Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mirena IUD: My insertion experience and 1 month later

In my last post, I described how I chose to get a Mirena IUD, since my physical health looks like it will not support carrying a pregnancy to term with safety.

Prior to my appointment, I took a preventative Ibuprofen. It was certainly uncomfortable, but quick. My doctor reviewed the procedure, including what would happen and how he would insert the IUD.  He answered any questions I had.  My OB-GYN confirmed placement of the Mirena via ultrasound.  He did an ultrasound both prior to the insertion, to review that there were no barriers or problems and to get an idea of where to place it.  It then proceeded like most pelvic exams, but there was an extra instrument needed to hold open the cervix.  It felt a little pinchy, with some pressure. 

Near the final steps, when he had to take a sample for testing while placing, I felt that and it affected me like cramps---achy pain in the pelvis and immediate effects on my gastrointestinal system. Usually it is nausea, and that was there, but also a need to have a BM.

I was SUPER crampy that night. I spent the evening on the couch with a heating pad on my pelvis.  But, I was able to go to work the next day, with regular doses of ibuprofen.

It has been about 1 month since my Mirena was placed. I don't need ibuprofen as often. I think I had a "period".  It was about 10 days of heavy spotting to very light bleeding. I still have random spotting every now and again, especially after sex--for at least 3 days.  However, from what I've read in educational material, this is to be somewhat expected. Many women notice increased heaviness and length of bleeding in the first six months, but state that after this, they regulate, and some do not even bleed at all while on Mirena.  

Since Mirena is often prescribed to treat women with excessively heavy bleeding during their periods, and my periods are usually medium flow at best, I have hopes that once it settles I will not have any bleeding. I can deal with spotting. I am becoming expert at the features of various pantiliners.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Still wanting, but looking at other options

I have had to visit both a pulmonologist (lung doctor) and an allergist to address my growing difficulty with breathing. I am now taking an inhaled medication for my "asthma", which is not the most common kind. I have no issues breathing out, but in inhaling air when my airways are irritated. Which, apparently, are irritated by the following:
  1. Cedar 1                     (Nov-Feb)
  2. Cedar 2                     (Nov-Feb)
  3. Cat 1
  4. Cat 2
  5. Bahia                        (Apr-May)
  6. Dust mites 1

There might have been others too, but that's plenty. Not to mention smoke, pollutants, perfume, etc.   I will say, I do not have a dire form of asthma, the difficulty breathing slows me down, but in the US, I have rarely reached that point of hyperventilation common to most asthmatics.

After several other tests by my pulmonologist (who is a dear!), and about the second doctor to express real concern for my health and safety if we continue to achieve pregnancy, my husband and I made a difficult choice to discontinue our goals to achieve pregnancy via my womb.

I have a dear, dear, friend who has offered to be our surrogate. At this point, we do not have the funds for it, but we are looking into ways of funding it to see if this might be an option of building our family.

In the meantime, I saw an OB-GYN to look at methods of more permanent birth control. I had decided against Essure and traditional tubal ligation only because of the anesthesia--I would be at higher risk due to my obesity and breathing issues. So, we settled on the Mirena IUD.

I will update on my experience with Mirena for the rest of this blog. IF we manage to be able to go through with the surrogacy, I will also post updates here.  BUT, most likely, my posts will be few and far between. I will be leaving the blog up for those who may benefit from the posts.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

The longing and the waiting...

I recently started posting quotes on my Twitter account @MotherhoodWantd
The one I posted for today made tears well up in my eyes, because it is so true. Anyone TTC for very long will know that this can encapsulate the emotions of infertility.

It is hard to wait for something that might never happen; it is harder to give up when you know it is everything you want. --Unknown. (http://addicted2success.com/)

For me, this has been my struggle for the last 2 years or so.  Do I give up due to the potential threat to my health and the never-ending failure to get pregnant/carry to term? A large part of me is ready to throw in the towel. 1) I love my husband, my family 2) It scares me to think of either not surviving my pregnancy, losing the baby because of it, or just being so sick after that I can't take care of my kid.

I've tried to explain this to my husband, but he is in denial over the potential deadliness of my condition. I have to say the desperate, biological drive to reproduce has me also wanting to throw caution to the wind. Part of me wonders if my miscarriages are God's way of preserving me. And I should listen. But my cardiologist gives me hope. He says that I shouldn't be able to live the life I want and promises to take care of me if I do get pregnant. But it is scary.

I think it is hardest when I see my husband with our nieces and nephews; he has such a great time and he will make such a fantastic father. It is hard to give up on that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ToConcieve Giveaway in honor of 25th annual National Infertility Awareness Week

For those of y'all that have been following my blog, you may know that I was selected to try out and advanced lubricant designed not only to promote more sperm reaching the target zone, but to also encourage women's bodies to produce more of the necessary cervical fluid that helps the sperm safely navigate through the cervix and on their way to the fallopian tubes.

If used daily, this can help women produce more of their appropriate cervical fluid that promotes pregnancy.  It can also be a supplement to aid lubrication when baby-dancing.  It is recommended to apply once daily (after showering/bathing) and anytime you have intercourse.  One thing I really like about ToConceive is that I don't have to give it a specified time period to be more effective, so it's great when you're being spontaneous or at least doesn't kill the mood.

Anyway, I know that I have used ToConceive in my recent cycle that resulted in pregnancy.  I also can say that I have noticed an increase in the overall volume of my cervical fluid throughout my cycle, and I previously had scanty EWCM.

So, I highly encourage y'all to check out their Facebook page and win a bottle for yourself!


In honor of the 25th anniversary of National Infertility Awareness Week, ToConceive is giving away 25 bottles of ToConceive to couples trying to conceive, in hopes of spreading hope to all couples TTC. To enter, visit ToConceive's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/keytoconceive) and comment on the post "Hope is..." letting us know what hope means to you. To promote infertility education, we'll also donate 25% of all profits during that week to RESOLVE.
 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Visit to OB/GYN

So, today I went to see my PCP for a check-in related to my hypothyroidism.  The levothyroxine appears to be managing that condition well. When I told him that I suspected I had miscarried, he insisted that I get an appointment today with an OB/GYN to confirm and clarify if the miscarriage was complete. I was able to go this afternoon. This OB/GYN was practical and understanding. He agreed to do an ultrasound as I had experienced some low pelvic pain on the left side. I suggested that this could just be an IBS symptom.  Either way, he did not find presence of anything in my uterus. He stated that the lining was thin, and he clarified for me that it was at the level he expected.

He did order an hCG (quantitative) to confirm loss and also an antibody level.  He stated that due to my - RH factor, I will need a Rhogam shot when pregnant, but my losses have been so early, he did not believe it was a factor and would not benefit me at this time.

From what I know of antibody testing, if it is abnormal, baby aspirin could be an effective treatment. However, with my hx of congenital heart defect, I am reluctant to try this unless it is needed. I was looking at my last few CBCs, and the only consistently abnormal level was my MPV (mean platelet volume). Even when I have not been pregnant or recently miscarried, I had a *slightly* higher than normal MPV.  I've only had one in the last 5 since 2012 that has been in the normal range, and it was just under the highest part of the range. 

I don't know if this means anything, really, but from some research information I have come across, it is not a satisfactory indicator by itself.  However, if I also have abnormal antibody levels...

I still have little luck in getting a RE or OB/GYN willing to actually treat my infertility due to my heart condition. It's possible that if I have a 3rd confirmed miscarriage, I could get them to agree to some sort of supplementation after I get a positive test.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The torture continues...

I hate my body right now. If any woman reading this has miscarried, you will know what I mean. For whatever reason, I'm significantly less sad about this miscarriage than I would have been 6 months ago.  I keep mulling over the possible reasons for this.  Possibly since this is not uncharted territory for me; sadly, I'm navigating slightly familiar waters, so I know better what to expect. Although, I think many people in their fear of change cling to a misapprehension that once they've done something once, it will happen exactly that way EACH time. In my experience, the pattern may be similar, but details can change so drastically that it is almost a different experience.

Most importantly, I have reached prior to this pregnancy a stage of acceptance regarding my fertility and status as a childless couple.  I wish I could say to those in current pain regarding their infertility that X number of years/attempts/etc, will convert into acceptance of one's circumstances and the ability to find joy in daily life, but like most things, it is a journey one must make on one's own and the length of time depends on each person. I used to think those women on forums that wanted to try right after miscarrying were heartless.  That trying to "replace" the unique life that once was, but shall not be is a discredit to its brief existence.

Now, I see it from a more practical view. Grieving is for the living, and so it must take as long as the living requires. I do grieve this loss, at the same time accepting what it cannot be. However, after 6+ years of struggling to achieve pregnancy, and more importantly, live birth, I cannot take any opportunity for granted. I have read articles that say the body is primed for pregnancy right after a miscarriage. Many doctors want women to give the body a rest, which, depending on circumstances may be very wise.  I think in many situations, though, it is so the doctor can know important information regarding the second pregnancy, etc. I think with my type of miscarriage, however, chances of real issues are low.

I do want to see my doctor to eliminate the possibility of certain pregnancy conditions that could present unhealthy situations, such as ectopic or molar pregnancy. Molar pregnancy is rare, so I mostly fear ectopic, especially since I have been having some odd back/stomach pain centered on my left side.

The real torture in miscarriage, however, is not all of the above issues I have described. The torture is your body's attempts to balance out the hormones. Most women realize they are miscarrying when they have a sudden disappearance/drop of symptoms. To go from boobs so sore they cannot be touched one day to barely noticing them the next can be clear. Throw in some unusual spotting and light to medium flow, you see the writing on the wall.  I think if it could be left at that, it would be a much kinder process. Except, like many things related to the female reproductive system, it is never so simple or straightforward as that. It's more like a power surge or your car running out of gas. You go from no symptoms to a sudden rush into nausea, fatigue and breast tenderness. If it were a few hours, you could write it off, but no, it lasts just long enough to sow seeds of doubt that the miscarriage is true. This then cultivates the bitterest of herbs, false hope. All of my negative pregnancy tests and logic regarding how the body works are thrown out the window when that secret, desperate part of me that grieves my loss, my infertility, clings on to this seed of doubt and says SEE! I TOLD YOU, its still possible, don't give up now!!!!!  

And this is where the unknown sneaks up on you and gives credence to these pleas. I recall the various exceptions that have come across my path. The stories of women with negatives that turned out to be false, excessive bleeding early on to achieve live birth, the miracles. And why not me?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mixed Blessing...

Sooooooo....this cycle around CD8-10, I had spotting.  Lately my periods all start this way: very light spotting, next day slightly heavier, then full on flow.  This time, I had light spotting that never increased in flow and then it went away.  This, and other symptoms, made me take a pregnancy test. On CD11 I got a positive pregnancy test!!!! Very exciting. I started calling doctors, making appointments and adjusting my meds.

I will say that this cycle I used To Conceive (a lubricant designed to stimulate a woman's ability to create a welcoming environment for sperm).  I also used OPKs to track. I believe we BD on the day of my positive OPK.  For vitamins I have been taking:

Kidney Tonic (herb blend provided by acupuncturist)
Wen Jing (herb blend from acupuncturist)
B-Complex (50-100 mg)
Prenatal
Magnesium

All of the vitamins I am taking are geared toward stabilizing my LP.  This has proved to be my primary need as unfortunately.....I got a negative pregnancy test on 3/24 and started spotting. It has now progressed to full bleeding. Having miscarried before, I know I'm going through a natural miscarriage.

After the spotting (in which a brownish clot the size of a nickel passed), I've had a very yellowish, watery red flow. This is consistent with my last miscarriage.

The reason I titled this post "mixed blessing" is that although it is crushing to have lost another, I feel more confident in my ability to get pregnant. It also helps my acupuncturist tailor her treatments for me. She plans to get an herb mix that will assist in preventing miscarriage when I get pregnant next.

We plan to try right away. I re-supplied my CBEFM, so that we could pinpoint ovulation. Last time, using my "miscarriage bleed" as a LMP, I ovulate around CD19-22.  I imagine since I have already had negative pregnancy tests, I will be able to ovulate sometime in April, if just slightly late.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New product for more effective and seamless tracking of BBT!!!!

Hi all!  I know it's been a really, really long since I've posted.  That's mostly since my computer was having issues. But now I have a new one!


I had to get on and post because I have heard about an inventive new way to track your BBT. It's called TempDrop.  I wish I could tell you all that I've learned about this amazing device, but what I can say is that instead of taking your temp after you wake, this will measure it while you sleep. 


Another added feature the founder promotes is its ability to upload this data to your favorite fertility tracking app. Or if you prefer, they offer an app of their own.




Anyway, you MUST watch this totally tongue-in-cheek YouTube video they have developed. The one at the end where she's hanging out of bed to reach her thermometer is totally me!  I don't know how many times I've knocked down my thermometer and am reaching around blindly, trying not to move too much and invalidate my reading.




Click the link below for the video, and check out their crowd-sourcing campaign on Indiegogo!  I plan on checking it out because I really think this device should be available to women TTC.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N7h2kq2UXk

Motherhood Wanted approved!

Motherhood Wanted approved!
Diana Farrell, MA

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Motherhood Wanted approved!