Please check out Part 1 and 2 of this series for #GiveVoice, a part of #GivingTuesdayRESOLVE.
My story begins like many infertility stories do, trying really hard NOT to get pregnant. I was on birth control for several years, even after getting married, because we didn't want any surprises. We wanted to intentionally get pregnant and have everything planned out. Unfortunately for us, things didn't work out that way.
We started trying to conceive (TTC) in April of 2011. We had gone to a nephew's birthday party one weekend, and I was watching all the little ones run around playing. And that was my trigger. Some people know their whole life that they want to be a mom. For me, it was always down the road, something that would happen when I was ready, it was always "someday". But at that birthday party, something inside of me changed and I decided that I wanted to experience motherhood, and "someday" turned into "now". So I got off birth control and we decided to start "casually" TTC. By casual I mean, no ovulation tracking or anything like that. Basically not trying/not preventing (NTNP).
Well, after about 6 months of waiting for something to happen, I started to get the feeling that something was wrong. I suspected a luteal phase defect and probably spent 100's of hours researching that along with everything else that could possibly be wrong. We tried all kinds of different supplements, progesterone creams, and lots of prayers, but nothing was working.
Finally in September 2012 we decided it was time to see a fertility specialist. We had already been TTC for about 18 months at that point. They completed the routine testing, and I was shocked to learn that both Daniel and I had problems that could prevent us from having children. I was diagnosed with a uterine septum, and Daniel was diagnosed with low motility and low morphology. I was ovulating regularly, but with such poor sperm quality there wasn't a good chance of us conceiving on our own. Even if we did, my septum would most likely cause a miscarriage.
We tried Clomid for a few cycles before I had my first hysteroscopy to remove the uterine septum, and Daniel started seeing a Urologist. In April 2013 I found out that the surgery wasn't 100% successful and that I would need a 2nd surgery to remove the rest of the septum. That's actually very common but it was still so frustrating to have to go through all that again. So we decided to wait a few months before having a 2nd surgery.
We got a 2nd opinion from another RE and we decided to try an IUI. It failed. So we moved on and I scheduled my 2nd hysteroscopy in November 2013. By this time Daniel had been diagnosed with a varicocele, so he had surgery around the same time.
Early in 2014, I got the "all clear" to start TTC again, but we found out that Daniel's varicocelectomy did nothing to improve his sperm quality. We were told that IVF would be our best bet.
So here we are! On the precipice of IVF, waiting for our consultation, and trying to do some last minute fundraising to reach our goal. It's hard to believe that it's been 3 1/2 years since this journey started. 43 months. I never thought it would take this long.
Once we realized that we would need to fundraise to afford IVF we decided to "come out of the infertility closet". We made an announcement during National Infertility Awareness Week and received nothing but positive feedback and support. It was very encouraging and so far I have no regrets about sharing our story. In fact, being open about this journey has empowered me to be an advocate, not just for my own health, but for all the women and men who suffer from infertility. I hope by sharing my story it will inspire at least one other person to do so.
Even a small voice can make a huge impact.
|Photo courtesy of Howard Lake via Flickr|