I sit here thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have the children I have. I am fully aware of the issues many women face with fertility everyday. It makes me sad. I can also sympathize in a way that some can’t because I have been there. I have had to deal with fertility issues (although thankfully no longer) and I know the heartache of wanting something so bad and everything feeling like it is against you to have it. I have not spoken about this openly in a post online but I have spoken about it as it is a part of my story. I think the reason I feel like I need to talk about it now is that trying for another baby has become iminent as the removal of my IUD happens on Monday and I am concerned about the “what if”, more now than ever before. I know the struggle and the pain. I remember the months of trying and then crying for days after the inevitable happened and my period would once again show up. I remember the hundreds of dollars I spent on pregnancy tests just hoping for it to show a positive.
When I first decided to have a baby I really had no idea what the statistics on getting pregnant in any given month really were. I figured if I had sex enough it would just happen. I can’t believe how stupid that actually sounds now.
I came off the birth control pill and we tried. Everyone I had known around me that had gotten pregnant had done so relatively quickly and without issues. My brother and his wife were pregnant and I just wanted to be her. I wanted a baby so bad but months passed and still nothing. I was charting every. single. day. I knew that something was wrong with my cycle. I read every resource I could find and after 7 months of trying, I went to my doctor with my charts in hand. She was incredible. At the time, I knew that it was unlikely that I would be able to see a fertility specialist as usually you have to try for a least a year before anyone would see you but because I had my charts and I knew that my issue was that I just never ovulated in any month, she sent in my referral right away.
I had no idea how hard the next few months would be. It took almost a month before we even got an appointment and then we had to travel from Mississauga to Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto. I was working downtown at the time and it was difficult as I was going to an appointment a week (sometimes 2). The first set of tests were done including tests on my husband at the time (which I tell you is not a fun thing for a man at all), bloodwork and scans and an umpteen amount of questions. It was time consuming and tiring. Then came the diagnosis which I already had a pretty good idea of. There was nothing that they could find that was medically wrong with me except for the fact that I was not ovulating. So our next step was to go through a round of treatment with a drug called Clomid. The sole purpose of this medication is to have your ovaries produce eggs resulting in ovulation. It sounded perfect, and I was totally on board. Here we go, I thought. Take a pill every day for 5 days, make sure we are having sex and this baby is as good as ours.
Unfortunately it was not that easy. It required taking the pills, then going back to the hospital for an internal ultrasound only to find out that the dosage the doctor prescribed was too low and I would not be able to get pregnant that month as my eggs were just too small. I was devastated. I was spent. It was all I could do to try and start the process all over again another month and hope that it would work. Then the cycle started again, take the pill every day for 5 days, then go into the hospital to have the ultrasound, but the day before my ultrasound, I got a phone call from the hospital telling me that it was cancelled and that I would have to wait again as all non-essential procedures were being cancelled due to the SARS outbreak. Again, I was hit with another bump in our road to have a baby and it was horrible. But one of the women I worked with told me to “buck up” and be thankful I wasn’t sick and that we could try again the following month. I decided not to give up yet and just keep doing what we were supposed to do without the ultrasound to confirm. It is a very difficult thing to try and have sex when it’s on demand and scheduled. It takes the fun and excitement from it, almost knowing that you are just doing it for a purpose instead of for the enjoyment of it.
During this time, my brother’s son was born and I was happy for them but at the same time so sad for me. I wanted to be them. It was Easter and my brother and his wife came to visit me with my nephew. He was an adorable little guy and so happy. Being around him helped a little but I still just wanted to be someone’s mommy. I was feeling a little crappy that day as well and it was right around the time my period should have come. My sister in law insisted I take a test because she was sure it was because I was pregnant. I didn’t want to. I just didn’t want to wait 3 minutes to find out what I was sure would be another lost month with a negative test but I thought I would humour her and took the test. I didn’t even want to look at it as I was sure I would just feel that heartache again. My brother looked at it, smiled at me and told me the most amazing words I could ever hear, “It’s positive”. I think I cried for about 10 minutes. I have never in my life been as happy as that day, nearly 17 months into our fertility journey. I was finally pregnant. I actually made my brother go out to the store and by a different test because I was still in disbelief. Exactly 9 months later, my beautiful baby girl came into my life on Christmas Day 2003.
So I guess what I really was trying to go for in this post is, don’t lose hope until every avenue has been examined, although each month that goes by is hard, know that there could still be a chance. I am so glad that I never gave up even when I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I am now blessed with 4 beautiful children and I can only hope that we are able to have the chance to add one more to the wonderful children we already have. They really do complete me in every way. There is always more love in this heart for another.