Monday, December 29, 2008

Follicle study appointment

Today I had my ultrasound follicle study with Dr. Kopher. Like last time there were no eggs in my right ovary and again my left ovary was hard to find, but there were no eggs in there either. I was so disappointed. How can it work one month and not the next. Dr. Kopher did see some small eggs that may develop and mature and may not. He wants me to come in on Friday to see what they have done. So we will not be doing the Intrauterine Insemination on New Years Eve. I feel like if its not one thing its another.
I hope those of you who have been following my blog get at least one thing out of it; people with infertility go through the same emotions, feelings and stress as someone who has an serious illness or maybe treatable cancer. I have had a close family member with cancer and feel Eli and I are going through similar stresses. 10 months have gone by since we started all this and I still today never thought it would be me.
I will update on Friday after my appointment. If there are no eggs I will be devastated. Not sure how many more times of getting let down I can take. Please pray.

Thank you, Kristen & Eli

Thursday, December 25, 2008


My appointment with Dr. Kopher went well. He thought it was GREAT news that I got my period on my own. That means I ovulated and we are on the right path. ("We won the battle but not the war") Our plan for this month was what I had expected. I started 100mg of Clomid the day of the appointment, to be taken for 7 days. After all 7 days, wait 7 more days to go back to the clinic for a follicle study. This is where he looks at my ovaries with an ultrasound to see if I have any eggs mature enough for ovulation. My appointment for this is on December 29. If I do have eggs he will give me the same injection of the hcg hormone to help release the mature eggs into my uterus. My most fertile days will be New Years Eve and New Years Day. At the appointment I brought up Intrauterine insemination again and he said he would like to try that this month. So New Years Eve morning I have an appointment for the insemination. He did say that he also recommends to have sex after the procedure, just for more safe measures :) IUI increases the chances of pregnancy each month from 15% to 30%.
I am very excited to try something different this month. I am hoping this New Year brings us some more luck!
I also just wanted to say that I had an awesome time in Mexico with my friends. I feel a 100% more relaxed. It was what I needed and I thank my friends and husband for encouraging me to take the vacation.
Thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I will update after my appointments next week!

~Kristen & Eli

Friday, December 12, 2008

End of the month...

I've been patiently waiting for 17 days to go by so that we could test and see if we were expecting a miracle. We were so close, but on day 16 at work I got my period...I was crushed. I thought for sure it would work this month, or I wished. This is so emotionally draining to go through. In the beginning of the month I am excited and hopeful and always seem to get let down. Its hard to go on when you have been hurt so many times each month. Its also very hard to get advice or listen to those who have never been through something like this. I know everyone tries to help but you just really do not know how it feels until you actually experience it first hand. However, I am very grateful for all the support I have gotten from family, friends, and co-workers.
So, after a few tears and a lot of convincing from my friends and family I found the positive side of getting my period. It came on its own without medication to induce it! Which has never happened in the 11 months I have been off birth control. So I guess that means I ovulated and my body is starting to work with a little bit of help. I thank god for this progress but hope for more next month.
Everyone always asks me "Isn't it hard to work in labor and delivery and go through infertility?". It is in some ways but I am actually not at all jealous or envious of my patients. Its my job and they need me. I can't let my life get in the way of my nursing care. Its more of the friends and family who I become more envious of. But my time shall come sooner or later and I just have to remind myself that.
My next appointment with Dr. Kopher is on Tuesday December 16th. I believe he does an exam before prescribing Clomid again. I am almost positive the plan will be the same as this month. Clomid, Ultrasound, Injection, Sex. I am going to ask him again about intra uterine insemination for this month. I talked to many doctors at work who have said to just do it to increase your chances each month a little more. I will see what Dr. Kopher says about that.
Onto a totally different subject, spur of the moment my best friend Molly and her sister and I have planned a short vacation to Mexico. I have been so stressed out with this infertility, losing hours at my job for budget cuts and Eli losing some of his stores that I am in need of a vacation full of relaxing! We are leaving Thursday December 18 and coming back Monday December 22. We have never done this and I am so excited. Spur of the moment trips are sure to be interesting.
Once again I thank everyone for caring and supporting us as we wind through this tough path we are on. Everyone is very much appreciatted by both of us.
I will update after my appointment with Dr. Kopher!
Kristen & Eli Wolfe

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ultrasound with Dr. Kopher

I had my ultrasound with Dr. Kopher today. Eli was unable to come as he was stuck at work. My mom showed up at the end of the appointment for support if I needed it (awesome mom!). He first looked at my right ovary and saw nothing, my hopes were up at this point. And then he looked at my left ovary and he said "Say hello to an egg". I was so happy! This was the best progress yet! I actually had 2 eggs in my left ovary that were mature and ready to be released. So from that he gave me an injection in my thigh of LH (normal hormone in the body). This usually works to release the egg or eggs. I am then most fertile 36-48 hours after the injection. I did ask him about doing Intra unterine Insemination for a better chance of getting pregnant. His response was that it wouldn't make a difference at this point, but further down the road it could be a possibility. He did also give me the percentages of getting pregnant this time and he said that I now have the chance that most fertile couples have each month and that is 10-15%. Its not 100% which I wish he could have said, but at least I am ovulating and having a "normal" percentage of getting pregnant! He also said that if we won the battle (ovulating) but we didn't win the war (getting pregnant) than I would get a period in about 17 days. If I'm pregnant I obviously wont'. I guess now we wait and see!
I am so relieved. I feel like things are coming together somewhat. However, I still have my sad times and get a little depressed around pregnant people. I want others to know I am happy for everyone who is pregnant even if I don't show it. Right now its still a little hard for me. Thank you everyone for your support and prayers. They have started to work! Keep praying for pregnancy. And thank you grandpa I know you put in a good word for us up there, keep it up! Love you!
Love, Kristen & Eli Wolfe

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Plan of action...

I went to see Dr. Kopher on Tuesday Nov 11 to go over my labs and make a plan about the whats next. He said that my glucose labs were perfect and that he saw no reason to put me on Metformin as it would not help at all with good glucose. My FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luetinizing hormone) were also taken and Dr. Kopher said they were 'text book' for someone with PCOS. My FSH was 3.6 and my LH was 13.1. He said this is what usually happens, the LH triples to make the FSH. My testosterone was (embarrassing!) 93 and the normal range for a woman is 20-80. Like I said before I thank god I don't have any facial hair or manly characteristics! I did ask him if I don't already have these characteristics will I get them, he said most likely not. (Thank you!)
After explaining what PCOS was again and going over the details learned something new. The cysts are not actual cysts they are eggs. Eggs that have matured, weren't released and now form cysts. So my problem isn't my eggs its getting them to release into the uterus. So our plan for the next month is clomid again. He started me on 100mg of clomid once a day for 7 days. And then on November 24 I will go in for an ultrasound with him and we will see if any follicles or eggs are maturing and if so he will give me an injection to help release the eggs. Than we will have two choices; Intrauterine Insemination or go home and have sex. I think I would rather do the IUI just for safe measures ;) , although according to everyone in the clinic Eli's sperm are above and beyond perfect (he still talks about it :)
I left the office feeling pretty good about our decision and plan but was a little discouraged because Dr. Kopher said we will now on Nov 24 if this works or not. If not we are looking at injections which are expensive ($1,000-3,000 a month out of pocket) and have a high risk for multiples. However, he did say if nothing makes me ovulate that the injections most likely will. I guess we will make anything work for a baby, but lets just hope this works this month! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and I will update on the 24th.
Oh one more thing I just have to say......its Jordan's "chore" to empty all the garbage's in the house on Thursday night and every time he jut breaks my heart and says "Kristen, are you going to have a baby yet?". I think he says this when he empties our garbage in the master bath because he seen a pregnancy test that said negative in there once and he had a melt down :( He is such a sweetheart and I know one day he will be the best big brother!
~Kristen and Eli

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Infertility Appointment

Yesterday was our first appointment with Dr. Kopher, the infertility Doctor. I was a little nervous because everyone told me before the appointment that either people like him or they hate him. However after meeting him, we liked him! He is very intelligent, calming and very nice. Everyone in the clinic was very nice to us.
We first went over all of my history and surgeries as well as Eli's too. He also said that from looking at the ultrasound he would say it is definetly PCOS. However, he wants to do more testing to see if I have the diabetes part of PCOS. He explained everything very well to us. I guess the ovaries produce some male hormone in every woman which in turn creates insulin. The more male hormone the more insulin?? The more insulin the harder it is to ovulate. Those with PCOS create more male hormones. I think this is what he said...its so confusing to explain. Anyways, so I went the lab this morning and did a glucose challenge test. I had to fast for 12 hours and get my blood drawn in the morning. Then I had to drink this horrible barium drink. I chose orange and at first it was okay but then I got really nauseated. After the drink the took blood an hour later and then 2 hours later. I thought I wasn't going to make it half way through but I kept it down! She said if you throw up they have to stop the testing and do it another day and I didn't want that. Dr. Kopher also ordered some other labs that were done.
We also went over new lifestyle changes that I need to make. He wants me to start a low carbohydrate diet and avoid sweets! Basically a diabetic diet. This means no candy, no pasta, potatoes and rice! That is stuff we eat all of the time. Its going to be hard but I know I can do it. I have been looking online and doing research on such a diet and there are alot of subsitutes for things that I like to eat.
He also said that he was a little worried about the scar tissue on my left ovary from surgery. He said if he feels it is affecting the process he will want to do a laproscopic surgery to go in and try and scrape some of it away. But he isn't concerned a whole lot right now, just something to consider.
We also went over Eli's sperm test results and he is above and beyond perfect, and boy was he bragging! The nurse and Dr. Kopher said something about how unbelieveable it was. The nurse said that Eli could help about 20% of the patients they see. Dr. Kopher said when we do start to get me ovulating Eli will be dangerous to my fertility!! He said he has an exceptional sperm count, one that he rarely sees. So I guess this is one thing going for us!
I did ask what the chances are for someone with PCOS ever getting pregnant and he said after they start ovulating about 95% chance. That was good news. He did go over with us the amount of time we are looking at. He said we need to have patience and it could take up to 6 months or longer for us to find what works for me. He also said that when I do start ovulating each month you only have a 10-15% chance of becoming pregnant. Patience will be hard but I have a very supportive husband.
We have our next appointment with Dr. Kopher a week from today, next Tuesday. We will go over my test results and then make a plan. He did say he would like to start me on Metformin, a diabetic medication and try Clomid again. He said many people who aren't successful with just Clomid are successful with Clomid and Metformin together. I am very happy with the route we are on and feel like Dr. Kopher has the help we need.
<3Kristen & Eli

Monday, October 27, 2008


I heard back from Dr. Baram and he said he does not want me to do another month of Clomid like we originally planned. He wants me to wait and see Dr. Kopher as soon as I can. I made my appointment with him on November 3rd, next Monday. I have so many questions to ask him, so I am writing them down so I don't forget! Hopefully we like him. I have heard that people either love him or hate him! I guess we will see. I am excited but scared to make this next step. An infertility doctor? I never though I would have to see one. I hope all goes well and I know I have such a great support system. Its amazing how many people have emailed me and sent good wishes our way. For that, we thank everyone. Its such a blessing to have wonderful family and friends! I will update after our appointment.
Thank you!
~Kristen & Eli

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ultrasound news...

Yesterday I had my ultrasound, which I was a little nervous for. Eli was able to come with me which helped a lot. He told me he couldn't come but then as I was getting ready to go he showed up at home ready to go to my appointment with me. He is such a great man! The ultrasound was at the HP St. Paul clinic on Wabasha. They did both an external and internal ultrasound. I didn't think I would find anything out until my doctor reviewed it, but there was a doctor who came in and read the ultrasound as the tech was doing it. He said my uterus looks great and there is nothing wrong with it, but my ovaries didn't look so good. He said they looked cystic and told me I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
PCOS comes from the appearance of the ovaries-large and studded with numerous cysts. It affects about one in ten women in the US and is the leading cause of infertility in women. The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown but the condition stems from a distribution in the monthly reproductive cycle. Symptoms can include, irregular or no menstruation, infertility, enlarged ovaries with many cysts, excess androgen (male hormones, thank god I don't have this symptom!), obesity, skin tags and diabetes. Out of those symptoms listed I have at least 4 almost 5 but I wouldn't call myself obese :). Women with PCOS are more likely to have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cardiovascular problems, liver disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
I was devastated to hear this news. Its a relief to finally have an answer as to what has been going on, but I also didn't want something to be wrong. The doctor said this doesn't mean I can't get pregnant, it just means I will have a harder time. Interventions will be needed to trigger ovulation and then pregnancy. I have started my progesterone this month, but not my Clomid yet, so I will call Dr. Baram and ask him if he wants me to continue with this for the last month or now since we have an answer move to something else. Eli was a little saddened by the news as well. At first said he didn't want to go through any more invasive treatments, as he hates seeing me sad and wouldn't want me to get my hopes up to be disappointed if things didn't go right, but then agreed to do anything to have a baby. As I continue to take in the news and take for granted all of the other positive things in my life, I will continue to bring life and miracles into the world as a labor and delivery nurse and wait for god to give me a blessing and miracle of my own :).

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Progesterone level from yesterday's blood draw was 1.2. I was kind of expecting that but its always hard to actually get the result. I made an appointment with Dr. Kopher today, the infertility Doctor, for some time in November. I figured he would be hard to get into so I decided to make it early. After my ultrasound on Wed I will start another month of HOT flashes, mood swings and cramping. Yeah, can't wait ;). Here's to good luck!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Today was my appointment with Dr. Baram. We went over my progesterone test results and he basically told me what I already knew. The results show that I'm not ovulating. Although, he still wants me to wait and take a pregnancy test next week. He said he has seen crazier things yet with women who are in the same situation as me, getting ready for another round of clomid with a low progesterone result and they end up preggo! I guess we will see!
His plan for the next month was to increase my dose of clomid. I will now take 150mg tablets for the 5 days. This is the last month he will allow us to try clomid if my progesterone levels are not changing. By the third month if they are not then I guess just increasing the dosage isn't going to work. The next step will be to send me to an infertility doctor, Dr. Kopher, to try injections of a hormone that should trigger ovulation. He also said with that there would be a lot of ultrasounds and maybe Intra Uterine Insemination. Lets just pray we don't have to go that far and that this month it works!
Dr. Baram is also sending me for an ultrasound of my left ovary because of my past surgical history. He wants to make sure it looks okay and is working. For those of you who don't know, long story short, I had my period for 8 months straight when I first menstruated at age 15. Went to the doctor they said it was normal for it to be irregular at first and kept sending me home. One day I walked into the office feeling faint, pale, headache and dizzy. My hemoglobin was 5.2 (should be 10-12) so they rushed me to Children's and found a grape fruit size ovarian cyst on my left ovary. Which was removed and immediately from there they put me on birth control pills to regulate my period. The doctors said it shouldn't affect having kids later, but they never said for sure. So my body really doesn't know what a normal cycle is and may never which may also be playing a role in all of this. So next week we will see what the ultrasound reads.
He also sent me to the lab today for another progesterone test. Just to see if it increases later in my cycle; today is day 24. I will re post when the results come back.
Thank you for every one's messages and support, I appreciate it very much!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I just feel the need to write something tonight. I don't know if its because I am at work, just heard about another friend who is pregnant or all the hormones I am on but I am just sad:( . I feel so alone. Everyone keeps saying "it will happen" and/or "stop trying and it will happen" and/or "take a month off meds and it will happen". I get so frustrated because not everyone knows about my past and what I am going through. We can't 'not try' and stop all meds because I don't get a period on my own and I don't ovulate on my own (right now I don't even ovulate with meds). Its so hard, I feel like crying all day but I know that won't help. I don't know what will help but I know as the months go on my job gets harder and harder to do and harder and harder to go to. I see Dr. Baram tomorrow afternoon and I have so much to ask him. I will write later today after my appointment.

Thanks for listening ~ Kristen

Monday, October 6, 2008

Diet Coke & Infertility?

Just thought this was interesting...
My mom called me today and said she heard on the 107.1 morning show that there are new studies out there that are linking diet coke to infertility. I was VERY dissappointed when I heard that. I love diet coke! I have at least 2 cans a day. I haven't read any studies on it, but I am guessing that its the caffiene they are worrying about. Its just interesting all of the different things that can play into how our body works. There is so much more we are learning everyday about how products used for many years are actually harmful to us and affect the way we work. Its amazing! I guess I will have to try and substitute my diet coke for something else. This will be my greatest challenge yet!
~Love, Kristen

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Test results

I got my progesterone test results yesterday. It was not good, in fact it was worse then the first month, 1.0.........I am so devastated. After crying and a few hugs and words from Eli and my mom I felt better but still sad and found myself thinking again how unfair life can be. Work just confirms this for me. There are women who are having babies and do drugs, don't take care of themselves, have no home, no family, no where to go but god has given them the gift of pregnancy. Why? No one will ever know, and I won't give up on god now. I even ask my grandpa Seviola who passed away in May to send me some luck and put in a good word for Eli and I! I hope he is listening.
I go to the doctor on Wednesday this week, so we will see what Dr. Baram has to say. Pray for some good news, like maybe the test was wrong :) (Hey I believe in miracles!)
Oh almost forgot, Dr. Baram suggested Eli have his sperm tested, so he did and he is good to go! Nothing wrong in that department. That's good news!

I thought it would be nice to start a blog so that everyone who wants to know about our journey trying to conceive can. I know a lot of people want to know, but don't know how to ask. I will try and update the blog as often as I can!

As many of you know, Eli and I got married May 3, 2008. Excited to start additions to our family, we started trying to have a baby before we got married, sorry mom & dad :). I stopped my birth control around January, hoping we could time it right, get pregnant on the honeymoon and have a baby before our 1 year anniversary! I thought it would go easily and never even imagined we would have trouble. You always think it won't be you. No one in my family had trouble so why should I, right? Wrong.
I went from January to the end of May without even getting my period!!! Yeah it sounds great, and it was, but not when your trying to have a baby. So, after the honeymoon, when in my "dream world" I was supposed to be pregnant, I decided to go and talk to an OB doctor. Because of where I work, I chose the best one I know, Dr. Baram and made an appointment. He did assure me that not getting your period was normal after taking birth control, but gave me a prescription for progesterone pills to jump start a period and get me on a regular schedule.
10 days and lots of cramping later, I got my period! I remember running out to tell Eli and he said, "Wow, I have never seen you so excited about your period". He was probably right! Now I thought, we can get pregnant, I'm getting a period and then I will ovulate and we will have a baby! Yeah!
Wrong again. I never ovulated. 2 months went by, another round of progesterone pills, no signs of ovulation. :( Back to Dr. Baram. On our third appointment, he decided to start me on a low dose of Clomiphene Citrate or Clomid. Clomid is a drug that can help you to ovulate. I was started on 50mg. Treatment from Dr. Baram was, take the progesterone on the third day of your period take the clomid for 5 days and have sex every other day starting on day 10-22, on day 22 come to the lab and have your progesterone level drawn. Wow! My husband will be happy I thought! Sounds like a lot of work, but I will do anything! And I have heard so many success stories on the first month of clomid, I thought this would be all we need and we would get pregnant!
The month went by. Again, nothing. No signs of ovulation, no positive ovulation tests and worst of all my progesterone level was VERY low :(. I can remember how excited I was when I called the clinic to get my test results and I can still hear the nurse say to me, "not this month hunny, sorry". I was so heart broken, why me? Why is this so hard for us? My level was 1.3, Dr. Baram said he would like it to be at least 4 or greater and even above 10 to have ovulated and keep a pregnancy. So, he decided to up the dose of clomid to 100mg with the same plan as last month.
Month #2 on clomid. On day 10-12 I had signs of ovulation!!! Yeah! Gail and See (two Ob nurses I work with) were in the bathroom with me when I found out and just ask them I was glowing with excitement! They were glad no one else was in the bathroom with us :) . Now I can't wait for my progesterone level this month, I just know it will be high! I am looking forward to pregnancyin the future, but would love to get the ovulation part down first!

Please pray for us! Love, Kristen & Eli