What Dee (name changed) didn't know is that I am battling infertility. OK, I said it out loud. Yes, I feel defective and am more than a little self-conscious admitting it, but infertility affects 1 in 8 women so I know I am in good company. What's really difficult is that it doesn't seem to affect anyone I know. I feel entirely alone and am hoping that blogging about my journey will help me find my way.
Here's a bit of background, just to bring everyone up to speed.
November 3, 2007 I married the man of my dreams at 38 years old. I was married for 8 1/2 years and divorced in 2003. Divorce was the most difficult life change I had ever been through, but my ex did not want children and I could no longer accept life without a family. I have no regrets and still believe he is a good person, just not the right person for me. Our divorce was final 5 years ago yesterday, and the date still brings me to tears when I remember standing before the judge and saying good-bye to many years of my life.
We started trying to conceive (ttc) shortly after our wedding. I really had not done my research and am embarrassed to admit how clueless I was about the entire process in the beginning. I figured if 16 year-old girls can achieve pregnancy in the back seat of cars on regular basis, how hard can it really be? After one BFN (big fat negative) I started using ovulation predictor kits. I got positive results from these kits each month, so I felt confident that we had good timing; however, we never received a positive home pregnancy test (HPT). After 6 months of trying on our own and receiving news of multiple friends achieving pregnancy when "they weren't really trying yet" (bleh!), we sought the guidance of one of the leading fertility docs in our area. I had a hysterosalpingogram to check my tubes, which were clear, but my uterus looked a little "bumpy". It turns out I had polyps in my uterus. I had surgery in September to remove them. I also had baseline ultrasounds and lots of bloodwork. All of this came back fine. Actually, more than fine, given my age. My husband, who I will call Pierce due to my current Pierce Brosnan obsession, also had a semen analysis which had rock star results. I knew enough about IF (infertility) at this point to know that it was much more manageable if it didn't involve MFI (male factor infertility).
I also paid a visit to my PCP who diagnosed me with high blood pressure and hypothyroidism. I was put on meds for both, but my thyroid was seriously out of control and has taken 5 months to get under control. But back to the baby doc.... We were told that we had to wait 3 months after my surgery to start "treatment". That would put us right about now. Apparently he wants to start next month. I figure he wants to take Christmas vacation with his wife and three girls, I mean who wouldn't? The nurse in his office assured me that he has his reasons because he is "so good!" and I should just keep the faith. We are on our 3rd natural cycle since the surgery and still hoping for a miracle. Around January 5 (Happy Birthday, Mom!) I should be starting injections of fertility drugs for artificial insemination. We have no insurance benefits to cover these treatments, so I am hopeful that IUI will be the answer to our prayers. If we need IVF, we are looking at $15,000.00 for a fresh cycle. I hope that all of you fertiles out there now understand how fortunate and blessed you are. Getting knocked up is not always just a matter of stopping the Pill and throwing caution to the wind.
So here I sit, listening to Harry Connick Jr. Christmas, in my beautifully decorated home, with my wonderful new husband, baking Christmas cookies, and I am SAD. We have all the love in the world...we have great jobs....we have a nice house and a wonderful cat, but somehow we feel empty. Christmas is not the same without children. I feel like the only girl in the mall without a stroller. Common sense would say, "Stay out of the mall!" but I work there and I work there now more than I do the rest of the year. Next year I will be a mom....I keep repeating this over and over...I will believe this, I really will, but after 14 cycles I feel like I need a miracle. I am a Christian, and I believe that that is what this time of year is all about; however, I am doubting my faith and blaming myself for waiting so long to try to become a mom. I secretly detest women who get pregnant at 40 without any trouble, and I know more than a few of them. There is nothing more painful. I don't know what my father would think of all of this, but i guess that is another post in itself.
I think I have covered all of the history. I am crying like a baby! I must reiterate at this time that my husband, Pierce, is the best husband in the world. He is trying to cheer me up through all of this. I would be lost without him. He is stashing all of the Christmas cards that show pictures of my family members with their babies, especially one of my favorite cousins with his daughter, whose name is very similar to one of the names we had chosen for our daughter. We can no longer use the name and that hurts. I don't blame my cousin; he didn't know. It just really sucks. I want to believe in Santa again. I want to believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, and I want to believe that good things happen to those who have faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins. I am having trouble with all of this right now. It is going to be a tough holiday season, and I have a bit of solitude in knowing this blog is here for me and my thoughts. Thank you for listening.