My TTC Journey...

ETA: Someone on my forum pointed me to this interesting ticker that shows a summary of your TTC journey. I thought this would be an appropriate place to put it.

:sigh: It's very depressing when you look at how large most of those numbers are. They ask for average use per week. I think some of those things are probably lower...if I factor in how little I used OPKs and HPTs the first year and a half, it would likely be WAY down.

I thought I'd add a wee bit more than my little blurb I have on the front page. DH and I were married August 12, 2005. Children were something we saw in our future, but right then we just enjoyed being married, plus we had a lot of other responsibilities to family.

Preparing to TTC
Then in 2007 I started consulting with my doctors about where I needed to be for my mental and cardiac health to have a baby. I got the green light from all and my psychiatrist lowered my dosages. In August 2008 I stopped using birth control.

For the next 6-8 months we were basically NTNP (Not Trying Not Preventing). I had known that sometimes coming off BC it could take up to a year to get preggers but was hoping it would happen sooner.

Learning to Track my Cycles
In March 2009 or so I got on a pregnancy forum at American Pregnancy Association and learned all about charting. I even entered my cycles since about August, just to look at lengths. I even bought my charting bible, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.  I soon learned what had been preventing pregnancy...I wasn't ovulating!!! ALL of my cycles had been anovulatory.

First Medical Consult
I soaked up information and decided in August 2009 (1 year of TTC) to have a pre-conception appt with my new OB-GYN.  She ran some bloodwork and discovered my Prolactin levels were higher than normal. I was diagnosed with hyperprolactinemia. Now, in many people, the cause of this is a tumor (mostly benign) pressing on the pituitary gland in their brain. However, hyperprolactinemia is also a side effect of many anti-psychotics. My doc was about to send me for an MRI and was saying "since you aren't on an anti-psychotic" I stopped her and reminded her I was.  She said that to rule out the antipsychotic as the cause I would need to get off of it.

Resolving the Cause of my Hyperprolactinemia
My psychiatrist had mentioned the possibility (1st one in 2 years of investigating with doctors my psych meds!) that this could occur back in the beginning of the summer and suggested weaning off of it before the gray season here. I dismissed it "It would never happen to ME!" Boy was I wrong. But in August it was just the beginning of the gray season and he did not want to change it and risk increasing my depression, etc.

Around that time I started a 180 day cycle (that's 6 months with zilch bleeding).  I stopped charting, stopped attending forums, pretty much stopped everything related to TTC. I figured, what is the point of doing any of it, taking progesterone to induce AF if I know the possible cause is a med my doc won't take me off of?

I know many of you out there are thinking "Why did you listen to him? You should have changed doctors!" Maybe even some of you think you would have just stopped it on your own. I understand that sentiment, however, I prize my mental health above all. I have seen the dark side of me and never want to return to that.

Also, as a mental health professional myself I know that it is SOOOO important to take your meds as prescribed and not to mess with what the doc gives you. I do fully believe in advocating for yourself, but I'd tried (with doctor supervision) to titrate off the med before with negative results. So I wasn't messing with it. In the meantime he added a different mood stabilizer that does not increase prolactin levels.


In February 2010 AF finally arrived on her own! Although I hadn't gotten off my anti-psychotic, I felt just a teensy bit hopeful. When she came again a mere 30ish days later that hope increased. I began temping again and slowly started getting back on my APA forum. Also around this time I started searching for other forums and found The Mommy Playbook (TMP). This site has been a lifesaver. At one time, the APA forums were nice, but around the summer there was one girl on there that I disliked. I found her overly aggressive and I felt she was creating a cliqueish feel to the forum that hadn't been there and in addition it was becoming increasingly focused on religion. I felt this focus excluded me, even if not purposefully. For this reason I left the board in July or so.

First Ovulation and BFP
May off of my anti-psychotic with doctor approval and had my first ever, true blue ovulation chart 2 weeks later! It was a late O but I it was there! I was over the moon. Also, a friend at work gave me her CBEFM (Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor). I started to use that and on my June 2010 cycle I got a BFP!!! I found out on my Mom's birthday. I was so happy I started dreaming and planning right away. We told family and close friends. I nicknamed it Monkey and even bought one item of baby stuff. DH bought the cutest scrapbook. I also called it our Birthday gift, because I got pregnant the month of my birthday and my due date would have been in March right around DH's birthday. My sister was pregnant and due a few weeks before me. It seemed so perfect....

Discovering a Chemical Pregnancy
I had went to my doctor right away for beta levels. They were somewhat low, but baseline doesn't matter, it's how fast it doubles. Problem. My beta's weren't doubling in 48 hours. I went to Texas for the weekend and spent it with my husband's family. They were so happy. I thought it so strange how as soon as we got to Texas nearly all of my pregnancy symptoms disappeared. But they returned as soon as we got to the airport to return home. I should have realized then what was to come...

I got back and took one more beta. A little over 1 week of receiving my BFP I got the news that my hCG levels had dropped. I was miscarrying. I started spotting the day I got the news.

Grieving my loss
Although I know logical reasons that explain miscarriage and I feel so lucky that it was early that I hadn't truly bonded with the baby, it was still horrible. It was the death of a dream. During TTC it is like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Everyone is trying to desperately get the chocolate bar with the Golden Ticket so they can get to the magical world that awaits. I felt like I had won my Golden Ticket and it had been snatched from my hands. Ripped to pieces.

I had wanted to try again right away. My OB-GYN asked that I wait at least until my 1st AF. That came around the end of August/beginning of September. Then, it seemed like God was sending me a message DON'T TRY RIGHT NOW!!!

Medical Issues Stalling TTC efforts
Soon after miscarrying, I tore something in my knee. Of course my doc suggested no TTC until it healed. In September, just when the knee was starting to feel stronger I got super sick. I got the flu for one week, followed by bronchitis for another week. I hadn't been that sick for that long in I don't know how long. I felt like I'd never be well again.

Also, right around then I had my annual heart appointment. My ECHO showed some inflammation in my heart and that the right side of my heart was smaller or functioning slightly less. Doc ordered some blood draws and wanted to see me in 6 months for another ECHO. I was think 6 months is a long time, and surely he didn't want me to be pregnant, so I asked about whether I should stop TTC. He of course forgotten that I was. He consulted with the Fellow there and she offered that the ECHO could be done in 2 months and that they would prefer I not TTC until at least then.

After the second ECHO, my cardiologist was OK with resuming TTC. However, I had also consulted a gastroenterologist and was scheduled for a endoscopy/colonoscopy, which of course cannot be performed when the subject is pregnant. After that test, I was diagnosed with IBS and began learning how to manage that condition.

By February, I had completed all medical tests that required DH and me to abstain from TTC. So now we started resuming those efforts. Around March, when my chemical pregnancy would have been due, I spent time reflecting. By this time I was really ready to start trying again. I also got to meet my wonderful nephew, who was born that month.

Further Delays
About that time, DH and I were preparing to move back to Texas. We missed being with our family and living in Texas. Also, DH was coordinating with a family member to start a business. He moved down around April to begin setting up the business, but I had to remain in Washington until our lease was up at our apt (Oct!).  I became really depressed separating from DH and was miserable. Also, I happened to trip and severely hurt my foot. I sought treatment at the time, was told it was an ankle sprain, no breaks. Although I kept icing it/elevating and other treatments, the pain never went fully away.

Return to Texas
Although it would have been fiscally more responsible to remain in Washington until our lease was expired, I was unable to cope alone without DH and so I prepared to return at the end of June. We were able to move back into our home on the 4th of July. It was great to be back, but at this point I needed to concentrate my efforts on finding work as DH's business was so new. After 6 months or so of looking for work while substitute teaching, I got a full-time job in my area of training (social work in the mental health field).  It was an hour drive one-way from home, but it was full-time work with health benefits. Thus began 2012...


Medical stuff AGAIN...
As soon as I was able to use my health benefits, I had several appts to schedule. Establish with a new cardiologist, address my continued foot pain, and finally scheduled with an RE. The good thing about the RE visit was that his ultrasound assessment of my reproductive organs was good. He seemed to think that all I would need would be an ovulation inducing drug such as Clomid/Femara

Motherhood Wanted approved!

Motherhood Wanted approved!
Diana Farrell, MA


Motherhood Wanted approved!