Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Story...

I've decided that it's time to start a new blog...all about our adventures in infertility. I'm sure there are some people in my life who don't want to read about it all the for them, there will be a blog about our everyday lives, and a blog about our infertility struggles.

For anyone who doesn't know, Brent and I have been trying to conceive since November 2008, which means it has been roughly 2.5 years. We were lucky enough to conceive on our 3rd month of trying, but devastatingly, that ended in a miscarriage at about 6 weeks. We tried another 12 months or so on our own, and then decided it was time to seek a professionals help. I had an ultrasound, and several vials of blood drawn. The conclusion: Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. Read all about it here. The long and short of it means I have trouble ovulating every month like normal, healthy women do.
I was given a prescription to balance out my blood sugar, and a fertility medicine to help me ovulate. We continued down that path for the next 6 months, with no pregnancy in sight.
Shortly after that, Brent got transferred, we moved to Iowa Falls (yay!), and I started seeing a new doctor. More of the same came...only he switched me to a different fertility medicine. He also ordered a Semen Analysis test for Brent. The results of that were mostly good...normal count, although the motility isn't 100%.

Due to us both having issues to deal with, in January of this year, we moved on to the next step, which was an Intra-Uterine Inseminaiton, frequently referred to as an IUI. Read all about that here. I was so excited. I really got my hopes up that it would work. But, once again, 2 weeks later, I was met with disappointment. It didn't work.

Which brings us to the present. The latest round of fertility medicine had poor eggies in sight, even though previous lower doses have worked fine. So there is nothing to do this month but wait for my period and move on. My doctor is to the point where we will do one more IUI in April if I have any eggs..and then he feels like he can no longer treat me, and will refer me onto a fertility specialist.

However, since my insurance covers 0 of our infertility treatment, seeing a specialist is not something we will be able to do anytime soon. IVF is beyond expensive. $10,000-$15,000 per time, and there are no guarantees it will work. Who has that kind of money? Adoption is something we would also consider, although the cost for that is similar to IVF. But at least that way you for sure get a baby.

Now, I will say, no doctor has ever told us the chances of us becoming pregnant on our own are 0. I've never really been given a statistic, really. It did happen for us once. Brent does have a normal count, and I DO ovulate on my own, just not all the time. So we can continue to try on our own. But we all know there are no guarantees in life. There is no guarantee that I will ever be a mother. But I hope and pray everyday that it will happen, one way or another.

Please join us as we continue our journey. I know there are a lot of you out there hoping and praying for us, and I appreciate it more than I can share in words. I believe in the power of prayer. It can only help tip the odds in our favor.

Here is a story about the beginning of our journey...just starting out, and the miscarriage that broke my heart...before the word infertility ever was a thought in my mind.

It was finally time. The moment I had waited for for 5 long years. We were finally ready to start a family. Financial burdens and low-paying jobs were no longer an issue. My dream to be a mother was about to come true.
A few months earlier, I began to arm myself with any and all information regarding fertility and conceiving a baby. I started taking prenatal vitamins. I bought the book suggested by all my friends on the Ovusoft message boards, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, and a basal body temperature thermometer.
The book taught me how to check my “lady juice” and take my temperature every day to find the few days I was most fertile every month. I was surprised and amazed by the wealth of knowledge that was in this book. It was like the Holy Bible of the woman’s body.
Armed with the knowledge of how and when, I jumped in with both feet. The first month was fun. We timed everything perfectly. I tried not to get my hopes up. After all, there is only a 25% chance of conceiving every cycle in perfect conditions.
When the witch came to visit me, I was let down for sure. I thought of how amazing it would be to tell all the grandparents we were having a baby for Christmas. But, I wasn’t too discouraged. This was only the first month, after all.
The second month I threw myself even deeper into my quest. I tried out another trick, using an Ovulation Predictor Kit, which alerts you to a surge of a chemical the body releases right before ovulation. Again, we had perfect timing. And again, the witch showed up, on Christmas Day. I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
I went into the third month thinking “the third time’s a charm, right?” and it was. Amazingly, the witch didn’t show at her usual time. I was so excited, I ran out to buy a pregnancy test, and spent the next few hours squinting at the faint line that was there. I wasn’t sure I believed it, so the next day I went and bought one of those fancy digital tests. The most amazing word in the whole world stared back at me. I was pregnant. It was January 26, the best day of my life.
Brent and I couldn’t wait to tell our parents. We took a picture of the test and emailed it to everyone, telling them the race was on to see who would call first. It was so amazing to share this wonderful news with them, everyone was so excited and happy for us.
The next day I went out and bought a pregnancy book and began thinking about baby names, nursery themes, if we were going to find out the sex or not. I made a doctor’s appointment for 2 weeks later. All I could think about was how I was going to be a mother. I spent a lot of time on the internet looking for baby things and talking excitedly on the Ovusoft message boards with other expectant mothers.
5 days later, January 31, one spot of blood unleashed a torrent of tears. Reality flooded in. I was at work. Brent was at work. I called him, and we went to the emergency room, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. The doctors took my blood, examined me, and broke my heart. The pregnancy was over before it really even began. Just a few hours earlier, my arms longed for the fulfillment of my dreams; then in a matter of minutes, my heart felt like it ripped in two. I grieved as though I had lost a child to death. In a sense, I had. My child had been within reach, then snatched away. Though I had not made it to the day of it’s birth, my child was real. It’s so hard to say goodbye when I never even got the chance to say hello.
6 months later, my heart still aches. The due date of my lost angel fast approaches, and I am no closer to having a baby in my arms than I was that horrible day in January.
My faith in God has been tested heavily over these past 9 months. I know they say He doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but sometimes I wish he didn’t think I could handle so much. This has been the most difficult, heartbreaking process I have ever been through. Each month we try, and each month, we fail. Each month I am hopeful and excited, imagining all these “symptoms” in my head. But every time I take a test it’s negative. And each one hurts just a little bit more than the last.
For those of you that have children, you are so very blessed. Never take them for granted. I will never understand some things about the world. Two unmarried people involved in a one night stand get pregnant and it’s a burden. But, two loving, committed people who want a child more than anything in the world suffer each month with empty, aching arms.
I am not giving up. I will never give up on my dream to be a mother. I have faith in God that he knows it’s what I was born to do. No one will ever love a child more than I will. No child could ever be more wanted then the one that is somewhere in my future. I just pray that God blesses us with a gift soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Ramblings...

It always feels like we are the only couple on earth suffering from infertility. I hear and read that millions of people are going through infertility treatments but yet where are they? My friend "Martha" got pregnant after (oops!) drinking too much one night; My friend "Belinda" tried for an agonizing three months before it finally happened to her; and all of my friends are either pregnant or having baby number two. If there are millions and millions who suffer from infertility, it certainly feels like they are living somewhere else.

I might feel like a jealous infertile.

I might feel bitter and envious.

I might feel like everyone is pregnant but me.

I might feel angry, disappointed and frustrated.

I might feel hopeless, then hopeful, then hopeless again.

I might feel heartbroken, emotionally-drained and desperate.

I might feel encouraged, excited and exhausted.

I might feel like I can’t look at that toilet paper even one more time.

I might feel like I'm getting high on Folic Acid.

I might feel like I see that Transvaginal Wand more than my husband.

I might feel like I will go crazy if my fertility clinic doesn’t call me back by 3pm.

I might feel like I know more about cervical mucus than a fertility specialist.

I might feel like I've had more unprotected sex than an immature teenager.

But I might feel calm and strong and determined.

And although I might feel lonely when experiencing infertility, I am definitely not alone.


Here are some reasons it's GREAT to be infertile...

(1) No awkward sex talk with my future children! Explaining the birds and the bees to our children will be fun! “Little Tommy, when a mommy and a daddy love each other they drive to a fertility clinic and 4 years later, you are conceived with a lot of love and a little test tube.”

(2) By the time I am pregnant,my friends are already finished having kids. I can borrow all their baby stuff (even if they are stained with poop and vomit).

(3) During IVF or IUI, My partner doesn’t even have to be present during conception! Just send him a quick text once it’s done. “Honey, we did it! How was it for you?”

(4) When I go to sleep at night, I still get to sleep through the night.

(5) I get to cry about infertility in random places. Why go to a boring old grocery store if you’re just going to shop. Yawn. Boring. Having a emotional breakdown in the tampon aisle, now that’s interesting!

(6) My friends all offer to let you have their bratty kids. Great! So don’t be surprised and call the police when I take them. We had a verbal agreement.

(7) When my quintuplets arrive, I might get your own television show called IVF Mama Plus Five!

(8) My friend have stretch marks, sagging breasts and wrinkles. I only have weight gain and acne due to fertility medication.

Even if it doesn’t always feel this way and I thinkIou will never get pregnant, infertility is most likely temporary. But hope and determination are permanent.