Why I Waited to Pursue Fertility Treatment

At last, I’m ready to talk about my fertility journey. There is so much to say, I’m actually overwhelming myself 😅. I figured the best way to start is with how I finally surrendered to the universe, got over myself and my pride, and went to the doctor.

Before we start, this is where I am now:

My husband and I began trying to conceive in April, 2017, which means we are now at about 3 years, 2.5 months of trying. I had one miscarriage on February 16, 2019, and we’ve had 3 failed IUI’s the last 3 months. This cycle, IUI was replaced with “relations” due to me ovulating over the weekend, so I know what we’ll be doing this weekend. 😉

I finally feel like I’m in a good place with my mental health to talk about this. It took a long time for me to realize I’ll be happy in life regardless of whether or not I have a baby, which I think is the biggest hurdle to overcome for women going through this. I remember feeling like I would never make it out without a baby, that I would never be happy and would drown in misery, ruining my life, and you might be thinking the same thing. That’s not true! You’ll hear women say not to give up… in regards to conceiving. I’m here to tell you not to give up on yourself.

My Age

When we started trying, I was only 24. Who thinks they’re running out of time to have a baby when they’re 24? I did. Scratch that. I knew I was. No one believed me, including my husband, who thought I was being dramatic. I was right, but it’s not something I wanted to be right about. That’s something I’ll get into later.

My Husband

During the first year, he wasn’t ready yet, and many women told me this was normal. The woman usually pressures the man, and the man gives in to make the woman happy. I’m not saying this is every case, but this is common with the people in our personal lives. So, I thought, “Okay, whatever, it’s normal,” and brushed off his feelings. And oh, God, I feel horrible and embarrassed confessing that. During my fertility journey, I felt alone on a whole new level I’ve never experienced before and like no one understood me. Looking back at the beginning, I know now he felt the same in his own way. (I have since apologized for pushing him when he wasn’t ready. I was a bitch. I blame the baby fever and my intuition.)

That first year, we fought a lot. He would be okay one month, seeming to be completely on board and ready to go. The next, he wasn’t. He was at war with trying to make me happy and trying to stay on track with our goals. At the time, I still had student loans, and he wanted us to pay those off completely first (we did last August, thank God). He also wanted us to get a house, but I knew I didn’t have the time to wait that long. (We still haven’t. We’re putting fertility and financial goals first.) We weren’t married yet either, and he preferred to wait until we were. When we got married (which turned out to be about a month after a whole year of trying, and by then we were together three years), he was all in. I’m beyond grateful it didn’t happen before he was ready. When I do get pregnant, it will be much sweeter, more magical even, for both of us eagerly awaiting our baby’s arrival.

My Spiritual Beliefs

I believe in spirit babies. If you don’t know the term, basically I believe our children are soul-contracted with us. They hover in and around our auras, sending us signs or nudging us in the right direction for the right circumstances at the right time of the perfect conception. Kind of like ghosts, but cuter. I felt two babies with all my being, one girl and one boy, who even visited me in my dreams! I thought if I felt them that strongly, I’d probably get pregnant any month now, right? Nope. I still feel them, and dream about them, but I also believe that sometimes we have spirit babies to experience a miscarriage, abortion, and/or stillborn. Sometimes those babies’ souls come back to us after those experiences, and sometimes we set the baby free and break a karmic cycle for our highest energetic outcome. Other times, they lead us to adoption. I felt my spirit baby boy up until my miscarriage, then I didn’t feel him again until about a month or so ago when he returned to my dreams.

Babies, and life, are miraculous to begin with. Other than the sperm meeting the egg and implanting in the uterus, doctors can only know so much about the start of life. At the end of the day, no matter how hard we try with all the technology on the planet, God has the final say. I thought whether I went to fertility or not, I’d miraculously get pregnant at the right time.

What I Wanted (and My Pride)

I thought it would be more special to conceive on our own, and I felt we should be able to on our own. I look at procreating as a God-given right. If you want to continue your genetic line and share a piece of you with the world, you have the right to do so. It’s up there with breathing, sleeping, and eating. I perceived going to fertility as a weakness, as giving up, when really I was just being a stubborn fool. I do, however, believe in “right timing” and I follow my gut feelings… At the end of the day, I knew it wasn’t time for me to go yet, even if it wasn’t for the right reasons my silly brain was using to rationalize my feelings. Sometimes a gut feeling is just a gut feeling, and your brain needs to stay out of it.

My Miscarriage

The story of my miscarriage is extraordinarily unconventional… only a few people in my personal life know it from start to finish. I never got a positive pregnancy test, and I never knew I was pregnant. I remember telling my husband I felt weird, and my boobs were different, but at that point we had already been trying for a year and a half, so we doubted it. You’re probably thinking, “Well, didn’t your missed period set you off?” No. Except for when my body regulated itself for a bit post-miscarriage, I hadn’t gotten consistent, clockwork periods since I was taken off birth control at 20-years-old for my migraine issues.

When I say “trying”, I mean the term loosely. It was like shooting in the dark because we never knew when I was going to get a period, so we never knew when I was ovulating. If anything, most of the time I only spotted or had such a light period it hardly was one. We both knew women who were told they couldn’t have children before miraculously getting pregnant, and knowing that gave us hope. We figured it would just happen when the timing was right, since clearly something was going on in there, even if I wasn’t getting full-blown periods every month.

Anyways, near the end of January, 2019, I was out of my mind with impatience, frustration, anxiety, and depression. I was done waiting. I sucked up my pride, prayed, and went to a fertility specialist within an OBGYN practice. I took a pregnancy test that morning before the appointment to be sure it was the right decision to go (and to hold out one last hope I might be pregnant so I didn’t have to go! 😂). It was negative, just like every other time before that. (Because of my inconsistent periods and my sky-high hopes, I took one about every two weeks to a month. Don’t judge me. I used the cheapies, and I wasn’t hurting anyone… except myself now that I think about it 🤷‍♀️) I’m telling you, divine timing was happening here, as usual.

The doctor didn’t think I was ovulating at all. I had my hormone levels checked with a blood test, and he said he would review them to determine when I could start taking Femara. That same afternoon, I started a full-blown period. I couldn’t believe it. How bizarre! I thought it was meant to be, perfect divine timing. Right away, I sent my doctor a message through the online portal, and he told me when to start taking the Femara since I started a “period”. It lasted a few days, but I kept spotting. I thought that was really weird — I had never experienced spotting that long after a period. After the Femara, I went in for an ultrasound to check for an egg. There was one! However, the doctor called me later to tell me my uterine lining looked irregular, and there might be a polyp. If I didn’t conceive that cycle, he wanted to do more testing before the next one. Instantly, something felt wrong. Very, very wrong. I can’t explain it, but serious alarm bells were going off in my head and I didn’t trust him. I just said, “Okay,” and hoped for conception.

I ovulated on February 6th and I was still spotting. Hardly anything, but still. Even though I was confused, I thought maybe it was normal as my cycles were beginning again or something. On February 16th, before I was set to get a period according to the timing of the cycle, I remember I was watching TV at 1:30am. I couldn’t sleep. I felt… off. I knew I just had to get to the bathroom. I’ve never felt anything like it. It wasn’t a “bathroom urge” type of feeling — it was a new type of gut feeling. I ran to the toilet and sat down, and I knew immediately what was happening. It was women’s intuition. Blood poured out of me, and I dropped a sack. I normally pass clots with my periods, and I know what those look like. This was a sack. I was in the bathroom for an hour, cleaned myself up, then cried myself to sleep. Deep, guttural, grieving animal sounds as I shook and my husband held me.

That night, an angel visited me in a dream. In the living room of one of my childhood homes (a sign of comfort for me), I held my little boy in my arms. She told me he had a heart defect, and told me over and over how well I did, soothing me with her calm aura. Telling me I did everything the way I was supposed to. I remember being baffled within the dream, like the dream was happening without me and my brain couldn’t catch up. I dropped my baby on the living room carpet (a dream sign/interpretation of the actual miscarriage in real life). When I picked him up, she told me it was time for me to give him back, so I handed her to him. She congratulated me again before I woke up. I didn’t feel my spirit baby boy anymore upon waking, and I knew.

I told my doctor, and he was adamant it was impossible I had a miscarriage. He was horribly condescending about it, treating me like an idiot. It made my grieving journey worse than it needed to be, like I didn’t have the validation to grieve properly. According to him, there was no way I conceived on my own. And if I was really pregnant, it wouldn’t have been missed in the blood test and the ultrasound. (Not true. This does happen sometimes, depending on the viability of the pregnancy and the shape/position of the uterus, and I am proof! Bodies are weird.) However, the timing and the size of the sack lined up with a positive ovulation strip I had at the end of November, 2018. (I bought ovulation test strips, and I was determined to catch myself spontaneously ovulating. I did!)

I went in for another ultrasound to make sure there was nothing left inside my uterus after the miscarriage. The doctor already wanted to check my uterine lining to see if we needed further testing for a “polyp”, so it was easy for me to get the appointment. I didn’t care about that. I knew I didn’t have a polyp. I just wanted peace of mind to move on, then I was never going to see that doctor again. I’m a woman. I know my body, and what comes out of it. I lost my baby. He’ll never know what that feels like because he doesn’t have the parts. I felt disrespected as a human being and unheard. Even the ultrasound tech was surprised the doctor didn’t think it was a miscarriage when I told her what happened and warned her I was still bleeding (I had period-like bleeding for almost two weeks afterward). She confirmed there was nothing in there.

The next day, the doctor and one of his receptionists called me four times while I was at work, trying to get me to make an appointment for a D&C and a hysteroscopy. Apparently, my uterine lining still looked abnormal. My alarm bells were really screaming now. I told him I truly believed it was a miscarriage, and that I had been through a lot in the last month. I wanted time for my body to work itself out. He stopped pushing me and told me he was “all for patient autonomy”. Yes, it’s my body, but he was stopping treatment (which didn’t matter because I wasn’t going to continue seeing him anyway, but I was even more uncomfortable with the way he was trying to leverage me) and would only give me a month before he wanted me to get another ultrasound to see what was going on. I said, “Okay, no problem,” knowing I wasn’t going back. I just wanted him to get off the phone so I could grieve in peace and move on.

My husband and I still don’t know what his reasoning was. We don’t know if he was trying to take advantage of me financially in a time of great emotional turmoil for more procedures, or if he knew he messed up prescribing me Femara while I was already pregnant. Maybe he was trying to cover it up, especially to protect himself if he thought I was going to sue or something. We’ll never know. I’m safe now because I listened to God and my intuition. That’s what matters.

Despite everything, I’m still grateful for the way it happened. With how depressed I was at the time, if I knew I was pregnant and had that overjoyed high before the loss, I think it would have been much harder on me. God was protecting me, like always.

A Gut Feeling and Needing to Feel Some Sort of Control

After that, my heavier periods came around more often, so I figured I didn’t need fertility anyway. My trust in doctors was also at an all-time low. In January of this year, my intuition urged me to find a new doctor. I just couldn’t shake the feeling it was time, and honestly, I wanted to feel a little control over a situation I had no control over. At least going to fertility every month would make me feel like I was moving forward in some way, making me feel like something’s finally happening.

Fun fact: My husband actually wanted to go to Vegas with me this past May for our second wedding anniversary, but the financial burden and time commitment of fertility treatment made us postpone those plans. I’m glad I made the decision to go to fertility instead — our Vegas plans would have been cancelled due to the coronavirus anyway! It was extra validation of my badass intuition.

My current reproductive endocrinologist validated my miscarriage experience when I told her about it, which made me feel completely relieved. Sometimes we just need to feel seen to move on. One of the most important things I learned from this experience is to be an advocate for myself, which is an invaluable lesson. I’m much happier with this doctor. I totally trust her, and I feel comfortable with the clinic as a whole.

My Diagnosis: a Validation of Timing and Women’s Intuition

In February of this year, after lots and lots of testing, I found out I am running out of time. At only 27-years-old, I have the egg reserve of someone approximately in her late 30’s or early 40’s. Even though people have healthy babies at that age all the time, the reason my periods were inconsistent and my hormones were a little awry was because my body was taking care of itself! Like, what!? My body knew I should have more eggs for my age, so it wanted to preserve my fertility. How cute! Then again, how sad, because my body’s preservation was defeating the whole purpose — without releasing eggs, how can I get pregnant? (I know what you’re thinking… why am I doing IUI instead of IVF? That post is coming soon!) But, everything happens for a reason… My husband now trusts my gut feelings! 😂

I have many more fertility posts to come, so stay tuned if you’re interested. Feel free to ask me any of your fertility/faith/spirit baby questions, but some of the things you’re wondering might be mentioned in upcoming posts. This is only the beginning. I’m constantly thinking of more to share in the hope that other women will feel less alone in their fertility journeys. If you’re struggling right now, and you don’t think you can make it through, I promise you can. Listen to your intuition! You know what’s best for you!

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