One thing that makes me happy about infertility (because there’s not really anything that does)is that it’s being talked about more. I feel like when we first started our infertility journey, there just wasn’t anything out there. We felt so alone, we didn’t know what we were doing, and it was a taboo topic that just wasn’t out on the table. And honestly, despite seeing it talked about more now, it’s still not enough.
So when My Fertility Navigator reached out to me to tell my story and #TalkAboutTrying,I was all in. If you want to read all the details and a huge background behind my diagnosis and a good introduction, it’s in this post here. But more so today, I want to touch base on how it’s been as a couple and tell our story on a broader spectrum.
When Marcus and I were first dating and getting serious about marriage, I remember being terrified to tell him that well, when I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and was told it would be really hard to get pregnant, if at all. I seriously stalled and stalled on having the conversation, but now looking back – there was no reason for me to. He (being the incredible guy that he is), wasn’t worried about that. He loved me and looked at me and said, “If we can’t, there are other ways and we will work it out.”
Flash forward, we are now married, haven’t been married super long, but I felt the push that we needed to start trying. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous just because well, besides being young, broke college students I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy journey for us.
We met with my OB about 8 months into trying, mainly because we knew of my diagnosis and wanted to get a head start on it,. He started me on clomiphene and all that fun stuff and honestly, it kind of went downhill from there. I tried about 5 different medications, all different dosages (mainly the highest they were comfortable going), a 21-day bloodwork to check ovulation and the consistent, “Nope, you didn’t ovulate” or “Nope, it didn’t work this month.” We did this for almost two years; it was miserable. Not to mention, the constant hope of “they’re wrong,” so I’d go out and buy a pregnancy test anyways and that negative sign got harder and harder to look at.
It was hard, it was lonely, it was terrifying and honestly, even though my husband was incredible and supportive and going through this just as much as I was, I felt so alone. I think it was hard for me because I felt like my body was failing. My body wasn’t able to do the one thing it was supposed to do and I felt like a disappointment. We watched all of our friends start to have babies, then we watched a lot of them have their seconds and we just cried and held onto each other.
Eventually, we got pregnant (HALLELUJAH) and it was by the grace of God. I couldn’t tell you how, when or what did it – but after almost 3 years of trying, several medications and a whole lot of “not ovulating” and negative pregnancy tests, we stopped treatment and then I randomly got pregnant with the most perfect, miracle little girl.
Flash forward, our little girl was born and more perfect than ever, she was about 6-months old and we decided to not be “trying”, but not stop “trying” either since it was so hard the first time. Now, I’m not going to lie, I had this false hope in my mind. I had watched friends around me who had infertility the first time just get pregnant like “that!” the second time. So, I really had hoped that was going to be us and I held out on that for almost 3 years. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t face the reality that it just wasn’t going to happen like that our second time. We tried clomiphene again, a few other doses of things and finally my OB said, let’s just get you over to the fertility specialists and for that I’m forever grateful.
It was my OB that gave me that push to go make things happen and well, that’s honestly a huge problem in the whole infertility world and this is a great article to read about why women wait to see a fertility specialist. The article states that “78% of women struggling with fertility challenges wished they had seen a reproductive endocrinologist [fertility specialist] sooner.” Just like those women, I automatically assumed I had time, that it would happen again like it did with my daughter, Blake. I thought – my OB could do it and so on and so forth, all reasons covered in this article. And the biggest thing – I said, we can’t afford it, so there’s no reason to go down that path.
Unfortunately, it was our reality and it was a must for us. We had to do IVF for our second baby and are now pregnant with a miracle baby boy. Was it an easy journey? Nope, it was hard and expensive and emotionally draining. We had to lean on each other more during our infertility journey than we have for anything else so far. Which is why I’m such an advocate for this – TALK ABOUT IT.
Share your own story on social media with the hashtag #TalkAboutTrying – let’s break the norm and remind those around us facing the same battles, that they’re not alone. I know it’s hard and I know it’s scary, but I also know it’s important to have resources and people around you lifting you up. I’m going to link some resources below, but first know you’re not alone and know IT’S OKAY and it’s actually a good thing to see a reproductive endocrinologist. It’s incredible to get insight and knowledge into your specific circumstances from someone who specializes in just that field.
A huge resource (that I wish I had known about) is My Fertility Navigator. There is so much knowledge on this site and it has just the right tools like helping you find your local reproductive endocrionologist and other helpful information to guide you on your fertility journey.