Three years. One HSG. Twenty five (maybe more) ultrasounds. A ridiculous amount of blood draws. Too many doctors appointments. Nine rounds of clomid. Three rounds of a trigger shot. Two failed IUIs. Three miscarriages. Hundreds of negative pregnancy tests.
This has been my life for the last three years.
Infertility is tough. It’s draining on you emotionally, physically, and financially. It’s a journey that I couldn’t do without the support of my husband (thanks for always putting up with my mood swings and attitude on fertility drugs), family, friends, my church. I hope that by sharing my story with people I don’t know, I can reassure you that you are not alone.
My husband and I always knew we wanted kids. A month into our marriage, we found out we were expecting. As excited as we were, we knew the pregnancy wouldn’t last. I was taking medication that was harmful to a pregnancy at the time. We hung on to a small sliver of hope that things would progress normally but a few days after we saw those two pink lines, I miscarried. Miscarriages are difficult even when you know it’s coming. After we took some time to grieve, we decided we were ready to start trying again. I went off the medication and we started our journey.
It wasn’t long before we found out we were expecting again. We were ecstatic that it had come so easily! Unfortunately, this pregnancy too ended in miscarriage with doctors telling us it may have been remnants of the medication I was on. They told us not to be concerned (HA!) and that we shouldn’t see any further complications from the medication. We took a couple months to process things and when we both felt comfortable, we began our journey again.
Every month, I would become so hopeful we would see those two pink lines again. Eventually six months passed and then a year. I knew something was wrong. We weren’t getting pregnant on our own anymore. I made an appointment with my OB-GYN to discuss what was going on. Little did I know this was going to be the beginning of blood draws, ultrasounds, and other fertility tests. It was weeks before we found out the tests came back negative for anything. She sent me home with a prescription for clomid and some instructions on how to take it and told me that it would help me ovulate regularly.
We tried clomid for two cycles with no results. On our third cycle of a boosted dosage, we saw those two pink little lines again. I was thrilled! I had plans to surprise my husband with the news but I couldn’t contain myself and sent him a picture of the positive test at work. He claimed he couldn’t see a second line (he always says this) so I told him I would take a digital to prove it. Sure enough, the digital came back as pregnant. I called the doctors office right away and asked to come in for the beta-HcG.
We had about 24 hours of happiness before the doctors office called and said that my beta-HcG was pretty low. They assured us it could just be because we were still very early and asked us to come in for a repeat test in 48 hours. The repeat blood test came back and it had just barely doubled but it had doubled! They wanted me to continue to come in for 48 hour beta-HcG tests to make sure the numbers were still doubling. Every time the phone would ring with results, my heart would sink in anticipation of bad news. We finally got the call that we were dreading telling us that my HcG had stopped doubling and that they didn’t think the pregnancy was viable. I was in denial of it all until I actually did miscarry. We were heartbroken again and were beginning to feel the strain of this journey.
We decided to stop all medical interventions while we physically and emotionally recovered from our third miscarriage. We went an entire year without doctors visits and fertility medication. Ultimately, we decided to start trying again and I went back to the OB-GYN who ordered some more blood tests to rule out any physical causes of our miscarriages. The results all came back negative so he started me on clomid again. We did four rounds of clomid with the OB-GYN before we moved to the fertility clinic in OKC.
Our doctor at the fertility clinic told us that our miscarriages were probably just bad luck and that there wasn’t any sort of genetic or physical reason for them. She told us our best chance of getting pregnant after going over our history was to do a medicated cycle of IUI. We told her to do whatever it took to get us pregnant! We started the clomid again and added in a trigger shot and ultrasound monitoring and IUI. We’ve had two failed IUIs so far but are hopeful that the remaining two will give us the baby we’ve been seeking for three years now.
Despite my journey of infertility, I still know in my heart that I am going to be a mother someday. I don’t know if our family is going to come from my body or from adoption or if my story of parenthood will be written entirely through the foster care system. However my kids come into my home, I’ll love them endlessly.
*Originally published November, 2017.