In the Beginning

Five years. It has been five years that Dan and I have been trying to start our family. We have seen three different doctors, and one specialist seeking answers. All we wanted was to know why, however it seemed like no one could give us much more than a guess. Finally we know the answers to our many questions, and I want to share what I have learned during this rollercoaster of an experience. I wish I would have had someone to share their knowledge and story when I began dealing with the frustrations of infertility. It seems like a very lonely battle; each hurdle knocking you further and further down. My goal is to educate, and provide solace to anyone else experiencing a similar struggle.  As a fair warning, this blog will contain a lot of detail regarding female health.  We are going to talk about blood, hormones, cramps, and my overall bitchiness.  It’ll be a kick.

 

 

Where It All Began

When I was young, I battled severe stomach pain that would often lead my mom to rush me to the ER. I would cry begging for something to make the pain stop, however no test or procedure would give me relief. Doctors told my mom to cut dairy out and add fiber in to my diet. As I got older and began getting my periods, things got so much worse. I was bleeding through a super plus tampon, nighttime pad, my underwear and jeans in an hour or so. My cramps would make me vomit, cry, and occasionally miss school. My periods were unpredictable and irregular, and no matter whether I had my period or not, I would still have severe pain. This was embarrassing and made things difficult for my mom and I. She missed work coming to my rescue, and I missed school so often that It was easy to fall behind.  I eventally went to the GYNO to see if she could figure out what was causing all of these problems.  Unfortunately, the best answer was “bad PMS symptoms”, so after my first Pap smear at the ripe old age of 14, I was put on birth control to subside my symptoms.

Good news.  Birth control didn’t help.  It actually made things worse.  The doctor changed me to a higher dose hormone birth control which limited me to 4 periods a year in an attempt to reduce my pain.  The problem, however, was that my pain wasn’t related to any particular time during my menstural cycle.  It just happened.  Sitting, laying down, sneezing, laughing, peeing…  It all hurt.  Surely to God there was a reason for all this crap.  No one else in my circle of friends experienced this, so it was obviously abnormal.  It was just a matter of finding answers to my questions.

I was still having issues despite my doctors attempt to manage my symptoms with birth control, so was referred to an OB/GNY to look further into my symptoms and get more precise answers, rather than taking stabs in the dark. After asking questions and performing her evaluation diagnosed me with Endometriosis. Although the only way to be completely sure was surgery, every single symptom I had been experiencing pointed to Endo. Dr. H told me that I should begin to try to get pregnant immediately.  Great advice for an 18 year old.

I have what? After my appointment, I did what any practical millennial would do; I turned to Dr. Google to find answers. I found out that this disease affects 1 in 8 women, it can affect fertility, and can cause severe pain, fatigue, and immune deficiencies. Things were beginning to finally make sense.

How do you explain this to people?  Sorry I just doubled over gasping for air.  My endometrial lesions are hurting.  Oh, I’m deathly sick again? My uterus caused it. Insert eye roll here.  As a way to manage the pain, my OB/GYN told me she would prescribe me Vicodin so I could manage throughout the day. Again.  Eye roll.  Do they have uterus transplants, cause that sounds real nice right now.  I just decided to deal with the pain and figure everything else out later.

 

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First Comes Love

In 2011 through a blind date, I met Daniel.  I’m not going to lie, I had no interest in the whole blind date situation, but I played along.  Well, it all worked out, and we both decided that we liked each other a lot.  From the moment we met, we have been inseperable.  He is kind, loving, handsome, and so many other wonderful things you don’t want to sit here and listen to me me ramble about.  In short, he’s my best friend.

Not only did I fall in love with Daniel, I fell in love with his family too.  His mom and dad have always treated me like their daughter.  His sister has been my sister, and his grandparents, cousins,  and aunts and uncles have become my family.  There are times when I feel lonely and isolated because my whole family lives 12 hours away, however there has been so much love and support around me since I came into the Katzenberg family, that it eases the pain and makes it all worth it.

It’s hard not to look at the past and wonder how life would have turned out if this, that, or the other had been handled differently.  I always hated that my parents were divorced, and wished that I had grown up under the same roof as both my mom and dad.  Looking at what I have in my life now, I wouldn’t change the past for anything in the world.  The only reason I ended up in Wisconsin was because my mom remarried someone from here.  She has since divorced and moved back to Virginia. I don’t even want to think about what life would be like without Daniel and his family.

 

Then Comes Marriage

On May 6 2013, I turned 21.  The birthday we all wait for.  Daniel took me out for dinner and drinks in Lake Geneva to celebrate (It didn’t help that my birthday was on a Monday, so no wild parties).  After dinner, we walked down to the docks hand in hand.  So in love.  Then I started talking to the fish.  Yep.  The fish.  Daniel wrapped his arms around me and told me that he loves.  Then he proposed.  Just like that.  For the record, I never said yes.  I just asked “are you serious” about 100 times.

We decided we just wanted to get married and skip out on a big ceremony.  We had discussed a courthouse wedding, but decided to have a small backyard wedding so we could make sure that grandparents could be there.  It was quick, exhausting, and perfect.  On August 31, 2013 we said yes to annoying each other forever.  It was the best decision I have ever made.

 

Then Comes The Baby In the Baby Carriage?

Since we were married, we had decided to begin trying for a baby.  I went off of birth control so we could see what would happen.  Daniel and I assumed that everything would be hunky dory and we would get pregnant quickly.  It seemed to work that way for everyone else.

Here we are five years into trying. We have jumped through hoops, cried countless tears, and questioned God and ourselves.  We have learned that you have two choices when you are facing infertility.  You either grow to resent one another and fight, or you grow closer and fight together.  Thank God, we have experienced the latter.

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Infertile. Nice To Meet You.

After thinking long and hard about the decision to share our journey, we have decided to tell our story in hopes of helping someone else who may experience the same struggles.  I am infertile.  I have endometriosis, PCOS, and a myriad of other complications that just complicate things.  Infertility is hard on each individual, but it is even harder on a marriage.  We have had to search ourselves and our faith in God during this journey, and we hope to lend advice to those who are in our shoes.  Buckle in, its going to be a bumpy ride.

 

“You have survived 100% of your worst days.  The odds are in your favor.” – Susie Lemmer