roller coaster

The Infertility Roller Coaster

Andy and I got married almost 8 years ago and the first few years of our marriage were all about fun. It Marriagewas a devil may care kind of time. He was finishing school, I was building my career and we both were enjoying time with each other and our friends.

We knew we wanted children, two for sure, but it wasn’t our focus. After the first year of marriage we stopped using contraceptive. At first I didn’t pay much attention. I didn’t ovulate regularly and I knew the process would take some time. I was also having some health issues. I had been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I had a failing thyroid and I was becoming insulin resistant. All of these issues resulted in unwanted weight gain and none of them are the best combination when trying to conceive.

After the first two years of pretending we weren’t really trying, because let’s be real that is what I kept telling myself, I begin to do what any type A personality does. I begin to work the problem. I bought fertility kits and charted my cycles. I took my temperature and I even recorded when we had sex. When I decided to go to the doctor, I wanted them to have able to more information than they could possibly need. 

A year later after talking with my OB, I decided it was time to go a Reproductive Endocrinologist. My OB set up the referral and my husband and I both attended the appointment. We had the basic screenings done so they could understand all of our important numbers as well as collect baselines.  The tests included:

  1. Ovarian Reserve Testing (ORT). – This test was done on day three or four of my cycle. It indicated the quantity and quality of my eggs by measuring several hormones including the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH).
  2. Semen Analysis – This determined the quantity, quality and motility of Andy’s semen.
  3. Ultrasound Evaluation – This was done at a specific point in my cycle along with a blood test to determine if I was preparing for ovulation and to determine if I ovulated.

The Reproductive Resource Center provides a wonderful resource for initial fertility testing if you are looking for additional information. 

There were several other tests that we could do, including a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). The HSG would have measured whether or not my fallopian tubes were open and if there were any abnormalities that would cause conception problems. We opted for the bare minimum. I didn’t want anything too invasive. Infertility scared me. Every little thing you do when you are trying to conceive feels like it could be the magic bullet. Not being able to have children naturally made me feel like less of a woman. The phrase, “I can’t give Andy a child,” repeated in my head. None of these things are true. Having or not having children doesn’t define you as a person. However, I wanted children so badly that not being able to conceive made it hard to breath. I felt like we had already ridden the scary part of a roller coaster and I was a little queasy. Subsequently, I wanted to take the whole process very slowly. 

Peace, Love & Hope,

Kristen

The Infertility Roller Coaster is part one of our infertility series. Want to read more? Register here. 

Image Credit: Sean Busher Photography

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