On December 31, 2010 Jay and I sat in a hotel room in Seattle with take-out and a cheap bottle of champagne. Together we toasted away a year of awesome adventures and challenges. We also toasted away my birth control. As 2011 dawned we eagerly planned our new life as parents and prepared to get serious about baby-making.
By May my cycle had not returned and I was getting the uneasy feeling that something was wrong. We met with multiple doctors, eventually learned I had PCOS and were welcomed to the world of infertility treatment.
Since my diagnosis we have endured:
- Countless tests
- 1 failed round of Clomid (a mild ovulation inducing drug) and rare drug reaction
- 2 failed rounds of ovarian super stimulation with IUI (a more intense ovulation induction using injectable medications)
- 1 hospitalization due to Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome
- 1 IVF (in vitro fertilization) egg retrieval
- 3 frozen embryo transfers
- 1 miscarriage just shy of 7 weeks
- 1 D&C surgery to end that pregnancy
The day we lost our pregnancy was by far the hardest day of my life and has forever changed us as individuals and as a couple. Infertility robbed us of so much: trips to see the world and family, joyful holidays, romantic get-a-ways, peaceful time together and the chance to build a family naturally.
On October 10 of this year, my 32 birthday, I drove to my specialist in Ohio to have a final frozen embryo transfer. If this transfer failed we would be facing another full IVF cycle, adoption or living child-free. Five days later I saw a positive pregnancy test. Knowing how quickly this could be taken away, we were simultaneously overjoyed and terrified.
At six weeks an ultrasound revealed a beautiful little blob with tiny heart pounding away. At 10 weeks we saw our 1.5 inch baby moving. We saw him/her stretch up a tiny arm and rub an eye. We saw his/her long legs kick. It was absolutely amazing and incredibly humbling.
I have been dreaming of announcing our first pregnancy via blog post for years. Now that I’m here, though, I’m not sure how to proceed. Today we are 13 weeks pregnant and everything looks good. Unfortunately my journey through infertility has taught me that no one is guaranteed a child; just because today’s pregnancy test is positive does not mean you will bring home a baby in nine months.
Infertility has taught me just how hard “another pregnancy announcement” can be when you are struggling yourself. With one in eight couples suffering from infertility and one in four clinically recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage or stillbirth there is no good way to share this news, no matter how hard you fought for it. To those still in the infertility trenches or mourning a lost child, my heart and prayers are with you. This is a devastating journey that too often is ignored and looked upon lightly.
Infertility has also taught me that at some point you need to embrace the possibilities. I could spend the next 6 months silently quaking, hiding behind baggy clothing and over-sized coats, or I could step up and share our joy regardless of the risk. I could hang my head in infertile shame for “making it to the other side” or I could stand tall and speak out about infertility and what modern science has helped us achieve – the chance at a family.
So it is with great joy and hope for the future that Jay and I make it official blog news that we are expecting a baby in June 2013. I’ll occasionally share updates here and in time I will open up more about our journey through infertility. As I have said before: I am always happy to chat about our journey or your story off-line – firstname.lastname@example.org.