We are 1 in 8. What does that mean? Unfortunately, it means that Rudy and I are one of the many couples fighting to start a family. I have thought about writing this blog post many times, but have continuously put it off. I don’t know why but maybe I fear of being misunderstood or judged. Maybe I am scared to relive the emotions that come along with this disease.
Not only is this week National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), but Rudy and I are headed to an appointment this afternoon to begin our final attempt of having a biological child, so today is the day. The day that I start talking. The day that I share our journey. Today, I pray that our story helps others realize they are never alone.
Since this is going to be rather long, I am going to do several posts. Here is Part 1.
Within weeks of going on our first date, Rudy and I had already discussed our hopes and dreams of having a family. We both loved children and there was no doubt that we wanted our very own. We were engaged in 2012 with plans to be married in March of 2013. By this time, I had several friends that were fighting infertility and while I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of heartache they were experiencing, I still felt their pain. With this in mind and with the constant reminder that I was no longer in my 20s, Rudy and I started trying two months before we were married. We knew it probably wouldn’t happen before the big day, but we were okay if it did.
After 9 months of counting days, hundreds of ovulation tests and dreadful two week waits, I decided to go to talk to my OBGYN. Surprisingly, they were useless. They wouldn’t even talk to me about options unless we had been trying a year. Sorry, but I think that is the dumbest rule! Rudy decided to have a semen analysis (SA) done to make sure all was okay on his end. The initial SA had low count and motility, therefore he was prescribed Clomid for 6 months.
We continued to try on our own until our initial consultation with the fertility clinic in March 2014. We didn’t know what to except, but the amount of information was overwhelming. We discussed at length the various causes of infertility, including age-related issues, anatomic causes, ovulatory dysfunction, male factor and unexplained fertility. There was so much information to consume but we decided to make our first step that day by scheduling the series of blood work and testing that we had to go through before we could begin treatment. We were ready to figure out why we couldn’t conceive on our own.
Several weeks later, we had received results of all the blood work and tests. Everything was normal. No obvious issues. They even did another SA and that came back basically normal other than slight low motility. The clinic diagnosed us with mild male factor and suggested we try 3 to 6 months of IUI.
We agreed and decided to start treatment that month (April). They prescribed 100mg of Clomid for me to take cycle days (CD) 3 through 7 followed by an ultrasound on CD 12. The goal was produce 2 to 4 mature follicles. On May 5th we went in for the ultrasound and found that my body had overstimulated…I had 5 follicles. The doctors were shocked and suggested that we cancel the cycle. We agreed and were ready to plan our next move.
Due to my reaction to Clomid, the doctors took me off of Clomid and prescribed Femara. We attempted IUI 5 more times over the next 5 months. One got cancelled due to complications and the other 4 failed. No pregnancy. Six months of excitement followed by disappointment. Hope followed by despair. Happiness followed by anger. Continuous questioning of why this was happening to us, a couple that wanted a family so desperately? What did we do to deserve this? We didn’t understand. We wanted answers, yet no one had them. We were heartbroken. We cried. We prayed. We accepted that maybe we just had to fight harder…
Here are a few pics of us at the beach with my family after our last failed IUI. We adore our niece and nephew and they always bring a smile to our face, regardless of what we are facing.
Until next post, stay hopeful!