Our story starts last year. I went off hormonal birth control in August and we were thrilled by a positive pregnancy test in December 2010 – after actively trying to get pregnant for just three months. Sadly, I lost that baby in a very early miscarriage right before the New Year. We were both devastated and took a month off from trying. Our doctor said it was OK to start trying again after a month’s break and that she wouldn’t be surprised to see us back in the office in a couple of months.
“They” say that a woman’s fertility is increased shortly after giving birth/having a miscarriage and so I was hopeful that my body would be one of those and I’d get pregnant right away. I was sure wrong. Each cycle that has passed leaves me shattered. I get so hopeful. So excited. I read into every twinge, every ache in my body. But every month, when my period arrives, I’m left disappointed and sad.
As we were approaching six cycles post-miscarriage, I decided that it was time to get help. I made an appointment at one of the best fertility centers in our area as well as with my OBGYN to see what they recommend as next steps. First, we met with my OB. She told us that she recommended Clomid, which is a fertility drug that hyperstimulates your ovaries and causes a stronger ovulation and the potential for more than one egg to release, for three cycles in hopes that would help me to get pregnant. The doctor at the fertility center recommended Letrozole/Femara, followed by a trigger (Ovidrel) followed by an intrauterine insemination (IUI). The entire cycle would be monitored by ultrasound to make sure that everything in my body was working the way it should on the medications.
We chose to go with the more aggressive approach of the IUI with medication. We both know that we want a child (even more if that is our fate) and we’re more than ready for the responsibility – after all age is working against both of us. I turn 36 in a few months and my husband turns 43 even sooner.
We rushed to get everything required by the fertility center completed before we could move forward – blood tests for both of us, paperwork, signed consent forms, etc. I rushed to get the medications that I needed ordered and delivered in time for the first day that I needed to take them and we made it.
Earlier this month, on July 5, I went to the fertility center and had a baseline ultrasound completed. The doctor gave me the go ahead to start taking the Letrozole for five days. On the 8th day of my cycle, I needed to start taking ovulation predictor kits to track my LH surge and then on the 11th day of my cycle, I needed to go back for a follow-up ultrasound to see if my body was preparing to ovulate.
That brings us to today.
This morning, I woke up bright and early for my follow-up ultrasound. I’ve been feeling anxious about this entire process and this morning was no different. I was feeling eager to see if I’m ready to ovulate because I want this to work and I’m ready. The ultrasound, which is vaginal, itself is not anxiety producing, it is what they find or don’t find is what makes me nervous.
She did a quick check of my lining and noted that it was thin and immediately went to check my ovaries. My right ovary had a nice sized follicle. My left ovary had two even larger follicles. She said that my ovaries responded nicely to the Letrozole but she was more concerned with my uterine lining. She measured it and it was a 3.67mm, which is too thin. I’m numb and shocked. The doctor said that right now she would not do an IUI or trigger me until my lining is thicker. If it doesn’t get thicker than we won’t be able to do an IUI this cycle.
The next step for me is to continue to take the ovulation predictor tests and if I get a positive test I need to call the office to schedule an ultrasound immediately to measure my uterine lining again. If I don’t get a positive test, I have an ultrasound scheduled for Saturday morning.
I left and drove to the supermarket in a daze. It took me twice as long to get the 10 items that I needed than it normally would because I’m stunned. As soon as I walked through the door of our house, I fell apart.
I feel like my body is failing me. The one thing that I want more in this world right now is to carry and give birth to a biological baby with my husband. It will be OK. I know that I’m otherwise healthy, lucky to have an incredible husband and an incredible life but this loss and the challenges that we might face are scary.
In talking to my mom about this, I’ve said out lout what I fear the most. That my thin uterine lining will not ever be thick enough to support implantation and that I will never be able to carry a baby to full term. My mom reminded me to take this one step at a time. I need to be reminded of that every day.
Infertility sucks. I’ve said it. I have infertility. I am infertile and I don’t know why. I’m devastated.