My Fertility Journey: When Things Don’t Go As Planned

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be considered medical advice.
Always consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.

Had I not advocated for myself early and often, and pushed through month after month, our path to parenthood would have been significantly longer.

My husband and I are “high school sweethearts” and got married at 27 after many years of dating. A few years ago, we said goodbye to our jobs, friends, and community to move to our hometown to have more space for our future children and to be closer to family as we built one of our own. Our plan was to get pregnant soon thereafter.

As we quickly learned, not everything works out as you plan! After 5 months of trying to conceive, I insisted on seeking help. My OB/GYN initially recommended I wait a year before seeing a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), but I sought out an RE much sooner than that simply because I had a feeling that something was off. I also made a host of lifestyle changes. These changes included weekly acupuncture, minimal alcohol intake, and switching to low-intensity exercising.

My OB/GYN initially recommended I wait a year before seeing an RE, but I sought out an RE much sooner than that simply because I had a feeling that something was off.

Having unexplained infertility was a blessing and a curse: a blessing in that there was no serious diagnosis, but a curse in that we never knew if we would get pregnant. My fertility clinic started me on a plan of 6 intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), which was required by my insurance prior to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Those consecutive failed IUIs brought despair, helplessness, and depression. Around our 4th failed IUI, I started to write, which was both therapeutic for me and put me in touch with an amazing community of women that I still talk to regularly.

After the 6th IUI, we moved on to IVF. My emotions were all over the place. I felt relief in the sense that we finally got through 6 horrendous IUIs and made it to IVF, something that we knew worked. I felt anger that I had to go through it though. In that moment, I resented everyone I knew who conceived naturally.

We were so fortunate to live in a state with an insurance mandate and had complete coverage through the process. On our second IVF embryo transfer, we ended up pregnant with our son. I write this with my newborn in my arms during another blissful yet sleepless night at home. We are aware that a year of trying may not seem long. Had I not advocated for myself early and often, and pushed through month after month, our path to parenthood would have been significantly longer.