I started writing this post last Monday before my first appointment with Herr Doktor. It's a bit long, so I'm going to break it down into two posts. Here is the first part.
It's been a long time getting to today. In about an hour I am heading over to the Women's Clinic in my town to see the professor of reproductive endocrinology and gynecology. Also, today marks the start of a new cycle.
Thinking in earnest about having a baby started a little over two years ago. My husband was deployed, but we had decided it was finally time. I went off birth control. I started taking over the counter prenatal vitamins. I started paying attention to things that I had never, ever even considered like where my cervix was sitting and what was coming out of it. Things were going well. In June of 2010, I started charting. DH came home for R&R and we gave it a go. It was only two weeks and the timing was off, so it didn't happen. No big deal.
I'll be honest with you. During the time leading up to R&R, I had been paying attention to the length of my cycles and there was a hiccup on the horizon. My cycle was going to involve me being on my period when my husband was home. My period at that time usually lasted for a week. Out of two weeks. I know some people don't mind having sex when they are bleeding, but I'm a little more squeamish. It seems icky to me. (Or did then.) So, I took the pill for one cycle to try and control when the bleeding would happen. I waited until a week into my cycle and then started the pill. It didn't really work, but I think that's where things started to go wonky.
The two weeks of R&R were over much to quickly. DH left, and I went back to real life. I started running in July of 2010. I ran my first 5k in September at an embarrassingly slow time (56:35). I bought a dress for my husband's homecoming. I ran another 5k, at a better time. (Not sure what that time was because I didn't have a watch and the race wasn't timed.) November 6, 2010 DH came home from his fourth deployment. It was wonderful to see him. We started trying for realsies.
Meanwhile, between June and November, something strange had happened to my cycles. When I first came off birth control, they were "normal" (But we all know there is no such thing. Only average.) But in June, they shifted. Changed. They were longer. Much longer. My charting showed mountains and valleys instead of the plateaus and buttes I was expecting. The cycles were maddening because I couldn't figure out what was going on. My longest cycle so far was 59 days. June 2010 to August 2010.
Anyway, back to DH and trying. A return from a deployment or long term separation from my husband always institutes a kind of honeymoon period for us. We weren't getting anyway closer to making a baby, but we sure were having fun in the process! (Let me tell you, the process is less fun now.) In November of 2010 I had a 17 day cycle. The next cycle was 57 days. I went to the doctor for my annual pap smear in January 2011. I told him how crazy things had been. He listened. I now realize that this is somewhat of a miracle in a military treatment facility. The doctor put me on Metformin, told me that I needed to take some blood tests and get an ultrasound. All of that got done. DH got a semen analysis. He results were great. Then we got the not so good news. I had PCOS.
You have to know something about me. I am a researcher. If there is something that I am interested in, I will find any information available and use it. I read books, blogs, articles, reviews. Thoroughly. When DH and I were getting ready to buy a house, I did my research. I knew neighborhoods, school districts, and average days on market. I took every piece of information available to me and used it. I'm the same way with TTC.
I had read about PCOS, back when things were hunky-dory, and I had thought, "Thank goodness I don't have that! That must be terrible!" Ah the naivety.
There I am, diagnosed. But, I was on Metformin. That should help things. DH and I went back in to talk with the doctor. He said that he would like to give me a referral to a fertility specialist. This freaked me out a bit. I asked what the steps were on the fertility spectrum. He said for PCOS patients usually the first step is Metformin, then adding Clomid to the mix, followed by birth control pills for a few months to regulate cycles and a few months off of them, trying. After that, artificial insemination and then IVF. This scared me. Lots of pills I could deal with, but going straight from that to physical medical intervention seemed like a big jump in level of care. But, we were a long way from that, so I wasn't really worried.
Around that same time, we were waiting for the next assignment. We had hoped to be in Colorado for at least five years, but the Army had other plans. When DH contacted his branch manager (A kind of a career manager for the Army. They work with assigning you to your next job/location.) about the next step in his career, the branch manager thought that we had just moved in December. So, out of the thirty-two months we were in Colorado, five months were "extra".
Anyway, we were hoping to be in the States somewhere and hopefully close-ish to family. That did not happen. Instead, we got the assignment to Germany with less than sixty days notice from orders being given to the day we would fly. Not only did this throw a wrench into our everyday lives, but it put a hold on further progress with TTC. I got a call about a week before we flew out in May letting me know that I had finally gotten the approval to see an OB/GYN on post, but I couldn't go because by that time my medical records were already cleared and I was officially off their books. It was so frustrating.
I think that's enough for now. I will continue this story sometime. Tomorrow is my second u/s for this cycle. I'm looking forward to see how much further along those follicles are! Grow, follicles, grow!