I decided to change things up a bit today and write a post about my life instead of a review post. Most of time, this blog is very light hearted and typically you guys don’t know much about what’s going on in my life. Lately I’ve been adding more details about our life in my reviews so you guys know some of the details, but I decided to sit down and write down everything that’s been going on lately. As much as I thought this was more of me wanting to help others with our story, it’s really for me. It’s therapeutic to express everything. Grab a snack or a coffee, this is going to be a long one!
So, lets jump in. My husband and I have been trying to start a family for just about 2 years now. We suffered with a chemical pregnancy the September before our wedding in 2017. We always knew we wanted to have kids but it wasn’t until the chemical pregnancy that we wanted to start trying a lot sooner than we had originally talked about. After a year of trying and nothing happening, we decided to head to our not so local Fertility Center to try and get some answers.
After a bunch of tests, multiple doctor visits, and lots of money, we were told we suffered with male factor infertility. The doctors sat us down and without batting an eye told us “our chances of conceiving a child is practically impossible. If we tried every month for 10 years, we might get pregnant once.” Heart breaking doesn’t even begin to explain how we felt. With the same breath the doctor told us the only way we would be able to have children is to either do an IUI (intrauterine insemination) with donor sperm, adoption, embryo adoption, or IVF (in vitro fertilization) with donor sperm.
Processing all of this was not easy. I remember leaving that appointment and crying the entire car ride home. Why us? What did we do to deserve this? What will people think? Will people support our journey to parenthood? What route is the right one? How will we afford this? How will this change our marriage? We had no idea we were about to begin the hardest, most emotional journey of our lives.
We knew as soon as we got the news that we wanted to be open and honest with our family and friends. This journey was/still is VERY emotional and the more support we have the better. We never wanted to feel as if we were hiding things from the people we loved. Once we started telling people, we were shocked at the range of reactions. While the majority of the responses from people were positive and supportive, we also had comments like, “What’s wrong with her?” and “Not everyone is meant to have kids.” That is comment from one of my husbands friends and a family member.. If you ever are in a situation when talking with someone going through infertility, don’t say these things… Unfortunately even though 99% of the comments were kind you tend to hold on the negative ones the most.
After shoving the negative comments away and listening to the positive ones, we decided that embryo adoption was right for us. We did more research in a 24 hour period than I did in my entire schooling career. Time to go on a little side story. We live in Michigan and in Michigan, insurance does NOT cover anything that has to deal with infertility. That means every appointment, lab, test, and procedure was due out of pocket…
When we told our fertility doctor that we wanted to start the process of Embryo Adoption, we were slapped in the face with more disappointing news. They wanted us to do 3 IUI’s before even considering us for more invasive procedures like embryo adoption. I was only 25 when we were diagnosed with male factor infertility. I was told multiple times that I should have no problem getting pregnant with IUI because of my age and how healthy I was… Boy did that get our hopes up!
Our next step was picking out donor sperm. For those of you lucky people who have never had to go through this, picking out a donor for something as important as having a child is terrifying! We were given 3 different sites from 3 different states to pick from. The best way I can explain this process is like a dating app X1000. You file through THOUSANDS of profiles trying to pick one that is the perfect fit! My husband and I sat in our living room for HOURS going through every person. We had 3 different rounds. Round one we only looked at the medical side of things, did cancer run in the family? Mental illness? Causes of death to family members? Round two was ethnicity, we decided we wanted to pick a donor as similar to us as possible. Round three was the fun part. We picked our top ten and ranked them. LOL Told ya it was like a dating app!
We did it! We found the perfect donor and we were one step closer to starting our family! We decided to do a secret IUI in December, in hopes to surprise our parents for Christmas with a pregnancy announcement. Unfortunately, the first cycle failed. I cried a lot! I felt broken. The doctors had made it seem like it was going to be so easy! In January we decided to try again. This time we used some medications.. Another fail. I remember testing EVERY SINGLE DAY from the procedure until the day my period started. February was our last chance. We both were super positive! We had SO many people praying for us. This time it had to work! It was time to test and once again, it was negative.
This was the bad one for me. I went into a pretty deep depression. I let that STUPID little stick define my worth! I would wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. I had no interest in anything. I’ve wanted to be a mommy since I was child and I was watching my dreams crumble! We had already spent thousands of dollars, I put my body through Hell, and we had nothing to show for it.
Fast forward two months. Our journey with Embryo Adoption was FINALLY starting! After what seemed like forever, we were finally doing what we wanted to do since the beginning. Our doctor sent us the list of embryos to pick from. We were preparing ourselves to spend hours like we did picking out donor sperm. 17. 17 was the number we had to pick from. 5 were different ethnicity’s than we were looking at and 6 were single embryos and we were looking for two or more. That left 6 to pick from. We quickly realized how badly we wanted this! Hair color, eye color, height, weight, none of these things mattered anymore. The only things we cared about was the health of the embryos.
After tons of talking, we had picked a set of 2 embryos. We applied to adopt them and 36 hours later we became parents to 2 of the most perfect, flawless embryos! Finally it was May! I started daily injections into my stomach. Those tiny little needles sucked! I had bruises all over my stomach, and the side effects from that horrible medication… My poor husband! LOL All we needed to do before we could transfer our perfect little embryos was for me to get labs done. One little poke and we would be good to go. Except this is me your talking about, the bad luck queen. Labs came back with elevated hormones and the cycle was cancelled.
Six months of forcing hormones into my body, countless pokes, tests, pills, tears, breakdowns, and we still do not have anything to show for it, or so we thought. In the midst of all the negative news, my husband and I became closer than ever. I was always confident in our relationship, I thought we were close before all of this, but we became closer than I thought was possible. I’ve said it before and I will continue saying it, infertility sucks! This journey is HARD! Although we still don’t have a baby in our arms, we are still extremely thankful for this process! Infertility can be beautiful. We WILL have a family thanks to this process. Our relationship is stronger than ever thanks to this process. It reminded us that we have one hell of a support team behind us. It helped me regain my faith. It has taught us, and so many people about what it really means to be a family.
Our story is no where near finished, it’s just the beginning. While I was in tears multiple times while typing this all up, this will be amazing reading back to our kids one day. Showing them how damn hard we worked for them, how badly they were wanted, hoped for, prayed for, and loved. If you managed to stick around until the end of this, thank you. Thank you for taking time to read this. Thank you for all the constant support. I started this blog over 4 years ago as a way to express my feeling. I hope this helps someone, but like I said before, this REALLY helped me!