Because it’s tied up with weight loss and also women’s health, I think I’m going to start blogging about baby making here. I know it’s a subject with limited appeal, but it’s a big part of my head space right now. If you’re bored with it, don’t read these posts.
I’ve always had a feeling that my hormonal balance wasn’t quite “right”. It started when I was twelve and came down with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease that in my case started out as a high fever with no other symptoms. It lasted two weeks and left me feeling tired, so tired. Then my periods began to get long. Then one lasted for several months, and idiotic 13-year-old me was afraid to tell anyone. Then I passed out on the living room floor one evening (anemia I guess), my mother took me to the emergency room, and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. I was put on Synthroid to treat that and birth control pills to treat the bleeding, and that was the end of it.
Until I was twenty-nine and wanted to have a baby. I was sure it was going to be a big hairy deal. I hadn’t had unregulated cycles as an adult, ever. I went off the pill. I got pregnant on the second cycle. I had a flawless pregnancy, no problems at all, and delivered our beautiful baby daughter the day before my due date. Happy story.
Fourteen months later, said baby daughter began to sleep through the night consistently, and we decided we were ready to have #2. I went off the pill again, and like an idiot, bought myself some new maternity clothes. Sigh.
My luteal phase was short, only eight or nine days to start with, which is supposed to be a problem but it had been that way last time around and didn’t slow me down, so at first I didn’t worry. Something like 25% of women with no fertility problems have a short luteal phase, my doctor said.
On our fourth cycle of trying I got a positive pregnancy test. Two days later I started to bleed and the test was negative. Chemical pregnancy.
It happened again on cycle eight.
By now I was mad, and made an appointment with my OB-GYN to talk about it. She gave me a Prometrium prescription to start taking as soon as I got another positive test, and sent me for a pelvic ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have fibroids. Since nobody has called me about it in three weeks, I assume that ultrasound went just fine.
We are on cycle eleven now. My cycles are short, so it still hasn’t been a year of trying, but I am frustrated. Have I gotten too old? Am I really broken after all? Was our daughter a huge piece of good luck? Do no other babies want me for a mom? And darn that age gap between her and her possible sibling–it gets bigger and bigger every cycle. I wanted them to be closer together. Now they won’t be; best case scenario is 2 years 8 months apart. Rats.
Two chemical pregnancies could still be bad luck; something like 50% of pregnancies fail early. I probably have a low progesterone level, though. The short luteal phase points to it, the early losses point to it, and my CD21 progesterone draw in August put my level at 5.2, and the normal range is 5 – 18. So yeah, low-ish progesterone level.
And guess what can cause that? Being overweight. Being sedentary. Poor diet. ALL my fault.
So there’s one more reason I want to lose weight. As if there weren’t enough already.