Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Suck it Science - my infertility journey

When I told my husband that one day we would tell our daughter about how much money and time we spent trying to have her, he told me not to.  He said that it wasn't something she needed to know about.

I wholeheartedly disagree, and it got me thinking.  Why is it that infertility something we are supposed to be quiet about?  Either people are too embarrassed to talk about it because it involves sex (GASP!) or they are afraid that people will be unsympathetic.  After all, I had my moments during our journey where I heard the nasty stereotypes, comments and general crap from insensitive family members, friends and even strangers.  I've read nasty comments on any online story about infertility.

The harshest things insensitive people say?

1) Infertile women were too selfish and career obsessed to get pregnant younger and now are using the medical intervention to turn back the clock.
2) That infertility is natures way of saying you shouldn't have kids
3) That any couple struggling should "just adopt" as there are millions of orphans in the world.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: until you are faced with infertility, you have absolutely no right to judge.  It is literally one of the most heartbreaking things any person could go through.  And yet, in the infertility journey, you end up reading the most inspiring stories.  Yes, inspiring. 

These women (and men) are strong and unrelenting in their desire to have a baby.  Stories of surrogates, those amazing women who are willing to go through 9 months of pregnancy to give that beautiful baby to another couple.  Stories about men who agreed to donor sperm in order to have a family with their wives, and women who did the same with donor eggs. 

I'm not embarrassed. I'm willing to talk to anyone about our infertility journey.  Why?  Because when I was in the middle of it, despondent and feeling all alone, I unknowingly had two or three people in my life who had a similar struggle. Some were even in our extended family.  But, as is typical with infertility - nobody talked about it.  So how was I to know?

So, yeah, I'm not embarrassed.  My name is Natalie - and I was diagnosed with "unexplained infertility".  I was ovulating a little late, but that was it.  My husband's sperm count was perfect. 

My treatment plans included Laproscopy, Clomid and timed intercourse, Clomid and Interuterine Insemination (IUI), Injectionables + IUI, and finally IVF and FET (frozen embroyo transfer). 

All along at every stage - the doctors told me, everything looked perfect.  That this was "it" for sure.   After our IVF failed, and our FET resulted in chemical pregnancy, we decided to take a break.  We had been trying for over 2 years.   And, while looking for a house and not "trying" - we got pregnant all on our own.

Of course, that's the simple story.  Mistakes were absolutely made along the way.  In the beginning of all of our testing the tech that did my hysterosalpingogram (an X-ray test that examines the inside of uterus and fallopian tubes and the surrounding area) told me that my tubes were blocked.   Cue freak out.  My husband practically had to carry my hysterical ass to the car after that appointment.  That moved us to a laproscopic surgery where they were going to 'look around" and see if that was actually the case and if they were blocked, they were going give me a tubal ligation so that we could successfully do IVF down the road.  The 2 hour surgery ended up taking 45 minutes because there was absolutely nothing blocking my tubes.  It wasn't until later that I read online that fallopian tubes can "spasm" during the HSG test and that will look like a blocked tube on the X-ray. 

So - like I said, it's a complicated journey.  And I have a lot of advice on the topic.   So stay tuned.

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