Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Birds and The Bees-and The Petri Dishes....

Through the wonders of facebook, it has come to my attention that an astounding number of women I know are struggling, or did struggle, to become pregnant. I would not find this surprising if I was older, but since I am still in my mid-twenties (ok late-mid-twenties) (ok, ok, late twenties), this is really surprising to me. I had a hard time getting pregnant. A really hard time. And one of the things I found most helpful, and often times most inspiring, was reading or hearing about other people's journeys. My journey was long, and will likely take me a while to tell, if I even decide to tell it all, but in hopes that someone might find it helpful, I thought I would start writing it down, piece by piece. I am also hoping that writing will help me find a little peace, and maybe a little inspiration. I guess we'll see...

Part I--The Waiting Game

I've always known I wanted to be a mom. No one ever anticipates having problems getting pregnant, and when you're only 22, it barely crosses your mind. It was on my mind though, thanks to my darling husband's vasectomy. He had agreed to have it reversed after our wedding, and he was good to his word. The doctor filled our head with all sorts of positive statistics and told us soon enough we would be sending him a thank you note with a picture of our beautiful new baby. Lesson One: Doctor's are full of crap. A few months after the surgery we were told things looked good, sperm had returned and it would be a waiting game while the number of sperm and the quality of sperm improved. So we waited. And waited. And waited.

During this time I educated myself on the art of getting pregnant. Basal Body Temperature charts-I was a pro. Ovulation Predictors-a champ. Getting pregnant-not happening. My doctor was not concerned about my health at all, but suggested we go see the new fertility doctor in Portland after a year of trying had not given us results.

Going to see the fertility doctor is not cheap, and it is not covered by insurance. (Which is a whole other rant for another day!) Needless to say we spent a chunk of savings on our visit (that we waited over 2 months for) and ended up meeting with the doctor for a 10 minute discussion about IVF and why we needed to move to Massachusetts. (See Lesson One) We were not pleased. She felt that we would likely need IVF to become pregnant, and since we couldn't afford IVF, our best option was to move to Massachusetts where fertility benefits are a part of health insurance. She did order a semen analysis for us, and we discovered just what we were working with. While the reversal surgery was successful to a point, we did not have a high enough sperm count or good motility numbers to try anything other than IVF. Conceiving on our own was not going to happen, as made clear by the nurse who gave me the test results.

IVF, for anyone not familiar, is the process of stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, removing the eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing the eggs in a petri dish, and returning them to the uterus after several days of growing in said petri dish. It is a hormone-filled, emotional roller coaster that costs anywhere from $12,000-$30,000+ depending on the number and type of cycles you sign up for. This, we were told, was our only option. And since we were just making ends meet financially, a completely impossible option for us. Or so we thought....

This ends Part I...Part II will talk about our first round of IVF and all the joy that went with that! (sense some sarcasm here....)


  1. Aww! I wish you didn't end it here! I'll be anxiously waiting to hear more. Tho I know the really basic story, it will be interesting to hear more details.

  2. I promise I'll get to the whole thing, I just don't have the time to do it all at once!! It's a rather looooong story!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Although I did not experience infertility personally, my sister did. She and her husband tried for years, had some initial hopes then a few miscarriages. They then decided to try adoption but years and years later, they put their names down to adopt a baby. They finally were able to adopt a little boy, and surprisingly when I was pregnant with my first child, they were given the opportunity to adopt their daughter!