Sunday, September 5, 2010

My appointment with the specialist on 8/28 - not great news!

Sorry, I haven't posted in awhile but I have been feeling very sad and discouraged.
Here's why.

On Aug. 2nd, I turned 44. The same day I had an appointment to see a new Gyn that my primary physician recommended. She turned out to be very nice, but basically after hearing my story, told me she didn't think she could help me and returned my co-payment. She told me that I needed to see a specialist. Her office called and handed me the phone to make an appointment. The first thing they told me was "Just so you know, the cut off age for IVF is forty four, but you would still be eligible for our donor egg program." I told them "My husband and I are NOT comfortable or interested in doing IVF or donor eggs due to our beliefs (We are Catholic and our Church frowns on both practices. As much as I want to be a Mother, I am NOT going to do anything that displeases God and could cause us to loose our souls or Heaven! No way!)." Of course then there was silence on the phone. But I got an appointment for the end of the month. Before I left their office, they told me to help myself to their cup of pens and magazines around the office. Oooooh, free pens and magazines for my birthday! I left there a happy girl, LOL!

Three weeks later hubby drove me over to the specialist. He is well known and highly recommended. I had to wait awhile for my appointment. I was brought into the specialists office and was pleasantly surprised to find that he was very kind and understanding. He was a grandfather type with a great bedside manner. He also had a wonderful sense of humor. I showed him my surgery reports. He set me at ease and asked me about myself and my husband. He seemed to like the fact that I have been a daycare teacher for twenty two years and love children so much. He seemed to understand how much I longed to be a Mother and to be able to have children. He told me he wanted to be honest with me though. He basically told me that getting pregnant at forty four was difficult and the miscarriage rate was pretty high at that age. He told me that based on what he told me and my symptoms, he believed that I was going through peri-menopause. He mentioned that ladies with endometriosis usually go through menopause sooner than ladies who do not have it. He also told me that I might have low ovarian reserve and my eggs might not be good. He told me my best bet was to try using donor eggs. I shook my head at him and told him that "No, my husband and I are NOT comfortable using donor eggs. Our Catholic faith does not allow that." He then asked me for an explanation. I tried to explain, but had a difficult time and quickly changed the subject. He then told me that he believed with the donor egg and IVF programs, he "was doing Almighty God's work". I did not know how to respond to that one either. I basically told him I wanted to try to get pregnant using my own eggs and if I couldn't get pregnant with my own eggs, then we will pursue adoption. He then looked at me and said the nicest thing. He nodded and told me that he believes my hubby and I have the gift of adoption, which was very comforting and encouraging to me.

After our chat in his office, he wanted to do an internal exam. During the internal exam, he told me that he found lots of scar tissue. He then sent me down the hall for an ultrasound. I was really worried about the ultrasound and what they might find. I was especially worried that I had developed bi-lateral chocolate cysts on my ovaries again. The technician was very pleasant though and unlike all the other ultrasounds I've had in the past, she was very friendly, explained what she was doing, and showed me everything on the screen (In past ultrasounds when I tried to see the screen the technicians would shake their heads at me and tell me they only showed the screen to pregnant women wanting to see their unborn babies!). Also unlike the other ultrasound technicians, this technician told me right away what she found on the ultrasound, which I really appreciated. She thought she saw three small fibroids in my uterus, one small endometrioma on my right ovary (Nothing on my left ovary, which in the past always had large endometriomas! During my 2nd surgery in April '09 though, the surgeon after removing the endometrioma stitched it up in a way to discourage endometriomas from growing again. Wish they had done that to the right ovary too!), and one dominant follicle on my right ovary. A little while later the specialist came in to view my ultrasound, confirmed what was found on the screen, and told me he didn't think I would need any more surgeries. He thought that as I grow older and go through menopause the fibroids and endometriomas would shrink.
I was relieved to hear that he didn't think I would need any more surgeries. I have already had two surgeries in two years.

When we were done with the ultrasound, I went into the bathroom to get dressed. I then returned to the specialist's office. We talked about what he saw on the ultrasound. He thought that due to the endometriosis, the previous surgeries on my ovaries, ect. that my ovaries and eggs were probably damaged. He told me he thought I probably had low ovarian reserve. I think he mentioned that ladies with endometriosis usually have low ovarian reserve. I found this statement and the one about ladies with endometriosis usually go through menopause earlier than other women to be very discouraging and disappointing. He wanted to confirm these things with blood work on day 3 and gave me a lab order form. He also wanted my husband to get his guys tested, if you know what I mean. It was around this time that my husband Ed came to pick me up. The specialist talked with Ed for awhile, explained everything that happened, and what he thought was going on. A little while later we shook hands with the specialist and left to go home.

I waited anxiously for my cycle to arrive. Since my 2nd surgery in 4/09 my cycle has skipped three times. When my cycle does decide to make an appearance, it usually is longer than it used to be. I also don't seem to ovulate on a regular basis anymore. I was really happy when it did arrive and arranged on day 3 of my cycle for the blood work to be done at my local doctor's office. I also arranged to be tested for gluten intolerance/celiac disease (I read a couple of weeks ago that there is a link between elevated liver enzymes, which I've had since I was in my twenties and celiac disease.). I am very anxious to learn what the results will show and what this specialist will tell me on my next appointment towards the end of September. I do remember that my FSH was a 3 in '08, in Dec. '09 at my yearly physical when I skipped a cycle and was alarmed I might be starting menopause they tested my FSH and it was a 8.95 (I was told I was definitely NOT going through menopause). Now I'm very anxious what the FSH and estrogen levels might show and what I will be told at my next appointment.

I keep hoping and praying for a miracle!! Remember, one dominant follicle was found on my right ovary so now I need to be able to ovulate - please, God! I am trying very hard not to cry or become discouraged. My heart and arms ache so much for a baby! Unless a miracle happens, it seems the only way I will be able to become a Mother is by adopting. Unfortunately adoption requires a great sum of money, something hubby and I do not have. So how can we even adopt??? I do not know.

Jesus, Blessed Mother, St. Anne, St. Joachim, St. Joseph, and St. Gianna please pray for me and all women wanting so much to be Mothers!

P.S. Hubby and I were able to visit St. Gianna's Shrine in PA July 4th weekend! I love St. Gianna and pray for her to be able to help me!



some how, some way, some day said...

Oh, Maria, my prayers will be with you! I am 36 diagnosed with stage IV endo 8 years ago. I have struggled, too. I want you check out my blog and read about the foster-adoption process we're going through.

Kelly said...

Maria - God is great and loves you very much! If part of God's plan is for you to conceive YOU WILL, if part of God's plan is for you to adopt, He will find the money, He will guide you and give you all He wants you to have and more if you trust His plan for your life. He loves you!

Huge hugs

JellyBelly said...

I have continued to pray for you Maria!!! As a fellow stage IV endo sufferer, I feel your pain, in many ways.

I will continue to pray for you and your struggle!

p.s. Watch out for something in the mail. I apologize for the delay, I am the worst procrastinator!

mrsblondies said...

Sorry about the not great appointments. Praying for you especially as you discern adoption. You should definitely start looking into the various agencies, etc.

allyouwhohope said...

I'm sorry to hear about the discouraging news, but the specialist sounds like a kind man who will hopefully get to the bottom of things. Please continue to pray about adoption. It's amazing how God will provide the funds or a more affordable agency when you need it. All things are possible with Him!

Do you have a Catholic Charities adoption program near you? They often charge less than other agencies/attorneys. I'm praying for you!

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

I'm glad you had such a good appointment and got some answers to your questions. I hope he continues to be helpful for you.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

I will be praying for you as you go forward! I am so sorry for the disappointments. Have you thought about foster-adopting? It won't cost much and you will be a MOM!