I have read countless wonderful NIAW posts this week, and though I feel like I don’t have a lot to add, I figure it is important to acknowledge an issue that was/is such a huge part of my life.
Don’t Ignore… the signs that something might be wrong with your body. Be your own best advocate.
In the beginning of TTC, I was in a bit of denial that something was wrong, but thankfully by about six months in, I had started temping (thanks for the advice, Mom) and researching, and I knew I wasn’t ovulating. Armed with that knowledge, I was able to convince my OB to skip the 1 yr of TTC requirement for an IF diagnosis and let me try provera to bring on a period and Clomid to hopefully induce ovulation asap. After four rounds of that not working, I dove more deeply into the world of Eastern medicine (acupuncture/herbs/diet changes/etc) to try to fix the root issues and not just treat the symptoms (of PCOS). All of that helped to start to regulate my cycles, but after four cycles of that with still no BFP, I was ready to head to an RE. This was a big decision, because the closest RE is six hours from here, but after 18 months of TTC without ever seeing a second line, I was ready to take the plunge.
From there on out, I’d have to say we were one of the “lucky ones.” I was able to get an appointment with an amazing RE at CCRM just six weeks later, the next month we did all of our diagnostic work, and the month after that we did our first medicated IUI cycle (clomid + menopur). The timing was really hard because my husband was out of town for work during the actual cycle, but by the time he returned, I was ready to test, and after 14 cycles and 21 months of TTC, our dreams came true.
Even with being as proactive as possible and being my own best advocate, it still took us nearly two years to get that BFP. When every single month / cycle feels like an eternity while TTC, I shudder to think how much longer it could have taken if I hadn’t been my own best advocate during the entire process.
Don’t Ignore… that this is a common problem. If you are comfortable with it, share your problems. I guarantee it will end up educating your sisters, your girlfriends, and your next door neighbor…and maybe it will save one of them some time and heartache during their own TTC journey.
Last summer I was on a walk around town with my husband, and we ran into another couple that we know who was also out walking the dogs. The conversation turned to pregnancy (I was just starting to really show) and it came out that they had been trying with no success. I shared a bit of our story, and said to call if she ever needed to talk. About six months later, we ran into each other again, and by then she was ready to do some more research. I lent her my TCOYF and The Infertility Cure books (the bibles of the TTC world, in my opinion), and again, told her to call if she ever wanted to talk.
Just this past month, she contacted me again, and after trying Eastern medicine first, they are on the OB / Clomid part of the journey right now, though because of her age (35), her OB is concerned that they’ll need to jump to IVF if it doesn’t work. I gave her the name of my acupuncturist and my RE and sent her a link to this blog. It sucks balls that she needs my advice, but I tell you what, it feels good to be able to help. I felt so alone at that point in our own journey — I think sometimes it’s just nice to know that someone GETS it. My blogger IF friends were (and are) so crucial to my sanity (thanks ladies!), but it would have been nice to have someone local who understood my pain and frustration while we were in the thick of our TTC troubles.
Don’t Ignore… that this is just one stage on the journey of your life.
Somehow, someday, you will move on to the next stage. You might be parenting (after pregnancy, surrogacy, or adoption) or you might have decided to live child-free, but either way, you will be okay. It is so easy to feel all-consumed by TTC/IF, and it is so important to not forget about the other little things in life… your spouse, your family, your friends, your hobbies, your work… whatever makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Parenting won’t fix the issues in your life, just as living child-free won’t equate to stress-free. Don’t forget to make joy and happiness a priority, no matter what stage of the journey you are on.
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Josey…this last bit, is wonderful. Don't ignore the happiness in your life, at every stage of the journey. It can be so hard to see the forest for the trees, but if you look closely you can see the leaves are just ready to bloom. Thank you for this. 🙂
great post! i wish that i had had someone to give me advice along the way, but now, in my IRL circle, i am a pioneer, armed with information that i'm able to pass on to a couple of my friends who are facing infertility. i'm sure that sharing your experience with your friend has helped her more than you know.
I love your new blog and the set up!
Great post, and I like the blog makeover! I'm glad your neighbor has your help. That's invaluable.