We Just Don’t Do It Right – Part II

Yesterday, I wrote about our struggles with infertility. I described our first attempts at ‘trying’ to conceive naturally, then our diagnosis of unexplained infertility, and on to our first attempt of using fertility treatments. Today, I’m going to describe our next attempts with using fertility treatments.

Disclaimer: I am SO not a medical professional! The following described procedures are as I remembered them being explained to us, and/or from our personal understandings. Please seek medical advice and do not use this as scientifically reliable information!

Another Disclaimer: Total layman and very unscientific definitions coming your way! These are in my own words and should not be considered 100% correct, so if you are a doctor, nurse, medical student, please forgive any mistakes that you may read :)

Our initial attempt at fertility treatments did not work. 3 more months gone. And I’m not getting any younger!

So we talk to our doctor again, and she suggests one of two procedures:
In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) – A process in which they again make me produce multiple eggs by taking hormone shots, and then extracting several eggs from my non-baby-making womb and collecting hubby’s sperm. (Total side note: bow-chicka-bow-wow…that’s my attempt at music heard in old school porn, when in fact, hubby didn’t even get to watch videos to lend him a hand (pun totally intended). Instead he got some old magazines that didn’t really help get the job done). They then take my eggs and his sperm and put them in a petri dish to make sure that the eggs gets fertilized. After that, they take the fertilized eggs and put them back in to said non-baby-making womb.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – They again make me take shots of hormone drugs to make me produce multiple eggs. They then  take hubby’s sperm (bow-chicka-bow-wow) and put it into what looks like a miniature turkey baster and insert it inside of me when I’m ovulating.

It was recommended that we go with IVF (based on a number of different factors). So, we did. Oh, did I forget to mention that IVF is about three times as expensive as IUI? Yeah, it is. And so begins the process: scheduling what happens when down to days (sometimes hours), lots of monitoring, lots of drugs, and lots and lots of shots.

I started taking all the drugs I needed to get my body prepared for the IVF. Shots morning, noon, and night. Lots and lots of shots….hundreds, as a matter of fact. No, I’m not exaggerating, either. Between trying to get pregnant, and the shots I continued to take after getting pregnant, I stopped counting at around 300. Hubby said it’s lucky he didn’t have to get the shots or we wouldn’t be having any babies!

It also involved going in a couple of times a week for monitoring by an internal ultrasound to see how many eggs were developing and how big they were getting. Now mind you, we were both working full time, so all of these doctor appointments were very inconvenient for me! I was EXTREMELY lucky to have a totally understanding boss who let me do whatever I needed to do, whenever I needed to do it.

Finally, we were told it was time to have the eggs removed. We went in and had it done. I’m not even going to tell you how painful the egg extraction was for me (Note: It is not normally a painful procedure. Let’s just say my very tilted uterus did not help matters any…and if something is tilted, said tilted thing needs to be clamped down and yanked forward).

A week later, we were told we had three fertilized eggs! That means that they would be putting all three back inside of my non-baby-making womb. And yes, that meant that there was a chance of having triplets…eek! They put them back in (didn’t hurt nearly as bad as when they had to get them out).

Two weeks later – we went in to take a blood test to see if I was pregnant. We were to get the results later that day. We went to a movie to keep ourselves occupied, and when we came home there was a message on the machine – from the doctor…we found out we were pregnant! Success! On our first attempt!

I had an extremely easy pregnancy and loved being pregnant. Other than being tired, I never got morning sickness or any other yucky pregnancy symptoms.

And here is the fruit of our labors…Tater was born in August 2007.

And just because a picture’s worth a thousand words, even though hubby will probably kill me for showing this, here he is watching his precious first son entering the world. Not quite what he was expecting, I don’t think! He looks kinda grossed out. I can’t imagine why. I was smart enough not to take a peek at the miracle of birth. And please, no comments about my pasty, white leg.

 

And after our first successful pregnancy and birth, we were told that we’d probably be able to get pregnant now since my body knew what it was supposed to do. And a year and a half later, still no more babies.

So back to the doctor we went. This time, since we successfully did IVF, we decided to take the cheaper route and just give IUI a shot. So more scheduling, shots, and monitoring. And we went in for the procedure the day after Christmas 2008. And two weeks later…yes! Success again! It worked.

A few weeks later, I went in for my first ultrasound to determine just how many babies were in there. Since we only had one baby with the IVF, neither one of us figured we’d get two this time, ha ha on us! My mom went with me to the ultrasound because hubby just started a new job and couldn’t get out of work. As soon as they started the ultrasound, there it was…clear as day, 2 babies! Shock!

This we weren’t expecting – I mean, we knew it was a possibility, but still didn’t think it would actually happen! And this pregnancy? Not as easy as the first. I was on moderate bedrest from about 16 weeks on due to contractions (even though I was on drugs to stop them, they kept coming).

I was also told that I had AMA. Not familiar with this term?…oh, you’ll love this…35 year old Natalie had advanced maternal age! So between my AMA and the fact that I was carrying twins, I had to go to a genetic specialist to monitor the babies heartbeats and growth twice a week, every week. It was fine with me because every time I went I got a quickie ultrasound so that they’d know where to but the monitor to listen to the babies hearts.

There were a couple of admittances to the hospitals due to contractions as well…but I held on until 35 weeks. I went to my gyno for my weekly checkup, and when he checked me he said “I can feel toes! Are you ready to have these babies?”

The girls were born 5 weeks early, but completely healthy. No NICU or anything. By the time I got out of recovery (I had to have a C-section because both girls were breach) both babies were brought to me. Here again are the fruits of our labors.

Ms. L and Ms. M – August 2009

The reason I wrote two very long posts is because when I was dealing with infertility, I was alone. None of my family understood what we were going through because we were surrounded by frickin’ Fertile Myrtles. None of our friends had this problem.

My goal in writing these posts is twofold; 1) so my children understand all that we went through to have them, and 2) to help other women out there understand that they aren’t alone, that their feelings are normal, and to hang in there. I know not every story has a happy ending, but I am so thankful that ours was.

When we used to tell people that we had unexplained infertility, they’d ask “What’s that”? I would explain that there was nothing wrong with us, that we just didn’t do ‘it’ right. Now that we have kids (and spent so much money to get them!), whenever one of them is acting up (usually Tater!), hubby turns to me and says “Can you believe how much money we paid to get him?!”. And it’s a joke, but there is probably a tiny bit of truth to it, too :)

And they lived happily ever after…

Comments

  1. you are so funny, i love that you make me laugh :) so happy to see your beautiful, if expensive, blessings. thank you for sharing your story, i know it will help others to know they are not alone.

  2. Funky Mama Bird says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love reading other people's stories, since ours was also… unconventional, although in a totally different way. Glad you had a happy ending!

  3. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:

    I went through infertility treatments too, successfully, I'm happy to say, and I have an amazing little boy (now 14!) as a result.

    But I remember that grief, that constant waiting where each month felt like an eternity…and how very alone (and broken) I felt when so many of my friends and peers were rosy and pregnant, or showing off their newborns. I should have been thrilled for them, and I just couldn't be. And I would hide – I felt so wretched that I couldn't celebrate with them it was easier to withdraw.

    Really enjoyed your blog, and so happy you have wonderful, beautiful little ones on the other end of it.

  4. You are so funny…Love the pic of hubby at the birth of Tater. I did'nt let Steve "look" during our births and neither did I….I just did not want to know how bad it got down there. Thankfully when I give birth it is super fast and no one is asking us to take a look, they were always more worried about catching the baby before it shot out!
    Thanks for sharing your happy ending!

  5. If you are considered AMA at 35, what is that chick that had em at 60 considered? Geesh….
    I enjoyed reading your post and so glad it worked out for you. So now that your body REALLY knows what to do, triplets? :)

  6. Uh no…NO WAY, actually! I went ahead and had my tubes tied during the C-section with the twins. We didn't want to chance a "surprise" that we weren't expecting! We are D-O-N-E!

  7. Wow. That's quite a journey to have kids. I'm glad it all worked out, but I'm sure you are super busy these days. We never went through any of that, but didn't conceive our first until 8 years of marriage. Definitely not my timetable.

    Never heard of AMA either.

    Oh, and that picture… PRICELESS!! Love it.

  8. Natalie, I was AMA with Ember and it was posted on every single piece of paper during my pregnancy…seriously, they acted like I was birthing my own grandkids or something!

  9. We dealt with infertility due to my PCOS for three years. I was on Clomid 5 or 6 times…another drug once that started making me sick. We did 4 IUI's (intrauterine insemination)…the forth took and gave us our beautiful son Riley. When he was 20 months old I found out that I was (VERY unexpectedly) 2 months pregnant with his baby brother, Kaden.
    Infertility is hard to deal with, but what's even harder sometimes are the people that try to help and inevitably say the wrong things. They mean well, so you can't get mad. Hopefully with more awareness people will become more educated.
    Love your blog!

  10. Heather, that's hilarious, but so true! I never really felt "old" until I found out about AMA! A girlfriend of mine that's a couple of years older than me didn't have AMA…and we had the same OB/GYN! I guess I look older than her 😉

    Jen – I know how difficult just doing one cycle is, I can't imagine doing four of them! I'm happy to hear that you were able to get pregnant naturally after that!
    Yes, infertility is awful. It's so hard to remember when you are in the middle of it that people only want to help and don't mean to say the wrong things. I was probably not the nicest person during that time.

  11. Loved your posts on your IVF journey!

    "hubby turns to me and says "Can you believe how much money we paid to get him?!". And it's a joke, but there is probably a tiny bit of truth to it, too :)"

    We do this too!! LOL
    I too am glad we both got our happy endings after years of trying to achieve our families.

  12. Love this happy ending. And I think it's great that you are so open. Your kids will thank you some day. Beautiful family too!

  13. The Bormann Family says:

    Stopping by from SITS. I have twin boys about a year older than your twins. It sure is a crazy life, I couldn't imagine 3 under 3!

  14. Hi! I found you from Mommy Wears Stilettos…what an amazing story and journey you have been on.

    Just love the newborn pics!

  15. The Activity Mom says:

    "Met" you at Mom Loop and now I'm stopping by from SITS on blog frog. I'm your newest follower! =) Can't remember if you've stopped by my blog yet (I'd like to blame that on mom brain). =) If not, stop over when you have a second…

  16. One Love Mama says:

    What a beautiful whirlwind!

  17. I couldn't wait to come back and read this next part! Thank you so much for sharing what I'm sure was a very difficult time in your life. You can't possibly know how many people you might have helped or encouraged simply by sharing your experience with infertility.

    We have ongoing joke as well about how much we've spent to have our children…when the kids want something that's rather expensive and we say no, they always ask "why not?". I'm like, "Uh, look in the mirror…" Seriously, we are STILL paying off 4 IVF cycles from years ago!!! Although we did end up with 2 freebies (Garrett and Landon) we still spent a whole lotta money.

    They're definitely worth every single penny though!

  18. So precious! I love the baby pictures and the twins together almost make me want twins, I did say almost. I am glad you got your beautiful babies. It seams unfair that a woman who wants to be a mother would have to go through all that and sometimes doesn't get the happy ending. I always worried that would happen to me. Thanks for sharing.

  19. The Activity Mom says:

    I quoted you this morning in my Baby Activity – Teething post! =)

  20. Michelle says:

    I'm glad everything worked out for you. It's nice you are offering support to others with fertility issues. I've thought about what it must be like. There has never been a day in my life that I thought I didn't want kids. I was lucky enough to not have fertility issues. I had twins when my oldest was two years old. We had three in diapers. There's Eric 8, Hailey 6, and Luke 6.
    I became pregnant with twins the first month we tried. I went to my first appointment as soon as I found out. He did an ultrasound. He suspected twins. I thought maybe a tubal pregnancy. He pointed out two heads and I almost fainted. I took pictures home of the ultrasound. There were three pictures. There were two with one baby showing and one with two babies. I showed them to my husband. I said, "Here's your baby. Here's your baby. Here's your babies." He went around mumbling, "Two babies?" for days.
    You are in the middle of a very busy time with your children. Hang in there it gets easier. I love your husband's way of coping.

  21. Natalie says:

    Helene – we always say with the girls we got a buy one, get one free deal! Money well spent 😉

    Michelle – I love that story!! My hubby did walk around doing the same thing. Actually, we probably both did!

  22. Jessica - One Shiny Star says:

    Your children look so precious. Though I have not been through anything that can compare to the stress and emotions you experienced, I can empathize. I was trying to tell my husband that every one but us is having kids right now, so I counted through all of my facebook friends… and when I got to 60, I stopped counting. I guess I can understand what it's like to want a child, and not have one – while every one else seems to be popping them out.

  23. I loved reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing it!! =)

  24. Christy says:

    I just read your whole fertility story. I can't even imagine how you felt during that time, but I am glad you finally got your happy ending:)

  25. Christine says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love happy endings and I'm so glad you have three beautiful children!!

  26. Big Mama Cass says:

    WOW! Love that you shared your story! Quick rundown on me (cause you totally didn't ask) we have been undergoing infertility for 7 years with 6 pregnancy losses and one gorgeous 2 year old kiddo. 3 rounds of IUI, TONS of shots, even more pills, even seizures from one of the meds that put me in the hospital, years of doubt and a planned IVF for later this year. The money spent (under which NONE is covered by insurance) is enough to make you hang a sign above your kids bed that says "I SPENT A LOT ON YOU! DON'T MAKE ME GET A REFUND!" HAHAHA!! But seriously, it's all worth it. I just keep plugging away! Hoping next time it will stick :) We are going to do another IUI next month.

  27. SoCalFashionista says:

    Just went back and found both of these posts from your post today. I just had my egg retrieval on Monday and Saturday morning my 2 little embryos will be transferred. We've had a few rough years dealing with infertility and I hope and pray we will have a happy ending. Congratulations on your beautiful children :)

  28. Newmomagain says:

    AMA smacks a little, doesn't it? I had my daughter, Olivia, at 40. We tried for five + years. No real interventions but lots of testing.(I have two boys by a previous marriage, but we too had unexplained infertility) About two years after we decided we were absolutely, definitely, without a doubt, finished trying, I got pregnant. Surprise!!!!! Every time I went to the doctor, they kindly reminded me I was AMA. Every time. Seriously. So glad your story turned out to have such a happy ending!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), and it’s a very important week in my life. I started blogging in March 2010, and first shared my struggles with infertility during last year’s NIAW. You can read about my unexplained infertility in these posts: We Just Don’t Do It Right – Part 1 and We Just Don’t Do It Right – Part II. […]

  2. […] bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and would never change struggling through infertility and paying for fertility treatments to conceive them. I couldn’t imagine life without them! […]

  3. […] years of battling infertility, just 2 weeks after our first fertility treatment, I got to see our son for the first time. I know […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge