My husband Thomas and I have been undergoing infertility treatments since June of 2018. We knew we had male factor(my husband does not produce testosterone or sperm naturally), but after a trip to my OB to get checked out to make sure we were ok to start TTC, we learned that I have diminished ovarian reserve, and poor egg quality. In addition, I do not ovulate monthly on my own. We were told at this point that the only hope to growing our family would be through IVF. At the time, neither of us had a single clue what that even meant. We were referred to a clinic in Phoenix to begin treatment.
At this point, we have completed 6 full IVF cycles, meaning 6 egg retrievals. Of those, 2 cycles resulted in zero mature or fertilized eggs. We have done 4 unsuccessful embryo transfers from our egg retrieval’s. We have done frozen and fresh transfers. We have done oil treatments for my uterus. We’ve done a biopsy of my uterus to ensure I am getting the perfect amount of progesterone. We’ve done intralipid IV treatments. I have had surgery to repair endometriosis as well. We just had an unsuccessful embryo transfer attempt. We still have 3 frozen embryos at this time and have not given up hope! We are preparing to head into frozen transfer number 5.
After each failed cycle, we wondered if we should try again. If it was worth it to go through the mental, physical and financial struggle again. Keeping hope has been so difficult. Scheduling life around appointments, shots, surgery, waiting periods, blood work and unsuccessful attempts has been devastating and stressful to say the least, but we’ve kept hope. We know that we are meant to be parents, and will be darned if we don’t give it our all! It’s sometimes difficult to see women “complain” about their pregnancy or child, while we sit in the back ground praying and hoping for a pregnancy and a child. I have to ground myself and remember: these women are entitled to talk about their struggles just as I am! They are just in a different struggle than I am.
Finding the community of women also struggling with infertility has been a blessing beyond words! We are not alone! I am not alone in feeling the pain, both physical and emotional! My husband is not the only Dr. hubby out there either! We try to lighten the mood and when in cycle, I yell “dr I am ready for my shot!” Find silliness and happiness in the struggle. I am so fortunate to have friends, parent and most of all a partner who has been my support block through this entire chapter of unknown.
In the last 3 years, I have become a stronger person. I’ve learned to let go of little things. I’ve become a professional at being uncomfortable physically! Needles are no big deal anymore. I’ve made friends with the phlebotomists who have taken my blood multiple times a week for years now. My veins are beautiful they say! My relationship with my husband has grown stronger. I’ve learned it’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to feel emotional. There is an amazing, supportive community out there that knows what we feel! You belong here. You belong in a place where you feel supported. You can be on day 1 or year 10. We congratulate good news for those around us, and We are patiently waiting for our turn!