Friday, March 9, 2012

fertility issues: opening up about it all

I've written this post about 10 times in the last few months. It never seems like the right time to share it nor does it seem like I find the right words.

If we were having coffee today this is what I would share with you

Scott and I have been trying to have a baby for 20 months, almost 2 years. Enough time to have had a baby and be pregnant with a second. We have not been very successful, as is evident by my lack of a baby bump.

Let me clarify, we haven't been casually trying for the last 20 months, we've been doing every thing in hopes of conceiving a baby. We started to try and track ovulation but I wasn't ovulating, clearly I wasn't going to get pregnant if I wasn't releasing any eggs. I have had a hunch since an early age that I was going to have difficulty getting pregnant. My hunch combined with some medical issues meant after 4 months of trying my primary care doctor was supportive of testing for fertility issues.

My hunch over the past 10 years was correct, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS, which means that I don't ovulate on my own/regularly and that my hormones are slightly out of whack.

The first step was to take metformin. This drug often helps ovulation happen for women with PCOS. 8 weeks later the only thing the drug did was make me feel like I had morning sickness without the actual bun in the oven.

Our next step was clomid. When the doctor explained how clomid worked to Scott and how there would be a chance of twins or triplets Scott's chin hit the floor and he might have turned a shade of blue. 2 or 3 babies was a bit scary for him. I wasn't phased by this possibility. I've wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. If the lord was going to bless us with more than one child I was ok with that. I know he will never give us more than we can handle. It took Scott a couple of months to process the idea of clomid and be ok with it.

Fast forward to four failed clomid cycles and a crap ton of pregnancy announcements later I was devastated, heart broken and pissed off. At the end of November I told Scott I was done with clomid. I was tired of the roller coaster of emotions. A week of taking clomid, then 2 weeks of tracking ovulation, followed by a week of hopeful thinking that a baby was growing inside of me, only to be followed by a day disappointment when my period arrived.

Where exactly did we stand? I had no clue. I had no feelings about anything, adoption, IVF, or any other possible option. I felt defeated, upset, a bit depressed and often times angry. I spent one too many times curled up on the bathroom floor crying because I felt like God was punishing me. In a span of about 2 months 10 people I knew had announced their pregnancy. I wanted to be happy for all of them but all I could do was be angry. Not angry at them, but angry at the Lord. Angry that my body was so clearly broken.

The holidays were especially painful. For the last few years we have know that we would be PCSing around the end of 2011 to early 2012. I always pictured myself either pregnant or already having a baby. I always saw the addition of little feet by Christmas of 2011.

Over the last few months I have seen a plethora of doctors, I've added to my list of surgeries and procedures. I think part of me was waiting to write/share this post in hopes that these surgeries would provide answers, and fix my fertility issue. They did not. Instead the lead to more issues.

My uterus has a fairly substantial septum {wall} that can interfere with a pregnancy. It greatly increases my chances of a miscarriage. Which still doesn't explain why i can't get pregnant, but is something we have to decide how to treat. To have it removed is a fairly intense surgery. They can't go in laproscopically like in past surgeries. I still need to go back to my fertility specialist and hear what his thoughts are. My ob/gyn said they might say it is just best to do IVF and have them place the embryo away from the septum. This isn't an option for us as I don't feel like IVF is for us right now.

The Lord is clearly calling us to start a family, but it might not be in the conventional way. Scott and I have spent a lot of time praying and talking about what this all means. We feel like the Lord is leading us in the right direction.

I don't share this in hopes of someone having an answer or knowing what to say. The fact is the last thing I want is more advice from the peanut gallery. I felt the need to share our journey because I feel like it is more common for everyone to be announcing their pregnancy than it is for the announcement of a broken uterus. There were and are still many times I feel like I am alone in this struggle. I know that I am not, but it seems like everyone I know is fertile mertle and gets pregnant just by their husband looking at them. I know there are others out there dealing with the same issues. Bursting into tears as they read the 10th Facebook status update that yet again someone else has a better uterus than they do. I want them to know they are not alone and their feelings are valid. I also felt it was time to share because Scott and I are on a journey to see how the Lord plans on blessing us with children. Adoption, foster care or a miraculous pregnancy. It was time go lay it all out on the table. Lift the weight off my shoulders and move closer to Gods plan.


My Traveling Troop said...


You are so brave & strong to open up like this. And I'm sure that by sharing your fertility struggles you are helping lots of women who are going through a similar journey.

We are sending lots of hugs and prayers your way. I hope you get your bun in the oven soon!


Kelly said...

I don't have any suggestions, opinions, or thoughts other than I am THINKING OF YOU, Jenelle :-) You and Scott are wooooonderful people and would be unbelievable parents. I'm hoping that you receive resolve soon, however that comes to you. You are in my thoughts Jenelle <3

Manda Jane said...

So courageous to write a post like this. And I bet, it touches more people than you will ever possibly know. I'm going to say a prayer for you and Scott. From what I've seen, you guys will be the most awesome parents, no matter what avenue your bundle of joy comes!

Alyson @Eisley Rae said...

Oh, Jenelle. My heart aches for you. I know all too well what it feels like to watch friends & strangers announce a pregnancy, birth a beautiful little bundle and go on while you're left wondering WHY. I know that we've talked about this issue about and hope you know that you can ALWAYS come to me for anything. You said you wanted opinions, right? Here's mine.. if you don't feel like IVF is right for you and you're clearly done with clomid, I think it's time to just let Him take over completely. You & Scott have no doubt been praying, but just don't stop. You WILL be a mama {and an amazing one at that} one day! I'm praying for you both. Always. xoxo

Taylor said...

Thank you so much for sharing this part of your journey. I admire your trust and faith in God through it all. With all of the pregnancy announcements that are constantly flooding the blogosphere, it must be really really tough. I pray that God give you peace and discernment in discovering what path to take!! Hugs!

Jessica Cribbs said...

Jenelle, Thank you for sharing this. Thank you. My prayers are for you at this moment. In our show tonight we have a woman in stage sharing her story of finding out at 16 that she was born without a uterus. And she is a mother now...her eggs..her child. The Lord blesses. My prayer is for you to continue trusting and following the path that He lays out. Thank you for sharing.

GingerPeachT said...

Hey girl, I can say that I can totally relate but in different ways.
I've had the daily unexplained nausea for 3 years with no answers by many docs and tests.
I have been so low at times, blamin God for this time of my life. I know it hurts.
Ill be praying for guidance and peace. Today I was reading my Devo and it was about finding peace, love and joy from Christ within us, and not from the world. We may have some physical ailments that we don't understand why, but God has allowed them and will use them for His glory. :-) I just try to remind myself that all the time.

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