My Battle with “Infertility”… Part 1

by Jennie on February 11, 2011

Infertility is something I feel our society doesn’t talk about enough and this can in turn isolate those that are going through it.  I hope my post today can help take the stigma away from “infertility”. I think a lot of us who are going through it think we are alone and that no one can understand the struggle. I am here today to tell you that I DO and there are thousands upon thousands of other women struggling with it too. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am going to put all my stuff out there so here goes….

Steve and I are high school sweethearts who both knew from a young age we wanted to have babies. I went to college a little late because I was trying to pay my way so I didn’t want to get married until I graduated. Long in short, by the time we got married we were ready for kids RIGHT THEN! I never had regular periods and was actually put on the pill when I was 16 to regulate my body. I got off the pill a few months before the wedding but never did have a period. Three months after the wedding we visited my OBGYN. They ran some tests and discovered I had PCOS- polycystic ovarian syndrome. In a nutshell, it can cause you to have absent or irregular periods and low quality eggs so it is very hard for some with PCOS to get pregnant. They immediately put me on meds to start my period and then Clomid (a drug to help with ovulation and getting pregnant). After two cycles, WE WERE PREGNANT! We were all soooo happy, we told everyone and celebrated….. that was until we had our ultrasound. The baby had a heartbeat but wasn’t measuring the correct size so we knew that things probably weren’t progressing the way they were suppose to. A week later, the ultrasound revealed no heartbeat and a few days later I started to miscarry. We were devastated. The hardest part was telling everyone the horrible news and even those I saw months later who didn’t know… we had to relive it all over again.

I am a pretty positive and spiritual person so I really tried to look at things as it was meant to be and I prayed every night for patience….. that was the hardest part for me. Over the next two years we were on an emotional roller coaster. We did more rounds of clomid with nothing happening. We starting seeing a “fertility” doctor (who are both AMAZING) and started taking injections (these are the next tier of meds- stronger and better). A month would look like this: take med to start period, start period, then internal ultrasound to check progression, get injection medication (which can run around $1000 a month) and have the hubs stick my belly every night with a few shots, more internal ultrasounds, then when you were ready to “go” it was time for insemination. The hubs would you know what and I would be injected vaginally with this long tube that had his sperm in it. I would then have to sit there for 10 minutes in the room hoping and praying we were “making a baby” (Yes, it was fun and oh so romantic!). Then you wait…. and every month it was a big fat NO!

In between the months, I had a procedure called an HSG which is where they put dye through your tubes to see if they are open. We had to go to the hospital to have it done and it was not fun let me tell you. Afterwards, the doc explained it looked like one of my tubes was blocked! That was all she wrote. I was an absolute wreck. Not only was my body not working right, I am pumped full of hormones which are making me crazy and then I find out my chances are even slimmer than I thought. I remember being in the car with Steve on the way home and sobbing, telling him that I would totally understand if he wanted to leave me so that he could find someone who could give him the children he had always wanted…. I am sure if you are or have been in my spot you know what I am talking about it…..

Meanwhile, my friends are getting pregnant all around me, I am going to baby showers, I am taking care of babies and pregnant women at the hospital where I worked and every where I turned I saw someone who was pregnant. I remember sitting in the closet one day and just sobbing, thinking that my body doesn’t work right and that I would never be able to have children of my own.  It was hardest thing I had ever had to face.

If you ask my friends they would probably say that I handled things very well considering. Looking back I do feel that my faith in God and positive energy is the glue that held me together. After almost a year and a half of trying we took a break. Our next step was IVF and we weren’t sure we wanted to go there nor spend the $10-15k it costs. We talked about adoption and fostering and just tried to chill. When you are going through all of this everyone and their brother is asking you constantly how it is going so you get a little tired of it all. I remember just praying to God and asking him what I should do next. Within a few months, I get a call from one of the girls from the endocrinologist office (you see these people so often you make friends!) and she said there was a study for IVF, I fit the criteria, and she wanted me to come in and check it out. I COULD NOT BELIVE IT! I felt like this was my answer… so we went in for the initial class that talks about the study. It was a no brainer. Everything was included in a normal IVF, no weird drugs or anything that would make you say “hmmmm” and we only had to pay $2500 for everything!!!! Mind you, you normally have to pay co-pays every time you see the doc which can be every few days depending on where you are with your cycle, the bills from the procedures, the medication costs (hundreds to $1000k a month or more) and if you are self pay- ALL OF IT! We heard $2500 and signed up!

Since we had struggled for so long and everyone knew our story, we decided not to tell anyone. And we didn’t. We just didn’t want the questions or getting anyones hopes up, including our own. I did tell a friend at work who helped me with my schedule and she was a great support!

We went through the IVF procedure, which I hear was shown in detail on Giuliana and Bill. It was very invasive looking back, but when you have done all of this for so long it just seems like the norm. I will spare you all the details, but one thing I will share…. After my eggs had been fertilized by the hubs sperm they call you to tell you how many embryos you have. With my age they only insert two of the embryos in so we went back in to have that done. You watch the entire thing on ultrasound as it is actually happening to you and I saw the two embryos as they were placed inside of me. It was utterly amazing.

After all of that…. we waited. After a few weeks they bring you in for a blood test. Then you wait for the call… Positive or Negative. Steve and I sat at home looking at the phone and just hoped and prayed. The phone rang and all the girls (nurses) were on the phone and told us the good news…. WE WERE PREGNANT!!!! I think all of us were crying (shoot, I am crying right now)!

That was it! We were pregnant! Finally! Two years later and our dream had finally come true. We still held our breath through all the ultrasounds and every doc visit in hopes that everything was o.k. Then, on Feb 7th our little miracle baby was born and the rest is history!

I know this was a looonnnggg story, but I hope that it has shed some light on what some women go through to become moms and if you are or have gone through any of this, please know you are not alone. The more we open up and talk about it, the more mainstream the topic will become.  I  hope that we can pull the silence of “infertility” out of the ground and really put it in the forefront of peoples discussions. There needs to be more insurance coverage and support groups for families going through this.

Ultimately, I thought that I would share my journey in hopes that it will give hope and comfort to those of you who are going through or have gone through the same thing. A few months ago, we started talking about trying for another when Cody turned 2 (which was Monday) and after talking with the OB we had our plan of action… the first step was another HSG test. Here we go again…..

To be continued…..

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany February 11, 2011 at 5:17 am

Wow. I knew you had complications, but I didn't really know what it all entailed. Thank you for sharing, it's good for those of us who haven't gone through it to know how hard it really is. Maybe it will help us say the wrong thing just a little less often and to be more understanding to our friends who are going through it now.


Amanda February 11, 2011 at 8:15 am

Well done… tear… Love ya!


Kimberly February 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

Jen – you're such an inspiration and I couldn't get through my own personal struggles at the moment without you girl! It makes me tear up every time I hear you talk about it and it's really comforting and empowering for women to know they're not alone! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with us, love you girl! :)


jennieandkim February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Thanks ladies! Love you gals! We couldn't get through life without each other :)


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