My battle with Infertility///Up Close and Personal with an IVF Athlete
I have always dreamed of finding my soulmate, falling in love, getting married, and having a family living happily ever after. Well the good news is, I did find my soulmate and together we are living our happily ever after......but one piece is missing....children. This is where I begin to tell you my story and our journey into our IVF Treatments. If many of you are like me, you have heard of IVF, it has almost become a household phrase with today’s lifestyle and women having children later in life. But I had only heard about it. I do know one or two people that went through it, but they don’t remember a lot of it. Was it because it was so traumatic that they don’t remember or that they were successful and the joy of their miracle babies have made them forget? Either way, I was not expecting the stress both physically and mentally that IVF creates. So hopefully this blog can help some of you understand a little bit better about what it entails:
Our journey began on September 23rd when we met with a Fertility Specialist for a Consultation after trying to conceive for over a year. So, if you know anything about me and know how competitive I am with myself, you can just imagine the devastation I felt when we were told that we were unable to have a child the “natural” way. After a few weeks of testing for both myself and my husband, we met again with our Fertility Doctor to go over our options. Due to how long we tried naturally, and my age(39), she told us that our only option was IVF. IVF(which stands for In Vetro Fertilization) is the original “test tube baby technique.” ........ But I like to call it the “most unromantic technique.” The IVF process from beginning to end lasts about 21 days and here is an up close and very personal look into mine:
Day 1-2: Began with one injection in the morning and one in the evening.... Feeling good at this point. I am excited to be getting one step closer to creating our family.
Day 3-14: Continued with one morning injection and now added two additional evening injections to total three in the evening.... Aside from the stress of making sure I am doing the injections correctly(luckily my husband is a doctor and was able to assist) another small stress arose. All of the injections need to be at the same time each day, so as a CrossFit Coach and Trainer who works early morning and sometimes later evenings, you can imagine how I felt packing up my cooler of medicine and hiding in the bathroom between clients to give myself these shots... but i did it!
Still not seeming so bad, right? I honestly felt fine up until day 6-7. It was at this point that I needed to begin scaling my workouts back. That doesn’t mean I quit all together, but I definitely had to scale back weights, it took me longer to do conditioning segments, and almost felt like I was just starting. I got tired very quickly. It was also at this point that my emotions began running wild. It was like I had no control over anything. I felt sad, aggravated, tired, stressed all for no reason. Thankfully I have the most supportive husband in the world who was there for me and said I had every reason to feel this way. My body is now filled with a weeks worth of hormones that it doesn’t know what to do.
Day 10: Thanksgiving Day...a day that my husband and I host. A day when all of our family and friends come to spend the day together. I was so happy....except that by this point, my ovaries are so enlarged that I feel (and look) about 3 months pregnant...so now the emotions start again. I look and feel 3 months pregnant.... BUT I’M NOT.....I’m not even sure if I will be....this is all just to TRY and get pregnant. So I sob in my closet at the fact that I feel pregnant and in reality, may actually never get pregnant.
The remainder of the days were just more of the injections and driving to Charleston every other day for blood-work and ultrasounds. It became a job to me! Luckily I have great Coaches that were able to pick up my classes, clients and responsibilities of the business.
Day 16: Egg Retrieval.... OUCHIE! It was a surgery. I felt good though, and had my husband by my side. After I woke up from the surgery and the anesthesia began to wear off, it was very uncomfortable. My abdomen was extremely bloated, it hurt to bend and all I wanted to do was lay in bed(after our 2 hour ride home). So, after an egg mcmuffin, hash brown and coffee..I slept on and off for the rest of the day.
Days following the Retrieval: Minimal medications, NO INJECTIONS and no appointment for 5 days. I plan on enjoying these 4 days as best I can.... with one exception...no physical activity. You mean to tell me I have 4 days of no injections and no driving to Charleston and I can’t workout? My ovaries we so enlarged that the Doctor was afraid that they would wrap around blood vessels and I would lose an ovary. So I listened, no workouts, no bowling at our 2 year anniversary party, no nothing. My husband and I went to the movies, we watched Christmas specials and I spent time with family preparing myself for Day 21....
Day 21: Embryo Transfer.....This is the day....This is the day where the embryos that are made up of my eggs and my husbands sperm are implanted inside me. WOW I AM NERVOUS. No anesthesia this time.... I meet with the Doctor and the Embryologist first to go over our embryos. We have created enough embryos that they are able to transfer 2 of them. At this point, it is starting to hit me.....they are transferring the possibility of children into me. They are possibly transferring our dreams into me. They are possibly transferring our happily ever after as a family into me....... BUT WILL IT WORK?
We don’t know....its a waiting game now.....We wait, and wait, and wait. I have to act like I am pregnant... no caffeine, alcohol, limited workouts and only light activity....for 10 days....... So for all of you that took the time to read this.....if you could add us to your daily prayers, we would more then appreciate it!
TO BE CONTINUED.....