A Gift- “Outing” Myself

A few weeks ago now I received one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received in my life and it was incredibly unexpected.

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Yes. That’s a onesie.

No. I’m not pregnant.

But I’m trying to be.

In fact, I’ve been trying for a little over a year now. 17 cycles and numerous tests, pills, blood draws (bruises in my elbow to prove it) and ultrasounds, three intrauterine insemionations (IUIs) and I still can’t say those two beautiful words- “I’M PREGNANT!”

After 1 year of unsuccessful trying (for couples under the age of 35; 6 months for 36+), doctors consider a couple to have INFERTILITY. A word that is often spoken in whispers and tones of sympathy or pity, but is more common than one would think. Our journey began in March 2015, when my husband and I decided to add the pitter patter of tiny Tinkler feet to our (already rambunctious) home. And that first month, I was convinced I was pregnant. But when the end of the month came, I wasn’t. I wasn’t pregnant the next month, or the next month, or the one after that.

6 months came and went and we were nowhere closer to our dream of a family. I was trying everything under the sun to make it happen (green tea? Mucinex? Maca root anyone?) and joined an amazing online community of women for support and advice… but every month we fell short of victory.

Given my history of hypothyroidism, I decided that we should see my OBGYN and see what she said about it. She was very optimistic and said that everything looked great! Even the blood work she ordered, just in case!, came back normal! To be sure, the doctor then ordered a test called an HSG- where they fill your uterus and fallopian tubes with dye to check for blockage-which I had at the end of September.

The HSG was AWFUL. It was incredibly  painful and emotionally tolling. The doctor performing the procedure was less than sympathetic and did not explain why he left the room after a few minutes with a worried look on his face. Thank goodness for the nurse who  held my hand the entire time. When we got the results two days later, I was informed that their might be a slight blockage, probably nothing that would require any action, but that I would be referred to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) for a 2nd opinion. I made the appointment right away.

October 10th was probably one of the hardest days of my life. When you start trying for a baby, you never think that you will be one of “those couples”, 1 in 8 in the US as a matter of fact, labeled infertile. I sat in the RE’s office with Jon trying to hold back the tears I knew were coming… At that initial consult there was some confusion with the results of my HSG and the RE informed us that I would most likely have to have my fallopian tube removed and do IVF if we had any hope of conceiving. I was devastated. I held it together the best I could but once we got in the car, I couldn’t hold it back anymore. Desperate to have any issues resolved as quickly as possible, we scheduled a follow up appointment with my OB/GYN for pre-surgery consultation.

About one week before my consult, the RE called me- she hadn’t actually looked at my HSG results before informing me to remove a part of my reproductive system, but she NOW recommended that I not have the surgery at all.  I was furious- I made a follow up appointment with her right away and sat down to discuss our next step- IUI.

The next few months after we decided to do IUI are kind of a haze now- I’ve taken medication (Clomid and Femara/letrozole and FSH) to overstimulate my ovaries, injected myself with hormones to release an egg for fertilization and finally had insemination procedures three times now. I’ve had a cycle cancelled due to overproduction by my ovaries so that I wouldn’t become the next “Octomom”. I’ve cried countless tears, said countless prayers and done things most 25 year olds would consider crazy to get a baby. And here I sit. No baby for us in 2016 and hope fast fading that  I will ever get to carry our child.

Confession: When I started this blog, I’d hoped that I could soon turn it into a pregnancy blog for my family and friends to keep up with our growing little family. Never could I have imagined that our story would head in the opposite direction. I decided to finally write this post, which I’ve started probably 8 times over the course of the last year and a half, because of the generosity I’ve experienced from those close to me who know our struggles. My dear friend sent me the onesie just before my first IUI cycle as a reminder to be strong and that the pain I’m experiencing now will be worth it when I finally get to hold my own little one in my arms. I wanted to share my story so that if anyone else out there who happens to stumble upon this blog is struggling, they can know that they’re not alone in this terribly isolating process. There is a community of women out there just like you- who know what it feels like to have your heart shattered into a hundred million pieces on the journey towards those two pink little lines and can offer support in previously unimaginable ways.

On Tuesday, I started birth control pills to suppress my ovaries and prepare the eggs in there for IVF. I have found it incredibly helpful to read the blogs of other women and know what to prepare for in the journey ahead of us. It is my hope that I will add one more blog to the list of ones to read for those who are starting a similar journey.

Thank you for reading this post- it means the world!

 

Mrs

You don’t marry someone you can live with- you marry the person who you cannot live without.

– Unknown

Never one to rely on others for me to make my next move, I have always been fiercely independent. Goal- oriented, go-getter, whatever you want to call it, marriage/kids/growing old with someone was always part of the plan just not something I saw in my immediate future.

I wanted a career- “What’s next?” the question driving my being. Always struggling to find exactly what it was I wanted but nevertheless breaking a path to it. Constantly in motion.

And then I met him.

And suddenly none of that seemed to matter.

Lazy days spent wrapped up in his arms, in a haze of adoration and delightful ease- I wanted nothing more. 4 years later and he is my world, my everything.

O don’t get me wrong. I am still quite successful for someone my age. Youngest supervisor at the company with aspirations of rising quickly through the ranks. But it’s not priority number one like it might have been. And I am more than ok with that for someone who took great pride in her “Most Likely to Succeed” superlative.

We are young. “You have time”, “Wait to (fill in the blank)”, “30 things to do before you settle down!” being thrown my/our way from every angle.

And why? The greatest decision I have ever made was to say I do at barely 24, and when I hear these kinds of sentiments, they bother me. I’m not saying that getting married young is the right decision for everyone.  We are, as I often like to remind my friends, “the exception”, not the rule. But hear me out, I would argue- that if you are with the person you know you are going to want to be with for the rest of your life- that there is no point in waiting years to get to that point.

A lot of the articles and posts that I read about things you should accomplish before “tying the knot” fail to realize that all of those things can still be done afterwards too. (*Ok, maybe not all of them, like ‘having a one night stand’ but the majority of them.) Why can’t I still establish an awesome career for myself while being young and married- Now I get to do it with my best friend! How FREAKING AWESOME is that?! Every step of the way, career related or not, I’ll have a shoulder to cry on and a fist to pound in celebration of victory. And I am here to provide support of that kind for someone else. I don’t think there is anything in the world that could bring us closer as a couple than, quite simply, growing up together. It’s not just about growing old together and making it through the traditional milestones of being a married couple (kids, house, etc). It is about bonding to someone so thoroughly, so completely, that the thought of living without them is not even a thought. The question “What is best for me?” forever becomes “What is best for us?”

Here I sit today, navigating a fulfilling career and my first year as a Mrs and, sure, it has been overwhelming, and full of it’s own set of challenges. I had to “re-find” myself and define how I can still be me as part of an entity- all just a short time after figuring out and being comfortable with who I am myself. Sometimes, I still question whether the actions I take are better for me or better for us and I still need that occasional bit of independence. I still crave alone time and time out with my friends- and we both get that time. It’s all about striking a balance between married life and being friends and I think that applies most when you are married young. And at the end of the day, I get to lay down next to him and know that I am safe right here, whatever decisions I make. And THAT I would not change for anything.

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