Sunday April 20th through Saturday April 26th is National Infertility Awareness Week 2014. NIAW is a movement that began in 1989 to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and encourage the public to understand their reproductive health. In 2010 NIAW became a federally recognized health observance by the Department of Health and Human Services. This year’s theme is “Resolve to Know More”. In honor of this week, I will be sharing multiple posts related to infertility & participating in 2014 Bloggers Unite Challenge.
When I started this blog in 2012, I started it thinking that I would be documenting our journey to get pregnant, have a baby, and raise that baby. I was inspired by blogs like Little Baby Garvin, and I was excited to one day be able to share our pregnancy and our baby the way so many other bloggers do. Little did I know that two years later, the entire focus of my blog would be about infertility. Little did I know that I would still be baby-less, little did I know that I would have 2 failed IUI’s and preparing for IVF in just a few short months, and little did I know this blog would be such an amazing blessing for me. I have connected with so many wonderful women. I continue to educate myself as much as I can and share that on my blog. I am open to talk and discuss it all openly and honestly. I am not ashamed one bit about my infertility issues, I am proud of the strength that I have gained on this journey. I have been inspired and learned so much about the different ways of starting a family from bloggers like Jess @ Dreaming of Dimples. She is currently in the process of choosing an egg donor, or Beth @ Beth & Harrison Slatery who had a successful IVF and is now expecting her first baby, or Heidi @ So Much More... who has adopted and is expecting triplets! There is so much inspiration and knowledge to be found through these women and so many others out there. I encourage everyone, not just those who are infertile, to educate themselves, even just a little, about the disease of infertility.
When I first came upon the notion that we might not be able to get pregnant naturally, I was scared and lost. I came to that realization after we had been trying for a year, and being the age that we are, so many people were getting pregnant quickly and I wasn’t. I used my good friend Google to find information, but I never really felt certain about anything and at this point I hadn’t spoken to any kind of specialists. Finally, after one year of trying with no luck I talked to my doctor about what we should do. In November 2012 we scheduled a blood test to verify ovulation which came back positive. We followed this up with a semen analysis and a HSG in January 2013 which both came back normal. We tried again for another year with no luck and finally in August of 2013 I was referred to another doctor in my local office for fertility treatment.
I had a horrible experience with the doctor that I was referred to. She was very cold and seemed to not care at all about my concerns. She told me that I would need to be referred to a fertility specialist and I was happy that I was not going to be treated by her. We had our first consultation with Dr. G in early October and a week later I was having a laparoscopy done (mild endometriosis found), and a month later we had our first IUI. I was so happy that we were moving along quickly, we were finally getting some answers and taking some real steps towards getting pregnant.
Although our first IUI (using 50mg of Clomid to boost ovulation) was negative, we rolled quickly into the second one, this time using 75mg of injectable FSH. I was scared to give myself injections but I did it, piece of cake. After one week of injections I had two beautiful follies and a successful IUI, I had two positive, but low range HCG tests and on the 3rd test the number had plummeted into the negatives, we lost it. It was devastating, but we continued to move forward. I’m a firm believer that a positive attitude creates a positive outcome. As hard as that can be at times, you’ll find that positivity is a common theme of my blog.
In preparation for our 3rd IUI the doctor decided to up my meds to 100mg of FSH. This resulted in about 15 follicles, too many to proceed with an IUI. We cancelled and waited for AF to show, 45 days later she finally came. We dialed the dose back down to 75mg of FSH & hoped for the best. A week later the ultrasound indicated I had been over stimulated a 2nd time. 22 follicles had grown and my ovaries could feel it. The decision had been made on April 11th 2014 that we would change our game plan and move forward with IVF in July.
With each letdown I shed my tears, vent my frustrations, turn to my support, and take the steps I need to move forward. I use social media outlets like my blog and Instagram to express my feelings and connect with others who can relate. I turn to my husband who is so much stronger, optimistic, and positive about this than I am for inspiration. I cry it out with my mom and my friends over a glass of wine and they help me find the silver lining. Infertility has been a battle that I never thought we would be facing, but I know that we will win. We will do whatever it takes for our baby. I will be poked and prodded and tested, I will ride the roller coaster of emotions, because I know it will be so worth it in the end.
If you would like to know more about NIAW or about the disease of infertility click these links below: