For almost the past year, Karl and I have been trying to get pregnant, without success. In February and March, we had some tests done to see if we could figure out what was causing the problem, and a month ago we got the answer: I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, a form of hypothyroidism where my immune system has attacked my thyroid, and it has stopped producing enough thyroid hormone. Since the thyroid helps regulate metabolism, every cell in the body depends on those thyroid hormones to properly function. When there isn't enough, this causes all kinds of things like chronic fatigue, achiness, difficulty concentrating/memory problems (I've seen this described as "brain fog"; my mom calls it "chemo brain"), and increased susceptibility to getting sick because of a weakened immune system, as well as infertility. I had all those symptoms, but had just assumed it was because we were busy, or had a lot of stress in our lives, or I needed to get more sleep - so I was hugely relieved to have an answer for not only the infertility but all the rest, too! It's really, really exciting for me to think that I might not have to live this way, being tired all the time. It's sobering, since this is a chronic autoimmune disease that will require medication every day for the rest of my life. BUT, it's so very good to have a name for it, and hope for the way ahead.

They did some more bloodwork today, and on Monday or Tuesday I should be able to get the first prescription. It will most likely take several months to find the right dosage, so that means a date with me and a needle every 4-6 weeks until my blood levels are in the normal range. After that, I'll just need to be checked every 6-12 months to make sure the dosage is still working.

One unexpected blessing with all this is the fact that we haven't been able to get pregnant - untreated hypothyroidism can cause impaired cognitive development, greater risk of miscarriage, and other problems for the mother and the baby. Now that I've been diagnosed, we're waiting until my levels are normal before we start that process again, and once I do become pregnant they'll know to check my levels every month and adjust the meds as needed to make sure the baby and I are both healthy. For the last eleven months we've been praying so hard for a baby, and didn't understand why God seemed to be saying, "not yet..." Now it's clear that He was protecting us, and making sure everything was safe for our little one. Yet another example of why I need to remember to trust Him and His timing!

Thanks to everyone who's been praying for me, and for us... I'll keep you posted.