I met Christy on the Yahoo catholic IF forum. We had a connection since we both had Lufs. She recently got her BFP so I asked her to write her story to encourage others to try napro. Thank you Christy for sharing.______________________________________________________________________________
I got my first period in 8th grade and from that time on, I had 1 or 2 periods a year. When I did get a period, I would bleed for 3 weeks, it was awful! I was terrified in high school because I never knew when to expect my period and when it started it was almost immediately a very heavy flow. Even scarier was that no doctor could give me an explanation for what was happening and why my body wasn't functioning as it should. I started seeing the gyn when I was 16, I cried because I was very modest and couldn't bear being examined by a male doctor, but my mom was really concerned about me and didn't know what else to do. This doctor had delivered all of my siblings and he was apparently a "good Catholic doctor." When I was 18 he shamed and scared me into starting the BCP. He told me I would get cancer otherwise and he told me while my mom was out of the room, "Is your mom gonna give me grief about the BCP because you are Catholic?"
I was on the pill for 2 years and it caused me to gain weight and become depressed and have panic attacks. So I took myself off of it. After graduating from college with a degree in biology/chemistry/philosophy minor, I wanted to pursue bioethics. I still wasn't having regular cycles and getting responses like "you might have a brain tumor or why do you want to have regular periods, are you trying to get pregnant?" from the docs I saw. Eventually I became so jaded I just stop seeing doctors altogether. Until I met Dr Hilgers. A good friend of mine was working for him as a research assistant and told me he was hosting a bioethics conference at the Pope Paul VI Institute. So I went and I love every minute of it. Dr Hilgers kept saying how much research needed to be done and I told him I would love to conduct research for him. After he got a grant he asked me to work for him, so I moved from Cleveland to Omaha and got started. I loved my work, it was fascinating! At the same time, I got trained as a FertilityCare Practitioner and also worked for Dr Hilgers teaching his patients how to chart the Creighton Model. I also started seeing a Practitioner and began charting and made an appointment with Dr Hilgers. He took one look at my chart and said he was 95% sure I had polycystic ovaries. He did some blood test and an ultrasound to confirm. Finally at 25 years old I had a diagnosis!! He started me on progesterone therapy and I have had regular cycles ever since. He also told me that I might have difficulty conceiving when I got married, so I was somewhat prepared for the infertility journey I would face.
My husband and I discussed adoption as an option before we got married to make sure we were on the same page. Having accurate information actually made me feel more empowered and it also made me feel that infertility would be something my husband and I dealt with together, I wasn't going to be alone in it.
A year after we were married, we flew back to Omaha (I had moved back home) and I had an ovarian wedge resection. I recovered very easily from the surgery but Dr Hilgers said that he was concerned about adhesions since my ovaries were pretty "fried" from the many years of untreated severe PCOD. I also had minor endometriosis. He also discovered I was hypothyroid and started me on T3. 2 cycles after that we conceived, but it was a chemical pregnancy. A few cycles after that I started clomid and letrezol and we conceived again, only to lose the baby at 8weeks. I was devastated! 18 months later, we had a repeat Lap and Dr Hilgers lasered some adhesions and minor endometriosis and made sure both tubes were unblocked. We stared back on clomid and letrezol and Dr Hilgers monitored my hormones to see if any medication changes increased them enough for us to start trying to achieve again, with less risk for miscarriage. But nothing raised my hormone levels, they were rock bottom for years. During this time I was on many medications and also getting periovulatory blood draws and post peak blood draws (about 6-8 blood tests a month) and having to ship the blood samples to Dr Hilgers overnight with dry ice. (He was monitoring the quality of ovulation with the blood tests). One time I went to Dicks sporting good store to purchase a small Styrofoam cooler to use to ship the blood sample and the clerk accused me of being a drug dealer! He was a former policeman and apparently people who buy these coolers to ship things with dry ice use them to cure marijuana. I didn't tell him I'm not a drug dealer, I need this to ship my blood because I thought he would freak out even more! After a few years of low hormones on ovulation induction meds, I asked Dr Hilgers if he would do an ultrasound series and he did and discovered I had LUFs. So I tried about 6 months of ultrasounds and HCG trigger dose and no pregnancy. He also treated a uterine infection with 6 months of antibiotics.
In the meantime we discussed adoption with Dr Hilgers and he said he was in full support. We started the process in 2007 (5 years TTC) and adopted our oldest daughter Gianna as a new born in May of 2008. What a miracle (TTC!
Then I had a third and forth surgery. Dr Hilgers didn't have his current adhesion prevention protocol in place when I had my wedge resection, so he was still concerned about adhesions. So I had a third Lap and he lasered extensive adhesions and covered my ovaries in gortex to allow the surface to heal without causing scaring or adhesions, then a week or so later he did another Lap to remove the gortex. The ovaries looked good! About 6 months after that, he discussed cortisol treatment for adrenal fatigue. I was one of his first patients to start this protocol. I suffered from constant severe fatigue and was diagonosed by Dr Hilgers with severe adrenal fatigue. I felt like a new woman on cortisol! I find it truly amazing how tirelessly Dr Hilgers searches for a cure for infertility. At this point, I had been a patient of his for nearly 10 years (ttc 7years) and he never gave up on me, he was always looking to improve my health and make me feel better, besides helping us to conceive. After 9 months on the cortisol and starting synthroid, we found out we were expecting our second daughter Catherine, who was born a happy and healthy progesterone fed baby in May of 2010. After 7 years of infertility! God is so good!
When Catherine was 6 months old we thought about actively trying to achieve again. I knew I had LUFs and Dr Hilgers was looking at a new protocol for that from a doc in Japan. He asked me if I wanted to try it and I said sure! So in June of 2011 we started our 1st cycle of Neupogin and HCG trigger and I ovulated!! But no pregnancy. We continued for a few months and no ovulation, just ovarian cysts. I took a month off and we stared up again. I told myself, I will try this until December and then I am just going to focus on enjoying my 2 girls, my 2 gifts from God. And on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception we found out we are expecting! Wow! I still can't believe it! So far my progesterone levels are good, so that is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. I can't wait to see my local ob/gyn and say we are expecting again, she thinks Dr Hilgers is a bit of a quack and I love proving her wrong!
Hope my story is helpful. Thanks for posting it.