Monday, January 10, 2011

{in}conceivable

My infertility is a subject I have wanted to blog about for a long time but I never had the courage to do it. I am going to talk frankly about my lady parts and my sex life and I might use words like ovulate and discharge, so if you're uncomfortable with that you may want to stop reading now, or just skip to the last paragraph.

Chris and I have always wanted kids, we've had baby names picked out since before we got engaged. I started birth control (bc) months before we got engaged because my periods were making me sick, the day I started I always had terrible cramps and became so dizzy I would be nauseous and unable to get out of bed because the room was spinning; it was completely debilitating. My doctor put me on Seasonique bc because unlike normal bc you only have four periods a year with it. I think this was my first mistake on the road to being a mother. Even though it claims that you can get pregnant a month after you stop taking it, I never should have taken something that stopped my body from doing what it was intended to do. This isn't to say I don't believe in birth control, I 100% do, just not one that stops your regular cycle. I was on the pill for 14 months, I stopped taking it six months before we officially started "trying" to get pregnant.

After getting off bc my period was always irregular, I had one every month, but I never had the basic 28 day cycle. My cycle varied from as little as 16 days to as long as 38 days. For those of you who have tracked ovulation before know this makes timing sex nearly impossible. I saw an OB who put me on clomid (which is a drug that hyper stimulates your ovaries to make you release multiple eggs, increasing the chances of pregnancy) but after two rounds we couldn't afford the pricey progesterone tests (blood tests to see if the drug is working) anymore so we had to stop. We were on student insurance at the time and it didn't cover any infertility treatments. I tried ovulation predictor kits but they never seemed to work (but if you are going to give these a try PLEASE don't buy the expensive ones at the drug store, buy them here). This basically left us on our own, out of luck. We kept hoping that eventually my body would restore balance to itself and we would magically get pregnant but that never happened.

After one year of trying (and beyond,) trying to get pregnant becomes emotionally and physically tiring. On the physical subject... sex is more or less ruined for you, just saying. It stops being about pleasure and is strictly for reproductive purposes, there is no spontaneity, no spice, it is all about timing and how many pillows I can use to prop my hips up! :)

Emotionally, it is one of the hardest things a woman can go through. You feel inadequate, broken. I think this is probably intensified for women in the LDS church because we are taught from childhood that we will be mothers, that it is our sacred duty to bring children into this world and rear them in righteousness. If I can't do the one thing I was brought to this earth to do, what good am I? Something is wrong with me. Luckily I have my mom and sisters and one especially wonderful friend who was going through the same thing (you know who you are) to support me and remind me that I'm not broken and I will be a mother, in time. I love them for that.

Unfortunately, part of what makes infertility such a horrible thing is not the pain you feel every month when a stupid, plastic, pee soaked stick breaks your heart month after month, it is people. People who seemingly have no common sense who ask you when are we EVER going to have children? Friends who knew we are trying that stole a baby name we love and literally said to our faces "sorry, we got pregnant first" and then proceed to shove every moment of their pregnancy down my throat and be a constant reminder that I am broken. Another that said how terrible their morning sickness is and how being pregnant is horrible and they wouldn't wish pregnancy on anyone. Not to mention all of the announcements and belly pictures of Facebook and countless people who tell you to "just relax and stop trying" (OH! Is that how you do it?! If only I had known sooner!) And as much as I hate to admit it, I have felt anger towards perfect strangers with ready to pop bellies. I have felt hatred, or something close it, toward girls announcing their second pregnancies. I don't like it, but it is what it is.

When we moved to Boise and I got my job I also got real health insurance and so we decided to give fertility treatments another shot. In August I started seeing a new OB, Dr. Parsons. Chris and I really like him, mostly because he looks slightly like Dr. McDreamy...

Kidding. Mostly because he prescribed my miracle drug: metformin. Metformin is a very common drug that is usually prescribed to diabetes patients, but is also given to women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (cysts on their ovaries). I don't have PCOS, but he prescribed it to me because it helps women ovulate in a similar way that clomid does without overstimulating your ovaries. This eliminates a lot of the risks clomid presents and it eliminates the need for those costly progesterone tests! Woohoo! It worked the first month, meaning I ovulated, not that I got pregnant. I could tell because I had all of the ovulation symptoms I had been reading about for months. I took an ovulation test and sure enough, I had ovulated! It was so exciting! I was skipping around our apartment waving my pee stick! Unfortunately we did not get pregnant that month, but it was a step in the right direction.

I started on the next prescription and also took a leftover refill of clomid I had lying around from the year before. This month I think we were only able to try a few times because I had a week long work trip to Canada right in the middle of my cycle. Two weeks before I was supposed to start my period I started feeling that onset of your period feeling in my belly which really made me angry because it was two weeks early, which isn't surprising, but irritating. It ended up going away and I didn't start my period after all.

Two weeks later at work 1 pm hit and I felt like I got hit by a brick wall, I could barely keep my eyes open. Chris's grandpa had just passed away and we were heading down to St. George the next day for his funeral and so I had the day off. I decided, what the heck, I will take a pregnancy test. After 16 months of negatives, we finally saw a positive pregnancy test. It was the most surreal feeling.

We told Chris' parents and his siblings the next day and my family soon after. We are so grateful for modern medicine and the opportunity it has provided us to be parents. Having struggled with infertility has forever changed me, when I want to complain about not feeling well or feel sorry for my ever growing waist line, I try to remember how for so long I longed for these things and that there are thousands of women (some who are reading this) who have been trying to have children for far longer than we did. If you are struggling with infertility know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I am just over 14 weeks along now, officially in my second trimester! We find out if baby is a boy or girl the week of Valentines Day. Our little one is due July 7, 7/7/11! Its a lucky day!

19 comments:

Robinson Family said...

What an amazing woman you are for sharing the journey you and Chris have been through. Your story will help others and bring you closer to Chris, and especially this "miracle" baby! Can't wait to meet him/her! Love you Tara!

Kelsi Fullmer said...

I am SO happy for you!! What a blessing and special little baby it will be! Thanks for sharing.

Courtney Bartlett Morris said...

Wow! What a beautiful post! You are amazing! Congrats to you and Chris!!!!!!

Kerry McBride said...

Tara, This is Grandma Pyper! How wonderful to read your blog and share with you the joy of your new little one that is on the way. What special parents your baby will have. You and Chris are the best!
Love, Grandma Pyper

Oonafey said...

Congratulations on your pending bundle of love! I am so unbelievably happy for you.

The McBride Family said...

Wow Tara I totally teared up reading all that. I knew you were trying but didn't realize quite how "hard." :) I am so glad you received your miracle baby and can't wait to find hear the sex! (And also the name you pick out!) I'm so glad you shared that whole story. We didn't try super long but we did have friends get pregnant before us when we were trying and there was definitely a lot of emotion going on! So many congrats and we love you!

Emily said...

Tara- Brett and I are so excited for you guys!!!! Congratulations, I enjoyed your honest and touching post!
And are babies could share the same birthday! We are due 7/6/11!!

Natalie and Trent said...

Hooray!!! Congratulations Tara. I am so so happy for you :-) I know we are surely thankful now for the time we spent trying for our second and the struggles we went through (though I know it wasn't nearly as long as yours). It still makes me sad that people say pregnancy is awful. I've never been more happy in my life then when I am pregnant. I actually got so excited when I started feeling nauseous! haha. You are amazing Tara and I've always thought you would make a fantastic mother. This baby is so lucky to have you.

Sarah and Terry said...

I started reading your post and I wanted it to have this ending so bad!!! I am SO happy for you guys. You deserve every bit of baby happiness and will make the best mommy!!

Kelle said...

Oh my gosh Tara! I am so so so excited for you guys. You are going to make amazing parents. I am doing a little dance for you right now. I can't wait to see this little kiddo. Thank you for being so open and honest. This was such a wonderful post to read. I am so proud of you for sticking it out. I can't wait to see your cute little belly photos. Please keep posting. Miss you girl!

Merkley Jiating said...

Congratulations! I cannot believe some of the things people have said to you. People are so inconsiderate. Thank you for sharing your story. I am excited to see pictures of your little baby!

Taralynn and Kory said...

Congratulations Tara (and Chris)! I am so happy for you!

Rebel said...

Tara,

Thanks for posting this. This is going to sound super selfish of me but I didn't respond to your email because of how jealous I was of you. I am so rediculously happy for you though. I can't wait to meet your little bundle of joy. And I can understand your story more than you know. Thanks for the hopeful boost :) Maybe if the Lord blesses me the same way we can have kids around the same age :)

Allison said...

Tara- I loved the post. We are so excited for you guys. I wish we could be a little closer so our babies to know each other here! :) You guys will be awesome parents.

Julia said...

Congrats! That is such an exciting thing for you! I am sorry to hear of your struggles, and it is a good reminder to always be kind to everyone because you don't know what they are going through. And to always be grateful. Glad to hear your miracle baby is finally coming. You'll be a great mom!

The Ziels said...

Well, you're going to DIE when I tell you, but I'm 10 weeks along, too!!! You were one of the people that I've been dying to tell, since we talked about our "issues" during the time we spent together. BZ and I stop "trying" years ago, so it was a HUGE suprise. I am still only getting 3 periods a year, but something just magically worked. It's because God has a plan for each and every one of us and I am SOO glad that I stumbled upon your blog and got to see your happy news :). I am due August 13 :). Anyways, it's still private (except to your blog friends!) haha, but I had to tell you. Love you tons Tara!

Rachel said...

Yay for you guys! I wish your new little family to be health, happiness and love!(sorry I was one of those facebook complainers about the morning sickness of pregnancy):{ Your story was so endearing so thanks for sharing!

s + b said...

tara, i had NO idea you were going through this. i can't believe how insensitive i was! i'm pretty sure i was one of those people pestering you guys to hurry up and get pregnant cause your kids will be ridiculously attractive... i'm so sorry!


but on the other hand SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! you are going to be an amazing mother and chris is like the BOMB dad! keep us updated! please oh please!!!

also, my sister in law is lindsey from therhouse, a lot of what she posts relates to infertility, you might find it interesting - therhouse.blogspot.com

amandachristine said...

I realize that I'm totally late on commenting on this, but I found your blog over the weekend and I've been catching up. I praise you for sharing your story, infertility is such a personal subject. For whatever reason, it took Chad and I a long time to get pregnant with our second. It was a surprise, I've always heard you're so fertile after having a baby. But it took 8 months and 2 rounds of Clomid before we got our positive pregnancy test. I'm so happy for you and I know you're going to be a great mom!