Saturday, 11 May 2013

Riding the infertility merry-go-round

Yesterday I mentioned I had been reading some infertility blogs. At first, I was finding them really helpful in understanding my new found world of infertility. But they soon became all consuming and started to poison my mind against myself.

One of the blogs was the infertility journey of a woman who had had several miscarriages and then all of a sudden couldn’t fall pregnant again. She went through clomid, moved to insemination and eventually had IVF. The IVF process revealed the reason she couldn’t fall pregnant was because the shell of her egg was too thick for the sperm to penetrate or the egg to implant properly. I’d never heard of such a thing, but it felt like I was reading about my own life – well, up to starting the insemination process anyway. But I thought that sounds like the crazy kind of issue I would have. I mean I had a tumour removed from my finger so crazy medical crap happens to me!

While her story ended positively – she had 2 babies on IVF and conceived natural twins - it got me thinking about my own infertility. At this point in time, we’ve had 6 attempts at conceiving since the miscarriage and no luck. I know this isn’t a long time for someone my age, but at what stage does the problem move from “just being 38” to “unexplained fertility”? I don’t know, but I’m keen to find out.

And, as a side note, let me serve as a good example as to why no one should ever say to a woman post miscarriage – “Don’t worry, you’ll get pregnant again quickly because the hormones are still in your body.” Or, “At least you know you can get pregnant.” Don’t get me started on that!

I know, I know – no attempt has even been made to discover if I have a fertility issue at this stage. I haven’t had another laparoscopy, a die test or my eggs looked at. It could be something quite simple and it could be nothing at all. I know I am over-catastrophising but I can’t help it. It seems like the outcome is so far away. But who knows, I could get lucky our first time at insemination. 

I am questioning what the right thing to do is. I am doubting myself constantly. Do we move ahead with the insemination or cut our losses and head to IVF? My husband and I will need to talk about it because I want to have something figured out by the time we see the specialist.
At this point, we agreed to give insemination a crack and then move onto IVF if needed. Somewhere before then I’ll get another laparoscopy done to check the tubes and my husband will have another sperm test. We’ll do another full oil change on the both of us to see what’s happening.

I know IVF isn’t fun. It’s a long, hard journey that requires enormous self discipline and the ability to jab yourself!  Not to mention it costs a packet and requires surgery. If possible, I would like to avoid it, but I know I only have a small window of time before I will need to choose it. I’m hoping our appointment will provide me with the reassurance I’m looking for. It’s a bummer it’s still 3 weeks away. And, it’s funny how the fact I could be pregnant now never entered my head. I no longer consider unassisted conception to be an option. Happy to be proven wrong though! 

Image by Simon Howden
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