When my husband and I got married in 2013, we never imagined the journey we'd take together to become parents. Our biggest worry was timing the start of our family right - how long did we wait before trying? When was the "best" time to have a child? I was 32 and he was 37, so we knew we didn't have forever - but we also didn't think we were in a race against the clock.
We started trying casually about 4 months after our wedding, but this only lasted for six months or so before we realized it wasn't the right time for us. We waited another year and then picked back up - this time putting in a real effort to get pregnant. Watching my cycles. I downloaded an app to track my cycle. A few months ticked by and nothing. I ordered about a hundred ovulation tests from eBay, and we kept on going. Tracking. Peeing on sticks. Monitoring. Nothing.
My doctor didn't want to refer us until we'd hit the year long mark, but I knew at that point, I'd be 35 and I had developed a gut feeling that this wasn't going to be nearly as easy as sex ed warned me. Nine months in, and I confronted my doctor and insisted on a referral, which he gave me. Our new OB put us through the first round of tests - blood work, more blood work, and an HSG. The results were inconclusive, but he wanted to sit back and let us keep trying. It had now been a year (plus those previous six months). I panicked and switched to a new OB. Cycles of clomid. A laparoscopy. Endometriosis confirmed, but not severe enough to cause our troubles. Possibly a unicornuate uterus (which I spent days googling and crying over as I recovered from the laparscopy and hysteroscopy). I thought I would never be able to carry a baby.
After what seemed like ages (but was really only about 16 months), we had our first appointment with our RE. She started us on letrozole, to attempt an IUI. Because of the possible unicornuate uterus, though, our first two attempts were cancelled (ovulating on the side where there was no functioning tube). Our third try, we got to see it through and were convinced it was our time. Our IUI took place the morning of our third wedding anniversary. We were so positive.
Except we were negative.
We tried a fourth IUI, only to have it cancelled as well. I cried during the ultrasound. I cried as our RE asked us if we wanted to continue or move on. I cried because I swore I would never do IVF. I cried when I begged my husband to start IVF as soon as possible.
We started our IVF cycle between Christmas and New Years. Things moved slowly and steadily - egg retrieval came and we expected about 13 eggs and got 7. 6 fertilized. 3 made it to transfer day, when one little blast came home to me and the others were frozen.
It worked. When I found out I had a positive pregnant test, I couldn't figure out whether to cry or laugh. I'm now 14 weeks pregnant with our miracle - still in disbelief, but so grateful. Infertility isn't something I would wish on anyone, but it has shown me my inner strength, the strength and compassion of my husband, and the strength of our marriage. I have much to be grateful for, even while I cry for the fact I feel like infertility took away a sense of innocence and optimism from my life. I am learning to live in the moment and enjoy what is happening right now, rather than mourning the sadness of what happened to get us here.