Fertility Treatment: a Reader's Story
I’m so grateful you want to share your stories with me and with everyone else. Thank you so, so much. We’re by no means done talking about infertility, and now the stage belongs to you. Those of you who’re facing treatment – and those of you who’ve put it behind you. Those of you who’ve received a little heart on the other side, and those of you who haven’t. You are all very welcome to send Ellen and me your story (email@example.com), so that we can continue deepening our understanding of the emotions, the experiences and each other.
Today, Sara is sharing her story; please welcome her.
My Fertility Treatment, by Sara Twete
I remember it as though it were yesterday. My phone was ringing in the middle of a class. It was my gynaecologist. She told me, briefly and directly, that my boyfriend and I weren’t able to conceive. I walked back to my classroom, caught the eye of a colleague, and broke down completely.
I went straight home, called my boyfriend, and we cried together.
When the shock had subsided a bit, and we were referred to the fertility department, we thought it would be relatively easy given how talented the doctors are. It turned out that the waiting lists were long, however, and the amount of information on artificial insemination was an immense jungle. Injections, harvesting, dietary supplements, medicine, etc. When finally it was our turn, the doctors were confident on our behalf. We were young and capable of fighting for many years. This is when it occured to us that it might take a long time to get pregnant.
Our first hatching was tough. Painful, intense over-stimulation and zero fertilised eggs. The doctors were optimistic and wanted to try a new hormone preparation. Second hatching was painful as well, but it was as if the body knew what it was supposed to do. No over-stimulation, five good eggs and a semen analysis with viable sperm. Two days later, we called the lab, and they had to inform us that the insemination hadn’t been successful, unfortunately. Once again. At this point, it occured to my boyfriend and me that we might not be able to have children via insemination. Now what? Sperm donor? Adoption? Perhaps a life with no kids? Along the way and for several reasons, we had lost our confidence in the doctors, but we agreed to give it one more go before contacting the private sector. Third time around, I once again got some new medicine and my eggs were ripening well. All seven of them.
When two days later we called the lab for the results, we were certain that the news would be bad. That’s what we were ‘used’ to by now. Surprisingly, the news were good. They wanted to transfer one of the eggs to my uterus. That same day. It was really big and exciting. The egg was ‘shot off’ and the wish for it to stick was big. Two weeks later, I started doing home tests, and there were two lines. Blurry, but they were there. As the days went by, the lines grew more defined and a blood test confirmed that I was pregnant. We hadn’t told anyone but our parents as we still were so afraid of losing.
One Sunday morning in week 8, I woke up with pains in my belly. I decided to get some fresh air and went for a walk with our dog, but as the pains kept growing I soon decided to go back home. I went to bed and told my boyfriend that I needed to relax a bit. In a matter of minutes, the pains grew tenfold and I screamed. It hurt so badly that I completely lost control. My boyfriend was very worried and we called the emergency doctor. I was sent straight to the hospital. After a very long and uncomfortable 10 hours, a doctor decided to put me on the operating table as something clearly was wrong. They quickly prepared me for surgery, and I got general anaesthesia. An hour later, I woke up and found three small surgical wounds. The doctors came in and told me that my ovary had twisted around itself and was about to shot off the blood supply. Worst case scenario: it would die. My thoughts were circling around our baby. Was it still alive? Would it be all right after the doctors’ intervention? The next day, a scan showed that our little embryo was safe and sound. As if nothing had happened.
This all happened in May, and I’m still pregnant now (with our little boy), and he’ll be born early December. He is already the toughest person I know, and I will do what I can to give him a good start to life. Whether he’ll have siblings is unknown. I hope he will. But I’m also trying to tell myself that we are lucky to have him. We have actively chosen each other, and the love is already big.