Where do I go from here? Secondary Infertility while Breastfeeding a 3-year-old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-12-2012, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all.  I haven't posted in a long time, but I used to be an MDC "regular".  Well, it took DH and I 9 months to conceive DD, which is long compared to some people, but obviously still within the "normal" range.  After DD was born, I got my first PPAF when she was only 13 weeks old.... yeah.  Despite EBFing, I had only a 7 week break between the last of my postpartum flow (lochia) and my first actual period.  We decided to throw caution to the wind, and we haven't used protection ONCE since she was about 12 weeks old.  She is almost 3 years old now.  We've been "officially TTC" since February of 2011.  So that's 2.5 years of no protection, and 1 year of intentional trying, and no luck.  

DD is still breastfeeding 2-4 times at night and probably 10 times per day.  It seems like she's the only 3-year-old I've heard of who breastfeeds more than a couple of times a day, but she's a picky eater, and wants to be on the boob all.the.time.  I'm all for child-led-weaning, or obviously I wouldn't have "allowed" her to nurse this long, but I do realize that her nursing (especially at night) may be hindering my chances at giving her a sibling.  I've thought about encouraging night weaning, but it makes me sad, and I know that DD (being high needs) will not have an easy time of it.  

I have charted, and as far as I can tell I AM ovulating, though I do sometimes have a short LP (but not super short).  I'm significantly overweight, but about the same weight as I was when I got pregnant with DD - so if that's a factor I would be surprised.  I'm sure I can rule out PCOS b/c I do not have ANY of the body symptoms of that.  It's also possible I might have low progesterone or something b/c I do have spotting before AND after my periods frequently (but not every time).  I read TCOYF a long time ago, I use Fertility Friend, and I know the ropes of tracking CP/CM, BBT, and OPKs.  Nothing new to me.  But these days I don't bother tracking anything except my cervical signs.  I've become rather apathetic.  I've convinced myself that it doesn't matter, because the month I finally got pregnant with DD, that was all I was tracking, and I had kind of given up.

I know I should probably have some blood work done, and that DH should get tested too, but I just keep putting it off.  I don't know what care providers can do that testing, and if they will suggest more natural routes first, or what.  I'm scared.  I'm depressed.  I feel helpless.  I'm trying to convince myself that maybe I should just try the CBE Fertility Monitor first before spending hundreds of $$$ on testing and bloodwork.  I don't take any vitamins or herbs anymore b/c I've just given up.  I used Vitex one time when I was TTC #1, and it totally messed up my cycle instead of helping it.  My cycles are pretty regular 28-32 days.  I tried Maca for a few months too, and that really didn't do anything for me.  I've done Evening Primrose Oil, and it does help increase CM, but I just forget to take it.

Sorry if this is information overload, but I figured that anyone reading this would ask these questions, so I went ahead and answered as much as I can now.  If you have any suggestions or advice, or similar stories for me, I'd really appreciate it.  Thanks!


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#2 of 11 Old 03-13-2012, 04:45 AM
 
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I'm so sorry that you're in this boat!!  If you have PPAF back and all the signs are showing that you are ovulating, then unless there are other medical factors, this shouldn't keep you from getting pregnant.  It sounds like you're really struggling with this, and I just want you to understand that you're not alone!!  What state are you in?  Some states cover some of the infertility work up.  That work up can be done by your ob/gyn.  It sounds like it might be worth getting it done, at least then you'll know. 

 

We struggled with Primary, and now Secondary infertility.  We need IVF to get pregnant, so I did have to stop bfing my 19 month old DD, which was sooner than I wanted to.  But there are so many people on this board that can understand where you are coming from - please do not hesitate to lean on us for support!!

 

hug2.gif



Me: 34, DH: 36, DD born 7/25/10 After 4 years of trying and failed IVF treatments (missing my angels).  IVF/ICSI worked this time! DS born 1/8/13!



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#3 of 11 Old 03-13-2012, 04:46 AM
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Sorry you are dealing with this. I can give you my experience - I wish I had weaned my DS sooner. I ended up weening him at age 2.5 because I was having a m/c, and I have been TTC for 4 years. I know people here will tell you that nursing does not make a difference, but my RE told me that as you get older it certainly does. Maybe you should see an RE?


Mom to DS 12/07 and DD 11/13, plus a bunch of chickens, dogs, and cats.

Moving past many years of infertility and always thinking of my friends in the infertility forums.

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#4 of 11 Old 03-13-2012, 05:31 AM
 
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Good to know rcr - I guess I never thought about age making a difference!



Me: 34, DH: 36, DD born 7/25/10 After 4 years of trying and failed IVF treatments (missing my angels).  IVF/ICSI worked this time! DS born 1/8/13!



www.3hearts2hold1love-emms.blogspot.com

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#5 of 11 Old 03-13-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, ladies!  I know that there are so many of you who have been struggling a lot longer, and have been diagnosed with things that make conceiving really difficult.  I feel SO lucky to have a child at all, and she is amazing.  I have always wanted a big family, though (at this point we've agreed on 4 children).  I'm an only child, and for the most part I hated it.  Sure, I got all the attention and was spoiled to a point, but I didn't have anyone to play with.  I had to get really creative when I was bored.  Maybe not such a bad thing, but I digress.  My mother waited until she was 38 to have me.  I am "only" 29, and got pregnant with DD when I was 25.5, but I know that fertility goes down after 25 and again at 30, 35, and so on.  

Hope4Light - I finally made an appointment today after calling around and realizing that the only local OBs who take my insurance have a 6 month waiting period just for a new patient visit.  WTH??   I used the Vandy Midwives when I was pregnant with DD, and I guess I could go with them again for bloodwork, but I went ahead and made an appointment with a fertility clinic anyway since I don't need a referral.  

DH and I both have to go in next Thursday, on our daughter's 3rd birthday (how fitting).... also the 3rd anniversary of my traumatic birth with her, so that should be interesting.  I guess they'll do our bloodwork and test his sperm.  I still kind of snicker thinking of him having to go into a room with some magazines or however they do that.  LOL!  We'll see what comes up.  

I've never heard of BFing interfering with fertility *more* as you get older.  That's interesting.  Do you have any resources for that, RCR?

Have you guys ever used the Clearblue Easy monitor?  I've used their OPKs and love them, but I feel like maybe the monitor would have even more insight.  It's a lot of $ to shell out at once, though.


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#6 of 11 Old 03-14-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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Love to you Filiadeluna.  I dealt with secondary infertility for many years.  It is a tough one...kind of an in-between place to be.  I was not dealing with "true infertility" because I am blessed with a perfectly amazing son, but I definitely was NOT getting pregnant.  For us, our TTC road came to an end.  We are a small and happy family.  It has been a journey...very emotional and left me very feeling very vulnerable.  Life is amazing and the challenges we face help us to grow and learn and see the world differently.  Wishing you ALL the best :)

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#7 of 11 Old 03-15-2012, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Peacegirl1975 View Post

Love to you Filiadeluna.  I dealt with secondary infertility for many years.  It is a tough one...kind of an in-between place to be.  I was not dealing with "true infertility" because I am blessed with a perfectly amazing son, but I definitely was NOT getting pregnant.  For us, our TTC road came to an end.  We are a small and happy family.  It has been a journey...very emotional and left me very feeling very vulnerable.  Life is amazing and the challenges we face help us to grow and learn and see the world differently.  Wishing you ALL the best :)


Thanks!  Well DH wants me to cancel the appointment now b/c he doesn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for bloodwork and whatnot.  GRRR.  So now I have to save up for a CBE Monitor instead, because he thinks that's a reasonable alternative.  It could be another precious cycle or two before we can get one.  *sigh* 

 


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#8 of 11 Old 03-16-2012, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by filiadeluna View Post

 

I'm an only child, and for the most part I hated it.  Sure, I got all the attention and was spoiled to a point, but I didn't have anyone to play with.  I had to get really creative when I was bored.  Maybe not such a bad thing, but I digress.  My mother waited until she was 38 to have me.  I am "only" 29, and got pregnant with DD when I was 25.5, but I know that fertility goes down after 25 and again at 30, 35, and so on. 

 



Sorry DH canceled the appointment. Hope it works out naturally. No, I don't have any info on BFing and IF as you age. I wish I did, but it is just something that my RE mentioned to me, and I thought it was interesting and kinda made sense to me. 

 

And, in regards to your statement above (quoted), I know you don't mean any harm, but you may want to be careful posting stuff like how being an only child is bad on an IF forum. It made me feel bad, and probably others too. Many of us here have been struggling with this for years, have had multiple and costly surgeries and interventions and still have not gotten pregnant.  Though we are lucky enough to have a child (some aren't that lucky), we don't need to hear how people hate it, because there is a very real possibility that our children will not have siblings. No hard feelings, I just wanted to point that out, since you seem new to the IF part of MDC.


Mom to DS 12/07 and DD 11/13, plus a bunch of chickens, dogs, and cats.

Moving past many years of infertility and always thinking of my friends in the infertility forums.

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#9 of 11 Old 03-16-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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One thing that you could do is call back the RE and ask if they think the tests would be of value while you are breastfeeding. I also bf DS until he was three (like RCR, I would have weaned him sooner had I known what it would mean for my fertility) and my OB refused to test me for anything, saying it wouldn't matter.

 

My story is a long one, but I've learned that prolactin (the hormone involved in milk production among other things) affects each woman's body differently. It could well be that you are in the rare category of not being able to achieve pregnancy while bf. I believe kellymom says it's something like 4% of women. If you want to save money, I would get just the prolactin blood test. If it is elevated beyond the reference range that could prevent you from getting pregnant. And if it's not elevated, you know you can suspect something else. It might help you make a decision as to what to do next.

 

I know how difficult it is to feel like you have to decide between weaning and ttc, and I hope that you don't have to choose. I read a lot about child-led weaning and decided I was not prepared to nurse my son until 5-6 or beyond (usually the earliest age for child-led), especially if that meant foregoing the chance to give him siblings. I am very happy with my decision. He still talks about nursing with great joy and love a year and a half later.


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#10 of 11 Old 03-16-2012, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by rcr View Post



Sorry DH canceled the appointment. Hope it works out naturally. No, I don't have any info on BFing and IF as you age. I wish I did, but it is just something that my RE mentioned to me, and I thought it was interesting and kinda made sense to me. 

 

And, in regards to your statement above (quoted), I know you don't mean any harm, but you may want to be careful posting stuff like how being an only child is bad on an IF forum. It made me feel bad, and probably others too. Many of us here have been struggling with this for years, have had multiple and costly surgeries and interventions and still have not gotten pregnant.  Though we are lucky enough to have a child (some aren't that lucky), we don't need to hear how people hate it, because there is a very real possibility that our children will not have siblings. No hard feelings, I just wanted to point that out, since you seem new to the IF part of MDC.

 

I didn't mean to offend you, but my experience with it is another reason I feel compelled to have more than one child if at all possible.  It was probably made worse by the fact that I was an only child to a divorced mom having to raise me on her own.  She had to work 3 jobs sometimes, plus went to school, so I was a latchkey kid and was on my own a lot.  I didn't have any cousins my age, either, so I had to entertain myself or play with the neighbors when they were out.  I'm sure many only children in different situations enjoyed being the only ones, though.  It was nice to have all the attention when I was able to get it, and to not have to share (LOL).  I still don't like to share things, so that's been a challenge teaching my child how to share with her friends.  
 

 


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#11 of 11 Old 03-16-2012, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gozal View Post

One thing that you could do is call back the RE and ask if they think the tests would be of value while you are breastfeeding. I also bf DS until he was three (like RCR, I would have weaned him sooner had I known what it would mean for my fertility) and my OB refused to test me for anything, saying it wouldn't matter.

 

My story is a long one, but I've learned that prolactin (the hormone involved in milk production among other things) affects each woman's body differently. It could well be that you are in the rare category of not being able to achieve pregnancy while bf. I believe kellymom says it's something like 4% of women. If you want to save money, I would get just the prolactin blood test. If it is elevated beyond the reference range that could prevent you from getting pregnant. And if it's not elevated, you know you can suspect something else. It might help you make a decision as to what to do next.

 

I know how difficult it is to feel like you have to decide between weaning and ttc, and I hope that you don't have to choose. I read a lot about child-led weaning and decided I was not prepared to nurse my son until 5-6 or beyond (usually the earliest age for child-led), especially if that meant foregoing the chance to give him siblings. I am very happy with my decision. He still talks about nursing with great joy and love a year and a half later.

 


Yeah I could call and ask that I suppose.  Not a bad idea.  I have read/heard that the suckling action may interfere with implantation, too.
 

 


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