This has been a long road - never ending at some points but a little part of me knows that this will all get resolved one way or the other.
My husband and I got married on a cold sunny day in January 2009. I was 27 and he was 38 and it was truly the happiest day of my life. We decided to wait a whole 6 months before trying and I went off the pill in July of that year. It wasn't until October that we began actively really trying to conceive around my fertile time of the month.
These first few months of trying were both exciting and nerve wracking. Exciting because - gosh, I'd be pregnant any minute now! I have been preventing this my entire sexual life so it was going to be easy. Boy was I wrong.
I had been on the pill for over 5 years. Before the pill, I had always had regular, normal periods with very minimal cramping. Went I discontinued the pill, my body definitely noticed the change. I still had regular, normal length cycles and periods but I would get excruciating shoulder pain at the onset of bleeding. This went on for about 4 months and I went to the OBGYN - everything fine, looks great. They don't know why I'm having this pain. I knew then something was wrong.
Always a go-getter, I decided that we'd better get serious about all this. In January of 2010 I bought a fertility monitor and in February I began temping. Six more months passed and I began to worry as we were approaching the 1 year mark. I was still getting that strange pain in my shoulder at the onset of my period so I started seeing an accupuncturist. I wanted to try the holistic things for a bit before we dove into hard core testing. Well my impatience gave way a little and in the summer we got a semen analysis done (all clear, a little low on morphology but count and motility very good) and we tried on our own with no luck up through September of 2010.
September marks my first RE appointment. This was a whole new world but I went in with an open mind thinking, "many couples just need a little help, surely that'd be us." RE #1 did the usual blood tests and HSG. I was ovulating, but ovulating late and probably not as strongly as I should have been. We did a post-coital test which was inconclusive (no sperm found in mucus, though excellent mucus). That was interesting as you have to have sex 2 hours before the appointment and then go in for an exam. How romantic. Since the test was inconclusive, my RE suggested we repeat it next month. I didn't stay with him long enough to repeat the test. The HSG was all clear and all my blood work was perfect. So Clomid it was. 50mg of Clomid - with no BFP in sight, I got the worst most excruciating period I had ever gotten in my 28 years of life. I thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room. RE #1 said not to worry about it, a cyst had probably burt. HAH - changed doctors immediately.
RE #2 was great, very kind and knowledgeable and I got good care. We spent the majority of 2010 with him.
From November 2010 - February 2011 we did a total of 4 IUIs (2 more with Clomid and 2 more with injectible FSH). With each excruciating period, we pushed through. My periods changed in color, they became almost nonexistant and I knew something was wrong. I insisted on a laparoscopy to determine if I had endometriosis. My RE said that he really thought I should wait, I had a cyst on my ovary but there's no way it could be an endometrioma because it popped up so fast. He didn't think surgery was necessary and thought the cyst would go away on it's own. I disagreed and we decided we weren't moving forward with anymore treatment until we knew what was going on in there for sure.
I had a consult with a OBGYN surgeon on March. She was a nightmare to work with and I should've walked out of there and found another surgeon right away but I didn't want to waste any time scheduling another consult with someone else. This OBGYN also insisted that it was highly unlikely she'd find anything wrong. No symptoms, regular periods etc. In April I woke up in the hospital to my surgeon telling me she found stage 4 endometriosis, that it was everywhere, I had cysts on my ovaries, a growth on my appendix and that I'd surprised her immensly. She said not to worry, we could get my tubes removed and I could go right to IVF. My husband and I cried out of fear, shock and despair. How could all my doctors be wrong? It was truly an awaking for me and I will never trust doctors as I had before.
I knew, from my own research on endometriosis (books, Chinese medicine, Internet) that my symptoms were indicative of the disease. I just had no idea it would be this bad.
In June I had to have my appendix removed because a growth was found during the lap. Yes, it would have been so much easier to take the appendix out at the same time as the lap but my surgeon wasn't comfortable cutting any more since she'd already removed a lot of the endo. So appendectomy came and went...low and behold - more endo on my appendix.
PHEW.... now what's next...chapter 2....