Infertility in your 20's
When after a year of trying my TH and I still weren't with child, I knew (according to all the research I had been pouring over for the last year) it was time to make a doctor's appointment. Despite letting go of my life line and accepting that my life wasn't quite going according to my master plan, I still was a person of action and couldn't just sit around and do nothing. Granted, I did my best to let go of the sadness I carried each day and constantly refocused on what I did have, I managed to make it through the toughest of times. I mean, for goodness sake, I had watched one of my closest childhood friends battle cancer and beat the crap out of it in her early 20's. So, when you are forced to experience horrible things like that, it can easily make you appreciate the simple things, like your health.
But, despite my best efforts, the year still was very difficult for me. Month after month I would find myself curled up on the bathroom floor just sobbing. Why was this happening? We were both so young, healthy and had everything going for us to be the perfect parents. I mean I was 26 for goodness sake! So, why on Earth were we being denied the thing that every couple should be able to have; a family. After my sob sessions, I would pull myself off the floor, wash my face and take a good hard look in the mirror. I would say out loud in my most confident voice, "It will all work out, it will be alright, you WILL be a Mommy, stay strong". After all, tomorrow was a new day.
When I finally made the first appointment I was not at all thrilled with the laundry list of tests that were ahead of us, especially the more painful ones (hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, to basically X-ray my uterus and fallopian tubes) but we knocked them out as fast as possible in hopes of getting to the bottom of this dilemma. Alas, four months later, we were given the name of a fertility doctor, it was time to accept that we in fact were that statistic in our age group that was fighting infertility...in our 20's.
Thankfully, our fertility specialist was amazing. From our first consultation she hung on our every word, asked tons of questions and never made us feel rushed or that our problems were less than her top priority. With the help of her and her BEYOND phenomenal staff, we were able to make a game plan to get a baby in my belly and fast. Despite being concerned with what I would have to do to my body (I never took medication, not even aspirin), my TH and I were also very concerned with the cost. We knew from the little research we did and the people we knew who went through it (much older than us mind you) that we were opening a can of money eating worms. Despite knowing all these things, we were not willing to put a price on having a family, so we started with the first step, a natural (no fertility medication) intrauterine insemination (IUI).
An IUI consisted of me being monitored on an almost daily basis and scheduling an appointment when I was ovulating. I would then get an ultrasound (not the over the belly kind either...) to confirm that I was in fact going to drop an egg and then my TH would kindly give a sample which would be "washed" (only the best survive) and then using a catheter that sample would be placed into my uterus where we prayed those swimmers would find that juicy egg and make the magic happen.
Well, the first one didn't work. So, that was a whole different emotional nightmare to endure. Feeling confident that we were doing everything we could, we really thought this would solve our problem. But, it didn't, we still weren't pregnant. We scheduled another one and this time decided to be a bit more aggressive. I was prescribed a fertility drug to produce two healthy eggs rather than one, you know, boost our odds a bit.
Well, not only did the drugs make me feel awful, but that too didn't work. Just another hit to my brain, heart and soul. We needed a break, this emotional roller coaster was starting to take a toll on both of us and it was just too much. We decided to take some time off and re-focus on other positives in our life. We were just about to buy a lovely home and decided to concentrate on all that came along with moving and nesting (that was sure to take my mind off things). Granted, I never stopped having that aching in my heart and struggled almost daily to put on a happy face, but I did it. I was not about to let this infertility nonsense stand in the way of having a baby. I knew I would be a mommy and was so thankful that we had science to help us. After taking a few months off, my TH and I decided it was time to "re-group". We made another appointment with our amazing specialist (she was thrilled we were back in the game as she was NOT willing to give up on us) and made our next move...I.V...what the F?!! (to be continued...)
Have you or someone close to you gone through infertility? How did you deal with it?