Monday, August 27, 2007

My Journey Down Treatment Road

Hello! Well, my last post was just a little depressing so now I'm back to fill you in with the more encouraging stuff. :) I switched from seeing my regular OB/GYN at Baptist who I have loved to a reproductive endocrinologist at Vanderbilt. I had to switch so that insurance would cover any diagnoses for my miscarriages as well as for the fact that I wanted someone who would be more willing to start testing after just 2 miscarriages. Some doctors want to wait until after 3 but I absolutely could not bear to go through it again before I get something done about. I highly recommend Dr. Eisenberg to anyone who is going through any type of pregnancy/fertility issues. She has been great. I contacted her in early May and she changed around her schedule a bit to see me for the first time on June 27th. Other OB/GYNs at Vandy were booked solid for months. Dr. Eisenberg wanted to start the testing process ASAP since she was concerned about my miscarriages being so close together and occurring around the same time in the pregnancies. I started some testing at Baptist but I pretty much had them all repeated at Vandy just to make sure nothing new showed up. The first thing Dr. Eisenberg suggested was to wait at least 3 months before getting pregnant again. One reason for this was obviously to prevent a miscarriage #3 and also because most testing cannot be done when someone is pregnant. She then rattled off all kind of tests I could have done to get the ball rolling. I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation. These are some of the tests I have undergone this summer: had my thyroid checked out since I've been receiving treatment for hypothyroidism for almost 2 years now (which can definitely affect pregnancies); checked for blot clot disorders, and underwent a sonohystogram. This is basically an ultrasound of the uterus. All has come back normal and healthy. It was pretty cool seeing my insides on t.v. :) She even showed me where my left ovary was about to ovulate. Thank you. That's something I bet most of you have never seen! That can be one of those fun facts about me the next time I'm in a situation where I have to share one (like in a Life Group meeting or with my students the first day of class or something). Haha!! The quote of the day: "April, your uterus is just LOVELY!!!" Yup, the doc's exact words. She's all eloquent in her speaking like that. Really one of the funniest statements I've ever heard. It was extremely good news because having something wrong with my uterus wouldn't of been something that I think could be easily fixed. So, I could relax a little bit more after that news. This procedure was very painful and brought me to tears but it was so worth it to look up at the screen and see the doctor pointing out that there was nothing blocking my fallopian tubes and that my uterus was clear of any fibroids or polyps. After these three tests, among other minor ones, I started to get pretty down that nothing was being accomplished. I mean, of course I was happy that nothing serious was found but it was also draining not finding something specific that could be causing the miscarriages. The last and final test I underwent FINALLY produced some results that could lead to a successful pregnancy. It's all about the progesterone! Mine was just a little too low. It was at 13.5 but Dr. Eisenberg really wants it to be at 15 during ovulation and 20 during pregnancy. I actually did not take the news really well at first because I have heard that dealing with progesterone can be kinda tricky. There's just not an answer set in stone as to what can be done to bring it the level and doctors try several different methods of treatment. Low progesterone also hasn't been proven to actually cause miscarriages, but doctors still try to bring the levels up to do all they can to decrease the chances of a woman having another miscarriage. What I do know about it is that if you have low progesterone, your body is likely to reject a pregnancy during the very early stages. After around 13 weeks, your body can take over the pregnancy on it's own, but up to that point it has to make enough progesterone to sustain the pregnancy. That is what research has guessed, but once again, it has happened that a pregnancy will be full term even when the woman's progesterone is low. It makes sense that this has possibly been a factor in my miscarriages because evidently so far my body can only handle 5 1/2 weeks of pregnancy, unless they were just 2 coincidences. At least the doctor found something she can work with and is attempting to treat the possible problem. She has put me on progesterone in the form of vaginal suppositories. Oh, so much fun! I was really hoping she would say I could take a pill or even a shot, but of course I would have to get the instructions to stick bullets inside me twice a day. I really dreaded the thought of that, but now I'm so grateful my doctor chose this form of progesterone instead of the other 2 because A) the body does not absorb the prog. as well when it's in the form of a pill, and B) do I really want to have to deal with Marc having to give me a shot every single day in the rear end? And does he even want to look at the rear end every day? I don't think so. So, it's all working out for the best. It's a little tedius taking this progesterone because you have to take it at certain times of the cycle and it can get a bit messy, but I'm used to it now. It works by being inserted twice a day starting a couple of days after ovulation, getting bloodwork on Day #6 to make sure your levels are going up, and more bloodwork on Day #12 to see if you're pregnant. If you find you're not pregnant, you stop the suppositories on Day #12 and start them again during the next month's ovulation period. This continues until the bloodwork shows that you're pregnant. Here comes the best part: when and IF God blesses me with another pregnancy, I will have continue the suppositories twice a day every day during the first trimester. A very small price to pay though for this child Marc and I want more than anything in this world! I started the first found of progesterone at the end of July, did NOT get pregnant, and now I'm back at it again with today being the first day of starting it back up. Time has really gone quickly though between rounds because I was baby-sitting full time the last two weeks before Lipscomb's Fall semester started, and now I'm back in the swing of things with teaching. So, now I'm just praying so hard I will continue to be patient during all this and that I will keep my mind on my family, church, friends, and work and be the best wife, daughter, friend, teacher, pit bull-owner, and LIFE group leader I can possibly be. And I KNOW deep in my heart that I will be a mommy very, very soon!


Tara said...

I am so thankful that you are trusting God through all of this. I have been praying that you would have a baby for a long time and still am. God is faithful. It will just be that much more special when you hold the baby in your arms that you have waited so long for. Your child will be so blessed to have you as a mother. Love you!

Journey said...

"the best pit-bull owner ever"- that may be one of the funniest lines I've read in awhile.

Thanks so much for sharing all this. It helps me understand what you guys have been going through so much more- and brings so much realness to a situation so many women suffer with- you really helped me understand better what it really feels like- with humor along with it! Thanks for being brave to share your journey with us!

Against these there is NO weapon- faith, hope, and love.

I am praying for you and love you two so much.

Keep writing!


The Blankinships said...

april, thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful story. i'm touched to share in this journey with you and marc by praying for you and your sweet baby. i can't imagine all that you two have gone through. but i know that God is so faithful, and he will honor your commitment to Him in His own time. hang in there, and know that you are certainly covered in prayer. love, heather

dellison0819 said...

Hey, April! I'm keeping you and Mark in my prayers every day. May God grant you patience and peace as you go through the baby makin' process. You can do it - 'cuz you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

Blessed said...

You know we are praying for you and thinking about you all the time. I am so glad you finally started this blog so that we could all keep up with you better! Miss you. I will call you sometime today to help you with your blog. Love ya!

Tamara said...

I'm know this road is so hard but I am so proud of how you have turned it over to God! You are a strong woman with a strong faith. He will take care of you! I have no doubt that one day soon you will have your bundle of joy!!!

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