I’m not sure how its going to go… or how often I’ll keep up on it. But I think I’m ready. Bear with me as I choose to share as little, or as much, information about what I’ve been going through. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of my amazing husband, friends and family. I’ve also developed a support system of some amazing women who are (unfortunately) going through the exact same thing as I. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I’ve met them, and that we’ve formed these ever-lasting bonds through this (unfortunate) situation. They’ve made me realize I shouldn’t be hiding in the dark – WE shouldn’t be hiding in the dark.
People don’t like that word. It isn’t talked about much. Some may deem it ‘taboo’ or that we should keep it on the ‘hush hush’. Maybe it’s a stigma I just personally feel, going through it all, but I want to be open about it. I want others to know that we are here. There are others going through similar, if not the same, types of struggles. It sucks. Its awful. It’s one of the worst things I have ever experienced… but I want others to know I am here for them. I am here to hold their hand, hug them (be it virtually) while they cry and vent and ask ‘WHY ME’. Because I’ve been there. Some days, I’m STILL there. Each day has been its own personal struggle in itself, but I can whole heartedly say that I’m doing better each and every day.
I don’t want to this post to be too overwhelming – I want to come back slowly… baby steps. But I do want to share a bit of my personal journey these last few months…
Its been 14.5 months – and I still haven’t gotten my period. I was officially diagnosed with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea… (you know... the thing I felt like I had all this time… I was right). The Reproductive Endocrinologist I started meeting with in January expected that this was the case, but we had to make it through all the blood-work, tests, ultrasounds, MRI, etc to confirm. This month, it was officially put as my diagnosis – see… I knew I wasn’t crazy.
Since last September, when I first did online research about HA and expected that could be it – I slowly started lowering the workouts and eating more. I dropped from working out 7 days a week (all high intensity, 45-60 minutes) – to only 5 days a week of that. I started incorporating peanut butter (and a lot of it), avocado, and other healthy fats into my diet. I was able to pack on some pounds pretty quickly, even from that minor adjustment. Then in January of this year, after my initial blood-work, MRI and tests – my RE suggested I cut back a bit more on the workouts. By the way, I think its safe to say I was/is addicted to working out. So by being asked/told to cut back significantly, as crazy as that sounds, has been one of the hardest parts of this whole thing. So this January, I really changed things up –I went down to 3-4 days of working out, with a (required) 30 minute max, all low impact; walking, light jogging at 5.5mph max, yoga, piyo, light weights or biking. That’s when the scale shot up… but in a weird way, I’ve become completely OK with the fact that I’ve gained 15 pounds since last May. Each time I would weigh in at the clinic, and see the number go up – I’d be praised by the Nurses and my RE (and most importantly, myself) because I know I’m that much closer to becoming a Mom someday.
Throughout these last few months – I’ve tried a few specific tests… ones that were ‘supposed to’ allow to me get a bleed or period and/or ovulate. They said some of these things were “98% effective” – but I didn’t respond to any of it. Nothing. Do you know how frustrating that disheartening that is? Knowing that the medication that is SUPPOSED to work… doesn’t?! Yea, I think its safe to say that those days were the hardest. I won’t get into full detail about the medication and treatments I’ve tried, but in a nutshell we tried – Provera (twice), Ovidrel, then a Letrozole/Ovidrel combination. Since I didn’t respond to any of this, I received the (even more) dreaded news… that my RE isn’t sure I’ve ever regain my cycle again. Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t have babies – it just means I’ll need assistance. Which is where the next part comes in…. the mid-level of treatment (injectables and IUI) may be the only option for me. I’m not going to think into that or worry about it until I have to. Because….
I was offered a new, amazing job opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. It’s going to cut my commute from a 50 mile daily roundtrip, to only 12! I’m getting a WONDERFUL jump in salary, and it’s a step up in my professional career. I sometimes wonder if this was a plan all along… that this is what was supposed to happen right now. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to start in a few short weeks. All that being said, I think it’s safe to say that taking time and getting acclimated at my new job is going to take priority right now, and I’m 100% OK with that. We’ve already talked with my RE and said we will pick back up with treatment this fall. Maybe a few months off of all the tests, appointments, blood-work and ultrasounds will be good for me - and maybe this time off will allow my body to make some more (internal) strides that will help me respond to treatment – who knows. But here is to hoping.
Despite the fact that I don’t have all good news to share, I will say that I try to remember each and every day how thankful I am to have this life, and to always remember that I could have it much… much worse. I have to remember that I have an amazing husband, who has been my rock through all of this (Love you forever, Joey!), as well as a supportive group of friends, family, and my HA support system who have kept me going, and smiling. Also the fact that all of my other testing has come back great; everything internally/structurally looks amazing. So when the time comes that my hormones want to work – I’m praying it will be smooth sailing. See – those are all good things… great things. Things I am thankful for each and every day.
OK – So I think that’s a good start. I think that’s enough information for now. Sorry it’s all over the place, a little scattered, if you will. But it’s what I was ready to share. Thanks for reading, thanks for the outpour of love, messages, and well wishes over these last few months - and thanks for continuously following my journey. Your support means the world to me.
I’d like to end with this little post I put up on Facebook a few weeks ago:
To anyone that has suffered, or is suffering, with infertility: Whether it is unexplained, or a specific diagnosis... my heart goes out to you. This journey is frustrating, devastating and discouraging - and no one deserves to have to go through the pain of being let down month after month, or year after year. I know many don't like talking about this topic, as it is deemed "taboo" - but it is reality, and it happening more than we think. There are so many, too many, people suffering - and I want them to know they are NOT alone. I know how hard it is, I know how there are days where you just want to give up and cry and scream and vent. Please know that I am here to listen, to talk and to vent with. We can beat this.