August 11, 2011

Laughing at Infertility (Part 1)

My husband and I have struggled with infertility for years. I never thought in a million years when we got married that we would have so much trouble getting pregnant as we did.

After 3 years of TTC (trying to conceive), we finally became pregnant through IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
This was our 2nd attempt at IVF and luckily we were successful and became pregnant with our daughter. IVF was the the last option we had before we would consider adoption. We had tried everything we could to get pregnant before resorting to IVF. We tried taking expensive medications; clomid, metformin, levothyroxine, femara; and when those didn't work we went to injectable medications like FSH. Nothing worked. Then we tried IUI's (intrauterine insemination). After 4 rounds of those, we decided to try IVF.

Throughout out the years of TTC, my emotions took a toll. I was depressed every month when my cycle started, or when we found out that the hundreds of dollars we'd just spent on last month's meds didn't work. Or when we found out the IVF cycle that cost us $$$ didn't work. You get the idea.

Crying myself to sleep became a habit. I tried to look at the positive side of things; how my husband and I had an opportunity to enjoy married life a little bit longer before having kids, how we were able to get into a house sooner than we planned on, how I was able to work full-time longer and save up more money. But all of these "positives" were outweighed in my mind by the biggest burden I'd ever felt in my life, my inability to conceive!

I thought to myself constantly, "Why am I not able to conceive? Why does this have to happen to me?" The doctors couldn't find a reason why I was infertile (my husband was absolutely fine, in fact, better than fine. His "swimmers" as we like to call them, should have won an Olympic Gold Medal for their record time and agility.  The timing of my cycles had always been a little off, so the idea was to get my cycles more regular and take meds to make me ovulate more regularly. But once that was happening and we still couldn't get pregnant, I felt helpless.

All I wanted was answers. I wanted to know what else I could possibly do to increase my chances at getting pregnant. During all this time, I felt utterly alone. I felt like I was the only person on the face of the planet; no wait; the entire universe; who couldn't get pregnant.

But I was so utterly wrong! I knew there were others out there who were infertile, but they all seemed to get pregnant quicker than I did. I never wanted to talk about my infertility trials to anyone but my husband. I didn't even want to tell our families about what was going on. That would signal defeat in my mind. It would be like acknowledging my defaults in front of the whole world. They would all know that something was wrong with me. Was it too much to ask that all I wanted to do was provide grandchildren for our parents?

After going through the trials of infertility for 3 years, finally getting pregnant, and having our beautiful daughter, infertility is still looming in my mind. It never goes away. Yes, I was able to get pregnant which is one of the greatest blessings in my life. But that didn't take my infertility away. For 9 months I looked like a fertile woman, but I was still incapable of conceiving on my own.

I think a lot about having our next child. How all of this will come back to haunt me. Will we need to do IVF again? Will we finally be able to conceive naturally? These questions swim around in my head all the time.

I felt powerless for years. How could anything possibly be positive about this situation? What could I possibly find funny about our infertility?

And then I found out..........
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