Husband and I have been together for eight years, married for nearly four. We first began to try to conceive in February 2010 as soon as we decided we'd be moving back home from the east coast. I hadn't been on birth control pills for two years and we hadn't been all that careful in preventing pregnancy, we just assumed it would happen for us the way it did for everyone else we knew at the time. When it didn't happen the first year we figured it was the stress of moving back to our hometown, of both of us searching for work, of student loans coming due and family stress. As the following February rolled around we knew we had to do something. Unfortunately for us, we have an HMO and they have limited treatment options and frankly, extremely limited knowledge. After the regular blood tests, semen analysis and pelvic exams, they suggested an intra-uterine insemination (IUI). We got pregnant with our first IUI only to find out at eight weeks it was an ectopic pregnancy. Heartbreakingly, that was the same day we found out there was a heart beat. They sent us to the hospital where we were admitted to the maternity ward and given two options for eliminating the pregnancy: surgery which could cause further damage to my fallopian tube or injections of methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, which would slowly cause the embryo to deteriorate. We chose the shots because it would be the least invasive, but it was a horrible decision to have to make-which method of killing your child do you prefer? The embryo continued to grow after the first injection, requiring an additional trip to the ER for another round of methotrexate. Our baby was trying to grow and that made it even more painful.
Because we had not had an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to see if my tubes were clear prior to the IUI, we had no way of knowing if the ectopic was caused from previous trauma to the tube (an undetected pregnancy, trauma during appendicitis, inexplicable blockage etc.) or just from the ectopic. We have spent every month since trying to conceive. Did I mention that my right ovary, the one connected to the damaged fallopian tube, is a rockstar and produces huge follicles nearly every month, while my left one only ovulates every few months and the follicles are mediocre. This further adds to our difficulty in conceiving.
In March of this year we decided to see a specialist, which is not covered by the shitty HMO. At our first office visit he looked at our test results from HMO and diagnosed us-I have a hydrosalpinx, or big ol' blocked tube that looks like a sausage and is leaking fluid into my uterus making it impossible for an embryo to implant. Thanks HMO for being worthless and robbing us of months of possible conception.
Here we are, 11 months from when we conceived with our first IUI, still waiting. Through all of this struggle, grief and pain, Husband and I remain close. Experiencing something as soul destroying as infertility and pregnancy loss can easily take its toll on any relationship. Husband and I continue to be partners, best friends and are learning to give each other the support and space each of us need. I'm so very fortunate to be married to this man and I just hope that I can give him a child of his own.