My TTC Journey

Hey! My name is Catrisha and I'm a 20-something, married, mother of one. My journey began a long while ago... back on July 4, 1999 with my very first AF. I was 15 about to be 16 the following month, and my mother thought that there was nothing wrong with this and let it go. I had no clue either then, so I just went with her non-knowledgeable philosophy... thus the start of my infertility problems began. My AFs were consistent and regular, but definitely not normal b/c I only had them every other month until I was almost 18.

Let's rewind for a second though. In the time between having my first AF and them becoming abnormal I fell in love and became sexually active. That love is now my amazing DH, Cody. He and I actually met in elementary school, but he was the pig-tail-pulling-bra-strap-snapping-titty-twisting type then. Throughout junior high and high school we no longer went to the same school. And it wasn't until I got my first job working fast food that we met up again and thus "Our" story began.

As I mentioned we were sexually active, and that sex was of the non-protected variety. DH likes to joke that we were humping like rabbits, but not reproducing like rabbits back then. We graduated high school, and soon after moved in together. Our TTC attempts started then. It was hit and miss style for awhile, and then one humid day in September 2001 after not having a period at the end of August when I was due (with the every other month routine) I decided to take a pregnancy test. Low and behold I saw the faintest of BFPs. I called an OB/GYN for the first time ever and made an appt. However before I got in to said appt. I started to bleed and had my first m/c. I never had a D&C done as the Dr. said I didn't need one since I was early in the pregnancy, but after that my periods weren't regular or normal for me for a long while. I was also Dx'ed with hypothyroidism when I was seen finally as well. At this point DH and I bounced around in the world from job to job and apartment to one of our parents house for awhile. We were still having sex, but nothing was happening and I knew deep inside that there was a problem. During this time my FIL was Dx'ed with bone cancer, and told there was no treatment that would cure it or put him in remission only ones that would make him violently ill and prolong his life for a few weeks more than expected.

Then March 27, 2002 came around and it was a dreadful day. I was being rushed in for emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix, and my FIL passed away while I was in surgery. After this Cody distanced himself from me for awhile. I could reason with this decision but not fully understand it. After much turmoil between us for a month or so, and me moving out to get my own place with him only to follow behind me days later to beg me to take him back, we were together again and things were looking up… so much so that we finally set a wedding date. We did things fast and quick with a decision to be married in a court house by a judge on May 17, 2002. Soon after this more bad news was delivered our way with the information that my MIL's lymph node cancer was out of remission. All summer long we TTC while my MIL went through a battery of tests and yet another surgery. When the fall came we both got laid off from the job that we were employed and was then asked to move in with DH's mom again, b/c she was struggling with her health and caring for DH's little sister H*attie.

We lived with her until after the first of the year when her lifestyle changed for a not so good one to accommodate her lack of appetite due to radiation. This caused DH and her to bump heads consistently so we moved in with my mom and step-dad. At this time things were finally getting to be somewhat normal for us, and my periods started coming back every 65-70 days. Then when late August 2003 came around we moved out and on our own (never to return again to date). Also, MIL started chemo treatments as a last ditch effort b/c a tumor was spotted on the back part of the frontal lobe of her brain shortly after this time. DH and I were finally rooted and determined to make a baby, so I went into the OB/GYN again. He looked down on me for being so young (just turned 20) and for the fact that in the 2yrs time since I had first been in there I had gained 50lbs and was roughly pushing 200lbs now. He regulated my medicine again, and told me to lose weight and come back to see him in 6mths if no BFP. Little did I know that that medicine change would trigger something, and I would end up with my second BFP in late October 2003.

After that things moved in a whirlwind of time and I spiraled into a deep depression... November 8th- I started bleeding, November 12th- my MIL almost died from bleeding to death from being on blood thinner and chemo at the same time, November 9th- H*attie came to stay with us, November 18th- I had a D&C, November 20th- MIL was transferred to a long-term care facility, December 2nd- MIL's memory lapses and deteriorates, December 5th- MIL stops eating and drinking, December 10th- MIL's organs start to fail, December 12th- We were told she had 24hrs longer, December 14th- MIL passes away that evening, December 16-19th- Memorial, funeral, and cremation arrangements were done December 20th- I have to have another D&C b/c I'm still bleeding, January 4th- I stop bleeding and we begin moving H*attie's things to our place as well as MIL's from her apartment, January 19th- We go to court and are awarded full guardianship/kinship custody of H*attie, January 20th- Go back to the OB/GYN and he decides to do testing FINALLY!

After 6 months more, a few blood tests and some other tests we were told that I have PCOS with insulin resistance. I then started Metformin at 1500mgs a day. After a month of working myself up to this dose he finally included Clomid into the equation. Since my Dr. is now what I know is a quack and I didn't know much about fertility treatments (or at least he thought I didn't until I researched for endless hours till what I thought would make my eyes bulge from their sockets and bleed) he did 50mgs and 100mgs twice, b/c you ovulate from either side without u/s or any specific monitoring other than my own use of OPKs. After I made myself acquainted with fertility treatments, and took things into my own hands I did one 150mg cycle with a CD21 progesterone monitoring and then went to 200mgs. This is where I finally got elevated progesterone levels. I did 6 cycles on 200mgs of Clomid, 2 cycles were timed intercourse, 3 were IUIs with an HcG trigger shot combined, and one ended up being cancelled due to lack of stimulation. We had lost hope of conceiving our own child naturally by this time, and started going to adoption classes. All of this took up the course of a year or so and brought us to January 2006 where my OB/GYN suggested a laparoscopy to see if there were issues he couldn't see in there without going in by abdominal surgery. So, on February 14, 2006 I had my first laparoscopy for infertility... only for him to find absolutely nothing.

We wanted to proceed on in our attempts to adopt, but got scared at a support group after a couple we were in there with failed their fire marshal inspection twice, b/c we knew our living establishment wasn't the greatest even though we had room. In honesty our trailer we were renting was falling apart and we knew it. So, we withdrew our adoption application from the agency in March 2006. At which time I was told by a friend to go to an RE, so when I went in for my post-op check-up I demanded to be referred out. With much fury and angst I got what I wanted and had to wait some more. I got in to see the RE for the first time in early April. When I got there the atmosphere was so much different, and I felt at peace. My RE talked about different treatment options with us and how aggressive we wanted to be. After some different testing than I had previously had and another laparoscopy to remove a tissue mass on my tube/uterine area we decided to do a Repronex/Clomid/trigger shot/IUI cycle. This was done in August 2006 and ended in a chemical pregnancy due to a slow rising and rapidly falling HcG. We were told to wait for 3mths before beginning treatments again and to do monthly follow-up b/w. During this time I got a new job, had a death in the family, and fell and broke my tail bone.

I was healing up nicely from my broken tail bone, and DH and I had been into a horrible fight that almost landed us in divorce court, but we decided to DTD on October 23, 2006 any way. Little did we know things were happening inside my body. A couple weeks later I had a weird dream about seeing a BFP and being 2wks late (which I was technically, but not actually I just wasn't tracking O only my AF and they were coming every 45 days like clockwork now). So, the night after this dream I decided to take a pregnancy test while DH was at work and H*attie at church youth group.... bright, bold, instant BFP!

This BFP brought to our lives the birth of our son, Brennen aka "*B*" and "The Monster". My pregnancy with him was an eventful one. H*attie was 18 now and was making some poor decisions, she got caught, almost went to jail... I cried and kept her out, to which she got mad and punched me in the stomach and told me she hoped my baby died that we had tried so long and hard for. (DH made her leave our home after this telling her now that she was 18 and didn't care and was violent and rude that living with us wasn't a right, but a privilege and she'd just lost her's.) Unfortunately a few days following this I started bleeding. I'm not sure if she caused this, and the OB/GYN says that it was a uterine hemangioma (pretty sure that's what he called it, might of been hematoma) of old blood spilling out and I may m/c. I was put on bed rest, and at the same time morning sickness kicked in with a vengeance. The bleeding slowed and faded, but I was super sick all. the. time. I stayed sick like this until almost 16wks, and then I woke up one morning and it was gone and I felt great. I got taken off bed rest shortly after this, only to return to it again at 24wks b/c I had mildly elevated BP, with protein in my urine, and was starting to have pre-term labor. Things were good for a long time except for the pre-term contractions as long as I was lying down and not stressed out. At 33wks I lost my grandma, I started to lose my mucous plug, and my BP started creeping up again even when lying down. At 35w3d I was allowed off bed rest and began to walk, walk, walk and swell, swell, swell. At 36w3d when I went in for my appt. my protein spill over in my urine was +3, and my BP was 200's/110's and I was told today was a good day to have a baby. After being admitted, 43hrs and 17min of labor and (47min of that pushing).... Our son Brennen Maddox T arrived in the world on July 1, 2007 at 1:17pm weighing 6lbs9oz and 20in long.

We began TTC#2 when *B* was 8mths old. We consulted our OB/GYN first b/c I needed another referral for our insurance since it had changed to see the RE. He told us we had to try for 6mths to a year before he would refer us out, and knew my son was only 8mths old. I left his office down hearted, but thought maybe it's not so bad it'll give us time to enjoy the rest of *B*'s first year. I had another D&C during that time for what was believed to be a pregnancy, but I still think it was excess bleeding from not having a period for 5mths, but I'm no Dr. That brings us to March 2009. We hopped back on treatments. I started with just Clomid (since I conceived *B* naturally). Then I got my referral b/c I didn't want to play around anymore, but my RE was now gone from the practice I once went to so I went elsewhere. I did two Menopur/Clomid cycles, with the last ending in what I know what OHSS symptoms and BFNs, but the RE didn't pay me no never mind. So, I left his office and bounced around seeing different REs and OB/GYNs never to find one I clicked with. I had an appt. in early January 2010 for one that was highly recommended by a friend, but had a lapse in insurance and had to cancel. My appt. was rescheduled after insurance went into effect for early April, but then some family drama happened, and I had to reschedule it as well.... BUT then.... I got a BFP! Only to find out after two betas the first at 101 and the second at 82, that this pregnancy too is yet another m/c-chemical pregnancy. I waited for my levels to go down without having to have another D&C done to remove whatever of a tiny little baby that grew it wings to early yet again from inside me. 

I went into a downward depression spiral again after this m/c. I was so sad and had given up on adding to our family so much so that I sold all the baby furniture of *B*'s that I had been holding onto in hopes of having #2. DH and I were fighting badly and it was all I could do to function on most days for months.

In October 2010 I had finally came out of my depression and had decided to go back to school. Things with DH and I were managable but no where near being great. Divorce had been mentioned between the two of us many times, but we decided to stick it out and work on things. Thankfully we did, b/c October 27, 2010 was my LMP, but on November 17, 2010 we decided to spontaneously DTD and after feeling abnormal and emotional for a couple of weeks I decided to take an HPT. Low and behold there was the faintest of BFPs. I called to get into my new OB/GYN right away. Once there things looke bleak with only being 5ish weeks and only seeing the yolk sac and no corpeus luteum. I were down hearted but remained positve once we were Dx'ed with low rising progesterone levels and going on PIO shots. Thankful that this treatment worked. We made it to the end of second trimester where I was DX'ed with gestational diabetes. I switched OB/GYNs and was referred to a specialist for my sugars. Things continued to progress with my pregnancy until I reached 33wks, and I started showing signs fo toxemia again. By 37w1d my BP was out of controlled and I was admitted into L&D. On July 26, 2011 after 11hr 43min of labor we welcomed are daughter Alianna Brooke T aka *A* into the world at 3:43am. She weighed 5lbs5oz and was 18in long. She is our "Little Miss" and has completed our family. But her arrival into the world was a rough one as her lungs were under developed and she couldn't breathe on her own, so she was whisked off to the NICU. She spent 13days in the NICU with machines such as a ventilator, C-pap, & nasal cannula helping her breathe and an NG-tube down her nose helping her eat before she was able to come home.She is our fighter & our little miracle baby.

However when we thought that our family was complete on December 17, 2011 we got yet another BFP. We were shocked, but thrilled & scared. Unfortunately the joy ended up being short lived, b/c by the beginning of 2012 I was finally into my OB/GYN and the news wasn't good. There was no sac or anything, just a thickening on my uterine wall where the embryo absorbed itself. I was given medication to help the bleeding start & then started on bcps so the bleeding didn't get out of control. Right now I'm just enjoying life as a Mommy of two who is trying to handle the 4yr gap between them in age, and I'm trying to lose weight and get myself healthy so that I can be around for them when they get older.

**And "Hey!" if you made it this far Thanks! I appreciate it, and this is me... us. I encourage you to stay along for the ride. I'm sure it'll be a hilly and bumpy one that you'll either love or hate or both.**