Sept. '04 - Married 9/04. We'll have a newborn baby by June, right?
Dec. '04 - Starting to get concerned (who am I kidding - I was concerned by October). Begin looking into the world of trying to conceive. Spend many months charting temperatures and taking OPKs.
Jan. '05 - Adopt new puppy, Sophie, despite a friend's advice that a new puppy will be tough to deal with while pregnant (ha ha).
Sept. '05 - First appointment with ob/gyn for infertility (I thought I had to wait a year). Common infertility-related tests are done. My husband's tests come back normal, as do mine, except my bloodwork shows low progesterone (although I'd later learn she didn't necessarily test on the correct day).
Dec. '05 - Begin taking Clomid and progesterone.
Feb. '05 - I convince ob/gyn to up my Clomid dose, but it causes me to produce way too many cysts.
Mar. '06 - Ob/gyn suggests making appointment with a local fertility doctor (whose medical practices don't exactly mesh with my religious beliefs). I decide to make appt. to see if he can shed any new light on the situation, but it's not for seven months!
May '06 - Stop taking Clomid.
June, July '06 - Have monthly u/s to see if cysts are shrinking. They are.
July '06 - Hear someone at work talking about a "diocesan fertility expert." What?! Find out said person is a Creighton Model instructor.
Aug. '06 - First meeting with Creighton instructor. Learn more about fertility in one month than I had my whole life. A new phase begins!
Oct. '06 - Appt. with fertility "specialist." Says I have endometriosis and wants me to schedule surgery. Tries to push IVF on us (left us to stare at several "How to Afford IVF" brochures in his office for quite some time). We're not having it.
Nov. '06 - Pope Paul VI Institute prescribes B6 for lack of mucus (I thought I had a problem; turns out I didn't know what to look for).
Dec. '06 - Three months of charting is sent to Dr. Hilgers at PPVI.
Feb. '07 - We hear back from PPVI. First step is to have blood work done.
Mar. '07 - Bloodwork shows I have high prolactin and high testosterone. On waiting list to schedule laparoscopy.
May '07 - Schedule surgery for end of Aug.
July '07 - Travel to NJ to have u/s series done by a PPVI-approved doctor. It shows my follicle lutenized (didn't ovulate) and I most likely have endometriosis.
Aug. '07 - Dr. Hilgers performs laparoscopy. Determines I have stage 3.5 - 4 endometriosis, which is too extensive to be removed during laparoscopy. Schedule laparotomy for Jan. '08 (we got free airline tickets on the way to Omaha for getting bumped. I knew right then we'd be back for a 2nd surgery).
Sep. '07 - Move to VA.
Jan. '08 - Dr. Hilgers performs laparotomy to remove endometriosis and my appendix. Hilgers calls surgery a "ten out of ten."
Mar. '08 - Begin taking bromocriptine to lower prolactin.
Apr. '08 - Begin taking slow-release T3 as part of PPVI thyroid dysfunction study.
May '08 - First appt. with new doctor. Learn I have PCOS, but doctor says it is treatable. Bloodwork shows prolactin back to normal. Begin low g.i. diet and lose twelve pounds!
June '08 - Second appt. with doctor. Learn several things, including I ovulated in May, testosterone is back to normal, but my estrogen and progesterone aren't working correctly. This is likely caused by PCOS (in particular, insulin resistance) which affects several hormones. Dr. prescribed metformin, 500 mg once a day to start, dose will be raised to 500 mg twice a day in July. Diet continues; lost 16 lbs at time of dr's appt.
July '08 - Start taking 1000 mg of metformin. Weight loss up to 23 lbs.
Aug. '08 - 28.2 lbs. lost!
Sept. '08 - Up to 31.8 lbs. lost. Not much of a change, but just happy I passed the 30 mark.
Oct. '08 - Officially reach weight loss goal at doctor's appointment - 35 lbs. lost! Blood work reveals my hormones (including LH and FSH) are perfectly normal, praise God! PCOS is under control. Doctor says I can now try to conceive naturally for the next six to nine months. Also, start adoption home study process.
Nov. '08 - Peak +7 blood draw shows progesterone level is normal (16.7). Now at 38.2 lbs. lost. Attend second adoption home study meeting; majority of paperwork turned in.
Dec. '08 - Doctor prescribes Tamoxifen for the next four cycles. I also lose five more pounds, according to the doctor's scale, bringing my weight loss up to 40 pounds.
Jan. '09 - Tamoxifen cycle #1, 20 mg, day 3-7. Peak +8 progesterone - 8.21, estradiol - 177. Homestudy approved! Officially waiting to adopt.
Feb '09 - Tamoxifen cycle #2. Peak +7 progesterone - 44.27; peak +9 - 17.96; peak +11 - 19.76. Luteal phase lasted 15 days (normally 11). Pregnancy test showed false positive (blood test showed no signs of hCG).
March - June '09 - Tamoxifen cycles #3 through #6.
June '09 - Stop T3 and start new thyroid meds - synthroid and cytomel. Test for adrenal fatigue.
July '09 - Diagnosed with adrenal fatigue (levels very low) and start taking hydrocortisone. Inquire about surgery but told to hold off for a few cycles.
Aug. '09 - Increased dose of Tamoxifen to 40 mg. Mid-way through cycle had bad abdominal pain, went for u/s which revealed an 8x6x6 cyst on right ovary. It was removed during a laparotomy on 8/20; pathology revealed it was endometriosis.
Dec. '09 - Daughter Clara Therese was born on Dec. 1, we just didn't know about her yet! Heard through a blog friend (!) on New Year's Eve that there was a baby in need of parents.
Jan. '10 - In a whirlwind of about five days we became parents to little Clara. Born premature, she weighed 3 lb. 2 oz at birth. We took her home at five weeks, when she weighed 4 lbs. 11 oz. She is tiny but healthy. God is so good!
Feb. '10 - Clara is getting so big! She's now 7 lbs. 11.2 oz., three whole pounds more than when we got her!
Mar. '10 - To our complete surprise, I am pregnant! I finally conceive when we weren't even thinking about it. Baby #2 is due Dec. 3, 2010, two days after Clara's first birthday.
Apr. '10 - See little fluttering heart beat on u/s. There's really a baby in there! Progesterone low (9.3); begin progesterone injections.
May '10 - See baby moving on u/s; progesterone rises to safe level of 36.5. Praise God!
Nov. 26, 2010 - Luke Kolbe is born, weighing 7 lbs. 4 ounces.