“True, there were side effects”
Back in April, I was anxiously awaiting for our first attempt at fertility treatments to start. A lot has happened since then, so I thought I would take the time to share my experience, the good, the bad, and the sad and hope that by me sharing our story, it will help someone in some way who may be going through the same difficult journey.
The day we were driving to our first official appointment, we were so excited and completely nervous. The day had finally come for us to take our first real chance at becoming parents. We had been patiently waiting and dreaming for our chance to finally try.
The first day, I had my first ultrasound and blood work done, we had our schedule set, paid the clinic, and headed to the pharmacy to pick up our medications. Once at the pharmacy, they gave us some needles and vials to practice on while we were waiting. I’ll never forget the look on J’s face, he was so nervous and concentrating as much as possible to get the hang of it before we were left to deal with it all on our own at home. The pharmacist sat down with us and explained everything. She went over what J had to do, handed us bags full of Repronex and saline vials, syringes, needles, pills, gave us our receipt, and sent us on our way home.
When we got home, J organized everything on the table that we needed for my first shot. He kept mimicking what he needed to do: suck up certain amount of saline solution, push into 1st vial, mix it up, suck it up, push into 2nd vial, mix it up, suck it back up, change needle tip…When it was time for my 1st shot, J’s hands were shaking. He had to administer the shot by my belly button. The first shot was the worst. He was so nervous that his hands were shaking and he did it slowly, which made it worse, but I didn’t care. I watched my loving husband trying to be so careful, it brought tears to my eyes. (By the 3rd shot, he was a pro) 😉
The next day, I didn’t feel well at all. I had horrible hot flashes, shakes, aches and pains all over, I couldn’t keep anything down, and couldn’t stop sweating. The pharmacist explained that some people experience side effects, but it was possible that I had the flu. I was sick all weekend. And I was extremely hormonal. I cried over the smallest things, whether happy or sad. On that Monday, I went down for my 2nd ultrasound. The nurse called the doctor in because she could tell I was sick. The doctor noticed I felt clammy and said to cancel my ultrasound for that Wednesday and just return on that Friday so I could get some rest. Because I have such a rare condition, I was on double the dose of shots. My body was having a hard time going from no hormones to an extreme amount. and I’m horrible with side effects. So they told me to triple my steroids and get lots of rest.
The Friday I returned to the doctor, I had another ultrasound. Looking at the screen, I could see the nurse focusing on what looked like 3 little spots. She said that I had follicles growing, but she just didn’t think they’d be big enough to continue. I was trying so hard to hold it together. She said she’d have the doctor call me and sent me to get labs. As soon as we got in the car, I lost it and started bawling while telling J what she had said. It broke my heart to hear that we couldn’t keep going with our treatment. It was so hard knowing that we were so close and the treatment was working, but it just wasn’t working fast enough.
About 5 hours later, our doctor called and said that he wanted to keep going. To take my shot that night and one the next night and return on Sunday. We were ecstatic that we still had a slight chance of continuing. We only had enough vials for one more shot, so my amazing husband made another trip to pick up the rest. That Sunday, we returned to the clinic to have an ultrasound done. The nurse said she’d have the doctor call us and let us know what to do. Our doctor called a few hours later and said that there hadn’t been enough improvement to keep going. My follicles needed to be 16-18 mm to continue on with the IUI and they were only at 8mm. He said to call and schedule our follow-up to go over and discuss everything. I felt numb. I tried not to get my hopes up and prepare myself for bad news, but I still had the slightest hope I’d be wrong. To go that far and think about it for so long and all it took was 1 week and $4500 and it was over..It was a horrible feeling to know that we were back at square one: Saving money we didn’t have and not knowing when we’d be able to try again. If we had the money, we could try again in a month..not possible for us. It was completely heartbreaking. Our lives revolved around trying to have a family and we were so close and just as suddenly, we were so far away again. I blamed myself for everything. I know it’s not my fault, but not being able to do something I should do naturally was horrible enough and I felt like a failure.
The whole experience brought me even closer with J, which I didn’t think was even possible to be closer to a man that I’m already so close with. He was devastated also, but more concerned about my feelings. That man is amazing. He is my rock. Always supporting me and standing by my side. I would be having a bad day and without saying a word, he could tell, and would make me feel better. He always reassures me. I love him to death. A man who stands by my side through everything. I’m so thankful that I’m so lucky to have my dorky true love 🙂
I also had many people write to me, telling me that my story and positive attitude through everything gave them the push they needed to try fertility themselves. I had people say that me being public with such a personal journey helped them. That is simply amazing to me. We had so many people saying they were hoping and praying for us, that we deserved this more than anyone and that was amazing to hear. I am truly thankful for the support of friends and family and especially, my amazing husband. I had a hard time with all of it and still do, but I know that we will get to try again someday. And we will try as much as we possibly can to become a mommy and daddy.
Sorry if this post is too long and all over the place, but it’s the best way I can describe what we went through and how we felt. More posts to come on our follow-up appointment and what comes next in our journey!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read! 🙂