I’m Not Barren + Infertility Update

I'm Not Barren + An Infertility Update

Several months ago, Natalie wrote a post about how trying to get pregnant is really all about timing. Now that Jordan and I are two and a half years into the baby-making business, I am in full agreement with her viewpoint. Timing is everything. You begin with the best of intentions, but life quickly can become hectic. Syncing up doctors appointments, business travel, ovulation schedules, blood tests and everyday life events is difficult.

I’ve decided to outline our infertility journey and clarify where we are at the moment. Friends and acquaintances have been asking around.

Hello, friends and acquaintances.

I didn’t mean to be vague about the steps we were choosing to take, but until recently I didn’t have anything major to report. Even as I write this, I’m a little nervous to hit publish.  If you were to meet me in person and ask me these specific questions, I would tell you. I’m just getting over the nerves of putting it online. You know, airing all of my dirty laundry.

We’re about to get real personal and drive into a world of blood tests and fallopian tubes. You can leave now if you like… 😉

Ok, everyone buckled in? Here we go.

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In January 2013, I had already been off of birth control pills for a while. My cycles weren’t always 28 days, but they happened monthly and seemed normal to me. If I am being completely honest, I did have a feeling it could take me a while to get pregnant. I just didn’t know what “a while” fully meant.

Around nine months of trying, I began to stress out. I had only told a few people we were trying, I felt extremely alone and isolated those early months. I also felt a little lost knowing that due to my age (I had just turned 27) the doctors would say to wait for the one-year mark before beginning any testing. So I waited. I visited my OB/GYN  in January 2014. I was able to get in easily and after my annual exam, I was sent home with a sex schedule and instructions to come back in four months if I wasn’t pregnant. Due to my cycle, the four months were February-May.

After those four months I made an appointment for June and left with a referral to the infertility specialists at Rush University Medical Center. I don’t want to speak badly of them, but I called and called and called and left several messages and never received a call back. As you can imagine that was quite frustrating.

Now at this point our move to Nashville was three months away. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay with my particular doctor group in Chicago, but I had hoped to get a few testings out-of-the-way. After getting nowhere with Rush, I stopped calling their office. In August, right before we moved, I visited my GP and had a wellness check and blood work. My blood work came back normal, except my Vitamin D levels were a bit low (I blame those midwest winters! Haha).

After arriving in Nashville and settling in, I made an appointment with an OB/GYN in town. (November 2014). I had more blood work to see if my eggs were healthy (they are). My doctor and I discussed the possibility of endometrial scarring (My mother had a laparoscopy in her 20’s and had all the signs of endometriosis except that the doctors couldn’t quite diagnose it). If we got to the place where IVF was the next step, I’d consider having a laparoscopy but we aren’t there yet.

I left that first appointment with homework: a referral for Jordan to have a sperm analysis (he came back perfect!) and for me to have a Hysterosalpingogram, which checks if your Fallopian tubes are blocked. The HSG test has to happen during a certain part of your cycle, so I went a few weeks later in December. The test is rather uncomfortable, but it was over quickly and the doctor explained everything that was happening which helped relax me. He was great.

A few weeks later, the results came back pretty good. My fallopian tubes are not blocked, but one side is more open than the other (it wasn’t presented as a concern, just an observation). A follow-up appointment was scheduled for February 2015. I discussed our options with my doctor and left with a prescription for Clomid to stimulate the release of the hormone that causes ovulation.

I took Clomid in March. You take it on day five through nine of your cycle and around day 19-21 (depending on if it is a weekend) you have your blood drawn to see if you ovulated. I have used ovulation predictor kits off and on, but I’ve never seen a clear indicator that I was ovulating. Those pesky predictor lines!

I called my doctor once my period started and she told me that while I did ovulate (yay!) my levels were low considering I was on Clomid. She bumped up my prescription for the second round. We didn’t use Clomid in April because we were in Canada when I would have to go in for the blood work (There’s that pesky “timing” issue again).

I’ve read many cases where doctors prescribe month after month of Clomid. My doctor will only do three unassisted rounds before referring me to a specialist, where we’ll do another three rounds with an IUI.

To recap as of right now, Jordan and I are healthy. None of our tests have given reason to be concerned, but clearly something isn’t quite right. We are a case of unexplained infertility. At each step, the choices Jordan and I have made came after seeking medical advice and a lot of prayer. I’ve had to be intentional with the amount of research I allow myself to do online. It can make a girl crazy.

We know our infertility story is not terribly unique but it’s ours. We are blessed with close friends and family who graciously walk through this with us. They have been are our cheerleaders. We love you.

Some days I am extremely hopeful and optimistic, while some days I feel defeated. Through all this I rest in the knowledge that God knows and understands the peaks and valleys of life and He is with us. I hope this update explains more about where Jordan and I are, but if you have further questions feel free to email me!

Life is beautiful.

54 thoughts on “I’m Not Barren + Infertility Update”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with such bravery and grace. I admire your perspective and I hope that you and Jordan continue to be supported by the love of your friends and family.

  2. Thank you for sharing this – I think it is so helpful in everything related to fertility/childbirth/motherhood if we women are all honest with each other and all agree that it’s okay to admit when things are hard or imperfect or scary or all of the above. So count your blog readers among your cheerleaders now!

  3. Oh my goodness your story touches me so much! I will definitely be praying for you and your husband on this journey. Timing is everything and the Lord’s timing will come in it’s time!

  4. Thank you for sharing this, I know it couldn’t have been easy. I’ll definitely be praying for you guys, I know not having the answers can be scary, but it’s good to know that all of your baby making parts are healthy 😉 Like you said, timing is everything.

  5. Praying for you, friend! We are in the process of “trying” and have multiple friends dealing with infertility. God knows what’s going on + has a plan! Xoxo

  6. you did a beautiful job writing and sharing this… i will be praying for you all daily. it’s all about timing and i have faith that God has the perfect plan. thoughts and prayers to you both.

  7. Catherine, a post like this takes a lot of courage. I’m so proud of you for being honest and not isolating. I actually spoke at a conference and shared my story this weekend. I was literally amazed at how many women came up to me, whether their end result was the same as mine or not, they knew the pain and appreciated someone validating and offering them a safe place to be real. So thank you for being real, your story is going to touch so many xoxo

    1. Thank you, Megan. That means a lot to me! I’ve been really blown away by the community that has surrounded me once I opened up. I’ve found that people really do want to encourage and support one another.

  8. It takes a lot of courage to write and publish personal things such as this. Thank for you sharing with us. I will say a little prayer for you too – just trust in the timing (which is my biggest weakness)!

  9. Wow, I have no words. Thanks for sharing this so openly and honestly. And I’m so glad for you that you have friends and family to walk through all of this with you. Like you said, it’s your story, and God’s blessing is in it!

  10. I am so glad you shared this! I think so many people have gone through/are going through this and not everyone feels comfortable enough to share. But it’s so helpful for others to know they are not alone! I will be praying for and Jordan!

  11. I have had so many friends who have gone through something similar– where they look healthy and then for some reason they still can’t get pregnant! I’m sorry you are having to go through all of this!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  12. You’re so great for sharing this. I can only imagine how difficult this must be. Esp knowing y’all ARE healthy. Thoughts and prayers go out to you! I can only hope that the timing ends up working out for y’all in the long run. You’re so great for sharing this to bring awareness to others in similar situations.

  13. Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I are currently in the “Is something wrong? Why am I not getting pregnant?” stage and I fear that testing is the next step. I have a horrified fear of needles too, so I know it won’t be easy. Hang in there.

    1. I’m so sorry you are in the same boat. I try to not think about the needles too much because it’s easier to psych yourself out! I’ll be praying for you two. xoxo

  14. You are so brave!! Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. There are many women out there who are ashamed to be going through infertility and feel so alone. You sharing this gives them hope and encouragement. I know it’s a difficult, seemingly impossible trial to navigate. I’ve been praying for you both. For peace. For clear direction. For a babe! xoxo

  15. Praying for you, everything seems right on the cusp! I am so relieved to hear you’re both healthy. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I do want you to know I love you and wish you all the encouragement and faith in the world. Here’s hoping some high-dose Clomid will do the trick! You’re amazing!! 😀 XO

  16. Catherine your honesty and matter-of-fact attitude in writing about your struggles is just so beautiful. I have you and Jordan in my prayers, friend, and hopefully you will have some answers and peace very soon!! <3

  17. Ever since I started reading your blog, I’ve been so blown away by and appreciative of your honesty and vulnerability — in general, and with this specific part of your story. Thanks for being brave and for sharing so openly. I’m sure this post, and so many of your others, will encourage women to keep hoping. I’m praying that God shows you his provision and direction for your family.

  18. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m sure your story will help others. Good luck w the Clomid! I’ll be sending you positive baby mojo 🙂

  19. My doctor will only do 3 rounds of ovulation meds before starting on something else as well. He actually recommended that I do Femara instead of Clomid. I’m not sure why, but I have known several people use Femara vs. Clomid. Praying for a resolution! Unexplained infertility is a tough thing to deal with. It was freeing to share some of what we were going through with others so they could be praying as well.

    1. I didn’t really probe to far into why we’re doing Clomid vs. Femara. It’s something I might bring up at my next appointment. I’m so glad your doctor is on top of it! There is no need to be on a medication for prolonged periods of time if it isn’t working.

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