This post is part two of a follow up to an earlier post I wrote about at Self Magazine article on how isolating infertility can be. You may also want to read part one. I was blessed to have a circle of friends who had experienced similar situations. NO ONE should feel alone in the infertility process. Part Threes will be the story of another woman who didn’t have that support.
photo © 2010 Tom Newby | more info (via: Wylio)We survived round one, and were rewarded with a beautiful, happy healthy daughter. Fast forward two and a half years. I was ready for a second child. My husband was happy with one, but willing to discuss making a sibling. I am an only child. I always wanted a sibling. I wanted my daughter to have someone to gang up on me with. We decided we’d try for a second, but as with the last time, there were limits to how much medical intervention we’d tolerate. In other words, no IUI or IVF for us.
About the same time, my husband managed to convince me that it would be a good idea to pack up everything we own, put it in storage and move in with his mom and her husband. We bought land from them to build a house and make a new life an hour and a half North of my support system. Stress + new doctors + limited privacy does not a pregnancy make.
I was still making frequent trips South for business commitments and to be with friends. During that time, we were actively trying with no success. My cycles felt as though they were random. I opted to switch my care to a practice nearer to our new home. I thought it would be easier to manage the daily ultra sounds without the hour and a half commute. Ultimately, the new doctor did confirm a clinical diagnosis of PCOS. We had a cause, but still no baby.
During this time, the other two women I’d been pregnant with the first time both conceived again. I was happy for them and they were both very gracious about sharing my pain at their news, but inside, I was frustrated and horribly jealous.
I was on Clomid for a total of 9 months without success and I was at the end of my rope. We had just moved into our new house and I was ready for a new beginning. My husband supported my decision to stop infertility treatments. I stopped taking Clomid. I gave up the mini-van in favor of a smaller car and I accepted a several work commitments and a major volunteer commitment.
The doctor wanted to try and get my cycles on track again. I refused birth control pills so he prescribed progesterone. The prescription said take once a day for the first ten days of the month. Since I hadn’t had a period in a almost two months, I thought he meant calendar month (as a way to be able to keep my dates straight). Turns out he meant cycle month. DUH. I was told to take a pregnancy test and when it came back negative to start taking the medication.
My husband left for work early in the morning. So I dragged my butt out of bed and peed on the stick. I hadn’t even turned the light on, but after I washed my hands, I picked up the test and thought I saw two lines in the faint morning light. I turned the light on and looked again. Oh My God, this can’t be real. I ran downstairs and said “Don’t leave!” and then flew back up stairs grabbing my glasses and a magnifying glass (you can’t be too sure about these things you know).
Son of a gun, there WERE two lines. As he walked into the bathroom I said, “I’m pregnant, is that ok?” He hugged me, laughed at me and said “It’s a little late for that isn’t it.” I had become a cliché. I stopped trying and got pregnant. It was hard to let go, but once I really let go, my dysfunctional body, to over.
Later that day, I called the OB practice and asked for a blood test to confirm the results. I was told that blood tests weren’t standard procedure. I explained that I was an infertility patient and that I wanted an HCG count. I wanted to insure that there was just one. It took some persuasion, in the form of my going and sitting in the waiting room until someone talked with me, and offering to pay for the blood test out of pocket if my insurance didn’t cover it (it did), but I finally got confirmation that there was only one fetus. Nine months later, Mim was born and our lives are all the richer for his presence.
Even with the distance, my circle of friends was crucial to my survival during the move, the trying and the subsequent pregnancy. I am confident we wouldn’t have had Mim if they hadn’t been around to cheer me on and pick me up. No one should have to go through infertility alone. Online support groups have grown in popularity since then and even face-to-face groups are being offered by infertility practices. If you are pursuing infertility treatments, please seek out a support network. I could mean faster, results.