Friday, February 10, 2017

Update: Where's the Stork?

It's been a while since I've been able to update. I could give you a ton of excuses, like we haven't traveled, or that I've been busy with work, you know the normal things that happens when you're not in Europe anymore and 20 Euro round trip tickets aren't an option, and that would be the truth. But then again, that wouldn't be a story and I wouldn't be writing about what been going on in our lives.

So I'm not going to say we haven't been travelling, we have--just not as frequently as we used to. I have posts from this past summer travels that I haven't caught up on yet. Whoops!

What's been going on in our lives? Well, the big news, we're trying to have a baby. Well I guess for family and friends it's not news. I'll back up a bit, (feel free to skip over this part) for almost 4 years, we've been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby. While we were in Germany, at the ripe old age of 24 and 25, we decided that we were ready to have a baby. Fast forward 6 months, nothing was happening we decided to get our yearly physical. It was around this time that we found out Drew had cancerous nodules on his thyroid. Our doctors told us this could be the reason we were so unsuccessful. Fast forward 6 months, the nodules and 95% of his thyroid were taken out, and there were no cancerous cell are found, Drew got put on thyroid medication and his doctor told us we should be good to go.

By this time, we have officially been a trying for a year and nothing had happened, so I decide to get checked out...2 months later after fighting with Tricare (sometimes I really hate this insurance), luckily I had a great PCM who trusted and listened to my concerns, we FINALLY got the go ahead to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Only problem, he was the ONLY Reproductive Endocrinologist in our area, and yet he was still over an hour away from where we lived! We did the normal blood tests, and cervix exam, we found out that my tubes are open, but I don't ovulate on my own! :(

So the daily shots started. It wasn't a cake walk. To be honest that was one of the hardest times Drew and I have been through. Every night before bed it was Drew's job to give me my shots, because if he didn't do it, there was no way I would do it. Except for those few times where he was away training and I had to do it myself, (that really sucked). I'd complain about it, and all Drew would reply with was "Hail baby" (Married with Children reference) and that seems to be our mantra when I hate doing things. I don't even remember how many night I spent crying because I hated needles and I hated having to get shots every night and I hated the fact that while all my friends were getting pregnant and I felt like no one understood. It didn't help that we were left with the endless questions of "When will you be having a baby?" or "That happened to my friend, then they jut relaxed and it just happened."

When all was said and done, we went through 4 rounds of injections and Timed Intercourse (it's exactly what it sounds like, I see a doctor and he tells us exactly when to do it), then when that didn't work and we had saved up some money, we decided to try an IUI (Intrauterine insemination it's a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to shorten the distance the sperm has to travel) before heading back to the States. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

I'll fast forward again (I'm trying to keep this as short as possible): One deployment, multiple training exercises, TDY, and a transatlantic PCS ("Military Move", for all those who are unfamiliar with Military terms). We've come full circle. We are back to seeing another RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist). Two months of retesting and we have a final prognosis that we can understand: Dual factor infertility.

Which in  the world of infertility is apparently normal. Who knew? We got a more in depth diagnosis, I guess it helps when there isn't a language barrier. The reason I don't ovulate is because I have PCOS, (Polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition in which a woman's levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance.) and come to find out, I have a low ovarian reserve, which means at my ripe old age of 28, I have as much eggs as someone who is 40. Go figure. For the hubby, although his sperm count is off the charts, and his motility is great. My RE is worried about the shape of the sperm. Which, who actually thinks about the shape? Apparently that matters just as much! -_-

We are only given a 5% chance of conceiving while on medication, the nightly injections, and only a 1% chance of conceiving naturally on our own. As opposed to a couple without infertility struggles who have a 20% chance of conceiving naturally. But since our insurance will only cover TI, for the next few months, we're going to take advantage of not having to pay medical bills.

My doctor has given us a 40-70% success rate if we go through IVF, most people are familiar with this term, IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus. Ultimately we know that we will have to do IVF. And my point in writing this is just to explain and for those who want to hear our story, for a long time I felt ashamed that we were struggling with infertility. I distanced myself from my friends, I'd make up excesses not to hang out and just wallow in the fact that I must have done something wrong in a past life and now I was being punished for it. Then one day I realized that it wasn't anyone's fault, that we weren't bad people, and that infertility isn't something that I should be ashamed of. After all, 1 in 8 people struggles from infertility, so we know we aren't alone.

Unfortunately our travels will slow down, they won't stop. We've been bitten by the travel bug and want to some how make it to all 50 states together. But right now our new adventure is focusing on the path of starting a family, and who knows what other adventures we may come across along the way!