My Journey, So Far

I'm Stacey. I've been married for three years to a wonderful, devoted man named Justin. I'm a 27 year old middle school English teacher who loves working with youth. I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). My husband and I have been trying to conceive for two years. We knew as soon as we were married we wanted children. I quit taking birth control and threw away the condoms shortly after marriage. I figured we would just let nature take its course, and I'll get pregnant within a few months. Six months later I started to worry, so we started trying a little harder: tracking my cycles and trying to time it just right. At first I just thought we weren't timing it right. My cycles have always been unpredictable. Over the next year we tried ovulation tests, tracking temperature, tracking mucus, dieting, thyroid medicine, and many other things. I do have a thyroid disorder, so we thought maybe that was an issue. I went to several doctors, some telling me I needed to be on synthroid, others telling me I was fine or borderline. Some doctors told me I was trying too hard and needed to relax...that just frustrated me more. How can I relax when I can't do what millions of women do? How can I relax when I'm a teacher and see students accidentally get pregnant when they definitely don't need to, and I can raise a child and would love to? How can I relax when many of my friends are pregnant and posting cute belly pictures all over Facebook? How can they just tell me to relax?! I was angry, frustrated, depressed, and many more emotions that I can not even begin to describe. I went to an Endocrinologist who at first thought I was crazy when I told him I thought something was wrong with my thyroid. He felt around my throat and said, "I feel nothing out of the ordinary." He then took me to the ultrasound and took a closer look. He had a surprised look on his face as he said, "Well, your thyroid is too small. You have thyroid disease." I then explained my fertility issues, and he said the thyroid could be the cause. It always has frustrated me when doctors assume I know nothing about my body; that I can't just know something is wrong because I feel it.

I explained my cycle irregularity and some other concerns. He felt around my abdomen and said it's possible I have PCOS. At this point I had done so much research, I knew that is what I had. I just had to get the doctors to go along with me. He prescribed Metformin, a diabetes drug that is an experimental treatment for PCOS. After all, he is an Endocrinologist and in my little corner of the universe, that is mostly what he treats. Especially as he is the only diabetic specialist in a 100 mile radius. I had read that Metformin was useful in solving some of the insulin resistance issues that accompany PCOS; however, I was concerned about taking diabetes medicine when my blood sugar tends to run on the low side. He did not seem concerned. Out of my own concern, I purchased a blood sugar tester and began carrying it in my purse. Shortly after beginning the medicine, I was having all kinds of trouble: horrible stomach pains, dizziness, sugar fluctuations. I talked to my grandfather who had taken Metformin for diabetes, he told me that stuff would make a diabetic sick and he and my grandmother quit taking it because of issues. I started taking my blood sugar levels more regularly and noticed they were sitting on the low side between 80-90 even after eating. I didn't know if this was good or bad or what, so I continued taking the medicine hoping I would just conceive soon and get off it! No such luck. I was teaching summer school at the time, and was on a strange eating schedule. One day in class I got so dizzy I nearly fell from my podium. The students were concerned and said my face was stark white. I checked my sugar and it was under 70. I took a couple glucose tabs my grandpa had given me just in case. It spiked my sugar enough until I could eat. I started getting concerned about the medicine, but I wanted to conceive so badly, I kept taking it.

A few days later the same thing happened. I talked to my coworkers and they all agreed - "stop taking that stuff!" So I caved in, and quit taking the pills. Frustrated I went back to my general practitioner, who put me on a low dosage of anti-depressants to help treat my horrible anxiety. This helped a lot. I quit worrying as much and was able to focus on teaching. A few months later as my husband and I are getting ready to go to Vegas for a friend's wedding, I started my period. I was so excited because I hadn't had one in 7 months. I called my OB/GYN to get Clomid. A few days later when we returned from Nevada, I started my first round of Clomid. After finishing the 5 days of pills and waiting for them to work their magic, I went in to get an ultrasound and see if any follicles had developed on my ovaries. The process was more painful than I'd ever imagined. I had no idea they would use the wand for that. After a lot of poking and prodding (my right ovary kept hiding), the tech found one follicle that looked big enough. The doctor told me that the follicle on my right ovary was big enough and I needed to get an HCG shot that day. I got the prescription and went to the only pharmacy in town that carried the Novarel shot. They were out. The shipment wouldn't come in until tomorrow.

I was devastated. I knew I had a time limit on getting the shot, so I called the OB/GYN and he said I could have the shot in the morning. I took the entire next day off of work, so I wouldn't be stressed to hurry back and forth to the hospital. My grandfather took me to the hospital that morning to get the shot as my husband couldn't get off of work. We waited for the pharmacy to open, only to find out the the delivery wouldn't come until after noon. I couldn't hold back my emotion any more. I cried to the poor pharmacy tech that I had waited two years for this moment and if I didn't get the shot this morning it wouldn't work and who knows when I would have the next opportunity. Through all my tears, she understood the urgency. With a tear in her eye, she called the delivery truck and asked him to get there as soon as he could.

Within the hour, I had the vial in hand and ran upstairs to get the shot. The nurse looked at me and said "So, which is your lucky hip?" I smiled and thought of how hard it was to find the follicle on my right ovary. I said "my right." I knew it didn't matter if I got the shot on the same side as the follicle, but to me it made sense. The shot was over quick and didn't hurt at all. It was all kinda anti-climatic. Here I am, 11 days later. Waiting anxiously on Oct. 2nd to get here so I can take a home pregnancy test. I know I could probably take one earlier. I know I could go to the doctor and get a blood test right now and know. But for some reason, I want that missed period on Oct. 2nd. I want the excitement of waiting for the little lines to show up on the test.

I don't know if it took. I don't know if I am pregnant. If I'm not, I'll probably be devastated. Right now, I'm pretending. I'm weening off the anxiety pills and taking my prenatal vitamins religiously. I'm slowly weening off of caffeine and trying to eat well. Right now all I can do is pray, hope, wish, and dream that come the morning of Oct. 2nd, in the little half bath off my bedroom, I'll have a positive test for the first time in two long years of trying.