My Infertility Journey


This is a very hard, emotional post for me to write and share with the world.  But I have learned and been blessed to know that hard battles in my life always come to good in others.  I hope this is a blessing to you who reads it, and to also know you are not alone. My husband and I married in May 2005.  We had many talks about our future family before we married and we knew one thing, we didn’t have a number in mind, but we wanted a big family.  Five, Ten, Twelve, we were really open.  Other than hoping we didn’t conceive immediately upon marrying as we wanted to grow and adjust to being a married couple, we were completely open to God’s timing in building our family. Before we got married, a good friend of mine taught me natural family planning.  I also had my first well woman exam with an awesome gynecologist who took thirty minutes with me to make sure I was comfortable with NFP and reading my body’s signals. Our first year and came and went, no pregnancies.  I tested every month, disappointed not to see two pink lines on the test. We moved back closer to the husband’s family 14 months after we were married.  My mother-in-law gave me a name of an OB to go see for an appointment and see what she thought might be the problem.  She was very discouraging and unsupportive.  Gave me some cycle beads and told me if I lost some weight and timed sex better, I would be pregnant. We started our new job at a maternity home in SE Houston.  January of 2007, we had our first appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist.  We both had full work ups done with us, and when we came back late February for results, we got mixed results.  The RE told us my husband had mildly low sperm count and my testosterone was mildly elevated, but other than that there was no reason why we could not get pregnant, therefore we probably would never conceive on our own if we hadn’t at that point. The RE told us we would need to do IUIs (intrauterine insemination) in order to conceive.  She would only give us three shots, and if they all failed, our only option would be IVF. Due to my elevated testosterone, the RE prescribed metformin to me.  She wanted to treat me as if I had PCOS, and hoped that the metformin would help me lose a little weight.  I was about fifty pounds overweight at this time. Our first IUI was in March 2007.  The RE put on clomid for cycle days 3-7.  My husband still says the worst it has ever been to live with me was the two cycles I was on clomid!  It made me very hormonal, irritable, and the hot flashes!!  Man alive, the hot flashes!  They were awful. The RE had me doing ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), as well as monitoring temps and cervical mucus.  When my OPK turned positive, I was to call the office right away to come in for a vaginal ultrasound. I went in as soon as I had my positive OPK.  The nurse said I had one good follicle, and instructed me to use my injection that night to encourage we would be timing ovulation just right.  I can’t remember the name of the injection.  I recall having to use it both months, and come in the next afternoon for the insemination. The insemination went well and we were hopeful.  We returned for blood work for our beta hcg ten days later, followed by our follow up with the RE.  She informed us we were not pregnant.  Then casually decided to throw in there that she didn’t think we would be pregnant since they inseminated too soon.  Wow!  Thanks!  Glad I wasted 1k and all the hope that this was going to be it. We immediately dove right in for the second IUI.  This month seemed to have a better follicle.  We were on call the day I needed to be inseminated this time around.  I will never forget the awful feelings as I drove with my mother-in-law to the RE’s office (because my husband had to stay at the home with the girls), my husband’s deposit in a cup between my cleavage.  My heart cried out how unfair it was that this is my option for conception. Another cycle, another fail the RE said.  However, my cycle was two weeks late this time.  I was super regular, every 27 days.  This had to be a pregnancy.  I made an appointment at the birth center I wanted to use.  Two days before my appointment, I started to bleed.  Heavier than I ever had before. Through talking and prayer, my husband and I decided we could not emotionally or mentally handle another IUI.  The RE treated me as if I was broken, informing me we could give it one more go, but she was sure IVF was my only hope. At this point, I could not even get out of my bed the first day of my cycle.  I was so depressed and devastated that I did not want to face the world.  What was the point if I could not do one of the most basic, simple things in life… making a baby. It was now May 2007.  Four months on metformin had made me sick, so sick and also caused a 50 pound weight gain.  I was so upset over the weight gain.  I had worked so hard to lose 75 pounds before I got married, and was now heavier than I had ever been.  I called the RE and discussed wanting to stop the metformin.  I told her I obviously was having a reaction to it, but she didn’t agree.  She told me if I chose to stop it, she would drop me as a patient.  I was devastated. June came and my mother-in-law begged me to see her chiropractor.  Her chiropractor was newer to the area and had recently adjusted a woman, and she conceived soon after.  I was desperate to have a baby, and accepted my mother-in-law’s gift to see her chiro. The chiropractor did not know our issues.  He tested my muscles and stated my reproductive system was definitely out. He adjusted me, and asked I come back three weeks later.  This was the beginning of July 2007. August 21, 2007 I took a pregnancy test and there were two lines!  TWO LINES!!!  We were overjoyed.  After 27 long months we were pregnant. Our pregnancy went well.  I was blessed to have a friend urge me to get my progesterone tested early, as I am progesterone deficient in my pregnancies.  Everything went well until third trimester, when I struggled with preterm labor.  Our first was born healthy in the water at a free standing birth center, five weeks early, but a healthy 6.5#. Through my postpartum period with him, I felt very depressed, but couldn’t figure out what I was depressed about.  I was so exhausted, that it hurt my body to move.  I thought it was the fact that I was 100 pounds heavier in a years time (50 from metformin, 50 from pregnancy), until I got brave and talked to my midwife about it around my baby’s first birthday.  She diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and prescribed me armour thyroid.  I felt night and day better. June of 2009, just three months later, we found out we were expecting again.  We were so excited and overjoyed.  My pregnancy went about the same way.  I battled preterm labor again, and barely hung on to dear life to deliver this baby at 37 weeks.  He was born at 37 week on the dot in the water, weighing 7.13#. I was so much more relaxed now.  I had two babies 22 months apart.  I obviously just struggled with primary infertility, and secondary infertility was out of the picture now. These feelings were confirmed even more when I got a positive pregnancy test in August 2010, six months after having my last baby.  I had a mixture of emotions.  Disbelief, joy, overwhelmed.  My current baby was high needs for sure, was still nursing every two hours at night, and I was in a busy midwifery apprenticeship. I felt the most relaxed about this pregnancy compared to the other two.  My midwife promptly called in my progesterone.  Two days later though, I woke up to blood.  We all thought I was miscarrying.  My midwife ran labs and my HCG was 8.  We followed up 48 hours later expecting it to drop, but were shocked to find it had rose. The next few weeks were highly emotional.  My HCG continued to rise, slowly.  At 8 weeks, my midwife sent me for an ultrasound, and the tech was so harsh as she told me I was not pregnant.  She could find no baby.  My HCG was in the 10,000s, but there was no pregnancy. Two weeks later, my midwife sent me once more, and this time they found the pregnancy in one of my fallopian tubes.  My midwife promptly sent me to her back up OB, who did his own ultrasound, but did not see it.  This was a Thursday.  He scheduled us to come back the following Monday. We showed up Monday, and sure enough, he found the ectopic pregnancy.  I really loved him for an OB.  He presented all my options to me and allowed me to make the best choice for me.  We decided that we would do methrotrexate injections since I was a candidate for them. I was told I would not bleed much, but I bled heavily over the next few days.  Wednesday night I was having some one sided cramping, but I did not think anything of it.  We had a sick two year old and a fussy baby, so my mother-in-law offered to come up to help.  It was a blessing she did, because by time she made it to our house, I was doubled over in pain that felt like transition of labor. My husband drove me into the hospital.  After there assessments, they determined my tube was rupturing and rushed me back for surgery as soon as my doctor was there. My doctor informed me the ectopic pregnancy was quite unusual, as the baby was implanted on the outside of my fallopian tube! My doctor informed me at my 6 week check up that my HCG was at 0 and he was able to salvage my tube so by 6 months post surgery, my tube would never look like I had an ectopic pregnancy. We were so hopeful that another pregnancy would happen soon, but a year went by, then another, then another… and no baby. My youngest will be 5 in February.  FIVE!  I had two miscarriages in 2013, both early. Infertility is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced.  I am so very thankful that we were blessed with our two boys, but my heart and arms continue to long for another baby.  The pain is indescribable.  People don’t ask us anymore, they assume we are done since we have three kiddos (our oldest we adopted when he was four), but we aren’t.  I think in some ways infertility at this point is even more painful for my amazing husband, who just wants a house full of kiddos. I struggle with bitterness.  I struggle with perfectionism.  The church I grew up in stressed being good enough.  I am from the Bible belt, and 95% of the weddings in my family happened because someone got pregnant.  My husband and I waited for our wedding night.  I felt- feel- I did everything RIGHT, and I am continuing to be punished.  I don’t know how to strive to be good enough to have my womb opened. Some days are good and I can be content, but more often lately, I struggle.  I cry at night, my desire for a baby is so intense.  My 4 and 6 y/o ask when they will get a baby sister, like all the baby’s they see pass through our house from my patients.  That makes me feel the worst.  If only it was that easy, sweet boys.  If only our desire was enough. That is our journey. Our long, hard, emotional, painful journey that brought forth two baby’s, three miscarriages and many years of infertility.  I hope that some of my story has been an encouragement for you.  <3

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