I know it’s been a while since I’ve given an update on my Infertility journey, in fact, I’m trying to remember the last time I did post about it and what exactly was happening at the time. I should get on and give more updates, but sometimes it’s hard because I never know if what I’m saying is actually helping someone, comforting someone, or even if people care to know what’s going on. I know that infertility is a common problem that people just don’t talk about that much. I was like that for a while because I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and didn’t want people to know that I was suffering because I didn’t want that kind of attention. My reasons for not sharing more here on the blog is because I don’t want to come across as a person who complains about “my life being so hard” and I don’t want people to pity me. Also, because during this trial I haven’t always had a positive, faithful, hopeful outlook and feeling that way is hard to open up and share with other people. I just need to suck it up and talk about it more anyways because you never know who you could help. I know that talking and opening up to close friends and family has helped because it gets to a point that the burden becomes too heavy to carry on your own and it’s nice to depend on the strength of the people that you care most about. It’s comforting to know that they are genuinely concerned about you and are praying for you constantly especially during those moments that it gets so hard, you don’t feel like praying yourself. Even though it’s such a personal trial and it’s different for everyone, it’s a nice feeling to know that you have a team of supporters constantly encouraging you to keep moving forward.
I believe the last time I did an update, we were preparing for IVF. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a procedure where they retrieve the females eggs, collect the males sperm and fertilize the eggs in a petri dish and watch them mature. Once they have some good quality embryos, they place them back in your uterus and hope they continue growing. It’s a procedure that costs thousands of dollars, so we wanted to make sure we tried everything else before giving it a try. We were on a schedule of doing IVF in October. They put you on a couple month schedule where you have to start birth control to regulate and help with the growth of your eggs. They have you go on and off it several times and then you start your hormones. The hormones are shots you give yourself morning and night for a couple of weeks. When following our October calendar, we had been doing our hormone shots for almost a week when our doctor did an ultrasound and advised us to stop and try again in a couple of months. My eggs weren’t growing and maturing the way he wanted them to and he believed that he would have more confidence if we waited and tried it again another month. He wanted to up the dosage of my hormones as if I was 45 years old and trying to get pregnant. I’m not going to lie, that was pretty hard to hear. Of course we trusted his opinion and appreciated that he was honest and told us to not spend the money when he thought he could do better and be more confident with it, but it was still hard. He threw in another artificial insemination because he thought we might as well be doing something now that IVF got pushed back. That didn’t work either. We’ve done 5 artificial inseminations now and all have failed. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a procedure where they watch the females cycle and schedule the appointment on a day that they’re ovulating, then they take the males sperm and inject that straight into the uterus hoping that since the travel time was cut out, they can penetrate and fertilize an egg. It can be an affective procedure but for us, it wasn’t.
Getting into and sharing my emotions from this trial, is the hardest part. I don’t think that anyone can fully understand what it feels like unless you yourself have suffered with infertility. Even then, it’s hard because everyone’s journeys are different and everyone handles things differently. The first couple years, I had done so well to keep high hope and faith, that the Lord had a plan for me and that this was a trial that I needed to be going through. I had trust in Him that this was best and I was going to keep moving forward with faith and hope. My last post, I remember going into some details about how I lost that and turned away from God. I also shared that I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do and I was learning to keep those positive feelings, but it didn’t last long. The more treatments that have happened or not happened (IVF), every time I take a pregnancy test and see that it’s negative, every time my body plays tricks on me and my cycle comes late, spending every second of every day thinking I might be pregnant but then I end up starting, it gets harder and harder to keep moving forward with faith and hope. By saying this, it’s not to encourage or justify the feelings at all, but I became bitter. I can’t understand why this is happening, why I have to be going through this and what could I possibly gain from this. If I’m not meant to have kids, why can’t the doctors just tell me that? Why do I have to live in the unknown of wondering whether or not I’m going to be able to have my own kids? I know that everyone goes through trials and there are always things to be grateful for, but I’ve hit a point where I’m having a hard time thinking like that. I know it’s selfish, but it’s happened. I don’t want to go to church anymore, I stopped praying, I stopped reading my scriptures, I stopped having hope that it was going to happen. I could be the best person, doing “everything I’m supposed to be doing” and it still wouldn’t make a baby come. So I gave up. I don’t think it’s made the situation better, but it’s almost felt easier to just give into the pain and let it consume me. I’m tired of fighting the pain and trying to keep positive when month after month, I’m being let down. I hate thinking that a trial has broken me, but it has. I should be stronger than this, I should be better than this but right now, I’m not. I’ve depended on Ryan so much during this time because through it all, he’s kept his head on straight. He’s helping encourage me to not turn away, and to keep my faith and hope.
Over Christmas, I was having a conversation with my dad and my brother in law Michael. For some reason, the conversation made me break and I started going into everything that I’ve been feeling and the pain it’s causing me. I have never opened up like that to anyone since this journey began. It was such a powerful moment for me because my dad and Michael gave me such comforting messages and had so many wise things to say. Even though they don’t understand this specific situation of infertility, they shared experiences in their lives where giving up seemed to be the easier option. It’s good to remember that I’m not the only one who goes through hard times, they go through hard times too. Everyone goes through hard times. They cried as I cried and it was so incredible because I felt a burden lift off my shoulders as I realized that life can give me burden after burden and even if I feel like it’s not fair or enough is enough, the Lord isn’t punishing me. No matter what, He loves me and will never leave me. I’m trying to take their words and wisdom to heart and let them strengthen me as I continue to push through this trial. I’m so grateful for such a loving family who supports and encourages me. And of course, I’m so grateful for Ryan who is such a steady rock in my life. If there is one thing I’ve learned from this, it’s that even if you feel at times that you are alone, you never are. I’ve witnessed first hand the feeling of not being able to carry on any longer and feeling the strength from the people around me, picking me up and carrying me forward. I can’t imagine life without my incredible family.
We are now in the process of starting another IVF treatment. I started going on and off birth control in December and all my appointments started this month, January. I was pretty nervous this time because I didn’t want the same thing that happened last time, to happen again. I’ve felt like a human pin cushion with all the amount of times I’ve had to get my blood drawn and with all the hormone shots that I was giving myself. I’m tired of being on all the hormones because I’m so irritated all the time, I’m not very patient (for those of you who know me know that I’m already lacking with that quality to begin with) and I’m crying all the time. It’s THE WORST! I cry over the littlest things, it’s ridiculous. When I look back on certain situations, I just have to laugh because I can’t believe how crazy it looks. During my “sane” moments, I always have to remind Ryan to not take things too literal and to remember that I’m on a crap ton of hormones so just be patient with me! There are quite a few funny stories that I could share of me overreacting on the hormones, but I’m a little embarrassed and should maybe keep them to myself, unless anyone is dying to hear them. Anyways, so they retrieved my eggs on Thursday, Jan 11 and they were able to retrieve 18 eggs. Out of the 18 eggs, 12 of them were mature and 9 of them were fertilized. They kept monitoring the eggs until day 5/6, then they gave me the final count, which was 3. To me, that’s not a very big number especially now that I’m waiting for them to get DNA tested. I’m trying my best to remain positive but honestly, it’s best if I just keep distracted so I’m not thinking about it every second of everyday. However, it’s been an extremely stressful time period because if for some reason the quality of the eggs aren’t good enough, I won’t be able to go through with the procedure. Even though the number is small, if all goes well with the DNA tests, I will be grateful for just getting those 3. When I get the results back, if I have eggs (fingers crossed), I will be seeing my doctor around my next cycle so we can get a set date of when they will put the eggs back in me. I’m hoping it’s towards the beginning of February. I’m trying to gather my strength and trying to have hope that this will work. Thanks to anyone who’s been praying for me and anyone else who is struggling with infertility, I feel for you and if you need a friend to talk to, I’m your girl! There is always strength in numbers!