TEN years ago we were trying to get pregnant!!
I was recently married and ready for the natural next step, which was to have a baby, but Year ONE went by and no pregnancy…
At the recommendation of a family friend, I switch my doctor to a world-renowned fertility specialist (who had the personality and bed side manner of a piece of lint). After reviewing my case he immediately scheduled a laparoscopic procedure to confirm his diagnosis and that’s when I discovered I had stage 4 endometriosis. The prognosis was six months on meds before surgically removing the endometrious tissue, so having a baby at that time under his care was out of the question–
Endometriosis can lead to infertility, so I prayed over the decision, refused the treatment plan and switched doctors again! I wanted a baby!
By year two and doctor # 3, I got more strategic and aggressive; thermometers at my bed side plotting and charting all the peak moments… I also took the pills.. you know the ones that are supposed to help you produce more eggs to increase your chances to get pregnant and perhaps have multiples….. yeah, I chewed those like candy and nothing!
My “new” doctor #3 suspected blockage in my tubes, so I endured the slightly uncomfortable iodine test and fortunately they did not show any blockage, but still no pregnancy!
Aggravated, frustrated and disappointed I went back to my original doctor. She reviewed my recent medical history and immediately wrote me a referral to see a fertility specialist.
TEN years ago, fertility issues still were not widely discussed—they existed, but were contained to an exclusive club of women who discreetly allowed themselves to be vulnerable and subject their bodies to the needles, hormones and poking and prodding at the hopes of having a baby.
TEN years ago the first IVF baby was 24 years old, but still such a taboo subject. Many people mocked the procedure and feared these babies were somehow different that those from a natural conception. I was nervous as well… will the baby be more susceptible to health issues? Will it be a normal pregnancy? What will people say?
In January 2002, we set sail on an adventure that was completely unknown to us or anyone we knew… My husband and I decided to move forward with the most aggressive treatment, we decided to try IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).
I quickly learned that IVF is not an easy process by no means– aside from the physical aspect (OMG I used to be faint at the sight of needles), the emotional and mental aspects can be equally stressful, which is why having a strong support system is so critical to your success.
There was no chatting in the waiting room…. you held your head down, read a magazine and waited for your name to be called….just friendly nods and absolute discretion.
My support came from a select inner circle of 2-3 friends, my mother, sister and my husband–no one else knew. I was ashamed! Everyone else, but me– becoming pregnant at the drop of wine. Why did my journey have to be so difficult? I was too proud to share my struggle, so I walked that journey alone and at times even though I had the support I needed, I felt very lonely.
On-line chat rooms helped me to relate, cry, chat and pray with other women who were walking the walk with me. I had never seen so much hope, forgiveness, understanding and support in one chat room. Women sharing the most intimate details looking for signs and rays of hope..and so much angel dust …… I will never forget the chats and I don’t think I could have stayed sane without them!
Most importantly, I will always cherish the friendship of a woman who I met and who took that journey with me– we talked, cried, compared levels & prayed, just about everyday and many times till the early morning hours. We still keep in touch to this day!
Our IVF stories were happy ending stories as we were both blessed with IVF success! I had a beautiful baby girl and she two beautiful twin girls… just a few months right after me…
I plan to dive deeper into this journey, but for today I am writing this post for 3 reasons– 1) to celebrate the 34th year anniversary of the first IVF baby and the 5 million IVF babies that have followed. 2) to encourage and increase dialogues and open chat, resources and support for women who experience and undergo assisted reproductive treatments and 3) to touch lives; whether its a women in process of ART now and needs a happy ending story or a women that may be feeling weary, insecure or helpless.
If you are feeling weary, disappointed or helpless….
If you are in the process of a IVF cycle now and need support….
If you’ve tried IVF and it has failed…..
OR If you are concerned about trying IVF
If you have had successful IVF cycles
Connect with me and blabb back! You see even though I had an successful IVF cycle on the first try–I had several failed attempts years later and it took several years for the pain, personal disappointment and shame to go away…. There is more to this story that I am excited to share and will do so in future posts.
My experiences are living testimonies of how great God’s love and how his plentiful blessings can flow into our lives!
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