Let's start wiiiiiiith...Once upon a time...I got married.
September 3rd, 2010 to be exact, a sweet outside wedding in New Harmony, Indiana with 50 of our closest friends and family. My husband and I started dating around September 3, 2006, engaged July 4th 2007 (on the beach) and... married 2 years, 5 months later. Why, because I am a planner! We bought our first home in December 2011 (4 bedrooms), picture perfect family home. I started my Master’s program in January 2012. In May 2012 we decided to start trying to have a baby. I would graduate in May 2013 and we thought it might take a few months and I would be having baby right after I graduated. Oh, how naive and idealistic I was. Anyway, meet with my OB in February and told her that we had been trying unsuccessfully for 9 months and she put me on clomid. She said she really did not think we had anything to worry about. We could run some blood tests but did not feel it was a major issue. Okidokes. You're the doc, I will go with that. In July 2013 I had a follow up appointment with her since nothing had yet happened and I was then referred to go to an infertility specialist Dr. Gentry, he is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Our OB told us that we were perfect candidate for a quick IUI (Intrauterine insemination) and was very positive we would be back soon for prenatal care.
Well…. After 3 rounds of IUI’s with daily follistim shots or Gonal-f shots, Femara pills, Crinone (yuck), monthly HCG trigger shot (the first one is a story of its own) and 2 ultrasounds per round to look for follicles, nothing. Nothing but a BFN, another strike out at bat, and more money down the drain (lots of money we don’t have). After several test a hysterosalpingogram test, Day 3 testing, semen analysis, HCG beta test and Laparoscopy\Hysteroscopy Surgery, nothing. Nothing, no answers to why it’s not our turn and nothing but a BFN.
I always thought my story would be a simple one, I would put babies, in my planned out life, in those 3 extra bedrooms I stare at every day. The months came and went and no good news ever came with them and no real answers of why. We did everything we could until finally, we were faced with the reality that IVF was next hope.
That day was devastating for me. I cried and mourned the loss of conceiving a child the way we always dreamed we would. It's often hard for most people to understand, but there is such loss there. I guess I always hoped one day I would realize I was "late" and pee on a stick and plan some sneaky cute way to surprise my husband with the good news that he was going to be a daddy. The "how I found out" story among new moms is a lot like the "how he proposed" story among new brides, It was crushing to know that my body couldn't do something I had always just assumed it would (or did I always know it wouldn’t). I couldn't believe I was really here, really in this place. We were at the end of the line in options to having a biological child.
IVF is the next chapter of our story. Strike out or a homerun. Sure, there were blood draws, ultrasounds and needles… lots and lots of needles. It certainly won’t be easy. But it feels like we are wandering blindly hoping for success. There are tangible progressions, follicle counts and hormone levels to hold on to. I still have a long journey ahead of me. The hardest part is we are taped out on money. The last surgery was $4000, the remaining of our savings.
This is where I break my silence. I am not sure why we all think fertility treatments need to be kept a secret like I have a horrible disease. But the thing is it feels like a disease, I didn’t choose to have it just like people don’t choose to have diabetes or cancer. So why do we feel so ashamed. I told my husband I could be the crazy lady in DC picketing for health care to have to pay for fertility treatments. It’s a disease that needs to be treated medically and insurance should cover. However at this time they don’t. Dr. Gentry is giving us the low-cost route but we are still looking at upwards to $10,000 for the 1st round and then $2000+ each round after that.
I have decided to start fundraising for my IVF treatments after encouragement from several friends. I will be putting my embroidery machine to good use. My mother will be back at the easel selling original beautiful artwork. Not only am I hoping to raise the money for my treatments but I'm hoping to bring awareness to infertility and that we don’t have to be ashamed and we should ask for help.
My life group through my church and my co-workers has been my biggest advocates and prayer partners in this whole process. I tell people all the time if I didn’t know God had already written my story and have a plan for my life this all might have driven me to insanity but I know God has it all written out and I just have to do the leg work.
Thanks and look for my upcoming fundraising events or if you have ideas send them my way.
*You can now donate online.