Our Infertility Journey: Part Four
Infertility impacts approximately 15% of couples in America and is a result of abnormal functioning of the male or female reproductive systems. Because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), I live with one of the most common causes of infertility in women.
To be clear, my goal with these posts is to be open. Since we began fertility treatments in 2016 I've done a lot of searching to find experiences and stories from women living with PCOS and/or going through fertility treatments, and so far I haven't come up with much. Because I want to hear about what other women are experiencing, I am sure that others out there feel the same. While I know this is my story, I hope that by sharing it openly I will help someone else through whatever they are experiencing.
Eight months ago I shared the last update in our infertility journey. Since then we’ve had some disappointment, a well deserved break and a renewed sense of energy and hope, and I’m excited to share with you where we are in the process now!
When I last posted, we were in the middle of our fourth Clomid cycle since moving to Pennsylvania. While the other cycles we had undergone had resulted in great follicle and uterine lining development, this cycle didn’t result in anything. My body didn’t respond to the medications in the way that it had been. Disappointed and feeling overwhelmed at the thought of continuing cycles into the summer months, Kurt and I decided to take a break. We both had lots of other personal and professional commitments that were going to pull us in different directions throughout the summer and knew that the timing would make it difficult to continue.
Over the summer we had lots of time to reflect on our experiences thus far. We also experienced loss in other ways when my grandfather passed away in the end of June. The months of July and August feel like a blur now looking back and had we continued to try I think we would have had just a horrible time of it.
There were certainly moments during those months when I regretted our decision to take that break. While it was necessary for our mental health, our bank accounts and our happiness together, it still felt disappointing to continue to wait. Many of my closest friends have welcomed first and second babies into their families since we’ve been in treatments, and it’s been easy for me to feel jealous or angry at times. But if my journey through infertility has taught me anything it’s that I have to be comfortable walking my path AND celebrating those I love on theirs.
Something that I’ve found to be comforting through this journey is this little collection of clothes and things that I’ve purchased or knitted when I’ve felt optimistic about our desire to start a family. Looking at these little items during our break helped to bring back that optimism that can be fleeting at times when going through fertility treatments.
We began another cycle of Clomid in mid-September and are currently in the (sometimes) dreaded two week wait before we find out if this round has been successful or not. Both Kurt and I have felt so much more positive about the process this time around, and we’re hopeful that this positivity we’re feeling will give us happy results later this month. And if it doesn’t result in a positive pregnancy test and we need to try another Clomid cycle, I remain grateful that we are working with the doctors and nurses at Penn Fertility Care. The support and encouragement they provide cycle after cycle is so reassuring!
We truly appreciate the prayers, good thoughts and messages that you have sent us as we’ve been on this journey - they would be welcomed during this time of waiting right now!