We were so anxious for this day to arrive. And here we were; sitting in this quiet, cold waiting room, counting every second that goes by. I was battling with mixed emotions. I felt excited, nervous, scared, impatient, and happy at the same time and up until this moment I had no idea anyone could feel all these emotions at once.
When the patient room door opened, a young couple walked out. I couldn’t help but feel a little bad and immediately started thinking about what their story might be. In a way it made me feel better knowing we are not the only ones having to deal with this and that it seems more common than you would think. Now please don’t get me wrong! By no means do I ever wish anything like this on anyone! When I say it made me feel better I simply meant, that knowing that we are not the only ones affected by infertility at young age gives me hope! And it is again a reminder of why I have decided to write this blog.
It is sad that people for some reason feel ashamed to talk about infertility and all its struggles. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Infertility is not something you choose; it is a disease. Trust me, I used to feel like I could not openly talk about it for the longest time, about ten years to be exact, but when I learned there is a lot of people struggling, and when I learned to accept the circumstances it got a little easier and in a way it strengthened me. Ok, honest confession: I did write the first few posts a while before I decided to make them public. I guess I wasn’t too confident about a) my writing skills; b) if anyone will even care to read my blog; and c) I have learned to talk about it but I still have my days of weakness where it’s rather hard.
When I went through my losses I really had no one to talk to, no one that would truly understand the pain anyways. My friends seemed to be preoccupied with their own life, so I didn’t even bother reaching out for consolation. I found comfort in online groups where women shared their experiences and struggles. Besides my husband’s and family’s support, speaking with all these women who are going through similar if not the same issues was what really helped me get over the tragedy and pain I was experiencing. I hope that by openly sharing my story and IVF journey, other women (like you who is reading this right now) will be able to find encouragement, hope and a general idea of what an IVF cycle entails.
Our appointment went by fairly quick. The nurse briefly went over our medical history, took some notes and explained the different treatment options. Once she was done she sent in the doctor. I was a little worried as to what and who to expect. I was just worried that he would tell us “I’m sorry, you’re not a candidate for this treatment” or something like it. As usual, I worried too much! Our doctor is a very kind, older man and he seems very experienced in what he does. He was named one of 2012’s honorees for Best Doctors in Honolulu and, besides having his own practice, he is also the medical director of the infertility clinic. He was also recommended to us, and so far I can see why.
His eyes lit up as he started explaining the treatment process and he mentioned that chances through IVF are in general so much greater than anyone has trying to conceive naturally (makes sense). He seemed positive that this should be a walk in the park. He also recommended to do Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or “ICSI” which is direct fertilization of the egg by injecting a single sperm into the egg cell rather than having the sperm try and find the egg on its own. The reason for this is that my husband’s sperm motility and morphology was lower than expected. We had no idea, I mean his little swimmers found mama egg twice before!
Yes ladies and gents, infertility can affect both men and women, and sometimes you won’t even know until you get tested. This should not be anything to be ashamed of, nor is anyone less of a man or woman who is affected by this!
I feel so blessed to have a husband like mine. He completely supports me in sharing our story, and sometimes I wish I could be more like him. He is always so positive! Not even the results of his semen analysis bothered him while I already freaked out again! lol
He is constantly calming me down and reminding me that all this is going to work out just how the Lord has planned for us. And you know what, he is right. It reminded me of something our Pastor once said: “God tests your faith to see how far you would go – don’t give up because God is not done with you yet!” I know at times it is hard to stay faithful but we need to keep praying because God does answer!
So, the first step in this process is to be put on birth control for two months prior to retrieval and transfer, simply to be able to control my cycle. Luckily, our appointment was on a Thursday and my period just stopped, so I was able to start taking birth control the coming Sunday! Talk about timing! But the thought of taking birth control after such a long time of not having to even deal with it was definitely weird. Like, you put me on birth control so I can fall pregnant? It doesn’t but it does make sense.
The second step is to perform a laparoscopy to get a look inside and remove any possible endometriosis, cysts, polyps and doing a scratch. This is something that apparently will help to improve implantation chances after blastocyst transfer. I knew what endometriosis is but never did the thought cross my mind I could have it. According to my doctor, most women from their 30’s on actually do have some sort of endometriosis. Who would of thought!
So here we are, excited yet scared again. Another surgery!? After I just had two procedures last year?! Oh well, I guess whatever it takes to ensure all this will go smoothly!
With a lot of excitement, our doctor mentioned that we are looking at October as our target date for egg retrieval and transfer. I couldn’t believe it! Everything is happening so fast!
He also ordered blood tests for my husband and I to check for hormone levels and HIV, and wanted to do a quick ultrasound as well. I’m honestly not a fan of trans vaginal ultrasounds but he was very quick and efficient. “Everything looks great; it seems like you have a retroverted uterus though.” I knew about my uterus being retroverted, but when he mentioned it, being the person I am, of course it freaked me out. I immediately asked if this lowers our success rate and he responded: “Not at all! Your uterus position will make the embryo transfer so much easier! It’s perfect!” Woo, I was so relieved!
At the end of our appointment we met with the financial adviser. We are lucky to live in a state where our health insurance covers the first IVF cycle, and our portion left to pay is estimated to be $3,000. I mean it’s still a lot of money but way better than having to pay the full amount!
My husband and I looked at each other and couldn’t help but smile. This was it, our first step towards having our own family!