Jan 7, 2013

The follow-up

I've alluded to our fertility follow-up appointment a few times, and I'm at a place now where I'm finally ready to share.

Let me say first and foremost I love our doctors. They are patient and understanding, and I've said this before, but I feel like fertility doctors can get overlooked or resented because they are sometimes the bearers of bad news, but ours are wonderful.

Our baseline testing all seemed to go well so when we went into our follow-up we knew we would discuss the results. I was kind of hoping they would tell me to just take a pill and I'd magically be knocked up the next day, but realistically, I was expecting to hear a recommendation to take Clomid. I know there are a lot of side effects that can happen from that medicine but I had mentally prepared myself to hear that, and Ben and I'd discussed how we would be open to that possibility. We went into the appointment high on hope.

We were told all of our levels looked relatively good - some higher than average, some lower than average, but a really good balance overall - but the next step (for various detailed reasons I won't get into), they were recommending was Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI. I remember being shocked, but taking a breath and letting out a shaky, "okay." I looked at Ben and he said to the doctor, "well what does that mean?"

What came after was kind of a blur. I was listening to the doctor tell me about pills (I would take Clomid, but only for a few days), and ultrasounds, and blood draws, and shots to stimulate my horomones, and it was almost like an out-of-body experience. I was hearing and absorbing the information, but somewhere in my head was thinking, this is not really what they're saying. This makes sense, but...there has to be a mistake.

After the doctor was done I listened to the nurse talk us through consent forms and procedures, and how everything would work if we decided to go through with it. I was a little shell-shocked but taking it in stride.

Afterwards, Ben and I were in the car sitting at a red light and I started crying. Uncontrollably, can't stop crying, to the point where Ben pulled the car over. I just kept saying, this is not supposed to be how we have a baby.

I went through a lot of emotions in the following weeks, including anger. Lots and lots of anger. Was this the end of the world? No. But I didn't want to find the silver lining. For once, I didn't want to look on the bright side. I cried and screamed, and I needed time to process the idea I've had my whole life of having a baby was no longer valid - to wrap my brain around that. (Is there a chance we could have a baby the "regular" way? Of course. But we have been trying that for two and a half years and I no longer trusted that to simply work for us).

I cried.

I journaled.

I felt broken.

December was a hard month. There were days that were fine and days where the slightest thing would set me off. It would have been easy to not write about this part - to leave it in my journal, and just gloss over it as a "hard time." But it was so much more than that. And regardless of the outcome, it's part of our story.

I've since moved through these feelings. Ben and I have had lots of conversations and have even decided on what we want to do (more on that later), but it didn't feel right to jump to that and skip this painful, yet important step.

Thanks for letting me share it with you.


Amanda said...

lady, you are some kind of amazing... you probably don't hear it often enough, but it's so true. we are rooting for you. 1000%!

Emily said...

praying for you and ben.....thanks for being open and sharing the journey.

Breathe Gently said...

We had that same meltdown - even though I KNEW in my heart that I'd need help to get pregnant, actually hearing someone else tell you that your chances of a natural conception were essentially nil, it's a blow. *hugs*

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

You are very brave and wonderful for writing this all down- and sharing with us. I am sure it brings back many of those original feelings. I'm glad Ben has been there to support you through all of this :) Sending hugs to you both!

Lucy The Valiant said...

Thank you so much for sharing this all with us, love. You are wonderful and strong and amazing!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Thanks for being open - that takes bravery to put yourself out there, but you will likely help others facing the same thing. I am glad you gave yourself time to be mad and sad and experience all of those emotions instead of shoving them under the rug and pretending it is ok. Because while it will be ok eventually, it's not ok that you have to go through all of this. :( I am praying for you guys!

Annie said...

Hugs and kisses!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I think you are both rockstars!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.
I'm not quite ready for babies yet ( kind of need that man thing ;) ) but I spend a good deal of time thinking about fertility because of a hormonal disorder I had as a child that may impact my ability to have children. I so appreciate your openness with this about your process and PCOS in general, as it really has helped me understand what friends/family are going through/have gone through. I'll keep you and Ben in my prayer box and send positive vibes your way.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I never understood why it's so easy for teenagers to have unplanned pregnancies and so difficult for so many loving, committed couples to have planned ones. It's one of life's NOT FAIR moments. I will say that every couple who wants to get pregnant experiences their own version of ups and downs ... and knowing you and Ben have each other and an amazing medical team that you trust is huge. Don't deny the frustrations or anger or disappointment - you need to FEEL during this process - but also maintain hope. I know I have lots of hope for good things to come for you and Ben. <>

Sarah said...

You are so strong and so brave, Becky. Thank you for being able to share this story so eloquently with us. You are both in my prayers. xoxo

Kathleen said...

Just so you know, we had our daughter by IUI and the actual process itself was not bad at all! It was even exciting. And now that I have her, I hardly ever connect her with the way she was conceived at all. Just because we needed a little help does not mean she wasn't born out of love, in fact I think it means we loved so much we were willing to take this step.

Nora said...

You know where I stand and how I feel about all of this. Love you both to pieces and here for you always.

Megan said...

I'm so sorry, that sounds like a really hard moment/month.

Amber said...

Oh friend, I'm so sorry you've had such a hard month. I think you are approaching this entire situation with SO much grace.

I love that quote you shared and it's so true, all will be OK in the end, and it's not even close to the end yet. XO

Britt said...

How incredibly difficult. You are so brave, thank you for sharing. You and Ben are going to be amazing parents.

Mandy said...

I know this isnt easy and I think you're incredibly brave for sharing this here. Sending hugs and love.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...


Dani said...

Kudos to your team, though, for knowing that and telling you upfront instead of letting you go through two years of Clomid/femara cycles and heartbreak before they reached the decision.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Love you and praying for you. I am so thankful that you love your doctors. I think that is so so important.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you both, of your inner joy and strength. You are amazing.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this, Becky. Your story sounds all too familiar to me. Both of my sisters-in-law struggle with infertility. One of them has been on Clomid. She conceived my nephew (now 2) with the help of Clomid. She's been on it for the past year to try to have another, but has miscarried twice. Even though I cannot fully understand the pain, it's hard to see so many people I care about struggle with this.

No matter how a child is brought into your life, he/she is a blessing and will enrich your life more than you can imagine. And just think of how strong your connection with your baby will be after all you have gone through. You will be in my thoughts/prayers!

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