Aug 20, 2010

It's Been a Year . . .

It is coming up on the one year anniversary of this little blog, and it’s been neglected I’m afraid.

When I first set it up the intent was to document our journey to babies and we certainly never thought that a year later we’d still be trying. Somehow I imagined that it would happen immediately and I guess you could say that it was that idea that terrified me the most. You decide to have children and expect it to happen right away and when it doesn’t you suffer from a various mix of emotions. For us now it has only further confirmed how ready we are to have more children and make LB a big brother.

Looking back on the situation I can only surmise that God had a plan and as always, knew much better than the two of us did! Who would have thought that I would get so sick with my headaches, find out I had a rare brain disease and have three major brain surgeries – all in a matter of six months? There is absolutely no way my body could have handled a pregnancy before.

We first started trying to conceive at the end of August, and I quit taking not only my birth control pills but also all of my migraine medications and anti-convulsants. It was the first time in over three years that I had been un-medicated for my headaches and at the time I thought I was doing really well. The headaches didn’t seem to be too severe in nature and were only coming a couple times a week at first, and not so badly that a Darvocet couldn’t rid me of the pain. However, the closer we got to year-end the worse things got. Then, on January 3rd I had the worst attack yet that sent the diagnosis-ball rolling.

My original neurologist had me checked for aneurisms and the like only to find nothing. All he wanted to do was continue to medicate me even though the migraines were getting worse and none of the other dozen or so medications he’d tried had worked. In the meantime I did my own research and came across a site for pseudotumor cerebri, or idiopathic intracranial hypertension. When I presented my findings to the neurologist he basically told me I was crazy and threatened me so I found another doctor – my champion, Dr. Herzog. Within five minutes he was in 100% agreement that I needed to be tested for PTC; within a month I was diagnosed and having brain surgery a little more than a month later.

Today I am about four months post-op from the original surgery, and almost two months from my last revision. I haven’t felt this great in many, many years. When I have headaches they are minor and mostly weather related I think. No pressure headaches! However from the final surgery I had been having a lot of abdominal pain as a result of the placement of my shunt catheter so as a precaution I visited a new high-risk OB/GYN to ensure there were no issues. While there I mentioned to her that I had been trying to conceive for about a year with no success and she suggested that I have my progesterone levels checked. As it turns out, they are rather low and most likely the cause of my infertility. For the next couple of months I will have to have it checked to see if it is constant and if it is, what steps we will take.

Going into the diagnosis of PTC I knew that infertility could be an issue. Several of the women who are diagnosed also have PCOS or other symptoms of infertility. It’s wonderful to know that you are not alone in this journey and also to see that there is hope – a lady in our group recently had her first child despite it all. While I know there could be potential complications I am willing to learn as much as I can to avoid them. The only bummer I have experienced is that my doctor all but dashed my hopes of a natural homebirth, saying it is just too risky. I do tend to agree with her, so I think I will focus my sights on a birthing center where I can still be free to roam. One step at a time though.

As much as I promise, I really do need to keep this blog updated. There are so many things I want to share and just don’t make the time. LB is growing so fast and becoming a little man, there are a ton of recipes I’ve been dying to share, and we have expanded our four-legged brood with a kitten. All in due time . . .

Until then,

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