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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So much for that plan...

My regular readers may remember this post in which I said that Brian and I wanted to start trying for kid #2 around November. Well... about that. My body has apparently gone on strike.

I started by last menstrual cycle on 10/23/09. I was thinking that I'd let myself have one more cycle (due on 11/21) and then we'd start trying to conceive. Well the 21st came and went and no cycle. At that point I was thinking that either I was just a little late or it was possible that we had a contraception failure and I was already pregnant (in which case, wow, we didn't even have to "try" on that one). So I waited on it. When I was 4 days late I took an at-home pregnancy test. It was negative. So I was thinking, "Ok well then I'm sure I'll start my period soon, so no worries." At that point I still wasn't really worried, just wondering "Umm, what happened to my period?" (I'm normally quite regular.)

Fast forward 4 more days. I woke up on Saturday morning and I was having abdominal pain, but not cramping or anything that felt normal. In my mind I started thinking about all the things that could be wrong and with the abdominal pain plus the missed period I started to worry that I had an extra-uterine pregnancy. If that was the case, then I would need an ultrasound to diagnose it. So I called around several after hours clinics, but none of them had ultrasound equipment available on site. Finally, I relented and gave in to the idea that I was just going to have to go to the hospital (normally I'd have gone to my OB, but remember it was a Saturday, so nothing was open).

At the hospital they gave me a pregnancy test and it was also negative. The doctor there explained to me that even an unhealthy ectopic pregnancy would still register on their test, since it is so sensitive. She also told me that they had no way of determining why my period was 8 days late and that I should check into that with my OB on Monday. She then explained that they could put me through a battery of tests to try to find the source of the abdominal pain, but at that point my fears about an ectopic pregnancy had been allayed and the pain was already starting to fade so I decided to forgo any further tests.

As of today, I'm 11 days late and I had an appointment with my OB. He said that when women miss their cycle it is usually due to one of two reasons: either they are pregnant or they have a hormone imbalance. With the hospital pregnancy test, he was fairly certain that I'm not pregnant. So he said that likely I have a hormone imbalance. There are multiple things that can cause that, commonly an ovarian cyst or a failure to ovulate. Either way, he said it would be relatively simple to prescribe for me progesterone, the hormone that would naturally signal my cycle to begin. He said that I should get my period within 10 days of starting the hormone treatment.

So today I'm starting the progesterone. In the mean time, I'm not fertile. So there goes my plan to try to conceive another baby. Now, my next cycle could go back to normal, in which case it would be likely that I could conceive at that point. But there's also the chance that this hormone imbalance is due to some bigger issue that will continue to effect my fertility. Hopefully that is not the case.

I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed. I know that I should feel lucky that I conceived my first child as easily as I did. And I do. But I guess I was hoping that it would be just as easy the second time around. I'm not as stressed out about it as I could be, since I already have one beautiful healthy child, even if I never regain fertility (unlikely, but possible), I'll still have her. But, dangit, I just really wanted things to go according to plan. Oh well...


Marcy said...

Have you been under any unusual stress this past month? Changes in your diet, sleep, or nursing habits? The body can kinda freak out and not ovulate over weird things. Then again, I've also heard of women who went literally multiple weeks late with their periods before getting a positive result on any pregnancy test.

It's no fun to get derailed on plans like this, I'm sure this is just a minor, temporary setback though. Good luck!

Laura said...

Stress, changes? No not really. Least not that I noticed.

From what the doctors told me (both the doc at the hospital and my OB), the pregnancy test performed at the hospital is incredibly sensitive. The only way I could be pregnant is if I had conceived within the couple of hours prior to the test. And that... er... didn't happen, if you get my drift (we had been visiting family for the past 3 days).

Since posting this, I've had great support from fellow moms, a couple sharing their fertility experiences with me. I can't express enough my gratitude to these women who would share such intimate details with me in order that I might feel better about my position. And apparently hormone therapy is commonly used to help women conceive and then to help them maintain the pregnancy. This is all great information to my ears, and gives me hope that even if my situation is more serious than suspected, there is still plenty of hope for us to have a second child. It will just take time.