Infertility Updates

Finley-CyprusIt’s been a long time since I’ve written on this blog. I had great intentions of turning it into a blog that documents our lives, and yet, it just started to feel like too much effort. Life wasn’t going how I’d hoped. Infertility appointments were depressing me. And I think I just lost myself.

In January 2016, I posted about how we discovered that we were dealing with infertility. I left off with the fact that we were waiting for an appointment with an fertility clinic in order to move forward with IVF. We did end up having an appointment with the Regional Fertility Program in Calgary, where as anticipated, I was told I needed to lose weight, but that otherwise, we were ideal candidates. We had a proven history of conception, my eggs and blood tests looked good, and Steve’s swimmers were off the chart good. My blocked tubes were the problem, and that is what IVF was invented for.

I successfully went on to lose around 40 lbs and was very much looking forward to starting IVF. Unfortunately, things became even more complicated. I went for what should have been a routine appointment in Calgary. I wanted our doctor to see how much weight I’d lost, and to move forward with having a Saline Ultrasound to check on if one of my tubes was fluid filled. If it was, I believe it was going to have to come out. 

Steve did not join me for the appointment, because it was just supposed to be a quick thing, but unfortunately, it turned into another huge, life-changing moment in our lives.

When our doctor attempted the procedure, he was unable to find my cervix. At the time, to me, that sounded ridiculous. How do you even lose a cervix? This is problematic because in order to perform the procedure, they needed to insert a catheter into my cervix to inject a saline infusion for the ultrasound. 

In the end, multiple doctors attempted the procedure, multiple speculums were used, it was horrifying, painful, embarrassing, and a situation I wish that I’d never experienced. After abandoning the procedure, I sat down with my doctor (alone) and he explained to me that without access to my cervix, we would be unable to undergo an IVF cycle (embryos have to be placed back into the uterus through the cervix). He basically crushed all of my dreams in that moment, as he didn’t seem confident that there was anything left to be done. He thought that it was likely that my scar tissue and adhesions were worsening and that was causing my issues, because a few months earlier, I’d successfully had an HSG through my cervix, and that things should have been easier at the point where I’d lost some weight. He suggested trying to repeat the procedure a few cycles later to see if anything had changed, and in the process referred us to the new fertility clinic that had opened in Edmonton (PCRM) so that we wouldn’t have to do as much travelling for appointments going forward.

After much emotional heartbreak and disappointment, Steve and I met with PCRM in on November 29, 2016 to discuss our situation. I ended up going for two more tries there for the Saline Ultrasound (December 21, 2016 and January 3, 2017) with absolutely no luck whatsoever. This doctor then (at my insistence) referred me on to a specialist gynecologist who would be able to perform laparoscopy and hysteroscopy (basically looking inside my uterus and inside my abdomen) to see what was physically going on there. 

After these hopeless appointments with PCRM, Steve and I discussed our future. We discussed the possibility of adoption, surrogacy, etc. etc. And it came down to the fact that Steve didn’t feel comfortable with either option. I was desolate…inconsolable, really. We discussed whether we should stay married, since we clearly were no longer on the same page. Steve said he was comfortable living a childless life if we were unable to conceive (and I to carry) a biological child. My heart was not in that place, and I needed to do some soul searching. I ended up spending a few days away from him to try and get my head straight. Nothing made sense to me. Ultimately I decided to save my marriage and try to move forward with the idea of a childless life. I figured in time I would come to terms with this situation, and figure out some other purpose and ways to find happiness. This was a hard decision, as I’m sure you can imagine, and one that I didn’t make lightly. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t press my husband to change his mind, because I really didn’t feel it was fair to force him into a situation that he was uncomfortable with.

It took me a good 7 months to get in to see Dr. Priya Patel. I ended up meeting with her in July 2017 and she thinks that there is a chance she can help me by removing some of the scar tissue caused by my traumatic obstetrical past. But unfortunately in the 7 month wait, I gained a bunch of weight back (somehow weight loss seemed very much less important when it felt like the reason I was trying to lose weight was now never going to happen). And of course, the first thing she said to me was that I needed to lose weight before she performed the surgery.

I was supposed to be losing the weight again (and more) over the past 6 months, in preparation for surgery, but I all but gave up. Life was not going at all how I’ve pictured it was supposed to be. I’ve put even more weight on in that time, and am now at my heaviest. So I guess my hopes for surgery are at a standstill. I’ve tried on multiple occasions to get started with weight loss again, and I’m just not there. My mind isn’t in it. I feel crappy overall, it’s been a hard year for other reasons (family related), and basically I’ve just been trying to get by as best as I can. I’m currently counting down the days to Christmas vacation (we are going to England), because my get up and go is just not here right now. I feel like I could sleep forever.

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