My history with infertility began in 2011. My husband and I were eager to start a family soon after we got married, so we did what every other couple who is new to this stuff does – we had sex without protection and then ran out to the drugstore to buy a pregnancy test to receive the good news. (It is amazing how very little I knew about human reproduction those days!)
It didn’t quite work out that way. We didn’t get pregnant right away, and I immediately became suspicious. I had never had a consistent period in my life, and in the back of my mind I knew we were going to have problems. So, after multiple doctors visits, blood draws, and long hours waiting I was finally diagnosed with a “propensity towards Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)”. Not even sure what the hell that diagnosis meant, we started the fertility medication Clomid to jump start my ovulation cycle. And then we did it again the next month when that didn’t work. And again at a higher dosage. And again. Without a doubt, trying to get pregnant knowing that I was most likely infertile was the most depressing, shameful, and emotionally agonizing time of my life. I felt defective. Inadequate. Unworthy of calling myself a woman. And I had to contend with well meaning friends and family members who constantly wanted to know when we were going to have kids. In my mind, I punched everyone in the face who asked.
Eight months later, my husband got a new job, we were knee deep in trying to move out of state, and I was scheduled for a laparoscopy as a last ditch effort to utilize our insurance to provide more fertility answers. And then I found out I was pregnant. It was a shock, I was overjoyed, and 9 months later my son was born. And only recently have I realized just how miraculous that pregnancy was, because getting pregnant with a second baby has been much harder than getting pregnant with the first. Now that I’ve hit advanced maternal age, my ovaries have decided to stop producing viable eggs altogether. I knew it was a possibility we would have issues having a second child, but I really thought that I would become pregnant again naturally. After six months of trying on our own my gynecologist prescribed Clomid for three months at lower dosages. That didn’t work, and we were referred to a fertility specialist to start Letrozole and inseminations (IUIs). After three rounds of inseminations and almost a year and a half of trying, the doctor recommended in vitro fertilization. The big scary IVF that my husband and I are currently pursuing.
Early on I questioned whether or not we were moving too quickly into advanced reproductive technologies like IUI and IVF. They’re expensive, not covered by our insurance, and I wondered if my desire to have two babies no more than 3.5 years apart was worth the cost and effort that has been required on our part. I don’t have an answer yet. We are currently undergoing our first IVF treatment and our retrieval is scheduled for this Friday. In the next few weeks I am hoping to provide more insight into the process, our emotions, and our results as our journey to have one more baby continues.