Friday, June 5, 2015

Infertility Before Treatments

In the fall of 2008, when my hubby and I were planning to get married, I was asked by someone if we were going to start a family soon after the wedding. I remember saying, "We're not even married yet - ask me in 10 years!" After the wedding, some more people asked. Indian families are big on procreating and love to ask people when they're gonna get moving on starting a family. After the wedding, my answer changed to, "We just got married - ask me in 5 years!" Half a year later, I remember thinking, 'I'm already 28! Maybe we should start trying next year.' My timeline for wanting babies was shrinking rapidly.

In June of 2010, a year a half into our marriage, I stopped taking the pill and waited to get pregnant. And I waited. And waited. They say that if you don't get pregnant within a year and you're under 35, you should seek help. That's also when you get the label of infertile. I noticed that I had put on weight, my acne had returned with a vengeance, and my cycles were way too long and irregular. After way too much googling, I was convinced that I had PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome, and that's why I wasn't getting pregnant. So in May 2011, after 11 months of unsuccessful trying, I went to the doctor.

The doctor said that some people just take a little longer to get pregnant. He checked my hormones, and he said I was perfectly healthy. I wasn't convinced. I told him that I'd noticed certain things about my body, and I wanted him to check my ovaries for cysts. He reluctantly agreed, but it turned out that my ovaries were clear. I was told there was nothing wrong and to keep trying, and that was the end of that.

Another year went by. Still no pregnancy. By then, I was so terrified that if I went back to the doctor, I'd be told that I could never have kids. So I didn't go. Eventually though, I knew I needed to get more testing to find out what was going on. In the fall of 2012, I tried another doctor. This time, I got the diagnosis. PCOS with a string of cysts lining each of my ovaries. Three months of Day 21 Progesterone bloodwork verified that I wasn't even ovulating.

I was referred to an OBGYN. It took me a few months for my first appointment, and then three more cycles to do further testing. He confirmed that I still wasn't ovulating. That summer, he had me start on Metformin pills for insulin resistance. The meds did their job - they balanced out my hormones and they got me ovulating. I even lost half the weight I'd gained. But I was sick all the time. Constantly running to the bathroom only works when you stay at home during the holidays. But going back to work meant that I had to stop taking the meds. I was sure that there was no way I'd even be able to get pregnant on those pills because I was so sick and dehydrated all the time I took them.

The following year was rough. Everybody around me seemed to have babies or be pregnant. It was hard to see. I felt jealous, and then I felt guilty about being jealous. I was sad for myself. I prayed, I pleaded. I was mostly happy on a day to day basis. But my longing for a baby was in the back of my head... so about once a month, I needed to break down and cry it out. And then I'd be okay. And go about my normal daily life in a healthy way. I exercised and ate healthy food. I spent way too much time googling ways to treat infertility without actually going for fertility treatments. I was scared to go that route. All the testing and money and physical and emotional pain of treatments was something I wanted to avoid. I kept hoping that I would miraculously get pregnant on my own. I didn't.

Finally, in the spring of 2014, my family doctor said I should go ahead with fertility treatments. He wanted to refer me to a fertility clinic, the Pacific Centre for Reproducive Medicine (PCRM). I agreed.

1 comment:

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