I think it’s time to crawl out from under my rock
and get my eyes once again adjusted to the light. 2018 was such a whirlwind that I am feeling a little beat-up by all of it. I feel that as we get older the years pass through us less gracefully than they did in our vibrant years of 20-something. Life is just a bit more jarring and the recovery period keeps getting stretch out longer and longer. Let me do a quick recap of 2018 first before I move into more details about our fertility journey.
January – February 2018:
- First trip to Prague for IVF using my own eggs which was unsuccessful
January – April
- Completed my 2nd semester of my Masters of Divinity
- Husband started a new job
- Celebrated 10 years of marriage!!
- Bought a house and moved the week before I started school!
September – December
- 2nd year of Masters & started planning our next trip to Prague – this time using donor eggs
- 2nd trip to Prague for IVF
- I am not pregnant once again & we have decided to buy a puppy
- Back in school January 7
- Husband started new job January 16
By the time 2018 ended, we had spent over a month in Prague for IVF. No wonder I’m so tired!!
Now for the juicy stuff.
Writing is the primary way I process things in my life and the moment I stop, I get stuck; Like feeling emotionally and spiritually constipated stuck! I don’t have the energy to go into major details so here is my fertility journey in short bullet points before I get to where we are heading to next:
2012 – Got off birth control. Yay! We are ready for a baby! (Age 32)
2014 – Lived in denial for about two years that I wasn’t getting pregnant – first of all, this was a combination of not sharing about it and when I did, receiving really terrible advice from friends.
SIDE NOTE: If your friend tells you she is not getting pregnant after a year of trying DO NOT TELL HER TO RELAX OR TO ADOPT – ask her if she has seen her doctor and encourage her to gather more information! It took me almost three years to go see a doctor!
2015 – Fertility testing was done = diagnosed with Low Ovarian Reserve (AMH = 0.789 FSH 11.92) The doctor was sympathetic but only gave us the option of IVF which in this clinic was $29,000!!! I was so frustrated by what felt like being sold a brand new car that I walked out of there determined to find another way.
2015-2017 – Discovered the Creighton Model of tracking fertility and NeProTechnology which claimed to have results close to IVF. I liked the program because it combined both Naturopathic medician with some fertility drugs and shots. Let me just tell you now, this system is A LOT OF WORK! We did it for almost two years before I realized that IVF was our best chance which I hated to admit. I thought I could take control of my own fertility but that wasn’t the case.
2018 (January) – Took our first trip to Prague for IVF at the Prague Fertility Center. I was on a very high dose of everything. We got three follicles: one viable, inseminated and transferred. Two weeks later: NEGATIVE.
2018 (February) – I was still determined to take control of my fertility. I started meditating daily using Circle and Bloom mediations for fertility. I began weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I read “It Starts with the Egg”. I finally got on the right supplements (and correct doses) for me (CoQ10, DHEA, Fish oil, Prenatal, Vitamin D, Melatonin).
SIDE NOTE: Acupuncture by far has been the one thing I have experienced noticeable changes in my body & blood work.
2018 (June) – Bloodwork showed some improvement but not much. Felt pretty discouraged.
2018 (August) – We tried another doctor here in Portland and he did this old school test that no one does anymore (postcoital test) and discovered that no sperm actually could survive inside me because my husband produced antibodies so IUI was out of the question which is what I was hoping for after all the acupuncture, herbs, supplements and meditating. My discouragement from June slipped into total despair! Is this ever going to happen for us?!
2018 (September) – After talking with both my doctor, acupuncturist and doing some of my own research, we decided to try Donor IVF back in Prague (because it’s SOOOOOO much cheaper there). So I spent the next three months preparing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially! At least we would be there during Christmas which gave the trip an extra layer of excitement.
2018 (December) – Spent two weeks in Prague. It was not as magical as the first time even with all the Christmas trees and snow. We felt homesick in the first few days but this time we got 7 embryos!! They transferred two and we froze five! How great is that?!?
2019 (January 4th) – Negative… HCG 2. All the preparing, all the prayers, all that time and money and hoping mounted to nothing. Even as I write these words, my brain is going blank. The big dark void of a baby remains and now it feels like we’ve just fallen into its nothingness, floating around weightless and numb.
I hate that I am back here: tears being shed often and sometimes without any warning. Once again I hate seeing the photos of friend’s kids on Facebook and Instagram. An instant sadness occurs at each baby cry I hear in the store or at church. I hate feeling this vulnerable; that anything could set-off my tears. And all the while, I am trying to get through my homework and do my job.
Present Day Decisions & Plans
We have five frozen embryos in Prague, my husband just started his brand new fancy state job, we decided to buy a German Shepherd puppy (more to come on that) and we are planning to remodel our kitchen this Spring. That’s on the docket for 2019 so far!!
As for our five frozen embryos, shipping them here to the US is absurdly expensive so I will be heading back there this Spring or Summer for our first frozen embryo transfer.
Recovery in Progress
After all that, I am in desperate need to recover from such a difficult year of change and travel. This is how I plan to work on my own “recovery program”:
- Organize my office for me and not for a potential nursery.
- Loose 20 lbs through the Optavia program. I have done it before and felt great on it!
- Start reading my Bible and talking to God again. Even when there is lingering frustration in this space for me, I need to figure out what it looks like to uncover my faith from underneath a large pile of disappointment and anger.
- Keep writing. It is honestly the one thing that helps me move forward.
- Stay faithful in my school work and job. I love both these things dearly and desire to be successful in them.
- Create something beautiful. I haven’t created a Hidden Word Memory Plan for some time now, so I plan to add a few new plans this year.
Here’s to a New Year with new possibilities!