***April 20-26, 2014 is National Infertility Awareness Week and I am taking part by sharing stories from women who have experienced infertility first hand. Did you know that 1 in 6 couples experience some form of infertility? Someone you know is probably struggling with infertility and you may or may not even know, since it is often a taboo subject. Help break the silence and raise awareness. For more information about NIAW, please click here. This post is the third in my 2014 Infertility series. To see more stories, scroll to the bottom of this page for links.***
“I Can’t Change….Even If I Tried”
by Kate Payne, author of http://whereisbabypayne.
Change. I have changed. There's no going back even if I tried and even if I wanted to.
From the start, I knew my husband and I would have trouble conceiving. One "nice" thing about infertility issues is knowing you have them before you need to know.... I guess. My still undiagnosed endocrine issues leave me without a monthly cycle and with hormones of varying nature. When Jim and I first met, it was a selling point. "Ya know, I can't get pregnant..." Hmmm!! I always just figured I'd pop a few Clomid pills and crap out triplets when I wanted to. Ha, to be that naïve again.
From the start of our journey, that very first day at the first RE's office, I realized that this would be a journey indeed. The RE at a major medical hospital looked over my charts, put them down, and said "I don't know what to do with you". Wow, um ok? She sent me to the Endocrinologist down the hall who seemed more interested in making me into a topic for a medical research paper instead of trying to help me figure out my issues and have a baby. When I finally threatened to get a second opinion, they caved and told my RE to let me try the Clomid and see what happens. I remember that day going into my RE's office... I had a huge cup of coffee and said to her "This is going to be my last coffee for 9 months, I'm so excited". Ha, to be that naïve again....as I slug down my beer and type.
Once the realization came around that the Clomid wasn't going to work, the RE moved me straight to injectable medications and IUI. At that time we also rented out our 800 sq ft. condo and moved in with my in-laws while we looked for a house. No hiding our little secret any longer when their refrigerator was full of Menopur on a monthly basis. After two IUI cycles failing, a near cancellation from overstim, and the onset of severely debilitating migraines... I was moved to IVF.
Yes, I was disappointed that the IUI cycles didn't work. After all, we did put a lot of hope and faith into them. However, IVF is the big guns. Every woman I knew who went through IVF was successful on their first try. This is it...it's going to work. I plotted out due dates of our baby and pictured what it would be like to hold him/her for the first time. Yet... after my first cycle was cancelled and three horribly failed attempts followed after a total of 49 eggs had been retrieved from my poor ovaries but not one single baby conceived nor any embryos to freeze, I realized it was time for a new set of eyes.
I set up countless second opinion consultations including the SIRM and CCRM clinics. I was willing to go the distance and travel anywhere on this earth to get a child of our own. Finally I had settled on a local RE but one who had excellent success rates from SART and was a genuinely nice person.... I call him "Dr. Oz" because he kinda looks like him. I was extremely optimistic going into my 5th IVF cycle and despite it failing, my response was so amazing (45 eggs retrieved, 32 mature, 26 fertilized, 2 transferred and 7 were frozen!!!) I knew he was the one to help me in my quest. And he did...
My first FET (frozen transfer) was a success!!! My very first BFP in my life.... I peed on a stick quietly in our upstairs bathroom just 4 nights after my transfer. Not expecting to see anything you can imagine my shock when there were two pink lines. Finally the years of injections, disappointment, pain, suffering both mental and physical just drifted away like a cloud after a storm. Nothing could take this away from us after all we went through to get there. Ha, to be that naïve again. Things can end in a moment no matter how long you work for them or hard you pray for them....that's the funny thing about this thing we call life.
Our little Jack was born at 20w1d , just one week after getting diagnosed with a rare brain malformation that may or may not have been compatible with life. As if that weren't bad enough, days after his diagnosis I developed very early and severe preeclampsia and HELLP and had to choose my life over my son's. Its been almost 4 months since that day he left our lives and if anything its taught me that nothing is for certain and nothing is a guarantee. Love what you have when you have it and cherish every moment.
How can experiences like these NOT change a person? I look back at myself three years ago and I don't even know who that person is. I'm stronger and weaker, kinder and harsher, bitter and joyful...all at the same time. Its me, its who I am now. Infertility and loss brings me here today in this moment.
2014 Infertility Series