Hello, I am a Chemistry Experiment.

I feel like a beaker.

Hmm, let’s see what happens if we decrease her thyroid hormone, add testosterone twice daily, a dollop of progesterone at night and then a little melatonin/serotonin action.

Is she a normal freaking woman yet?

Sigh.

And more sigh.

I don’t know what is going on with me. I know it will take time for all of this to be sorted out but can I just whine for 5 holy minutes here?

I still have pain and stiffness in my hands (especially my right) and my feet. I *think* this might be pseudo gout (yes, there is such a thing – I looked it up) from my thyroid disaster. It’s getting marginally better, but it is still bad enough that I find it upsetting.  I am not sure about this 5-HPT stuff, so I’ve hardly taken any. WebMed advises not to take it until further research is done – uh, that’s a little red flag. I am taking one FemMed at night, which contains some 5-HPT. That, and my evening progesterone do seem to be helping me sleep earlier and better. Does anyone out there know anything about any of these supplements? 

I am still taking synthetic hormone, but trust that the new doc will get me on the natural stuff when I see him again in June. I have to go for bloodwork this week, which he says we both know will be “off”. Yeah, just a little.

So I just keep trudging along, hoping at the minimum to feel better, hoping to get my cycle back, and feeling rather ambivalent about having a baby now. Yes, I really said that.

(Those of you who are pregnant or raising young children can stop reading now. Infertiles and parents of older teens/adults can keep going…)

Because you know what?

When babies grow up, they become incredibly grumpy and difficult to live with. They question and argue with everything you say. They think you’re stupid and roll their eyes at everything you do. It may start when they’re twelve or when they’re eighteen, but it happens. And it’s not that they’re bad kids – it’s just the course of nature. And as hard as you try to understand that they can’t be your little baby anymore, it’ll break your heart. In the grand scheme of things, dogs are much better. They stay toddlers for their whole lives. 

Of course, this could just be my screwed up hormones talking. 

Maybe I am the one who is incredibly difficult to live with. Probably.

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The March Hare in May

It’s been five weeks since my last post and about that long since I last checked in on many of you.

I’m sure I have missed a lot of your news, and I’m sorry for being MIA. I kept hoping and waiting to have something good to report and the days turned into weeks…

Not only have I not gotten my period, but I started feeling worse and worse overall. Then I had my thyroid checked (if you’ll remember, my TSH went down to 0.05 in January after my antibiotic treatment). As of April, it had gone up to 6! I was totally hyper. And feeling all the anxiety and panic and depression that went along with it. Plus hot flashes and body stiffness and aches and just not feeling right. I had been seeing Yu Ming for acupuncture/herbs and went a few times for massage therapy to alleviate some of it. And got in an appointment with Energy Man, who said I was “processing a lot”. Unfortunately, the new dosage of Synthroid wlll take 8 weeks to really make me feel any better.

And this, my friends, is where I hit my wall.

It’s been 10 years now since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I’m sure it had gone undiagnosed for many years prior to that. I have seen 4 family doctors and 5 fertility specialists during that time and no one has monitored it as closely as I would like, nor have they suggested an alternate thyroid medication or referred me to an endocrinologist.

I happened to mention my thyroid issues on separate occasions to two women I know and they each suggested I see their doctor – the same guy – as he has earned a reputation in our city for being the go-to hormone guy for women. He is an integrative doctor – an OB-GYN – and he orders more thyroid tests than any other doctor in our province. He specializes in bio-identical hormones. They told me he charges an annual fee and that it would likely take a long time to get in to see him. I called and they had a cancellation so I got in within a few days.

Enter The March Hare. He is a lovely man and a renegade. I think he and Dr. White Knight would get along very well. 

The March Hare talks very quickly. He’s clearly brilliant and has much to say and 40 minutes is not long enough.

He gave me homework – reading, water-drinking, exercise, dvds, tests, and prescriptions.  He prescribed bio-identical DHEA drops – yes, drops!!! Apparently the other form of DHEA that doctors are prescribing makes things worse (which is how I felt on it)! He prescribed bio-identical Progesterone cream to take from the 15-30 every month. He prescribed 5HTP and FemMed to help me sleep at night. He ordered bloodwork for a couple of weeks from now. He ordered allergy testing (I have an appointment tomorrow). 

I told him I was just there to feel better and prevent bone loss, that I had given up on conceiving.

He told me he can absolutely make me feel better, but not to give up – one of his patients just recently had a spontaneous surprise pregnancy at the age of 47 after 12 years of IVF treatments.

I look forward to feeling better, and I’m curious to see how this plays out.

The tea party isn’t over yet.

Mission Follicles Aborted

Excuse the pun.

But, well, it is.

Sort of.

Sure, I’m still doing my best to eat well and take care of myself. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t do SOMETHING I’m supposed to, like take a few wheatgrass shots or go to yoga or take my supplements or meditate or SOMETHING. Something proactive.

And I’m still seeing Yu Ming for acupuncture and taking my Chinese herbs 3x/day (the needles are still hurting, and I am feeling the effects of the treatment in my hands and feet – Yu Ming says this is because of the cleansing that is going on – the good news is that she believes it is very superficial, and we will get through it soon).

Plus I go see Energy Man when he’s in town (he said during the most recent treatment I had with him that he had to work hard to move my energy, but he got it moving).

But.

I’m just at the point where I have to let go of trying so hard.

My body is continuing to recover and heal from everything, and I can feel sensations of a period even though there is no bleeding yet. It’s the strangest thing, but once a month I have irritability, cramps, breast tenderness and so on, like my body is going through all the motions, but no bleeding. (Dinah, Dr WK’s other patient, describes the same phenomenon.) My hot flashes increase during that “period” and then decrease again the rest of my cycle. Yu Ming feels confident that my period will begin again soon. I believe her. She has many clients she tells me about who came to her in their late thirties and early forties after their period stopped, thinking they were in menopause. After a few months their period came back and continued into their fifties. I have faith it will come back for me, too.

Mr. H has finished his month-long dose of oral antibiotics and feels much better, too. He even thanked me for putting him through “all the torture” of the treatment.

So we are both feeling better and more energetic and I *do* think my period is going to return. We are even back to unprotected intercourse for the first time since October.

Then why would I stop the big push to grow follicles? Shouldn’t I try even harder now?

Sure, I guess I could kill myself to keep force-feeding myself more and more fruits and veggies (which I do some days, but some days I don’t) and spend more money to go to a Julia Indichova workshop or do her teleconferences or something (I have considered this, and who knows, I may still do it – the testimonials are pretty convincing and I do believe in the mind/body link). Or, once I get my period, I could look into IVF again.

But my gut tells me to just stop pushing so hard now. I think maybe if I’d gotten my period by now, I would have felt encouraged and pushed harder, but my last full period was in October, and I’ve only had 2 real ones in the past year. Sort of takes the wind out of a POF girl’s sails, you know?

And yes, I think it will come back. And I’ll see how I feel when it does – maybe I will feel differently and get back on the bandwagon with naprotechnology charting or who knows what.

But I feel like, at this point, I have worked very hard and climbed a big mountain of infertility. There have been a lot of setbacks and there is no pregnancy or baby, but here we are, anyway. Healthier than we were before. Maybe still a little fertile. Maybe not. Some may say we are too old (saw another ignorant news article this weekend about how nobody should have children past the age of forty because of the health issues children have, how aging parents suck, etc., etc.).

But for now I think we just need to coast for a bit and let whatever happens happen. Now that we can actually have unprotected intercourse, there is still the potential there…whether or not I have my period, too. It’s possible. The cycle that Dinah conceived, she just had a little spotting.

I’ll still keep taking care of myself, of course. This coming week I need to go get my TSH retested to see if my thyroid medication needs adjusting again. I will do everything I can to make sure things are optimum for conception, but I’m also going to *try* to relax about it, too. And my habit of recording everything and thinking about everything all the time is probably counterproductive to that. And let’s be honest…we’re kind of at the stage where there’s not much more to do but wait and see.

If When I get a period, I will go get my FSH/E2 checked on CD3 and I will request cycle monitoring to see what’s going on.

In the meantime, we are just going to move forward with our lives…I am pursuing some more education with regards to my artistic career (I figure if I can’t make a baby, I will make art). We are going on a luxurious beach holiday next month. We are thinking about other travel for this year. I am trying to convince Mr. H. we should get another dog. We will have lots of sex. We will drink fine wine. We will do what makes us happy.

And that’s it.

I’m not giving up or giving in.

I’m just going to “be” for now.

I will keep updating this blog with goings-on, but maybe not as frequently.

This is it, really…the soil is prepared as best as it can be, and we just need to see if nature shows up.

I rarely give instructions on what to comment on my posts, but please don’t tell me you hope I “find peace” or anything like that…I will never find peace with the fact that I’ve been TTC since the age of thirty and it has led me to this place. I will never stop wishing I had forced Mr. H.’s hand sooner so we had married and started trying sooner. I will never stop feeling like I’ve missed out and wondering what I could have done better/sooner/differently. I will never stop feeling angry/sad/disappointed/frustrated/punished. It will always be there.

I continue to hope. And I continue to have faith. But I also need to let go. For now, anyway.

“I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then”

Welcome.

Some of you are old friends and some of you are new…thank you for coming.

This is a new chapter of an old journey.

As you will see if you go to my “About” page, I’ve been around the block a few times with health and fertility challenges.  11 years’ worth of blocks. For the first 7 years I was diagnosed with various things and every time we thought we had resolved whatever it was, still nothing happened. No pregnancy. At the age of 37 I was told I had High FSH and Premature Ovarian Failure and that my husband and I would not be able to conceive with my eggs. I persevered, anyway, turning over every stone I could in my quest to have a child of our own. At that time, I started my first Late for a Very Important Pregnancy blog on Blogger and joined a community of incredible women from all over the world who were also struggling with fertility challenges. I have learned a lot from the women I have met via blogging and I have explored every avenue I could to try to conceive. At one point, about a year ago, as some bloggers do, I felt overwhelmed by how public my journey had become and I decided to take my blog private and share it only with a select few (100 select few, because that’s all Blogger would allow).

Why am I opening up my story to the public again?

Because after 11 years and tens of thousands of dollars invested in medications, supplements, alternative therapies, etc., I think I have figured out how to finally resolve my Premature Ovarian Failure. I feel it is my responsibility to share this with other women also suffering with this devastating diagnosis who may benefit from the treatment I am about to undergo. I wish I had found out about it sooner as I am now 41 years old and it may be too late for me to conceive. Regardless, I am going to try. And this treatment will help prevent the development of other health problems resulting from this condition (i.e. osteoporosis).

In the posts you are about to read here, I am going to describe my experience and everything I learn as I consult with the specialist I plan to travel to see and as I undergo testing and treatment. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, I cannot name my specialist or his clinic on this public blog. So, as it is the White Knight who rescues Alice from the Red Knight and takes her to the eighth square where she is finally crowned queen, that is how I will refer to this doctor – as far as I am concerned, he is my  White Knight and my last hope for achieving pregnancy. That said, for anyone reading this, if you want specific details about who he is and where he is located and so on, please e-mail me and I will give you all the info I can (verymadhatter@live.com).

I am excited and hopeful about this next leg of what has been a long and difficult journey. Because it is going to cost about $20,000 for the travel and medical expenses involved, and my husband and I do not currently have access to the funds to cover it, it may take a little while for me to get to the treatment stage. I am determined to do it, though. Because of this, my best friend encouraged me to set up a Go Fund Me page to ask for help from readers. This makes me feel a bit uncomfortable because I think, “Why should anyone help us?”, I swallowed my pride and created one. There is no obligation whatsoever, but if you can spare a small amount to help us reach our savings goal a little faster, I would be very grateful. Or if you can create awareness about my blog on your blog, that would be helpful, too. I want to help as many women as I can with my story.

Ready?

Let’s do this.