Thursday, December 30, 2010

Putting it all out there

I mentioned in my last post about my reason for the lack of posting. To be honest, this has probably been the most emotionally testing year I've ever had. In addition to our struggle with infertility (which I'll talk about in a minute), we've had some major family issues and I've felt as if my entire life has been ripped apart at times.

Since I'm being so vague about one subject, I'm going to jump right into the gory details of the other. Rob and I want to have a baby. Unfortunately, we've been facing the ugly reality that we needed help. In the beginning, I was reluctant to share. But, after almost a year of heartbreak, tears, Dr. appointments, and disappointment, I've decided that I shouldn't be afraid to share my story. In my journey through the jungle of infertility, I've discovered something. 

I'm not alone.

There are times I feel alone. There are times I feel like no one could possibly understand. But, so often I encounter women who are experiencing the exact same thing. Why must we hide it? Why must we be ashamed? The ability to discuss something so personal and so life-altering is liberating. So, here is my story. I can only hope that someone will benefit from it.

Rob and I decided to start trying to conceive about a year ago. Several things went into this decision but it mostly boiled down to a deep desire to be parents. You can ask just about anyone that knows me and they know that the thing I've wanted to be when I grow up is a mom. I feel a calling. So, we ditched the birth control. To be honest, I knew before we even started there would be problems. And, 99 days (yes, 99) into my first cycle off the pill, my suspicions were confirmed. I went to see my OBGYN and she ran some tests and diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She gave me some options and said "we can be as aggressive as you want." Well, we weren't in a HUGE hurry, so we decided to try a cycle on our own. With no end to that one in sight (and the thought of ending another really long cycle with Provera - AKA the drug from hell) and with the knowledge of what PCOS is, we decided to at least accept medical help. And so began our journey.

Since then, I've switched to an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and I've experienced 6 cycles; 5 of them medicated with Clomid (50mg, 100mg, 100mg, 150mg, 150mg). I've had to induce my period with all of them but one with Provera. I've ovulated once - a cycle which resulted in nothing. I've had a HSG (or hysterosalpingogram and the most embarrassing event of my adult life) which indicated that I do not have any blockages in my fallopian tubes and ruled out that as being a factor in my annovulatory cycles. We've discovered that my husband could possibly have a slight case of Male Factor Infertility (MFI). We've had one cancelled IUI (intrauterine insemination) cycle due to annovulation. 

We are now on our 7th cycle. This time we are seeing if I respond to 250mg of Clomid (since I did respond to 150mg the first time but not the second) and are attempting an IUI again. 

I never expected to have to go this far and the emotional struggle is indescribable. I've spent a lot of time questioning God. If you know me at all, you also know that my faith in God and His will is something that I never question. It never falters. Even through the most difficult times, such as my nephew's heart surgeries, I've always been comforted knowing that God has a plan. But, I'd be lying if I said I haven't been angry with God. That I haven't yelled at Him and blamed Him for my misery. Why would He deny me the one thing I've dreamed of my entire life? Why do people get to experience the joys of pregnancy and parenthood and take it so for granted? Women, GIRLS, get pregnant on accident and are not shy about how unwanted it is. Why must I remain silent about my struggle with the opposite?

I've been wearing the shades of jealousy and bitterness consistently. Some times more heavily applied than others, but it's always there, no matter how I try to cover it up.

And yet, over time, I've grown to accept my plight. I've been placed in this situation for a reason. God has a plan and I take so much comfort in the beauty of His love for me.

I wrote this post quite a while ago and I never got around to publishing it. I still wanted to share my story, but now I'm so happy to share that I can begin a new story now. The story of my pregnancy. It's finally my turn!! We're going to have a baby!!