I always wanted children from a very young age. In kindergarten we were told to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I drew a picture of me with 10 kids. In high school I thought about maybe being a pre-school teacher or something, but really I just wanted to be a wife and mother.
I never even fathomed that I would be unable to have children. Growing up I didn’t know anyone that didn’t have kids, and the only person I knew of that had “fertility problems” was my mom, who was told at 15 that she wouldn’t have children, ever. I am the oldest of four, two of us being “oopsy babies”. When I was 20 I met my friend Laura, who had conceived her twin boys via IVF. This concerned me a little, because I had always thought of infertility as something associated with aging, and she is only a year older than me.
I had gotten married at 19, and after we were married for about a year I went off of birth control. Michael didn’t really want a baby yet. Honestly we were not in a good situation to have a baby at all, but I didn’t want to wait. I wanted four kids before I was 30, so I wanted to get pregnant! We used the (supposedly ineffective) withdrawal method of birth control for a year or two until he decided he was ready to have kids too (TMI much?). I don’t honestly remember when he decided he was on board, but I know that total I have been off of birth control since May 2006.
I had gotten the Depo Provera shot a couple of times when I was 17/18 because I had heard it would stop your period. It didn’t, it just make it crazy. And it has NEVER been naturally normal since. About a year after my last shot I was tired of spotting all month, but never really having a period. So I went on the birth control pill. I stayed on that (and used the patch and ring sometimes. Variety is the spice of life right?) for just over a year. I did stop taking it once right after I started being sexually active, and again once after I got married, because I was really unconvinced of the morality of it, but both times Michael was pretty unhappy with that choice, so I went back on the hormones. I actually was pretty upset and in tears about the prospect of being on it after I got married (Michael didn’t know that though), and I flushed all my pills down the toilet and I am pretty sure I told God I wouldn’t take it anymore. Actually now that I think about it, that could be why I can’t get pregnant, I told God I wouldn’t do something, and then I did. That months cycle was AWFUL! I was a few days late, and crying from the bad cramps. Years later I think it might have been an early miscarriage, which would be my only pregnancy ever, but we will never know. I had never had a cycle like that. So between the pain and the fact that Michael was NOT happy with the flushing of the birth control I got back on it the next month.
A year later I got off of it for good, and was TERRIFIED that my cycle would be miserable. It wasn’t, which is why I think perhaps the other one was a miscarriage. In almost 6 years of trying to conceive I have never had a cycle even close to that one.
I have tried various things to get pregnant: vitex, progesterone cream, ovulation test, preseed, evening primrose oil, maca root, etc. I am really bad at trying things for long periods of time, which probably works against me in the herbal remedies department. If it didn’t work in the first month of trying I gave up. I also did 4 cycles of Clomid, and one IUI. None of it worked. I didn’t ever get much testing done, because I didn’t want to spend money on it when we could be spending money of treatments. I know it sounds stupid, but if we paid for testing, we couldn’t pay for treatment, so it was a choice between knowing what was wrong and doing nothing about it, or trying stuff but not knowing what the problem was.
Finally, this December, we agreed to stop trying and work on adopting in the near future. So next year we are going to start on the process. I feel good about giving it up, but if I am totally honest, I still really hope to get a miracle baby.
In April we did classes to be foster parents, and we are now waiting for a placement.