Our Infertility Journey: Technical Stuff...
The next few posts are going to be about a road we've found ourselves on called Infertility Lane and may be a bit longer than usual. It's the first time I'm 'talking' about this about this journey and want to start from the beginning. I'm writing in hopes that couples experiencing the same thing may feel less alone, but also to show that just because someone's life may appear "amazing" in pictures and posts, does not mean there aren't struggles behind their scenes. I hope you'll stick with our story and find strength if you're struggling too, and if you're not, we'd appreciate all the good vibes you can give! :)
Blair and I got married 2 years ago exactly 1 month from today. It was the most incredible day and surpassed every dream I had of how my love story might begin. As I write this I'm smiling because it’s a pretty cool thing when the reality of a moment beats out the idea of it. We were so lucky to be surrounded by so much love from our friends and family that day!
We scheduled our honeymoon for February and held off on trying to have a baby because a pregnant honeymoon isn't what we wanted. We spent two of the most amazing weeks in Belize enjoying all kinds of adventures together. We came back and gave ourselves until March to start trying. That's right around when the Zika Virus was getting a lot of attention so figured we'd give ourselves a month to see if any symptoms popped up just to be safe. March came and we stopped trying not to have a baby.
A few months of that went by when we decided to make the move to full-time RV living. Knowing we would soon be traveling, I made an appointment because of some concerns – after 6 months nothing was happening and I was 32 (which in pregnancy world is damn near elderly), but my biggest concern was that my parents had really struggled to have me. I wanted to try a more "natural" approach so I scheduled with a local doc who focused more on vitamins and diet and went in with high hopes. My first visit consisted of taking down a ton of info and ordering labs...$2500 worth of labs to be more specific. Before my results even came back, she closed her clinic. I mean, what the heck?!
After making an appointment with a different clinic, it came back that all my blood work looked fine. I have since visited another doctor and between the two of them, they both said they wouldn't have ordered half of what the original doc did. I didn't realize how much that frustrated me until recently…I feel like I was taken advantage of during a time when I had real questions I was trying to get answered. Writing about it now makes me mad I didn't push harder at the time because with my concerns, I don't think waiting the standard year was necessarily what was best for our situation but was told that was what to do.
So, it was a just-keep-trying-and-see-what-happens situation, but it was also a time of massive outside stress in our lives. We moved out of our sticks & bricks house on Sept 27th and into our new home-on-wheels. The first 5-6 months of this new lifestyle were hard on us mentally, physically, and emotionally. We had lots of physical things breaking within the RV which was so draining and made us really question our decision. It was a mental and emotional adjustment not only to be away from our friends and family, but to be with each other 24 hours a day. We both thought a certain style of travel was going to work for us which did not end up being the case. Also, from the end of November until the beginning of March, neither of us were working which meant (in the infertility exploration world) insurance was something we had to be aware of. It seems like when Blair got his job is when all the other pieces started to fall into place. We started to figure out a travel style that worked for us, the stress of this new way of living gave way to the joy it provided, and we got normal insurance back! Basically, an insane amount of stress was lifted and we felt good about getting the baby ball rolling again.
While in Portland, Blair dropped off a "sample for analysis" because we knew when we got back to Minnesota, summer was going to go fast and we wanted to hit the ground running to figure out why we weren't having any luck. His results came back fine so at the end of June, it was my turn to head back in. I got in on a Friday with a wonderful doctor in Duluth and she said if we're ready to push hard to figure out what’s going on, she's in. The following Monday I was scheduled for a hysterosalpingogram. A what?! Yeah, exactly, I had no idea either. Basically, it's referred to as an HSG and it looks at the inside of the uterus & fallopian tubes and the area around them to make sure there are no cysts, blockages, etc. The nurses and doctor were all so kind (they gave me heated blankets!), but MY gosh, I was not prepared for how much it would hurt! I like to think I have a fairly high pain tolerance but this one caught me off guard. Having dye pushed through a tube the size of a hair doesn't feel great, but at least it was quick. Everything looked good so we checked that off the list. Monday was the 21st day of my cycle so I had to get blood drawn to see where my progesterone level was at. If elevated it means you're ovulating and the next phase in the journey will start. The results came back good and my levels were up so at the end of the month I'll start Clomid. Not the ideal, not what you plan when you think about the butterflies and unicorns part of just magically getting pregnant. We're past that point, and that's ok.
This is a journey in progress. We know it will only get harder physically and emotionally but there is so much strength to be drawn from the countless other couples who have struggled, and are struggling, right alongside us. This post is an update of where we're at, technically...I'll post again next week with where we're at, in our hearts.