Obviously, one doesn’t just up and decide that IVF is the solution to their problems. Here is a recap of how we got here:
2006. The husband and I met in June. Our first official date (after I asked him out!) was the 3rd of July. It was, as far as dates go, pretty awesome. It even ended with fireworks over the ocean- how’s that for cliché? We dated pretty casually, as I was only 20 and had just moved to Honolulu. My plan was to have fun and play the field. Meeting my husband less than a week after arriving in Hawaii really screwed up those plans…but who can resist a man in uniform?
Randall was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December 2006. His plan was to return to Texas and enroll in college. However, once he met me, he also made some unexpected life decisions and ended up extending his time on the island (which is huge, because he could not wait to get off that island). We ended up moving in together in early 2007.
2007. On our one year anniversary, July 3rd, we returned to the same table at the same restaurant as our first date. During the fireworks, he gave me my anniversary gift- a locket with “Forever” engraved on the back. He then told me he had one more thing, and reached into his pocket. I could not have been more surprised when he pulled out a ring! Being engaged at 21 was never in my life plan. But that’s what I get for trying to plan.
Post engagement, we were already living together, and I was on birth control. Until one day, we just kind of decided to quit using it. We were planning on getting married anyway, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we conceived. We weren’t “trying” to get pregnant, but we certainly weren’t doing anything to prevent it.
2010. A few years later…the wedding. August 14. Pretty much immediately following the festivities (once the hangover subsided) we started paying much closer attention to my cycle. I downloaded apps that helped us track my ovulation. I used ovulation predictor kits. I layed upside down for hours. I took care of myself as if I were pregnant, cutting out sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. After a couple months of not getting pregnant, I (for the first time) really started to worry that something wasn’t right.
Things got busy. Randall was offered a law enforcement job and was busy with the academy. I was working tons of overtime at work. On top of that, we were both going to school full time. And trying to regularly go to the gym. And keep the house clean. And have a social life. There was never enough time. Looking back, it seems like those years flew by. But even as busy as we were, we watched the calendar religiously. Every. Single. Month.
2012. It was time to do something, talk to someone. I made an appointment with the Reproductive Endocrinology office for a consultation. After speaking with us, they seemed equally surprised that at our age, and the amount of time we’d been trying, we’d had no luck. They immediately prescribed Letrazole- a stimulating hormone that produces more than one egg during ovulation. We tried the Letrazole for three months at a dose of 5mg. The side effects were minimal, and I responded really well to the drugs. I was producing multiple follicles each month, just like I was supposed to. We were cautiously optimistic. All three months, no luck.
2013. After taking a couple months break from the drugs, we were ready to try again. This time we decided to pursue IUI (intrauterine insemination). I took the Letrazole again in a higher 7.5mg dose. This time, the side effects were much more noticeable. Weight gain, headaches, and the general feeling of golf balls in my ovaries. Not fun. Each month, once my follicles looked ready, I gave myself a “trigger” shot of HcG that would tell my body to open the gates and let all of the eggs out. Exactly 36 hours later, Randall and I had to return to the doctor where his sample was “washed” (leaving all the best swimmers) and inseminated directly into my uterus. Sounds foolproof. We were, again, so very hopeful. We did the IUI protocol three times with no luck. And those negative pregnancy tests were the hardest to take. So many emotions: sadness, anger, grief, and terror at what the future holds. The doctor didn’t have to tell us what we already knew. IUI wasn’t working. If IUI doesn’t work, there’s really only one option left. IVF.
2014. Our first consult with an IVF doctor. I wanted to throw up. I felt like I was sitting across the desk from a cheesy car salesman, telling me that their starting price of $20,000 (before medications) was competitive for what I was going to receive. Yeah, no. We had two more consultations before we decided where we were headed for IVF…and we couldn’t be more thrilled!