After getting married the next best thing is to welcome a new bundle of joy, right? But did they tell you how “easy” it is? Probably not! Especially when you try for years to prevent the unexpected pregnancy or see your friends the same age getting pregnant right away.
Who knew that having a baby required a medical or science degree. When we decided to start trying for a baby two years after getting married, we never expected it to be so hard to conceive naturally nor did we realize the timing/science behind it! After trying to conceive our son naturally for about three years, we knew we needed a little extra help. It took us a while to even come to the realization that we needed help if we wanted to have kids of our own. Neither one of us wanted to admit it was “their” fault this wasn’t happening.
So, we decided to make an appointment with a specialist. After speaking with the doctor and running a few tests it was determined that my estrogen was low, but not low enough I couldn’t have a baby or conceive on our own. However, the best option we were presented with at the time was to start the process of IUI (intrauterine insemination*) with hormone shots to help stimulate the follicles.
We went into the IUI process blind, not knowing what to expect or really having anyone to discuss it with. Fertility has been a touchy, unspoken subject at that time, but has come a long way! More people are starting to open up about their experiences while others are letting you in during their entire process. Not knowing the expense or even the time commitment was a bit of a shocker from attending a shot class to weekly appointments, daily injections, and finally the insemination. But it didn’t stop there after the insemination came the progesterone and the hopeful positive test.
With the disappointing negative came the emotional stress of having to start the process over, but one more obstacle they don’t mention when you start is the possibility of getting cysts from the shots which mean you have to wait for yet another cycle. Finally, after four attempts we got the positive test and we couldn’t have been more excited! I thought at that point our visits to the fertility specialists were over, but yet again I was wrong. I was told I had to continue the very painful progesterone shots for the next 12 weeks to ensure I wouldn’t miscarry. This wasn’t something I was looking forward to but if it was something to ensure nothing happened to our baby we were going to do it.
Looking back on our process and at our one-year-old son today there is nothing I would change – even the surprising news of welcoming our daughter on our own just 11 months and 3 weeks after our son! I am here to tell you there is hope for you and don’t give up! There were many times I gave up hope, didn’t think it would ever happen for us, and didn’t want to continue but there is hope! NEVER GIVE UP ON WHAT YOU REALLY WANT!
Intrauterine insemination is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. IUI provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start but still requires a sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its own. (source: American Pregnancy Association)