It is officially here- month 26 of my husband and I trying to conceive. The wonderful thing about this month, I have hope! I had a small post under TTC Month 25 labeled TTC Month 25- update with a small update as to what has gone on at my last appointment. Today’s post will be the “full” version with what happened last month and what is coming this next month for us.
As many of you know, last month my husband and I started the Creighton method. For those of you that are not familiar, this is a method of charting your cervical mucus to track your body’s responses throughout a cycle. Through this, you can naturally find problems such as PCOS (however, this is something I was diagnosed with prior to beginning this charting method), early menopause, menopause, endometriosis, hormone problems, and so much more. It truly is incredible how much they can determine just by looking at my chart. We have to have a Skype or FaceTime doctor’s appointment every two weeks with our Creighton teacher. She sits down with me and goes over each day of my chart since the last time we met to be sure that I accurately charted every day as well as to help me by answering any questions of why do I chart this in this manner and what does it mean. My teacher also works with my doctor to help reach a diagnosis for me. The Creighton method can be used to help achieve or prevent pregnancy, but obviously for us, it is to achieve a pregnancy. My first month of charting went great and my teacher is very helpful. Thankfully, I had been charting for a year and six months already in way of cervical mucus (not this detailed though), cycle lengths, symptoms, and basal body temperature so it made it a bit easier for us to understand what to look for.
This past Tuesday I had a doctors appointment with my new doctor (I was referred last month) to evaluate the results of my first month of charting. It is scary sitting in a doctors office knowing that the sole purpose of that visit is to find something wrong with you but just before the doctor came in, I prayed to God for peace and understanding and I felt so much calmer. In addition to having PCOS, we were able to determine that my body does not produce enough progesterone and the follicular and luteal phases of my cycle (the portion where ovulation occurs and then the portion where an egg can fertilize) are too short. For those who are not knee deep in trying to conceive and trying to conceive speak, the cycle is not referring to a woman’s period, but rather the date a period starts to the last day before the next period begins- that is a cycle. This combination is causing us to have difficulties and I was even told that it may be what caused our miscarriage in August.
So what does it mean for my body to not create enough progesterone? For starters, some of the problems it can cause are irregular periods, cysts, and miscarriages. Progesterone in a woman’s body helps to thicken the lining of the uterus as well as to create what we will call the “baby friendly” cervical mucus. Progesterone is what makes it possible for an egg to fertilize as well as to have a successful pregnancy. What does it mean that my cycles are too short? The long and short of this one is that the time my body is getting ready for ovulation, my body is ovulating, and my body is disposing of the months egg to get ready for a new month are overlapping. There is not enough time for my body to fertilize an egg and allow the egg to implant.
We have had many progesterone tests through the years and they have never come back any where in the ball park of what the levels need to be. There is a solution, however! This month, I will continue charting through the Creighton method. This will help to see if there are any other evident problems as well as to see if my doctor’s next treatment plan worked or not. This month we will also be taking a progesterone supplement. The purpose of this is to help lengthen my cycles as well as to help supplement the missing progesterone. My doctor was extremely hopeful that we would conceive this month. If we are not successful this month, I go back at the end of March and we will then try to address cervical mucus quality. Either way, he was VERY optimistic that we would conceive within the next three months. Yay!!!!! The medicine does give me hot flashes and makes me super tired, but that is a small price to pay if we can finally grow our family!
What else will I do this month? I will continue to pray and I will keep Romans 12:12 with me to remind me that this journey serves a purpose- God’s purpose- and everything happens in His time, as it should.