Friday, 25 December 2015

There’s something missing this Christmas

            If you asked me a year ago how I envisioned today, I would have told you, without a doubt, it would be me and my husband, our two cats and a new baby celebrating Christmas. Instead it’s just us and the cats.

            A small part of me still held out hope that I’d get a Big Fat Positive for Christmas. I imagined wrapping up the onesie hiding in the back of my sock drawer and putting it among the gifts to surprise my husband this morning. Everything was perfect for that. My cycle even lined up properly, making today the day I could conceivably test and expect a positive. I sat in the bathroom this morning while my husband was still sleeping, watching the dye slowly move up the test. Wishing with all my heart that there would be two lines. That after all these failed cycles and my infertility diagnosis we would get a Christmas miracle.
            Five minutes later I was staring at a stark white test. No baby for me today. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. It was still early, my period isn’t due until tomorrow, I could get my BFP a day later. Even though it wouldn’t be on time for Christmas, I’d still be ecstatic.

            All hopes were dashed less than an hour later when I got confirmation that I’m not pregnant. Another failed cycle. A Christmas morning spent sobbing on the bathroom floor.

            A change has happened recently for my husband and I. We don’t talk about it, but we both notice it. We no longer talk about “when” we have a baby. Now we talk about “if”. “If we ever have kids we’ll do this” “If we ever have kids we’ll do that”. We’re slowly giving up hope of this ever happening for us. There is a hole in our life and we may never be able to fill it. My heart breaks when I look at my husband and think about what a great dad he would be, and how I may never be able to make him one. I know next Christmas it will be me and my husband and the cats. I’m losing hope that there will be a baby, our baby, there too.

#infertility #1in6        

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Today I want to give up

I’ve always known I wanted children. I’ve known my husband was the man I wanted them with for several years. For several years we talked about our future kids – two girls and a boy – we discussed names, travel plans, lessons and activities, our perfect little house with a yard and some cats, where our family would grow. As a PhD candidate, finding the right time to have a baby was difficult. With the nature of my research I couldn’t be pregnant and continue my work, so holding off until the end of my degree made sense. We would time it so the baby was born when I started writing my thesis, giving me six months home with the baby while still receiving my scholarship, before starting a post-doc and continuing on my way.

Since I had all this time waiting before we could try for a baby, I spent my time researching TTC (trying to conceive). I went for a pre-conception appointment with my doctor to make sure everything was good for pregnancy. This is when things started to derail. I was severely iron deficient and needed to start supplements to raise my iron levels before TTC. That took 6 months, putting the TTC plans on hold for 2 months. Finally, we could start trying. I had great hopes for a pregnancy that first month. My grandma, mom and aunt all had amazing fertility, so I saw no reason why I should be any different.

That first month I was optimistic but nervous. I started tracking my basal body temperature, I monitored my cervical mucus, and I made sure we hit the fertile window as much as possible. That first cycle my luteal phase was too short for implantation to happen, so I moved on to my second cycle. Second cycle my luteal phase length was good, but this is when the problems started. I noticed that after I ovulated I had spotting. Not too heavy, just enough to be annoying. I figured it would go away.

By the fifth cycle it was clear the spotting wasn’t going away. In fact, it had gotten worse.

I went to my family doctor. She thought my thyroid or one of my sex hormones was abnormal, so I had my blood taken. Everything was well within normal ranges. Next she sent me for an ultrasound. It took almost a month to get in. Everything looked normal. My family doctor referred me to an obgyn. It would be another 6 weeks before I could get an appointment. My obgyn ran a few more tests and sent me for an HSG. The HSG was uncomfortable and painful, and I had heavy bleeding afterwards. The obgyn tests were normal. The HSG was normal. My obgyn can find no reason for the luteal phase bleeding and referred me to a fertility specialist.

I’m now on cycle 10. The bleeding started 3 days ago. I’ll bleed for another 7 days before my period arrives and I’ve given up hope of ever having a baby. Month after month I do everything right to increase the chances of conception, and month after month I watch my uterine lining slowly leak out of me way too soon. Month after month I imagine my little embryo looking for a spot to implant, but having nowhere to go. I don’t know how many more months of this I can take. I just want a baby. I just want this bleeding to stop.