As you may or may not know, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week. I am very excited to be able to share a fellow bloggers story here at Run This Mom. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you may have stumbled upon My Story, and how I came to be a Mom. But what is not posted there is the heartache, and sadness that went along with the diagnosis, and surgery for Stage IV Endometriosis. I did not talk about how I felt hearing that I would not be able to conceive on my own. I never wrote about the 6 weeks of recovery where I grieved for the inability to do the one thing I had always wanted to be able to do. Become a Mom.
I didn’t share it because it was before this blog’s time, and it’s so hard to share those feelings as a woman. I felt serious shame, even though it wasn’t my fault. I even struggled after The Hubs and I got engaged…I felt like I was depriving him of an opportunity to be a Dad. But once I was able to overcome that grief and put my energy into being happy, and after I let it go, my mantra was “If it’s meant to happen, it will happen.”, I was able to focus that energy and make it positive and turn it outward rather than inward. Then lo and behold…a baby. I was shocked, and speechless for a long time. I was certain it would never happen. But it just goes to show you never give up hope.
Here is my fellow blogger to share her story
Happy National Infertility Awareness Week! Before I begin, I want to thank, Krysty, for opening up her blog to a guest poster in order to help raise awareness about Infertility!
My name is Teresa and I am the girl behind “Where thebleep is my stork?”. I started blogging to help me through the trials and tribulations of trying to conceive. Talking about things, instead of keeping them buried inside, has always helped me to heal and to keep fighting. The blog became a place where I could “think out loud”, a place where I could be honest, real, raw and open.
Since starting the blog I’ve met so many wonderful people and have gained such an enormous amount of support. The blog has not only be cathartic for me; it has helped inspire, educated, and motivated other women who are fighting their own battle with infertility. Never did I think my blog would end up being read and followed by so many people.; not only by friends and family, but also by complete strangers. And I never thought I would find healing through the world wide webs.
Here is our story:
I am 32 and my husband, Mike is 39. We live in beautiful Oregon with our “fur-babies” Zoie and Zeke. I met Mike 15 years ago. When I first met him, I never thought that I would end up marrying him! After going our own ways and losing touch, we were re-united in 2009. On September 10, 2011 (9-10-11, clever, right?! ) we were married. I say it was luck; he says it was fate.
Before the wedding I went to see an OB for a check up. We knew we wanted kids, but I was not having a regular period. I’ve never been regular; I used to think I was lucky. After experiencing a painful period the doctor recommended that we check for endometriosis, check a palup he thought he saw during an ultrasound, and to make sure that my tubes were open. In short, everything looked good, and my husband had a “normal” sperm count. The doctor started me on 50mg of Clomid on days 5-9 three times. I never produced follicles large enough. I went up to 150mg and even tried days 3-7. After 5 failed attempts with Clomid my OB referred me to and RE.
My initial visit with the specialist was February 10, 2012. After being in his office for no more than five minutes he told me that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). FINALLY! I had some answers!!!
After running lots of blood work and after a 2.5 hour consult; we had a plan! In March he started me on Femara 5mg, days 3-7. Each cycle we ran blood work on days 21. I was ovulating with the Femara, so we tried 3 times, once with a trigger shot and an IUI. When that didn’t work we moved to injections. Again, I ovulated, but nothing came of it; both rounds of injections only produced 1 follicle on the right ovary 15-19mm. The RE labeled me a “poor responder”.
I decided I wanted a second opinion; just in case there was something we missed. It ended up that the second doctor agreed that I had PCOS and that injections were a waste of money since I was only producing 1 follicle. If we were going to do injections at our age then we might as well do IVF. She recommended doing three more Femara cycles, with triggers and IUIs. If, after all of that, we have still not conceived she recommended that we turn to IVF.
So, here we are, 5 cycles of Clomid, 7 cycles of Femara, 2 rounds of injections and 4 IUIs later… still not pregnant and we are closer to IVF than we ever wanted to be. IVF scares me so much for so many reasons. I am not one to gamble- and this whole Infertility journey has been one big gamble; and I am on the losing side. I worry that we will end up so far in debt and an empty womb, regardless.
For now, we are taking a break and working on ourselves and our marriage. I don’t think people, even infertiles at first, realize the damage it does to a relationship. Our sex life became almost non-existent and our communication was breaking down; not to mention our bank account was drained. We were suffering. It’s been a year since we have tried to get pregnant with the help of doctors and it still hasn’t happened, but we have found some peace and each other again.
Infertility hurts. It is not something that is cured or goes away with time. I have friends, whom I have met through the blogging world, that have beat the disease and still say that hearing pregnancy announcements hurt them. It’s something that sticks with you no matter what happens at the end of our journeys. Some get to take a baby home through birth, adoption, surrogacy, and other’s find peace in the childless (child-free) life.
I don’t know where my journey will go- or end- but I know that I want my story to be an inspiration to others; to those suffering from infertility and to those who know someone suffering from infertility. I want to show that they are not alone and that their feelings are validated. And to those who aren’t sure if happiness exists without the children of their dreams; I want to show them it does!
Thank you Teresa for sharing your story! It’s hard to open up, and you have helped get the word out about infertility. Sadly, it’s a fairly common thing. I could write an entire book about why I think that women are struggling to conceive these days, and why I think PCOS is a scapegoat diagnosis, but I won’t. This post is meant to open the public’s eyes about infertility, in hopes that we can all be a bit more sensitive to the issue.
Please visit resolve.org to learn more.