I have the distinct pleasure of being a part of Lo's week of guest posts during National Infertility Awareness Week as a host to Ashley, I am so excited for her to share her story and to read the others!
Hi, my name is Ashley and I blog over at Life As I Know It. Life as I know it includes a sweet little family consisting of my husband, myself, 2 golden retrievers, 3 cats and our newest addition, our son Noah who is 2 months old.
Today I am hereto talk about infertility and how it has affected my life. My husband and I suffered with infertility for 4 long years. The problem being my diminishing ovarian reserve, as well as having a hydrosalpinx in my one tube. I ended up having surgery to block that tube, although my other tube wasn't great either. Treatment after treatment, month after month, I soon began to fear pregnancy tests for the simple fact of seeing that negative pop up. I stopped testing after the first year. We did IVF 3 times with no such luck. I would produce the minimum eggs, leading to very few embryos. But we always had hope that one would make it.
It was hard to come up with various ways to excuse why we didn't have children, as we kept our struggle a secret, just as many people did. I didn't keep it a secret because I was ashamed, but more because I wasn't strong enough to talk about it, I can just now talk about all we have gone through without tearing up. Remembering the pain, the let downs, the questions, the lack of understanding as to why WE had to go through this. But as time went by I realized how strong this was making my husband and I's relationship. We were chosen for this life and this is just what we had to go through to bring us our miracle. God wasn't saying no, He was saying just wait! Hold on to hope, it was a major component for getting us through.
After our last failed IVF cycle, I was done, I couldn't bear the thought of another cycle, more bad news, it was all weighing me down. I started the new year off with a new goal to simply be the best me I could be. We went to a naturopath, did a yeast cleanse, we both dropped a lot of weight, we travelled and I was then finally able to consider another cycle.
We tried clomid and ended up with a false positive. Clomid for me should have worked like a glass of water - causing nothing more to happen for me, ovulation was not my problem, but I just knew I had to try it. My fertility doctor decided to give me a 2nd month on the medication and sure enough we were pregnant! We couldn't believe it. It was officially the happiest, yet scariest time in our lives. I wanted nothing more but to enjoy my pregnancy and that is just what I did, despite the fear of anything going wrong, I enjoyed being pregnant to the fullest.
My pregnancy started off super easy, with no morning sickness, I felt the best I had felt in years. At 25 weeks I ended up on blood pressure meds, 26 weeks I fractured my ankle, 32 weeks my blood pressure spiked again and 36 weeks it went up again and I ended up being induced and diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia. My labor/delivery was complicated with being put on magnesium sulphate to prevent seizures due to my blood pressure being soo high. I ended up with a c-section after 36 hours of labor. Our son was born blue, he had a heart rate, but wasn't breathing properly due to the medication they had given me. He spent the first 2 days in the NICU. Today he is a happy and healthy baby boy and we couldn't feel any happier or more blessed!
I am here today to talk to you about life after infertility. A lot of people think that once you have a baby that infertility is done and over with. I am here to tell you that is not the case. Infertility is always with you. I wake up each day feeling soo blessed to be a mother to our little guy, but that pain we endured doesn't just disappear. I often find myself already wondering if I will be lucky enough to experience another pregnancy. I will never forget everything we went through to get to where we are today and if anything it has given me a new respect for my child, my life and my marriage. Infertility has made me stronger and I wouldn't be the person I am today having not experienced it! I have a whole new respect for a woman's body and conception, just knowing how lucky we were to get pregnant, having such odds against us!
You won't find me asking some one if they will have kids or when. I get it's the norm to get married, have kids, etc., but you don't know that persons story. You don't know if they are struggling and if they are, it is the worst question you can ask. Nothing drove me more insane. I know people weren't trying to be rude, I was just super sensitive about it.
Another thing to never say to someone even just trying - just relax, it will happen. No it won't. Relaxing has nothing to do it. If you think there might be something wrong, get it checked out! Don't wait a year because that's what the doctor says to do! Trust your instincts!
One thing I will admit to is not knowing anything about infertility before the diagnosis slapped me in the face. You don't think it can happen to you or someone you know until it does! The best thing you can do before offering advice is to be aware of infertility. Your questions will change, your opinions will change, and most importantly your advice will change. Now a days it is becoming more and more of an issue for many couples. No one wants to talk about it and even today it is not an easy subject for myself.
Like I said infertility will always be with me, always a chapter in my life's story.