We all know how easy it is to have a baby. Movies, songs, sex ed, and tired looking women have all done an excellent job of explaining just how simple (dangerously, they might add) it is to get pregnant. In fact in some cases just looking at a member of the opposite sex will do the trick. And what a better ending to a movie than a positive pregnancy test, or a cute crying little bundle tucked up in his/her mother's arms with a beaming father smiling and staring down at his precious miracle (ahem... "Four Christmases"). So having been educated by many reliable sources, I was under the impression that when a man and woman loved each other very much, a baby would miraculously appear into the equation. (Don't worry, I'm not implying that I skipped my sex ed class).
A few years ago my husband of 2 years and I decided it was time to add to our family. It was exciting and scary but we were ready to take the next step. Months went by and much to our chagrin, nothing was happening. Then more months went by and sooner than we knew it, it had been a year without success. Was it me? Was it him? Was it both of us? What in the world was the problem? I thought I remembered hearing somewhere that if you relax it would just happen. After thousands of hot baths, hundreds of vanilla scented tea light candles, massages from my wonderful husband, yoga class, prayer and meditation, a mexican riviera cruise, and dozens of dips in our 90 degree pool, I had a new reason to stress. Why wasn't relaxing helping??? Now I don't know if you have ever stressed about relaxing but it's pretty unpleasant.
Finally it was time to see a specialist and get down to the nitty gritty. My uterus looked "beautiful". Phew, well if we couldn't have children at least my reproductive organs were attractive. She could find no issues with my ovaries either. It was time to run some other tests which included testing my husband and his super swimmers. I can't fully describe just how awkward it is to smuggle a sperm sample in your coat pocket and pull it out for the receptionist in front of a waiting room of people. Unless you've done it, it's probably hard to fully appreciate. More embarrassing is having to explain to her what it is, when it was taken and ask whether it seems to be warm enough still.
The results were in and my husband's sample passed with flying colors. In fact, there were enough in there to repopulate the entire country. So with my attractive uterus and his athletic sea men, why wasn't a romantic courtship of sperm and egg commencing? After further blood work came to reveal that my 20-something eggs appeared more like old bag ladies, than sexy young firecrackers, it all came clear. We needed something more than just a long vacation, or an adoption to sidetrack us from this thing called "infertility", we needed medical intervention.
The doctor suggested IUI with clomid. All I knew about clomid was that it made crazy women even crazier. Since I thought I had already maxed out with the crazies, I figured this wasn't a big deal. Fortunately I felt very little side effects. When the big day came, my dear husband was excited about seeing his swimmers under the microscope. Something told me this wasn't commonplace, but we asked anyway. The andrologist was extremely accommodating and let him take a peek. I seriously wish I could've taken a picture of this.
The day I was supposed to test to see if the IUI had actually worked, I spent in bed crying and convinced it hadn't. I was Debbie Downer to the extreme, plotting out our timeline for the next IUI "...if we could even afford it (boohoo)". I "knew" my body so well that I would know if I was pregnant or not and I "definitely" was not. That afternoon I received a phone call from the nurse with "good news". After that... crying, laughing, screaming... all the emotions a psychotic emotional wreck would normally demonstrate simultateously. And so began our journey with baby.
My next post will go into greater detail about the pregnancy and journey until we finally brought baby home.
3D ultrasound of Senorita Chub Chubs