I sometimes wonder to myself, how in the world did I get here? How could I be so unlucky to have to face the trails of infertility? Could this all just be a bad joke, bad karma? Well, since I don't believe in karma and this joke isn't very funny I guess I have to face it, I am where I am... and that's okay.
Quoting from the Sound of Music.."let's start from the beginning, a very good place to start"
I always come back to a moment on my honeymoon in Paris. I was standing over the sink trying to pop out that little blue birth control pill and just a fast as it could it slipped from my fingers and made its way down the drain. My first though was panic but then a little voice whispered in my thoughts."How romantic to conceive on our honeymoon, in Paris no less." Remember I am Paris so those thoughts are high on Parisian wine and French romance. How silly now to look back and to think missing one pill would make me pregnant! But that was the moment I let the thoughts of motherhood come to reality. I was married to a wonderful man who was giving me everything I ever wanted, now we can make this team a trio and live happily ever after.
I went to my OB/GYN appointment that winter to talk about going off the pill and my past history with infrequent periods. The nurse gave me the speech that it's a small percentage of women who need help getting pregnant and since I was young there was no need to worry. But since I had infrequent cycles she threw a drug called Clomid at me like it was candy. "Take these, and call us in a couple of months when your pregnant."
Well I called back a couple months later not because I was pregnant but because I wasn't. The doctor sat me down and game me the Sex 101 talk. Who knew there was only a 24 hour window to get pregnant? Who know there where kits and predictors to help coordinate when the best time to get pregnant would be?? I didn't!! He sent me off with more Clomid and a calendar with circled dates to remind me which days to make a baby on. How romantic! But he also said this would be the end of the line for me with him, if this didn't work I would need to go to a fertility specialist. NO PRESSURE!!
Three months later I was calling a fertility specialist.
Going to a specialist gave me a lot of hope. They were the experts, they would figure out what was wrong, fix it and like magic I would have our baby! The thing with infertility is that it's "elective" to the insurance companies, so they don't cover it. To me there is nothing elective about my desire to be a mom. Everything with the specialist was going to be out of pocket. Thank goodness for my husband and his understanding of my need to make a baby, he never put a price on that.
After many months and many painful tests later we started getting answers. I have a blocked fallopian tube and a growth in my uterus. With surgery the doctors were able remove the growth but there was nothing to be done for the damaged tube. With the blocked tube it meant every month there was 50/50 chance of the egg dropping and never making it to the uterus to be fertilized. There was also the issue with the unexplained infrequent cycles.
We decided to try our hand at IUI. Which is basically taking the sperm and placing it in the uterus. Getting the sperm to the party and hoping that it dances with the egg. The doctor was going to give us three chances with IUI before she said we needed to consider IVF. Every cycle I was monitored by ultrasound to make sure the drugs they gave me to help grow my follicles was on the right side. Remember I only have one tube so you have to make sure the good tube is the one releasing the egg. The first IUI we did failed. I can't express the pain in words how that felt but I can say two bottles of wine didn't survive the news. The next cycle the wrong side was growing and we had to wait for the next one. This time wine and a tub of icecream didn't survive the news. On we went and the doctors put me on new medicine for the next round. I get put on daily injections. I started giving myself shots in the belly every night before dinner. My tummy looked like a pin cushion but before each shot I would remind myself why I was doing this and somehow I was always able to push that needle in. I am woman, hear me roar kind of thing. I felt really positive about that cycle. I went to the ultrasound with my hope high and playing in my head what it would be like to tell my parents I was pregnant. As I laid on the table and the doctor started the ultrasound I stared at the screen, knowing I would see beautiful follicles on the good side. I mean come on I had a pin cushion belly!! The doctor looked at the screen and shock his head.. and before he spoke I knew that the news was bad.
I don't know how I was able to finish that appointment without crying. But as soon as I made it outside of the building, I sat on the curb, unable to walk to my car..I sat there and cried. I cried for the sheer unfairness of it all. I cried because I would have to tell my husband it didn't work, and I cried because apart of me was lost during that cycle, the part of me that held hope.
Our next step is IVF. In the USA to have ONE cycle of IVF can cost a couple around $18,000 to $20,000, all out of pocket. This looming number sat on our shoulders like a brick. What other option did we have? That's a lot of money, but can you put a price on a child? After a year and a half of trying and all the medications and all the negative results it felt like a dark wave set in and all I wanted to do was sleep.
My husband had the idea of researching some more on IVF. There had to be a different way to go about this. And he was right, there was. I ran across a NBC news story about a woman who went overseas to have IVF done. The cost in Europe to have IVF is 60-70% less then in the states. I got linked to a website called MyIVFAlternative.com that guides couples through the process of having IVF done in the Czech Republic! At first I thought, is this some back ally, creepy doctor type thing? But I was so happy to learn its just like the States in their standards and practices!!
Finding this company has given me back what I lost last week, hope. I know in my heart that this is the program for me and this is how I will become a mom. Plus get a fabulous vacation out of it too!!
Somehow after all of this, I know that I am where I am.. and that's okay.