A Never Ending Battle...

So... I had my TSH checked, and it came back REALLY high. Like, higher than 4.0 high. It might explain why I have been feeling down, irritable, and sad lately. The doctor has upped my Synthroid to 100mcg 2 times a week, and is hoping my TSH goes down. For those who know me most, they know I LOATHE medications, because I hate taking them, but I have to wonder if this Synthroid is even doing anything for me AT ALL.

I had a Free T4 done in July 2012, which was 1.06 ng/dL. Than I bought a test package, and my T3 and T4 were: T4: 6.4 ug/dL, T3: 28%, and Free Thyroxine Index: 1.8. All within normal ranges.

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism AGAIN in June 2012. I was started at 50mcg, then increased to 88mcg when I saw my Thyroid not responding, and then ultimately at 100mcg... I've been at 100mcg for a while now.

I'm not understanding how if I am on Synthroid, how my TSH is not normalizing. It makes no sense to me.

My levels are checked monthly, and they have fluctuated SO MUCH sometimes it feels like I am on a never ending roller coaster. I have to wonder what is going on at the biochemical levels of my body... at the level I can not test or see, because well, to be honest, this is REALLY odd to have it fluctuating so much.

My endocrinologist wants my levels to be below 2.0 for TSH, and it feels like I'm NEVER going to get there.

Here are what my levels have looked like over the last year:

Feb 2012: 2.68 mcIU/mL
April 2012: 3.610 / u[iU]/mL
May 2012: 1.35 mcIU/mL, Recheck in May 2012: 3.450 u[iU]/mL
July 2012: 3.40 mcIU/mL
September 2012: 1.920 u[iU]/mL
October 2012: 2.290 u[iU]/mL
November 2012: 5.380 u[IU]/mL
December 2012: 2.620 u[IU]/mL
February 2013: 2.520 u[IU]/mL
April 2013 *yesterday*: 4.630 u[IU]/mL

So as you can see, it has been a never ending battle, and its quite annoying.

My insulin is down, thankfully though.

Here is what my insulin has looked like, the normal ranges being 3.0 - 25.0, so I am slowly getting there, with being at 32.9 MU/L.

2013/04/24insulin, serum32.9 MU/Lu[iU]/mL3.0-25.0
2012/12/18insulin, serum41.2 MU/Lu[iU]/mL3.0-25.0
2012/05/18insulin, serum41.8 MU/Lu[iU]/mL3.0-25.0

So, it has been a year, and it seems that my "hormones" are still trying to get back to normal. The never ending battle with hormones is frustrating. The never ending battle with painful aunt flows, where I am so nauseated and feel so sick from cramps, and Endometriosis, and the never ending battle with progesterone mimicking pregnancy symptoms. Just the overall frustrations of a never ending battle. I just want to be "normal" again, or close to it, and if one thing is returning to almost normal, the other thing is off, and so it is a never ending battle...

What Not To Say.... (Day #7)

Miscarriage is a topic so many prefer to sweep under the rug and ignore. I get it — I do. It’s uncomfortable to talk about death, particularly that of a pregnancy/baby/child. There are others who feel that this is a ‘natural and common’ thing in life and we don’t need to always talk about it.
Problem with that is those who are grieving can be left feeling very unsupported and misunderstood. Friends who have not been through miscarriage will try to help but either don’t know what to say/do or find themselves fumbling through it or doing nothing at all.
Though saying something in place of nothing is important, there are some phrases that a survivor might find particularly hurtful. Generally, people do mean well and are not trying to hurt someone by saying these phrases — but most often they just don’t know it’s hurtful — and why.
I would like to preface this by saying — before you tell me that no one would ever say these to people — I have personally been on the receiving end of all 10 of these phrases. I've had 5 miscarriages  1 stillborn and 1 chemical pregnancy, and know how it feels. 
You should NOT say these things to someone suffering a miscarriage:
1.  “You can always try again.”: The end goal of pregnancy is not having two lines show up on the test — it’s a baby to grow their family. Many women will indeed go on to have another pregnancy, but they will always grieve the one the never got to know.
2. “Be grateful for the children you have!”: Grieving the loss of a baby has no effect on how they feel about their living children. They will not replace or ‘fix’ the child that she lost. Grieving is not ungrateful — it’s healthy.
3. “I know what you are going through.”: Unless you've been through miscarriage, saying this can be of very little comfort. However, if you have experienced loss, many find it comforting to hear how you are functioning through your grief.
4. “At least you weren't further along.”: There are some who will agree that the further along you are, the harder it is for you. The problem with this is grief is SO individual and diminishing someone’s grief based on a time-line number is dismissive and hurtful.
5. “It was not a real baby just a fetus.”: A “fetus” is a baby. The mom will feel changes from very early on, making the transition to motherhood already there in her mind. It was a real baby.
6. “At least you didn't know your baby!”: That is basically the problem — she never got to really know her child. Not only is she grieving the baby she never knew — she is grieving the fact she never got that chance. We love our baby from the moment we know we are pregnant.
7. “It’s probably for the best.”: Miscarriages happen for many reasons, and you do not know what may or may not have caused this particular loss. The best for whom? Me? The now dead baby? You? This does not make a person feel better.
8. “It wont happen again.”: Everyone hopes that everything will be fine in the next pregnancy, but sometimes it isn't  Women who have recurrent miscarriages often remember being reassured by others that everything would be fine next time, and sometimes this makes for an even harder time coping with the second loss.
9. “After so many miscarriages you should be getting used to it.”: You NEVER get used to it. You should know this comment is hurtful.
10. “Get on with your life, this isn't the end of the world!”: Grieving is normal, natural and very important. There are some women who are told this one after a very short amount of time and grief doesn't work that way.
So, what should you say? Try SAYING: “I’m so sorry.”

Don't... (*Day#6)

Today's Infertility Awareness Post Includes Two of the Most Important Ones... 

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant and Don't Say They Are Not Meant to Be Parents or It Will Happen In Gods Time.

These are my biggest pet peeves living with infertility. I know that your just trying to comfort me, by saying that God will grant me another child in his time, but really all that does is make me more angry. It makes me angry with God, and leaves me to wonder if you even have any idea on how much it hurts, and how alone I feel. It makes me feel like my body hates me and can't do the ONE thing that it was meant to do, and it makes me feel like slapping you in the face. 

The other thing that gets to me, is when people think us infertility folks are ignorant, because we are being "unrealistic" about our infertility. Have you ever spend thousands of dollars on IVF? Fertility Treatments? Gotten an HSG? Spent months on Clomid or Femera? And still not gotten pregnant? Or how about this... Have you ever had to BBT, or Time your Sex with your partner? OR buy OPTK's or become a POAS-a-holic? Or Chart your CM or CP? This is why infertility feels like sometimes its a chore. Because in all actuality, it kind of is... you have to live each day taking medications, and doing the deed or "BDing" when your most fertile. You get up in the morning, temp, and then piss on a stick or POAS to see if your OPTK or ovulation prediction test kit is positive or negative. Than you check your cervical position and the cervical mucous and you chart it...

If you think it is us being ignorant... think again...

That is the reality of someone with infertility.

Don't Treat US like WE Are Ignorant!

For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. 

I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.

Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.

Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. 

Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.

This is one that can really hurt. its something that you already think about.. why is this happening to me? what did i do wrong? what am i being punished for? 

Don't Say WE Aren't Meant to Be Parents

One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. 

If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. 

Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.

Another comment that really hurts is when a new mom says something like I know God loves me because he gave me this baby. For those that are struggling, it makes them feel that they don't have a baby because God doesn't love them. 

Yes I know that is not their intention, but it does hurt.

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy (*Day#5*)

The Title Says It All... 

Do you ever wonder what complaining about your current pregnancy does to a woman who is living with infertility? They want and desire so bad to be pregnant, but they can not. Don't complain about your pregnancy to others, that is something you just should not do.

This message is for pregnant women.

Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.


I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.

Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes.

I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

And yes, this is sometimes how an infertile woman very much feels....

So next time you want to complain about your pregnancy, remember, the very woman your complaining to might be suffering with infertility, and would do ANYTHING to have what you have for the first time, or again...

Don't Minimize Infertility (*Day #4)

"Don't Minimize the Problem"

Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.

Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.

"Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen"

Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?

Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.

People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility."

Top Five Myths About Infertility (*Day #3*)

A lot of people hear things about infertility that often are not true. Things like "drinking mountain dew or red bull can make a male infertile" are the silly myths we hear, and so I figured I would debunk these myths by posting the top five myths of infertility.

Both women and men often wrongly believe that the cause of infertility is the female partner. In fact, the causes of infertility are nearly equal among male and female partners, with 40% of cases attributed to males and 60% to females. Thirty percent (30%) of those couples have both a male and female factor and another 20% are unexplained.
For this reason, a complete infertility work-up always tests both male and female partners. A semen analysis is the primary test of male fertility. It's a fast, simple test that looks at a semen sample under a microscope and reports on several factors such as the concentration of sperm in the sample and their motility, or the movement of the sperm.
Fortunately, male factor infertility is one of the most successfully treated forms of infertility. All that is needed is one good sperm to fertilize an egg.

This is the single most common misconception about conception. A woman’s fertility naturally decreases with age. A woman in her 20s has about a 20% chance of becoming pregnant on her own each month. By the time she's in her late 30s, that chance has gone down to 10% per cycle and continues to decline. After trying for 3-4 months, each month thereafter, pregnancy rates decline. After trying for 1 year, a woman in her early 30s has about 1.5% chance of pregnancy per month.
The first line of treatment is often Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) which has success rates that mirror natural success rates of fertile women, depending on her age. The goal of IVF treatment is to increase your chances of success - higher than what a fertile woman could achieve naturally. 

Depending on the age of the patient, the most recent IVF success rates show that pregnancy rates are between 52%- 60% for women under the age of 37. At a certain point in each woman’s reproductive life, often for women over 40, treatment using their own eggs becomes increasingly unsuccessful and the use of donated eggs becomes the preferred treatment choice. This is because as a women gets older, the success rate of getting pregnant is related to the quality of the eggs and not the uterus.

This makes it very important to see a fertility specialist according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s recommended guidelines. Those guidelines state that women under 35 should have a complete infertility workup after 12 months of trying to conceive without success. Women over 35 should seek help after only 6 months of unsuccessful trying. Even if you haven't been “actively trying” - if you stopped using contraception such as birth control and condoms a few years ago and haven't gotten pregnant - you should consider an evaluation from a reproductive endocrinologist to be sure everything is ok.

Fertility treatment has gotten increasingly more affordable over the last several years thanks to financial tools designed to help patients pay for treatment. Often, most fertility centers offer innovative financial programs and on providing financial counselors that help couples take advantage of all the tools possible, starting with their insurance coverage.
Patients with insurance frequently have some or all of the costs of fertility treatment covered. In fact, 90% of patients with insurance have coverage for their initial consultation. Nearly 70% of those patients seeking fertility treatment have some level of coverage for testing, treatment or medications.
For treatment costs that are not covered by insurance, there are a number of financial programs that have helped thousands of patients. In 2011 alone, over 2,300 patients used these financial programs for fertility assistance.

Many couples believe that once they see a fertility specialist, they will be on the fast track to IVF. The reality is that most specialists take a stepped approach to treatment, pursing the least complicated (and least expensive) treatment first that gives the best chance of success.
50% of all the treatment cycles performed each year are not IVF, but IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). IUI is considered a "low tech" option that is less invasive and less costly than IVF. It is also covered by insurance providers for many patients.
Some patients may use IVF as a first line of treatment because of their particular diagnosis, such as blocked tubes or sever male factor, while others may move on to IVF if they don't have success with lower tech treatments. Still, IVF makes up only 40% of the cycles performed at any fertility center each year.
The remaining 10% of treatment cycles are those that use Donor Eggs.

Several years ago not many fertility patients talked about their struggles or treatment making the true size of the disease known by few. With the introduction of the internet and online support groups patients are talking about their fertility journey more than ever. 
Today, it seems that everyone knows someone who has had trouble conceiving. Women may find, especially in Metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC that infertility may seem more common because of the highly educated population of women who are putting careers first and putting off motherhood until later in life.
The fact is that 7 million couples, on average, 1 in 6 couples of reproductive years, will be infertile and need some form of fertility treatment. Patient advocacy groups and online patient networks  are great resources for information and patient perspective. You are not alone.

Why Don't YOU just Adopt? (*Day #2 *)

This caption says it all. It really, just hurts. Why can't my body do what it was meant to do and designed to do/? Why does everyone else make it so easy to get pregnant? Why do I feel totally and completely alone in my struggle to try for a child? Why does it hurt to see other people happy, starting there family, and how come I am the one that has to sit here and have my life at a stand still while others get married, have kids, and move on? These are some of the questions I have been asking myself as of late.

This week is infertility awareness week. Its that constant reminder of the struggle of wanting to get something that takes so long to get. Often times, when I bring up the fact that I suffer with infertility, and all of my genetic issues (MTHFR and My Several Other Mutations) others will say something along the lines of "Why don't you just adopt" and I feel like hitting them over the head. 

Picture this:
 Dishing out 30+K for a child you may never have
Waiting years for the adoption to be finalized and then having the birth mother change her mind
Heartbreak and grieving for a child you can never have.

Doesn't sound so enticing does it?

If you know someone struggling with infertility, don't ask "well why don't you just adopt?" This is why there is not "just adopt". 

Unless you have 30K+ you want to loan them and someone that just happens to have a baby they are placing. 

This is only part of why adoption would be so hard. There is the money as well as the fact that it can still take years of waiting and wondering if its ever going to happen. The heartache of hoping you are picked and the possibility of the birth mother backing out of it. You also have to go through a grieving process for your own children that you may never get. 

There is no "just adopt". And an infertile couple have no more chance of conceiving while going through adoption as they did before. Statistically it makes no difference and does not increase the chance of conception at all. Yes it happens, but statistically it does not increase the chances.

So next time you come across someone who says they are not able to have children, think twice before you tell them to just "adopt" because chances are, if their like me, it will upset them more than it will make them happy or help them.

Infertility Awareness Week (*Day#1)

Today marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness week. I figured, I would start with some facts…

Interesting Fact about Me: I am 95% Infertile. This is per an HSG done in January.

Did You Know? Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. (2002 National Survey of Family Growth)

A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month (National Women’s Health Resource Center).

After six months of trying, 60% of couples will conceive without medical assistance. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)

Knowing That, Infertility is something that is extremely hard to deal with, physically (with the poking and prodding and monitoring, and high risk doctors visits, and the charting and much more) but especially mentally and emotionally (Because each month you get your hope… that small little itty bit that you just may be pregnant, and then aunt flow comes… and that’s just the tiniest bit of the mental and emotional).

You honestly feel like you are broken because your body doesn’t do the most basic function it was designed to do. I feel broken, all the time. Like I’m less of a woman because my body cannot do what it was designed to do. It cannot conceive a child, and carry it to term, without interventions of medical staff, and even then, that cannot guarantee it.

It’s so hard for me to grasp how my daughter, Gabriella, was conceived at a time in my life where I was not trying for a child, used all the protection methods possible, had just experienced months before the loss of my stillborn and then the moment I want a child, I simply cannot.

It makes me love every moment with my daughter more, and consider myself lucky that I have her, and cherish every moment with her, and love her more than life, but that DOES NOT and CAN NOT take the place of the void… the hole in my heart that I feel knowing that she cannot have siblings … knowing how hard it is… knowing what I’m up against, and what I face…

I get angry with God at times. I get angry with myself. I get asked by many “Why are you still trying after so many losses” How many losses to be exact, I’ve lost 5. 6 if you count the chemical and 7 if you count my stillborn. 7 used to me my lucky number, not so much anymore.

It is so incredibly hard to go through the disappointment and heartache and depression month after month, year after year, to get something that should be so easy.

You feel like you would do anything in your power and go through anything to get that miracle that comes so easily to most people, or as I like to call them “fertile mertiles”.

This is the face of infertility, and it hurts so much to have to struggle through it. To feel broken, and to feel alone in your struggle for something you want so badly, something you would do anything in your power, even die for, to have…

Lets Not SILENCE infertility anymore, and raise awareness of this disease. It is such an emotionally, mentally, physically, financially and mentally bearing disease that affects BOTH men and woman alike.

Ramblings of a "Broken" Woman (An Update of Some Kind)

Infertility. It's many affects. Financially. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. And So Much More.

It's frustrating. Very frustrating to be told you can't have the one thing you have.

What most who don't realize that don't go through it, is it also affects relationships. It affects them in ways that most can't be worded, or understood. It tears and shatters your world in ways that just are unexplainable.

 It makes you frustrated with God & the very life you were given. It leaves you to wonder why so many children were taken away, and why so many were lost. How relationships fall, and fail at the same time. Why TRYING meant and means the world to you. So many unexplained things.

I often used to ask myself why I'm broken. If I am broken, maybe that is why guys don't want to spend their lifetime with me. If I am broken, how do I fix it? I often wondered why I wasted time on something I wanted to bad. I often found myself hating others who said "You have a child, be happy with the one you have and be grateful" because they didn't get how bad their words hurt and stung.

The simple fact is this: 
I LOST my daughter Kayleigh-Marie Faith. She was ripped away from my arms, at 23 weeks Gestational Age / 20 Weeks Pregnancy (When she stopped growing apparently)
I LOST my children. 5 miscarriages, and 1 stillborn.
I AM angry. Justifiably so.
I am 95% infertile from an HSG taken in January
I WATCHED it tear apart a life I put together for two years.

Alex and I separated on January 25th 2013, after an understanding that things just were not working and a mutual break up. He was miserable. He was unhappy. He wanted to be friends. He didn't want kids right now. He didn't want to watch me live in pain anymore. He didn't want to go through the pain and suffering anymore. He didn't want to watch me go through that pain. And He wanted to remain best friends.

Naturally, I was upset. I was broken. I felt like my world was falling apart. I fell in shambles... But I held no grudges towards Alex. He was my rock, and my best friend and GOD had other plans. He Always does. 

Often, I get asked why remain faithful if all these bad things happen. The answer is simple: GOD didn't make them happen. The devil did. I remain faithful because I believe, and why not? I do not blame Alex for wanting to remain best friends, and not lovers anymore.

God's plan was for me to be with another. And in February 2013, I started dating Charles... Charles and I had a lot more in common. Things were rocky at first, because I was an emotional wreck. He understood the things I went through and was going through and stood by me regardless. He also lost two children of his own, so he understood the pain I went through, but the pain didn't come out until recently.

The months of April leading into May, when Kayleigh was lost, are and were hell on earth for me. I experience dreams. Vivid ones, of me holding her. Wondering what her life is like. What she would look like. Hearing her laughter with her sister Gabriella.

I wonder what was, is and will be. And I cry. I feel alone. Angry, like no one understands what I'm going through and it seems like forever....

The reminder is there, it always is there. Infertility Week. Mother's Day... It's there... Infertility affects my life, and relationships in most ways.... and somehow I wonder... I wonder if I will ever have my second child... or my family... with children... and yet, I continue to wonder, and to trust... trust God has a plan... and always will... but somehow, I continue to feel alone... to feel broken...