So, I have been reading a lot of the fertility stories on here lately and thought I would relay mine. I have been a “refugee” of the fertility industry for about four years now. It started when we lived in Colorado for two years and I was seeing a “fertility” doctor or so I thought. Turns out he really wasn’t a part of that industry but that was a good eye opening experience for me. It turns out that I have thick cervical mucus which is why I am having trouble getting pregnant. It took eight years and a plethora of tests to find this. Previous to this I was diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” which is the hardest diagnosis to take because, in my case, it just meant that they were unwilling to figure out what was wrong. They were very quick to prescribe meds though … which made me CRAZY!!!!
I was on clomid, ONCE, because I didn’t like the side effects. It made me feel like I could literally feel my hormones coursing through my veins. It also made me have really strange dreams … and those made me a little paranoid, too. However, since my problem was never ovulation, I didn’t need clomid!!! My doctor in San Francisco made me understand this. Once he made his diagnosis, he advised me that what I needed was artificial insemination … but gave me no guarantees that it would work right away. He was very realistic and practical and that was good for me. We scheduled the insemination and I begged him to give me clomid to “increase” my chances but he said no. He also told me that there was no reason to increase my chances of ovarian cancer just to “increase” my odds. I also asked him about IVF and he said that really, insemination was the way to go. Basically, he advised me that I didn’t need to add all those hormones but that my body, with a little non-pharmaceutical help, could achieve pregnancy.
So, we did the insemination and I didn’t get pregnant, which was a HUGE letdown … obviously. We decided not to try it again right away because it was too much of an emotional issue. Then we moved back to Texas. I didn’t want to go back to the doctor I was going to when I lived here before because he was the one who just decided that clomid was the answer. I started asking around and finally found a doctor that I thought might be the one. He’s a fertility specialist … but that, I decided, wasn’t/isn’t really the answer. I started nursing school in January and decided that I want to wait to get pregnant until after I finish school, which is two-and-a-half years total. Mind you, I’m thirty-two so I’m getting “up in age” for pregnancy. So, I thought I would just have IVF when I graduated and go on with my life. I figured my odds were higher because I didn’t have any hormonal or mechanical problems. Then I started to think seriously about it … did I really want to infiltrate my body with all those hormones? Granted, there’s a clinic in Dallas that will give you 80 percent of your money back if you don’t go home pregnant but you end up paying more for that than you would a regular IVF treatment. I also know a couple that went there and she got pregnant, with two embryos and one split so she had triplets. They were born at twenty-six weeks and one of the twins passed away soon after birth. She was on bed rest pretty much throughout the pregnancy. However, they have two boys that are beautiful and healthy, for the most part. I believe one of them has hydroencephalitis (water in the brain) but I’m not sure that’s the actual diagnosis. I ran into them at the hospital when they were having an MRI of the baby’s brain. So I started thinking … and came to the conclusion that I would be able to get pregnant using the insemination and no extra hormones. I don’t really want to put all that extra into my body. I am emotional enough without worrying about adding hormones!
So we’ll see, I have two more years to think about this but I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to go the IVF way. Granted, I will be an RN and making really good money but I don’t know that the emotional rollercoaster or the cost is worth it. I’m very adamant about how this all will work anyway. If I were to do IVF, regardless of my age, I am unwilling to have more than three embryos at a time but then I thought about it … what if all three split, then I have six! I don’t want to do that; I wouldn’t mind having six kids but not all at once. I really admire people like Jon and Kate Gosselin who do it with grace but I don’t have that. It’s just a thing I’m very against, if I can prevent it. So, I think maybe two embryos at the most but I can still end up with four that way. I mean, the odds are usually against that but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. So, I decided to go the more natural route and go with the insemination. If I end up with twins that way, then I’m done. If not, I will have more … so we’ll see what happens. However, I encourage every woman going through this kind of issue to seriously weigh your odds. Remember too that you are not a failure if you are unable to achieve pregnancy naturally. Also, consider that there are a lot of kids out there that need a good home that you may be able to provide. That’s another option that my husband and I are considering. I just encourage all of you out there who are feeling hopeless to find what works for you. Don’t allow the doctors or anyone else to pressure you into doing something that you really don’t want to do. Just figure out what you want and what you are willing to do to achieve that and don’t waver!