Monday, March 28, 2011

Not ovulating is not "lucky"

Back in high school when I was the "lucky" one amongst all my friends for not having a period, I had a sinking feeling I would have trouble having children in the future. My mom took me to the doctor to see if something was wrong and I was referred to a fertility specialist right off the bat. I didn't think much of it since he told me after the exam I shouldn't have much trouble getting pregnant when it was my time. 8 years later, I believe he's eating his words.

I continued seeing this doctor though since he kept reassuring me he could get me pregnant with little trouble whenever I was ready. Again, I began to question thi in the back of my mind. He was my regular OB/GYN and I decided to just trust him. He was the specialist. He knew what he was doing. He sent me every few years for an MRI making sure I still didn't have a benign tumor in my head (for what reason, he never made clear to me). I trusted his judgment--he was the expert. All throughout college I decided not to worry about it and continue being the "lucky" one without a period.

Then I got married. I asked my doctor again if I would have trouble getting pregnant. He said I would be fine with a little help from some medication. I asked if he meant Clomid and he shook his head yes. But he didn't elaborate any further. So I went with that. Whenever my husband and I were ready, we would just go to him for the medication and instantly be pregnant.

Well 2 years ago, we were ready. He took me off the pill 6 months ahead of when we wanted to start trying with the "medication". Of course no miracle so we ended up back in his office. Another MRI showing no tumor and we were cleared for fertility treatments. Wait, what? I thought he said I would only need medication. Hmmm. A little confused, but again, he was the expert. He asked me to come back and we would sit down and talk about my options/plan. My husband had to work that day so I went solo. I should never go solo to doctor's appointments. I hear one thing and I run with it! Then I get confused, panic and leave the office feeling completely anxious and nauseated because of all the words swirling in my head.

From what I "remember" about that appointment, I should have written things down! I remember my doctor explaining that we were not going with Clomid because it wouldn't work for me. However, he didn't explain why and I was so anxious I didn't even ask why. He just explained we would be doing IUI and starting me on some shots to help stimulate my eggs. To show how much I was confused, I even went so far as to ask, "well, how many times and when are we supposed to, you know, have sex to conceive? Isn't it like every other day?"  He just looked at me, smirked and said, "that's the point. You won't have to."  Oh, I thought to myself.  Don't I feel dumb. Okay, he's the expert. He left abruptly and said the nurse would answer any questions I had.  I couldn't think straight enough at that point, but the nurse went on to explain more about how we have to come back in for more testing and a teaching session on how to give the shots. Now, if you knew me all growing up, you would know that I had a TERRIBLE fear of shots. I can't even give blood because I faint. Well, I thought to myself, this should be interesting. What the heck did I just sign up for?

We went back for the lesson on shot-giving, which my husband is fully capable and good at doing (he's a pharmacist who gives flu shots every year). Yet, I wanted to prove a point. I wanted to give myself the shots. I wanted to overcome my fear for my future children. I had a hand (at least a little bit) in helping to create a new life inside of me by giving myself these shots. Easier said than done. When the time came for my first shot, I believe I started hyperventalating as I was sanitizing the spot on my belly. I even called my mom over in case I passed out since my husband was at work. I had to give myself the shots because they had to be given at the same time each day and his work schedule varied so I had no choice! Well, with a little handshaking, cringing and a little bruising afterward, I DID IT! Each time after that I was able to give myself the shot as well. That is one of my proudest achievements, as silly as that sounds. Not to mention a good way of de-sensitizing yourself since all fertility treatments involve are shots and blood tests. If only that would have been it. Little did I know it wouldn't work that easily and that would not be even close to the last simple "medication" I would need to get pregnant.

So looking back on it, not having a period, not so "lucky". From time to time, I did feel lucky. Especially in summer when it didn't matter what week we went on vacation and I never had to schedule pool time around any "special visitor".  Now, I would give anything not to be the lucky one. Not ovulating sucks.

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