It sucks. And it is far more common than you'd think.
I personally have 4 close friends that have struggled with infertility. FOUR. That is too many.
And now, Justin and I are struggling.
We always knew our path to parenthood would be unique, due to his vasectomy.
In November 2012 we met with a Reproductive Endocrinologist.
If you are into numbers, that was 19 months ago.
He referred us to an Urologist and ordered further testing for me. Because if we were going to spend a bunch of money on a reversal, I wanted to be sure my body was in working order.
At that point, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Which is a fairly common endocrine disorder. Basically, I struggle to lose weight, I have developed facial hair (hello waxing!), and most importantly, I do not have a regular period. At this point, my cycles were 42-45 days long.
On the vasectomy reversal side, after doctors appointments and testing, we opted to not do it at that time. We still had a lot of tests (genetic and otherwise) we wanted to do. And then our doctor left.
By this point it was May 2013. Which is around the time I decided I wanted to work again. In July 2013 I started my current job, and we decided to put babies on hold for the time being. I wouldn't be eligible for maternity leave until I had been there a year anyway. In October 2013, I was promoted. With extra money, we definitely started thinking of babies again.
After a lot of discussions, between ourselves and with doctors, we made a decision. We were going to do Artificial Insemination with Donor Sperm. It was a BIG decision. And Justin and I both agree we wish we'd thought of this sooner. At my annual checkup with my Gyno, I asked her for a recommendation. She is with the office our previous RE was with, but his position had still not been placed. She told us there would be a new RE in April, or she could recommend someone in another city. April was NOT an option.
In January, we met with our new RE. To say he is amazing, would be an understatement. He is positive and encouraging, without sugar coating things. At our first appointment, he went over the protocol we'd be following when the time came. At this point, I also had an exam. Which resulted in finding a polyp in my uterus. Surgery to remove said polyp occurred in March.
Through this time, Justin and I spent WEEKS pouring over donor profiles. It is a very odd thing to go shopping for. And then we found the perfect match for us. We saw the donor's baby picture and just knew that was the guy for us.
At our follow up appointment post surgery, we found out that I am a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis. Not a surprise, as my cousin has CF. And truly, if it has to be someone, I am happy it is me and not my sisters or my cousins. Because of the donor, our chances of a child with CF is very slim.
In May 2014 it was FINALLY time to do our first cycle of IUI. I was on Clomid for 4 days at a 100mg dose. At our follicle scan, it was determined that it didn't work. So for 4 more days I was back on Clomid, at 150mg. Clomid makes me crazy. My poor husband dealt with a very unstable wife during the time I was on that medication. Unfortunately, I still did not have a lot of follies. On May 17th we had our first IUI, with ONE follicle, measuring 24mm.
After the longest two week wait, we found out that it didn't work. And it sucks. A lot.
What also sucks? Our perfect donor is sold out and is no longer donating.
Many days I really feel this journey is never going to end. There have been a lot of tears, a lot of really hard days, and a lot of baby avoiding going on in our house.
We didn't try again in June, because my long cycles and we are going on vacation. We are putting the thought in our mind that this is going to be a nice, relaxing trip. Reducing my stress level about the process will help our chances of conceiving. I want to have a nice, calm body when it comes for our next cycle. Which will hopefully be late July/August.
Infertility does completely suck, and until I was in this, I had NO idea how many people I knew affected by it. I hope that if anyone reading this is going through the same thing knows they are not alone.