Infertility Journey

We decided to start TTC in January 2009. If I’m honest, deep down I probably knew we were going to have problems, due to the fact I have always had problems with my menstrual cycle. I had been having the worst problems most recently – i.e. cycles lasting 4+ months at a time (with the actual ‘period’ lasting anything up to 8 weeks before taking medication)! I’m sure it would have been much longer if I hadn’t been to the GP for medication to stop it. These problems started in 2008, actually quite a few months after I stopped the pill, probably even a couple of years.

Anyway, we gave it a couple of months to see if my cycles would miraculously sort themselves out – no such luck – so went back to the GP for more medication (norithisterone, to be exact). They couldn’t actually help us regarding TTC at that moment in time, as around here you have to have been TTC for 2 years before they will help (well not in our case, will come to that later). Basically, go away and keep trying. They never even had any idea what WAS wrong with me (I saw 3 different GP’s before the one that actually helped me).

We waited another few months, by this time it was probably about the end of June and I was still having the same problems, it was driving me absolutely crazy, causing problems between me & hubby, arguing all the time and I just felt really down in the depths of despair. So back to the GP I went; this time we had a discussion of what we could possibly do to sort my problem out. The contraceptive pill. Well, not really what you want to do when TTC, is it? But, if it helped to sort my cycles out and then we would possibly conceive quicker afterwards, I was prepared to do it. Heck, even 15 year olds on the pill still manage to pregnant sometimes don’t they?! Probably by skipping a couple, so maybe that’s what I would do…

So, off I go with my prescription, hoping that this would sort my cycles out and that the next time I went to the GP, it would be with good news… So I started the pill in July ’09, even on the pill I still wasn’t having ‘proper’ periods! Just had to face it, I’m a freak and no-one will ever know what’s wrong with me! So we thought, well this isn’t really helping, but if I stop it maybe my periods will have some sort of consistency? So I stopped taking it in November ’09. Carried on with the routine of TTC.

My periods eventually returned in February ’10. We were hoping that maybe we’d had some kind of miracle, and I was actually pregnant! No such luck, again… So that was a year now, TTC. A lot of people who had started TTC around the same time as us, were now expecting, or even had their baby! Depressing.

So, we carried on as we had been, knowing we weren’t going to get anywhere and desperately wanting help. By this time I was on the verge of a breakdown. So, off to the GP I went again, this time in floods of tears! I thought, she must help us now, surely?! Well, we had a long discussion, and decided that I really wasn’t ‘normal’ and it just wasn’t going to happen for us like this. She still couldn’t actually give us a referral to the fertility clinic (FC) at this point though, as it hadn’t been 2 years. But, as she had decided that I wasn’t normal and I really was a freak (my words, not hers) she said she would discuss my situation in the weekly meeting the following week! How special did I feel?! All to see if I was a special enough case to be referred. Well, skip to the next week, and I was special enough! (I always knew that) And so followed the endless tests…

First, we needed some cycle day (CD) 21 bloods for me (these were actually day 36 for me, as I have irregular cycles), to see if I was ovulating. I knew I wasn’t, after all the temp tracking and ovulation prediction kits (OPK’s) I had done, but it’s part of the procedure. Anyway, my period came early that month, so I had to wait until the next month! All this waiting already, and then this! I think my body was just totally against me. Anyway, I had it done eventually the next month. The husband also needed to have a semen analysis (SA) before we could be referred, so that was booked in too. And done. Now, we could be referred. Or maybe not. We were waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the referral appointment letter, and then eventually the surgery rang me and told me that our referral had been sent back as husband needed another one before they could refer us and it would be accepted! For goodness sake, why didn’t she tell us this before, instead of keeping us hanging on! (But I let her off, as she had gone out of her way for us, and she is lovely). So, that one was booked in too, and done. FINALLY, we could be referred. Hubby needed to stop smoking too, which he did, and has been stopped since June ’10 now (with the exception of a couple of occasions where he had been in drunken company). We have both lost a lot of weight too, as we knew this could be effecting us having problems – me, over 3 stone, and hubby, well, 2 stone last time he got weighed (at this point of our journey). At this point the GP told us that it would probably just be a case of me having to take clomid, to make me ovulate…

Skip a couple of months to September, and we get the best letter ever – one with our first fertility clinic appointment printed on it (which was in October)! So we got prepared for that, questions, answers etc. The appointment itself was really just a BMI check, medical history etc. We also received hubby’s SA results back. Not good. The motility (the movement of the little guys) was quite good, 70(ish)%. It was the morphology (the shape of them), that was the problem. His first one was 3% morphology, although his 2nd one had improved, to 6%. But still, a ‘normal’ morphology percentage is 10%. The improvement was after he had stopped smoking though, so we were hoping it had improved some more. And then we were told of more tests I needed to have before our next appointment (which should have been in December – they only have the FC once a month, which is a bit annoying, but we can’t really do anything about that). I needed 4 more blood tests to check for ovulation – day 21, 28, 35 and 42 – they were done. Also, a pelvic scan – basically an ultrasound (I hate these, I have a weak bladder at the best of times!) – that was done. And then a HSG (hysterosalpingogram – wow, I remembered that without googling it! – this is to check your tubes for blockages etc.) – that was done. 

At our next appointment in March ’11 we got the results from the tests – my tubes were fine, no blockages. But, the consultant told us that I don’t ovulate (which I knew already), and that I have PCOS. He then told us he would be giving me clomid to help with ovulation, this was started on 50mg. My period eventually arrived in April, so I could start taking the clomid. Unfortunately, this cycle wasn’t successful, and it lasted for ages. We had to go back to the FC in June, and my period still hadn’t started; the consultant wanted to make sure I wasn’t pregnant before he gave me any more clomid, so even though I had done numerous tests beforehand, I had to do another while I was there. Negative. So, he started us on 100mg of clomid this time. My period showed up the day after our appointment, typical! My side effects of this cycle were horrendous, especially my periods, which I hoped meant the clomid was working. Well, I was right. On the 6th July 2011 we finally got our long awaited BFP! Our 1st (clomid) baby was due on the 11th March 2012.