Yesterday I visited my reproductive endocrinologist (RE) for the first time in almost two years(!), and now we officially have A Plan.
I’d originally intended to wait a little longer, but last week I had my annual OBGYN appointment, and of course the fact that we were already trying to conceive came up during my visit. I mentioned that it was hard to know how long to try on our own before going back to the RE, especially since we don’t know whether things are the same or worse than they were at my abnormal HSG right before we conceived our son two years ago. I also mentioned that the HSG seems to be helpful, or at least lucky, for us since both times I’ve gotten pregnant before it’s been the cycle after an HSG. She encouraged me to go back to the RE and talk to her about getting another HSG sooner rather than later — as she said, it won’t hurt (too much), it will give us more information, and it might help!
So after that appointment I called the RE’s office, and they had a cancellation this week so they were able to get me in right away. Yesterday I made the trek back down (it’s about a half-hour drive — in the smallish college town where I live there are no REs so we have to go to one of the large state hospital systems). It felt so odd walking into that building again, realizing that I hadn’t been there for two years! And since it’s National Infertility Awareness Week, they had cupcakes in the waiting room — hey, sucks to be infertile, but here, have a cupcake! Actually, I thought it was very sweet — they were clearly homemade, and I wondered who among the office staff took the time to bake cupcakes for all their patients.
The RE was very sweet, and excited for us, and positive about our chances of conceiving again. As expected, she gave me a talk about cutting back on breastfeeding before we start getting serious about intervention. But she didn’t take as hard a line as I was expecting — she said that once a day was probably OK. She would have been happy to put in the order for the HSG right away, but she pointed out that to maximize the fertility benefit it might make sense to wait until I’ve cut back on breastfeeding. I was cool with waiting a few months — as I’ve mentioned, we’re really not desperate to get pregnant immediately. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trying to at least wean off of daytime pumping, since I dislike it so much and I’m not convinced that at this age there’s really any benefit to breastfeeding four times a day as opposed to two.
So, here’s the plan: I’ll slowly (super-slowly, since I’m so prone to clogged ducts!) wean off of pumping during the day over the next ~month, but continue to nurse morning and evening, plus maybe a little extra on weekends or sick days if S asks for it. I have the order for the HSG whenever I’m ready, which I’m thinking will be around July or so — if he’s still nursing then, I’ll see how I feel about cutting back to one session (probably bedtime, since he’s often impatient with the morning session anyway — too excited to start his day!).
So that means that we’ll keep trying on our own for a few months, then probably do the HSG and my bloodwork mid-summer, then try on our own for a few more months while my husband gets his testing re-done, and then if nothing has happened by mid to late fall, we’ll be ready to escalate. The timeline I discussed with the RE is that we’d like to be pregnant within about a year, but it’s OK if it’s not immediate, so we’re content to try this for a while. She’s optimistic about our chances for a spontaneous conception. I’m happy with the plan, my husband is happy with the plan, and it just feels good to HAVE a plan and know what to expect.
So, we’ll see what happens. I’m feeling more positive these days about trying again. And little S is a huge light in my life, making me appreciate so concretely every day how fortunate we are to have him, even as we look towards a hopeful future of perhaps, someday, a family of four here on Earth.