PCOS is a complicated puzzle that makes growing your family incredibly difficult. People assume that because were have two children that it must be easy for us to have kids, and surely we had zero struggles to get to where we are... But that couldn't be farther from the truth. Being on the fertility merry-go-round is so hard. Hormones and emotions are all over the place all the time. You try not to get too excited, keep your expectations realistic and grounded... which is way easier said than done! You're constantly going back and forth to the fertility clinic for blood work, ultrasounds and checks. Pitching a tent and just staying there seems like a reasonable solution at times. This is all stressful and difficult enough for a healthy person, but when you toss chronic migraine into the mix things get even more complicated.
The kinds of medication that would probably benefit me, I can't try. A daily preventive medication for migraine is not something you can do when you are trying to get pregnant. So what can I do? Well, for the past 13 years I have taken abortive medications - triptans - that you use at the onset of a migraine attack. For the over the past year I have also been able to add Botox to my care plan. But these things are also not reliable with trying to have a baby. Why not? When you are in the 2 week wait period of time - this is after I have done my fertility medications and trigger shot to hopefully force ovulation to happen- I can't take ANY of my migraine meds. They are not safe and could potentially cause issues or even a miscarriage. Being that I am at a greater than 50% change for miscarriage (every single time I get pregnant) to start with and the fact that I have had two losses already, I have a hard time allowing myself Tylenol (which does zip for my chronic migraine, but at least is safe to take) let alone risking taking a serious medication like my triptans.
Also, if you might be pregnant they won't do the Botox. The appointment I had set up early in March to get my next round, I had to cancel and push back. I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant, but that is not good enough, I needed to know for certain with my blood work. Not only did I miss my appointment by literally one day, now I have to wait until MAY to have another appointment (if I am not in the middle of another 2 week wait.) If you have never had any experience at a neurologist or specialist's office, let me tell you it is a pain in the you-know-what to get timely appointments, even as an established patient! The Botox is still something that I am kind of deciding about, because it seems to help keep my pain at a more manageable level but doesn't help as much with how often I have attacks.
The most trying part though, at least for me, during the wait is not taking any of the medication when I have a migraine. With the Botox worn off, it amps up my pain level as well, so when I have a migraine it goes from something I can usually manage at a 4-6/10 on my pain scale to crippling pain, 8-10/10 on my pain scale. The amount of time a migraine sticks around doubles, triples even. An attack that might last 12 hours with the aid of a triptan at the beginning stays for days. I lay in the dark, praying for the strength to make it through the attack - secretly hoping that it will all be worth it for the sake of the baby that may or may not be taking hold in my womb.
Every cycle that passes which ends in a negative result is hard. After doing this for so long you try to not get your hopes high, but at the same time it's hard to stop yourself from dreaming of the "what if it's happening this time"... The baby will be born X month, the boys will be X age, and on and on. I always find myself feverishly Googling "early symptoms" knowing that it's pointless. I am very in-tune with my body, more than the average person, so when I am pregnant I _know_ it. The little changes in my body are magnified under my constant inventory of myself. I still take pregnancy tests too early. I still search for the possibility that my knowing-inner-voice is wrong.
How do I keep going on this exhausting, turbulent journey? I can only credit it to my deep faith in God. He blessed us with Nathan, whom the doctors later said we shouldn't have been able too have on our own. He held my heart and helped me grieve our first loss. He spoke to me before Luke was even conceived and told me He was in charge and to not be afraid. He blessed us with Luke, our second miracle baby. He gave me the strength to cope with our second loss and brought me comfort. I know that if I am meant to have more children, it will be on God's time, not my own or the doctors. Sure, the doctors are helping us and navigating my complicated body, but I know that ultimately our baby will come with a little bit of science and a whole lot of faith.