June 2017 we started with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) aka a fertility doctor. From there it feels like we’ve been on a never ending rollercoaster with far more drops than ups. We were given great chances with IUI (intrauterine insemination) so we did three of those with no success. In December 2017 we moved on to IVF where we were pretty much assured success.
Looking back now, it feels like forever since we started on this. It feels weird to think that there will be a time where I won’t be doing shots, that my life won’t be filled with doctor’s appointments at the crack of dawn, that I will go back to “normal”. For me, it feels like it’s been forever since life was like that. Nearly three years of my life consumed.
Now, in those three years we’ve been pretty busy. Not in the way most people trying to conceive are busy, but definitely busy. In that time we’ve done the 3 IUIs, 5 retrievals for IVF, 7 embryo transfers, 2 hysteroscopies (scope up the vagina, lots of fun), 1 laparoscopy (I’ve now seen inside my insides, also fun), and 1 d&c for our daughter we lost this time last year.
It’s A LOT. In the picture, there are over 800 syringes in that picture. I don’t know how many vials. I’m still giving myself two injections a day to maintain this pregnancy. Countless pills. Countless sleepless nights over this. Hundreds of hours of research to find “what’s wrong”. Diagnosis I’ve got plenty: diminished ovarian reserve, poor egg quality (in my 20s, pretty dang uncommon), premature ovarian aging, endometriosis stage 2, recurrent implantation failure.
There’s been a lot of anger too. A lot of why me. A lot of depression. And a lot of much needed therapy.
But there’s also been a lot of support. My husband, first and foremost, the one I can rely on through anything. My parents, my family, my friends, the wonderful people at Brown Fertility. The amazing people I’ve met through the infertility community. As much sadness and loss and grief, there’s been purpose and love and comfort too. I’ve been able to support other women in similar shoes. I’ve been able to explain and give help where needed. I’ve been opened to a world that 1 in 8 are struggling with.
I will not pretend to be anything other than grateful that our story has taken a turn for the happiness. That our little “Kinder Joy” is truly a scientific miracle.
We are joyous and we are celebrating. We are happy to finally be on the path of success despite everything that it’s taken to be here. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason, but I am okay that it did happen and the people it has opened me to.
For those who haven’t found their success yet, I mourn and grieve with you still. For those who gave up for a myriad of reasons, I hope you have found your peace and hope you find comfort even if it still feels like there’s still a piece of you missing. For those who have found their success, I am grateful to be counted among you.
Infertility has changed me. The grief I’ve experienced will never leave me. I’ll never be able just to forget all the pain I’ve experienced. The jealousy still exists of those who have an easy time. I still fear for this pregnancy even though everything so far has been great. But if infertility has taught me one thing, it’s to keep going onwards and upwards until the end.