Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Infertility History, In (sort of) Brief

The X and I started trying in May of 2001.  I assumed I would get pregnant immediately, being an over achiever.  Plus, I was only 25 and none of my friends had any trouble.  The idea of it was foreign to me.  As months went by, I got more and more crushed.  Then X deployed for 7 months.  When he got back, we tried for almost a year before he would admit there might be an issue.  His tests came back fine.  My OB put me on Clomid and upped the doses each month until it either worked or I turned into a hormone driven homicidal maniac.  Fortunately, it finally worked in February of 2003.

That resulted in a "blighted ovum", though, so while I got my hopes up at the positive pregnancy test, I never saw the heartbeat.  And it was a very strange feeling--- it felt like a loss but it also felt... fraudulent, maybe... to be very upset about it.  I mean, there wasn't actually any baby growing even though for a few weeks I thought there was.  I grieved but very privately- I felt like I should just suck it up since it wasn't "real".  Plus, at the time I was still married to X, who didn't deal well with sad or with feelings or with a wife who had both.   

Since just getting pregnant took enough drugs to get a horse pregnant, I underwent a battery of tests and even a laparoscopy to see if they could determine any cause.  They couldn't. 

When we moved in 2004, I started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist.  First we tried just drug stimulation, via injections.  That wasn't working. Then we did an IVF at the end of 2005/beginning of 2006.  It didn't work.  Then, because I wasn't really comfortable with the idea of IVF again, we did a procedure called GIFT.  That was in Spring of 2006.  That procedure (much like IVF) was it's own special level of hell, but was a pleasure cruise compared to the ensuing weeks.  First, the blood work indicated I was pregnant.  But the blood work 48 hours later fell, so not (viably) pregnant.  But then they went up again!  Woo Hoo!  And then they started climbing ever so slowly.  An ultrasound showed absolutely nothing.  Since my levels were still rising, but not at anything close to what they should have been doing, the Reproductive Endocrinologist ruled it an ectopic pregnancy.  So there was treatment for that and then about a million years had to pass before my blood work finally returned to normal. 

I had no interest in going through ART ever again.  I wanted to adopt.  But X believed that he could only really love his flesh and blood.  I wanted to be a mom more than anything, so I sucked it up and did another IVF.  It didn't work.  The subsequent FET didn't work either.  I think that was in early 2007.  After that, I just couldn't do it anymore.  In case you know nothing about IVF, in brief: It is physical and emotional torture. 

Ugh.   No way was I doing that again.  But I couldn't give up on the dream of being a mom.  So I started to look into Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I signed up for a series of retreats by the author of "The Infertility Cure."  They were an amazing experience, which probably deserve their own posts.  I went to those in the summer of 2007. 

Shortly after that, my marriage, which had been (in hindsight) failing for some time completely imploded.  We separated in February of 2008. 

It's a strange place to be in.   I am so grateful that we are not forever bound together by a child.  But it doesn't change the fact that I did have those 7 years of yearning and heartbreak. 
Early into our dating, I let Bub (I'm not sure why, but we started calling each other that.  It's weird term of endearment, I know.) know about my history.  He had no interest in me going through ART.  He happens to have been adopted so he was (and is) open to that option.  He wanted to try for a little bit, as did I.  So I started to see an acupuncturist.  I was going to a regular practitioner for a few months but it just wasn't getting me the results I wanted so I switched to a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor so I could receive acupuncture and herbal supplements.  She told me it would take between 10 and 20 sessions.    She was bang on... I think I got pregnant after my 13th session or thereabout. 

But it still didn't work.  Not really. 

A Brief Catch Up

So. Um. Yeah. It turns out that I didn't really have the time I thought I would to keep up a blog about life after a divorce. I think that was largely because I kept myself so freaking busy fearing that if I had too much down time I might wallow. Here's the brief recap, some of which will warrant more posts in the future.

After March, 2009-as cliche as it is- was really a year of growth for me.  Finally divorced, I got comfortable with who I am and what I wanted out of life. I was selfish--but in a good way. The way that I allowed myself to think of my feelings before putting everyone else first all the time. I was dating. I started out very guarded.  Almost merciless.  Gradually I started being less of a fortress. By the end of the year I had reconnected with a college friend and felt the first twinges of being open to having another person in my life.  Really in it.

In early 2010, that faded away- mostly from distance (different states) and different lifestyles.  In March, the house finally sold, which was a huge relief.  My grandmother passed away and- this deserves a post of it's own- that was really an "aha" moment for me. A week or so after her funeral, on a whim I signed up for online dating.  It was Easter Sunday.  I went out on my first and only online date that Thursday.  We moved in together 6 months later.  I never in a million years would have believed that if it hadn't happened.

In 2011, we got engaged, married, and bought a house. Oh, and I changed jobs. It was a busy and wonderful year. 

In 2012, we adopted a dog and we started trying for a family. This came with A LOT of baggage for me. The X and I had tried for 7 years with no luck- and no diagnosis. I really hoped that since everything was so different (and So. Much. Better) this time, that this would be easier too. It really wasn't. Well, that's not entirely true... it was easier going through it with someone who isn't a jerk, but still the waiting and the hoping and the constant disappointment, that just sucks regardless.  To save myself the heartache of this dragging on for years, I set a deadline of December after which I didn't want to try anymore.  And just under the wire- with 10 days left in 2012- I conceived.  Naturally.  HOLY CRAP!

A month in to 2013, we saw a heartbeat on an ultrasound. Something I had never seen and had, quite honestly, given up hope of ever seeing. Two weeks later, I was in the hospital having a miscarriage. 

And this is what has brought me back to the keyboard. Much like the difficulty of infertility treatments got me writing my first blog several years ago, I just feel compelled to write.