Yay!!! Good news for once!!!

Yay for OVULATION!!! I just knew that my body had the signs this month. This was GREAT confirmation that we are doing the right things. Now we wait...and I am trying to remember that this is a positive thing no matter whether we get pregnant this month or not. Maybe this is a sign that my body is starting to react positively to our fertility treatments. (For some who may not know the monitor is showing peak fertility which means I should ovulate within the next 24-48 hours)

This week has been full of great news and now I get to add mine to the mix. Wesley's cousins (Lisa and Jennifer) both got good news on their baby journey. Congratulations to Jennifer and David on the adoption of their little (and might I mention beautiful) Jade Elizabeth. And congratulations to Lisa for getting good news on her blood work and for getting the go ahead for IUI on Wednesday!

I am beginning my next round of Prometrium today and then I go for my blood work on Monday. The doctor is going to test both my progesterone and HCG levels then. Pray, pray, pray everybody!!!

Baby Journey Part II

Since the miscarriage there have been a lot of ups and downs. My first "normal" cycle after the miscarriage I began taking Clomid 50mg on days 5-9 of my cycle. On the 21st day of this cycle I went into the "old" doctor's office for blood work to check my progesterone level for ovulation. As I previously stated in my last post: the general rule of thumb is that if you ovulated during a cycle your progesterone will be above 10. Now this is where it gets tricky for me. Obviously I still ovulated in January even though my progesterone level was only a 1.8 since I got pregnant. The nurse called with the results a day later. She stated that I was still not ovulating and to wait for my period to begin then start Clomid 75mg on days 5-9. (again she seemed like she was rushing to get me off the phone :() Well, by this time I realized that I wanted to know my actual levels and ask some questions.

I felt like I had ovulated during my cycle. I had lots of cervical mucus and I even had some ovary-type pain. When I asked the nurse what my level was, she stated, "It's still really low, but has went up some to a 6.4." To me that sounded GREAT since previously it had been so low and I still had ovulated! I asked her if it was possible that I was still ovulating even though it was lower than their wanted 10. She stated that there was and I quote, "No way I ovulated!" I told her all about the CM and pain and she told me that unless the CM was streaked then no ovulation. That sent me into a tizzy!!! I told her why then did I get pregnant the month before when the progesterone level was only 1.8? She refused to answer this and simply said take the Clomid and hung up. If this was true, why did every book I read say that honestly no one knows what the actual level of progesterone is after a woman ovulates and why do their example pictures of CM always look either clear or a little cloudy. UGH! I had enough of this doctor's office nonchalance about everything! Again, I am thankful that the doctor automatically checks your progesterone as a pregnant woman because otherwise it may have taken many other tests, etc. to figure out what exactly is wrong with me, but enough is enough. You should not be in this type of profession unless you are ready to answer questions. (okay I'm off my soap box)

I began the search for a new OBGYN; one that was ready to tackle this problem head-on with me and would listen to my concerns and questions. I asked around and found that many people were extremely happy with their doctors at Contemporary Women's Health in Knoxville. I made an appointment to see Dr. Kimberly Roberts as soon as possible. By the time of my appointment I had already begun my next cycle of Clomid and was ready for the "good-ole" monthly blood draining.

Dr. Roberts and her staff were GREAT! She sat down with me and answered every question I had and gave me some really good advice and examples of other women with the same issues as I. She believes that I have a short luteal phase. This means that I do not ovulate until right before I begin my period, which does not give any possible fertilized egg time to properly imbed itself into the uterine wall. This made sense to me since I had never been able to get a positive for ovulation on a predictor kit. She also could not believe that my previous doctor had not placed me on a progesterone supplement since my progesterone was obviously the problem. She said it doesn't hurt anything so why not. All it might do is make my cycle a little slow in showing up. Well...well if this hadn't been what I had been trying to tell my previous doctor's office! I did NOT want to EVER have another miscarriage if I could help it. I wanted to do whatever possible to keep another pregnancy...and if that means taking Prometrium for months on end I will do it!

I began taking Prometrium 200mg twice daily the next day after my appointment. I was instructed to continue taking it and to test for pregnancy the next week and if negative test, again the next week. Unfortunately, my labs came back with the lowest level progesterone ever, a 1.4. We began to think I might even have PCOS. Dr. Roberts wanted to continue the Clomid and Prometrium regime. She truly believes that the mere fact that I had a spontaneous pregnancy shows that we can do it! It is just finding the right combination to help me keep the baby. This is a reassurance every month during the terrible two week wait.

This cycle I have taken Clomid and my body has felt pretty good. No crazy side effects this time. I still have MAJOR, mind-altering hot flashes, but other than that no more crying at commercials...haha...my husband still says that he is going to come home one day and find a big pile of ash sitting on the couch. He's crazy, but he is my rock! Without him during this time I might have went (or be going) absolutely nutty! Now as far as the Prometrium goes I have some "wild" side effects. They make me feel terribly drunk and dizzy!!!

The moral/lesson of this part of my story is: As women we must be more proactive about our health. We need to refuse to just "go with the flow." Just because one doctor refuses to answer questions or listen does not mean that all of them will. I have always been intimated by my physician, but not any longer. (Any time I have a question I call Dr. Robert's office and her nurse ALWAYS gets back with me within the hour. They are positive and upbeat about helping me) Do research about your condition, become educated, and do NOT give up. Find a physician that will be proactive with you!


My favorite little man EVER!

Here are some pictures of my wonderful nephew from yesterday. He was way too busy to smile at the camera for me, but I still got a few "keepers". Enjoy everybody and if he doesn't make your day than you have something truly wrong with you! ;)


Khade playing with Mamaw Polly

Reading a book on his dad's back

Sitting with his dad, Trevin

Enjoying a yummy Pina Colada Popsicle

The Beginning of our Baby Journey

I wanted to start this blog not only to give friends/family a way to hear about our family and view photos, but I also wanted the opportunity to help others who might be struggling with the same fertility issues I have. I also wanted a way to "vent" and not feel so lonely while going through these "trials". I hope that this blog will offer some people a little peace and some answers to their questions. I have found it hard to get the questions I have answered properly and/or been able to find any information regarding my particular situation(s). As a result...here we are...

My background:
A couple of years ago I began having terrible, reoccurring migraines. I began seeing a neurologist who believed that the reason I had these migraines could have something to do with hormonal issues and I would have to essentially "grow-out-of-them". (Looking back on this I should have known at that moment that my hormones were definitely wrong) After seeing this neurologist and conferring with other people who had issues with migraines, I decided to quit taking my birth control pills and leave it completely in God's hands.

Those of you who know me know that I have ALWAYS wanted to be a mother, so when I quit taking the birth control I was happy. Not only might I quit having migraines, but now maybe I would fulfill my long wanted dream of being a mother. Wesley and I decided it would be okay if I did become pregnant during this time, but did not begin actively pursing it until this past fall.

This past fall, I began to become more anxious about why we still had not gotten pregnant. I knew plenty of people who simply went off their birth control only to become pregnant within a few months. Why was I still not pregnant when I hadn't been preventing it? I began reading. During this time of study I learned more about the female reproductive system than I ever had in all the many (and I do mean many) science classes I have taken. I learned about ovulation and the miniscule chance of becoming pregnant any women has each month. It was a shocker! I encourage all women out there to read and learn about their bodies! Don't just believe that you simply can have sex and bam be pregnant. It truly does not work this way.

In January I began seeing a new doctor who advised me of the many tests we could do to find out why I was not pregnant after over a year of trying. (First and foremost, let me mention that I am overweight, but this doctor made one of the best comments I have ever heard. She simply told me that if my being overweight was the only reason why I hadn't become pregnant then why can you sit in a mall and see all different sizes of pregnant women?) The first step was having blood work done to see if all of my hormones were in normal ranges.

On the 20th day of my cycle I went back to the doctor's office and had blood work taken to measure my progesterone, estrogen, thyroid, and a few others. Well, surprise surprise...my progesterone was considerably low, a 1.8. (Normal levels are considered to be over 10) My doctor suggested that I begin taking the fertility drug Clomid to help increase these levels. She was determined that I was not ovulating due to this low level of progesterone. I was to begin taking the Clomid on days 5-9 of my following cycle.

Well, my periods are very regular; usually between 28-32 days. In February, I waited and waited for my cycle to begin, but it never came. My mother was determined I was pregnant, but I was doubtful. How could that be if my doctor said that I did not ovulate? I finally decided to take an at home pregnancy test on March 3rd since my cycle was over a week late. And low and behold if it wasn't positive! My husband and family were all so excited, but I was still scared. I could not understand why I did not feel at peace or even excited about it. I began to obsess and take pregnancy test after pregnancy test. I believe I took a total of 5 tests!!! The following day I went into the doctor's office and had a blood test ran to confirm the pregnancy.

On Friday, March 5th the doctor's office called back with the results; I WAS PREGNANT!!!...but my pesky progesterone was lower than what they wanted for pregnancy. (at the time I did not ask about the specific level, but I know now, a 10.4 when the "normal" is above 20) I asked the nurse on the phone should I be concerned and asked her to explain what that meant in terms of the pregnancy. She simply said it was not bad just to take the Prometrium that they were calling into my pharmacy and then come back for more blood work on the following Monday. That was it...To this day I become irritated just thinking about that conversation and how nonchalant she acted...Since the nurse acted like it wasn't a big deal, I began to feel excited. I began to call family and let them know we were expecting and were about 4-5 weeks along.

Here's the gut-rencher...less than 3 hours after all of this celebrating and relief I began to have sharp pains in my lower rightside of my back. I also began to have some brown spotting. I was scared to death! I got my computer out and started researching. Some people claimed it could be implantation bleeding while others were stating it could be a miscarriage. I began to get really scared so I called my doctor (after hours, of course). She stated that it could be the starting of a miscarriage, but it could also be normal. She told me that if I started bleeding heavily or had any severe pain to go to the hospital otherwise I should just take it easy. No more than 30 minutes after this conversation I began to have significant pain and bleeding. I will leave out the details for now, but I had a complete miscarriage. My husband, love his heart, lost his first child on his birthday.

No one can understand what a women goes through when this happens. And to be honest I am not sure I completely grasp what happened. I just wish someone would have told me how serious my progesterone issue was. Of course I was told by the doctor's office that the low progesterone was just a sign of a impending miscarriage, but I know differently. I have heard from too many other ladies who lost babies or have/had infertility issues due to simply low progesterone. This same doctor who acted so concerned and seemed excited to help me pursue my dreams of becoming a mother than refused to listen to anything I had to say, answer any of my questions, or even see me after the miscarriage. I began seeing her nurse practioner. Now given I know that she had stopped delivering babies, but simply saying too bad is not good enough! Needless to say, I have found a new doctor for this and many reasons to follow in my following posts...



Here is some background pictures for those of you who don't know the Stewart clan...

Wesley and I (New Years 2010)

Miles & Bernie