You name it, I tried it
Two healthy baby girls later and the pain of those two years spent trying to get pregnant is still as fresh as a farm stand peach...just far less enjoyable. And for so many women who fought the same fight - or are fighting it now - two years is nothing. It's a blip on the baby making meter. But when you just want a baby so bad, those two years are everything and you wouldn't wish even two minutes of that struggle on your worst enemy.
I remember the day my husband, Ben, and I decided we were ready to start trying. We had both agreed we wanted to be married for a whole year before we thought about having kids. We wanted one year of marriage where it was just us. But one day, way before our one year wedding anniversary, it hit us both. We were more than ready.
That next month I thought for sure I was pregnant. How could I not be? If you don't use birth control, you get pregnant. That's how it works. Turns out, that's not how it works. Not for me. I knew in my gut that something was wrong. That very first month I knew. I talked to my doctor and she said "come back in a year. Give it time." But I just knew, so I took matters into my own hands.
I. tried. everything.
I took vitamins and supplements. I drank green juice. I made my own damn juice. I read books. SO MANY BOOKS. I put crystals by my bed. I said prayers. SO MANY PRAYERS. I listened to guided meditation on my commute to work. Visualizing healthy ovaries "and an abundance of eggs." (Yes, really). I did yoga. I did reiki. I took epson salt baths to relax. I did acupuncture and used moxibustion. I used to sneak across the street on my lunch break for acupuncture and worry that I'd get back to the office with needles sticking out of my head. My mom called me one afternoon and told me that she'd had a psychic reading and the psychic said I couldn't get pregnant because my pH was off. So I drank nothing but Fiji water (because it's perfectly pH balanced) for almost 10 months.
In the midst of all this, I found out that someone I knew was pregnant every single month for 9 straight months...on the same day that I got my period. It became like a cruel, completely f*cked up game. I'd get my period and say "I wonder who will tell me their news today?"
I did a follicle study. And so many tests. I tried Clomid, which made me feel me completely insane. I remember sitting at my desk at work one day typing an email about something completely mundane and tears just poured down my face. I had no control over it. And I burst out laughing because what else do you do when tears just decide to pour out of your eyes for no reason? I knew it was the Clomid and I knew that was as far as I was willing to go from a drug perspective.
My husband and I had already talked about adoption at length and that was our next step if IUI didn't work, but that's a story for another day.
Backtrack to my doctors office when she said, "Ok, I think you're ready to try IUI. So in a few weeks you'll come back and we'll do an ultrasound every day for 10 days so we can see where the eggs are and when they're about to drop. Then, on the exact right day, we'll do the IUI procedure."
And then the tears came again. No words, just tears. "Tell me what's wrong. Tell me what you're thinking," said my doctor. But I couldn't. I couldn't do anything but cry. And that's when Ben, God bless him, jumped inside my brain and took my thoughts right out. He said, "She's totally overwhelmed. She's thinking it was hard enough for us to come here today for this one appointment. How is she supposed to come here every day for 10 days for an ultrasound?"
He was exactly right. That was everything I was thinking. I worked in PR for one of the top agencies in the country and I had a big job with a lot of responsibility. I traveled a TON and I didn't want everyone knowing what I was going through, but at the same time, I needed them to know that I wasn't slacking off. I loved my job and I cared about doing it well.
I went to work that morning and walked right into my boss's office. She was the head of our whole department and to say that I was terrified to have this conversation would be the understatement of the century. I was intimidated by her because I admired her. Hell, I wanted to BE her someday. But first I wanted to be a mom. So I told her what was going on and how frustrated I was and how I'd probably be late a lot and I couldn't even tell her ahead of time when those days would be because I didn't even know.
I only got a few sentences in and she put her hand up and said "Stop. Say no more. Do whatever you have to do and don't feel like you owe anyone an explanation. I've been there, I get it. It's so hard and we'll do whatever you need. If anyone gives you a hard time, just come to me."
That's the thing about life. Just when you think you're all alone and no one will understand how hard things are or how much you want something, or you think an experience is unique to just you, you find out that's just not so.
And with that, we were on our way to making babies. But not without a few more hurdles....