We got married in October 2010. I was finishing my Masters degree and Derek had just gotten a better job. About 8 months after we got married we decided we were ready to start thinking about having a baby. We definitely weren’t that couple that wanted to get pregnant right after getting married, but we didn’t want to wait forever, either. I always knew that I wanted to have kids, not in a “dreamed-about-it-since-I-was-a-little-girl” sort of way, but in a more “life-path” sort of way. It was just something that I planned on doing and figured would happen. Even when I was young I knew that I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom and envisioned myself working and having a family.
After a year of no luck, I talked to my doctor. She did some (pretty invasive and awful) tests to make sure that things were fine on my end (they were) and referred us to a fertility specialist. After a few more tests and meetings (filled with lots of awkward/uncomfortable tears on my end) they determined that there was nothing wrong – we just had bad luck. Well, the implication of that is that there is nothing really that can be done except wait for better luck and keep hoping that next month is it. We did 4 or 5 IUI rounds, two of them involving daily hormone shots. This was an awful (and REALLY expensive) experience. Nothing worked.
For me, the most stressful part of this whole “adventure” (other than the financial aspect) was the waiting. Anyone that has had trouble getting pregnant can probably relate. There is SO MUCH WAITING. And so much not knowing. We would find out that an IUI round hadn’t worked (again) then had to wait two weeks to try again and then wait ANOTHER two weeks to find out if this round had worked. And the extra awful part was the unpredictability of it all. There is no way to plan appointments weeks ahead of time to make sure that they fit neatly into your schedule. We were making appointments at the last minute, because that is the nature of the whole process – stress and unpredictability. At the same time, though, we also just KNEW that eventually it would happen – we just didn’t know when. We knew that there was nothing wrong with us and that we just sucked at timing. We talked about how in the end, it would happen and we would forget that this was even an issue, because as soon as it worked the stress (of getting pregnant, at least) would melt away. So that mindset really kept us going. We never really gave up, never worried about the possibility of being unable to have kids.
After a while, the whole “trying-to-conceive” thing became routine, stressful, and not fun at all – not to mention really expensive. About a year into it, we decided to take a break. We couldn’t keep spending the money and I was completely burned out by all the medications, shots, and intrusive/invasive procedures. No talking about it. No stressing about it. No checking the calendar. We just needed space.
During that month off, we bought a Clear Blue Ovulation Monitor – it’s basically a little computer that tracks your levels over time and gives you a window. Now, about a year and a half prior to this, my friend told me to get this monitor. She told me how well it worked and all the people she knew that it worked for. At the time, I was completely unwilling to spend the $150 on this and thought, “Wow, that is crazy expensive – no thank you.” Well, $4000 worth of fertility nonsense later, the $150 didn’t seem so bad. Geez, did we regret that decision. It worked THE FIRST MONTH! The first month!! Seriously?! So that’s it. All that stress, all that money, all those tears and frustration. It finally happened.
It needs to be noted how amazing Derek was through everything. He went to all the appointments, held my hand, and kept us going. He is amazing and wonderful and I am so lucky to have him. Even though it was an awful experience, it was comforting to know how important having a baby was to him, too.