Wednesday, April 27, 2016

National Infertility Week

This week is National Infertility Awareness week and I would be completely remiss not to speak to it. Infertility is recently much more talked about in the media, but it still is a situation that many battle silently.  With it comes shame, heartbreak/ache and insecurity, but I have found that talking about it does make it easier and many times invites solidarity.

If you have read the blog for any length of time, you know that we went through IVF to have our girls.  Before we were even married, Eric and I started having tests and knew we would face some difficulties.  Somehow I had this premonition that my greatest aspiration in life, becoming a Mother, would also be my hardest battle.  In some ways this was good because I was mentally prepared for what was ahead, but it still didn't make the process easy.

After 1.5 years of trying ourselves and 2 unsuccessful rounds of IUI, we decided to jump-start the process in May 2014 and proceed with IVF.  We also wanted to give ourselves the best odds possible so we did chromosomal screening, DNA testing and decided to do the retrieval, wait two months for the transfer while I recovered and our embryos sat on ice, and then proceed.

Finally, in October 2014, we were ready for transfer.  When I took the picture below, I just remember that everything was happening so suddenly.  After months of preparation, we got there and the nurse walked in to get us and I just remember thinking that I needed to take a quick picture because this would be our last moment as a family of two (I didn't even have time to take a good picture- this one had to do).

Our embryologist showed us our babies.  We had decided in advance to go for twins.

 I spent the three days following transfer in bed.  I would literally only get up to go to the bathroom.  My mom came into town to take care of me and I can say with absolute certainty that I knew at that time that I was pregnant.  Again, my optimism kicking in, but going through this process knowing/having convinced myself that it would work, kept it from being so painful.

About a week later, I cheated and started taking daily pregnancy tests (even though they tell you not to).  These results confirmed what I already knew- it had worked.

Based on my hormone levels, the nurses were guessing that I was pregnant with twins too!  Our suspicions were confirmed not long after.

This was about two weeks before the girls were born and I am not even sure how I am standing upright anymore...

And finally, on May 7th, 2015, all of our years of fighting paid off with the birth of our girls.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is a VERY simplified version of what we went through and I do not in any way want to make less of this process.  It was painful both mentally and physically.  There were more doctors visits than I can count, hundreds (literally) of shots, tens of thousands of dollars spent, countless procedures and tears shed, but at the end of the day, it worked and there is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful.  There is also not a day that goes by that I do not stop and think about people still going through the process or that will be.  In the weeks following pregnancy,  I suffered with some serious guilt that we had "gotten off so easy", when in reality, nothing was easy about what we went through.  Infertility has affected Eric and I for life.

So, I encourage you to talk about it if you are going through this.  There is something about knowing/realizing that you are not alone in this struggle that does make it better.

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