Hard Boiled Eggs
Our Struggle with Infertility
Infertility is a very personal struggle and heart breaking for those who want children. Every month that you do not conceive your hopes are dashed. Then, depending on the protocol you are using you have to begin again immediately. Forget about modesty, lots of people see lots of your parts. Well-meaning people will hurt your heart unintentionally with things they say. You both have to be VERY committed to the process. It can strain your relationship and consume your entire life. Keep your perspective, your sense of humor, and try to relax. I didn’t always follow my own advice; it consumed my life, my sense of humor suffered especially with the ones I love most, and forget relaxing!
We began our journey when I turned 40 and Jay was 45. I went to my gynecologist and asked questions about our infertility. My doctor immediately referred us to a specialist. After consulting with the specialist, we began testing to help us determine the cause of our infertility. We began taking Clomid, a fertility drug that is used to stimulate ovulation. For more information about Clomid see http://infertility.about.com/od/infertilitytreatments/a/clomid101.htm.
Numerous appointments were needed to monitor the development of the eggs produced and ovulation. After several months on Clomid without success, we began artificial insemination. Jay had to be involved during the appointments doing the “guy thing”. Jay is a very private person, and the nurses were very nonchalant about the specimen containers. They would wave them around and hand it off to him without knowledge of his temperament. He was given the option as to where he did the”guy thing”. This was stressful because he had to return the specimen within a certain time. This protocol was also unsuccessful for us. After several attempts we took a little time off so it was not a constant battle. Life continues.
We began the in vitro fertilization process. This procedure requires the stimulation of egg production, the removal of the eggs produced, fertilization of the eggs, the fertilized eggs divide, and then they are placed in the womb. Since I was older my eggs were harder for the sperm to penetrate. This required a procedure called ICIS
(pronounced ick see). This technique requires taking a single sperm and injecting it into an egg. At every stage there are challenges. For more information see http://infertility.about.com/od/infertilitytreatments/ss/ivf_treatment.htm.
This procedure requires various series of shots. I became a control freak! I worried about everything being exactly perfect. Sometimes the ingredients for the shots had to be mixed and I would panic if something wasn’t just right. Jay had the wonderful experience of giving me my shots. They were given in my behind (how lovely). I’m surprised we made it past this point. Once Jay was out of town and my Mom had to come give me my shot. Everyone had a part in this struggle.
We tried in vitro three times. The first time just didn’t work. The second time my body didn’t respond to the medicine. Third time was the charm. We were able to transfer four embryos and even saved four embryos in case we were not successful. After the embryos were implanted, I took several days off work to rest and hopefully let things settle in. I remember spending the days lying on the couch constantly praying that this would be successful. After nine days I had to schedule my blood test to determine if we were pregnant. I remember the disappointment I felt when I went to have my blood drawn. I didn’t feel any different than I had the other two times. I didn’t feel pregnant. I was sure the procedure had not been successful. So, when I got ”the call” I was ecstatic!!! I was at work and I remember telling the nurse who called that I loved her!!! Even more wonderful than the call from the nurse was calling Jay with the news!!! At our next appointment we were told my HCG levels were high and it was likely we were expecting multiples. When we had our first sonogram we got to see three tiny heartbeats!!!
One thing we did during our third IVF procedure was to begin planning a trip to Paris. We did this incase the procedure was a failure; we would have something to look forward to. We were listening to tapes, reading travelogues and maps. Jay now owes me a trip to Paris...
Once we were pregnant, we had to continue shots for a period of time. Again, I struggled with being a control freak. I worried that if I missed a shot I would lose the babies. I went on a business trip during this time; it was so fun to tell my customers I was pregnant. I had to have a shot that night. I thought I could just run to a “doc in a box”. Well, dinner lasted longer than I expected and the clinics were closed. I was traveling with a salesman from my office. I joked that he would have to give me my shot!!! After that mental picture, we decided to go to the emergency room instead. It was a huge ordeal; you would have thought I was a desperate drug addict. I just needed a shot of progesterone. Finally, I encountered a nurse with some common sense; she took me back and gave me my shot. In retrospect, I probably could have missed that shot but I did not want to take that chance. Did I mention this controlled my life and I could not relax!!! One last thing, with our “advanced” age I do not think the fertility clinic would have continued with another IVF procedure. Clinics are concerned with keeping their success statistics high.
We were blessed with victory in the battle of infertility. I hope my story will encourage you not to lose heart, keep your sense of humor and RELAX. Your story will be different from mine. By sharing our stories we can hopefully help others know that they are not alone in their struggle and success is possible. I would love to hear your story or comments. I am curious to know if anyone else has hard boiled eggs?