THE IVF WARRIOR
My journey officially began in 2012 at the age of 23. My husband and I had already tried for several years to conceive naturally and took 6 months of clomid with no luck. I knew I’d have issues conceiving because of my pcos and endometriosis, but I didn’t think it would end up being this hard. Our next step was to start with a fertility clinic. I remember feeling optimistic that IUI would be recommended and work, but after various testing, this wasn’t even an option. Aside from pcos and #endo, I now had 2 completely blocked tubes and a heart shaped uterus thrown into the mix. I was left feeling completely shocked and in disbelief that I had all these issues. How could this be possible?!
Over the years I've had 7 laparoscopy surgeries to treat endometriosis, a hysteroscopy to reshape my heart shaped uterus, and a bilateral salpingectomy – both fallopian tubes removed. I’ve completed 2 fresh IVF cycles and 5 FET. I’ve never had an FET work – only 1 ever took but resulted in a miscarriage. Both fresh cycles resulted in pregnancy and OHSS. The second cycle resulted in severe OHSS though, which meant daily monitoring, drainage, hospital visits, and complications for 3 months – all while pregnant. It was the most horrifying experience of my life, and I completely understand why a lot of clinics prefer to be extra cautious with certain women to help prevent this.
Infertility hasn’t been an easy road, it’s come with a lot of sacrifice (financially, mentally, career, and even relationships). My husband and I have given up jobs because it was too hard to juggle with treatments, opted to save for treatments instead of buying a home, missed important events like our sister’s destination wedding because infertility stuff got in the way, and have endured strains in a lot of relationships with family and friends. But, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat to have my 2 children.
Through this experience I’ve learned a lot of lessons from patience, becoming more relaxed with the process (can’t plan too far ahead/there’s a lot of waiting involved), and self-care. There are times when you feel lost and empty, like you’re being pulled in a million directions and you have nothing left to give – try to prevent this from happening by taking time for yourself every day. Know that eventually all of this will make sense, but for now, there’s nothing more important than your wellbeing. Take a walk, talk to a friend, even read a book, just enjoy you time and fund joy in the little moments!
Joining this community, sharing my experiences, writing, and connecting with women all over the world has given me a new direction in life – one I’m grateful for. My goal since getting everything out in the open has been to help spread awareness, educate others, and support women who are struggling. I hope that by working together, we’re able to change the conversation about infertility, and end the stigma, shame, and loneliness.