Let's face it, these next couple posts will be all about Oprah. Some people have asked me what I wrote to Oprah that got me on the show. So here is the email I sent last Thursday morning. I will post about our day on Oprah later.
I have brown eyes, my husband has blue. Our mothers tell us we were very active children and probably could have been labeled ADD. I would run away from my mom at the mall and run to the stage to dance for anyone that would watch. My husband was talking in full sentences at age 2. We both had long, string straight, white hair. He played on the chess team in high school, I was in theater. He plays violin, I play flute.. He plays volleyball, racquetball and mountain bikes, I ran cross country and track in high school, college and still actively run today. Can you imagine what our child will be like? Yeah, so do we, and we may never know.
My husband and I have been trying to have a child of our own. Someone who will represent the two of us. It's been over two years. We started slow and relaxed. After a year of trying the doctor said I had to wake up every morning to take and chart my temperature to make sure I was ovulating. Then started the tests; invasive and sometimes painful. Blood was drawn, more blood was drawn again, ultrasounds, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), semen analysis, more pap smears, and then it was onto a specialist. He met with us, studied our charts and said, "I don’t understand why you aren't pregnant, lets try intrauterine insemination (IUI)." I had to start taking Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) which comes with side effects; dizziness, hot flashes, mood swings and headaches. More blood work, more ultrasounds, trigger shots that bruised my butt and then the IUI, which I describe as having sex with a catheter. Two tries, not pregnant. We were physically, emotionally and financially spent. We needed a break and took the summer off. We endured baptisms at church, family gatherings with children running around and many pregnancy announcements. We stayed pretty strong through it all but did have a couple breakdowns. One more IUI and another negative pregnancy test. I just don't understand how women get pregnant their first time trying, or not trying.
After much research and referrals we decided to make an appointment with a fertility clinic in Gurnee, IL (we live in Milwaukee, WI). An hour drive, more blood draws, another ultrasound an hour consultation with the Doctor, and a review of the success rates we decided to use this clinic. We are on the road to our first In vitro fertilization (IVF). But before we started we needed more tests done. More time off of work, another hour drive for blood work, lining tests, ultrasounds, a hysteroscopy and others I can't even remember. My husband also learned how to mix the medications and use the syringe for the injections he will have to give me, twice a day for at least 10 days. This is just a taste of what IVF includes.
Financially we had to take out a home equity loan to afford IVF because majority of insurance companies refuse to pay for infertility. Their claim? It's a lifestyle choice. Emotionally it has been rough. There are times I just break down crying for no reason and my husband just holds me. Fortunately it has not been a strain on our relationship. If anything, I have fallen in love with my husband all over again and more and more each day. He has been my rock.
My current fight is awareness. I'm not afraid to share my story. I blog about our infertility. Our family and close friends know what we are going through and I try to educate them as much as possible.
We may never have children or our own. But we are going to fight as hard as we can. Will we try donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryos or adoption? Probably not at this point. But we have peace with our decision at this time in our lives.
But for now, bring on the medications, injections and lets pray this works.