Women, as we age, our reproductive hormones change and so it happened… I ultimately had to have fertility treatment to become pregnant with my youngest child. Never in a million years did I think I would need help becoming pregnant. I had served as a gestational surrogate, and even though I did not carry to term I had become pregnant when the odds were against me. I had also been an egg donor, and another family had a baby with my egg. I was so confused as to how at 24-25 years old we were not getting pregnant. Each month that I got my period I was angry. Each month getting more and more angry. I had become pregnant so easily at 18, and was watching those around me becoming pregnant. I remember being upset at my then sister-in-laws baby shower and stepping away to call her brother to have a minor meltdown. I yelled at him for forcing me to not only go, but to help with the baby shower. How could he be so mean?! Why did everyone expect me to be ok with this!? The truth was I wanted to help, I asked to help, I was excited there was going to be a new baby and I really loved my sister-in-law. I just needed to emotionally breakdown and my partner took it very well. He took the brunt of my anger, thank goodness.
The first cycle we did, cancelled, I had overstimulated. The second cycle failed. Now I was sad. I remember being scared I would not have another baby. Up until that point I did not understand why people were so upset by second degree infertility, but now I knew. I had a dream in my mind and having a second child was definitely a big part of that dream. The third cycle the lab director came out and told me that the odds that I would become pregnant were very low, but to not give up hope because I would get pregnant. I appreciated her honesty.
One week later…I felt like I was run over my a truck. My whole body hurt and there was not enough sleep in the world to make me feel better. I demanded a pregnancy test because, if I felt so awful and if I was not pregnant, I wanted medication. To my shock and surprise the Bhcg level was 16, and I figured the pregnancy would not continue normally because the level was so low. I was certain this was going to be a biochemical, and had my blood drawn two days later. If I remember correctly the second level was 64, and I still did not believe everything was going to be ok. I knew too much. I knew things could go wrong, and I was pretty sure it was going to end badly. The first ultrasound day was faced with serious anticipation and when I saw my little grain of rice with a heartbeat, I was amazed! We were thrilled, and I thankfully now have a great 16 year old son because of modern medicine.
Though facing infertility was something I was certain I would never experience, I am in a strange way thankful I did. I now know the world of infertility from all angles. First a surrogate, then a donor, and lastly a patient. Each experience and situation caused personal growth, and gave me the professional and personal experiences I need to care for intended parents, egg donors, and surrogates.