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Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

☀️ CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BEST SOCKS ON THE PLANET TO HELP WOMEN WITH INFERTILITY! A portion of every single sale will go to an incredible woman experiencing infertility. They make the BEST gifts for women experiencing infertility to remind them they are loved OR to wear to your own appointments while working hard to grow your family to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you. You are incredible, sister!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

Read Michelle's Story here:

______________________

My husband and I struggled with infertility due to my PCOS diagnosis. I found out I had PCOS in September of 2015. I was working as a personal trainer at the time and was having a really tough time with weight gain and energy crashes. As I am sure you can imagine, being a personal trainer that is gaining unhealthy weight is not good for business. I worked out 5-6 days and week. I tracked my food. And I could not get it under control.

Luckily, I had a client who had just recently been diagnosed with PCOS. After listening to her story and doing my own research I decided to go get tested. I thought for sure it was a long shot. I didn’t have the “normal” signs and symptoms, I was just at a loss and was looking for any explanation. Turns out I did have PCOS. However, just as I got an answer, I soon realized that PCOS is a very vague understudied area of women’s health. The irony was that I now had an answer that produced even more questions.

The metformin and birth control controlled my signs & symptoms and I learned to live with my new “diagnosis.” I never appreciated what it meant to be “labeled” by a diagnosis and I have to admit, I don’t love it. But such is life and after I got past the first 6 months of metformin adjustment (if you know you know) I was golden. Fast forward to 2016. I met a wonderful man. We started dating. He found out I had PCOS. It was a short conversation that explained my energy crashes and need to eat every 3 hours ON. THE. DOT. Then…we were still dating. He loved me and I loved him. We finally approached the marriage topic…He started ring shopping and I broke the news about infertility. It is never a conversation you really want to have, and truthfully, it is not the hardest conversation you ever will have. He had a basic idea, but I wanted to ENSURE he understood the unknown reality of what infertility could mean for us. He did and we got engaged and I married my absolute best friend on January 5, 2017.

Fast forward one year of blissful happiness and we started to discuss trying to have a baby. He is 5.5 years older than me and my only condition on having children was that we had to wait at least one year. And now I was ready to come to the table. We had gone back and forth about when to try. I did not have this shining moment when I knew it was time. The reality was that I changed my mind every day. My career was great, and my marriage was better than great. I wasn’t necessarily ready for the change. However, I was 25 and I still had wonderful insurance from my parents. We looked into it and found out that the insurance covered a large chunk of infertility costs. That was it. I set up an appointment with the best doctor in the state and we went in.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

I was really afraid that going to meet the doctor would be a waste of time considering we hadn’t been trying at all. What if he made us try for a year on our own? That sounded exhausting and really un fun. I had seen so many poor women struggle with that and I wanted to avoid it at all cost. Luckily, he took us right in and told us we had made the right choice in coming directly to him. Now I didn’t have the frustration of not knowing what was going and struggling for so long to have a baby without any success…But when you have to constantly meet doctors and health professionals who have no idea what is wrong with you and just keep referring you to someone else then you can completely appreciate how refreshing it is to meet a doctor who knows what is going on and is fully confident in their ability to help you. It is a rough journey that begins with the right people…which is truly a blessing in and of itself.

The doctor started by balancing our hormones for 3 months and then the reality set in. We were “actively” working on our family. When you finally get to that point you kind of start to light up with hope. Here was the next chapter of lives and we were finally running for it. But at the same time, you have this pit in your stomach that you might be on the cusp of something that will be really hard…

Come August, we were ready to begin the clomid and first IUI. We did not go through the metformin/ clomid process first. I had been taking it for years and the chances of it being helpful were really low. We were racing an insurance coverage timeline and we did not have time to mess around (haha event though we were literally asked to “mess around,” every husband’s favorite part). I was turning 26 in December and my infertility coverage would come to an end. So, we charged into the IUIs.

IUI #1 Fail

It was incredibly deflating…. You have heard it all. I was a woman who could not even do what women are biologically built to do… I was worried I had let my husband down… I was worried that something deeper inside me was worse than I thought… What if I never had kids? How could I face my husband who looked at me like I was the best thing in the world? What if I could never create a little girl who looked like me? Or a little boy who adored his dad? It was an unexpected hit of emotional insecurity and pain. But we tried again…

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

IUI #2 Fail

IUI #3 Fail AGAIN

I feel like no one really tells you that your body is going to feel like you have been hit by a bus… That you will gain more weight than some pregnant women do… That you will have to wait an agonizing two weeks to even hear if you “failed” or not. It is not fun. But all along the way you feel bad because there are women who have suffered way more than you. They did it. So, you keep going. You will eventually get there too. Another emotion that I wasn’t planning on was my indifference. You might ask, how you could possibly be indifferent in a case of human life? I assure you it is possible and doesn’t look as glorious as the women who heroically go through something worse but still manage to smile and “run the world.” I didn’t feel heroic for champing through this rough process. I felt bad some days and indifferent. Meaning I didn’t feel like I had actually “suffered.” I knew I had PCOS for years. I knew that infertility for our family was 90% inevitable. I was able to game plan it with my husband and we went straight to the infertility doctor rather than going through the “suffering” first. We were the lucky ones. And I truly did feel lucky.

I was really bummed and felt really bad somedays. I also felt bad for feeling “indifferent” because I had been able to emotionally prepare for years for what we were experiencing. I was “indifferent” because I was lucky. Then comes the IVF process and the needles and the retrieval and do I still feel lucky? I did… but I wanted to complain… and I wanted it to be a secret…. I didn’t want to explain how lucky I was/wasn’t to all of our family and friends. Soon, despite my best efforts, you realize that some family and friends will just have to know because they are your support. They are the ones you vent to when you have exhausted your current audience. They are the ones who feel bad for you, so you know it is ok to feel bad for yourself. They are the ones who call to check in. And looking back on it now. They are the ones that truly love you. I will say this now and forever. We adore our family and friends!

So, our first IVF started in December 2018. We were rushing to beat the insurance deadline and to get as much done as we could. I started the stomach shots. Not to bad. But obviously not awesome. I have been an EMT before and after visiting as many doctors as I have needles tend to just be “par for the course.” I got the bruises on my stomach and I got the nerves as we went into the doctor for the egg retrieval. Still to his day I swear I looked like I was 3 months pregnant without even having a baby… cruel I know! I went under, they got 40 eggs, I came out of it and my husband took special care of me all day. It wasn’t bad. I was in a lot of pain, but I was doing it! We had come this far. Our chances with IVF were much higher. I felt like I had handled the shots like a champ, and we were doing it! I felt like it was a billboard flashing “Hope, welcome back to the ball game.” Again, we had been super blessed. Forty eggs was a huge deal. Two weeks later we had 10 embryos we were sending off for genetic testing. I started my bum shots and we got word that 8 embryos had come back “normal” 6 girls and 2 boys. We laughed and joked about how we had never planned on having so many girls and we waited.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

We went in and had the embryo implanted. I continued the shots. And they got worse. I have never minded shots till then. Having to reshoot yourself in a spot that is already bruised over and over again hurts. It hurts a lot. And this is me saying this from my very high “self-acclaiming” pain tolerance. My hand started to shake like crazy when I would give myself the shots… it was like a very short onset PTSD. It was like my body knew exactly what was coming and I would start crying before I had even poked myself. My husband felt terrible. He started coming downstairs every morning to give the shots to me and he HATES shots. He felt terrible that I cried but it was 10 times better than me giving them to myself. I couldn’t have done it without him. Then I got the phone call when I was leaving work. We were pregnant!!!! I cried. Just a little but I cried. It had worked. We didn’t know the gender of the baby because we wanted a surprise and told the doctor to pick which embryo they implanted. We were pregnant!!!!

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

It was a very weird surreal experience. And yet at the same time, so hard to comprehend. It didn’t seem real. I continued the shots till 10 weeks. They didn’t get better but now we felt like we had a reason. I cried and I got through it. We did a small gender reveal with our family. A sweet baby girl! Yay! I was sick for 18 weeks and she never cooperated for any ultrasound. She was never facing the ultrasound and didn’t like anyone in her business or any pressure on my tummy. I didn’t have a rough pregnancy but had a very rough five-day labor. Then in October of 2019 she was here. Our beautiful Savannah James. Our lives were changed forever.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

My Words of Hope: Now looking back I think about what advice I would have. I had suffered but not like other women. I had finally had a child. But not like other women. I am going to eventually have another child and that will probably not be like other women either. I had been ok but other women had not. What was there to learn? I learned that I could do it. And you will learn the same. Just make sure if you are going to go through hard things in your journey you make it memorable.

Whether you have ups or downs. If you are going to go through it then you better get a good story out of it. Because you can do it. You always could. The journey is just proving it to yourself over and over again. So that is my advice and “slice of sun” … you can do it! And you will! Loves to all the women everywhere who have continued to tell and experience their journey alongside the rest of us. Cheers to this wonderful thing we call life! And cheers to the tears and joys that see us through!

 - Michelle Lee

Facebook: Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

Michelle Lee's PCOS Story featured on top US infertility online community.

☀️ CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BEST SOCKS ON THE PLANET TO HELP WOMEN WITH INFERTILITY! A portion of every single sale will go to an incredible woman experiencing infertility. They make the BEST gifts for women experiencing infertility to remind them they are loved OR to wear to your own appointments while working hard to grow your family to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you. You are incredible, sister!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

To read Laura Oblinger's stage 4 Endometriosis story, click HERE

 

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