My IVF Journey: Fertility Window

We were hurting. I was hurting and probably caused a lot of the pain. I didn’t want to discuss the failure of our first IVF attempt. I was embarrassed. Something must have been wrong on my end. Why couldn’t the eggs latch onto my uterine lining?

I felt alone and frustrated. Feelings of inadequacy constantly flooded my mind. I threw myself into work. I was travelling a lot. Meetings. It was good. The anniversary dinner was a starting point towards talking and acting like a couple. But, a couple of days later I was given the news that no woman in her prime wants to hear. Especially at the age of 32.

I was having my annual check-up and my ob/gyn wanted me to get up and have a talk. She explained that my fertility window was limiting. I had to make a choice if I wanted to have children. My fibroids had returned and I didn’t have as much time as I thought I would to have children. I thought I had more time than 5 months since my first failed attempt at IVF. I told her that we had tried IVF and that it had failed. She asked where did we go for treatment. I told her. She said she knew the practice.

“Who is your doctor?” she asked. “Dr. S” I replied. “I know him” she said. “He’s a great doctor. What did he say?” she inquired. “He told me to try it again. He said that he knows he can get me pregnant” I sighed. I didn’t want to be having this conversation again. Not with someone else. It didn’t work. I get it. I wasn’t meant to have children.

I had begun to accept that fact. “Well, if he said he can do it then he can do it. You should try it again” she said. Just like that. Final. I listened and stuttered “We’re in a bad place. We’ve been married 5 years and I don’t know if we’ll make it.” She listened. “Okay, just know that you can’t wait forever.” I shook my head in understanding and got dressed.

I had never felt so alone.

I headed to the car. On the drive home I kept replaying her conversation in my mind. I never wanted children so why the hell was this stressing me out? Was it our marriage holding on by a thread or was it the fact that at that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a mother?

That was it.

I wanted to be a mother. If not with my husband, then someone else. I wanted a baby. I was going to have a baby. I wasn’t going to stay in this perpetual middle zone relationship wondering if he or I should pull the plug on it. Someone needed to make a decision and it needed to happen now. Definitely before my fertility window closed. No more excuses. It was time to woman up!

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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My IVF Journey: The 5th Year

We had been married for almost five years. They were both beautiful and brutal years. Our marriage was being tested. He was being tested. We were being tested.

I didn’t know how I felt about having children. We had a lot of problems and I didn’t know if bringing a baby into the situation would be a blessing or a curse. I knew that he wanted kids. He wanted them now. He wanted them the minute we got married. I pushed back. I needed time. I quoted statistics “Most marriages end in divorce and many more end before the five year mark.” I wanted to wait.

He agreed. Reluctantly probably, but he agreed.

July 13, 2007

We were in a bad place. It had been five months since our first failed attempt at IVF. I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t have a baby. I was in a perpetual state of just existing. I felt alone in my marriage. No one could understand the pain I felt knowing that it didn’t work.  I carried the burden of feeling like I was somehow incomplete.

It was my anniversary. I woke up wondering how long before we would be pulling the plug on this farce of a marriage. We were like roommates. Sleeping in the same house in the same bed and not touching. No hugging. No hand holding. No intimacy. I felt more alone than I ever had being single. I was living with a complete stranger.

Pleasantries were exchanged. We were both off today. It was our custom to take off work every time our anniversary fell on a work day. I got up and headed to the shower. I had to go. I got dressed and said good-bye.

There was no mention of anything special occurring on this day. I had made no plans. I just wondered when we were going to end it. Was today the day? I drove to take my mom to the dentist. She was getting her four wisdom teeth pulled and couldn’t drive home. No problem. I’m the oldest. I was already off.

After the dental procedure, I got my mom home and left for home. Not quite sure why I was headed home. It was my anniversary and I felt unloved. This void between us was like a mountain that couldn’t be crossed. I decided to call him from the car. “Hello” he answered. “Hi, are we doing anything special tonight? It’s our anniversary. Trying to figure out my day” I said. “I didn’t think you wanted to do anything. You just got up and left” he said. “I took my mom to the dentist. She got her four wisdom teeth extracted” I responded. “Oh, okay. Yeah, we can go to dinner. I’ll make reservations” he said.

Dinner sucked. The restaurant was in a beautiful location, but the meal was uneventful and not very tasty. We laughed and said that it was the worst meal we’d ever had, but tried to make the best of it. There were glimpses of hope in our strained conversations, hearty laughs, but mainly there was the distinct presence of pain. Too much pain.

To be continued

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Truth

We had been married for over four years. It was time. I had pushed off having children for years. I enjoyed it being us, but the silence was deafening. The desire to have a baby was like an echo in our otherwise peaceful home. He wanted children. I didn’t know if I was ready. I still had a lot of unreserved issues about being a mom, so it was becoming a problem for us. But, there was no time like the present.

December 2006

We sat there in the doctor’s office.  “Well, we’ve ran the tests and it looks like there is some blockage in your tubes and male fertility problems” he said. “What does that mean?” I asked. “It means that you’ll have difficulty conceiving” I sighed. My husband asked “Does this mean that we can’t have children on our own? “No, I will never say that. Couples conceive each day to the astonishment to the medical community. It just means that it will be difficult to conceive.”

I sighed. “What are our options?” He said “I would recommend IVF with ICSI.” I replied “I’ve been doing research and why not IUI” I asked. “Your blocked fallopian tube makes it more difficult” he responded. I was sitting there stunned. Not sure what to think or believe. My husband grabbed my hand.

The doctor said “I know that I’ve given you a lot of information to process, but if you want to move forward I would like to set up the group counseling sessions about the process. You’ll work with a nurse who will outline and handle everything.” We smiled. Got up slowly and were handed off to the nurse.

She smiled. Beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes. In an instant I felt jealous. I bet she doesn’t have fertility problems. I bet she has a beautiful baby with the bluest eyes and blonde hair at home. It was painful. She could sense my anxiety and led us through to a conference room and explained the next couple of months to us. I was trying to listen and absorb what was being told to me.

Beyond the counseling sessions, we had to do our testing. Complete work ups. Do we want genetic testing? Does it matter? Personal choice. But, shouldn’t we be happy if we just get pregnant? Questions among questions floated through my mind. I looked over at my husband. He shook his head. He was listening intently. I looked back at the paper.

I needed to get on birth control. I had just had my period a week ago so nothing could happen for another month. I need to order my medications. They were specialty drugs and they had a specialty pharmacy in the building. We took all the paperwork and left. It was overwhelming.

We stopped by the pharmacy and dropped off the prescriptions. They were starting a Lupron protocol. We went to the car. We sat there. “It’s a lot” I said. “Yeah” he said. “Are we ready?” I asked. “Yes, we’ve talked about this” he replied. He’s right. I was being a chicken shit.

I hated needles. The fear of the needles was paralyzing me. That along with all the other scientific stuff we needed to go through. But, the smallest thought that we could have a baby next Christmas gave me pause. I smiled.

We headed home. Our lives were about to change.

-To Be Continued-

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Black Girl Broken

Unexplained infertility

That was the diagnosis

No medical reason

Why this black girl couldn’t conceive

I’m broken

I cried out “My God why have you forsaken me?”

 

“Options” was what the doctor said

“You have options”

In a cloudy haze I listened as this man

Began to explain my uterus

My womb

The core of my existence that was supposed to bring forth life

He was telling me how it worked?

How could he know?

 

How could he know what I was feeling?

Could he see through my soul and know that

I was burning and screaming

In pain

I was broken

My uterus was the soul of who I am

It was broken

No medical reason

No real diagnosis

Unexplained infertility

Black girl broken

 

 

Quick Rant: Synthetic Children

My quick rant…

By now many of you may have heard the foolishness of Dolce & Gabanna’s controversial remarks that took the internet by storm earlier this week. If you haven’t heard about it, let me hip you on some of the controversy that Leigh Weingus wrote for The Huffington Post:

According to translations, the pair — who dated for 23 years and broke up in 2005 — stated that children born through IVF are “children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteruses for rent, semen chosen from a catalog.”

“I am gay, I cannot have a child. I guess you cannot have everything in life,” Dolce added. “Life has a natural course, some things cannot be changed. One is the family.”

What? How are children synthetic when they are born with human DNA? Now, I’m not going to slay them like the rest of the internet did with their comments because what I think they were saying is that they choose not to have children because they are gay and they don’t want to reproduce children through IVF. Okay, I get it. Your choice.

But, the comments about children being synthetic were wrong. As I’ve shared on here before, my munch was created through IVF. It took two attempts to get it right and we were pregnant. It was hard. It was painful. It was not traditional, but we wanted a baby. We were a traditional family who had problems conceiving, but does it matter? Does it make my baby less synthetic?

Many couples struggle with fertility issues. I’m an advocate for fertility options and healthy families. We can’t judge choices to use science to get a baby as a joke. Many children wouldn’t be here and I can’t imagine a day without my munch’s smile.

I wish that all people would realize the simple truth…Children are a gift from God. No matter how they are conceived. We should be thankful for them.

 

Have a Baby By Me

The quest for motherhood is sometimes an arduous task. You know my story. It was difficult and we did IVF to get our little boy. Two rounds of painful injections and procedures produced a happy and healthy little baby. But, what happens when you want a baby and there is no man around?

I’m not going to sit here and proclaim that all women want children or that they want a man (if you’re a same sex couple), but I will say that the prospects of having a child without a man is still difficult for a heterosexual woman. The odds of finding good men that are dateable, relateable and ready for marriage when you are may have you feeling like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack.

As a woman who is almost 40 and entering the dating field again after more than 14 years, I can see the choices of eligible men are limited. Now, before you get all huffy, let me quantify the eligible men comment. I define eligible men to be the following: gainfully employed, somewhat attractive (no you don’t have to be Boris Kodjoe, Idris Elba or Brad Pitt), divorced, widowed or single (no if you have a girlfriend you are not single), likes children (I have one) and wants a relationship (not 20 years from now – maybe 6-12 months from now).

Even if you get through one of those categories, it is still up in the air whether we can get to the point that you are dateable, relateable or ready for a relationship. What about chemistry? Isn’t that important? Whew! Women have it hard. So, what do you do when you want a baby and there is no man around? Find a donor.

Simple right? When I was in my early 20’s I realized that I would probably never get married. Why? Because marriage wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to get married nor did I dream about a big wedding. I didn’t trust the institution of marriage and thought it more like slavery than a relationship from God. I was happy being single. Single and successful. So, I started to think about my fertility. Mainly because I wondered if I didn’t have a child would I in fact be missing out on something special?

I asked a friend of mine who was 3 years older than me to be my “baby’s daddy, sperm donor or contributor to parenthood”. I told him that if I didn’t find anyone and he wasn’t attached by the time I was 27 we should have a baby together. I mean we liked each other. We had love for one another and we were both college educated upwardly mobile black folks. The agreement was made and I was virtually going to have a baby by him.

It was a sober deal. Made with explicit terms and a friendly agreement. It was easier to find someone to parent with that you actually liked than to accidentally get someone you couldn’t stand pregnant. He was an only child and I only wanted one so that worked out pretty well. He could have someone that would continue his dynasty well after he had left the earth.

Well, that didn’t sit right with some of my family. Why? Because I was actually planning on being a single parent without accidentally getting knocked up? What was wrong with putting the choice in my own hands and not playing the “oops I am pregnant card”? I mean we both wanted a baby and we both wanted to make sure that our child was being born in and raised in a healthy environment. Our choice. Not society’s standards but ours.

It didn’t happen though. I got married at 27 and had a baby at 33 so obviously God had other plans. But, what about my sisters who don’t have those options? Should they be forced to forego motherhood in hopes that they will someday land a man worthy and responsible enough to be a father? Should you ask a male friend to be a donor with no connection to the baby? Should you enter into a gentleman’s (and woman’s agreement) to parent without titles other than mom or dad? In my opinion, it’s your choice. Motherhood, your womb and your fertility is not up to society to decide what’s right. Only you can do that.