This post is a guest post from a friend and a reader of my other blog, Perfectly Cursed Life. In the post she talks about her personal struggle with infertility. So many women have gone through the pain and trauma of infertility and have lived to see success. This is one woman’s story.
Not sure how to start this story but I guess first I will introduce myself to you awesome fellow PCL readers. I am Ms. JM, Kim’s friend. I was toying with the idea of writing a guest blog on here because I am PCL’s #1 fan (or one of them, that’s for sure) and two things fell so closely together that it seemed the perfect time for me to do so. That being said I guess I will launch in. The 2 “events” would be the birth of my first child, a son named Luke, and the second being National Infertility Awareness Week. And I know now it’s not still NIAW it took longer to write then I planned-but taking care of my son obviously comes first. I have read and seen the struggles of Kim’s journey to motherhood and it has been at the same time I have gone through mine. Here it goes…
I guess I will give you some generic back ground on me. I’m 27 I’ve been married to Mr. RM for almost 5 years (oddly enough we got married 2 weeks before The Mister & Kim) we have been on our journey to parenthood for roughly 2 years. I guess that’s enough for you to know for me to now start the story. I have PCOS I always had “odd” periods when I was younger they were the kind that were PAINFUL enough to make me take pain medications and eventually put me on birth control long before I was even having sex. And still then I needed the pain medications so I could function when “aunt flow” came to town. Then I decided I didn’t want all those hormones and what not going through my body and I went off birth control roughly 4 years ago. When this happened I got about 2 periods a year, which to me was awesome-like hitting the jack pot. But when talk of having a baby came around I knew it would be an issue. I mean how do you get pregnant without having a period to miss? So I talked with my doctor and he put me on Clomid.
My game plan was to run my 1st half marathon and then follow doctors orders which for me were hard. See I am one of those people who likes to exercise. Like everyday an hour a day. Yoga classes in the heat, running miles and miles, and those crazy Jillian Michael’s DVDs. Those are my jam! So my doctor advised me to cut down to a maximum of 3-4 hours a week. Now for me whose weekly yoga class alone was 1.5 hours that was tuff to swallow. But my desire to have a baby came first so I though, OK I will do this. That and take clomid were the plan. So mother nature decided to grant me with my period 2 weeks before my 1/2 marathon and I thought, sure I’ll take advantage of this and start my clomid now so I don’t have to postpone another month. So I spoke to my doctor and he said fine lets do it but after the marathon to cut the work outs down (as they could be causing my lack of periods-I never believed this as I always had wacky periods even before I became a runner and exercising daily, but doctor’s orders and all) Now began the life of a woman TTC. Take clomid then pee on a stick daily that lets you know when you ovulate and stop in monthly for ultrasounds to see how your follicles are. The problem with those pee on a stick test is they are hard as hell to read. I swear I had a positive 70% of the time. So I stressed out, 2 days before my marathon it seemed I was ovulating. So come the day of my marathon I couldn’t concentrate thinking I was doing too much if I was in deed pregnant (and on top of that I had gotten a cold the day before) Flash forward a few days to my doctor appointment and no I had not ovulated. My stress was for nothing. And my doctor and I had to decide where to go forward. (Side note I completed my 1/2 marathon with a time I’m not too proud of the cold and stress made me walk part of it and my goal now is to run the same race again with my husband and son cheering me on next spring, I want to accomplish my goal of running the whole marathon and to show my son you can do anything you set your mind too.)
So with the clomid not working at all, and I mean that my body did not respond to it at all. It was like I didn’t even take it. My doctor thought femera would be a better approach. I did that for 2 months and again my body did not respond at all. I was left with a diagnosis that was pretty simple I don’t ovulate. And with that I was told to see an infertility specialist. And that is a whole story in itself but I’ll sum it up. The guy was an asshole, treated us like we were nothing but another number to him. Didn’t ask questions about what we wanted to do just said you do this test and this and then we do this and blah, blah, blah. Needless to say we left and were both very disappointed with how he treated us and decided not to go through him. Especially since IVF was not something we wanted to do we were looking to see what other options we had. So after all of this we decided to leave behind having a biological child and look into adoption.
Zoom forward and we met with a great adoption agency and we decide that after the new year we will go ahead and start the adoption process. This gave us a few months to relax and not stress-enjoy ourselves a bit, calm the nerves. Well life has a way of changing your plans doesn’t it. A month or so later I felt to put it simply “not right” and look on Web MD to see what it could be and it says maybe you’re pregnant. I had some left over pregnancy test and figured what’s the harm…3 minutes later…Pregnant shows up on the stick! I freaked out. Yelling to my husband “I’m pregnant!” to which of course he did not believe-2 pee sticks and a blood test confirmed. Now I was left to worry, I had been drinking-would that do harm-how far along was I (since again I don’t get periods)…I seemed to know right away that this was not right. I never could push away my fears that of a miscarriage. With my pregnancy I was informed my progesterone levels were low so I had to take medicine to keep me pregnant basically. Again this added to my fears. Well the 1st ultrasound showed a healthy tiny grain of rice (ok not a grain of rice but that small) we heard the heart beat and everything and they put me about 6 weeks. You read once you hear the heart beat you don’t need to worry that chances of a miscarriage drop significantly. So we announced to close friends and family about the baby and were beginning to settle, well other than my fear-which I figured all 1st time soon-to-be mothers had. 4 weeks later we go in for another ultrasound and the tech goes “Oh let me call the doctor in, sometime he likes to see there early ultrasounds” and with that I knew things had taken a turn. And my doctor confirmed my fears while my body was 10 weeks pregnant the baby was only 7 and their was no heart beat. We had lost the baby. I was scheduled for a D&C and that was that. Devastation. That’s the word to sum it up. Being told you can not even get pregnant and then to loose a child after miraculously getting pregnant. I’m not sure if their is a worse pain in the world. This from a girl who’s lost both parents. Because with that you can look back on the great memories but with a miscarriage you can only look at the what might of been. After some time I recovered as best one can and looked for the silver lining (which I always try to do) and for me it was this. There is hope, I can get pregnant, this baby was a sign that I needed to move forward and try again for a biological child. So we put adoption aside and moved forward.
I went back to my doctor and we came up with a plan to up my dose of clomid. I was to be watched closely as with increasing clomid (especially in someone my size 5 ft. 120 pounds-well 125 with fertility drugs messing with my body and cutting back on exercise) Well it worked! It took 3 months but I got pregnant and this time to me felt different. I knew it worked before the test confirmed it (I laugh as those “your body knows your pregnant before you do” First Response commercials because mine was the opposite I knew) and this time my fear was almost nonexistent. I knew this was my baby and it was going to work this time. I knew it in my heart, in my soul, this was my child.
Now I thought the hard part would be over. I had gotten pregnant-so now I just needed to stay on track-keep away from caffeine-exercise and eat right. Well that’s all easier said then done. I got morning sickness from hell! I was put on zofran and even had to go to the ER twice to get fluids because I was either already dehydrated or on the verge of dehydration. Morning sickness was every day all day for the 1st 20 weeks (give or take a week or two) then it became a pretty much weekly visitor. On top of that I had 9 hospital visits! I had spotting, cramping, pain (I was diagnosed with costochondritis-a fancy term for inflammation of your cartilage) so yeah needless to say I thought being pregnant was the worst thing ever and with all those fun complications I was put on semi-bed rest for the last 2 months of my pregnancy. I could get up for a little bit and go out to see a movie or walk for a bit but only if my husband was with me. When he was at work I was home watching TV,movies, and reading. It gets to be the most boring thing ever after about a week. I missed work! But it wasn’t all bad-hearing my baby’s heart beat at every appointment, the ultrasounds showing the progress, hearing “It’s a BOY!!” and then seeing the proof. Those are moments you cherish. Then you get to 37-38 weeks and you know you’re full term and you are just dying to have your baby in your arms. And then you wait…
I tried everything to get my baby out and nothing worked! Finally at 41 weeks I was induced. You think that’s it I’ll go into labor and have my baby. Well for me of course it wouldn’t be that easy. I was induced and after 9 hours of labor my doctor informs me that I need an emergency c-section. My body was not making enough progress fast enough and with every contraction my little boy’s heart rate dropped so it was time to get him out. I somehow knew it was always going to end this way but once I signed the papers and they were wheeling me off and myhusband is putting on sterile scrubs I kinda freaked out. My body was shaking! I couldn’t calm my nerves.My doctor and nurse brings me into the surgical room and prep me while my husband waits outside. They finally bring him in and they start the procedure. Before I know it my doctor says “half way to the baby” I didn’t even know he had started. I was amazed, then came the pulling and the tugging. And let me tell you-you feel that. Every pull and movement. It hurts, you are strapped down but you feel the movement of your body and you just try and stay calm and think about the fact that your baby will be here any minute, any second now. Finally I hear the cry, the one I’ve been waiting for and nothing else matters. My husband is told he can go see the baby while they check him out and stitch me up. He looks at me and says “I’ll wait till you can see him” but how on earth could I make him wait?! I let him go after he says another 5 or 6 times that he’ll wait. I insist he goes and be with our son. Finally they bring him over and he’s perfect! My doctor says he’s healthy and then tells us that it was a good thing we went ahead with the c-section as his cord was lightly wrapped around his neck and things could of been far worse. I think I thanked everyone in the room over and over again. I couldn’t express how much these people meant to me in that moment. I know most I’ll never see again but I sill always be thankful for them. My doctor has been with my through the longest two years (and longer)of my life and got us to this point. It’s all so surreal to me how this story came along.
So now I sit here next to my son, Luke, he’s two weeks old and all I can say is he was worth all the pain and suffering and waiting. I love being a mom even when it gets hard it’s still the greatest thing I’ve ever done. So that is my story of struggling with infertility. I know I may not have it as bad as some and that right now I am so grateful to have my “happy ending” but I think it’s something that needs to be addressed more. I struggled with sharing my story and telling people about my journey but I’ve come to realize how important it is to talk about it. It should not be something that is brushed aside it should be discussed and most importantly it should be something that people learn about and understand. Infertility affects so many and it needs it moment in the spotlight.
This site is a place for all of us to come together and share our stories–anonymously or not–to help further the discussion of reproductive rights and decisions. If you wish to share your story with fertility, infertility, miscarriage, abortion, adoption or reproductive rights, please e-mail me at email@example.com.