Getting back on the horse

Atti sleeping
The last few weeks have been tough around here. I know, I know, when are they not, right? Such is my lot in life.

Some of it is just the stuff of every day life – the chaos of a new puppy, the entire family having the flu for two straight weeks, the filth that develops when the whole family has the flu for two straight weeks – some of it is quite a big bit of health news that deserves a whole post of its own another day, and some of it is stuff that we actually planned and signed up for. The fact that it all comes at us at once, that is just classic ‘how we roll.’

Atti’s fourth birthday, coupled with some ramping up of some of the symptoms of my endometriosis, made us reevaluate where we’ve been with the whole fertility thing. We’ve been trying for baby #2 since Atti was still baking in his little plastic box in the hospital, knowing that the odds were everlastingly against us and the best possible chance we had was immediately after a pregnancy. But that hasn’t worked out for us. I have a whole bunch of friends who went through endometriosis and once that first child came they became pros at it. I have two different friends who tried for YEARS, had their first child and then had three more in three years. Not so much for us. Not even a pregnancy, let alone one that stuck around.

As each month went by, the pain came fiercer and fiercer. When I had maxed out on advil and I had used up the last of the painkillers from Bear’s wisdom tooth surgery, I knew it was time to face going back in for help. Kaiser has many virtues, especially when you’re the parent of a child with special needs, but doctors who have the time to listen to your concerns and consider your entire history are really not available. My OBGYN is perfectly nice, but is also under pressure to crank out the visits so I can’t exactly sit down and tell him every single thing we’ve been through. He wanted to put me straight onto drugs that would increase my fertility until I insisted on treating the endometriosis first.

So I am currently on Lupron. This is my third time with this drug, but I manage to forget what it’s like every time. The massive mood swings, the emotions, the hot flashes. I went to the doctors office my normal self, got a quick shot, and I came home transformed into Mrs. Hyde. Our plan, that we came up with in literally four minutes worth of doctors visit, is to do a quick three month course of the Lupron, and then go onto Clomid to increase my fertility and give Bear’s few little swimmers as many targets as possible. This plan sounds great to me, but I confess I’m a little worried. No doctor has ever suggested such a thing. And I’ve seen a lot of doctors. Does that mean this guy is a creative problem solver? Or didn’t give me the time and attention I needed to make an appropriate treatment plan? I have no idea. I just know I got the Lupron I went in there for, and I’m willing to try just about anything to have another baby.

But I’ve heard that the emotional upheaval of Lupron is nothing compared to Clomid. If Lupron makes me feel like I have PMS, Clomid will apparently make me feel like I have bipolar disorder. If Bear and I stay married through all this work of trying to have another kid, we’ll all know it’s true love.

The hardest part of all this is not the medications or the treatment plans or even the mood swings. It’s that in getting proactive about my fertility, we have to open this door again and face all the loss and disappointment we feel every month it doesn’t work. During these last four years there were loads of months that it didn’t work out when it didn’t bother me. It’s easy to get caught up in the stuff of life and not pay super close attention to the big empty spot in your heart. But getting serious and really doing the work means paying attention. To my body, to my fertility, and that means to heartache. It’s so much easier to just close that door and skip merrily along, but what I really want is on the other side. So I have to be brave and face the loss in hopes that someday I’ll get to face the bounty.