This is an introduction I never wanted to make on a blog I really don’t want to last. I’m part of a silent struggle in a not-publicized club of couples. I’m struggling with infertility.
I’ll start with the basic information. We did everything right. We got married in 2012. We both got jobs. We bought a puppy. We bought a house and an SUV. We set our lives up for a family. We’re both healthy, under 30, successful in our careers, and eager to live our happily ever after.
My husband is a charter pilot, which means we live our life without a schedule. He’s on call 24/7 and often gone for days and weeks on end with little notice. I knew this would make having a baby tricky, but not impossible.
In January 2013, my husband signed a contract for a new airplane. That meant a little pay raise and hopefully more stability in his hectic schedule. We took this as our opportunity to start “trying.” We started casually. We’ll just not use protection and see what happens!
At first, I thought about getting pregnant constantly. I wondered every month if this was the month. Suddenly, every feeling in my abdomen meant something. Eventually, the wonder wore off and we continued our day to day life. I really didn’t focus on it because I figured with my husband’s schedule it could take a while. And what’s the rush?
In March 2013, on a whim, I took a pregnancy test and saw the words “pregnant” flash back at me. I was shocked! Astonished! I excited shouted for my husband and we both proclaimed we must be the most fertile couple in the world! Two months of haphazardly trying and I was already pregnant! I checked out What to Expect when You’re Expecting book and began reading through the first trimester section. I saw my OB/GYN who gave me prenatal vitamins, scheduled my next few appointments, and happily sent me on my way for blood tests. It was the best feeling. We kept this feeling to ourselves, a secret behind our smiles and joy.
On a Sunday a few weeks later, I remember not feeling well. At first I thought maybe it was morning sickness finally kicking in. I hadn’t had any symptoms and considered myself lucky up to this point. As I sat on the couch holding my stomach, I realized the discomfort I was feeling was cramps. I ran to the bathroom and saw blood. My husband was quick to reassure me and told me it was probably nothing. I called my doctor who scheduled me for an ultrasound at a hospital downtown first thing in the morning.
I bled all night. And I cried. And I worried. And I thought of every “what if” scenario. And I cried more. Finally at the ultrasound appointment, the technician told me there was no evidence of a pregnancy and the doctor told me I miscarried. I kept myself together in the office, but as soon as we reached the parking garage I broke down. That was the worst feeling. I am so thankful my husband was home at the time and not on a flight. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.
I had a follow up appointment a few weeks later to receive a shot of rhogam. My doctor told me since my blood type was O- I would need to receive this injection if I had a miscarriage or during any pregnancy and after giving birth. The nurse was quick to reassure me that her daughter also had a miscarriage and now she has three grand children. I know she was trying to make me feel better, but nothing really can. Like I said, it was the worst feeling.
My husband and I carried on with our lives. We ended up taking 5 months off from “trying” to heal ourselves. I got a new job. He kept advancing in his. We focused on our house and our marriage. And we healed. It still hurts, but I can say that I’ve healed emotionally and physically.
At the end of summer 2013, we decided to start “trying” again. If it happened before, it can happen again, right? Well it didn’t. I figured it was my husband’s crazy work schedule. Things just weren’t lining up. I thought maybe it was a sign that it wasn’t our time yet. Every month that ticked by, every period that came, was another weight added to my shoulders.
In March 2014, one year after miscarrying, I went to my OB/GYN for my yearly exam and to talk about fertility testing. Immediately she felt something during the examination and referred me for an ultrasound. Turns out I had a 5cm cyst on my right ovary. But she explained that this was very typical for women under 30 who have been off birth control. I was prescribed birth control for 3 months to reduce the cyst.
I also started the first round of fertility testing. I had a series of blood tests done on different days of my cycle. I had an HSG (which was really not bad!) and my husband did a semen analysis. Everything came back normal except my progesterone level. It was low meaning I did not ovulate. My doctor thought this could be caused by the cyst so we would re evaluate after 3 months.
Those were the longest 3 months of my life. I hated taking those stupid blue pills. I felt like I was preventing the one thing I wanted to happen! Well, after 3 months the cyst on my right ovary disappeared by now there was one on my left ovary. Fuck you ovaries. My doctor said that it was small enough it would go away on its own and suggested we started charting and temping. Oh boy.
Let me just say, charting and temping sucks. I never got it right. I never saw a “spike” in my basal temperature. I peed on more ovulation prediction kits than I could count and never saw a positive. We continued this through the fall. I scoured message boards for tips, tricks, and advice and left feeling depressed and discouraged.
At this point, my husband and I are so frustrated and beat up by the process, but I know we really haven’t even began at this point! So in December 2014, I finally made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. I’ve diagnosed myself as not ovulating. And I know this appointment is the start of a long (hopefully short!) road of testing, treatments, and maybe a baby at the end.
In conclusion, infertility sucks. I struggle to talk about it with friends or family. Most of the time people don’t know how to respond or say things you know mean well, but really end up causing more pain. My goal is to share our story. I want a community where couples can support each other through the fertility process. I find in message boards women are quick to jump down each other’s throats, and I don’t want this here. Only support. And positivity. And hope. A safe place to share anything on the fertility journey.
And I really hope this blog doesn’t last long.