Some thoughts...

Its been a rough month or two, because I don't know what my body is doing... or deciding to do...   

We had to manually split my chart on fertility friend because it seems my body is deciding to skip the month of August as far as pregnancy, or having AF visit me.Today would be CD49. No AF still. Because we split my chart, it is technically CD4, but technically it is CD49, without the split.

August Chart, Before Splitting
Septembers Chart *continuation of August, since there has been no AF visit yet*


PCOS is very frustrating. I just want to be normal again. I just want my hormones to be regulated. I just want to hold my planned second child in my arms and feel the love I felt when I held Gabriella the first time. I want to have my birth go the way I want, and want my family to be complete... not that were not right now, but ever since my loss of Kayleigh, I've felt like something is missing. 


 Do you ever have days where you just want to give up trying, and just let it happen if it was meant to happen. The thought has crossed my mind recently, because I recall loosing my daughter Kayleigh, and than months later finding out about my daughter Gabriella. I find myself battling that if I gave up TTC, that it would be an unplanned pregnancy. I find that if we are TTC that it will be planned.

Looking back at events in my life, and how fertility and trying for babies, and conceiving them, loosing them, and such has occurred, I came to the following conclusion.

Out of my 5 miscarriages, the farthest was 12.5 weeks. That was in September 2011, when I managed to get pregnant on my Mirena IUD. They had me sign consent forms to remove my IUD. The choice was keep it in and bleed internally, and have Gabriella have no parents, or remove it, and miscarry. I miscarried. 

The one before that was in 2010. Than in 2009. Than in 2008. and 2007. It seemed like I had one miscarriage a year. Atleast.

For all of them, I did not know I was even pregnant on, because I had no period, used protection and ended up in the ER with excruciating pain, being diagnosed with a miscarriage. None required a D+C, they just gave a medication to clean me out.

Than you factor into the equation, I had 1 stillborn in 2008 as well. That stillborn was 23 weeks along but measured 20 weeks.. I lost her due to a congenital heart defect called HLHS. My placenta also was abrupted and had 5 clots in it.  Basically she had half of a heart and because of the clots in her placenta, it deprived her of life.

It was a very rough year for me. I basically gave up and than once I gave up, I found out about my daughter Gabriella, when I was 11.5 weeks along with her in Nov 08.

So I have realized that when you give up trying, it may just happen, but at the same time, I have to constantly be reminded about this disease. PCOS. I take medication daily for it to regulate my hormones. I have to take medications to regulate my insulin hormone, and regulate my thyroid hormones. 

So its a battle I have to face. Do I continue TTC, or do I just go with the flow, and let things happen. Do I be constantly reminded of my condition, or do I have fun, and relax? Do I give up hope on wanting another child, or don't I....


PCOS and Hormones

PCOS effects sooo many different hormones, it’s not even funny! 

For one, it is really common to have thyroid problems. I have hypothyroidism, because of my PCOS.
But PCOS can also affect things like weight, sleep, and others. 

Another set of hormones pcos affects are the androgen hormones, more commonly known as male hormones (like testosterone) even though women produce them too, just in smaller amounts. Imbalances in these hormones cause problems like male pattern baldness and hair where you don’t want it growing; like chest, face, stomach, etc… as well as having the acne of a teenager. Not very fun! I know several women that have to shave their face daily because of this lovely side effect.

A lot of women also end up with too much estrogen and not enough progesterone, which causes problems when it comes to trying to become and STAY pregnant. If untreated, women with PCOS have as high as a 50% chance of miscarriage! For normal women; it’s around a 15% chance.

So on top of having an extremely hard time even getting pregnant, you have a huge risk of losing that baby, too. After loosing Kayleigh, it took Jason and I almost 1.5 years to get pregnant, and even than we did not know we were pregnant, because I had no period! 

With Alex and I, we have been wanting a child since a little before Gabriella turned 3 years old. In April 2012, when this blog started. That makes approx. 5 months since Alex and I have been TTC, and even before Alex, I wanted to have a child when Gabriella was 2 or 3 depending on where life put me. 

I try not to complain because I am one of the lucky ones. I have Gabriella and she IS my miracle child, but that does not stop me from wanting more. A lot of my friends call me "baby crazy" which I take offense to. You truly don't know how it feels to have fertility issues unless your going through what we go through. We take meds daily, IUI, IVF, spend thousands of dollars between OPTK's, Hormones, Meds, and other fertility procedures and still don't get our miracle child.

I try not to complain because I know women that after over a DECADE of trying to get pregnant still don’t have kids, and I don’t know how they do it. It was hard enough for me to be told that after Gabriella my fertility would be normal again, and find out it was not, I can’t even imagine going for 10 years.

For most it is not impossible, just very VERY difficult to have a baby. PCOS is the #1 infertility problem in women. For some, the only possible way to ever have a biological child is to go through invitro fertilization, which can easily cost $15,000+.

Some women go through several miscarriages before they finally get their miracle baby. Infertility is extremely taxing mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is something that unless you have personally gone through, people have no idea what it’s like.

There are times that it physically hurts to not have a baby to hold like you want. Your arms actually ache to hold a baby of your own. You think about all of your friends and family having babies left and right and it makes you cry. You go through times that you wonder if you will ever even be able to have a baby.

Before Gabriella, I even started looking into adoption because I didn’t know if I would ever be able to get pregnant. This time around is not as bad as before Gabriella, but TTC is not easy! It is still hard going month after month, getting into a couple of years of wanting a baby with no luck.

We both know that we would be happy just having  Gabriella if it comes down to it, though we would like one more. It’s just taking a long time again for that to happen. Thanks to PCOS and Hormonal Imbalances. Because of this, PCOS Sucks, and makes it very hard to get hormonally stable.

Fact or Fiction: PCOS

Here are some little random tidbits about PCOS sort of a "fact or fiction" but these are all fiction ones.

Fiction: All women who have PCOS have ovarian cysts. *The name of this disorder is very misleading. PCOS is a hormone-related disorder and ovarian cysts, while common in women with PCOS, do not need to be present in order for the disorder to be diagnosed. Conversely, not all women with ovarian cysts have PCOS.

Fiction: All women with PCOS are overweight. *While PCOS and the resulting insulin resistance can lead to excess weight and obesity, not all women who have PCOS are overweight. In fact, roughly 40% of women with PCOS are classified as "Thin Cysters".

Fiction: Women with PCOS cannot have children. *The truth is that, while PCOS can complicate conception and cause some women to be unable to conceive, the majority of patients with PCOS do achieve pregnancy through the help of medication and/or assisted fertilization. It may just take longer.

Fiction: PCOS only affects women in their 30's and beyond. *PCOS does not discriminate. It affects women of all ages, ethnicity and is independent of whether or not you have previously had children. The medical community has proven that PCOS can affect females of all ages - women as young as 8 and as old as 65 have been newly diagnosed.

Fiction: Birth Control Pills will regulate the menstrual cycle and "cure" PCOS. *Again, PCOS is not a reproductive disorder. There are many hormones in play when dealing with PCOS, and not all of those hormones can be regulated through oral contraceptives. While they may regulate your cycle, birth control pills have been proven to exacerbate insulin resistance and make PCOS symptoms WORSE or cause you to stop having a cycle all together, especially once you stop taking the pill. BCP-not a good idea most of the time for PCOS.

19DPO, CD43, BFN = Frustrations!

Damn it PCOS! I really hate you. If aunt flow doesn't come at the wrong time, its tricking me into thinking I am pregnant and getting my hopes up. How the hell can a woman know when she is ovulating, if she doesn't have her period? Its so frustrating. I am on 2000mg of Metformin a day, and am on Fertibella, and am on 50mg of Levothyroxine, and its just so frustrating.

I am starting to see a pattern in my charting though, its kinda interesting. I feel like I am more in tune with my body than ever before.

This month, I have an appointment on the 24th of September to discuss July's labwork. Tell me how that works out? I am going to be asking the provider to re-do the labs, because I do not think my Metformin is working, and do not think I am ovulating, and still think my ratio of LH:FSH is off. If they deny my bloodwork from being done, I am going to just ask for it to be done when I see my PCP on the 26th, or my High Risk OBGYN in October. Something tells me that my body does not and is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. But the thing I keep getting is "Give it 6 months on Metformin" well, 6 months to someone who isn't TTC might be easy, but 6 months on Metformin, and TTC, it feels like a god damn lifetime.

I did two of those free readings. One lady said August and a Girl, and the other said February and a Boy. I know they were fun, but where did my August and a Girl go? Quite annoying. Maybe she meant next August? Or maybe that was when the birth is/was expected? If so, that means in November, I would conceive. I sure hope so...  I know its fun, but dang, I wish I was all of those females who could just have sex and get pregnant. It is so frustrating.

My sister is due to have her baby within the next week or so. Her due date is 9/22, and my birthday is 9/26. Best birthday gift ever would be to have my niece be born. I would be elated.


This is my current chart, so you can see what it is doing. I am wondering if dropping back down below my baseline is an indicator of my AF showing up for a visit, or not. It is interesting to see it month to month.
I guess time will tell. 

Late......



Well, as you can see, Today, I am 12DPO, and no signs of AF yet. AF was expected on 9/3/2012.
I told Alex I was late this month, and he didn't say anything. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I can tell my body is definitely getting more regular. I am going to test 14DPO, and than again on 17DPO and 19DPO if AF does not come to visit. The most frustrating thing is that pregnancy symptoms and AF show so many similarities, so it is hard to really and truthfully tell.

What is PCOS?

For those recently diagnosed, you may be thinking what is this diagnosis? What does it mean? What does it mean for my future? This blog should help to answer common questions.

 

What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (say "pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm") is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS) is common, affecting as many as 1 out of 15 women. Often the symptoms begin in the teen years. Treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.

 

What are hormones, and what happens in PCOS?

Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes, including growth and energy production. Often, the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.
For reasons that are not well understood, in PCOS the hormones get out of balance. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another. For example:
  • The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens) In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
  • The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn't use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes.

 

 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:
  • Acne.
  • Weight Gain and trouble loosing weight.
  • Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
  • Thinning hair on the scalp.
  • Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
  • Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility)
  • Depression
Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovarian syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances.

 

What causes PCOS?

The symptoms of PCOS are caused by changes in hormone levels. There may be one or more causes for the hormone level changes.
PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes. PCOS can be passed down from either your mother's or father's side.

 

How is PCOS diagnosed?

To diagnose PCOS, the doctor will:
  • Ask questions about your past health, symptoms, and menstrual cycles.
  • Do a physical exam to look for signs of PCOS, such as extra body hair and high blood pressure. The doctor will also check your height and weight to see if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI)
  • Do a number of lab tests to check your blood sugar, insulin, and other hormone levels. Hormone tests can help rule out thyroid or other gland problems that could cause similar symptoms.

You may also have a pelvic ultrasound to look for cysts on your ovaries. Your doctor may be able to tell you that you have PCOS without an ultrasound but this test will help him or her rule out other problems.

 

How is it treated?

Regular exercise healthy foods, and weight control are key treatments for PCOS. Medicines to balance hormones may also be used. Getting treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and help prevent long-term health problems.
The first step in managing PCOS is to get regular exercise and eat heart-healthy foods. This can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It can also help you lose weight if you need to.
  • Try to fit in moderate and/or vigorous on a regular basis. Walking is a great exercise that most people can do.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. In general, this diet has lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It also limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods. If you have blood sugar problems, try to eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal. A registered dietician can help you make a meal plan.
  • Most women who have PCOS can benefit from losing weight. Even losing 10 lb (4.5 kg) may help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle. PCOS can make it hard to lose weight, so work with your doctor to make a plan that can help you succeed.
  • If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms.  Smoking also increases the risk for heart disease.
A doctor may also prescribe medicines, such as:
  • Birth Control Pills: They can help your periods be regular and can reduce symptoms such as excess facial hair and acne. An androgen-lowering medicine, spironolactone, may be used with birth control pills to help reduce symptoms even more. These medicines are not used if you are trying to get pregnant.
  • A diabetes medicine called metformin. It can help restore regular menstrual cycles and fertility.
  • Fertility medicines, if you are trying to get pregnant.
It is important to see your doctor for follow-up to make sure treatment is working and to adjust it if needed. You may also need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible problems.
It may take a while for treatments to help with symptoms such as facial hair or acne. In the meantime:
  • Over-the-counter or prescription acne medicines may help with skin problems.
  • Waxing, tweezing, and shaving are easy ways to get rid of unwanted hair. Electrolysis or laser treatments can permanently remove the hair but are more expensive. Your doctor can also prescribe a skin cream that slows hair growth for as long as you use it regularly.


Support

It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to other women who have PCOS. Ask your doctor about local support groups, or look for an online group. It can make a big difference to know that you are not alone. 

PCOS Awareness Month


For Those of you who follow this blog, you might have PCOS. 1-in-10 are diagnosed with this syndrome/disease/disorder each year. PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome.

September is the month that we raise awareness for this disorder, and so my goal is to devote the month of September to facts for this disease.

It is the most common endocrine disorder that affects nearly 20% of all females in the world, and it also affects males. Who would have known?

Did you know that it is so complicated that the symptoms are different for each person affected by it? That is why I am going to be raising awareness for this disorder/disease this month.

If your curious what my story is, you can view it here: http://unexpected-miracles-of-life.blogspot.com/2012/04/about-us.html

Please do follow my blog.

*baby dust to all*