The journey begins. Knowing it "might" take awhile we just have fun practicing.
A few pregnancy announcements later, feeling discouraged. We troop through, try to "enjoy practicing" & not get too discouraged. Reminding myself that it can take up to a year before infertility becomes an actual diagnosis.
My aunt gives me "Taking Charge of Your Fertility", let the charting begin!
January 2012: Convince hubby to see a doctor who specializes in thyroid diseases, thinking this might be an answer to what's happening. I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. Would definitely explain why I'm so tired why I'm so exhausted & never have energy.
Sometime in 2012, I do more...Internet research & Toni Weschler's book I suspect might have PCOS due to all of the symptoms...which include acne/oily skin, impossible to lose weight (A low carb diet has helped me tremendously! That and the right medication.) irregular periods, infertility, anxiety/depression, and sleep apnea.
Still powering through, getting REALLY stressed at this point, hubby not ready to find a fertility clinic yet...I become depressed and anxious.
October 2012: Friends hold an emotional intervention to check on me. I come face to face with my depression and realize I feel abandoned and betrayed by my body. Every time I have a 50+ cycle I think I might possibly be pregnant, only to be rudely disappointed by my period showing up.
Winter 2012/Beginning of 2013:: Suffer through the Holidays and 3 pregnancy announcements later, I've had enough & the hubby is on board with finding a fertility clinic.
January 2013: After researching PCOS a little more I decide on trying a gluten free, limited dairy diet. At this point, I figure anything is worth trying once.
April 2013: After talking with others we finally decided on the clinic that everyone recommends. While it's been highly reported the doctor has no bed side manner, she gets stuff done. Everyone recommends our RE. The day of our consultation she states that I have PCOS. I have to be on a low carb diet, buy an Atkins book and discover my perfect carb count. As well as start taking metformin.
Heck of a few months later, after an out of town wedding, we are finally able to get hubby in for his semen analysis.
Results come back that there are no sperm in the sample. RE wants to do a few blood draws before moving forward with any procedures.
Labs come back good! Rejoice...sort of...hubby now has to go through a very painful procedure--can't remember technical name, but it is a testicular biopsy to see if there are any sperm hanging out not wanting to come visit the eggs.
We get it scheduled, go in for the test.
Weekend of Labor Day 2013...
Worst day...ever...probably...so far at least. We get to the appointment early. They are going to numb hubby as best as possible and then extract 5 samples off of one testicle. After a 30min wait, the results come back with zero sperm. Urologist wants to take 6 samples off of his other testicle. After the worst 45minutes ever, we get the news that hubby also has zero sperm on remaining testicle. Heartbroken and not sure what we do, we retreat home, lock ourselves in the living room and watch the entire first 3 seasons of The Walking Dead (There will be references to all the fandoms in this blog, I promise ::winky face::).
RE gently reminds us that sometimes the sperm will swim out over night, and that she will call us in the morning. The very next day, I start my new job...I get the phone call while there.
There were no sperm in the tubes, call back Tuesday to figure out game plan. I got the great honor or telling my husband the news. We watch every zombie movie ever that night & that Sunday. C held me while I cried & cried.
Make it through the weekend...Call the RE Tuesday, she states her only other recommendation would be to perform an incredibly invasive surgery on hubby that would essentially cut him in half to try and find sperm...hubby was not interested nor encouraged by the 50/50 shot she gave us. Our next option was donor sperm. We spend the rest of the year lost in a haze.
October 2013: I start therapy. I needed too. Hubby, not super interested in joining. We also find out from our insurance that they will cover NONE of our expenses to babies-ville.
Our Year "Off":: 2014::
I Started running around the time we started trying. I was about 80lbs over weight and had convinced myself, if this takes awhile, the first thing, the first doctor will say to me, will be "lose some weight." I started training for my first 5k at the end of December 2011. By March 2012, I ran my first one in 40minutes. It was exhilarating and I wanted to know when I could do it again and if I could improve.
Over the course of your fertility journey I started to run more and run. Then lift.
By the time we reached our RE I was down over 30lbs. When our RE put me on the low carb diet and the metformin, the weight fell off! In 3-4 months I lost 30lbs. Last year, I took off the last 10 to reach my goal weight.
I ran my first half marathon, in 2hrs and 15minutes--beating my goal time by 15minutes. A goal I needed to change my focus from sadness to one of triumph. I also saw a nutritionist who encouraged me to restrict gluten, dairy, and soy completely. She did give me the 80/20 leeway though.
The hubby kept up with his job, chased the nephews and nieces around, and threw himself into a lot of projects.
We had a major fight during our year off. I think it had been bubbling since our dual diagnoses. A lot of fear had crept into our relationship about whether we should be together, or whether if push came to shove if we could be okay if this actually might not work out for us. After a very long, very deep talk, we voiced a lot of our concerns & fears. It was the worst day, since the diagnosis.
We were able too, after some time, reaffirm our deep love for one another.
He stated I didn't seem happy and that he thought I wanted out. He even gave me the out.
I had never been so angry at him and at myself. Him for giving me the out and me, for some how letting him think I needed one.
At this point we established regular weekly/monthly date nights. We started completing house projects together, and found our way back to each other. It was the time away from others opinions and being able to focus on each other, that I realized what we've been able to grow and hold onto during this journey.
End of 2014:: We start talking about what our options are. Donor sperm with IUI, or possibly adoption. After much time and prayer, we decided we'd like to try Donor sperm with IUI first before moving onto other options. Still no plan in place.
January 2015: We put a timeline together for when we would like to call the doctors office, and move forward with our first IUI cycle.
April 2015: Take the injections class. I get to learn to give myself shots! Whoopie! Start looking for Donor.
May 2015:: Pick top 5 donors. 50+ days without a cycle...we had originally talked about waiting till June to do our first cycle but things had seemed to be lining up for us to start sooner. (#1 donor became available! Money seems to be flowing the right direction.) I take provera, 11+ days later my cycle arrives. We are thrown into a crash course in IUI. 8 days of shots, follices are growing to decent sizes, uterine lining is thickening nicely.
3 ultrasounds, $3,493, and 1 pregnancy test later we got the BFN. A BIG, FAT, (HUGE) Negative. Spent the day crying, did go to work, but only for a few hours.
Now...we're regrouping...again...but this time to gather our strength for the daunting road ahead, and our cash!