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Feel free to read and post here. I like questions and comments (as long as they are not negative).
My husband (25) and I (27) have been married since January 2007 and dating for about a year and a half before that. We have had two foster kids so we are pretty sure we are ready for our own and would love to foster more once we have one of our own that we never have to give back. We have been TTC for a year and a half now. We finally got insurance, but it does not really cover infertility issues. I had to go to a local support group to build up the courage to attend our first meeting with the endocrinologist just to see what the next step was in trying to locate and fix the problem. I am glad I did. I learned a lot and got more support and good advice than I thought I would.
So here is what I wrote in my blog, but kept secret. I don't want to let my in-laws and one friend know. They are way to negative and my friend already made a really mean comment before we were even trying. Who would have thought that anyone could find something negative to say on this issue?!? We are old enough, been together long enough, mature enough, and will never be financially ready to give our child everything we think they deserve. The time will never be "perfect." But I think the time is OK enough. We are in a stable, loving relationship, have bachelor's degrees, and have maintained our lifestyle, plants, two cats, and dog, the newest addition, and I think we will make it alright. Is the time ever "right" or "perfect?" I don't think so. We are not 15 years old or homeless so I think we are doing pretty **** well.
There are two people specifically that I DO NOT want to find out about our trials with this, but you guys probably don't know them. I am finally posting something about this, because I am sooooo happy that we have gotten some good news finally! Sort of. Here's the story.
I went to the endocrinologist for infertility last week.
"Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year of regular intercourse without contraception or the inability of a woman to carry a pregnancy to a live birth. Infertility can affect either the male or the female and can result from a number of causes. About 1 in every 10 couples is infertile, or somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of the population" - dictionary.com
I got off birth control in December 2007. So we have been 'trying' for a year and a half now.
When we saw the doctor he drew this on a sheet of paper (image one).
Dr. said that:
30% of the time it is a problem with the man's sperm.
35% of the time it is a problem with the woman's tubes.
20% of the time it is a problem with ovulation or hormonal.
15% of the time it is unexplained.
He scheduled us for testing of these three most common problems.
Sperm analysis. Doug saves up his cum for 3 days and then cums in a cup and has to deliver it within an hour to be tested.
HSG. I have fluid inserted into my uterus and it goes into my tubes hopefully all the way to see if I have a blockage. This is done with multiple x-rays to see where the fluid stops.
Two blood tests. I have to fast overnight and then I get blood drawn in the morning. They are testing for Prolactin and TSH. He mentioned something about a thyroid test. So one of these is probably for that.
Hurray for process of elimination! This will show us if the problem is with sperm, blocked tubes, or hormonal issues. Clomid fixes most hormonal issues long enough to get pregnant, vitamins help with sperm issues and I think surgery would be required if it were a tube issue. I'm just hoping it is something real simple. TL brought back some Clomid from Africa that I paid her for. So at least I will be able to save little there, if it turns out that I need it.
We have insurance now, but I don't think it covers much in the way of infertility.
I have been taking Fertilaid vitamins to try to conceive naturally without doctors for a total of $192 for the past several months.
Sperm test $215 scheduled for Thursday 7/2/09
HSG $247 scheduled for Wed 7/1/09 They said that the insurance will not cover any of it, but if I didn’t have insurance it cost $700 something. So I am glad I have insurance even if it does not cover these things.
Blood work $TBD. They don't know until I am in their system. So I will have to get back to you on that one. I will walk in on Thurs 7/2/09 for this one.
Baby tally so far:
I had the HSG today. It was REALLY painful, but for just a few minutes and then they were done. They put you on an x ray table and put your feet up on non-stir-ups. They wipe you down with iodine and spread the vagina open with a speculum. The same thing they use at the OBGYNs, only plastic. Then they prod you with a catheter in your cervix. They said it was a 10% chance that they would not be able to get the catheter in. They tried twice to get it in and told me they were having a hard time getting it in so I forced myself to relax and that is when he got it in. It felt like when they OBGYN pushes too hard or swipes the wrong thing during an annual exam. That was not the most painful part. I felt a little crampy, but not too bad. After all I feel that pain at my OBGYNS almost once a year. Only this was continuous.
After the catheter was in about one inch the really painful part happened. They said they were going to fill the bag around the catheter with air and that would be the worse part. MAN! That WAS the worse part!! It felt worse than any cramps I have ever had and it was ALL OF THE SUDDEN! I thought they would have slowly started filling a bag with air…no. My reaction was something like, “OH MY GOD!!!!!!!” I was pretty loud with the initial pain. I had to keep reminding myself to relax or it would hurt worse. This helped, but not too much. Once I had laid there for a few seconds while the Doctor and x-ray tech probably watched the color come back into my face and make sure I was not going to pass out, they made me scoot back on the table with the speculum and catheter sticking out so I would be under the x-ray machine. You’d think they would have found a better way to get me where I needed to go without me moving after all of the pain of that.
They shot the clear die that the x-rays pick up into my uterus which pushed it into my fallopian tubes, which were SUPPER small, BTW. This was just a minor discomfort and definitely a different feeling, but not nearly as awful as the catheter was/is. I do whatever they tell me to do, lean to the left 15 degrees. I don’t know what 15 degree is, but I try to do it and don’t make a fuss because I am concentrating on trying not to concentrate on the pain by trying to relax myself. Obviously that was not enough of a lean, because he is still pushing my bent leg over to one side. I follow him with my body for fear that he will push my leg shut on all of the objects stuck up there and it will hurt even worse than it already does.
They finally take the catheter out and I am still cramping, but VERY relieved and feeling MUCH better. They take one more final x-ray and I am calm and relaxed and relieved that it is all over. I pretty much stopped cramping after only a few minutes and before I even left the x-ray room. I didn’t cry. It hurt too much and took all of my energy to cry about it.
While I was still on the table after the painful piece was removed the dr. showed me what he was working on. It was my uterus and the beautiful surrounding dye that had leaked out of my tubes. My tubes aren’t blocked!!!! This is the great news that I just had to share and what made me want to start on the mini-documentary about this issue.
Before the procedure they x-ray tech informed me that I may have mucus in my tubes and that could cause a blockage, but it would not show on the x-ray, because it would be pushed out with the liquid. So if that were the problem we will never know, but I might get pregnant within the next few months if that were the problem. 70% of women get pregnant within the first 3 months following the procedure. So I call this my irrigation. I got my tubes irrigated and I will never do it again unless I absolutely had too.
Below are some photos of my uterus and tubes. I thought they were pretty neat.
photo one - My uterus is the dark part in the middle. The hair like things coming off of them on the left and right are my fallopian tubes. One tube loops around, but that should not be a problem. The catheter is the line going up at the bottom and into the uterus.
photo two - The little explosion looking things on both sides means good news!!!!!! I am not clogged!
photo three - More beautiful explosions on both sides. ahhh, a sigh of relief.
Although the insurance did nt cover this proceedure, it did go toward my deductible and if we had not had any insurance at all it would have cost us over $700. So I gues having insurance does pay off, even if they don't pay anythng and we just get a discount for having it.
And here is the new post for today...
I dropped off my husband's sperm today. Odd job, but has to be done. $215
I have a fear of needles and usually get light headed and feel like I am going to faint, but the test this morning was not so bad. She kept me talking and I think that was the trick to keep me breathing. So the blood work is done, but I will not know how much it costs until I get a bill in the mail once they bill the insurance for it, if they cover these tests. He did a test for Prolactin and something else having to do with my thyroid (FSH maybe?).
It will probably take until next week to get the results back on these tests.
My husband was not being very nice, sympathetic, compassionate toward me yesterday. I just got done having a REALLY painful proceedure done. I would have thought he would have been a lot nicer. Well, at least I got to have my mom there in the waitingroom while I was having it done. At least she is supportive. I just wish he was not being a dick all of the sudden. I don't know what his problem was, but it would be nice for him to set aside his own selfish thoughts and concentrate on me for a day while I am still in pain. Even this morning when he set the sample on the dresser for me to take in he said, "and I didn't enjoy it, by the way." with an attitude. At least he did not have to have a bag the size of a grape inflated in his penis! not to remention all of the other things that come along with the proceedure that are not easy. I am still in pain BTW. The cramping stopped before I left the hospital, but this feeling of gas that I cannot get rid of is still with me today, the day after. I heard it coud be from the iodine that comes out of the tubes and is floating around in your stomache until it gets reabsorbed. I just hope it stops soon so I can get some relief soon.