Infertility

Today I thought I would dive a little deeper than normal and share my thoughts about supporting a woman undergoing infertility treatments.  When your friend/ sister/ neighbor/ co worker shares with you her battle with infertility, she is confiding in your deepest sense of confidence and support.  She has/ or will endure stress emotionally, physically and financially.  Yours words, while their intent is uplifting, can crush her.  I am sharing the phrases to never say to your infertile friend, that unfortunately we hear all the time.

“I’m sure if you just relax and stop trying, it will happen” I hear this ALL the time and it is by far the most annoying and ignorant thing you can say to someone who struggles with infertility.  Waiting will not cure her endometriosis, increase her husband’s sperm count, make her ovulate, etc.  This is not an issue of patience, and she is spending each day waiting, telling her to wait longer will only upset her.

“Everything happens for a reason” This statement just makes me angry.  Are you telling me I caused the infertility my husband and I suffer from? Or that I was purposefully made ill?  What reason does anyone have for suffering infertility?  Do not say this!!! It is not my destiny to be infertile, so don’t make it sound that way.

“I know how you feel, it took us 4 months to get pregnant” Nope, you don’t know how I feel.  Not even close.  How many injections have you administered?  How many doctors have you visited? How many negative tests have you looked at? How many surgeries have you endured?  How many thousands of dollars have you paid?  Our situations are not equal and you are currently demeaning mine.

“Maybe you aren’t ready to be a mother.  God needs more time to work on you” Me: you insensitive bitch!!! Then why are people addicted to drugs popping out babies left and right?  Very inappropriate.  I can’t imagine how women who have spouses with male factor infertility relate to this.

“This is God’s plan for you”. My God has plans to prosper me, not plans to harm me.   This sickness is because we live in a fallen world, not because God has deemed me to suffer.

“You could just adopt” If I wanted to adopt then I would.  Also, adoption is expensive ($30k plus).  Many couples can hardly afford fertility treatment so could not possibly afford adoption.  Again…ignorance.

If you are supporting a woman struggling with infertility, the best course of action is to say nothing at all. Often she wants you to listen, pray for her healing, or sit with her as she cries.  While words are said with the best of intentions, they tear apart our soul one piece at a time and I’ve learned very quickly, everyone has an input and opinion or words of advice for how they conceived. What she needs is someone to be vulnerable with and encourage her to persevere and move forward.  She is looking for you, her trusted friend to supplement her strength when she is weak and nothing more. Your support means more to her then she can tell you!

Because posts are not complete without photos…here is a glimpse into her week!

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600

Today marks the 600th day of our fertility journey and like all the others, it is filled with the highs of hope and the lows of uncertainty. But, I am excited to say that as of next week we are officially moving from the diagnostic phase into the treatment phase!!! Last week I had my ovarian cyst removed (OUCH), and hysteroscopy preformed.  Alls good!! It was also my first experience with heavy pain medication.  One of my favorite outcomes relayed by my husband… NURSE: how do you feel? ME: like I did 500 sit ups, but we all know that didn’t happen.  Classy, I know!

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On a positive note, our next appointment is Aug. 8th, where we will firm up our treatment plan given my cycles regulate (TMI?) and also after surgery no one can judge you for eating 15 popcicles a day! :).

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Baby Spoon

 

Another Bump in the Road

It has been a while since my last update, and honestly I have been feeling totally and completely defeated.  During our original vist to the RE, Dr. Kevin identified a cyst on my left ovary.  He scheduled an appointment three weeks out and let us know that most cysts are a result of failed ovulation and most often resolve themselves.  Unfortunately, at our follow up appointment last week, we found out my cyst had not grown, which is good, but it also is not any smaller which is VERY bad.  It was beyond obvious that he was totally surprised.  My cyst is just over 5 cm (blueberry sized), which I thought seemed small, but on an almond sized ovary makes it a little scarier.

We go back for an additional follow up appointment on July 15. If no progress has been made, I will need to have it surgically removed, which adds additional months to our timeline and quite frankly breaks my heart.  I anticipated that this journey would not be seamless, but putting treatment on hold after already trying for 566 days, is beyond frustrating.

However, enough of my negativity, at least we have an action plan and we still have the hope of success, which is a blessing in itself as I know many couples would gladly trade places. So, our journey continues, one day at a time.

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We have started taking selfies in the car each time we visit the RE’s office.

My First Infertility Melt Down

We had our second appointment with the Reproductive Endrocinologist last Friday for the dreaded HSG test.  For those of you who are not familiar, this is a test where dye is inserted into your uterus and pumped into your Fallopian tubes, followed by a series of X Rays, to insure your tubes are open and the sperm can reach the egg.  As with most things, I like to feel well prepared in  advance, so I did the absolute worse thing I could do…I googled it!  I can’t even describe to you the horrific stories and experiences I read about!!!

Needless to say, when I arrived at the doctor’s offices I was a nervous wreck. The nurse tried to comfort me and Eric worked his best to provide support.  When Dr. Kevin arrived to preform the procedure, he also provided me a needed lecture on why I should not be reading online and then got right to it.  I literally felt the tiniest pinch of the needle numbing my cervix, which felt more like a mosquito bite and nothing else.  I braced myself for the dye, but when I asked him how long it would take, he slid his chair out and said he was finished.  Literally I felt NOTHING!!!

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So for all you ladies, prepping for this test and scouring the web for more info about the HSG test …here it is, take aways from my HSG experience. 1) My tubes are 100% clear. 2)A good doctor is worth every penny.  3) Surrender your iPad to your husband before any future medical procedures!!!

 

1 in 8

Infertility affects one in eight couple trying to conceive…hello, I am part of the one!  Where to begin?  I never saw myself as the nurturing type and was not overly concerned with babies or starting a family until around my 28th birthday, and boom it hit.  It was like someone flipped a switch inside and it began to consume my thoughts.  Of course, being a planner by nature, I began getting all my ducks in line to present the best possible environment, financial situation and home to welcome baby.  You can read about it here .  Obviously, it has not gone to plan.  June 1st marked 18 months of no success, and June 2nd marked our first visit to the Reproductive Endrologist.

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Dress (currently 40% off)

Talk about nerves!!!  Blood test, dye tests, DNA analysis, sonograms, etc.  The hunt is certainly on and I had no idea the emotional toll or financial implications of all the testing before we even begin our actual treatment plan.  I have 3 more tests before our next appointment on June 23, where hopefully we will receive a diagnosis and firm treatment plan.

Along the way, we started collecting children’s books with written sentiments inside, so our children will know they were loved and prayed for before they were in existence.

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I plan to document our journey, the medical jargon, emotional outburst, etc. There is comfort in numbers, so instead of being 1 in 8, I like to think of myself as part of the 39.87 million people affected by infertility in American.

Remaining Hopeful!