him about the hair loss he convinced me that was not a side effect and that I was probably just stressed out from when I took it before. So with that I gave it another chance, in addition he told me that was the only way I could get pregnant so I jumped on board. But once again my hair thinned out enough for my hair dresser and even my unobservant husband to notice and become concerned. It was pretty disgusting how thin it got. Those that know me well, know that I have always had really thick, gorgeous hair! This was not the case anymore so I decided the only way to cope was to chop 13 inches off.  Soon after this, one night after my husband and I had gone to the Temple, I was having severe pain in my lower right side and it progressively got worse within a short few hours. I knew something was wrong and Tyler rushed me to the hospital and found out that I had appendicitis and needed to have surgery right away. A few days later the doctor called and told me they found a Carcinoid Tumor in my Appendix which is a cancerous, slow growing and  very deadly tumor. I was freaked out, of course, thinking I might die, but they did an Octriatide scan and found that it had not yet spread. If it had been found any later then they would have had to take me into surgery again and remove part of my intestines. All of my doctors told me that I was the luckiest girl and could not believe what had happened. Not many people get their life saved by appendicitis. If the cancer had not been found they told me that it would have grown for many years, undetected, until I would be left with only months to live with extensive surgery. So the fact that it just happened to be in my appendix and that I had appendicitis when it was so small was a miracle. I feel very blessed that I am still alive today! After I recovered from this surgery I went back to the infertility prescriptions as I had before. This doctor had me up to 5 pills for 7 days on Clomid which is the highest allowable dose for 2 extra days. Later I found out that most doctors won't go that high and certainly not so long. I was having sever hot flashes and mood swings. It was not pleasant to say the least. After no success through the course of a little over a year he told me he had done everything that he could and the next step would be to do injectables and things that would cost thousands of dollars. We did not feel comfortable going further with this doctor and pretty much thought that was the end of the road for us. Tyler had told me after the in office D&C that if I was done going through the torture he would support me. We really wanted to have children though so we started looking at the adoption process as an option, but realized we didn't have the money for it either.



At one of my dental visits this year my dentist, who is the best I might add, was talking to me about my infertility issues and recommended that I go to the U of U where his daughter went and said if anyone could get me pregnant it would be them. So with me having little hope left I talked to Tyler about this and he was convinced he would just say the same as all the doctors we had previously seen, but when I told him about the IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and how they were expensive but still kinda affordable at least compared to IVF ( In Vitro Fertilization) we thought we would give it a try. We absoulutely have been thrilled with this doctor and he ended up  doing another sonohysterogram which showed I had a huge polyp which was "the size of 2 IUD's." He said, "no wonder your not pregnant." He could not believe that either doctor did not do a hysteroscopy which allows you to see inside the uterus and cervix with a camera while performing the curettage, allowing the physician to see what is actually going on and to make sure you got everything. So he did this and at the same time they did a laparoscopy to make sure I did not have Endometriosis and sample a node from my stomach to test (further testing to ensure that I was cancer free) and then we began taking drugs to start the IUI's. We did this 3 times and had no more luck than we had had with Clomid. We then decided to throw in another surgery to correct a problem in one of my knees caused by very tight tendons making my knee cap dig into the cartilage between my knee. I figured one recovery and break was better than suffering through pregnancy on a bad knee.

No vacation but new puppy and our first new home!


The next few months after recovering we tried to do more IUI's, but I stopped responding to the medications. We then had to make the final decision if we were going to adopt or do IVF. I had never really considered IVF because of how expensive it is and your not guaranteed anything. It's all really a gamble and there are plenty of kids who need homes as well. So we faced a tough decision. We were planning to go through LDS Family Services because they prorate their pricing but the day we thought we had decided on this route, was the day we found out that they are no longer doing their adoption program outside those already in the system. So we felt like that was our answer and our last hope is to at least give IVF a shot and at least we could know that we did everything we could to try and conceive. We were blessed again to find means to pay for our IVF cycle on our own and you've already read the rest for this year so far and we have been so grateful for the love and support that has been shown to us as we tell our story.

Since my last post we have gone in for our retrieval wherein 5 follicles were collected and fertilized. On Tuesday we were told that there were possibly only going to be 3 left. On Thursday they checked on my ovaries and decided to move forward with a fresh transfer, but that there were only 2 eggs remaining. On Friday we went in for the transfer and found out that we were left with one good egg and that the other had slowed down it's cell reproduction and would likely stop within a day or two. So we have been given one chance and we are so grateful for it! If you have made it through reading all of my ramblings then please keep us in your prayers because we have truly felt everyone's faith and well wishes for us and we know that whether or not this works we will be blessed. I have a pretty amazing husband who has stuck with me even after all that we have been through since we got married! It has definitely been a roller coaster of wonderful and horrible times. Over the years, to keep us sane through this whole process, we have been able to travel and go on some pretty fun vacations and enjoy the time we have had together through all the craziness!

San Francisco

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Update and Thank You!

I just want to thank all of our family and friends who were able to fast with us today. We really felt all the love and prayers! It was a really spiritual day for us and we are grateful for the testimonies and lessons we had in church today. It seemed like everything we heard was what we needed to hear. So grateful for my Savior who knows us so well and is aware of what we need. 

This last week I have had 2 shots, Gonal F and Menopur, every night in my belly, which Tyler has had the privilege of administering to me. When we went to the doctor's on Thursday we were hoping to start our third shot called Cetrotide. Unfortunately, my follicles were not at the size they needed to be so we continued to take the Gonal F and Menopur (which are used to make follicles grow). When we went in on Saturday they finally were growing. My largest 2 follicles went from being 9mm to 12mm (in diameter). At least one needs to be 13mm before you start the Cetrotide. The Cetrodide is what keeps the eggs from releasing while others grow (they want as many as possible for the egg retrieval). Both of my ovaries have around 36 follicles each, which is normal for someone with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), but a lot for anyone else. Because of this they have to be careful about the amount of hormones they give me so I don't get hyperstimulated (very bad/could lead to negative consequences including never being able to have children). My ovaries have already more than doubled in size because of all the follicles in there and all of the hormones I am taking. Since I had a couple follicles at 12mm they new I would be ready to start the Cetrotide shot this morning. This shot makes me itchy and swollen but is bearable. Overall the shots have not been as bad as I thought. I am feeling pretty good besides being a little crampy and bloated. I really feel like my diet has played a huge role in that.
I decided to cut out gluten, dairy, candy and sweets while doing this process. I am not sure if it is completely necessary, but I have read that it could help and I wanted to do everything that I can to give us the best chance at getting pregnant. I don't want to have any regrets pertaining to anything that I do have control over. For those of you who know me, following this diet has not been an easy thing. I just stopped eating all of it cold turkey. I had been wanting to do it for a while but just kept indulging and never got there. Not too long ago, when I was trying to start this diet, I posted on FB that I really wanted a "Smart Cookie." Only one person, my sister, told me to not give in to temptation. As I was looking at all of the other posts I really thought I was going go get myself a cookie, and then I thought, "you know, if I am gonna start doing this I've gotta start sometime and why not now? These cravings will never go away unless I do something about it. I am the one who controls my body!" That was when I realized that sugar really has been like a drug to me. When I want some, I just have to go get it. I also realized that I wanted more than anything, including sugar, to have a family. Although nutrition is not the reason I can't get pregnant, I know that being healthy will help with our overall goal. I want a healthy body as well as a healthy baby. I am proud to say that I have not given in to any temptation of bad eating for one month, a week and three days (not that I am counting! Lol!). It has not been easy by any means, especially since most people that know I am doing it think it is weird and talk to me about all of the foods I am missing out on. Fortunately there really is so much that I can eat and keeping myself full on good food makes avoiding the bad much easier. Although Tyler is not doing the diet with me he has helped make some delicious meals for me. We have made delicious salads, green smoothies, several different soups, protein shakes (I actually found one that is dairy free and actually delicious), rice, and chili, etc... All made with organic herbs, veggies and meat. I have actually never felt better in my life than I have on this lifestyle change I have made. Along with eating well I started exercising regularly before the shots. I have come to realize that if I am eating well and exercising I feel better and have more energy(the simple lessons are the hardest to learn) and I want to continue this throughout my life so that I will have the energy I need to be a good mother and wife!
So we go in on Tuesday to see how my follicles are growing and they will also start doing blood work as well to make sure I am not producing too much Estradol. Hopefully this visit will tell us for sure when the egg retrieval will be!
Along with the update I hope to fill in some of our back story including the emotional roller coaster I've been on, the surgeries and the blessing of finding cancer in my appendix.