Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Coming Out

I am infertile.  There.  I said it.  Admitting the problem is the first step to acceptance, right?  Maybe it's more accurate to say I have fertility issues since the doctor told me at a recent appointment, "You may not think so, but at 34 you are very fertile."  I gave him a courtesy smile all the while thinking, "Then why the eff am I here in the first place?"

Mike and I officially started "trying" for a baby in the fall of 2014, after we had been married for a year.  I was honestly scared out of my mind.  Were we really ready for this?  Would we be good parents?  We both love naps so much, how would we survive with a non-sleeping infant?!  I had so much anxiety about being pregnant and then having the kid that I didn't spend any time worrying about actually getting pregnant in the first place.  I mean, obviously that's the easy part.  Right?  Wrong.  Month after month went by.  We started using ovulation predictor tests and I read every fertility article on the internet.  Nothing.  After 9 months I started getting worried.  Mike thought we should wait until closer to a year of trying before making a doctors appointment, but I'm not getting any younger.

In August 2015, I had my first appointment with a fertility specialist.  We discussed a plan for troubleshooting my fertility and I left feeling like things were moving in the right direction.  In September, I had lots of tests: blood work, ultrasound, some test where they shoot bubbles into your fallopian tubes to see if they are clogged.  Fun stuff.  But in the end, I got my diagnosis: polycystic ovary syndrome.  This basically means that I don't ovulate on my own.  Well, that certainly inhibits baby-making!  Mike had his one (easy) test and everything was fine from his end.  I'm glad we aren't dealing with multiple fertility problems, but it did and still does make me feel guilty for being the broken one.

The next few months were a blur of holidays and failures:

  • October which was supposed to be our first medicated cycle, instead became a do-nothing cycle when they found a 3cm cyst on my ovary.  "These things usually go away on their own."
  • November: The cyst disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived.  Go time for Clomid (and hot flashes!).  Follicle study showed two good follicles.  Injection to trigger ovulation was a success!  Negative pregnancy test two weeks later.
  • December: "We like to give our fertility patients a break from worry over the holidays." Translation: They want a break from us.  Thanks.
  • January: Clomid round two.  Follicle study shows 4-5 good follicles.  Way too many.  We're told to sleep in separate rooms and I start taking progesterone to "ruin" the follicles.  
  • February: New med (Femara) this month since I over-responded to Clomid.  Femara did absolutely nothing.  No good follicles.  "You may or may not ovulate, but if you do, it will be delayed."  Great.
  • March: Plan this month is to try injectables.  Instead of taking pills for five days, I will shoot up  (or, more likely, have Mike inject me) daily.  The doctor said I could very well over-respond to this as well.

If you are keeping track, that is one successful ovulation since we started this over six months ago.  VERY frustrating.  A couple weeks ago, Mike and I went to a seminar on IVF.  This is the first step for any patients at this IVF center, so we figured we might as well go.  Our learnings (most of which I already knew, but were reaffirmed for me): IVF is physically, emotionally, and financially draining, and we don't want to do it unless we have to.  I'm ready to give what we are doing a couple more months (including this one) before we move forward with IVF.  But I'm hoping and praying not to get there.


  1. Stacey, you are NOT broken. In fact, your body over responded to some of the meds! You are being responsible and unfortunately that comes with a lot of waiting and frustration. We all love you and will be there whenever you need support on this journey! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Yes, thank you for sharing, and I'm sorry I am late to the blog. Felisa is right that you aren't broken, but we also don't know what it's like to be in your shoes. It doesn't sound fun right now. Feel all your feels and be thankful you have a supportive husband and a strong mind and loving friends to get you through this journey. You are such a wonderful person, and we both know that that which is worth having often isn't easy!