Tag Archive | stress

Chronicles of a Stress Ridden Infertile Part 1

Here I am on a leave of absence from work.  How did I get here?  Well since I’m a teacher my summer was pretty low stress.  I still worked on curriculum, professional development, and special programs; but I wasn’t teaching.  My hormone levels were all in the effective ranges during my summer cycles.  Everything about me was well within normal ranges, then the school year hit and things changed drastically.  To put it simply it was as though I hadn’t even had my laparoscopy.  My estradiol levels only got into the 160s and since they need to be in the 300s for an effective ovulation, you could pretty much say that my reproductive system shut down due to stress.  I had mid cycle spotting, and my peak day didn’t even come until day 20!  Typically peak day should occur by day 15.  Stress was taking away our chances of having a child.

I didn’t just say “that’s it I quit,” instead I tried to talk with my principal and superintendent about the increase in our work too much workload, the changes in our work day, the fact that two of my classes had more special education than regular ed kids in them and there was no special ed teacher in the room with me.  All of this was stated multiple times.  Our superintendent said she had: “nothing but whiners” in our wing.  Every time I turned around we got more work to do with no time to do it.  They even took away our team time, meaning that our only time to communicate with each other about students and their needs was after school! My typical day meant that I spent 9-10 hours working on school grounds and then another two hours working at home after dinner.

After looking at my hormone levels, Dr. C. my NaProTechnology doctor called and said I needed to come in for an emergency appointment.  Since we already had plans to go away for the weekend, my husband, Frank, came with me.  Boy did he have a lot to tell the doctor.  He’s the one who pointed out the differences between my charts over the summer and during the school year.  It was Frank who also commented on the differences in my CM and its arrival time.  Dr. C had one thing to say about this: “There’s only one of us in this room who can get pregnant and it’s not me.”  I asked Dr. C. if it were possible to get a note for a leave of absence in case I needed it.  He immediately wrote me one after he confirmed that the only cause of the drastic change in my fertility could be stress.

I went back to my superintendent’s office and told her that I had been recommended for a leave of absence.  She was not happy.  To be fair, it’s tough to find someone with one my certifications at this time of year, and it takes the knowledge behind both of my certifications to do what I do.  Too bad.  Had she listened when I tried to tell her what the increased work load was doing to her teachers, we wouldn’t have this problem.  She asked that I give her two weeks to find someone who has the appropriate certification. She put out a call for long terms subs, and I sent an e-mail to my friends and colleagues asking if anyone knew a certified sub who would be willing to take the job.

Midway through the second week, I broke out in hives.  Considering I didn’t eat any new foods, I was pretty sure they were from stress.  The last time I broke out in stress hives was when I was about to lose my job four years ago, so knowing that it was indeed possible, I figured that  had to be it.  I popped a Benadryl, promptly made sub plans, popped another Benadryl and finally stopped scratching.  I became drowsy quickly and fell asleep just before the Sox won the World Series.  In New England, that’s just something you do not do!

substitute teacherWhile I was out of work the next day, I got an e-mail from a prospective sub.  The hives had subsided and I was only resting, so I decided to give him a call.  Since my husband and I had already decided I was looking for another job and had even begun applying, I explained to the sub that there was a possibility that this job might become permanent, he wasn’t sold but he was interested.

I returned to work the following day determined that my LOA begin ASAP.  I informed the superintendent that I had a possible candidate and she was quite surprised since she had none.  At that point I gave her his contact information, told her the date I’d begin my LOA, and got to making 5 days’ worth of sub plans which my contract requires me to do for any prolonged absence.

So why haven’t we conceived yet?

should shrug

I’ve spent the last year as a NaProTechnology patient.  I keep asking myself why we haven’t conceived yet.  Dr. C. says we’re just now approaching prime time for conception and that it should happen within the next year.  If you’ve been following my blog or facebook page, then you know that diligence, not patience is my greatest virtue.

Years ago, a friend of mine told me: “When God whispers in your ear and you don’t listen, sometimes, he smacks you upside the head until you do!” I can’t count the number of times I’ve reminded myself of that quote over the years. Once again, I am reminded of that phrase today!

Four years ago, I was laid off from a job that I was pretty miserable at.  I didn’t want to quit because I pink sliponly had one teaching certification at the time, I was nearing tenure, and I was raised to appreciate the blessings in my life, my job being one of them.  I didn’t recognize it at the time, but that layoff was a blessing!  I found another job before the school year was out, spent the summer writing curriculum and was pretty happy that first year.  I was taking two graduate courses, teaching full time, and I was happy with the situation.  Two years later, I finished graduate school and I was ready for some time off since I’d only be working full time.

We were one year into our TTC journey and I hadn’t yet had my first NaProTechnology appointment yet.  I’ll admit I was consumed with the thought of getting pregnant and I threw myself into my work.  Before I knew it I was up to my eyeballs with committee work, a stipend position, the new evaluation system for which our superintendent had volunteered our district. .

When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I finally had a reason for the intense pain I had experienced for years, and eventually I had the laparoscopy.  After that I felt fabulous and I thought that so much of my stress before surgery was due to my pain.

frustrated teacherThe new school year began and although the first three weeks of school are usually full of housekeeping details that are part of setting up our school year, I couldn’t keep up.  Every time I turned around administration was heaping extra duties on us and taking away the time we needed to complete our work.  I was working 60+hour weeks and I still wasn’t getting all of it done!

I’m no stranger to hard work, heck I’ve gotten glowing evaluations for each year I’ve been teaching.  I know what my kids need and I make sure they get it.  Enough about teaching, this post isn’t about my career, rather it’s about how my current teaching job is affecting our chances of conception.

I knew things weren’t right, so I decided to talk to administration about how things are going up on my floor.  We’re all working hard, we all feel as though we’re not accomplishing the tasks we’re charged with, and we’re all feeling defeated before we begin.  Administration was of a different opinion, there were comments made about how we’re in it for the wrong reasons, and other ridiculous remarks.

While I was working like a crazy woman, and begging to get a break, my body was going to pot.  My chart showed evidence of a decrease in health.  I was bleeding like crazy.  Although I wasn’t bleeding heavily, I bled for 16 days out of a 28 day cycle—not at all normal!  My hormone levels were not what they should be, despite taking medication to bring them into the effective zone!  During the previous month, my estradiol levels hit 399, but during my first whole cycle after returning to school, I couldn’t even break 200!  I barely ovulated, if I even ovulated at all!

When Doctor C’s office got the results of my peak plus 7 blood draw, they called me immediately and said I had to come in the following Friday to see what was going on with my body.  Off I went to my appointment with Dr. C, this time my husband, Frank, had the day off and came with me.

We asked if stress might be to blame for the changes in my chart.  Dr. C inquired as to whether I was still on clomid, I was, and whether I had been taking the naltrexone, yes to that as well, and whether I was still on the antibiotics for mucus enhancement, yes again, and finally had I been taking the vitamin D, B6, kelp, Bcomplex, Magnesium, and pycnogenol, yes to everything.  Given that I was following all of my doctor’s orders stress could be the only reason for the decline in health.  It was time to do something about it….