Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Timeline


I'm still struggling with being really personal on here, but God has definitely used some of you lovelies to really encourage me since my last post. For that, I am more grateful than you will ever know. I want to map out a timeline of our journey. I know mapping out a timeline of something you are struggling with seems a little odd…why would you want to remember the details of something painful? My reasoning: I don't want to forget where I've been, what God has taught me through this, and where He's brought me. I'm a list maker, and a timeline is a list of sorts, right? Bottom line, if I don't make lists - I get sidetracked and forgetful. :/ I am out of my comfort zone sharing the details below, but I know that I've been ministered to by reading the blogs of others who have struggled with infertility. It would be an honor if by stepping out of my comfort zone to share these personal things, I could help someone who is walking this journey too.
December 2008: Tom and I were preparing for a 2 week mission trip to Cambodia with a team from our church. We had decided a few months prior that we were ready to start a family but wanted to wait until after we got back from Cambodia. Since it was decided, I did not refill my birth control prescription at the end of December 2008.
January 2009 - December 2009: We got back from Cambodia and tried unsuccessfully for a year. [*Side Note, if you are under the age of of 30ish with no pre-existing medical conditions, most doctors don't want to see you for fertility until you've tried on your own for a year.]
January 2010: After a year with no results, we visited my OB/GYN for a fertility consult. She scheduled some blood tests and a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test for me and an analysis for Tom.
February 2010: The HSG was completed and my results were perfectly normal. Tom's analysis was completed with normal results too. With the news that we were 'normal,' we continued trying on our own. [*Side Note, after being told by our health insurance company that fertility testing would be covered, we learned after-the-fact that they would not honor what they had previously told us. Neither Fertility Testing nor Treatments are covered by our health insurance company.]
June 2010: We had another appointment and more blood work with my OB/GYN to discuss our next steps. At that point my doctor decided I may have a luteal phase defect and she put me on 6 months of progesterone therapy.
October 2010: Tom and I decided that we would not exhaust all 6 months of the progesterone therapy because it wasn't proving to be successful. I then contacted the Department of Reproductive Medicine at OU Physicians to set up an appointment with a Fertility Specialist. This was a scary step for me because as I mentioned earlier, our health insurance would not cover anything fertility related. Reaching this point took a lot of soul searching, praying, and discussion.
November 2010: Tom and I had an appointment with our specialist, Dr. Karl Hansen, at OU on November 23rd. During the appointment we discussed at length the results of all of our previous testing and our plan of action for future fertility treatments. Due to the course of action that my regular OB/GYN took with us, we would soon be able to begin a treatment plan with Dr. Hansen without having to be stalled for the preliminary fertility testing through OU. He informed us that because we fall into the 'unexplained fertility' category and we had been trying for over a year, we qualified to participate in a clinical trial by Yale University called AMIGOS. This trial consists of fertility treatments called IUIs in conjunction with 3 different fertility medications. Regardless of whether or not we participated in the study, Dr. Hansen told us that his plan for us would be 4 rounds of IUIs in conjunction with a fertility medication (it is standard procedure for couples in our situation to begin with IUI treatments).
The kicker to participating in the AMIGOS trial is, ALL COSTS ARE COVERED - THERE ARE NO COSTS FOR US AS PARTICIPANTS! Also, the trial allows for up to 4 rounds of IUIs. This is a HUGE blessing from God that we were not facing the financial burden of paying for 1 to possibly 4 rounds of IUIs!! We decided to participate in the trial and we rejoiced in this gift we had been given.
December 2010: We took some breathing time to process everything and try to live as normal as possible until the trial started. I also went into OU for some preliminary base-line blood work before the trial began.
January 2011: We went into OU the first week of January for our first trial appointment. A computer randomized me to the type of medication I would be taking leading up to the IUI procedure. I was randomized to an injectable FSH medication (which is the strongest medication in the trial). From this point on, the FSH is the only medication I will take in this trial. This was good news to me that we were working with the "good stuff." [*Each of the 3 medications used in the trial are currently being used and are safe medications for the treatment of infertility. None are of them are new and dangerous, and none of them are placebos.]
We started our shots on January 7th, and had the IUI procedure on January 14th. Towards the end of January, we found out that Round 1 did not work. We also got the bad news that we could not immediately progress with Round 2 because of a minor setback with my body. Due to the setback, we were ordered to take a resting month (a month w/o treatment) before Round 2.
February 2011: At the end of February we started the shots for Round 2. [*Side Note, we celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary on the 25th of February!]
March 2011: On March 10th we had our 2nd IUI. In the third week of March we found out Round 2 did not work. My body had the same setback/reaction again which required another resting month.
April 2011: And here we are now, April 13th, just resting from treatments and waiting to begin Round 3.
Whew, that was a lot of detail to recall! And to those who have read up to this point, bravo for sticking with the run on sentences! But, I'm glad I have this all typed out and in once place now. I also want to note, we LOVE Dr. Hansen, Dr. Craig, our nurse Michelle, and the whole staff up at OU's Department of Reproductive Medicine. Having a good team of doctors and nurses to help you through this kind of thing is a tremendous blessing.
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1 comment:

  1. Wow. What a very private thing to share. Kudos to you for the courage to share with the WWW. God is definitely leading your journey. I hope and pray His plan will be shown to you soon. I know it is tough when you have your timeline too!

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