Friday, March 27, 2015

Tough Questions and the Cold Comfort of Answers

In preparation for our doctor's appointment on April 2, we had a follow-up with our FCP, L, last night. I would classify L as a "true believer"; she is not just an FCP but also an instructor and serves on the board; her confidence in CrMS and NaPro is impressive. She seemed surprised when we implied that we are considering stopping, likely partly due to her faith in NaPro and partly not wanting to see anyone not succeed. L suggested that if Dr. P doesn't have any new ideas about what to try, we should send my charts and records to Omaha and get another opinion. She also strongly suggested that I have the ultrasound series done. In the past when I brought up the ultrasound series, Dr. P didn't think there would be that much useful information gained from it, based on the ultrasounds I had done previously with our RE. L seemed to think that there was a chance I am developing follicles that mature properly but do not contain/release an egg. (Both she and Dr. P consider LUFS unlikely in my case based upon my charts and hormone levels.) She also seemed to feel strongly that we would (should?) want all the answers before deciding to stop.

Which leads to tough questions, and ones we had not considered before. Do we want to seek yet another opinion? Do we want to have the ultrasound series done? What would be gained by doing either? I want to be done trying, but until recently I never really thought all this would end in failure. Do I have it in me to keep trying? Is it selfish to keep trying for a biological child instead of pursuing adoption? Is it more selfish to just want to be done? If I do have the ultrasound series done, where? Do we even care about the answers anymore? 

When we started with CrMS and NaPro the better part of two years ago, we were hungry for answers after having been left with a diagnosis of "unexplained infertility." Of course we also believed that answers would lead to better, more successful treatments, ideally with fewer side effects. As diagnoses have piled up, we have been left with the sad truth that answers are a cold comfort when nothing works, when you continue to fail. Answers don't look up at you adoringly and will never say "I love you, Mommy." 


  1. I'm sorry, this is so tough. I'm potentially getting close to the end of the road too, so I get it, I've had a lot of similar questions run through my head. I don't think there are any right or wrong answers to these questions, I think its up to what's right for you and your marriage. Its probably also something to take to prayer, though I know sometimes God guides us and sometimes He stays silent, which can be so difficult.

  2. Praying for you guys as you continue your discernment. I'm so sorry it hasn't been easy or rewarding, or likely anything you planned. :(

  3. I hear ya sista! Answers and nothing is working, yup been there. I will say it took us so long to do the u/s series like being 4 years into NaPro on and off. It did give us an answer, not the one we wanted, LUFS. It has actualy driven us to think about doing NaPro stuff again since our current NaPro MC/Fellow has some new tricks up her sleeve w/ regards to egg quality and overall health. I will pray for your discernment, its not easy. Ultimately whatever you decide will be best for your family, and not just trying to please your FCP or Dr. There are some practitioners and MCs who can not accept that NaPro does not work for everyone or not everyone is comfortable with pursuing or continuing it. Many prayers for you!

  4. The only thing worse than knowing is not knowing, if that makes sense. I do remember a time of doctors and tests, and wondering. Every once in a while, it pops up again with a "were they really right...?" and another round of tests, if I can stomach it. Love and peace and prayers for you guys.

  5. Praying that you find some answers for the tough questions!

  6. It must be so hard to be at this point in the road. So so so so tiring and difficult to take a next step at another opinion. I hope you have some sense of direction and peace in what to do, or not do next.

  7. Deciding when to stop is hard. We set some boundaries once we found out I had LUFS and it really helped. ...You see there is a medicine that NaPro uses for LUFS and if in the first 5 months it does not work (alone or in conjunction with others), then most likely it will not work at all and there is not much else that can be done especially if you have LUFS and not just a LUF month, (there is a difference).... This would be especially true in my case since I had a surgery, diet change, tried all the meds like clomid etc and each month resulted in LUFS.... So we did the LUFS meds and each month the doctor would add a med to it to see if it would work better... well, the more we did the worst my charting looked... Our last month and at our last ultrasound it was both devastating and a relief. Obviously devastating that we did everything we could for 3 years with NaPro and we never got pregnant... But a relief because we were so tired of the the roller coaster ride each month and all the treatments. I didn't mind the shots as much, but the ultrasounds were too much for me. To not have to do another ultrasound took a huge load off emotionally. Relief came when I did all I could that was ethical and beneficial. I could now stop and have no regrets.

    We personally recommend boundaries and making big picture decisions. If you are caring for your health in how you eat, how you sleep, exercise, faith and "love" your husband, you really are doing all you can. Especially if you sought help with Napro and for whatever reason the body will not agree/respond. ALL medications have side effects that can cause serious problems too... there are always those kinds of risks even when the medications are ethical compared to IVF etc. It is not a sin to stop seeking medical help if it is not helping. I am still trying to get my charting back to normal after the LUF rounds of medications...and it has been almost 2 years.

    While stopping treatments for good for us was one of the hardest things we did, we do not regret it. It took a lot of the focus off the IF pain and allowed us to get healthier emotionally and physically since the meds can really cause problems.

    ...We haven't given up hope, we are "faithful," so if God wants to do a miracle in us, he still can. And if someday you decide to stop treatments, you too can say with confidence that you are still doing all you can leaving it up to God.

    Just so you know, I am a HUGE supporter of Napro... but I am also a huge supporter that breaks and boundaries are sometimes necessary.