Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Infertility

I have wanted to share a little about this topic for a while now, but I never know where to start. I've hinted here and there, but never really shared our story. When I think about it I am just overwhelmed with everything we've been through so far, and to be honest, I feel a little vulnerable putting it out there even though it's mostly friends and family who read this blog. There's just so much. I figure the basics are a good place to start. Six years ago we knew something was wrong, one year ago we started fertility treatments, four months ago we switched specialists after we found out our first had neglected to run the most basic of tests and lied about our test results, and in a few days we will start our first IVF cycle.

Our issues are not completely clear, but are a mix of PCOS and extremely low Anti-Mullerian Hormone, or AMH, levels (basically my ovaries think they are 48 years old instead of 28) - which is a very strange combination (normally women with PCOS have AMH levels that are off the charts) - and although Jer has what our doctors like to call "Superman sperm", they may have a bit of trouble penetrating an egg. When we do IVF we are doing something called ICSI, where one sperm is injected directly into an egg.

So far there have been a lot of procedures, a lot of tests, a lot of needles, a lot of heartache, and a lot of judgement - often with good intentions. We have been through six Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) cycles. Three using a medication called Femara, and three using injectible medications. Although we've had a "perfect cycle" each time, neither protocol has worked.

Not everything has been negative. It sounds strange saying that, but I think we would be lost without trying to find the good in a bad situation. During a time where it would be easy to fall apart, our relationship has only grown stronger. We have learned so much, although I do think we have learned all we can and can this just please work already! I have met an amazing group of ladies in an infertility support group, and sharing our stories and lending support has helped keep me grounded. Although I hate that they are going through something similar, it has been such a blessing to have a group of women who really get it. We also have hope. As hard as it is after a year of disappointments, and previous struggles and losses, we do have hope that this will still work and we will be parents.

I also found ways to channel the pain and discomfort into something beautiful - wedding planning (think of all those little flowers) and I began hand sewing a hexagon quilt during one especially painful cycle. I discovered working with my hands was a good distraction.

I will share more about our journey, in more detail in future posts. I'm thinking of a 'what not to say' kind of post next.


famousthecat said...

Thank you for sharing this, Nikki. I would very much appreciate a "what not to say" post! And maybe a "what to say" post, too.

Love you.

Nikki said...

Love you too lady <3

A few people have mentioned that they'd love to see a "what not to say" kind of thing, so hopefully I'll be able to do it justice.