Infertility, part 1/3: The beginning.

I've been meaning to write about this for almost a year, but it hasn't felt right. For a long time I felt like I needed to end my story with a happy ending, in order to be able to share it. But I don't have a happy ending to give and I might never have, because as we all know, there are no guarantees in life. So I am going to put it out there, anyway, in the hope that it will make someone else out there feel less alone. As you can guess by the topic of this entry, I am also one of the "one in eight" who know the pain of infertility. This is the first part of my story.

When I was a little girl, around the age of five, I remember noticing that some of mum's close girlfriends didn't have families of their own. I asked mum about it and she said they just never met anyone, or that it never worked out. I remember feeling sad and thinking that I would make sure that would never happen to me.

The years went by and I grew up, moved out, got my degree and a stable career. I felt no pressure to start a family early, but I was determined not to wait too long, just to be on the safe side. I was sure I would have a family at thirty, if not sooner. I never used hormonal birth control, because I had heard it could make it harder to get pregnant in the future.

Then, one spring, we started the TTC journey. I expected it to take some time, but still felt it might happen quickly. Months went by and nothing happened. I was convinced it was just bad timing, nothing to worry about. At the end of that first year, there was a cycle that was a few days longer than usual, and I was sure it had finally happened. Learning that it hadn't was the first blow. But it convinced me that it was time to get some answers.

So we went to the doctors that spring. I was still certain that they wouldn't find anything, that it was all due to bad timing. And I was right. The tests came back within normal levels. The male factor was ruled out. Ultrasounds and a SHG showed nothing out of the ordinary. The conclusion was unexplained female infertility. We were given the option to try IUI, but we decided to wait for a bit longer. Part of me still thought it would happen naturally if we gave it some more time. Part of me was afraid to try IUI, because what if that didn't work either?

More months went by. At the end of the summer, I experienced some strange bleeding unlike anything I had experienced before. I asked the doctor about it and he said it was just my hormones playing tricks on me. After almost a month of on and off bleeding, something made me decide to take a pregnancy test. There was a faint line. I couldn't believe it. Because of all the bleeding, I never thought it was viable. I talked to the doctor. He said I was experiencing an early miscarriage, nothing to worry about.

The bleeding continued and grew more intense. After two weeks, I took another pregnancy test. Still positive. I also experienced some very intense pain on the right side of my lower abdomen. It happened twice. The pain only lasted a moment but was enough to take my breath away. I called the doctor. Things happened quickly then. I was told to come in straight away. They took a blood test. As it turned out, the pregnancy hormone level was very low. The doctor maintained that it was an early miscarriage. Deep down I wondered, because if it was, then why had I bled for almost two months? I bled for two more weeks and then everything went back to normal.

A couple more months went by. At the end of the second year, we decided to go through with the IUI. I went on Clomid and then it was time. We went to the doctor. It felt strange, but exciting. I was convinced it would work. Two weeks went by. My period didn't come. I let another week go by before I took the test that showed what I already new. Pregnant. Just a faint line, but it was still early. I felt slightly nauseous and experienced some other symtoms. I calculated the due date and downloaded a pregnancy app. My mind wandered to all the exciting things ahead. Finally, it was my turn to go through what I had watched others do for years. When I called to schedule the first ultrasound, the doctor congratulated us and said that I had probably just needed some extra help all along.

One week later, all the symtoms disappeared. And I just knew that it was over. I took another test. The line was fainter than before. The spotting started that very day and then the bleeding came, like a normal period because it was still so early. I was crushed. I had to call the doctor to cancel the ultrasound. He said not to worry, at least now we knew I could get pregnant...

No comments