Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A plan, sort of

I called my doctor.

It only took me about two months, a huge weight gain, a very weird cycle, and lots of fatigue mixed with some energy at rather odd times to take the leap. But I called Monday and left a message, not expecting to hear back from a nurse for a while since I know my doctor is very busy and not always in the office.

But he woke me up with a call yesterday and I was ecstatic.

At my request, he is switching me to compounded progesterone. I haven't picked it up yet, but I'm pretty sure he said I'll take it orally, twice a week post-peak. Is anyone familiar with that kind?

I also asked (finally) about taking armour instead of synthroid and he is all for it. I was actually surprised to hear that 70-percent of his hypothyroid patients are on it. I knew he prescribed it, but I didn't know I was actually in the minority in that I didn't take it. He said about once a year there's a shortage and when there is, he doesn't like to start people on it. So when I first came in years ago it might have during one of those times. I also wonder if he never put me on it because I came to him both times (during infertility and recently, post-having-Luke) already taking thyroid medication and he just didn't switch it up.

I mentioned my recent huge weight gain and he said to start taking a low dose of DHEA. Anyone have experience with this?

I also asked about taking HCG and, again, he was definitely open to it (I love my doctor!). He said he wants to try to new progesterone for a couple cycles first, and if that doesn't lengthen the luteal phase and help with PMS, then we'll switch to HCG.

Speaking of my luteal phase, that was all sorts of messed up this time around. It was so bad that I'm actually proud of myself for not coming here and writing all about how I'm never going to conceive again. It's apparently a new monthly tradition.

This time around I started spotting on peak plus 8. I've never done that before. I spotted for four days, had one day of a period (or something that briefly resembled it), followed by four more days of spotting. What?!

Another interesting thing about this past cycle was it was the first time since October that I didn't have bad instestinal-like cramps a week after ovulation (although that's probably because I was already spotting by then!).

I told Dr. B about everything and he thinks the cramping is due to the low progesterone causing my colon to cramp, and he actually suggested a laxative to counteract that. Have you ever heard of doing that? I probably won't try it, because honestly I don't care about the cramping, I only care about whether it's a sign of something that's getting in the way of pregnancy. The low progesterone likely is, and we'll hopefully fix that. I'm just thankful it wasn't an immediate red flag to him of some other bigger problem.

He also thinks the reason I didn't cramp this time around is because I most likely didn't ovulate. Is it weird that the thought of that actually makes me excited?

I think I'd rather things be noticeably messed up, rather than everything appearing normal and still not working. And having an anovulatory cycle makes me think that maybe, just maybe, my cycles are off due to breastfeeding.

Oh, please let my cycles be off due to breastfeeding!

And it suddenly makes a ton of sense because I actually had high levels of prolactin during infertility! Follow me here... prolactin is what rises during breastfeeding and keeps many women from conceiving while they're nursing. So let's assume those women who are able to conceive while breastfeeding perhaps don't have super high prolactin levels. Maybe they're higher than normal, but not so high that they are infertile. But... if mine was high before breastfeeding, it's also safe to assume it would be high while breastfeeding. And hopefully high prolactin is what's keeping me from getting pregnant.

I actually didn't ask Dr. B about that, so that theory is all made up by me. But it makes sense, right?

So, the big question remains - do I stop breastfeeding? I'm still doing it, on average, four times a day. And he still appears to love it. He asks for it by lifting up my shirt and even still gets that intoxicated baby look.

I know him loving it doesn't mean I can't wean him, but it just makes the decision all the more difficult. And he's not the only one who's into it. I love breastfeeding. I love it and fear it will be the last time I get to do it. I know I should be thankful I was able to do it at all, and I am, but it's still hard to see it come to an end.

One person who'd love to see it stop is Clara. She can't stand when my shirt is up and comes right up to me and pulls it down. "Down, Mommy! Shirt down!" she says. At first it was just when I would leave it up when I wasn't sure if Luke was done, but now she sometimes does it mid-nursing. Oh our Little Miss Modesty.

I'm going to pray about what to do about breastfeeding. I just cannot decide. I'm leaning towards continuing, but then I think about time and my age, and all those things that bring with them anxiety.

The anxiety of secondary infertility is creeping in a lot lately. Especially at night when I'm trying to sleep. Something about that 35 number. It's really getting to me.

But I know that's not of God. I need to give it all up to Him. I have a (sort of) plan, and we'll give it a few more months. Then I'll start freaking out ;)

I'll leave you with a photo, since cycle update posts aren't very visual, and I like visual. Here's the little nurser himself, probably saying, "Please don't tell my mama to stop nursing me! Cut a baby a break!"...


  1. He is so cute! (And while nursing could impact your fertility, I just have to say, don't stop if you are both enjoying it. It's just so precious, and you'll stop soon enough. Right?) Relax and cherish the moments. (I know, so easy to say. ; )

  2. Besides you lengthy list from Dr. B, I could have written this post. My cycle is still super wonky. N loves breast feeding and since he is a shrimpy little thing, I feel better about his nutrition with the brea.stmilk. I, too, an scared of secondary infertility, but I have decided not to completely wean him just to get back to a regular cycle situation. He and I both still love bfing so that helped with the decision for me. I guess I feel tht if this is it, I dont want to regret weaning him when he still seems to need it. Best wishes for your discernment.

  3. So glad you're getting some advice about things to try. I agree with Caroline...enjoy these precious moments with that cutie. Prayers!

  4. Yay for a plan! Yes, I've definitely heard of dr's prescribing laxatives before your period. It's also my understanding that prog. has a relaxing effect on smooth muscles (including the GI system)!

  5. Sounds like a great plan! I second Caroline and L I would not stop him from nursing just yet. I am with you...if he loves it and you love I couldn't stop him myself. Here's to a new hope and a pregnant you in a few months!

  6. One of the hormones they wanted to check on me was prolactin, so I think your logic is sound. Glad you have such a great doctor! I'll pray you get some relief from that anxiety-God wants us to have peace (as I have to remind myself!) :)

  7. Sounds like a great plan. I wouldn't stop nursing if it is still safe with all the meds you are going to start. Enjoy and cherish Luke's babyness (yes I made that word up) before he grows up! He will be off to school in no time!

    I think Clara is SO FUNNY about the shirt! What a character!


    I would totally stop nursing! I know odd ball out here...But it's time. I'm not a pro breastfeed til the kid is in grade school! LOL Not saying that is what you are doing! LOL You get my drift. :)

    But I would be more interested in getting my cycles back and getting things in order. Calming the hormones and letting things get straightened out. But that is just me. I'm good with not breastfeeding. I like the freedom and the new stage we are in and I really do not miss it. :)

    I guess my drive would be on adding to my family, getting my cycles in order then breastfeeding. :)

    Dodging fireballs! :) Good luck with what you decide! I can't wait to see how the armour works for you! ;)

  9. The energy at odd times sounds like adrenal fatigue. :)

  10. Hi Karey,
    Just FYI: when my mom was switching from Armour to Synthroid, there was a shortage. (And, "yes", if you are already on Synthroid, you have to ask your doctor to switch it. They generally don't volunteer that service---even if they are open to a change). The company that makes Armour also changed the formula in 2009 (when my mom was transitioning). Because of the shortage, we ended up going to a compounding pharmacy in NoVA, which she still uses---no "shortage" problems. I believe they deliver. I can send you the information if you want it. It's very easy. Your doctor may have to write you a separate prescription for the compounding pharmacy, though. Take care.

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  12. I am in the exact same boat! I am ready for my fertility to return-but Hannah is still nursing 5, 6, 7, times a day and I love it. I'm so scared that we wont be able to have another-but I know that I can't make my decision regarding weaning out of fear. Fear is not of the Lord. But ugh, I'm still scared.

  13. Oh and I totally think you're right about the prolactin issue! I had a similar situation...never made the the connection until now!

    And so funny about Clara! Could somebody be a wee bit jealous?? :)

  14. Sounds like a very informative conversation! Your doctor sounds great!

    I got a prescription for DHEA at my appointment yesterday. I'm excited to try it!

  15. Thank God for great doctors!! It feels so good to have a plan. :) I can understand your mixed feelings about breastfeeding.

  16. I don't know, its a hard one. Sit on it a few more weeks and then see if you are ready to begin the weaning process ... its so hard though!

    I am so hopeful for you! Praying you will get pregnant WHILE nursing he he!!! Best of both worlds!

  17. Oh and I wanted to say that being on armor over 2 years there has only been one "shortage"....I've never gone without. I also think that the pharmacist at the time didn't care for it and it was a hassle to get. But that is just my gut feeling. I wouldn't worry about the "shortages" I haven't seen one this year and I order a TON of armour a month, like a ton. :)

  18. Who am I to weigh in, but I'm gonna anyway ;)
    I wouldn't stop - plain and simple, this post makes it pretty clear that neither Mama nor Baby is ready yet, so go with your gut.

    Oh, I love compounded progesterone, let me count the ways...
    I don't know the 2xs a week protocol, though... why can't you do it P+3 - P+12?
    And I prefer it vaginally, personally. More power in the punch that way ;)

  19. I wouldn't stop either :) God plans your family, and when He wants you to get pregnant again, you will, nursing or no nursing. I actually started domperidone this week to increase breastmilk production so I can get Leo through surgery with as much as possible, and we have to do NFP to prevent pregnancy because it's possible it can cause birth defects. I really hate that! But I think it's best for Leo right now so I'm going to do it for a month or two.

  20. Your theory totally makes sense. I am one of those that has high levels. I'm about to start my 3rd cycle since having Nelson, who just turned 14 months. Theis kid shows NO signs of giving up nursing soon and I have no clue if I'm ovulating even though I have some signs, sore bb's, some mucus, etc. But I don't plan on weaning him til he's ready. And it's very annoying and inconvenient at tiems when I'd love to not only have my body back (ha) but get my cycles straightened out. I agree with Beth that God will get you pregnant whether you are nursing or not:)

  21. A baby still nursing more than 3x a day is probably getting significant nutrition from nursing. However, that doesn't mean that you can't start setting rules in preparation for weaning. Examples, no lifting up your shirt-words-signing are ok, if he breaks latch or walks away nursing is done for x amount of time.

    Sew, I'm still nursing my 3 year old. :) There are so many days that I wish I was more like you and could stop with out feeling like I was denying my child. I'm not saying you are. I'm saying until recently I got an over whelming sense of sadness and guilt at the thought of weaning. Probably because M loves it so much...

    That said, we are weaning. I thought I was set on doing clw, but I had a change of heart around 30 months and started setting rules for nursing, only at home, then only at bed time. Now some days he goes to sleep with out nursing all day. The first couple times I was so sad. But I really needed to cut back for me and to increase our chances of adding to our family. My goal is to wean by June. It's still hard though. :(