What I did not realize about fertility testing is how protracted it can be. You have to wait until the precise time in your cycle and if you have irregular cycles you could end up waiting months. Andy also had to be tested. It took two and a half months before all of the initial testing was done and we were able to get the results.
When I finally met with the doctor I had good news. Andy might as well have been a Cro-Magnon Man. All of his sperm numbers were off the chart in the positive direction. He is still proud of this fact. Whenever I mention it he swaggers a little bit and gets a twinkle in his eye. My numbers weren’t so bad either. My FSH and LH were solid. What the testing confirmed was in that I did not ovulate often if ever.
After learning all of this information we had some choices to make.
- We could do more invasive testing to make sure that I didn’t have any other underlying issues.
- We could keep trying
- I could work on my other health issues to see if improving them improved my fertility
I was very torn. In a moment of despair I looked at Andy and I said, “Would you want a baby now if it meant I would look like this the rest of my life.” I was very unhappy with my weight and given the circumstances being a little melodramatic. Like a loving and doting husband he said, “Kristen, you are beautiful. I just want to have a family with you.”
Andy’s words meant a lot, but something felt off with my body. I was worried about what kind of complications would arise given my hormonal issues. I had recently started taking Victoza, an insulin resistance medication that was showing some promise. What if just by focusing on becoming healthier the rest worked itself out?
My instincts were telling me to focus on my body. After deciding I owed it to the baby to be as healthy as possible, I set out to right my hormonal imbalances through medicine, exercise and weight loss. I spent the next year working on myself by doing the following:
- I took Victoza
- I took a low dose of Synthroid
- I worked with a trainer doing interval workouts suggested by an Endocrinologist at Duke Medical Center 2 to 3 times a week at 5:00 AM
- I used Weight Watchers
- Andy and I walked most evenings after work with the dogs
- My TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and my Testosterone and Estrogen were measured on a monthly basis to make sure I was moving in the right direction
It was a slow, meticulous slog. I worked tirelessly to balance my hormones and lose some of the pounds that my failing body had added to my frame. It was a vicious cycle. The health issues cause weight gain and the weight in turn causes the health problems to worsen. I was determined to break the cycle.
During the next year I lost 50 pounds. It wasn’t quite as much as I wanted to lose, but I was very close to my goal weight. It felt good to be making big strides. Then something amazing happened. I found out I was pregnant. I had gotten pregnant naturally! After five years God had blessed us and all of the hard work with the miracle of a little baby. Andy and I were speechless. Our families were excited. This is what we had been working toward. This was meant to happen. Until it wasn’t…
Are you going through the pain and confusion of infertility? We welcome the opportunity to hear and learn from you?
Peace, Love and Hope,
Body or Baby is Part 2 in a series on infertility. Read part 1: The Infertility Roller Coaster here.