In our hands?

A while back I updated how I’m now learning the Creighton method of NFP.  It seems to be the sub-fertile thing to do, so I hopped on, thinking I could get some good information about my cycles and talk to doctors that would understand and respect my stance on ART.

I think its finally hitting me what this all means.

I have two months of charts now.  Two months of charts that will be sent off to Dr. Hilgers for his assessment of the situation (which according to my practitioner, he’s very likely to suggest that I have endometriosis based on lack of any other reason and recommend surgery).

And then the treatment can start.

Because all of this up til now, this was nothing.

I cried in the car right after we had our last session.  I almost started crying during the session, but I managed to hold off.  Just something about having to go through all of these steps to have a baby creates anxiety.  Steps that so many other people don’t have to go through at all, that you shouldn’t have to go through.  Its not the way God designed our bodies.

And this was all after my relaxing birthday weekend of beach time, spa treatments and massages, so I really was at my absolute ‘chillest’.

As much success as I’ve had charting with the Creighton method (and my charts look the same, by the way, just now with colored stickers!) I have to say, this idea of control is what is freaking me out more than anything.  I’m weary of this promise and hope that Creighton and Naprotechnology is providing.  I believe in the method working, I just fear that putting my faith in these doctors will consume me and our pursuit of family.  We also fear blindly following our desire for biological children.  Its really easy to keep going on as we are, but it will take a concerted effort to up the treatment.  I’m an extremely indecisive person anyway (seriously, I can’t figure out what to order at restaurants most of the time!) and I’ve realized I don’t like to be in control but find pleasure in going with the flow and adapting.  I also know that I have a fear of wanting something only to not get it (I actually dread birthdays because of that – all the hype!).  I can’t imagine going through the initial 2-week treatment required in Omaha without stressing out. And that’s just the beginning!  It just all sounds so intense, which is the opposite name of the game I’ve been playing with myself these days.

I know we need to up our prayer life a lot to discern what’s right for us as this progresses and while we know that its not right for us to start anything now (see this), it has hit me how much harder this is going to get.  And that statistically, waiting around much longer doesn’t have the best odds.

I have a renewed sense of respect for all the women going through treatment now.  So my question is, how did you do it?  How did you and your husband decide when to start your treatment?  Was there a distinct moment, or was it gradual?  Also, did you and your husband agree on when to start?  We’ve only done diagnostics at this point and they’ve all come back a-okay.

I’d love to hear from those of you that have gone through this.

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13 thoughts on “In our hands?

  1. I am sorry you have to go through this.. Lots to pounder.
    For some reason it is much harder for me to pray for big discernment like this.. I wish you a great zeal to pray about it ;)

  2. Well, for me it was a little different, it’s much less of a hassle for me to go to PPVI since I live here. But I knew I didn’t want to go to a regular doc, and I figured I could hear all the options from PPVI and then decide for myself–and then I would know that I had been presented with all the Catholic choices and made the best decision I could. I felt like I had already wasted too much time with doctors who didn’t know (and therefore could not inform me) of my Catholic options. In short, I felt like with PPVI, I was in the best possible hands, and since they’re basically in my backyard, it was the best option for me.

    Even though the surgery was a TERRIBLE experience, what with the infection and all (which is extremely rare), and even though my tubes might still be useless, I’m glad I did it. My periods are starting to get a little better, and it’s just nice to know all that endo is not inside me anymore.

    I think the treatment can be consuming sometimes, but I’ve always felt that infertility itself is what consumes me. Pursuing treatment made me at least feel like I was doing something to get out of the despair. Simply put, I felt like I’d rather be consumed by treatment than by the sadness of childlessness. And, biological children or not, we’ll still be pursuing adoption once my hubby graduates next spring.

    And if you come to Omaha we can help you with anything you need! Even if it’s just a friend to hang out with while you are bored here for two weeks. :-)

  3. I have been trying to figure out what to say, and not say, because I have not been through this. And yet I do have some relevant experience. I typed up my whole history and then saved it as an email if you are interested. I have started to doubt whether or not background is helpful with these sorts of opinions.

    The thing is, you do not have to decide everything at once. You only have to discern the next step for you *right now*. It is not “do nothing” or “do absolutely everything in order to pursue a biological child.” I do not know your insurance situation, but I suspect that you have many options that do not require going to Omaha.

    Have you looked into the top reproductive surgeons in nearby cities? If you are willing to put up with the hassle of insisting that you want the most experienced doctor to perform a laperoscopy but *not* other fertility treatment, then it is quite likely that you can get help for endo where you are.

    That is something of a half-way option which may not work at all for *you* but does offer the opportunity to get further help without doing that much work (perhaps 2 or 3 appointments in your own city and then an out-patient surgery). Laperoscopy is surgery, and thus carries all of the risks, but it does not have to be intense if done in your own city. You can even think of it as “diagnostic” though you’d want to choose a surgeon that you trusted to remove the endo while in there if the diagnosis was positive.

    Also, you are right to be realistic about the fact that pursuing this is not a guarantee of a baby. NaPro for endo has the lowest rates of success. 56.7 is more than 50/50, but barely. That is not meant to be negative, just a reassurance that you are being smart to not see the stress of PPVI as a guarantee of a baby. And so something that was less stress, but perhaps 40% likely to take care of the problem might be a better first step.

    Just remember, all you have to live with is today, and all you have to decide is what is the best next step for you now. It does not need to be everything all at once unless that is what is best for *you*.

    • yes, our 2 impending moves and health insurance situation is putting us in a holding pattern currently, but i have already looked for doctors in our next place of US residence. its just that everyone i talk to puts the terror in you about getting your surgery done with anyone OTHER than Dr. Hilgers. if it works out, it works out, but we may have some success where we’ll be living next. i do want the lap though, just to figure out if its even endo since my symptoms are questionable.

      • Yes, be forewarned–I forgot to mention this, but I have crappy insurance so I paid a LOT of money out of pocket–basically wiped out our savings almost completely. But again, it’s worth it knowing all the endo is gone.

  4. Allison – I’m a friend of your sisters that found your blog via her website. I hope that is okay. As a fellow “sub-fertile” as you call it, I have a lot of empathy for what you are going through.

    My husband and I tried for 10 months without speaking to a doctor. I had VERY irregular cycles so charting was very difficult. I was never sure I ovulated though we kept trying. By the tenth month, I was so drained from the roller coaster, you explained it one of your posts, the highs and lows, the emansive hope at the beginning of the month (it could be this month!) to the devestating, heavy low when it wasn’t so – anyway I was so drained, something just snapped in me, and I said, we’re making the appointment.

    I was not comfortable being aggressive, but I needed to move forward. I needed to do something. And my husband, who had been saying it will happen in God’s time and not a minute before, and was not for medical intervention in the beginning, also believed that we needed to see a doctor. So we just felt it was the right time. (I do not ovulate, I was diagnosed with PCOS)

    I truly believe that you will know if and when it’s time to take the next step. I’ll be praying for you two. I know what it is to want a child so very badly, what you are going through is not easy. But you write beautifully and, from what I’ve read, have a great attitude! As my husband used to tell me, your baby is hanging out, not quite ready to be born, and as soon as the time is perfect, there he will be!

    • i’m so glad you commented! i think my sister had told me about you, so that’s great you found this! we’ve actually been to the doc a few times beginning in may and for us it was similar, we just needed to figure out what was happening. but so far ‘the basics’ are working properly. i guess we’ll know when we know. thanks for the support!

  5. We made the decision to go to PPVI since I was clearly having issues beyond just infertility and my local doctor couldn’t figure out my crazy bleeding (and didn’t even put that much effort into it). I”l be praying for you as you discern your path.

    One important thing to consider is whether PPVI is under your insurance and how bloodwork and things are covered. We spread things out over a bit of time. Bloodwork is covered at 100% and doesn’t require travel so I got that done almost immediately. I got the bloodwork series done in March 2009 and they found the thyroid issue. We decided to save up to the end of the year for the surgery. My laparoscopy wasn’t until December and they found the endo, uterine inflammation, a polyp and that my tubes were clear. PPVI and Creighton Hospital are in-network on my insurance so all we paid was the deductible and the out of pocket maximum. I had the laparotomy in March 2010 to remove the endo. Because of the first surgery being at the end of 2009 it also satisfied our 2010 deductible and all we paid was our out of pocket maximum. We did antibiotics a couple times, but it was this was our first cycle of antibiotics after my surgery.

  6. For me, treatment was a necessity. Not infertility treatment, mind you, because I started NaPro Technology treatment only 3 months into my marriage. I had some very obvious signs of problems on my CrMS charts including prolonged menses (or irregular bleeding) and variable return of peak-type mucus. Then after 6 months of TTC with Creighton, the treatments did not change, but they were suddenly now “called” infertility treatments. So, for me, it was not a huge deal.
    I just wanted to give you a little hope though- I know you must feel like you don’t have much to hope for, because you’ve been charting for so long, and teach NFP, and know your body so well. I think you are ahead of the game when it comes to NaPro because of your experience with charting. There is a member (actually, the moderator) of our online y.ahoo catho.lic fertility group who just achieved pg after 5 yrs, with NaPro. For over 10 yrs she has been an NFP instructor and was resistant to start Creighton/NaPro because she too didn’t think it would be any different than the treatment she was receiving at the pro-life ob/gyn who read her charts. But finally 8 months ago she started charting, and only a couple months after seeing Dr Steg.man in PA, is now pg.
    I think she, like you, had a “head’s up” on all of the treatments, though, because they really do correllate to how your body is working. And no one understands their bodies better than an NFPer!
    Best of luck to you as you begin this journey with NaPro Technology. It is much less intense than going through stuff with an RE, let me tell ya ;) At least they make you an active participant in your own gyn. health, and not “take over” your cycles.
    God Bless,
    TCIE

    • thank you for this encouragement. actually, i do believe that this would be much easier than an RE, they just seem to scare you into submission! and i do hope that charting with Creighton will make it easier! already the standard way of checking signs has made my fertile phase that much clearer. maybe I can get some info from you on practitioners where i’m moving next…

  7. Hi!
    I was looking at your archives and jus read this post. Has your DH been checked?
    My own experience with CrMS and Napro.

    After 2 years using Billings and trying to get pregnant with my Catholic doctor in Mexico (who did a lap and found endo and polyps and an adhesion on the left ovary and a very very thourogh evaluation of both my DH and I, We had some minor male issues and ) I decided to search for a second opinion via PPVI. I knew I did not have a ton of time due to my age and decided to pursue this very aggresively and I am so very glad to have done it.

    Later I decided to become a practitioner since I saw the potential for health in this (the first here in Mexico) and time and time again I have seen what this system can do for couples. If you have questions about your charting during your time here I can help =)

    My own experience was: In August of last year I did all the bloodwook and the U/S here in Mexico on my own by just asking what dr. H required via catholic if yahoo group which was my lifeline. Later I sent everything and in October Dr. H answered me with his findings advising for a lap and some hormonal treatment

    i had late luteal phase defect, something different from what my local Dr. had found (who is fact is very good and had already treated me for luteal phase defect but not this specific kind), slightly diff but it made a HUGE difference in the approach to my treatment. Slowly over the months my health started to improve although I thought it was good from the beginning. I thought I knew my mucus patterns from Billings, but with CrMS I found that I needed some help in this department.

    In Feb 2010 I had my lap with Dr. H and he found some endo left over from the first operation and in March i was given my full treatment for a thyroid condition that Dr. H had found.

    I got pregnant at 39 just 4 months after my definitive Napro medicines were prescribed (I did go slow in taking the full treatmetn due to the problems with logistics here in Mexico) and 5 months after my operation for endo. This does not happen to everybody but this will greatly help your chances.

    I sadly miscarried at 9 w BUT in my heart and both my local doctor and DrH opinions I had taken every precaution possible for this not to happen, but this is part of what can happen even if you are totally healthy. Now Dr. H is looking into something else, not very common, but the outlook is positive . I am at peace that I am in the very best hands possible,.

    If I can help you in any way during your time here just let me know!

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