Failure by Design

From a very young age, I had one fear, one.  And looking back, given my age, it was an irrational fear at best and yet still a fear.

Now, more than a decade later, that fear is potentially being realized.

From the start of my menstruation cycles, I have always been fairly regular.  I say fairly because sometimes my cycle would be off one or two weeks but I’ve always had that familiar friendly visit every month, yeah, you know, that one.

For 3 months that friendly visit just decided to up and quit.  While most any female will tell you “That’s awesome”, I was concerned.  Why?  Every home pregnancy test I’ve taken came up as negative and I didn’t have any symptoms that would indicate a possibly false negative.  Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and schedule an appointment with my gynecologist, so last Thursday we went in to see if she could shed some light on this particularly troubling situation.

As with most things, she had no answers for me. Instead, she sent me down to the labs to have some blood drawn in an attempt to look at my hormone levels1 to see if she could draw some conclusions as to why my usually regular cycle suddenly became irregular.  I heard back from the medical assistant on Tuesday, advising me that there were some abnormalities in my thyroid, testosterone, and prolactin levels and she’d like me to come in to further discuss what was found.  She did, however, reiterate that these things could be managed so I figured I shouldn’t be too concerned.

Cue “dun dun dun” sounding music.

Yesterday, I found out that it’s possible I have atypical PCOS2, which happens to be one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Colored me shocked. The reason it’s considered atypical is because PCOS usually presents itself in a very particular way: obesity, irregular menstruation cycles or none at all, high hormonal imbalances, just to name a few. Obviously, I don’t really fit those symptoms so now we’ve began the process of ruling out as many probable causes as possible.  The diagnosis isn’t official but it’s still on the table of possible causes.

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As of yesterday, I have started taking medication to help lower the level of my thyroid, as currently it’s around 3.69, which is generally normal but in women trying to conceive is high3. The hope is that by lowering my thyroid levels that will also cause my testosterone levels to lower as well and hopefully also lower my prolactin levels, fixing the hormonal issues I seem to be experiencing, which should then allow us to conceive.

In addition to trying to lower my thyroid levels, I have an MRI scheduled on Monday to rule out the potential for non-cancerous growth on my pituitary gland which could be causing the high prolactin levels.  Lastly, she also suggested that R get a semen sample to rule out any complications with him and I should go in and get a hysterosalpingogram4 to rule out the potential of blocked tubes.  Once we rule out all of the above, the diagnosis of atypical PCOS will become official and I’ll begin taking hormone treatments to facilitate the release of an egg each month for implantation.

While I know that it’s not impossible to conceive a child with this diagnosis 5, I still feel like I’ve failed my husband.  This is the one thing I should be able to do right.  I was built for this or at least I was meant to be.

I’m trying my best to remain optimistic but it’s hard.  I feel like all the years I spent fearing this outcome has come barreling towards me and I stand helpless to stop it.  R has been extremely supportive throughout all this and keeps reiterating that he loves me and that despite the cost, it’s worth it but at the end of the day, I’ve feel that I’ve failed as a woman, I’ve failed as a wife, but most importantly I feel like I’ve failed him.

  1. Prolactin and Thyroid in particular.
  2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  3. It should be around 2.75
  4. HSG
  5. Just look at Dez

10 Responses to Failure by Design

  1. You, in no way, have failed him. Like your doctor said, it may be manageable. You, and him, have wanted this for as long as I’ve known you. This will work out in the end. It might take a bit of work. The stress in your life isn’t helping either. Do what your doctor says and try you best to just enjoy trying to conceive instead of worrying about if the next time will work or not.

    I’ve always feared that I may have some sort of infertility issues. At one point, I was not careful as a teenager and I always called myself “lucky”. Truthfully, I hope I was and it has nothing to do with not being able to. I have always feared that when it does come time to conceive, I will get the news.

    However, there is so much out there now to help you. Just lay back and relax. :)
    Randi recently posted… BlehMy Profile

  2. As Randi said, you’ve in no way failed anyone – not yourself and not your husband. I’m struggling in a similar fashion as you already know and it’s been really hard to not get upset or depressed every time my period shows up (and since the MC not on schedule). All you can do is what you can which is to get things back in balance and keep trying. <3 For me that means losing weight and getting into better shape with a better diet, sleep, and exercise.

    <3 I hope things go quickly and smoothly for you. And don't blame yourself, it doesn't do any good love.
    Keeshia recently posted… Wednesday Weigh In #1My Profile

  3. Like Randi and Keeshia have said, you have not failed in any way. There are times when there are some obstacles to overcome. I wish you the best of luck with all the tests and hope you can figure out what’s the definite diagnosis and what you can do.

    I strongly suggest you avoid stressful situations and stress in general (since this affects every aspect of your life, especially menstrual cycles). Just know that you’re not alone in this, if you ever need to talk, I’m here :) *hugs*
    Nicole recently posted… Here we go againMy Profile

  4. There is no failure on anyone’s part, Angie. My sister has PCOS and she was told about a decade ago that she could never have children — lo and behold, she has a beautiful five-year-old daughter, all naturally done (and quite the surprise when the test came back positive!). You know Dez has her awesome Vincent. It’s absolutely not impossible to have the diagnosis and still have children of your own!

    I do understand where the feelings of unworthiness are coming from. I’ve been where you are. But try to hang in there. Hear what the Doctors have to say. And if you need someone to talk to who’s had to deal with the same, you know where to find me. :) *hug* Try to de-stress… I know, easier said than done, but the situation as-is is not something you can change by willing it away so -try- to relax. *nodnod* At least a little bit!
    Nonna recently posted… The non-fun stripMy Profile

  5. I know you have read about my struggles all these years. I am the issue in my marriage and I totally get feeling like a failure. Infertility really truly is one of those things no one gets unless they too are living it. It’s hard, SO HARD.

    But, you are not a failure. I am sure your husband is like mine and married you for you, not your ability to have children.

    As far as the diagnosis, I would look into going to an RE instead of an OB. OB’s are nice, but they are NOT fertility specialists. Putting you on unmonitored clomid or femara is a bad idea, as they can both cause cysts that go undetected if you are not monitored. I’d also see an RE to see if you have the cysts in your ovaries that present with PCOS. I have several PCOS-like symptoms, but I do not have the cysts, therefore I don’t have PCOS.

    At any rate though, know you aren’t alone, and try to ignore the comments. Nothing hurts more then the constant recommendations from outsiders, and they all have them. But know there are alot of us out there who do get it.
    Angela recently posted… 5 Years TodayMy Profile

    • Thanks Angela! And yes you’re right, it is hard for people to understand until they’re facing the issues themselves. As for the RE, my OB is actually really good and will be monitoring me through any hormonal treatments, if that doesn’t work than she will be referring us to an RE and we’ll go from there. Right now though it’s really basically a wait and see game. I have the HSG scheduled on Friday along with R’s semen analysis and then lab work scheduled at the end of the month. Once we get those results back we can figure out a course of treatment if one is needed.

      As with all things, I have good days and bad days and I’m trying just to take it one day at a time and myself out, which as we know isn’t easy. All of this is just very frustrating but I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge so I’ll meet this head on, whatever it turns out to be.

      Thank you so much for your support. It really means a lot.
      Ang recently posted… Nix Niches TuesdayMy Profile

      • Thats good, it sounds like you have a better OB then most. It’s scary how willy nilly some OB’s are with giving out Clomid and not monitoring at all!

        You really can only take it one day at a time, as much as it sucks. And you can’t focus on feeling like a failure, as hard as that is to do. It’s a constant struggle and one I don’t think you ever stop fighting.
        Angela recently posted… 5 Years TodayMy Profile

        • Yes, I really really like her. I was telling Dez the other day she not only connected to me but also to R which I understand is rare!

          Thank you again for all the support. I know a lot of people have had to deal with this but as you say it’s different when you’re the one who’s possibly stepping into those shoes.

          Once the results start coming in, expect an update. I’ll probably tag the post as protected so if you want to register, I can make sure you have access. Again, thank you so much. It helps to feel so alone through all this. *hugs*
          Ang recently posted… I Feel, as a Person, Very UninterestingMy Profile

  6. Aww Ang.. you are not a failure and you have not failed! PCOS is a very common thing, if that is indeed, what you have. I also wonder sometimes if that might be something that I have as well and I have a really good friend who desperately wanted another child but was obese, had PCOS and opted to get weightloss surgery because she was told that would be a way to combat PCOS and she still has not yet conceived another child.

    I honestly believe it is something that is, unfortunately, a bit out of our control. I think the amount of women who have been diagnosed with PCOS has increased over the years and I personally believe it has a LOT to do with all the BS that the government is having put into our food to make us sick and keep the economy going (aka make their wallets nice and fat) by forcing us to spend money on drugs, treatments, etc.. But that’s a whole other rant for another time.

    Bottom line, don’t lose hope! Maybe it’s just about timing.. and when it happens for you (and I know it WILL) it will be at the perfect time for both of your lives. You’re still young and you both have plenty time! Just enjoy this time in your life and I have no doubt things will work out exactly how you hope for them to.

    Also.. a high school friend of mine is actually a PCOS specialist. This is her website: http://pcoshealthcoach.com/

    Hang in there, girl!
    Angie recently posted… Taking Things For GrantedMy Profile

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