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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nichole's Infertility Journey

Today's story is shared by Nichole, and it provides such insight into what it's like to have to work so hard to try for a pregnancy. It's heartbreaking, especially since (to me, at least) it seems there's so much time spent waiting. Waiting without any guarantee that there will be the desired result.

I was in my mid-twenties when I was diagnosed with a condition that I was told would cause me to deal with infertility. I was single and I was upset about it but it didn't affect me at that moment. It stayed in my mind and as I got older I was repeatedly told that my chances of successfully conceiving a child was getting smaller and smaller. I was still single and it tugged at my heart that I was losing a chance when I had no partner.

At 32, I met my amazing husband. We had a whirlwind romance and after a week of dating we were engaged. The day we got engaged I had to share my infertility problems with my soon to be husband. It was one of the hardest days for me, to tell the person you love that you may never be able to give them children. It made me worry that he would change his mind. He took it all in stride. See, I told you he was awesome.

We got married in November of 2011 and began trying. The first few months it was more like not preventing than really trying. Then, we tried for a few months and promptly went in for help. My husband did a semen analysis and we were told he had great numbers. Great news, for him and us. It made me feel even worse. I didn't want my husband to have issues, but at least then it wouldn't have felt like it was all my fault. We regularly get asked when we are having kids, if we want kids. I smile and say it will happen and try to blow it off. I hear about it regularly from one family member who is upset by it and the idea that we won't be able to have our own kids.

We found out at that same time that I had another health problem stemming from my Polycystic Ovaries. I started on a lifelong medication which I had to adjust to before we could even start fertility medicine. Finally in December of 2012 we started our first round of Clomid.

Clomid is no joke. You take it for 5 days at the beginning of your cycle. While taking it, regular side affects of hot flashes, headaches, nausea and cramps are expected and felt. And that is only during the five days you take the pills. After day 3 the anger and irritability sets in. Imagine PMS on steroids. ALL. MONTH. LONG. That is what is it is like being on Clomid.

I can't just take the Clomid, I have to monitor everything. I wake up every morning and take my Basal Body Temperature and chart it, watching for patterns. I take ovulation prediction tests from cycle day 10-22. Then I monitor my cervical mucus (the gross practice of checking the mucus in your cervix to help figure out when you are ovulating). I have to put all of this info on a chart and keep track of it all. Every day. There are apps for that and it helps.

Then there is the wonderful act of what the infertility community calls Baby Dancing. When you are on infertility medication, you are also prescribed times to baby dance with your spouse. It brings me to tears because it begins to feel like work. The most intimate moments with your spouse are meant to be wonderful and special, and they start to feel forced and like a chore to be done and checked off a list. It is beyond hard.

Every month, after I have determined I ovulated, I go into what we in the infertility community call the dreaded two week wait. This is where every emotion rolls through you. Excitement that it may be the month you see two pink lines on a test.

I watch people I know, family and people on Facebook announce pregnancies. I congratulate them and am really happy for them. Then, later, on my own, I crack. I cry because I want children. I cry because I feel horrible about being upset by wonderful news from friends. I am not upset by the news or baby pictures, I'm upset because I want it so bad. I cry because it hurts that my body doesn't want to cooperate and carry a child.

I am open about my infertility. I just want people to know that when I cry when I see a baby blessing, hear news of a pregnancy or hold a new baby its because I look forward to the day it will be me. When I will happily announce I am pregnant, or hold my newborn baby. It will happen. I have faith and I work hard at making this happen. I may only have one child. I may end up with the fertility medication multiples. I may end up loving a child that I wasn't able to carry myself. My infertility doesn't define who I am. That is what I have to keep reminding myself of.

If you'd like to share you story, please email me! (livytay[at]gmail[dot]com)

4 comments:

  1. You are not alone. I am the same way. I cry for the same reasons. It hurts. It sucks, but what helps me is that it feels like an eternity now, but hopefully in the end the misery we are in will only be a small blink of an eye in our life.

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  2. You are amazing and brought me to tears.

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  3. I share my thoughts and feeling about all of this because I want others to not feel alone. I want others to understand what it's like for your sisters, cousins, friends, co-workers or the person next to you at the grocery store with tears in their eyes looking at your kids/baby. We shouldn't feel like we have to suffer alone, none of us, no matter what we are dealing with. There is peace and help in numbers. People have to know your struggles so they can help and support you.

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  4. Ugh, I remember when you had to plan out when to "baby dance" and how it sort of became a chore. No fun, I'm sorry. I sincerely hope that things will work out for you, and hopefully sooner than later. The waiting part is the worst. Thanks for sharing.

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