The crazy thing about fertility/infertility, is that when you're dealing with it, it is both all-consuming and invisible. It colors everything, but it's translucent. It is everywhere and nowhere.
When David and I first tried to start a family, I over-shared on this blog (which had only a handful of readers at the time). It's been an eight-year journey and now that it's come to a conclusion, I can look back and reflect, but it's impossible to capture the intensity of being in it. There was the worry that we would never have kids like we envisioned, that I was sterile, that he was sterile, that we waited too long in life, or waited too long in this cycle, that we were being selfish wanting kids of our own with so many kids in the world needing loving homes. There were just so many long-term doubts and worries. But then there was the hope, "Maybe we're pregnant this time!" tempered with "Don't get your hopes up" and "Things happen when they are supposed to" and "We can adopt or foster."
I wrote about the journey from inside and now that I'm on the outside, and even though I can't quite capture the chaotic confusion that is trying-to-get-pregnant, the links to previous blogs capture some of it. I'm exploring the journey more in my work in progress, Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop, so there is more to come. But for now, this is my journey, reflected on from the other side but with links to posts from when I was in it.
David and I had been married six years when we decide we're ready to start our family and stop using birth control.
A year later we still aren't pregnant, and although we wonder if parenthood is for us, we look for help. I start the process with my healthcare
That summer, we finally start our first cycle with fertility meds and artificial insemination. Even though my body doesn't really respond to the meds, we get lucky and are pregnant with our daughter Kiara.
We always imagined a family of four, so David and I decide to try again. We head back to the same doctor hoping to get the same results. Healthcare coverage changes make it more expensive, but we get to avoid all of the blood work, exams, and the dye test. On the first round, I respond well to the meds and there are several eggs ready for insemination. But while I'm on vacation in Oregon, I start my period. There's still time that summer for one more cycle, but that round doesn't take either. With our pockets considerably lighter, we wonder if baby number two will ever happen.
We decide not to try fertility treatments again, but hope to get lucky and in the summer of 2014, I'm late. I tracked my cycle and felt like we might have timed things right. I'm up in Portland and there is a positive test. As the pregnancy progresses, we know this baby is it for us. We discuss permanent birth control options and decide to get my tubes tied during my scheduled c-section. I come to the slow realization that our fertility journey is over. It was not short or easy, but it was uniquely ours. I'm so glad it's over. So, for anyone who is still on this ride, I wish you only the best. It can be a complicated, expensive, and emotional journey, but it is yours alone and someday you too will be on the other side.