While dealing with infertility and recurrent miscarriage, Dan and I have had to make some very big decisions. Some very difficult decisions. Nothing was ever easy. Nothing was ever quick. I mean, these were life altering decisions that had a huge impact on our future, on our finances, on our marriage, on our health. When we first started out, the only decision we had to make was do we want kids, and the answer was yes. After a few years of trying and failing, we were kind of at a standstill. Now, I can't speak for Dan, but in my mind at that time, I was willing to go through pretty much anything the dr told me would make me a mom. At first, it was just some medications. Pretty simple. A few pills and some bloodwork. And then when that didn't work, my dr told me he couldn't help me any further. I would have to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Getting Dan on board with that took some time. I think the stress of having to travel and going to someone who specialized in infertility was scary. And uncertain. And kind of insulting. But we did it. At the time we went to see the RE, I had experienced two miscarriages, we had been trying to have children for 2 years, and I had been diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder, which was part of what the doctors thought was making it difficult for me to get and stay pregnant.
The RE was confident he could help us with a procedure known as an IUI (intrauterine insemination). So, we had to decide if we would be willing to subject ourselves to a procedure that would require me to go on hormone injections (not fun and kind of painful) to stimulate my ovaries and hopefully increase egg production. I would have to be monitored by ultra sound regularly to make sure follicles were growing, and when they got to the right size, we would have to go in for an insemination. So, making a baby was no longer Sara+Dan. It was Sara+Dan+medication+Reproductive Endocrinologist=maybe baby. Because there was no guarantee it would work. This was not a cheap procedure and it was not cheap medication (although I have an amazing friend who helped me with that, and she knows who she is). So there was this heavy weight on our shoulders. What if the procedure didn't work? What if we were out all of that money and didn't have a baby? Insurance is a crock and didn't cover anything related to infertility. Because "having a baby isn't a medical necessity". So, it had to work. We had a good chance.
And it worked. I got pregnant. All of that money, all of those medications, the doctors, the travelling; it had all been worth it. This was March of 2011. We went in for our ultra-sound. So exciting. We would get to see our baby for the first time. No such luck. The dr said we would have to come back in a few weeks, he couldn't find what he was looking for. In other words, I had gotten pregnant, but the baby stopped developing. And about 2 or 3 weeks after that I miscarried. That was the most DEVASTATING thing I had ever been through. And I will spare you the details, but I would never be the same after that. The dr recommended another IUI, but we weren't ready to jump back in and took some time to think about what was best. We thought eventually we would try another IUI because the first one worked. But as more time passed, even though Dan said he would be supportive of one more try at IUI, I just couldn't wrap my head around it. I couldn't imagine going through all of that again and it either not working, or worse, it working and me miscarrying again.
We decided to just be us again for a while. We planned a trip to Vegas for my 30th birthday in 2012. Amazingly, in February of 2012, I got pregnant. But it was short lived. We found out on Super Bowl Sunday and I miscarried later that week. So, another set back. That was my 4th miscarriage. Many people said to me, "Look at the bright side, at least you know you can get pregnant". Didn't do much good if I couldn't stay pregnant. Another year went by and around my birthday this year, I decided I was ready to try another IUI. Dan was still supportive. I was feeling good emotionally and had lost 30 pounds (which I thought would make a difference, for some reason). We had saved a little money and the dr thought we had a good chance of being successful. As I was making arrangements for the procedure, we got a surprise. I had become pregnant on my own again. But immediately I knew this pregnancy was not going to make it either. I was already bleeding when the dr confirmed the pregnancy. I was so ANGRY. Angry that I had gotten pregnant, angry that I had miscarried, angry that I didn't get to be happy for even a minute.
That miscarriage changed everything. We had lost 4 pregnancies before that, and they all took a little piece of me. But this miscarriage took the last little bit of hope that I had. And I decided right then, I would not subject myself to another IUI, let alone IVF (which would have been the next step). We had already decided we would not ever pursue IVF anyway simply because of the cost and the emotional damage it could do. I had met several women who were 10s of thousands of dollars in debt (one was $100,000) with nothing to show. I decided that I had to learn how to start coming to terms with the reality that I may never be a mother. People are happy and can be happy and fulfilled without children. How could I make myself one of those people? Dan always told me if we never had children, he would be happy with just the two of us the rest of his life.
And just when I thought that was it, Dan said the most amazing, wonderful, surprising words that I never thought I would hear him say, "Maybe we should look into adoption. Why don't you get some information". That was what led to the biggest decision yet and leads me into my next blog post...