My husband and I were married in our mid to late twenties and we tried to begin a family soon after. There was no rush, so I stopped taking the pill and we decided we were not really trying, but if it happened it would be ok. Well, nothing happened. After a year we went to get checked out. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, and my husband had about eight things wrong with his sperm. At that time, we were counseled to deal with the grief associated with the loss of never being able to have children and to get on with our lives.
We were sad but medicine changes a lot over the years and I hoped we could find a way. As the years went by, we started to look into other options.
We had fertility specialists helping, but emotionally and financially, we knew our limitations and couldn’t continue the fertility roller coaster. My husband experienced some uncomfortable procedures, and I was also told that at 33 my chances were getting slimmer. Again I needed to consider life without children.
Adoption was a difficult thing to pursue because of some dysfunctional family relationships, no strong religious connections, and in our circumstances my husband would be the primary caregiver instead of me. In addition, the cost of adoption is very high. We continued to consider adoption, but having been on the fertility roller coaster, we were not sure we wanted to hop on to the adoption emotional ride.
My husband and I had considered life without children and we would deal with that if we had to. All marriages have their ups and downs, but I believe that infertility puts a huge amount of stress on a marriage. Feelings of inadequacy as a woman and a man abound. There is a vicious cycle of hope and depression along with little understanding from outsiders (family, friends, people in general) of the physical and emotional toll. I think my husband and I worked hard to keep our marriage together and to realize that it was the best and most important thing in our lives.
I began having some additional physical difficulty, and ended up in the emergency room with severe bleeding one 4th of July week-end. At my follow-up visit with my doctor, she recommended I begin taking birth control pills again. I told her I did not want to do anything to prevent getting pregnant. She actually laughed at me and told me that if it hadn’t happened by now it was never going to happen. I told her that may be true, but I still had faith and hope.
We did nothing for another year and I went to a new doctor. I started to take metformin and clomid at the same time and I dropped around 15 lbs. It made me kind of sick, but my cycle was starting to normalize. My husband and I were considering donor sperm, but we needed to be sure that was something we were ok with. There were issues we needed to figure out before going that route. My cycle got out of whack again and I was getting ready to take some prometrium to get my period started. My doctor said to wait two weeks and take a pregnancy test. Well I did. I thought nothing of it. I didn’t feel weird and I had just been at the doctor’s where they had given me a test.
The test came out positive. I asked my husband to read the instructions and make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong. He wanted to know what weird food I had eaten that would mess up the test. He would not believe it until I had it confirmed by the doctor. The next day it was confirmed!
Now, in my late 30′s, I have a five-month-old baby boy. I know it seems easy for me to tell the story with the happy ending. Any advice I have would be to reconcile your life without children and be happy with who you are and what you do have. If the child comes, great! If not, there are thousands of positive contributions you can make to the world.
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