Two years ago today, on Valentine's Day, we received the life-changing news that IVF was our best option if we wanted to have biological children (is that the right term? It sounds funny). We had been trying for 3 years and my OB had sent me for some tests, but nothing major, and not even and HSG would have diagnosed me immediately. We were definitely pokey about it and I was not at all aggressive about figuring it out. I thought it would happen when it happened and life was good, so why mess it up with all this possible IF stuff? The summer of 2007 I started taking my temp and tracking and all that stuff. I could see that I ovulated normally (one OB had misdiagnosed me with PCOS, but I never believed it because I ovulated - I do look like a PCOS girl though - I have all tell-tale signs so i get why she thought it, but it's always bothered me that she was so quick to size me up and send me on the wrong track). I had FINALLY read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" (which my dear friend Bridget had given me YEARS before but I never read it - so regretful) and it was life changing. I learned so much and I finally felt empowered to take the bull by the horns.
In November 2007 I bit the bullet and called my IF clinic. I found it on my own, on the internet! They put us through the round of tests, including an HSG which at the time I thought was normal. When I think back, I remember the dr making that fake smiley face as she tried to get the dye through my left tube. She didn't want to tell me it was all 'effed up. She wanted me to wait until valentines day.
So on February 14, 2008 we had our follow up where I fully expected she would tell us that we were perfect, but for some reason not conceiving. I thought she'd say that we'll do some IUIs and, of course, it would work on the first or second try. Up until that point I was on the side that said I would NEVER go through what it takes to do IVF. I have a dear friend who went through 3 rounds (the lovely mommy of twins now, hi Katie!) and I witnessed the strength it required and i knew I didn't have it in me to go through that. (this memory makes me literally LAUGH MY ASS OFF now that I think about it all - I would announce to people that there is no way we would ever do IVF...man, how things change)
So we sat down in the room with my dear Dr. Browne and she went through everything. All of Russ's stuff was normal. My hormones were normal, but she was slightly concerned about my elevated FSH level as it could indicate that my eggs were pooping out. Nothing to worry about yet, but just something to keep in the back of our mind. Then she got to the HSG results. Basically my left tube was shot (hydrosalphinx). I would need surgery to fix it (though not likely it would repair) or remove it. Considering this, she suggested surgery ASAP followed by IVF. It felt like a death sentence. I was so happy that I was so educated about it all at the time because I understood every word she said. Russ didn't, so there was some explaining to do. All of the sudden I just started sobbing right there at the table. It was horrible. I "knew" that I would never do IVF, so this meant that weren't having kids. (I'm so extreme, I know) I tried to get it together and we went out and scheduled a follow up to prepare for surgery and the ball got rolling. In my mind, I didn't understand why we still wouldn't do IUI since I had one good tube left (or so I thought). But I took it one step at a time and waited for the surgery to be scheduled.
When we left the office, I howled with tears at the elevator. It was horrible. They really need a crying room there. Russ and I had come in separate cars, so it wasn't like we were leaving together. I literally howled, that's the best way to describe it. I don't ever remember crying like that before, although I certainly have since. Happy Valentine's Day.
I'm not going to detail everything after that, just that surgery was April '08 and they blocked the left tube and discovered that I had so many adhesions that the right tube was useless. IVF was truly the last resort and we just did it. Over and over and over again. I remember that spring being a time of grief. Surrendering myself to IVF was extremely difficult. It was so limiting and, I thought, scary. Luckily we both have kick-ass insurance that has covered all 5 cycles, without which we wouldn't have been able to do any of it. Of course, I quickly learned that IVF was quite manageable and not bad at all. I know everyone says it, but it's not the shots. For me, it's the detailed information and knowing way too much to the point where it makes you crazy during the initial stages, the fertilization report, the 2ww. The emotional ups and downs were the worst part by far. Who am i kidding? They still are. =)
And so here I am, 6 am on Valentine's Day, almost 12 weeks pregnant! What a difference 2 years can make, right?