Every woman’s journey to motherhood is unique, some are quick, some are un-expected surprises and some are on an ongoing struggle of mystery unexplained answers that lead to the path of western medicine, fertility centers and the emotional roller coasters that comes with itJ
My journey started two and a half years ago when my husband and I decided to have his vasectomy reversed to the tune of 10k. We had what we thought was good results so we rolled along with the process of trying to conceive for the next 24 months.
After 2 years of unsuccessful attempts the fertility testing began. I had already been under the microscope like crazy from having cervical cancer in 2010 (resulting in an 4 hour operation and a 9 month recovery) so I was in no rush to get a bunch of extra tests done (hence my patience of hopeful wonder for two years). But once I got the results from my fertility tests my roller coaster ride bombed into some major lows. My results came flooding back with signs of a high FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and a low egg count. And that officially confirmed my subconscious belief that I knew something was wrong with me and I definitely was not one of those women that could sneeze and get pregnant.
After learning all this information and crying to my mother, my mother highly suggested I visit her friend’s son who is an acupuncturist and it was there that I learned I might have to succumb to the idea of maybe not being able to have my own genetic child and that there is a chance I may have to use an egg donor and or adopt. That was a huge pill to swallow and I felt myself slipping.
And then the inevitable happened, that moment when the friend you have known almost all of your adult life and spent many countless hours with announces she is pregnant. And normally you would be that woman that would shout from the mountain tops CONGRATULATIONS!! I LOVE BABIES!! But instead are literally biting your tongue so you don’t burst into tears and ruin her happy moment.
But there was yet another blow my husbands newest sperm analysis came back and the results was ZERO, not one?? Not one sperm survived, the vasectomy reversal is a bust.
And then the darkness starts, it could have been the hormones from yet again another disappointing period but the thought and fear of not being able to have my own child sends me into a tizzy of my life is not worth living. And I am sitting in a bathtub full of water and debating going under and never coming up again.
Only to have logic creep in and say “Well what would be the point of that then you wouldn’t be able to be a mother to anyone and you would be dead. That doesn’t solve your problem.”
I always have said to myself I know I want to be a mother and how I become one is up to the gods, so I pull myself together and climb back to life, allowing my hormones to rebalance and slowly begin to wrap my brain around my options.
Impatiently waiting for 8 weeks to get in and speak directly to the fertility specialists and find out exactly what our limited options are. We get some good news on our first visit and find out that they are willing to let us give Invitro a try and we can use the frozen sperm that they stored from the day of the vasectomy surgery.
Walking into the clinic for our orientation I am in awe of the amount of young good looking couples sitting around and waiting to meet with the specialists. I am feeling good and ready to get started only to see one woman’s sad face and whisper to my husband “She looks miserable” not at all understanding what she has been through or where she may be at in her process. I am still naïve and completely clueless to how this whole process works I am bright eyed and happy to be there.
Until I see the needles…..oh the needles. I had expected an epi-pen type needle that I had seen in a home video of a friend who already been through the process and made a little video to be able to show her family what invitro looks like. But already ours is different, the training session starts off ok but shortly after my eyes begin to cross and my head gets dizzy and I burst into tears start hyperventilating and run out of the room leaving my husband with the nurse.
John (my husband) comes running after me and says which part is freaking you out and the most I can manage to reply is “all of it”. I quickly realize I am not the right personality type to do these kinds of procedures. I have lived through a lot in life, and I mean a lot I have watched loved ones die before my eyes, experienced grief several times over, had my heart broken several times etc…I am sure broken a few too but the site of these needles literally makes me weak.
I feel paralyzed, overwhelmed, stunned and in complete disbelief that this is my path to motherhood. I don’t even know how to proceed. We stumble through the rest of the training session and I pull myself together the best way I know how and leave the appointment with $1300 worth of drugs I can’t pronounce the name of.
The lead up to the first injection day feels like pure agony, I can’t stop thinking about how am I going to do this, not to mention I find out my husband is out of town on the first day and the whole week of the pending injections. I am loosing sleep, worried sick how will this work…..? I ask anyone and everyone I trust or almost trust who seems confident with needles to see if they can do the injection for me.
Then the big day arrives Day one injection, I procrastinate as much as I can until I know it has to happen that night. My sister seems the most confident of my recruits so I plan for her to do it at her little ladies night get together party for essential oils. I arrive late after my acupuncture apt that night and walk into the party chaos. Kids everywhere, friends over, ladies chatting and me thinking hmmmmm this should be interesting. 9pm roles around I am now just eager to get this dreaded injection over with. I assess the situation and the wine glass in my sisters hand and make a quick decision to recruit her neighbour from across the hall at the party to help me shoot up.
We lock ourselves in the bathroom and try and figure things out and due to my lack of paying attention at the training session my mind is blank to how it all works. We do the best we can, not remembering to flip the vial upside down to get the fluid out and forgetting to flick the air bubbles out only to realize we have over done the measurement and now have too much solution with the drug mix. In a last min state of question we knock on another neighbours door who is a nurse to help aid us. In the end I call the shots and say this shot is worth $200 and I am not going to waste it just inject me for crying out loud. Then the needle goes in, well almost in, a bump forms bleeding starts and my sister walks in along with a few other ladies to witness the situation only for my sister to take control grab the syringe and make it happen. Day one is complete. I keep myself together as much as I can and then proceed to cry my whole way home, partially from relief, partially from fear and partially from the worried exhaustion I had put myself through.
Day two: After a conversation with my hubby in Asia who suggests I head back to the clinic and review my protocol along with making a video of it to reference. I now recruit a new neighbour in my building this time and have her come over and do the injection for me that night. Things go much smoother.
Day 3: I get home late don’t want to bother the neighbour so I suck it up and do the injection myself.
Day 4-7 Game on, now lets now just get this shit done.