Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. – Cicero
I often wondered, while sitting in my RE’s office, “What brought everyone else here?”
We were all IVF Girls. We were wearing heels, boots, flats, and flip flops. And some of us were reading magazines, novels, newspapers, or text messages on our blackberry phones. Did any of these details matter? Sort of. Who were these other women?
For me, I was always a little hairier than most other gals. And my periods were never regular. Sometimes my monthly occurred four times a year, which would have been a blessing at age sixteen but in my adult years, a bit unsettling. I never wore white so I didn’t have the ‘Aunt Flo woes.’ I just wanted to be a normal female adult.
So, yes, I knew something was off with my reproduction organs but I chose to ignore it. And I went through life, dismissive until my period did come. And only then did I ever think, “someday this could be a problem.”
In my mid-thirties, when the baby bug hit me, I tried with all of my might to become pregnant. Nothing worked. I had all of the fertility gadgets and monitors and thermometers, and I kept score on when and where and how. NOTHING. Doctors would tell me I had ovarian cysts and that by removing them, pregnancy just might happen naturally. (Yes, doctors. I went through many.) And no, the removals did nothing in baby making.
Finally, a year ago at age 38, I met the OB/GYN I currently am using. Dr. G. And she diagnosed me. I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis. Double whammy. Both affected fertility. Both affected my hormones. And both SUCKED.
She recommended a Reproductive Endocrinologist, named Dr. K. And he, too diagnosed me correctly. We had some very intense discussions and because I was not getting any younger, he and I (along with my husband) decided to go for IVF. IUI’s failed me twice before with a previous doctor so it made sense to just aim high.
And I did. I aimed high.
July 23rd, 2009 was the start of my IVF protocol, after a month of taking birth control pills (Ironic. Birth control pills in order to become knocked up! Go figure.) The pills helped my cysts diminish and Lupron, Gonal-f, Novarel, Progesterone were my weapons in battle. Yes, weapons. Sharp objects. Needles. (They never really hurt, by the way.)
On August 11th, I was ready for my egg retrieval and 16 were taken out. Five days later, I was implanted with living embryos (my eggs had been matured and treated in a laboratory with sperm and all the care in the world.)
Two weeks later, I had a blood test and kissed a lucky clover I carried in my wallet for some added edge. In fact, I kissed it many times that day and waited for my phone to ring.
What happened next? Well, the world changed when that phone rang. IVF worked. And as I type this post out, I am so VERY grateful. I am nauseas and greasy-skinned. My boobs are massive and my ankles, swollen. But I am relieved.
Simply put, I over the moon.
What are your stories?
What brought you here?
How are you, IVF Girls?
I’ll see you on the other side of that moon…