Did you know that 1 in 8 couples suffers from infertility? And many more struggle to add to their family without the official diagnosis. While infertility will always be unfair and frustrating it absolutely should not be isolating. The more it is discussed and stories are shared the better we can all come together to support those battling infertility – whether it be you, your best friend, sister, a coworker or daughter.
An Inside Look: Facing Infertility with IVF
Courtney Ruge @andthencomesbaby
Our story starts out like so many others—just a young couple with a simple dream to one day be parents. We were married a year before we began the (unknowingly long) journey to starting our family. We tried on our own for months to no avail and finally decided to take the next step with a fertility specialist. “There are few options,” he said. So, we started with the easiest one—intrauterine insemination (IUI). “You get three chances,” he said. We used them all, plus one. Four attempts later, our hopes and dreams of being parents dangled by a thread. “Would this ever actually work?” I thought to myself. “What if I never become a mom?” A few weeks after our last attempt of IUI, we met with our doctor. And that’s when he said it. Those three little letters. IVF. Chills ran through my body as tears filled my eyes. How could I ever do this?
Preparing for our Cycle
It took awhile for reality to sink in—for me to accept that our path to parenthood would be filled with strict injection schedules, multiple doctor visits and very, very little sex. But once I became acclimated with our new “normal”, it wasn’t so bad. The cycle started with 27 days on birth control—to calm and reset my reproductive system—and two rounds of antibiotics to prevent infection prior to retrieval and embryo transfer. And, I hate to admit it, but this was the worst part for me. The antibiotics were awful and so hard on my body. And I just mentally couldn’t get over the fact that I was taking birth control to prevent pregnancy—wasn’t that the idea here?!
I survived the dreaded BCP and antibiotic prep and made it to stimulation phase. In short, my body pretty much became an egg factory. My husband would inject me with hormones every 12 hours for 10 days in an effort to produce numerous follicles in my ovaries. The more follicles, the more eggs…the more eggs, the greater chance you have at success. (Some women experience severe cramping and bloating, but I never did. Sure, I didn’t always feel like myself but the hormones weren’t nearly as hard on my body as I was expecting. Oh and the needles, THEY ARE SO TINY IT IS RIDICULOUS. You can barely feel them, I promise.) On the last day of stimulation, my nurse counted about 10-12 follicles and said we were measuring just perfectly. That night I was to take the trigger shot and two days later I would come in for the egg retrieval procedure. Continue reading