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! :)