We’ve been trying since around Thanksgiving 2013. At first, it was pretty casual. We didn’t watch a calendar or take ovulation tests. After about a year, we spoke to my doctor about it. The first doctor we spoke to basically told me to stop doing everything, with no true explanation. Don’t drink alcohol. Don’t drink caffeine. Don’t eat red meat. Don’t eat fish. Exercise but not too much. Don’t take hot showers. Don’t change the cat litter. Of course, don’t ever stress, as if I have a job that is so easy not to stress about. It felt as if I was expected to sit on a pillow being fanned by someone and only eat chicken. It was so wildly unrealistic, in the end I just didn’t do any of it (at least back then).
We didn’t have a lot of money. I have an exorbitant amount of student loans, and I was making about $50,000 per year. The idea of seeing an actual fertility doctor seemed impossible. All of my research told me it could be $30,000 just to get the testing done, let alone participate in IUI or IVF.
We changed our diet and stopped drinking for months at a time. It didn’t make a difference. People all around me continued to get pregnant. I would get upset and cry. Why them and not us? Why does my family member who has social services called on her all the time so easily have more and more kids?
My husband got tested. They literally told us his sperm was “perfect”.
We started taking ovulation tests and watching calendars. I read books and books and books about it. And every month, I wasn’t pregnant.
About a year ago, I felt like we could finally afford to see a fertility specialist. They ran tests on me and ruled out PCOS. There is no simple explanation like everyone always thought there would be after so many years. We started with Clomid, which was very hard. It made me nauseous and very emotional. I would cry at radio commercials. I yelled at a lady on the phone at my bank, and then cried and apologized to her. It was very embarrassing. My husband hated every moment of it. We did IUI and I had to do injections into my stomach. The injections trick your body into thinking you are pregnant, which only increased my believing it could really work. It has worked. I have had 5 miscarriages, 3 within the past year. It has worked but nothing has stuck.
The hardest part now is that my husband and I do not agree on how to proceed. Sometimes he doesn’t even want to deal with IUI because of how emotional I am. I will be honest it was a hard time in our marriage. We were fighting constantly because I was so quick to snap at him. I kept thinking/saying, “you think this is hard on YOU?” It was hard on him though. I yelled at him in front of his parents once, which was not ideal. It was hard on my coworkers too. I don’t really want to do treatments either, but we don’t have a choice. I would adopt or foster a kid tomorrow, but he is very against the idea. He won’t even have a conversation about it. I think he is afraid he wouldn’t love an adopted kid as much. I know he is wrong, but I can’t force him to adopt a child. When we met, we always talked about having kids. We didn’t discuss how, because we had no idea it would be this hard. I am willing to do anything, but it seems he is not.
So what is left if the fertility treatments continue to fail? Surrogacy. We finally talked about that this past weekend after I got emotional when my husband started talking about teaching our son soccer. The problem with surrogacy is the cost. The “average” cost of surrogacy is $110,000. We don’t have it. Maybe we can save it up within a few years, but we do not have it now. Meanwhile, I and my eggs get older. (I of course understand that there are so many who would never have surrogacy as an option. It’s hard to consider myself lucky in this area of life, but I do recognize that my profession makes the surrogacy conversation even possible).
COVID 19 has put a stop to my fertility treatments. We continue to try naturally of course, but according to my doctor, we only have about a 2% chance of that working at this point. My husband and I are doing better than we’ve done in a long time during this quarantine, and maybe part of that is the pressure of this. There isn’t pressure, because we aren’t allowed to do it. Part of me wonders if we should just give up and enjoy our life the way it is. 6.5 years is a long time.
We are 1 in 8.
By: Anonymous Member of the CWBA