Finding support during infertility is crucial to your survival. Infertility can feel like the loneliest, darkest place you have ever visited if you try to go it alone. Trust me, I’ve tried it. I’ve been there. It wasn’t until I found support that I was able to rise up and move on through my journey. I struggled with infertility for eight years, and at least half of that time I cried behind closed doors. No one knew my pain even existed except my husband, and although he tried his hardest to support me, he truly didn’t really grasp what it felt like to be me.
I remember this defining moment like it was yesterday. The doctor told me that it was almost impossible for me to conceive. She told me that it was going to be a huge uphill battle if I wanted to get pregnant. I had already tried multiple rounds of fertility treatments, IUIs, IVF, laparoscopy, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, you name it. Infertility was my life. It had consumed every piece of my being. I didn’t go on trips, I didn’t eat certain foods, I was wearing UGG boots in the summer because someone told me it would help my fertility if I kept my feet warm.
On November 8th, 2017, the day of our IVF transfer, we had sex that morning before heading into the surgery center. It wasn’t something we planned to do, and to be honest, we probably should have cleared this by our doctor, but we knew this day was special and wanted to somehow feel like we romantically came together and made a baby. I had no idea this would be the last time I would make love to my husband until after Flo was born. Seven weeks postpartum to be exact. According to math, that’s TEN WHOLE MONTHS without fornication.
This is it y'all. The BEST, most scary, most exciting day of my life. The day our sweet baby Flo entered this world. Yes, I setup a GoPro camera in the corner to capture her arrival. And yes, I've watched it at least a dozen times already. Don't worry, you won't see my coot coot or any weird shit. I'm keeping it classy, for once. But before you watch the video, and think, wow, that looks so easy, she literally pushed for under a minute... Let me tell you somethin' (in my best Ace Ventura voice). There were A LOT of challenges leading up to this moment.
TRUTH : Infertile mommas tend to be a little on the paranoid side. But, understandably so y'all. We're used to loss. We're used to disappointment. We're used to failure. Many of us get to place of accepting this way of life and learn to EXPECT just about EVERYTHING to go wrong when it comes to baby makin'. Amiright?
Finding support has been my key to survival. I found that the emotional stress that I had to encounter along this journey was the hardest part. I could muscle thought the physical stuff, like the poking, prodding, surgeries, needles, weight gain, etc. I knew it was temporary and I just needed to get through it. I could just close my eyes and push through. I'm not saying I didn't cry sometimes. And I'm not saying it wasn't hard. I'm just saying, I got through it. It wasn't the worst part.
We've decided to save the "gender reveal" to just us. In the delivery room. The old school way. Perhaps I should tight roll my maternity jeans and pop in a mix tape to get ready for the big day. I'm thinking something with a little C&C Music factory should do the trick. Deciding to wait on finding out was not an easy process for me. For a Type A, obsessive, perfectionist, planner, control freak, this choice was NOT at all comfortable. In the beginning, I desperately wanted to know.
If going the IVF route, you are likely faced with this dilemma- to test your embryos or not to test? Genetic Testing (otherwise known as PGS, preimplantation genetic screening), is when one or more cells is removed from an IVF embryo to test for chromosomal normalcy.The genetically normal embryos are kept for transfer, and the abnormal embryos are discarded.
Now that I'm pregnant, people are starting to treat me like any, normal, "fertile" pregnant woman. Most would think, this is what I want - to feel normal. I don't blame them, I can see why people would think this. They might think - she's finally pregnant and past all the grieving and hard stuff, so this is the time to shower her with excitement and baby talk. But, I'm so not.
I'm infertile and proud. No one can take that away from me. Infertility is and always will be apart of me. Infertility has made me stronger. Infertility has made me better. And just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean things end here. I'm still taking two-three injections per day in the ass for another 11 weeks. I'm still choking down handfuls of large pills every night. I'm still jacked with fertility hormones. I'm still in the doctor's office being monitored and tested multiple times a week to make sure the baby is still hanging on.
I knew the day that we scheduled our first IVF transfer that I wanted to document the process. I thought - how cool would that be to have photos of the day our baby was conceived? We would have photos to show our child one day!My husband thought I was nuts, I remember him saying - 'there's no way in hell the doctor will go for that, it's just weird Victoria."
Most doctor's won't take you seriously unless you have been trying for 6-12 months with timed intercourse around ovulation. This means using home ovulating predictor kits each month, and having sex when you see a smiley face on the pee stick. Pregnancy is technically only possible during the five days before ovulation through the day ovulation actually takes place. These six days are the 'fertile window' in a woman's cycle, and represent the lifespan of sperm (5 days) and the lifespan of the ovum, a mature female reproductive cell (24 hours). So, yes, there are only 6 days in the month that you can "technically" get pregnant.
I constantly ask myself... WHY did I spend all that time and money on IUI? Why did I do this to myself 5 fucking times!? Don't do what I did! Well, unless your insurance covers it, then, you do you! I can assure you, it will still take a HUGE toll on your emotional state. You really need to ask yourself if it's worth it.
There is so much I want to say to you. There is so much I want the world to know about you. Every time I see you smile at the baby at the next table over, or disappear from the party to go play with our friends kids in their room, I am reminded of how I have deprived you from what you want the most. A family.A child to call your own.
You’ve been trying to conceive without success for a year or so and you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into fertility treatments. Finding a reproductive endocrinologist that's right for you can be hard to find, and certainly emotional. Sadly, I didn't choose the right doctor the first time around, but learned some very valuable lessons I'd like to share with you.
If you are new to the word of fertility treatments, you are probably realizing there is a whole new world out there you may not have known existed. A world of women going through a tough time, connecting with each other through the world wide web using a different language than you've ever learned to speak. I remember when I was just starting to research infertility and I would end up on infertility blogs that used an acronym for every other damn word. I was not only confused, but I was pissed too.