What Not to Say to Someone Struggling with Infertility

https://www.brit.co/infertility-support/What not to say to someone struggling with Infertility

I found this article really good to put perspective on how sometimes well intentioned comments from a very genuine and good place can actuslly be hurtful to someone trying to conceive. For myself, the part of the article on adoption really resonates with us as we have that happen to us often where we are casually told to “just adopt ” and if I really want to be a Mom “I can always adopt”. This is hard for me as I constantly feel I have to defend myself as adoption is something we have definitely considered but have decided is not an option for us at this time. And I think that’s okay. It’s a personal decision and not one the reflects in any way a persons views on the subject (I think adoption is wonderful-my best friend is adopted- but it’s a very long, trying and expensive process. It’s not simple like some assume and it’s not guaranteed).

The desire to not give up on having a biological child is real and it is ok. I want to see a mini version of my husband & myself. I want to see those unique personality traits and giggle saying “oh he’s just like you Mike” or “she/he definitely got his outgoing personality from his Mom! (me)”.

Every person is unique, and every family dynamic is different. What works for one family and/or couple may not for another and vice versa. This is the great thing about choice and decisions. It allows us the ability to make decisions right for us and our family and you for yours. I ask that next time you are talking with someone who is struggling to keep this in mind. Sometimes it is better to ask “how can I help you” Or “what can I do?” versus offering an opinion. If they ask for your opinion then by all means give it. But if they don’t then listening and being there in the moment is the best gift you can give. ♡♡

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’ve never done a blog before but a friend suggested I start one as a means to share my thoughts, feelings & as a coping strategy to get me through the tough times and loooong waits.

A little bit about us: I met my husband Mike in high school and we hit it off. We were complete opposites; I was social, outgoing & adventurous whereas Mike was quiet, shyer and more of a homebody. We balanced each other out and brought out the best parts of each other. It was love . Fast forward 14 years later and we are happily married and desperate for a family of our own. We started trying not long after our wedding 4 years ago and have hit road block and no after no. Each Christmas that passes reminds me how another year has passed without any good news to share with family & friends. Each year hopeful for success.

We have, like many of you struggling with infertility, done every test and tried every solution. I was diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve in the beginning of 2017 and as hard as that news was to hear we felt hopeful because finally we had a medical reason to why we weren’t getting pregnant after trying for almost 3 years. I was then referred to TRIO fertility clinic for IVF as we were told really was the only route to go as IUI’s would not be successful since I rarely ovulate. Now began more intense testing and waiting to get accepted for funding. Finally in October 2017 we received the call our funding had come in and we could begin our IVF journey starting November. We were over the moon- finally this was going to happen, we were going to become parents. We were naive and just assumed IVF would work. I mean why wouldn’t it right! WRONG! We learned quickly this would be harder and take longer then we anticipated.

November’s IVF cycle was cancelled due to my very high FSH levels. This was devastating to us and the moment we realized this wasn’t a sure thing. Then December came and my FSH levels were slightly better after having to take a week off work to reduce stress levels. IVF was scheduled to begin the high dose hormone stimming on Christmas Eve with retrieval scheduled early January. We were happy, this was it! Everything was going okay we thought other then the hormonal side effects (lethargy, fatigue, constipation, insomnia, acne, bloating ++, depression, etc) except with each ultrasound we realized follicles weren’t progressing and growing as expected. Then we got the phone call- they were cancelling the cycle just days before retrieval was set. We were disappointed but were told would try again with our next cycle.

This brings us to February where we did it all over again with even higher dosages of hormones this time to hopefully do the trick. Yay, it was retrieval time which was one of the most painful experiences of my life. They had a hard time retrieving the eggs from my right ovary as I have a retrograde heart shaped uterus. But it’s ok, I just had to do this once I am strong I can get through it and I did. Thank God for Mike holding my hand and rubbing my head through the entire procedure. So the Dr tells us they got 4 eggs from the 9 follicles. We always expected small numbers so we were happy to have 4. It only takes 1 right!! Next day they called to tell me all 4 eggs were mature and fertilized but only 2 survived. I was shocked…this can happen? Why did nobody prepare us. But don’t worry there is still 2 embryos growing. Now day 5 is here and time for the embryo transfer. My uterine lining was plump and sticky they said and ready for a baby. Excellent! We were nervous and excited. The Dr tells us one of the embryos isn’t doing good so they are going to watch it for another day to see if will survive..we later found out it didn’t. Therefore no embryos to freeze for us. But we had 1 to transfer, he said was a little delayed but still good chance for success. We got an ultrasound picture and everything. This is real. This is happening. Just need to get through the two week wait and then we can celebrate. Daily progesterone injections and analyzing every symptom and potential pregnancy sign commenced. Mike was convinced we were pregnant, this had definitely worked. Until we went in for our beta and got the call that the IVF was unsuccessful and we weren’t pregnant and no embryos to try again. I wish I could put into words how that news felt. I watched my husband break down while I sat there feeling numb all over unable to speak or cry. Later I went to have a bath and I remember just sobbing for what felt like hours. The following few weeks were tough. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as defeated and down as I did in the following 3 weeks. Going back to work was a nightmare. I didnt want to see anyone or be around everyone. Im a cancer care nurse how will i help my patients if i cant help myself. Somehow i managed to get though each day. Honestly, I don’t know how I did it. I wish no-one would ever have to experience that feeling. It can break a persons soul…soul crushing is the right word to describe how I felt.

So what Now? Do we give up? We couldn’t accept that. We’ve put 4 years of our lives into this journey to parenthood it can’t be over like that could it?

Then came the very difficult decision to try IVF one more time. We have no coverage so we are now paying fully out of pocket about $25,000 CAD (after paying expenses still for both previous failed cycles also). The anxiety of the money aside, there is so much anxiety surrounding the very real fact this could fail again. Can we endure heartbreak like that again? We decided after much consideration, yes its worth the chance. We are buying ourselves a chance and peace of mind of having no regrets. The Dr has given us a 50-60% chance of success. I’ve seen worse odds. We are trying a very different and much more aggressive protocol this time around. I’m hopeful this will work, but cautiously optimistic. I’ve changed my diet, lifestyle, started weekly acupuncture about 7 weeks ago, increased my coQ10 dose, and have taken a leave from work to make sure I’ve done everything I can to make this as successful as possible. I have to live with myself if this doesn’t work out and need to know I did everything within my power. I know that I have and that I am.

So that brings us to now….about to start down this crazy unpredictable and scary journey any day now. I hope you all will take the journey with me. I feel the love & support and it helps to keep me going. 😙❤

I started my Estrace pills this week. Just am waiting for my period to come then we pull out the heavy duty meds and get things going. Will keep you updated. Thanks for reading. Xo Fairen ♡

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton