The next year and a half of infertility is a little of a blur and definitely the most difficult part of our journey. It consisted of countless doctors visits, blood tests, IUIs, IVFs, etc.... I would usually try and make an early morning appt., before school. This makes for a very long day and I grew to loathe the office here in Birmingham, even though I know they tried. The repeated negative results and feelings that ensued formed my opinion quickly.
I'll stop jumping ahead of myself. After my initial endometriosis surgery, we were filed with hope for a quick pregnancy. After all, those are all the stories you hear. You know -- how you are most fertile after a surgery, etc. We decided to try a clomid driven IUI. The clomid would help me produce eggs, the IUI would be a better shot at a pregnancy. Again, I thought, this will work. Needless to say -- negative.
The RE suggested we move on to injectables. Whoa! This was the big guns. Shots? I've never been able to take shots, much less in my stomach. I thought, well, time to buck up, I can do this. So I started Follistim, which are small, insulin size shots in the fat part of your stomach. Not bad at all! I was surprised. Everything went as expected. Two eggs grew and we did an IUI. I never expected it to work because I had never had one work before. I booked a trip to New Yourk with some girls for a birthday. It was a great distraction and when I returned I went to my scheduled appt for blood work. This was 2 weeks later and they tested my Beta hCG number for pregnancy. I was in my classroom and the phone rang....the Dr.s office. My heart started pounding, do I answer during class? Can I stand not to answer? I quickly gave my students a project and went into the hallway. I answered. The nurse on the other end sounded grim. "Well," she explained, "the number is 11." What does that mean? Am I pregnant? She continued to explain how a egative was anything below 5, while a positive was anything above 20. You have to be kidding, I thought, neither negative, not positive. Of couse, this was the most I had ever been pregnant, so I was very positive about the future. They asked me to come back in 3 days and re-test. Of course, I did. Billy and I left for the beach that day after the test, and to my surprise, the nurse called while we were in the car. This time, it was my favorite nurse. The number had jumped to 135!!!! Remember 20 was positive. Of course, I had to ask, "does this mean I'm pregnant?" and she said "most definitely!" We met one of our best couple friends at the beach that weekend. They just happened to be pregnant. Dawn and I were thrilled to be pregnant together. She gave me all kinds of advice and it was so fun to just do nothing and embrace finally being pregnant. When we returned, I went in on Tuesday for another beta test.
That day my number came back at 235. It had not doubled at all for the amount of time since the last beta test. Not a good sign. My Mom and I fretted over this result. She kept her positivity, telling me this CAN happen. Her research showed it was not a likely viable pregnancy, but there were definitely women who had these numbers and had gone on to deliever healthy babies. We hoped and prayed, but when I went in for another beta test, the number had gone down. It was a miscarriage. My first....it was very difficult to go back now. Now I was back to not being pregnant again.
We went on to try 3 more follistim/IUI rounds with no results. During the last IUI, Dr. Honea suggested we consider moving on to IVF. What a blow. The injectables, the "Big Guns,"as I thought didn't work. It finally stared to sink in , I AM an infertility patient. Wow. It was very hard to finally admit it to myself, but there I was facing Invitro Fertilization.
Having children is one of those milestones of life. Along with dreaming of my wedding dress, I had always loved to name my children. I've always thought of myself with children. I never once dreamt I would be the one to have to do IVF. That's the stuff you hear about on television or from a friend of a friend. It's not something that happens to me or any of my friends. Maybe if we were 40, but we're not, we're 29. Why is this happening?
After I accepted my fate and my mother had talked me off the ceiling about the price of the 2 round IVF package in Birmingham, Billy and I decided to move on. Of course, at this point, I knew I had been through my struggle with infertility, I had felt the pain of a miscarriage, the pain of repeated negative results and I began to talk to the Lord about my concerns and longings for children. I felt like I deserved this. Why? I don't know why I ever felt so entitled. Maybe because, throughout my life, I've not had much struggle, everything has been quite easy. I started to pray, but I was praying with a sense of entitlement at the time. Looking back I know He wasn't done with my "lesson" just yet. We spent the next couple of months recovering from the IUIs and gearing up for our 1st IVF.