So here we are again…
This post is actually long overdue, as I’ve been meaning to update since my last appointment on the matter back in June. You know, the appointment I really didn’t even want to keep because it just felt pointless? Well it ended being fairly necessary. I didn’t get any new, mind-blowing news or answers to our fertility woes, per say, but it did confirm some things for me.
If you read my last post about our fertility problems and my new found issue of PCOS, you’ll remember I was sort of on the fence about it all, feeling the pull of just being done with having kids and learning to accept things I couldn’t change. But at the same time, I had this nagging feeling in regards to my overall health, not just my inability to conceive another child. So I eventually decided to keep the appointment. It was sort of a follow-up and it was an appointment my OB didn’t think we’d even need because she had been sure I’d be pregnant by the time it rolled around, but I wasn’t. We had even taken a break from trying because I just really needed the break, so it all just felt meh in that moment.
It had been set as a follow-up with an ultrasound to confirm or rule out the PCOS and see how I was doing so far on Metformin, a medication used for the regulation of blood sugar, which is a side effect of PCOS and causes infertility and other hormonal issues. I had a hell of a time at the beginning with it, but by this point, I had adjusted my dosage and was feeling much better and could really feel the positive effects of the medication after like 15+ years of unexplained health woes that seemed to be helped by the meds. It’s all actually been a bit of an epiphany, in that it has explained so much about my body that I didn’t understand previously. But it’s also been kind of confusing and frustrating at times.
Back to the appointment…I went in that morning, fully knowing I was lined up for a transvaginal ultrasound. Those who’ve had one know that they’re super pleasant and so much fun…(that’s sarcasm) and for those that haven’t had one, well, just know they’re not very pleasant and definitely not fun. But at least when you’re pregnant, you get to see a baby when you have one. I didn’t get to see a baby. I did, however, get to see some interestingly shaped follicles on my ovaries and also learned, painfully, that one of my ovaries lies sort of off kilter and it is difficult to reach (ouch)…but as with any ultrasound, the sonographer didn’t offer much info to me since they aren’t typically allowed to comment on what they see. So it was a quite 10 or so minutes and with no baby to be excited about, it felt sort of awkward, sterile and sad. I actually felt really emotional laying there, just wondering if that was it. A final moment in my reproductive journey. I know, it all sounds dramatic, but it’s difficult to face the end of your mothering of children, when you’re not sure you’re ready but your body just has other plans.
After the ultrasound was a visit with the doctor, who confirmed…dun dun duuunnnnn…the diagnosis of PCOS. She said my ovaries are consistent with that of PCOS, which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. So the cysts in PCOS aren’t true cysts, really, but enlarged, multiple follicles, or fluid-filled sacs where eggs are supposed to grow and get ready for fertilization. But I’ll spare you from trying to get a reproductive education from me. It’s just a thing with my health I have to deal with/have been dealing with for a long time without even knowing it. So, in a sense, not being able to get pregnant has been a blessing in disguise for me and my future health, but that really doesn’t make me feel any better.
She again offered several other medications to help with fertility, but we had already decided long ago that we weren’t going to go down that rabbit hole. If I were trying to have my first baby, I’d have taken the meds in a heartbeat, but being 35 and already carried and birthed two healthy children, it just wasn’t a journey I was willing to embark on. As the months have gone by I’ve had to learn to make peace with the fact that I may not ever get pregnant again, and I felt okay with that. Not to mention the financial, physical and emotional strain that I just didn’t really need for myself.
The doctor is the same age as me and we sort of laughed and joked about age, because while she said being 35 doesn’t really affect me like many health websites/books/articles say it does, she did talk about it in a way that with PCOS, it could take much longer and put me into an age range that really could be a factor. We sort of ended it shortly thereafter, with her suggesting a follow-up a year from now, if I don’t end up pregnant, to discuss my options. I told her that if I’m not pregnant a year from now, or even before that, the only discussion taking place would be that of permanent birth control because I just can’t continue this journey much longer.
So that was that. Confirmation of PCOS, but not really much else I can do to pregnant but keep trying…or don’t…it’s up to us and whether or not we have the patience for it. I was struggling with my last update about just wanting to be done, either way, because I had hoped I’d be done having children by 35, not still trying to pregnant at 35.
More recently, I’ve had a follow-up with my OB again due to blood sugar issues rearing their ugly head again, leaving me more confused and taking a break from Metformin so I can maybe monitor sugar levels on my own and try to piece together what’s going on with me. PCOS is very confusing, there isn’t a ton or research and there’s no set treatment for every woman that has it and it feels like a struggle I have to sort of decipher and figure out on my own…so until next time, I’ll just be figuring that part out…