Stuck in a rut

An insight before reading the following: I wrote this 2 months ago, and I saved it to my drafts. I saved it to later pretty it up when I had the time. I’ve been all over the place and I have not written besides 1 other post, also saved in my drafts.I have been avoiding writing about my feelings like I have been avoiding the reality of living with infertility. But, today, I am pushing this out into the world. Not as an organized piece, but as a raw reflection of the downs I have had with infertility.

So, I’m not going to lie, the past few days, I have been losing a little bit of faith. This is going to be all over the place, but I need to clear my head and get this off my chest. I just want to know WHY ME. Why. And I ask myself over and over. I pray for understanding and that God does something that moves me. I have been doing endless research on DOR, DOR treatments, success stories, and I have found a lot of what I am NOT looking for. I don’t want to read that 95% of pregnancies of untreated DOR patients will end in miscarriage; I don’t want to read that it is the number 1 cause for miscarriages out of all infertility diagnosis’, or that many woman with DOR have to use donor eggs. (And don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with using donor eggs, my heart just has a rough time wrapping around not having a biological baby) I am saying that my heart breaks for each and every one of us that has this condition or any infertility diagnosis and this is what turns up in our searches. We are discouraged and disheartened every day when we click search. I am hopeful, and I pray that I will get my happy ending, but I also want to be realistic, and my searches bring up a lot of bad news. I know each and every person / case is different, but I can’t help but feel totally let down. My heart really is broken. Today, I read that a baby was found with his umbilical cord still attached to him, in a stroller at a park in LA. I can’t even explain how upset it made me. There are us women, women who would/will be GREAT mothers that are struggling to find the answer to their story, shedding an unimaginable amount of tears, spending insane amounts of money, having to sell precious items to afford treatments, losing themselves in a struggle that really can’t be described, who would give anything and everything for the miracle of being a mother to God’s most precious gift, a baby. I can’t fathom how many hearts are breaking every day due to infertility. They say your heart can only be broken by love, well I call bullshit. They are WRONG. I’m in love with an incredible man, but my heart still breaks every day for my unknown future. I am usually pretty positive, but man…the last few days have just been a rut for me.

IUI # 1 And a Learning Experience

Clomid, Menopur, a trigger shot, progesterone suppositories and aunt flow. That is how my IUI # 1 went. BFN. I was devastated. I knew the success rate going into it, but once I was there and doing “something,” I was positive I was going to get pregnant. My body was behaving differently before my period, different as in I never cramped but one day, and they weren’t the usual cramps. I know my body, and I know when aunt flow is coming. I can sense it a mile away. But this time it was different, and now I realize that Clomid was a big factor in that. I was so naive. I actually thought that I would get pregnant on my first IUI. Jokes on me.
Before I started my IUI, I created a Instagram. I joined The Bump. Well, the infertility section. I joined a few other boards, but now can’t even think of what they were. My whole IUI process was not so bad aside from the Clomid side effects. It wasn’t as painful and wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, if I did it again, it would be a breeze. The worst part of my IUI actually had nothing to do with it. It was every avenue I was taking online. Reading boards, creating posts on The Bump, checking Instagram every few minutes and seeing the girls posts who got their lucky BFP. I am happy for them, please don’t take that the wrong way, it’s just hard always seeing it happen for someone else and never for myself. The month of the IUI, I became even more addicted to everything about infertility and lived in this bubble where all I did was sit on my phone and computer commenting, liking, and posting. But the day my period showed up, I was struggling. I cried a lot. My husband and I would fight because all I wanted to talk about was infertility. He asked if that is all my life is going to be about now and that I was obsessed with it. He didn’t know how he could handle me not being happy til we got pregnant. I was mad at him for saying these things, but more mad at me because I had no reason to be mad at him. What he was saying was true, and deep down I knew it. I was a walking, talking, sleeping, breathing infertility everything obsessed person. I decided I would not log on to any boards or Instagram. I regretted giving the online world such a presence in my life.
The month after our failed IUI, we did a lot with our friends. And it was so good for me. I am usually the stay at home, be with my dogs, home-body type of person. But the best thing for me to do was be out and keep myself busy so I wouldn’t think about pregnancy or babies. My husband sort of pushed me into going out a few nights with friends, and I am thankful he did. He knew I was hurting, and he tried to help me as much as I let him. We do not plan to do another IUI due to the extremely low success rates and want to go straight to IVF. But if I did an IUI again, I mentally would now be prepared. I know what I would and wouldn’t do. And I plan on using this learning experience with IVF. If you have any tips for any of these procedures and how to get through them, I would love to hear them. That is the best part of this community, these sisters who share ideas and support each other.

PS: I went a ENTIRE month without logging on to instagram. Talk about a refresher. 🙂

The diagnosis

I knew something was wrong with me. In a way, I feel like I jinxed myself. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve always said my worst fear would be I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. I’ve said that since high school, I honestly can’t even remember when the fear started. I don’t know how at an age when life was easy and consisted of going to school, attending football games, and hanging out with my best friends, was it even possible for me to think that. I mean, that was the far future, and I was at my prime. But it’s a fear I’ve held onto all these years. I remember telling my husband my worst fear and him telling me I was crazy. But inside, I was scared. I was scared that somehow I knew my future.
We were married in August 2012 and from our wedding night forward, we were ready to be pregnant. We wanted a baby so badly. We wanted a baby before we were married, I mean we had been together for 6 years already, but a baby before marriage just wasn’t our plan. After a few months of not getting pregnant, the fear started to creep in more and more. Something is wrong with me. Why haven’t I gotten pregnant? How do others just basically drink the water and get pregnant? (You know that saying.) But I clung to the saying everybody was telling me, “it will happen.” As the months went on, “it” was not happening. After a while with not getting pregnant, I decided it was time to buy an Ovulation Predictor. We tried that for a while. Mind you, my husband’s job consists of working 14 days at a time, sometimes he can come home for a bit, sometimes for the night, sometimes not at all for a few days. So that was hard. I would call him, text him, send him pictures of the smiling face letting him know  that it was “go time.” I never wanted it to feel like a deed we needed to get done, but we both knew it was our window and tried our best to make it happen when we could. My poor husband was always making the 45 minute drive from work and coming home whenever he could. I don’t think I ever gave him the credit he deserved now that I look back. Boy did that get exhausting. We decided no more OPK’s for us. It was time to get back to life without trying. The entire time, I was still consumed with getting pregnant and confused as why it wasn’t happening. So I made the call. When I called, I was scared. I told the nurse that I wanted to get pregnant and get checked out to make sure everything was okay. Only I knew things weren’t really “okay” and I just didn’t know how to say it.
I met with my OBGYN and explained our history. She did her pap smear and then suggested I meet with their RE. My husband and I met with our new RE. He checked my ovaries which looked normal. He ordered some tests to be done and to have an HSG. I had my HSG done and everything was good to go. Tubes were clear, so that wasn’t the problem. I did my blood tests and we returned one afternoon to discuss them. We sat in the chairs around his desk and he showed my results on the monitor and went through them one by one. My FSH was 10.8. This, for a 27 year old, is not normal. I had Diminished Ovarian Reserve. My ovaries were not 27 year old typical ovaries, they were aged 10 years. The egg count I was born with was probably lower than normal he said. He asked when my mom went through menopause, as these conditions are typically inherited. (Come to find out, she went through menopause at 43. 50 is the average age for menopause.) Then the rest starts to go in through one ear and out the other. My husband and Dr. W talk, and I’m on the verge of a breakdown with their conversation turning into background noise. My eyes tear up and the doctor looks at me and notices. I think he realizes I am trying not to cry and doesn’t address it. I kept repeating “do not cry,” over and over again. He went through the statistics and recommended I would need a full IVF with a strong protocol. We left, and I told myself I, from this point forward, would only make my appointments in the afternoon, because I could not imagine going to work after this news or any other news at that.

Since we met at the doctors, I had to drive myself home. I called my mom and explained what my diagnosis was on the way home. I could not breakdown on the phone with her. If there is one person that I cannot breakdown with, it is my mom. I am my mother. I am the sensitive, unselfish, sentimental women my mother is. I can cry at the drop of a hat, the way she did when I would laugh at her for doing it. If I broke, and my mom broke, I don’t know how long it would take for us to be not broken. And on that day, I just couldn’t manage to find out. So I went home, and cried. I felt bad for myself, I felt angry, I felt jealous of others who do not have to go through this. How is it that my body is aged inside? How can my body not function the way it was designed to do? My husband on the other hand, was hopeful. I thought, how can I feel this and it not faze him? He was positive, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and reminded me that everything happens for a reason (although hearing that makes me cringe), and that we would get our baby. I didn’t see it that way though. I HAD diminished ovarian reserve. I HAD something. All these years of trying, just to be proven that I HAD been infertile.

Hello world!

I am so excited to finally be writing this post. Crazy right? I am excited to blog about my infertility journey? Well…that really isn’t what I am excited about. What I am excited about is I have reached the point in my journey where I have finally followed through with recording my journey and sharing it with the world. It has been something that I kept telling myself to do, but just never followed through with. I think part of the reason, is denial. Yes, I am 1 in 8 struggling with infertility, but no, I was not ready to see in writing what I was feeling. It made it all TOO real. I would write here and there in a journal, but only on my extremely hard days.

My diagnosis is Diminished Ovarian Reserve, which means my ovaries are aged. I am 27 and my ovaries are aged as that of a 37 year old. I have a smaller supply of eggs left. My husband, on the other hand, has great sperm. I am the problem. And I feel guilty that he has to go through this. I don’t know what the future holds for us. I pray it is a future with a baby that my husband and I will be forever grateful for.

My journey has brought me many lows, and at times, I felt like well this is the lowest I’m sure I can feel, how can it get worse? How could I POSSIBLY feel lower than this? It’s only going to get better, right? Well…I was wrong. It got worse, I hit lows that easily trumped other lows for the crown, and it really hasn’t got any better. It’s been bad news after bad news, BUT in the midst of this dark, sad, lonely time I found the light that would get me through. The light = God. No, I am not going to throw religion at you on my blog, which is not the point of it. (It’s amazing how quickly people judge as soon as you mention Him.) But I wouldn’t be here to write my journey if it wasn’t for him. I would still be cooped up in bed, crying and occupying myself with depressing infertility stuff. I chose “Praying for baby H” because that is exactly what we are doing. We are praying to God to gift us with a miracle, a baby. But, we are also praying for many things. We are praying to God for strength to endure this journey. We are praying to God to help us understand why we were chosen to be 1 in 8. We are praying to God to be present in our marriage more now than ever. I am praying to God to help me not be swallowed whole by infertility. I know the fate of our journey is in his hands and has already been written. So I will let life take its course, and I will try my best to help and control what I can. I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR). Diminished Ovarian Reserve does not have me.