Friday, April 27, 2012

It Always Starts at the Beginning...

I find it kind of ironic that I'm finally getting in a better place with our situation and I come to find out it's National Infertility Awareness Week. How appropriate! That's when I knew I had to document our journey thus far. As my title states, it always starts at the beginning...

Eric and I got engaged in 2008 and got married in 2010. The long engagement allowed me to finish school and allowed us time to save for our wedding. Before we even got engaged we both discussed our expectations in starting a family. I wanted kids right away, after all we weren't getting any younger. I also wanted to ensure that our parents would be able to enjoy their grandchildren for a long time. Eric agreed and whenever anyone would ask him, so when are you having kids, he would simply reply, "whenever, it will happen when it happens." Out of the two of us, Eric is a lot more patient than I am.

Shortly after our wedding, September 2010 to be exact we started trying. That first month of trying I was so nervous, the dream of having kids was becoming a reality. If everything went as planned we would be parents and our lives would be changed forever.

Unfortunately things didn't go as planned... October 2011 I found myself sitting in my doctors office feeling defeated and broken. I couldn't understand why after a year of trying we were unsuccessful. My doctor decided it was time to run some tests. Needless to say I was scared, I'm not one for pain or being poked, but I knew this was the only way we were going to figure out what was going on. In November I went for an HSG which is a procedure that is done to make sure your fallopian tubes aren't blocked. A catheter is inserted into your cervix and dye is inserted into your uterus which is then pushed through your fallopian tubes. While this doesn't sound all that invasive, it was one of the most painful procedures I've ever had done. Luckily I was able to watch everything on a monitor while it was performed and I knew before leaving everything looked good. Even though I was happy about the good news, I was feeling awful and just wanted to break down.

Eric took care of his tests (oh the ease of being the guy) and his results were given to the doctor. We met with the doctor a week after all the tests were done to figure out our next step. Our plan of attack was for Eric to give another sample so the doctor had two to compare and for me to start on Clomid. I started at the lowest dosage and I would have to take it for the next three months. I had many reservations about taking Clomid, the risk of twins, the side effects or being over stimulated by the drugs. After a few conversations with Eric we decided I was going to hold off for a month on taking the Clomid. The HSG procedure not only looks for blockage, it's also known to enhance fertility up to two months. With this in mind I thought it was best we tried naturally one more month. After receiving the same results in December I stared the Clomid in January.

In November I had already scheduled my next appointment for March, with the idea that I would be done with the Clomid and we could continue had it not worked. When I met with my doctor he seemed upset that I hadn't finished the Clomid as discussed and Eric still hadn't given his other sample. Immediately he said, well the best thing I can do for you is refer you to a fertility specialist. As soon as the words came out of his mouth I broke down, I felt as if someone just sucked all the air out of the room. He was shocked I had such a reaction and couldn't understand why I was so upset. I told him I felt like he was giving up on me and I wasn't ready to stop working with him, we had a plan and I wanted to finish it. He explained that Eric and I really didn't stay on track with our course of action and that he couldn't only work with the information he was given thus far. After calming down a bit I told him I would make sure Eric gave another sample as recommended and I would finish my last round of Clomid. I also explained that since I had started the Clomid I wasn't able to get a positive ovulation test. I've read that while on Clomid the drug can actually interfere with the ovulation tests and give a false negative. Not only that but I was experiencing the side effects, hot flashes, cramping, mood swings... it wasn't pleasant. I insisted that I was tested during this cycle to make sure I was still ovulating.  He agreed that we would finish what we started and I would get a blood test done on the 21st day of my cycle to ensure I ovulated. All with the understanding that after this we were going to have to seek other options if we didn't get pregnant.

On the 21st day of my cycle I went for my blood test and Eric did give another sample and our results came in. Luckily I had ovulated so my body was still on track. Eric's results were not the best and were consistent with the previous sample. Typically samples will vary, while one may not be the best, the next one could be. The fact it stayed consistent, we knew there was a problem. I had my yearly exam scheduled and this is when the doctor gave me the results of Eric's tests. After knowing my first reaction to seeing a specialist, he wanted to make sure I was prepared to hear it again... this time I was. On May 8th we go to see the specialist.

When I dreamed of starting a family with Eric, I never in a million years would of thought we would have problems. Automatically you believe it will happen right away, you never expect to be that 1 in 7 couples that will have to deal with infertility. For a long time I didn't want to talk about my concerns or disappointments with anyone. I always thought there's only so many times you can deliver bad news or so many times you can cry to someone over the phone or complain about your frustrations. I believed it was so hard to understand how I was feeling if you yourself hadn't experienced it. I had so many people tell us to just relax, forget about it and it will happen, go on vacation and it will happen, don't try so hard, etc. I knew in my heart something wasn't right and I wanted answers as to why. Every month started with hope and would end in heartbreak. There were a few month when I was crying so hard I couldn't breathe, Eric just held me until I was done and would remind me, it's going to happen. Through out all of this Eric has been my rock, especially since I'm emotional for the both of us. :0)

It wasn't until I started being more vocal about our struggles that I realized how many people were praying for us. I recently started doing some soul searching and praying of my own. My attitude about everything has completely changed. I'm very hopeful that our baby is on it's way. I'm hopeful that the specialist is going to be able to help us while understanding I'm a less is more type of person when it comes to treatments.

In the mean time Eric and I have been working on our house, taking short trips, doing things we enjoy to take our minds off everything. We also enjoy spending time with all our nieces and nephew and all our friends kids. I call it getting our kid/baby fix. Someone said to me, enjoy the fact that you can enjoy the kids and then give them back... I simply said I'm waiting for the time when I don't have to give them back, when we can spend Christmas morning with our kids, or Sunday afternoons in the yard... many would consider this the norm, I consider it a blessing.