- Thank you, Tiffany for sharing your story.
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We tried for 6 months using the Persona monitor without success. We thought I was pregnant at one point because I appeared to have some implantation spotting and had to use the bathroom frequently. Instead this turned out to be symptomatic cyst that caused me to have a bladder infection. I asked the obgyn I saw that day for help since we weren't getting pregnant. He told me it just takes time, talked about timing intercourse, and said come back in another 6 months. 6 months later I saw a different obgyn. He did some bloodwork, recommended HCG tubal dye test, and said clomid would help us after that. I asked about progesterone testing with the spotting I had, but was told that the testing was contraversial and not necessary.
The bloodwork showed an abnormal thyroid reading, but I was told it was just a high normal/nothing to be treated at this point. I passed the tubal dye test and was put on clomid. This went on for about 6 months until I insisted on seeing another obgyn and asked about progesterone testing again. I was again told this was contraversial, but he did prescribe me oral progesterone. Another few months go by still without success. I end up meeting another obgyn in the practice who does some additional testing including a clomid challenge and said if I'm not pregnant in a few months she will refer me to a specialist.
We were excited to see the reproductive endocrinologist/specialist. He did an ultrasound and saw some "craters" on my ovaries and suspected possible endometriosis, but gave us 3 options. We could do IVF, we could do super ovulation/IUI's, or we could try surgery for possible endometriosis. When I inquired more about the surgery, he said that even if treated it doesn't usually make much difference, but for a small percentage it does. Sadly I have to say my husband and I felt doing injectibles and IUI's was the path we should follow. This went on & off for about 6 months, 3 actual IUI attempts. My girlfriend got pregnant under this treatment, so we thought it would work eventually for us too. Many cycles I had to skip because I had cysts. It was a horrible time as I felt like we were being hurdled through the rooms like cattle. I hated that the RE prescribed the same treatments the next cycle each time, it was like he knew it would fail. Still I clutched my rosary and prayed during the IUI's that this would work for us. Meanwhile my insurance changed to cover $10,000 maximum treatment in an infertility clinic. The cost alone for the monthly shots with this specialist were costing my insurance over $2,000 a month. I just saw my insurance running out and this specialist telling me well you will just have to do IVF now.
Then a priest at church started talking about the sinful act of IUI's and IVF's. It really hit me close. I told my husband I didn't want to do it anymore, and he said what choice do we have though. I prayed and told God that if I had cysts and had to skip another cycle, that I would have a laparoscopy done to check for endometriosis. If endometriosis was found, I wouldn't do IUI's ever again. Sure enough a cyst was found and I found a well respected obgyn surgeon to perform a laparoscopy on me in May 2009. He found endometriosis and adhesions in several areas and cauterized it off. He told us this has been our problem all along and we should try everything again to get pregnant now.
I was excited to see the specialist this time with my surgical photos. My plan was to have him prescribe just clomid again because of the lower cost, no IUI's, and to ask about thyroid and progesterone testing again. The meeting was awful. His first comment from my surgical report was, "well there's nothing here that says we have to do IVF right away." He stated that since clomid didn't work before, it wouldn't work again. When asked about thyroid testing, he said, "Well I don't know why you aren't getting pregnant, but it's not your thyroid." (But how do we know if you won't test it I kept wondering. I've gained a lot of weight now and my feet are always cold.) He insisted that I continue doing IUI's and when told I wouldn't for religious reasons he said, "Well I can't hold you down and make you do IUI's, but this is your best chance." I left the meeting crying. I couldn't see any other obgyns again, they had all referred me to the specialist. The specialist insists I do something I'm not comfortable doing, and I'm going to run out of insurance money.
My husband and I tried for a few months then on our own. One day crying looking for catholic prayer for infertility, I came across this support group and learned about Dr. Hilgers and naprotechnology. Since I live in Minnesota, it was recommended that I go to the Aalfa family clinic which followed his protocols. I saw Aalfa for the first time in September 2009. Among a few other things, their testing showed a thyroid problem. To this day it makes me sick to my stomach that I didn't insist more on being tested for that.
In February 2010, I got my invitation to travel to Omaha. I did the month long bloodwork study and had my laparoscopy in April 2010. I made confession on my IUI's and received the anointing of the sick. When I woke up from surgery, I had a bad feeling. My husband and I were very sad to learn that although he couldn't find anything majorly wrong, he felt the best way to remove fibroids and endometriosis I had which was now on my bladder, was to have a laparotomy done. My husband and I were upset about doing this because I was 38 1/2 already, and knew that it would take awhile to conceive after this. Dr. Hilgers gave us a 50-60 percent change of ever conceiving after surgery because of my age (still better than the 15 percent the specialist had given us). After days of prayer and recovery, we felt like we had no other alternative and that God had brought us this far. We had to trust that he had some sort of plan for us and this was probably good for health reasons anyway. God blessed us with getting in for the surgery on a cancellation again 6 weeks later.
Since we weren't given any chance of conceiving until after surgery, I chose to go off all medications and mucus enhancers until after surgery. I only remained on the thyroid medication and also was also given some anti-fungal medication because biopsies done during my laparoscopy showed I had a rare fungal infection. 8 days before we were supposed to go to Omaha, we found out we were pregnant. Both Aalfa and Omaha believe that the repeat tubal dye test during the laparoscopy removed some sludge from my tubes, and that combined with the thyroid treatment had allowed us to conceive. We were warned about miscarriage since we had untreated endometriosis and a growing fibroid, but all we could do was supplement with progesterone and pray.
On February 8, 2011 Elizabeth Grace was born. We know she would not be here if it wasn't for God, many prayers and support of this group, and napro technology. We spent over 3 years seeing other doctors who never found any wrong. We had success after 6 cycles with napro technology.