***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 fifth in my 2014 Infertility series. To see more stories, scroll to the bottom of this page for links.***
Our Infertility and Loss Journey - Kati & Jeff
My husband and I met and started dating in 2007. Just eight short months after starting to date, we knew we were in love and started having discussions about our future together. I asked him if he wanted to have kids – as I was 30 and he was 36 at that time. And I knew if we were going to get married, I’d want my life partner to be on the same page as me. We agreed that we both wanted kids, two of them, and we’d start trying as soon as we got married. We moved in together and he proposed a month after that conversation.
June 2009 we were married in a beautiful ceremony and fantastic reception. After our honeymoon; I went off birth control, started charting my cycles and taking my basal body temperatures to learn as much as I could about when I was ovulating. Our mothers and siblings all got pregnant within six months of trying for all of their children, so we expected to see two pink lines fairly soon. I ovulated every cycle, we had good timing in my fertile window, and yet months came and went with no positive pregnancy test.
So Jeff started on a vitamin blend that increased his sperm count. We decided to wait not only the three months for these vitamins to work, but also a few extra months to help pay for IUI because as it turned out our insurance pays for “diagnostic only” meaning just the tests to determine what is wrong. All treatments moving forward were out of pocket. We were not in the best financial position back then, so we actually waited nine months from diagnosis to first treatment (March 2011, then 21 months into TTC). And I honestly thought with the increase in sperm, and taking meds for progesterone that maybe we would get pregnant on our own. That first IUI I was on a drug called clomid and the entire cycle cost $900. It didn’t work.
We did our FET Nov. 15, 2013. Six days later I got a positive pregnancy test. Over the next several weeks I saw my baby grow. I had weekly ultrasounds. Saw the fetal pole at five weeks, saw the first heartbeat at six weeks, the baby starting to really take shape at seven weeks. I had told all our family and close friends (as they all knew we were doing IVF). It had finally happened! I was pregnant! And I started to believe this time was our time. I started taking “bump” pictures, writing in a pregnancy journal I’d be able to share with our child. Got a body pillow as a Christmas gift from Jeff.
And then after eight weeks it happened. We went in for our 8w3d ultrasound. Two days after Christmas. As soon as I saw my little baby, I said “You’re freaking me out. I don’t see the little flicker of a heart beat.” And my ultrasound tech said “I’m so sorry, neither do I.” My baby had died.
And if you are looking in from the outside? I hope this glimpse shows you there is a whole other world we IF’ers go through. The physical aspect? I’ve spent months popping pills, injecting drugs (sometimes up to three shots daily), had over 60 ultrasounds before, during and after these cycles. When we reach the five-year mark this summer, we will have spent over $28,000. I have cried harder than I ever thought possible. I have dealt with pain both emotionally and physically that I would not wish on my worst enemy. And yet everyday I walk past people on the street as if nothing has happened. But during NIAW, I do what I can to help educate the world. I hope you walk away a little more aware.
2014 Infertility Series