Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pregnancy Symptom or medical explanation

I have come to the conclusion that having hypothyroidism, PCOS, and breast fibroids I feel pregnancy symptoms often. There seems to always be another logical explanation for symptoms.

Symptoms along with their medical explanation;
1. Breast Tenderness- Fibroids (cyclic and when I drink caffeine)
2. Nausea- 2000mg Metformin (check the carb and fat grams of what you ingested)
3. Gassy- Metformin or maybe it is time to see if I am gluten or lactose intolerant.
4. Hot flashes- Synthyroid was just increased. Your body is adjusting
5. Sleepy- Check the thyroid. Could be too low or too high.
6. Frequent urination- Caffeine or check that blood sugar
7. Sense of smell- Yes I always had a nose like a blood hound. Often some smells make me sick
8. Constipation- Again, check that thyroid!
9. Mood Swings- I am going through infertility of course I am a moody B****!
10. Missed period- PCOS and Hypo!

It is just exhausting! Some days I hope I can be one of those women who did not know she was pregnant and just give birth to a healthy baby!     

Prenesting

So our HMO should kick in the first of 2013, which will cover a portion of the infertility treatment! Thank you! Well, this month I got this intense need to get the house, "baby" ready. Everyone thinks that I am already preggers! No it is cycle day (CD) 9. I just feel I need to get the house in order before infertility treatment. I am not sure if Clomid will make me a little crazy? Judging how Prednisone made me feel I can only assume Clomid will make me nuts!

So, I have cleaned and organized our bedroom and closets. I am planning to thin out the entire house to make room for "baby". I want to paint the spare bedroom green. I will not change that room entirely to a nursery for fear that the I will be stuck looking at nursery with no baby! I figure green in versatile. It could be an office or workout room if God forbid I can't resolve my infertility.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Insurance

After months of harassing my husband about whether his work offered IF insurance. We found out HMO is more likely to cover IF than PPO! We live in 1 of the 15 states that are mandated but companies try to find loopholes.

To see if your state is a mandated state, I have included a website from Resolve.org.

http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/state-coverage.html


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What I think people should know about regarding Infertility

After 2 years TTC I have decided that this is what I want "fertile" or the people who have not been TTC to know about infertility.

1. My husband and I know how babies are made. Stop telling infertile people how to baby dance. Drink alcohol or relaxing doesn't fix some underlining causes of infertility such as blocked tubes. And  don't say we are not trying hard enough. I can treat the baby dance like a competitive sport. Comments from others on this subject only makes it even more competitive to prove to you I can get pregnant. Which my DH will be annoyed with.

2. Endless talk about your pregnancy and babies. Infertile people find it painful to hear that someone is pregnant and even worse if you weren't trying. It just further reminds of what we don't have and long so much for. The way some people talk about their pregnancies seem like they are trying to rub it in your face. Nothing is worse than people not picking up your cues that this conversation is not something we want to have. I have slowly walked away from people, and they continue to follow me. I will be the last person you want to complain to about pregnancy symptoms. I would give anything for those symptoms to be actually pregnancy symptoms and it is not my body playing a joke on me end cycle only to find Aunt Flo 2 days later. I am ok with being DOG sick as long as I get my take home baby. And baby talk just gives me more anxiety because I should have a nine month old right now. Hearing about you baby's milestone hurts! Please, I beg you to stop! If we are really close, I am happy for you and will not mind going to your baby shower. Everyone else, I am happy for you but I don't need a weekly account of how your pregnancy is going! Thanks but no thanks!

3. Medical advice from people without a medical background. Unless you are a Gynecologist, Reproductive Endocrinologist, or Urologist. Don't tell me what I need to do to get pregnant. It has been two years of trying with only one pregnancy that ended in miscarriage at almost 10 weeks. Do you know the implications of autoimmune disorders, hypothyroidism, PCOS has on fertility and pregnancy. I know more than most but not enough for medical advise, so you don't either. I've had people tell me to stop taking my synthyroid and metformin because I was pregnant without it before. I think that advice is the most ignorant.

4. Infertility is a grieving process.  Some studies have even compared the psychological stress of infertility to a cancer diagnosis. People constantly fear the unknown. Infertility is very unknown. Will I or Won't I? Is it this month? Should I move on? Could I move on? Will my DH leave me for someone who could have children? Could we be happy with this decision years from now? Can we afford this? Will my job let me take the time off for treatment? What if it doesn't work?  For a woman under 35 year old TTC for a year or more and 35 and over TTC for 6 months is considered time to explore infertility diagnosis and treatment. Once you fall into that, it is scary. Once it is confirmed by the medical community, it is even more terrifying. I know I have gone through denial. I am still going between anger and depression. Sometimes, even bargaining. Don't dismiss a friend's emotions who is going through the infertility journey. All a person wants is validation. If you don't know what to say, just say "I'm sorry you are going through this". Don't ever say "Get over it". That is fighting words to this infertile! Secondary infertility is when a live birth has happened but now the couple is experiencing infertility. It drives me crazy when people have told me that I was pregnant before I should get pregnant again. That pregnancy ended in miscarriage and 16 months ago. Since it was not a successful pregnancy, have been trying for 2 years, I am infertile.  

5. It can cost. Infertility treatments are expensive. It can be bothersome for someone to say just do IVF. One cycle can cost about $15,000. If you don't have IF coverage or minimal insurance coverage, it is a lot of expenses out of pocket that most can't afford. IVF is also very time consuming. Lots of doctors appointments and even bed rest may be necessary. That could mean lots of time off of work.

6. People who think they are infertile. The people TTC for 2 months that are ready to go the the fertility clinic. It can take a healthy couple under 35 years old on average 8 months to conceive. A healthy couple has a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month with timed intercourse. Infertility testing is expensive and some of it is painful. Most insurance companies will not even cover diagnostics without falling into the criteria.(under 35 y/o TTC for over a year or over 35y/o TTC for 6 months.) Don't be in such a rush to spend thousands of dollars for testing that might not even be necessary. Or go through the HSG!                    

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Right to procreate?

So, I had a thought... As I wait in line at Jewel ready to pay for my groceries, the woman in front of me is pregnant with what appears to be her seventh child. Six little kids looking like little stepping stones were with her. Ok, seeing pregnant women is like a punch in the gut every time! This time was different. I watched her itemize her groceries with dividers. I realized she was paying with WIC (which is for Women/Infant/Child state subsidized groceries) and LINK (Which is food stamps for Illinois). She is pregnant with number 7! This is not going to be about a political debate regarding welfare! Rather than the right to procreate!

My current insurance told me they don't cover infertility because having children are not a necessity! So, for me it is not a necessity! Could the government tell people on welfare to stop having kids because they can't afford children? Could they set a cap for the amount of children you have on Welfare?  The government would never tell a woman living on welfare to stop having children because, why? It is her right to procreate! But my insurance doesn't care about my right to procreate despite medical issues! My answer is too bad and pay out of pocket if you want them! Children are not a necessity for me but she has the right to procreate, seven no less? I am confused? The government regulates insurance right? I love constancy! I want the same right as "fertile" people! So, I have the right to procreate as long as medical interventions are not deemed necessary?I just want to be a mom! I don't care the methods!

So will Obamacare cover infertility? It seems fair right?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Advocate for yourself... Don't self medicate!

So, I have been off for a little while. Stupid thyroid disease! I was feeling tired, sore joints, and depressed (I lost interest in Swimming and for me that is bad!) I could tell I was not feeling right. Then, I felt hypoglycemic. My legs felt weak, shaky, and feared the worse! I had to drink 3 cups of juice to feel better. With PCOS the risk for diabetes is greater. I made my endocrinology appointment 3 months early and completed all my ordered labs. I was praying that that I was not full diabetic. I mean, I am already on 1500mg of Metformin. Whoa! What's next, if this is not working?

My endocrinologist said she was not surprised with all my symptoms I am hypo again! Hypothyroidism and low blood sugar can go hand and hand. I take 88mcg of Synthyroid with 8oz of water. I take that religiously! I take it as prescribed... no food 4 hours before or 1-2 hours after. Wait 4 hours before any other medications, just in case it messes with the absorption (Metformin is taken at lunch and dinner). I limit soy for various reasons and won't take or eat anything with trace amounts of soy at least 4 hours after. I take all vitamins including iron and calcium 12 hours after! Why yes, I am rigid! I perceive this to my primary reason for my miscarriage and infertility, I am OCD about it! So, why did my TSH go from 1 to 5 in a month?

She asked me about all my habits! Diet has not changed! ADA diet still, small variations in the food but I have eaten all these foods before and it never changed my TSH. She asked about exercise! When walking in my house I feel weak and need juice so, exercise has taken the back burner! My joints hurt so bad, as well! She asked if I didn't exercise because of the way I felt? I said yes!!!!! She asked about any changes of supplements. I told her I bought a different brand of prenatal vitamins. I had the bottle so I showed her! She looked at them and said they have iodine in them. Yes? She told me that most Americans get enough iodine in their diet that supplemental iodine is not needed! I could further aggravate hypothyroidism if iodine deficiency is not the cause, ie Autoimmune!!! She asked when I started these vitamins? I told her about a month ago!!! She asked if I felt ok prior to the vitamins? I told her I felt good!!! So ding! Ding! Ding! She upped the Synthyroid to 100mcg and wants to see me is 2 months!And of course told me to stop any supplements with iodine in them! She told me it was good I came in before my appointment! It was good I could tell! Most people at 5 would not feel the difference! Oh god! I felt like I got hit by a bus at 5!!! Any higher or any longer I would be nonfunctional! I hate going to the doctor but I looked forward to this appointment! I wanted to feel better!!! 

I am so mad at myself for setting myself back! I also have to take nasty fish oil (purified of course) for inflammation! I hate the taste of them! I am convinced I can taste them all day like I ate a can of Sardines! But I will suck it up if it helps!!!

Moral to the story... Be careful with some of the information on line! I read iodine was good for hypothyroidism and most autoimmune thyroid (hypo) is a result of iodine deficiency! I am not so sure about that hypothesis given how I felt!I will follow doctor's orders and not what I see on the internet from now on! The psychic told me to do everything the doctor tells me as well! LOL! Advocate for yourself but don't self medicate because you have read it worked for someone else! It is all so individual!!!!! PS. I don't have the pain or weakness currently! I am 4 weeks away from feeling myself again! Hopefully! :)   

Friday, July 20, 2012

Finally Infertility Coverage!

Well, I am still new to the infertility world so I am learning as I go. PPO's appear to not cover IF treatments which my husband and I both have and we tried. His work also has HMO mine does not have that option. Well the HMO covers IF treatment, so we are switching come the first of next year. I was a little surprised HMO covers because I was always under the assumption that PPO was better. Maybe it is, but not for IF coverage in the state of IL.

I told my OBGyn at my last appointment that we will be getting coverage. I have to do all the test over again! ugh! But hey at least we will covered. I know I have PCOS and hypothyroidism. I feel the hypo is more my problem. My TSH fluctuates so much. But interestly, when my TSH is higher normal but too high for trying to concieve I get positives on OPK. When it is under 2 like it should I don't. My levels with the PCOS is starting to level out. My PCOS was reported to be minor. My insulin 12 (high normal), glucose 91, androgen's slightly elevated (Don't know my numbers), LH 3.1, and FSH 4 that was all my baseline testing. The LH/FSH levels don't show PCOS. So, I hypothesize that the hypo is more influential. I also hypothesize that the miscarriage I had in May 2011 was due to having a TSH of 5.8.I was recently diagnosed with both. I was diagnosed with hypo during first trimester blood work but when the test results came back I was already starting to lose Products of Conception (POC). I started on 75 mcg of Levothyroxine right away but it did not matter. My ultrasound also showed I was 5.5 weeks  but I knew when I got my BFP, It should have been 8 weeks. They told my my estimated Last Mestrual Period (LMP) should have been around the time of the BFP. I knew that was going to be a problem right there! I have heard other hypo women experience this as well. I have read the hypo can cause low progesterone as well. I also was diagnosed with PCOS when my cycle didn't resume on time from the miscarriage. So, I can't wait until the coverage kicks in.     
 
    

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Desperation and Psychic Reading

Well, now that I am finally getting a positive on OPK, timing intercourse, and still no BFP! It is of course time to see a psychic! Legit, right? Ok, so I did cry when she did my angel cards (Not tarot what her angel guides tell her). She pulled Relax, Celebration, Children, and Soulmate. Now the interpretation... easy I need to relax to get pregnant! Oh the favorite line amongst all infertiles! I will have biological children and one of them will be my soulmate, maybe a sibling in a past life. She went into more detail than that! Well, for now I will try to take that advice! Hey, it was still cheaper than one month on Clomid! So until our insurance kicks in, I will just relax and see if there is anything to that annoying advice!

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finally got the smiley face

It has been about 13 months after our loss. Four months of distinctive annovulation cycles. Several months of temperature fluctuations but all circles and ambiguous lines on an ovulation kit. I thought I was going to go cross eyed trying to decipher if it was positive or another negative. On Saturday I finally got a smiley face on an OPK and a distinctive positive on an internet strip. I was jumping around screaming because the night before I was crying and telling my husband I am losing hope that I will ever ovulate again. Maybe it was that added vitamin D from landscaping this weekend. Maybe it was the Metformin and Synthyroid doing it's job. Maybe it was the prenatal vitamins. Maybe it was healthy diet, exercise, and the weight loss. So maybe, I don't get pregnant this cycle. It was just a good feeling to feel not totally reproductively incompetent. To have something happen that is natural for many women but for me it may come around every 13 months.

I told a few friends that I finally got a positive. They said I have PCOS and dismissed it. I never get the smiley face and my LH/FSH ratio is not indicative of PCOS. My Androgens and Insulin  are elevated which is how I got the diagnosis. LH is slightly lower at 3.1 and FSH 4.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh come on!

When I miscarried and I finally came back to work, a girl at work announced her pregnancy to me. She talked and talked about it. She did not read any of my cues that this was not a conversation I wanted to be having. I just walked away to cry in the bathroom.

Well fast forward, she goes on maternity leave. Of course, I get stuck cleaning up the mess she made at work (and my boss knows I miscarried). Today, she brings her baby in to show everyone at work. I tried to sneak out. Another coworker who is aware of everything tries helping me leave. But of course she sees me and drops the baby in my arms. Really? A newer coworker said to me, "You look so cute with a baby! Why don't you have one?" I am not going there now with the entire office circling me while I held her baby. Not that I am at all ashamed to announce it but I would have screamed profanities in the process. I kindly excused myself to the bathroom and gave her back her baby.

The baby is a couple months younger than mine would have been.

Waiting for a Smiley Face

When these appear positive. The digital say otherwise (big circle)
The TTC battle has been very stressful on me and let's face it, I have not been a beaming ray of sunshine lately. Either it is due to the Hypothyroidism or the PCOS maybe even the combination of the two, but I rarely ovulate. Like once a year kind of rare. So every month I buy the fun sticks to tell you if you have a hormonal surge that is indicative of ovulation. Between getting a light line on the test line and never getting a smiley face, I may have thrown a few of them. (All the sticks were not available for display) It is frustrating that I don't do what many women are able to do naturally. I would like to take medications to induce ovulation but my husband seems to think there is miraculous treatment for PCOS and/or hypothyroidism that all of a sudden I will ovulate once a month like a "regular" woman! But there is a treatment for Annovulation, fertility medications! I already take Synthyroid and Metformin for PCOS, still no ovulation means... Fertility medications. My hormones have stabilized. And I am pretty confident if I were to have a follicle check it would not be close the size it needs to be for maturity. I would give anything for a smiley face.         

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just wading!

So my Husband does not want to move forward with a  plan to TTC. He acts like it will miraculously happen when it has not for 2 years. Clomid is the cheapest method currently. He thinks that since I ovulated once without medications, I should stop taking my Synthryoid and Metformin. Not only does Hypothyroidism and PCOS effect fertility, it also affect your overall health. I am not planning to take my husband's advice. I wish he could get on board with a plan so we could move on. I hate just wading!

Don't Ignore Infertility

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 22-28, 2012. The theme is Don't Ignore Infertility. For those who struggle with infertility have difficulties ignoring it. Everyday it is blaring me in the face. After struggling with infertility for only 2 years with one miscarriage within that time frame, it is difficult for me to ignore. I was diagnosed with Polycyclic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Hypothyroidism during my quest. I also found out despite living in Illinois neither one of my private health insurances covered infertility treatment. I was outraged to find my one health insurance covers abortions but not infertility.  So, everyday I am faced with the dilemma how am I going to afford the expensive treatments to build the family my husband and I so desperately want.

Infertility is a disease that effects 1 in 8 couple. For me it has effected every aspect of my life. There is not a day that goes by that I am not on the verge of tears. Infertility has affected my friendships and interpersonal relationships. There were two friends that were pregnant at the same time as I was. I lost my baby when I was nine going on ten weeks pregnant. The friends went on to having health babies. I have a difficult time being around my two friends and their babies that would have been around the same age as mine, had I not miscarried. They would ask when I would get pregnant again and I always explain what is going on and why it is difficult. Infertility has distorted my self esteem and body image. Having PCOS increases your risk of obesity, 50%-60% of women with PCOS are obese. I was told if I lost 10% of my weight, I could increase my chances of getting pregnant. It is also very difficult for women with PCOS to lose weight, due to the hormone imbalance it causes. I have been on a low fat and low carb diet and only lost 33lbs over the past year. I have 25lbs more to lose. If I see my weight go up slightly, I cry and get really mad at myself for gaining weight. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be thin because then maybe, I can get pregnant without fertility treatment. Having Hypothyroidism doesn't help much. Despite having an optimal Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) of .6, which needs to be under 2 to get pregnant with a successful pregnancy. Hypothyroidism is also linked to fertility concerns and miscarriages. Infertility has affected me at my job. A woman at work announced her pregnancy and I ran out crying. Even my overall attention span has decreased because I am so focused on how can have that I want. I am also looking for another job in hopes to find something to supplement my income, so I could afford even one round of Clomid with monitoring which I was quoted $800. Overall mental and emotional well being has been affected. Every time I go into a store and pass the baby aisle, I cry. The stores I know well, I can avoid to spare me the emotional roller coaster.

When people learn that I am having difficulties getting pregnant, they recommend all kinds of things. I am not sure if it is to make me feel better, but it doesn't. People ask me, "Why don't you just adopt?" I am not closed to the idea but I feel like I have not even attempted to exhaust my resources, why are you giving up on me so easily. Also, adoption can be very costly as well. Another thing I get more than any... "Did you hear (insert celebrities name here) got pregnant using IVF and she has the same thing as you". For one, IVF is extremely expensive if you don't have insurance coverage like me. It cost about five figures to go that route and what if it is not successful. All that money gone. The medications alone to start IVF is in the thousands. Secondly, if I was a celebrity I would be able to afford that method without question.

Infertility hands down is a disease despite how insurance views it. It can affect every aspect of a woman's and couples' life. How could you possibly ignore that?