I compiled this nice little time-line of my marriage/faith/fertility a while ago and never published it. I guess I will now, just to share. Its way more detailed in terms of life events than a treatment history but, maybe understanding where I’ve been will help you understand where I’m coming from and serve as a reference on this blog. Enjoy learning more about me than you ever cared to!
April 2012 – After being on progesterone shots and suppositories for 36 weeks, we gave birth to our healthy son, Samuel, at home! God is good!
August 2011 - Get chastised for not taking my temp 4x’s a day to increase my T3 dosage (still at 7.5 mcgs – which is funny, considering someone once told me Dr. H won’t even look at temperatures?) Parlodel, both 2x a day. HCG on peak +3, 5, 7 and whoops, ran out of it on day 9. Order it for next month. Did my blood draw, took a pregnancy test on August 15th – peak + 12 and nothing. Waited for the cramps to bring the flood but they didn’t. August 21st – peak + 18 took another test. Positive – we have conceived for the first time! First full cycle after antibiotics + surgery combo! Wow.
July 2011 - Finished up antibiotics. Did HCG on peak +5,7, and 9. Noticed increased irritability, anger, and strong emotional reactions, but luteal phase was 14 days. Symptom review from Hilgers comes back and makes me a candidate for new thyroid study. Started T3 on next CD1
June 2011 - Visit Omaha for a week to complete: laproscopy, selective HSG, endometrial cultures, and ultrasound series. Some endometriosis is removed from pelvic lining and left ovary, tubes are open and with good pressure, and ovulation occurs on day after peak with 2.6 cm follicle. Diagnosis of chronic endometritis of the uterus. Culture results come back positive 2 weeks later and start 5 weeks of antibiotics. I guess I’m in “treatment” now.
March 2011 - Perform and send in to Omaha a month long blood draw panel for thyroid and other hormone testing.
February 2011 – Finally send in new patient forms to Dr. Hilgers after finding out he’s covered by our insurance starting Jan.1st. Increasing folic acid amount (from 400 to 1200mcgs), starting loaded veggie diet with (intentionally) limited meat and no low-fat dairy.
November 2010 - Miss a cycle for the first time in over a year due to distance from husband. Wow, it feels good not to wonder if I’m pregnant.
October 2010 – Receive referral back from Hilgers. My cycles are “functionally abnormal”. Now what. Stop taking magnesium, messes my stomach up too much. Wait.
August 2010 - Send in our 2 months of charts to Dr. Hilgers and move to Mexico. Per practitioner’s recommendation, now taking magnesium and vitamin D3 in addition to B-vitamin, flaxseed oil, folic acid. Tired of peeing bright yellow already.
July 2010 – HSG shows slightly tilted uterus with two open tubes. Pain feels similar to my period and self-proclaim that I’m a hoss…maybe I got lucky or maybe those period cramps are pretty painful after all…
June 2010 – Meet the Creighton practitioner, begin classes and begin charting.
May 2010 - Appointment with doctor on day 28 of my cycle. Charges me $50 to tell me I’m not pregnant. Blood test for Progesterone and CA-125 (indicator of endometriosis): Progesterone comes back low (get period next day) and CA-125 is low too, indicating no endo? (not entirely conclusive). Go back two weeks later for ultrasound of my follicles. I guessed which follicle I thought was maturing based on pain and was wrong. That’s not right. Despite that, great follicle growth and post-coital test reveal all systems go on day12, 12 hours after the deed. Email Sew (yes, she made my timeline) after reading about her history involving ovulation pain. She strongly recommends Creighton (surprised?). I sign up for classes that day. Decide to learn Creighton to see what the hype is about and to practice charting when we move to Mexico, because oh yeah, we’re moving to Mexico.
April 2010 – Husband receives grant in Mexico. Actually toy with the idea of going. Make a doctor’s appointment to see what’s up.
January 2010 (also) – Have a chance to talk to an NFP-only family practitioner at an NFP training course and she mentions that my ovulation pain (still present, some months much stronger than others) and irregular temperatures in the luteal phase may indicate a hormone issue that might be helped with certain vitamins. I eat healthily but it’s a good place to start anyway. Begin taking evening primose/flaxseed oil and continue with the Optivite (which I was also on due to PMS symptoms. Also was already taking folic acid).
January 2010 – Famous misread pregnancy test incident (2nd I’d ever used – from a 2-pack). Think I’m pregnant and am delusion-ally happy for a full 20 min. before my period starts. I had never understood those commercials that said 1 in 4 women misread pregnancy tests, but afterward understood how one could “will” themselves to see two lines. Develop deep contempt of my 17 day luteal phases and pregnancy tests and upon husband’s advising, vow to never take another test again.
September 2009 – Husband applies for grant in Mexico for 2010 year while I’m in China. Attend retreat and have unintentional spiritual guidance (is spiritual guidance ever intentional?) regarding starting our family. Realize that now all of our personal reasons for postponing are non-existent, unfortunately for the study. We know we need to change something. Take a leap of faith and decide to leave the study after 8 months (which we were told would not affect the statistics) and stop using NFP to avoid.
Summer 2009 – Gnawing feeling that this study is not what we should be doing. Talk about how having a child before graduation might actually be more flexible/speed-up graduation. Discuss with husband and decide that we will not back out on our commitment for the year.
Spring 2009 – Begin to realize that reasons to postpone children should come from within rather than outside forces (read: a study).
February 2009 – Finish NFP certification process and begin teaching classes jointly. With each passing month, will and reasons to postpone feel weaker. Decide to enter an NFP study for a year to recommit ourselves to postponing pregnancy for another year, since we do feel like a unique couple who would love children but would probably be best to wait (We did note that there is an option to leave the study if intentional).
November 2008 – After some prompting, begin the process to become NFP teachers. Think “Who is going to listen to teachers who have only been married for a few months?!” (fortunately, this girl did) but quickly realize that before we have children is a great time to get trained, if anything to ease the load of the teachers with kids.
October 2008 – Get married. We are both still 2 years from graduating and live far from family, so we decide that will use NFP to avoid pregnancy until I’m closer to graduation (he’s ahead of me – so we thought probably in 1-2 years).
January 2008 – He proposes, I say yes :) We get stuck in an elevator for New Year’s/our engagement. Go to mass at the L.A. cathedral the next day.
Summer 2007 – Curious about this NFP thing. Order kit and start charting, just to see if it’s possible. Surprised at the ease and fall in love with the data. Nerd.
Easter 2007 – Confirmed in the Catholic Church and the boyfriend’s whole family flies out for the big day and my parents/brother come too. Good times.
October 2006 – Went to doc for increasing pain around my abdomen around the middle of my cycle (later realize it’s probably ovulation pain, but something’s off – it really, really hurts for up to 4 days of my cycle). Get one ultrasound done and am supposed to come back in two weeks to get the other. Pain goes away and I don’t go back, to “save money”. Stupid (grad) student.
Summer 2006 – Entered RCIA classes to “learn more”. Famous last words :) Also started strong acne medicine that requires you be on birth control. Convince my doctor that I do not need birth control because I will not be having sex. Hard sell, but she lets me sign a waiver (and the rights to sue her).
Spring 2006 – Learn about NFP (and call my now-husband crazy, as he is the first person I’ve met in my life who doesn’t want to use contraception in their marriage) and later, Catholicism. (much more detailed version of my conversion here)
January 2006 – Get off the pill on a whim, 2 months after meeting my boyfriend (now-husband) mostly to help us commit to a chaste relationship, a change for both of us. Normal cycle returns soon after.