A woman shares her battle with infertility
No one prepares you for this journey, but with a little help, you can undertake it.
For my husband and I, that journey began in 2012. While we did welcome a baby boy in 2016, he was years in the making through infertility struggles and a pregnancy loss. Now that we struggle to grow our family again, it feels like we’ve been on this road all along. Although I wouldn’t call ourselves experts, I’m hopeful in sharing our experience and what we’ve learned we just might help someone else.
There’s no wrong way to go about this.
Since beginning our infertility journey, we’ve been faced with medical decisions many times. How much testing to do. Which provider to go with. More testing, more waiting, more medications, you name it. This journey is yours and yours alone and there is no wrong way to go through it.You decide is best for you. It’s OK to hear the options from your doctor(s) and take time to sleep on it, talk to others, research. It’s OK to decide there are things you are not willing to do, or to even decide you are done. I’ve turned down an exploratory surgery that a doctor recommended because my intuition told me it was not for me. At this time, I’ve pushed for moving forward in the treatment process, for us IUI versus more diagnostic testing because it’s what we decide we wanted.
There’s nothing wrong in being emotional
I’ve been excited and terrified and energized and drained and everywhere in between. This is a complicated experience and so our emotions get to be complicated. People around you are not always going to know what you’re going through, but please don’t feel you need to wear a mask. I hope you can have a few trusted others who can let you be where you are without trying to change you. Support groups can be so helpful, just to hear the, “Me, too, girl,” versus someone trying to move you to a different place emotionally.
A tough journey
This journey is tough. For me, it began with the mounting negative pregnancy tests past the 12-month mark of time the average couple conceives. I remember a vacation crying as I walked down a street watching kids play, longing for our own child. This only grew in intensity after we had our first miscarriage in February 2014. Even now that we have our one child on this earth, I still feel sad about the vision we’ve long cherished of having more than one child.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
I imagine you’ll be lonely in this experience at times. I have been. But it’s important to remember we are not alone. Surround yourself with loving, understanding people. Especially the doctor you finalize with.
What are your options?
Most couples seeking fertility treatment will do very well with drug therapies and less invasive procedures. However, drug therapy doesn’t work for all couples. Sometimes more invasive procedures are necessary to ensure a successful embryo.
The two most well known fertility treatments are In Vitro fertilization IVF and Intra Uterine Insemination IUI.
The IUI procedure involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.
IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.
But no matter what works for you, it’s essential that you keep a positive frame of mind because this is one journey that’s tough, but whose results are life changing!
I hope that in sharing my story I’m helping spread awareness, and for those of you who share struggles, that you might feel a little less alone.
Meena (name changed)