My journey to this point has been a winding road filled with ups and downs. I’ll start at the beginning and get you up to date. I married my wonderful hubby six years ago when I was a very young idealistic twenty something and he was a grounded mid to late twenty something. I had just graduated college with my bachelors degree the month before our wedding. I wanted to start a family ASAP, I figured we are married we have a house we have jobs babies just come next in the natural order of things. Hubby was not on board for babies year one of our marriage. I distinctly remember the majority of our first year of marriage fights being about me wanting to start trying for a baby and him not being ready. I’m not sure I knew what to do next without having a baby being the next thing on the list to check off, you see I love lists and checking things off, I also love planning and making plans, long term and short term. I had checked all the prerequisites off the list.
- Find Mr. Right
- Buy a house
- Graduate College
- Have a full time job
- Get Married
Number 6 was HAVE A BABY!
Hubby had supported me through every other thing on the list and all of a sudden he was stone walling me, he wasn’t ready and I didn’t understand. We really had a pretty seamless first year of marriage besides that one large looming issue. Finally about a month after our first anniversary I had worn him down enough, I mean, he was ready to try. I was super ready and dove in head first to looking online and typing in your cycle days to see when you were ovulating. That lasted about three months and nothing came from it. We were over it and decided to just go with the flow. I hate that advice and of course after ignoring”trying” we finally got our two lines after just four months of trying. We were ecstatic and told everyone immediately, parents, brothers, and sisters, coworkers, only for me to start cramping and bleeding two days later. It was HELL, I’ve never felt anger or sadness so deeply in my life. One of the worst parts was having to tell everyone the sad news only days after telling them the good news, I was embarrassed. I recovered and was comforted by many stories of women conceiving easily following a miscarriage.
Two months later I saw another faint line that never darkened and I got my period only a day late. This was my first experience with a chemical pregnancy. After that I needed a break, I had a feeling this whole process wasn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought it was. I had the opportunity to go away for work for a few months and I took it. It was a much needed recharge and hubby visited when he could. About a week after I came home I found out I was pregnant again,this time my Dr. agreed to start me on progesterone to help support the pregnancy, we were cautiously optimistic. The tests kept getting darker, I went to the OBGYN and my bloodwork was good my numbers doubled. I went to the doctor at 6 weeks hoping to see a heartbeat and the doctor said it looked like I was only 4 weeks pregnant , maybe I had ,my dates wrong. I knew I didn’t but I continued to go to the doctor for an ultra sound once a week until I should have been 10 weeks pregnant but there was no heartbeat, only a gestational sac and yolk sac. It was the worst few months of my life, my doctor kept saying just wait it out that she had seen things turn around for people and seen rapid growth spurts but it never happened and the hormonal roller coaster was too much to ride. I ended up having a D&C and afterwards I fell into what was truly a deep depression. I have been on anti-anxiety and depression medication since my late teens, I have a genetic history of it and circumstances proved that the anxiety was clearly passed along to me. When I began the pregnancy my doctor was against me staying on my low dose anti-anxiety/depression meds so I quickly weaned off not wanting to negatively effect my supposedly growing baby. This left me at loose ends after my D&C, I restarted my meds but they weren’t working anymore and they definitely were not working fast enough. I had never felt depression before this and it was a very scary time, I was uncontrollably crying at work, I felt numb but also extremely sad I would say looking back it was the lowest I have ever felt even my Dad drove me to the Dr. for an appointment and said you have to pull yourself out of this. I sat on my husbands lap like a child and cried and cried and when he asked why I had no explanation besides a deep sadness that I couldn’t even explain.
With the help of good doctors , new meds, and the support of my husband and family I was able to start feeling more like myself again after a few months. After my recurrent losses over that first year of trying I really felt like something was wrong with me and I needed professional intervention. We went to the local fertility clinic and had all the tests. The only thing they found wrong was that I have MTHFR which is a genetic issue of processing B vitamins so I have to take vitamins with the already active forms of the vitamin or my body can’t break it down. It also predisposes you to clotting issues so Lovenox shots were added to my future pregnancy protocol. A short fast forward because it felt like a blur but we ended up doing two fresh IVFs and one frozen transfer at our local clinic, one the result was a low non doubling beta and the second and frozen were complete fails. I was so down I was still in my EARLY twenties what was wrong with me! Most of my friend were still terrified of accidentally getting pregnant and I was struggling with infertility, it almost didn’t feel real.There was no real explanation from the doctor either. I was desperate by this point I had three of my sister in laws and several cousins pass by me with pregnancies of there own and it was a struggle to celebrate with our families. I decided to pull out the big guns I searched high and low, blogs and medical websites, Dr. Braverman was our answer I was sure of it. He is a reproductive immunologist working out of Long Island, nowhere near us but like I said I was desperate. I had read success stories and I was sure I could be one too. We ended up doing a million more tests and he decided that I had endometriosis and I should have laparoscopic surgery with his then most recommended doctor , Dr. Pillitierri, also out of Long Island, also nowhere near me, Dr. B didn’t recommend moving forward with any IVF until after I completed this surgery to remove my endo. I ended up traveling back and forth several times for appointment, eventually flying there for my surgery with my husband and staying in a hotel to recover. A few months after that we tried an IVF with our local clinic but with Dr. B managing it and prescribing all meds. It was another fail. He then suggested that perhaps a change of labs would be beneficial, so off to NYC we went. I had an egg retrieval freeze all with my hubby’s frozen sperm because in case I forgot to mention he was going through thyroid cancer at that time and had to have two surgeries six weeks apart and then radiation where he had to be isolated for a full week. Yeah we were in over our heads but I was determined and we kept pressing on. In preparation for my frozen transfer I was on steroids to calm my immune system for several months, I ended up gaining about 40lbs and felt completely crazy and out of control not to mention I had full on moon face and even my own father and brothers said they were worried about my because I didn’t even look like myself anymore. My mom was terrified I had high blood pressure because I was so puffy It was like I didn’t even see the change in the mirror because it happened gradually over several months. I was willing to give up anything and everything for a baby, my body, all our money, whatever it took. We did our frozen transfer in the city and I had gone so far that I had home health nurses coming to our house giving me IVIG infusions that took up to five hours,all in preparation for this transfer. Looking back it feels crazy and excessive but when I was in the middle of it , it felt necessary and essential. We transferred 3 grade A perfect embryos and even the embryologist was asking are you sure you want to put all three , you will surely end up with at least twins, we didn’t care we were hoping all three settled in for the long haul! I had a good first beta number and then two days later it had gone down. Dr. B said don’t be discouraged maybe all three took and one is now stopping growing or maybe two took and now it’s only going to be one. Two days later then beta dropped again and we knew it was all over for us. All our prep and we had the same out come as every other time, this time I was most devastated to tell our parents because they had been so happy with news of a good first beta. They had been our number one biggest cheerleaders over those three years writing checks for obscene amounts for doctor bills and handing us wads of cash in hopes that the next time would be it for us. Disappointing them has been one of the worst parts of this whole infertility experience, from the very beginning until now it has effected them to see there own children struggle to become parents themselves.
After our big Dr. B fail we decided we needed a break from everything BABY. We have taken the last two years to get back to being a married couple loving each other , not having sex for the purpose of procreation but just out of love. We have had to ask ourselves some hard questions and come to so tough realizations about our future but no matter what we are in it together. We have had a few miscarriages the past two years on our own without trying but always going to the doctor after a positive pregnancy test. Like I said it’s been a long winding road with lot’s of up’s and down’s but now that you are up to date we can go forward from here together. I’ve planned and failed, so from here on out we will just see what happens! Thanks for reading,it was a cathartic post I have never written out our journey before and I rarely talk about it so here is to opening up to the strangers of the internet!