I lay uncomfortably on the table watching the monitor during my hysteropingogram; the dye about to be injected. Then … wait … What? Wasn’t the dye supposed to go through my fallopian tubes and come out the other end? Why was it stopping just <5% into the tubes … BOTH tubes… My doctor looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry … you could try IVF.”
After 2.5 years of trying/planning/expecting to have a child naturally, I find out that it isn’t going to happen that way. Explosions of emotion flood through me. I try to choke back the tears. Although the doctor and assistants are in the room with me, I suddenly feel alone … very alone.
Here I am a survivor and a thriver—a natural optimist—having a moment of doubt. Haven’t I gone through enough heartache and tragedy in my life? I’ve ALWAYS known that someday I was going to be a mother. … What the hell am I going to do? Damn obstacles.
Being a web project manager (AKA, a planner and a problem solver), I started doing some online research. Little did I know that 1 in 6 … let me repeat, ONE IN SIX women have a fertility issue. “Really?” I didn’t realize that the issue was so widespread. Soon, after speaking to some women (and a few men too) at work and even my friends on Facebook, that so MANY people I already knew had gone through some sort of fertility issue… and many of those people even went through IVF! Finally, I didn’t feel so alone, but then I started to wonder, “This seems to be a very painful process to go though, so why don’t people talk about this more? This would have been SO much easier early on had I KNOWN how many people that I already know have gone through this!” Why is the idea of seeking help for infertility a shameful subject that people don’t discuss? Think about the plethora of other women that could receive comfort … especially early on in the process.
I know now that the decision to go with IVF as well as the whole process can be an emotional roller coaster and devastatingly painful, especially when getting a “big fat negative” after the dreaded “Two Week Wait.” After doing the acupuncture, the chiropractor, an African fertility dance, eating pineapple, going through seven (yes, seven) rounds of IVF and finally (during the last “2WW”) seriously giving up on IVF and getting adoption agencies on the phone, I now have a little boy (Surprise! IVF round #7 was the charm!) doing his daily water aerobics routine in my belly. I know that every single minute of pain, frustration and disappointment was worth it. THIS child is worth it.
Infertility is a hard issue to come to terms with. There are ways around it. There are options. And there are people like me who’ve shouted (and will continue to shout) out to the world, that, “No! I will NOT be quiet about my experiences! YES! I have gone through infertility and gone through IVF! I have done what it takes to have a child and I know how difficult it is! I am HERE to help ANY woman get through this process too!” We need to be there for each other!