Nobody thinks starting a family will be hard. In fact, I spent a large majority of my life trying not to get pregnant. Although, I know there are many ways to start a family, I'd always envisioned myself following these steps:
Unfortunately, the test never had a plus, turned pink, said "positive" or had those two little lines. Yes, we tried every know type of pregnancy test, convinced that this time, this test would be positive. Every month, we would be hopeful and know this was the month. Every month we were wrong.
Every month, we would be hopeful and know this was the month. Every month we were wrong.
After 6 months, my husband hid the tests. He said that we needed to go in for the infertility testing that my doctor said would give us answers and although, he was ultimately right, the disappointment I felt that we needed help was very isolating. When we started the infertility journey I didn't know that one in every ten couples struggled with infertility. It was lonely, especially because it seemed that every time we turned around our friends were announcing their first, second and even third pregnancies.
As we starting our infertility testing, our doctor decided to try 3 months of Clomid treatments. In March of 2013, after our 3rd Clomid treatments, we got a positive pregnancy test. Our expected due date was January 24, 2014 and we were so excited. Our child would share a birthday with his/her grandfather. We made the six week ultrasound appointment and started planning for how our life would change. Our joy has palpable as we discussed our hopes and dreams for our family and our daughter/son. Then, 7 days later, our world collapsed with a little bit of blood. Then a little more. We had experienced our first chemical pregnancy. We cried and comforted each other. Now, we had added worry, not only did we take 9 months to get that first positive pregnancy test, 3 of those using Clomid, but now we had a chemical pregnancy. We would experience 2 more, 3 total before our son, William was born. After this chemical pregnancy, we went through a battery of testing.
My husband and I didn't just lose a pregnancy, we lost the potential of what the child could have been - our son, our daughter, ballerina, ball player, someone we hugged, someone we tucked into bed, someone we had loved and then lost.
After reeling from this and as we were approaching a year of trying, we were given the news that based on our fertility test results it was more than likely that the fertility problems rested with me. I had a bicornuate uterus, also known as a "heart-shaped" uterus, on-top of a low FSH level and some extra tissue in the uterus. Based on all this and the fact that we had been trying for a year, we were given just a 3% chance of conceiving naturally.
In our second year of trying, we had 4 intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), 12 ovulation kits, 3 more rounds of clomid of increasing potency, starting at 50 mg a day to 150 mg a day, hormone injections and 2 more chemical pregnancies. At the end of this, it was June 2014 and we had to sit down to discuss next steps. We had finite finances to put toward our dreams of having a child and we had enough to either complete 2-3 rounds in vitro fertilization (IVF) or possibly adopt a child. We felt that both options were viable and had their merits, but after long discussions, we decided that we wanted to pursue in vitro fertilization. Once the decision had been made, we talked to the doctor and set a schedule for our IVF treatments. I picked up the hormones, started the nutritional diet recommended and we prepared for pregnancy. The last weeks of August 2014 we were scheduled to undergo our in vitro and hopefully, have a family. As I worked from 11 AM - 7PM, I was able to complete the fertilization and required doctors appointments before work. It was a plan and we were looking forward to being parents.
Then, on August 3, 2014 I received a job offer I couldn't refuse. I changed teaching positions and schools. I was now working from 6:30AM - 3:30PM and we needed to postpone IVF until the following June - 10 long months away - to work successfully with my new schedule. When I found this out, I pulled over my car and cried. It felt that we were prolonging and postponing our dream of being parents, although the teaching position I accepted would be better for our family in the long run, with more stability and time off. Therefore, the choice to wait would be better for our family that continuing to work in a position that wasn't as family-friendly.
Our doctor had recommended I undergo a minor surgery to enhance our IVF success. Now that we had 10 months until we were going to complete the IVF we decided to complete the surgery on my Thanksgiving Break.
I signed everything and swore up and down that I was not pregnancy. We had been given a 3% chance of getting pregnancy naturally. We had been trying for over 25 months and had failed until this point. They walked me upstairs and had me give them a sample of urine than snuggled me into a comfy chair and started an IV. They gave me an injection of the starter tranquilizer drug and finished prepping me for surgery. My mom and husband were sitting next to me when the doctor came in and explained that they wouldn't be completing the surgery that day. We all looked confused and asked why? She smiled and said "You are already pregnant. We routinely run all urine samples and yours came up pregnant. In fact, we ran it 3 times just to confirm. Congratulations."
I burst into tears and my husband looked shocked. My mom was grinning from ear-to-ear. That day, instead of surgery, we walked out knowing we had beat the odds and were going to have a little 3% miracle.
Our first ultrasound, 2 weeks after we learned we were pregnant.