Friday, January 4, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today I had a laparoscopy that was ostensibly to remove the 40mm cyst on my right ovary but was also to investigate the problems suggested by my HSG film. The doctors did remove the cyst (which proved to be an endometrioma) as well as a uterine polyp, but unfortunately for me, the lap confirmed that I have a unicornuate uterus and Stage 4 endometriosis and also resulted in my only functional tube being cauterized due to its damage from the endo, rendering me officially barren, infertile, whatever.

The results of my lap were the worst-case scenario we had been fearing. Until the lap we had hoped that maybe the situation wasn't as bad as the HSG film suggested. Maybe my uterus was normal or at least that my right tube could be saved so that we could have a chance at conceiving naturally or with low-cost options like IUI (which had seemed really expensive until we started contemplating IVF). Unfortunately, that was not the case. I had moved from 5 cycles of Clomid and 1 injectable-IUI cycle (using my useless left ovary!) to IVF being our ONLY option to to get me pregnant. We had been thinking about moving to IVF anyway, but it's very different to move to IVF after exhausting your other options instead of discovering that it is your ONLY option. And truthfully, learning that I could still do IVF was the only good news to come out of the lap.

The lap and its results were a watershed moment in our struggle with infertility. Now we knew. We knew EXACTLY why we hadn't been conceiving and that we had wasted almost a year on treatments that likely never had any chance of working. I did ovulate twice on the right side with Clomid, so there was a small chance that my right tube could have been functional during that time though doubtful. That's what my fertility had come down to: 5 cycles of clomid (only 4 ovulatory) and 1 injectable/IUI cycle. I ovulated twice on my own before we started treatment, so that means that in almost two years, I ovulated 7 times of which 2 only had the tiniest chance of working. It sort of boggles the mind.

In some ways getting the diagnosis was good b/c it eliminated any opportunity for hoping that maybe, just maybe we might get pg naturally. I could throw the thermometer away. And who needs OPKs any longer? It's put me in a different place mentally as well. I don't have that hope any longer. I know it's not going to happen for me (or to me?), so I'm free to consider options like adoption or surrogacy.

But at the same time, the diagnosis was devastating. I've felt weird and out of place my entire life but never as much so as when I discovered I had an extremely rare uterine anomoly as well as Stage 4 endo. Talk about the universe sending you a message that you are absolutely, positively not meant to at least carry a child and likely ever have biological children.

Today may not be a day most would choose to remember, but for me it symbolizes the day my life changed.


sara said...

I think that getting that diagnosis of having a UU means that things will never be quite the same again. I'm sorry that the iVF didn't work..we're finally going that route if this IUI #3 doesn't work next week...I have so many mixed emotions right now. Happy worried..relieved adnd confused to name a few. My sister and best friend have also agreed to do a surrogacy if needed.

That's great that your surrogate has actually done this before! How did you find her? That's such exciting news! Stop by if you want to and leave me a message to let me know how things are going with you for the new year. I really hope that as you said at the end of 2008 we're both excited about either a baby matter what route it travels!


niobe said...

As you say, devastating though it was, at least the diagnosis clarified your options. And I know that six months seems like an eternity, but I'm crossing my fingers that 2008 will be a wonderful and exciting year for you.

Samantha said...

That certainly is a life-changing diagnosis. As you point out, no one can continue to tell you to "just relax" and it will happen, but that comes at quite a cost.