In my previous post, I mentioned my diagnosis of PCOS early in my life. We had a hunch it would take longer than “average” to conceive. A large family was something we always wanted, so timing was of the essence. I like sharing our story in hopes of helping someone else through this process too. When I was heavy in the process, I scoured the internet for other people’s journey, statistics, and just encouragement. Please feel free to reach out to me if you ever want to talk through infertility as well!
2012 - 2013
Nominally a year passed (and a chemical pregnancy thrown in there), so a visit to my OBGYN in Atlanta followed. I did the normal “day 3” and “day 21” blood panels. My husband also received testing. Most of the testing is high level in terms of infertility panels. Everything came back “normal” except for one – my day 21 labs showed my progesterone at 0. This means I did not ovulate that month (and many, many future months to come). Now armed with this information, I started the introductory dose of clomid with my OBGYN. These cycles were “unmonitored” meaning I just took the pills and hoped for the best. I did 3-4 (I cannot recall exactly) clomid cycles, increasing doses along the way.
On a vacation during one of the clomid cycles
I endured a lot of side effects while on clomid. It was a roller coaster of emotions. With each failed cycle, we just felt like we were inching closer and closer to the big (and expensive) potential solution of IVF. In the midst of all this, we accepted new jobs and relocated to Houston. During this time, we took about a year break from the medicine. We moved across the country, started new jobs, and attempted to establish our new life.
This break proved financially beneficial. In the meantime, our new company announced infertility insurance benefits!!!!! Given the news, we decided to meet with one of the top fertility offices in the country covered through our benefits, CCRM Houston (formally Houston IVF). Grateful is an understatement – I was so thankful to be a patient of this practice. We reran several of the infertility panels and did things like a “hysteroscopy” to check out my uterus. All roads pointed back to no ovulation. Jonathan got tested a little more extensively as well. The nurse actually laughed out loud when reading Jonathan’s results over the phone to me. Apparently it was rare to see numbers as high as his… ok!! I get it… the issue was solely my ovulation 😉 It was good to know that we were just battling one form of infertility opposed to multiples.
We did 2-3 more cycles of clomid. This time, they were monitored. I went in for ultrasounds to check the progress of the follicles to see how they responded to the medicine. The ultrasounds revealed I responded well to the medicine in terms of creating mature follicles. We paired this with a “trigger shot” which forces the follicle to release the egg. Again – these cycles were unsuccessful.
One of our selfies from a CCRM Houston room
Given that I was responding to clomid, but not conceiving. We weighed other options with our doctor. Ultimately, we decided to forego IUI (due to Jonathan’s super test results) and hop on the train to IVF. IVF is a very time intensive and emotional process. There are SO many doctor appointments. Some of the appointments leave you hopeful – others leave you devastated. It is one of the most emotional roller coasters I ever experienced. I was so lucky to have supportive friends, family, and coworkers who helped us through the process. It is important to have supportive management (if you are working) because there is a lot of time spent at the doctor office!! I was beyond fortunate with the support we had entering into this journey. One thing we did before jumping in feet first, was take a trip to SoCal! I highly recommended getting away somewhere before pouring your all into this process…
Next to come are the details of our IVF treatment…