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In my head

October 15, 2009
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Disclaimer: This entry contains information regarding our adventures with trouble trying to conceive. Feel free to skip over if you wish to avoid too much information regarding my reproductive parts. I won’t blame you. I’d rather skip this stuff, too.

They tell teen girls that it’s OK to have irregular periods. It’s normal. They’ll regulate over time. I got my first period when I was 11. I never paid attention to when I bled or how often I’d get a period. I was a kid. I didn’t care. And, frankly, I’d rather not deal with it at all.

Then as I got older, it just became inconvenient. I never knew when I’d start bleeding – sometimes it was every month or so, sometimes I went three months or more without a period. Just imagine the sort of humiliation that surprise creates for a teen girl.

And so I went to the gynecologist, was handed birth control and was told the pill would regulate me. Great! I started them, and I got a period every month. Great! Regular! No surprises!

Errrr, wait. No one ever told me the bleeding you experience while on birth control isn’t the same as getting your period. Nothing I’d ever encountered set off alarm bells that something might not be right.

Then I met some amazing e-friends and finally learned about how my reproductive parts work by talking with them and reading “Taking Control of Your Fertility.” That’s when the alarm bells went off. Something was different about how my body worked, and it’s been different all along. I might have trouble getting pregnant. Things might have changed over time, but things might have stayed the same.

With this in mind, I went off birth control pills in December of last year. I started charting my cycles. I celebrated when the first two cycles looked amazingly textbook. And then it went downhill. My charts showed no ovulation since February. My moods were erratic. I spent most of March-July in a depressed fog. I didn’t want to see people, be active, talk with the husband – pretty much all I was interested in was reading and sleeping, two things that allowed me to zone out from what was happening.

The reason I chose to zone out was because I knew my moods were caused by hormones. There was nothing I could do, and it didn’t matter how much I wanted to be happy – I couldn’t pull myself up. Then when I couldn’t do anything to get out of a horrible mood, I’d get upset. No, I’d get PISSED. It might have been hormonal, or it might have been genuine anger, but I’d slam things around the kitchen, and I seriously contemplated punching a wall (I’m too smart to do that, though – OW!). I yelled. I cried. I stomped. I had smoke coming from my ears.

Let’s just say I scared the husband and all three pets at various times. If I didn’t talk much to you during that time, you can go ahead and thank me for saving you from the wrath of an insane person.

Since June, I’ve been on various medications to help move along my cycles. I was also tentatively diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, which led us to see a reproductive endocrinologist, where I got a definite diagnosis. Once I heard the tentative diagnosis and was handed the lovely brochure that said a low glucose-index diet could help, I dusted off my literature on the South Beach Diet.

That’s right, that means I gave up potatoes. I can name the exact times and places I’ve had potatoes in the last five months. I can probably count them on one hand.

This. Is. Huge. Potatoes are my favorite food, in any form. Before this, I had serious problems leaving a potato uneaten. I didn’t even keep them in the house if I didn’t have to because I didn’t want to gain 80 pounds from eating my way through a 5-lb. bag of potatoes on my own (the husband doesn’t like them).

Lucky for me, cheese, a low-GI food, is my second favorite food.

Unlucky for me, ice cream is third on the list. Definitely not low-GI.

Ah, the sacrifices you make for offspring. Don’t worry. Instead of a story about walking to school uphill both ways in a blizzard, I plan to guilt-trip future children with stories of how I gave up my favorite foods for them.

I’ve been poked by needles and catheters and dildo cams (aka transvaginal ultrasound), and while those things all sounded beyond scary on the outside of treatment, they’ve been easy to put behind me because we have answers to many questions and a plan.

I started out with a 4cm cyst on my left ovary that meant that cycle was a bust. Lucky for everyone involved, the doctor induced bleeding to make that cycle’s length closer to normal, so I got to skip over the crazy phase. I went back at the beginning of the next cycle (this current one) and learned the cyst was gone. They started me on metformin to treat hyperstimulated ovaries, letrozole to help me ovulate, and I have an hcg trigger shot in the fridge to further help me ovulate if the ultrasound and bloodwork they’re doing on Sunday return good results.

Folks, after eight months (or longer – who knows) of my reproductive parts being on vacation, I might actually ovulate this cycle. Go ahead and throw a party for my ovaries. You know you want to.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alethea permalink
    October 15, 2009 11:33 pm

    I hate to admit this, but I’m SO incredibly jealous. I have the HCG shot too, but after waiting for my period since the end of July, DH decided he wanted to skip this cycle. *sigh*
    You know, for as incredibly different as you and I are, we have so much in common. I wish we lived closer because I truly believe (despite your love for the Browns) that we could be very close friends. Eh, maybe that’s wishful thinking. Still, I read your words and I feel like you and I would just totally “get” one another.
    Best of luck to you guys. Please, keep me posted. And (oooohhhh, I started a sentance w/ AND!!!), if/when you come to Raleigh to meet Harrison, please let me know so we can get together.

  2. Jamie McQuiggan permalink
    October 19, 2009 11:09 am

    ((hugs)) Thanks for sharing your story, Jenny… I’m anxiously awaiting updates & thinking of you (and Alethea!)

    I’d make sure to include “giving myself a shot” in the guilt-trip for the future offspring, but maybe that’s me. 🙂

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