This is part one of a two part post about our struggles with infertility.
First and fore most, what I want you to know is that infertility is hard! You probably could guess that, but you most likely do not understand just how hard it is unless you have experienced it. It is my hope that I can help you understand through this post. But first, a little history.
When I was a teenager, about 15 or 16, I decided that I was going to live in New York City, be single, become a fashion designer and never have children. I used to tell myself this all the time. I most definitely did not want kids. At 16, I was a “feminist” in that I wanted to have a career, not to be a 1950′s housewife. I never wanted to have to depend on a husband to make me feel fulfilled. This was the plan up until my freshman year in college. That was when I met Eric. I was 18, almost 19, when we started dating and he was 23. Kids was not something we talked about right away, but I still held firm to my belief that my future would be New York City, fashion design and no kids. It wasn’t until a year or two into our relationship that we talked about it. By this point Eric was 25 and I wasn’t even old enough to legally drink yet. My answer was still a firm no! At this point I made him a deal that we could talk about it once I turned 25 and we were married.
Well, 2007 came and we got married and were living in the suburbs of Chicago with our friends. We had the talk, and to be honest, I don’t remember much of what went into my decision but we decided that we really did want to start a family and the possibilities of adopting in the future. Our friends back in Indiana had just told us that they were pregnant with their first child and in September of that year we began trying. We knew that we were planning on moving back to Indiana the following spring, but we didn’t want to wait to start trying then. At this point we were not trying to hard. I had been off of birth control for 3 years due to some other crazy health oddity it caused. We figured that no birth control and no condoms seemed like a no brainer to us getting pregnant. We were of the mindset that if it happens, it happens and we were in a stable enough relationship that it would be okay. There were no ovulation tests or Clomid or any thought of ever needing them.
It wasn’t until about a year and a half after we started trying that I wondered if something was wrong. I started seeing a women’s health doctor in addition to my regular physician because my periods started lasting for a month or longer. There was not an explanation for that. I was prescribed a medication called Progesterone to help regulate my cycle but supposedly still allow me to get pregnant. I also had my first pelvic ultrasound as well as a healthy round of blood work run to check everything out. They tested me for diabetes, PCOS, thyroid issues, and several other things that I cannot remember. What I do remember is that they took 3 tubes of blood, which was by far the most ever taken. The results of every single one of those tests came back normal. So I still had no answers as to why my period lasted so long and why we could not get pregnant. I continued with the Progesterone and monthly pregnancy test that it required. It helped to regulate my cycle but still no pregnancy.
The next step was to test Eric. Testing the men is by far less expensive and less invasive. So my doctor ordered a semen analysis. The results came back and were perfectly normal, better in fact as I later learned. By now it was 2009 and two years after we first started trying. By now I was in my late twenties and truly on board with the plan of having a family, with being able to create a life with the one person I loved and trusted the most. When our friends in Chicago called to tell us they were pregnant and they hadn’t even been trying it was hard to say the least. They are like family to us and I was thrilled for them. Personally, however, I was devastated. I started to work out on an almost daily basis. I counted my calories and it paid off by me losing 30lbs. I figured surely losing weight would help us get pregnant. It did not and I consulted my regular doctor who set me up with a new women’s health doctor.
This doctor finally prescribed Clomid. We did two separate three month rounds of Clomid with no results. Before this point we had already settled on the decision to adopt but decided that this was a shot worth trying. I know I have mentioned this a few times before, but we have decided not to pursue any other infertility tests or treatments. Our insurance just does not cover these things and the out of pocket costs are so close to the costs of adoption.
So now that you know about our journey, stay tuned tomorrow to read part two.