National Infertility Awareness Week: What If…

2014-niaw-25-imageI haven’t really touched on our journey to become parents on this blog, and in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I would share our story.

She’s here. She’s really here. I had to keep telling myself that sometimes when she was born. When you’ve been struggling with infertility for a long time like we were, I found myself often having to reiterate the facts to just wrap my head around how our life finally changed. This is my second NIAW after Lily was born. Honestly, last year, we were so caught up in her that I forgot about the designated week, but I DIDN’T forget each and every day to send a prayer of thanks, or to cherish every moment. I know what it’s like to long for those moments and I embraced all those dirty diapers or the fact that I had a beautiful reason for lack of sleep.

I decided to look back on a blog I had started in 2012 on our journey. Here’s a summary of our infertility:

  • Diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) in my mid-20s.
  • Went off birth control in 2008, but actively began trying in 2009.
  • Visited an endocrinologist and began Metformin in April 2009, but stopped shortly after due to side effects.
  • Positive test on Father’s Day June 2009 that sadly ended in a miscarriage a few days later (although technically they don’t call it this since it was more of a chemical pregnancy since it was so early on).
  • Testing through a reproductive endocrinologist included HSG testing where they see if your tubes are open, bloodwork and ultrasounds. Hubby tested as well.
  • Began Metformin again but on a lower dose. Still bad side effects.
  • Approved to start Clomid, but did not start due to job change.
  • Hadn’t gone the route of IUI or IVF, and instead tried natural methods such as acupuncture, Mayan Abdominal Massage (this helped me get my cycles on track), and more.
  • Lost 10 pounds with diet and exercise
  • Began Femara (5 pills beginning 5/31/2012)

Seeing a positive/happy face on this ovulation predictor stick was not the norm for me, so it was very much welcomed. (June 2012)

And that’s where our infertility journey ended some would say, as the Femara worked and gave me an LH Surge which resulted in us being able to conceive. But when you’ve had PCOS and infertility issues, it’s never really over in your mind. After our positive pregnancy test, there was that “What if?” I went to the doctor the day after our positive result and at 11 days past ovulation they were surprised at how much I knew about what was going on and what kind of numbers we wanted to hear. Women trying to conceive with infertility are an informed bunch, sometimes more so than medical professionals! Once I heard my numbers were doubling, I knew we were on a good track but still, the first 12 weeks I tried to stay calm, but in the back of my head, there was that ‘what if’…

I also found this original post I had written, and I am happy to say, I don’t think I’ve complained about pregnancy or about our little girl on social media or in real life too. Always in the back of my mind, there’s that fact that so many couples are still struggling to have children, and I will not take our blessing for granted. Sure we have tough days or tough moments, but the fact that she could just as easily have not even been conceived sets me back on track. Unless you have had those “What if” moments, it may be hard to understand this.

In 2012, it was 1 in 10 couples had infertility issues, and now that number seems closer to 1 in 8 according to statistics. That means approximately 60 of my Facebook friends are dealing with some sort of infertility. Some of them I know about their struggle, but there’s probably more that I don’t. Chances are you know someone too. Be supportive. Be mindful of what you post. It truly is a heartache. It’s hard to be around a baby-crazed society with social media, stores, inquiring family members and targeted ads constantly in your face when you are struggling to conceive.

Take the time to watch the video below that really spoke to me years ago and still does, and see things from the “What If” side. I am thankful every day for our daughter, but I know I will never forget what it felt like to be on the other side of infertility. I originally had this post titled, From The Other Side of NIAW, but I realized, I may be a mother, but that infertility journey is still a part of our story, so we’re not truly on a different side. Even now, I wonder “What If” we can’t have another child?

My thoughts and prayers go out to the couples wanting to be parents.

What IF: A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

For more information on PCOS, visit soulcysters.com

For more information on infertility and NIAW, visit resolve.org

What’s your infertility journey? Please share with us below if you’d like.

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