Every story counts … and this is Taylor and Alex’s
Hello! I’m Taylor and my husband is Alex. We met online, later in life, and got married three years after our first date. My husband wasn’t ready for children yet, but I’d been wanting to be a mother since I was 17 when my cousin was born. We decided to wait a year, visit Britain, and then start trying.
One of my colleagues was on an infertility journey of her own, and told me that if I’d not conceived within six months, that I should ask my doctor for a referral. Well, you’re reading this, so we didn’t conceive, and we were referred. We had appointments 45 minutes north of us, two to three times a week, to figure out what was going on. I had to visit one building for ultrasound (paying $5 each time for parking and waiting outside in subzero temperatures until the office opened at 8am), and a completely different building for bloodwork, and then drive 45 minutes south to get to work. This is in a snow belt. Can anyone say “STRESS”?!?!
We were diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” and the clinic seemed to just want to try this and that. Monitoring took months, and my body never seemed ready for an IUI. Eventually, 11 months after our consultation, I made the difficult decision to take some time off work to lower my stress, exposure to germs, and focus on my overall health.
Twelve months after our original consultation, we were finally able to do our first IUI. Despite the excitement, it was unsuccessful. My family and friends were far away in distance but kept up on every single detail of the process. It was heartbreaking for them too.
Over the following few months, we did more IUI’s, including two back to back IUI’s...each time with reasons why it would work (“it’s our anniversary” or “ I had a dream about it working”), but it never did.
The distance from my support system was increasingly making things far more difficult, and we made the incredibly difficult decision to move three hours south; leaving behind a beautiful house and wonderful friends. It was very difficult. Yet, we had a friend recommend a doctor in our new hometown, whom we met with before me moved. Within seconds of my first ultrasound, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis. He said he didn’t need surgery to diagnose, because it was so pervasive. We discussed options, and I ended up taking Visanne for four months to kill off some endometriosis.
We were looking forward to a funded IVF cycle in January, shortly after finishing the dose of Visanne. Unfortunately, the government funding was gone by the time we were ready. Being 35, having waited since I was 17 to fulfill my dream of being a mother, and with a government as unstable as a tall Jenga tower, we decided to take control and pay for the cycle. Stimming was a breeze; even though the nurse had warned us that it would be like PMS times 500, I breezed through it. I believe it’s because I have remained on the anti-depressant medication that I’ve been taking for ten years. The retrieval surgery was no big deal to me; I’m kind of chill that way. We ended up with only two eggs, and one viable embryo (which I did not expect to develop). It was transferred at day 5, to our delight and surprise, and we anxiously counted down the days until our test.
I began bleeding four days before the test and knew that it hadn’t taken. Blood work confirmed this. We made an appointment with the same Reproductive Endocrinologist. We expected a new process before our next attempt, but nothing could have prepared us for what he had to say. Not only did we have to do the injection of Lupron and a debulking surgery, but we needed to begin considering the possibility of a donor egg.
There aren’t words to describe the hurt in my heart. I was devastated. I’m still slightly broken weeks later. Logically, I’m well aware that adopted and “part” children become your own, but it’s a massive mental hurdle to overcome to realize that your future child won’t have a genetic relation to you. As this was only three weeks ago, I’m now at the point of finding comfort in the fact that the baby would still have my blood running through its body, but I have not yet come to full terms with the news. It’s a daily dialogue in my head and heart.
My endo debulking surgery will likely take place in May, and that surgery will determine if my eggs are useful or not. We will have to decide what to do at that point. It has been three years of infertility come April, and there’s no end in sight...
I often say to others that some stroke victims set a goal of learning to walk. Each day, they make progress of some kind (wiggling a toe, moving their foot, taking a single step). But victims of infertility don’t have that...there is no step forward no matter what you do or don’t do, what you eat or don’t eat, how much you care or don’t care. There’s simply no progress, and it’s tragic.
I’m lucky to be back with my incredibly supportive group of family and friends, but there’s still nothing they can really do.
Infertility is how I spell heartbreak, and there’s no end in sight for us yet. People who haven’t experienced this can’t begin to comprehend the complete and utter devastation resulting from years of failure. This is why I choose to share our story. Hopefully, someone will read our story and find something to identify with and find the strength to keep fighting. We are warriors, after all.
Sending baby dust to the readers. May we all find our happiness soon, as we are one in six❤️