I just shared a piece of what is going on via social media, so I thought I might have the guts to write it all out (i've written, and re-written this post 10x). I’m thinking that it might be kind of therapeutic. I think (and hope) it will feel good to write it all out, honestly. I’ve been wanting to document the whole process for months. Also, I'm also excited to have people stop asking us when we're going to have kids and nearly breaking down in tears each time.
To be honest, I haven’t shared our story with too many people out of fear. Fear that I might write something that will somehow offend someone, and fear of being vulnerable and expressing how much my heart has been hurting. Why I am sharing it now? There are two main reasons. The first is because if one person who reads this knows that they are not alone in this heartache and that someone is experiencing the same thing, then it will be worth it. I have been carried through this process by a lot of angel friends and family members that have surrounded me and shared my pain, and that has made it bearable. Maybe someone out there who is struggling with infertility doesn’t have that support system, and I want them to know that they are not alone. The second reason is to help any family members or friends who have a loved one who is going through this. I want you to be able to understand a little more. You can’t possibly understand what it’s like to go through this until you have done it yourself.
Alec and I were married July 25, 2015. I've wanted a baby since day one and Alec just wasn't ready yet. After a few months of getting settled into married life and really discussing and budgeting for what life would be like with a baby we decided to go for it. Traveling was never really on our agenda. Once we started trying we also decided to start traveling until it happened. But then it never happened.
We figured it would just happen after trying for a few months. Most couples in our age group (92% to be exact) get pregnant within the first year of trying to conceive. After about 6 months, we started monitoring it more and taking the timing more seriously. We would use the ovulation calculators you can find on your phone, paired with home ovulation predictor kits and try to time it so that we would get pregnant. It's impossible for me to imagine what its like to not be tracking my ovulation, and symptoms, and every (slightly gross) detail in between at this point. After trying this for a year, I decided it was time to call my OB. This actually also fell in line perfectly with me having problems and needing the laparoscopic surgery (read here). After my surgery, my OB referred Alec and I to an infertility center. We called them in October of 2016 and started the process in January of 2017.
The first few weeks at the fertility clinic was a lot of testing. We had so much blood drawn, I went through multiple ultrasounds and also did an HSG which tests your Fallopian tubes tested. They inject dye into them, then look on an ultrasound and make sure there isn’t anything that is blocked. Luckily, I had no blockages. But it was still an extremely uncomfortable procedure.
As far as my ovaries, and fallopian tubes, everything looked great. I'm even on the verge of "too fertile" but this makes us a great candidate for IVF. We had found out Alec had a low sperm count back in October, but we weren't sure just what that meant. After speaking with our doctor he advised us that if we couldn't get these numbers up, that we would have to opt for IVF. Right away Alec started a prescription to help this, and it also helped balance his hormone levels which were out of whack. But it did not help his count.
As of right now our current options are, IVF or wait. With IVF there are a couple sub options, we can adopt an embryo, or we can use donor sperm. Neither of those options really appeal to either of us, I have plenty of eggs (or so i've been told) and I'm currently healthy enough for the process. Although, these might be the best options for someone else with a different case. Waiting is also a great option, it will give us time to finish up the travels we have planned for the year. As well as save up, because our insurance (as most) will not cover IVF treatment, so we will be paying out of pocket.
Another option we have been discussing, is international IVF. This is where we travel to another country with a great fertility clinic, that is less in cost. Our biggest candidate right now is Prague, I've heard many success stories, and been in touch with clinics. However, I am just starting the research process and I want to make sure everything is legit.
We're still completely undecided, and our doctor is giving us time to make up our minds before we move forward (as all good doctors should).
I am so unbelievably lucky to have Alec by my side throughout this journey. He holds me every time I cry because my cycle started, or when a new pregnancy announcement pops up on my feed. And he just lets me cry it out, then he will feed me whatever and do whatever I want to help get my mind off it. He's been so amazing, and supportive even when he has to get poked with needles more than anyone should.
I know that everything happens for a reason, and while this has been extremely difficult both emotionally and physically, I know that I am being taught so many things. Like patience, and love, and I can't even imagine how cherished this child will be once their spirit decides to show. I know that if we let them, our trials can strengthen us rather than break us down. I know that I am a stronger person for having gone through this thus far.
And so that's our story so far. If you have a loved one who is going through this, embrace them so they know that they are loved. There were days that I feel so completely low and not good about myself. If you are going through infertility struggles yourself, please know that you are not alone in this boat. Grab an oar, and we can row together.