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Pink Sugar

The Long Story On How We Arrived At "IVF Is Your Only Option"

I want to start out by addressing one thing... I am not a professional writer so bare with me if I use the wrong wording or misplace commas. I promise to do my best as I know this is some people's pet peeve.

Alright, let's rewind waaaay back...

-In September 2014 (or close to then), my primary care doctor whom I have seen since I was an infant was finally able to diagnose me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. This diagnosis was not something I thought would change the course of my life. I was wrong. From 2016-2019, I had so many transvaginal ultrasounds for many different reasons. Aren't familiar with transvaginal ultrasounds? Neither was I. A transvaginal ultrasound is a test used to look at a woman's uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix, and pelvic area. Not the worst thing ever, not the best thing either. I always had SO many cysts. Every. Single. Time. Again, young and naïve.. I didn't think this was that big of a deal but I started learning how uncomfortable the cysts were and started learning more about PCOS which I will blog about at some point. Side note: PCOS is not curable, just manageable.

Now let's skip forward a bit...

- In December 2019, Alex and I had just started getting to know each other and were hanging out every week.

- In January 2020-Feburary 2020, COVID hits, and basically everything began to close down. Alex was living with his brother and sister-in-law at the time. They weren't extremely comfortable with him still going out while COVID was spreading so we ultimately jumped and were living together in almost a little over a month's time.

- In August 2020, we bought a house! I know I know... we moved fast. We both felt confident we were in it for the long haul so we trusted each other and we jumped. We got a perfect little house for us!

- In September 2020, I started going to a new OBGYN in Cary. I went in just to establish myself at an OBGYN rather than doing my pap smears at my primary care doctor. I gave her the rundown on my history with PCOS and suspected endometriosis. I told her how irregular my period was. I could have a period every month or I could go six months without a period. She did not like that. She went ahead and ordered some labs and did yet another transvaginal ultrasound.

- In October 2020-April 2021, I visited the OBGYN again and we discussed whether or not I wanted kids and did I want kids with my current partner (Alex). I told her that I did want kids, I not only wanted kids, I needed kids. I felt I was put on this earth to be a mom. I also told her I loved Alex and felt that he would be the best possible father but I had reservations because we still were only about a year into being together. I had reservations because most people would call it crazy to try and have kids with someone you aren't even engaged/married too. I ended up talking to Alex about the situation and we decided to just let it be what it was. We would try a little of this and a little of that and if I were to get pregnant, great, if not, no big deal. My doctor prescribed me Provera and letrozole. One to force my period to start and the other to force me to ovulate. I took the first medication, my period started, I took the second medication, I barely ovulated according to my blood results my 21 day progesterone level was not in the ovulatory range. I tried the medications which made me feel awful one more time and got the same results. I got pretty discouraged by this an stopped going at all... whoops.

- In Late April 2021, Alex proposed! We were officially engaged and that put my brain back into overdrive mode about babies. How was I going to get pregnant? What would it take? Will I ever be able too? So many questions flowing through my mind but so much was going on with being engaged and planning a wedding. To be honest, I think I put it off longer because I was scared of failing again and scared of being told I wouldn't be able to have kids. I pushed making another appointment of big time. I told myself it could wait until after the wedding.

- In April 2022, we got married! Best day ever. Best moment ever. My happiest memory. I married the man of my dreams and now I was most definitely ready for answers.

- In May 2022, I started going to a new OBGYN that was closer to home and within my insurance network. I had to wait forever for this appointment. This was a BIG mistake. I went to this OBGYN and saw my doctor and was thrown to the wolves as soon as she heard me say that I have PCOS. She did NO blood work, NO urine sample, NO ultrasounds. NOTHING. She did a basic exam and listened to what testing and medications I had in the past and popped out with "there's nothing I can do for you here, you need to see a fertility specialist to discuss IVF" and I freaked the hell out.

- In July 2022-September 2022, I started going to a fertility specialist. Yet another appointment that I had to wait for nearly two months for. We all know I am not a patient person so this nearly killed me. The fertility specialist we were seeing was out-of-network for my insurance. The only other fertility specialist option was on a 700 person waitlist... so obviously did not go with them. Anyways, the appointment was not only for me this time but for Alex and I both. They did a semen analysis and they ran my blood and did another transvaginal ultrasound. The semen analysis came back basically stating what we already knew... Alex is an overachiever. Some of his boys are "lazy" but he has more than triple the average amount of swimmers so he is perfectly fine. Me on the other hand, here comes my first issue... my eggs are rock hard. This meaning that even though Alex's swimmers are great, they still cant penetrate my eggs because of my built up insulin resistance as a side effect of PCOS. My fertility specialist recommended I go back on a medication from my past.. metformin. It sucks. Its gross. It makes you feel gross. It makes you simply gross with all the bathroom habits that come with it. I am NOT a fan. However, I went back on it to try to bring my levels down and "soften" my eggs.

- In March 2023, I had to switch fertility doctors again due to excessive cost and finally being able to get a spot at the other fertility clinic I mentioned earlier. The line of 700 people quickly became "we can get you in due to your medical history and your previous testing" which told me that they were concerned with what all I had going on enough that I jumped in front of that many people. Although, I did still have to wait two months for the appointment. So crazy. Anyhow, I was seen by a new doctor via video call for my first appointment and we went over my visits from the last fertility specialist and we went over medications and then she brought me in for an MRI of my fallopian tubes and bloodwork.

- In April 2023, I finally got into the fertility specialist office to do my bloodwork and my MRI and let me tell you, this was a frustrating experience. I went in very optimistic and left in tears. Here enters my second issue... BOTH of my fallopian tubes are completely blocked. During the MRI, no contrast was able to get through either of my fallopian tubes. None. Zero. Another fair warning to anyone who has made it this far... THIS MRI HURTS. I was not warned about the pain you may feel and it was not wonderful.

- In May 2023, I chose to switch specialist again. I know this may seem crazy but hear me out. The bloodwork I mentioned in April 2023, it was "lost" and the office didn't even call me to tell me. LabCorp emailed me saying they didn't receive a vile. I called the office and asked them about it in which they seemed just as shocked as I was and asked me to come back in for another blood draw (The office is 45 minutes away from my house so I was definitely annoyed). I bluntly asked was it going to cost anything considering they messed up and at first she said yes, another office visit and then quickly corrected herself and said no. Again, annoyance was building. Fast. I went in for the second blood draw and I sat in the waiting room for 52 minutes y'all! 52! I finally get called back and they nurse asks me to "sit tight, they think they found my sample" so I waited, waited, and waited and she finally comes back and tells me "you are good to go, you don't have to be poked again! We found it!" I spent a total of 2.5 hours going there, waiting, and going home for this visit I didn't even need. Then they only ran my Vitamin D with the blood... what does that have to do with anything? If anyone knows, please explain! I decided this doctor wasn't for me and I now am onto my third doctor who seemingly has it all together.

- In June 2023, I have my first appointment at the newest doctor. June 2nd. This story is to be continued. I have so many questions...

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and taking the time to care!

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