I took a year hiatus from my blog and I’ve come back infertile.  My, my, my how things change so quickly.  To catch you up to speed on how I went from being a “trying to conceive drop out” to a “trying to conceive infertile”, I’ll have to go back to November/December of 2012.  This post will be long, as I want to lay everything on the line right here.

Last year was our first Christmas holiday in our new home.  I was also starting to get my crap together career-wise and things just seemed to be falling into place.  Naturally, I felt like it was a better time to try to conceive so we put up our very first Christmas tree as a couple and decorated our nest.  I became completely wrapped up in the holiday spirit and I came to terms and totally accepting of the fact that not only would we not be welcoming a baby in 2012, but I also wouldn’t be pregnant.

As a stocking stuffer, I had plans to finally order ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) and give them to hubby as a sign to say “I’m ready”.  Looking back now, I have to laugh at my innocence and naivety.  I thought that was overwhelming.  I thought that was a big deal.  I thought that gave me a ticket to the big leagues.  I’m not going to be too hard on myself though, because in a perfect world, and for some couples- that is a big deal and that is their version of the big leagues.  No one should have to struggle to have a baby and although us women who experience infertility become jaded, at one point, before infertility became our new normal,  we were all innocent and naive.

Anyway, unbeknownst to me, hubby was on the same wavelength in terms of being ready because he had not only taken the time to research OPK’s on his own, but he ordered and had them gift wrapped for me as an early Christmas gift!

Making sure we read the instructions carefully.

We were making tracks, we were on the same page, we were ready.  Seeing the smiley face on the ovulation sticks were so exciting at first.  For us, it meant getting down to business and trying to bring on a baby.  However, month after month, that baby never came.

I took peeing on a stick to new levels of classiness with the disposable wine glasses left over from our NYE party.

In April of this year (2013), I was at work when I got the sudden urge to call our insurance company to see what our coverage for intrauterine insemination (IUI) was.  I didn’t necessarily think something was wrong, but TTC was really getting the best of us.  I think I can speak for many people that struggle with fertility issues, that it takes a toll on you individually and as a couple.  It also didn’t help that at the time we worked completely opposite schedules which made us either miss out on prime time baby making activities during my ovulation window or it just simply began to feel like a chore.  I thought that doing an IUI would be a good solution to our timing issues and take some of the stress off of us.

Our insurance covers IUI’s, so I looked up a few Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), and made an appointment for our first consultation.  In true Suzette form, after our consult with the RE, I pressed on the breaks and took three steps back.  The furthest we got with that RE was blood work to see if I ovulated.  After that, I never went back to that office.  In all fairness, it wasn’t the right RE for us.  He came off super arrogant and did not make me feel comfortable.  The consultation was rushed and cold.  He basically gave us a piece of paper with all the testing that needed to be done and where to complete it (90% of the testing was done off-site).  He then advised us to come back when we had completed everything so he could evaluate our situation.

That experience did not sit right with us.  And to be completely honest, the idea of all the testing terrified me.  It just seemed like too much too soon.  I also had a friend who was going though the IUI process at the time and she was facing some aversions with the hormone medications.  All of this made me wonder if we were interfering with God’s plans for us.  Going through it, you question everything.

It was also during this period that things shifted with hubby’s work schedule, allowing us more time together.  So we decided to approach TTC using OPK’s with a fresh start and keep trying naturally a little while longer.

That lasted 2 1/2 months.  Fast Forward to July 2013.

I constantly questioned if I had made the right decision to stop going to the first RE we met with.  We were trying to conceive naturally, but with not getting pregnant after working so hard at it (literally), it didn’t take long for the frustration to build up all over again.

At this point I started to worry that something was wrong.  I wondered if my tube was blocked from the ectopic pregnancy.  I wondered if I really ovulated when the OPKs indicated that I did.  Not knowing eats away at your mind.

Then one random day in July, hubby came home and told me that a coworker shared with him that she had a lot of fertility problems and went to a RE who helped her conceive her daughter.  Apparently, many people on his job have used this RE and have beautiful, healthy children.   It’s crazy how things come full circle, because this RE’s office is located at the same hospital I first went to when I found out I was pregnant and spotting.

Folks, this conversation with hubby happened on a Sunday afternoon (7/7).  By that evening, I had located the doctor’s name and number.  Monday (7/8),  I called the office and that very same week on Wednesday (7/10), I had my first consultation!  As if the stars in the constellation couldn’t line up any better, I was also on cycle day one for the consult, which meant that I was able to start the testing process immediately (many of the tests need to be done during certain times during a woman’s cycle).

I knew instantly that I had found the right place with this RE.  It felt like home.  By the end of my consult, I had complete trust in the doctor and the nurses walked me through every single test that needed to be done and scheduled them for me onsite.  They even scheduled my follow up evaluation appointment with the doctor on the spot.  Nothing felt overwhelming, nothing felt scary.

The results:

We were not given good news.  The shocker was that we both had some issues that made the doctor feel as though our chances for conceiving again naturally were slim to none.  Turns out my right fallopian tube was a mess.  Between being diagnosed with endometriosis (which I wasn’t even aware of) combined with the ectopic pregnancy, l had so much scar tissue that they advised a laparoscopy surgery to correct the damage.  During the surgery, they also wanted to perform a dilation and curettage (D&C) which is usually done after miscarriages.  I couldn’t believe that a year and a half after dealing with the ectopic pregnancy and doing everything possible to avoid surgery, I was now being advised to have surgery.

It was so much information to process.  I felt like the walls were closing in on us and that we’d never get to have the baby we prayed for.  And yet, even with the heavy news weighing on us, I didn’t want to waste any time doing what needed to be done.  We sat down with the doctor and learned that dreadful news on Monday, August 19th, 2013 and I had my surgery scheduled the very next week on Tuesday, August 27, 2013.  Even with the surgery completed, the doctors still felt like we weren’t good candidates for IUI and advised IVF.

UPDATE 2017:

The journey to finally have our take-home baby was not easy.  This post was originally published September 1, 2013 and at the time I felt like we were so far from our dream.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  One month later in October, on a whim (like most of my decisions are made if you haven’t noticed by now), I called our RE’s office to see if we could try an IUI cycle even though they originally didn’t think it would work for us.  By that point I really felt like we had nothing to lose.  They agreed and did a double IUI, which is basically when they perform the process two days in a row during an ovulation period to increase chances of sperm reaching the egg.

All the medication prescribed for the IUI cycle seemed so overwhelming at first, but thankfully I did not have to take all of this. Some medications are administered before ovulation, some are to induce ovulation, and some of them are meant to be taken once you’re pregnant. Let’s just say I got very comfortable with needles.
My fertility socks! I received these during a fertility sock exchange on an online infertility support group. When you’re going through infertility treatments and spend many appointments in doctor’s offices with your feet in stirrups, the socks are token of good luck.

I knew the odds were against us, but I still kept a little faith.  The result is this beautiful little boy.  Meet Carter, my rainbow baby we got to take home in June 2014.

Our story doesn’t end there.  After having Carter, I didn’t think about birth control.  After being told we would most likely never be able to conceive on our own, I didn’t think birth control was necessary.  I’m sure you can imagine my shock when I found out we were pregnant again (ON OUR OWN), when Carter was only 8 months old!  Meet SarahEllen, our miracle baby we got to take home in November 2015.

I never imagined this would be the journey I’d take to have children but if I had to do everything all over again, I most definitely would.  If you’ve read all the way up until this point, I sincerely thank you.

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