I am a science experiment.

If I didn’t feel like an experiment before, I certainly do now. We tackled the “unknown” causing us to not conceive when we enlisted the help of IVF and were gifted with baby J. Now, adding to that “unknown” my battered and scarred uterus, and we are all left scratching our heads.

This month was prepared to be a mock cycle, trying new meds to build up the uterine lining sufficiently. We are up against quite a challenge due to the severity of the scar tissue deep in the uterus. So, of course, my body would decide to rebel against all reason and, even while on estrogen, it would decide to begin sloughing off the functional layer of uterine lining that we are so desperately trying to build…. 7 days early.

It’s day 14, but my body is acting like we are on day 21 or further. I’ve had medicated cycles before where the sloughing didn’t begin until well past day 28. What is going on?

The orders are to stay on meds unless the bleeding continues, then we go back to birth control pills, but either way, we keep our final appointment next week. I can’t imagine what my doc is going to say. I hope he will have experience with sassy uterus’ like mine and have a plan all ready to go, with extra support during the last two weeks so we keep things from falling apart too soon like they did this time.

I do feel that things are progressing in the right direction. I feel more bloated in my lower abdomen – not pleasant, but when the goal is to build and promote blood flow, I think this is a positive. The acupuncture seems to have eliminated any cramping associated with all of this, so that’s great, and it’s also helped immensely with my anxiety and general feeling of being overwhelmed by the unexpected/disappointment/”sky is falling” moments. I don’t know what did the trick to get rid of the fluid (acupuncture, viagra, pentoxy, or cutting out dairy/sugar), but it was gone yesterday. Hopefully, we can keep it away. I kind of expected some strange effects from the viagra, but there is nothing to report. Ever since I started taking the pentoxy with food, the nausea/headache hasn’t returned.

So, I now see a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and fertility specialist on the regular – they are all amazing and wonderful, I might add. I have eliminated gluten from my diet and nearly eliminated dairy and sugar. I take supplements three times a day, a various concoction of prescription meds which change each month and go in both ends, and at least a couple times a week, I give myself an injection (sometimes subQ, sometimes IM).

This has become my normal.

Daily, I remind myself how lucky I am to have this life with my husband, toddler, cat, dog, house of my own, parents, brother, in-laws, and friends who are always willing to listen and help any way they can. My new normal is wild, but it won’t last long in the grand scheme, just as time with my loved ones will pass all too quickly.

Soaking in the moments that bring me joy and doing my best to smile through the rest.

Gluten. Dairy. Sugar.

I said “good-bye” to gluten years ago. I also greatly limited my dairy and sugar exposure not long after that. I felt noticeably better after just three days of eliminating gluten. Any time I’ve accidentally ingested gluten, I now pay the price of up-all-night discomfort and up to a week of digestion issues. Dairy and sugar haven’t been as obviously cruel to me, but I had a feeling I was going to need to kick them out of my diet again.

There is a good chance that the fluid in my uterus could be caused or at least magnified by the dairy/sugar combination.

I would like to encourage anyone, whether you are in a similar situation or struggling with other health issues, to try changing your diet. It doesn’t have to be huge. Just take it one day at a time. Add in other treats like avocados and coconut oil. Buy good foods that are higher quality.

Give it a try.

 

On another note, the ultrasound today showed a lining around 4.5 and it was still patchy. Estrogen was 1391. I was told that all was going as expected, but I will be increasing the estrace in the evening. There was only a sliver of fluid this time around, so maybe we are making progress.

The “Longing” for a baby is so real.

Hearing a newborn cry. Watching a sleeping baby. Seeing a commercial for diapers. Remembering how it felt to nurse my baby. These are all my triggers. They make me long for a baby. This kind of yearning, aching – it’s uncontrollable. I want to cradle a baby in my arms and cry at the beauty of creation. I want to feel the snuggle that only a newborn can give.

I know, I’m being ungrateful because I have an amazing toddler who is crazily running around exploring everything he can get his hands on. I’m so, SO lucky to have him in my life and have experienced everything that brought him into being. Things have been rotten (with me – specifically my uterus) ever since, but I just need to put it all in perspective. If this is it. If my uterus is all done, I don’t want to miss out on my baby’s journey while I’m here dreaming of what I don’t have. I need to appreciate all I DO have.

I can’t imagine what it must feel like for couples who endure this torture for a decade or more. Our journey started only four years ago. We have a lovely little boy. Many people don’t have such an outcome. Here I am wanting a second when so many never get their first.

To anyone in the trenches, struggling with this beast of infertility, I want you to know that I am listening. I am listening and I support you. You are stronger than this. You are more than this.

Asherman’s Syndrome

Another diagnosis to add to my infertility lineup. Premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve, low AMH, MTHFR C677T/C677T, and Asherman’s syndrome. I am so glad my doc required a meeting yesterday. He explained to us with the visual aid of the internal ultrasound in live time that my entire uterus is collapsed upon itself and stuck tight with scar tissue. Luckily, the cervix is open, so he doesn’t have to create a new one (sounds like fun, right).

He explained that he must stay in the right position during surgery so he can open up my uterus and “create some real estate.” He feels it would be beneficial to grow the endometrium as much as possible because that can provide a guideline for his incisions. I’ll be on estrogen for 21 days followed by prometrium for 5, then surgery, followed by another round of the same meds and a possible second surgery. Surgery will be laparoscopic, through my belly button and another port below my bikini line so he can get a good hold on everything. This also means my belly will be filled with gas to increase the area in sight. Yup, I’m nervous about it. Read more on Asherman’s and treatment here: http://www.ashermans.org/information/stages-of-ashermans/

How did it happen? It often occurs after trauma to the uterus from surgery (such as the two D&C’s I had to remove my placenta after baby J’s delivery). The question mark is why did my placenta stick in the first place? Maybe I am predisposed to scarring and there was nothing that could’ve been done to prevent it. I know the diagnosis could’ve been much worse.

My hubby has been a rock. He has faith that we will get through this. His love makes me stronger.