A post on our next step regarding infertility:
Doug and I have been struggling for almost three years. More than a year ago I came out with our infertility to family and friends. I explained that we had Unexplained Infertility, which means that we went through the tests and we waited for the results only to hear “we can’t find a problem, everything looks good”. Many people hope to hear good news when a doctor runs some tests, but in cases like this we were looking for answers, something that was definitive and something we could fix. The statistics are that with our diagnoses, we had a 1-3% chance of conceiving naturally. These statistics crushed us and put some strain on our marriage, as it would to any couple dealing with this.
It’s been a while since I’ve given a detailed post regarding our next step. There are a few routes we could take, but financially we only had two options, and honestly only one that we could move on to if we wanted to begin now: IUI. I did some research, contacted the insurance company, and viewed the breakdowns of costs. Doug and I didn’t talk extensively about a timeline, but we were pretty sure this was our next step.
However, things have changed. It looks as if IUI/IVF is not in our immediate future. This is because on April 15th our lives changed…
We are happy to announce that we are expecting Baby Whitney in December of 2016!
After almost 3 years of wanting to say those words, it is finally the time! I started by telling you a recap of the life of infertility before the good news because I wanted to remind people that the hurting never goes away, the fact that this is coming 3 years later shouldn’t diminish our hurt and struggle. Infertility hurt and will always hurt. I wanted to be cognizant of those struggling. I wanted to be respectful to those that will see this and it will hurt their soul, it will remind them that they are unable to become pregnant. I wanted to channel how I felt each time I saw a birth announcement, got a baby shower invite, or see the day to day updates from mothers and fathers and grandparents on my Facebook. Those struggling, you are not alone and I have been there. Therefore, here is a trigger warning to the rest of the post where I discuss how we found out.
Here is a breakdown of how we found out:
I had been temping for over two years, but of course I didn’t temp this cycle (PLEASE avoid the “oh I guess that’s all you needed!” comments as a secretary at my OBGYN said). However, through process of elimination and based on secondary signs I knew about what time I ovulated. Like I have said before, 3 years of tracking my body I am well aware of where I am in my cycle without a thermometer. I had been taking pregnancy tests all week, up until this point there was nothing but negative tests. But, on April 15th I decided to take another test after school. Honestly, I have no self-control when it comes to pregnancy tests, so the quick stop to the store wasn’t unusual. I went to the store, bought two cheap tests and went home, peed on a stick around 5:45, and to my surprise there was two lines. I was skeptical, this was not a trusted brand. I had an evaporation line (false positive) after 11 months of trying, so my skepticism was strong. I took a deep breath, asked some (online) friends their thoughts on this brand, and did some research on the brand. Everything proved it was a tested brand. (I think here is where I tell you that these women have been there with me, virtually held my hand and patted my head when I needed it over the last 3 years. They know almost as much about my body as I do, so I ran to them first, actually I was being demanded by them to update them.)
At 7:15 I took a second test. And OMG TWO LINES. This time I was starting to believe this could actually be happening. I went outside to tell Doug. He was mowing the grass. I called him over to me, he told me to hold on. I waited patiently with two positive pregnancy tests in my hands. He stopped the mower and I told him that I had taken two tests and they were both positive. I told him I didn’t quite trust the brand, and that I would test in the morning with a more expensive and trustworthy test.
I went back to my friends that I had two positives, but that I wanted to test with an FRER (First Response) test. I told them I would test in the morning, then I would test at midnight, then I finally decided on 11 pm.
I went to the store and bought 4 tests. I went home and tried to distract myself with cleaning, laundry, TV, anything.
11 pm was finally here. I went and peed in a cup, dipped the test, and almost immediately there were two lines. Tears starting rolling down my face. I was shaking, I kept looking in the mirror telling myself the words I had been hoping to say for almost 3 years, “I’m pregnant”.
I ran back to Doug, showed him the test. He was shocked. He held the test and asked if it could be a false positive. I began questioning it myself. I went and dipped a second test, this time a digital. I wanted to see the word YES and not dissect the lines.
The next few weeks have been amazing. Yes, there has been some morning (and evening) sickness, some heartburn, some tenderness, and SO MUCH EXHAUSTION.
On Wednesday of this week I went to the doctor to hear that one definitive: someone was occupying my uterus!
All of that to say this: thank you to those that have supported us, read my blog posts, took the time to read the things I’ve posted online about infertility, and those that have become more sensitive to those quietly suffering.
I’ve sat down and tried to written an entry several times, none of them coming to fruition. Since coming out with our infertility in May, not much has changed. We are still childless, and feeling emptier and more hopeless each passing day. Childlessness is something I never thought I would experience. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
We are in month 27. For over 800 days we have tried to have a baby. Do you know how many things can happen in 800 days? This disease is nasty. It’s heartbreaking, emotionally filled, painful physically and emotionally, and a losing battle
I began teaching in the fall and have had to deal with many pregnant moms, and listen as the kids tell me the exciting things their new bundles of joy are doing at home. One day recently was hard to handle.
"I have a secret, Mrs. W" a kindergarten student said to me. He had a huge grin on his face. He's 6. His secret is probably that his birthday is coming up or that he made his Christmas list. "Would you like to share this with me?" I asked. He nodded, put his mouth right up to my ear, tightly cupped by his hands and said, "I'm going to be a big brother soon!" My heart hurt. But yet, my heart was happy. He was so excited, so proud. One of his best moments, was one of my worst. I told him I was very excited for him, gave him a squeeze, and had to walk away. I felt ill. It had been a while since I felt this bad.
Sometimes these words hurt more than others. Today it hurt terribly. As of lately I hadn't been asked when we were having kids, or why we didn't have kids. Since coming out with our infertility there has been a weight lifted from my shoulders. I was able to live life normally. In fact, on occasion I even deliberately walked past the baby section in Target and didn't even feel that pain in my throat. I am accepting this life. I am accepting infertility.
Two days after this kiddo shared his news his mom came to volunteer for the class. As soon as she walked in my eyes went towards her stomach. Nothing. Either it was early, or it wasn't true. I tried not to think of it the rest of the day. Then, at the end of the day I found myself alone in the classroom with my little friend and his mom. As I was putting on my jacket and scarf I saw him pull his mom close, cup her ear, and whisper something. She immediately let out a laugh, and turned to me. "He just whispered, 'I only told Mrs. W the secret'". I laughed, expecting to feel immediate pain, but I didn't. I told his mom the story about how he told me, congratulated her, and left the building feeling...empty but happy.
A few days later I was at my second job, nannying. I was alone with the boys in the kitchen. The boys are old enough to understand the beginning process of reproduction, at least enough to carry on a conversation regarding children. "Are you having kids?" the youngest asked. "That's impolite, B" the oldest said. Then turned to me and said, "wait, can you have kids?" I was unsure how I wanted to handle this. The parents I nanny for are very open and honest with their kids. They tend to answer honestly and fully when asked questions. However, I hadn't told their family about this secret part of my life so I held back a little. "I'm not sure" I started. D and I just don't have kids right now. Maybe one day, maybe not". I then changed the direction of the conversation towards the different lifestyles people have. Some choose to have children, some don't, and some can't. They seemed satisfied with my answers when we were finished.
After these two conversations I decided I was going to not hide this part of my life anymore - from anyone that asked. Little did I know that the moment I would tell this secret would soon come.
Less than a week later I was driving with the two girls I nanny. After driving silently for a few minutes the youngest (7) asked how babies come out. Oh boy. Once again, they practice honest parenting so I stayed silent for a few moments thinking. "Well, P, there are two ways babies come out. I'll explain one and I think you should discuss the second way with mom." I started with "well, your mom had what is called a C-section." I went into little detail about this then proceeded to tell her "this is definitely a mom in conversation. These are great questions that you're asking, but this is something that your mom needs to answer. Every parent is different and some moms and dads explain things differently to their children." She said OK and became silent again. I knew that this was not the last question that I would get during this car ride about reproduction from her. At this time the oldest (8) said "I know the other way the baby comes out". Oh man. Here we go again. "I am glad that you know, but once again this is a conversation that needs to be had with mom, so we are done discussing this part. I am more than happy to answer other questions that you may have about this but we are done with that question.” I thought, oh great, did I just open this conversation up to her asking about where the babies actually come from? However, the conversation took a different turn.
"Can you have babies?" she asked. Well, this was not the next question I thought I would hear. I battled with myself for a moment. I said I would be honest, but was now the right time? I still hadn't told their parents. Soon the words came out. "No, I can't have babies"..