Tuesday, 17 June 2008

In the beginning

I told my husband I was going to the dentist that evening. My palms were sweaty and my face was flushed; I wasn’t used to lying and I wasn’t good at it either. As I drove to the Reproductive Endocrinologist’s (RE) office, the neat stack of test results from the last 3 years on the seat next to me, I replayed in my head the last year’s events. We couldn’t get pregnant. There was something wrong with me and him. His problems, a low sperm count, was minimal… my crazy hormones was more serious.We started on the journey to parenthood thinking we could fix whatever was wrong with me and soon, really soon, we would have a baby… surely the doctor knew best and he would fix me, in his infinite wisdom…

That was 3 years, 3 doctors and 80 lbs ago. Whatever was wrong with me, it couldn’t be fixed. Medication, after medication, test after test, procedure after procedure failed for me. I gained weight, our marriage stretched at the seams. I became someone else. My mind was lost and my heart was aching every time I saw a baby or heard of a pregnancy. I wanted a child. I wanted a child so bad it hurt to breathe…

No more, said George, no more tests and doctors. If we can’t have a baby of our own, from our own sperm and ova, flesh and blood, carried by me, then we wouldn’t have a baby at all. No adoption, no donation, no fostering… these were his terms.
Desperate, I went to seek a new doctor, a promising one, one final opinion. I didn’t tell George. I figured the doctor would just look at my test results, shake his head and tell me “you are overweight, that’s why you can’t get pregnant. If you lose a little weight, you will have a baby”. That’s what the last doctor had said too. Except when we first started trying I wasn’t overweight…but I was still infertile and had been since I was 12 according to my OB.
I drove across town thinking of what I was to tell George when I got back. I hated lying to him, but this whole ordeal had changed me. I wanted a baby… for me, it wasn’t ok to live childless as it seemed to be with him. So one last shot, just one… besides it wouldn’t really work, would it? No need to have a 2 hour argument with him over nothing.

I parked the car and walked to the building… waited in the lobby. The walls were covered in baby photos that he had helped create. I thought it was so sweet. It showed a caring man…The door opened and he walked in. He was tall in his forties with graying hair and very white teeth. His smile was warm and when he talked, I could just barely make out an accent. He reviewed my file and then asked me what cycle day I was in… He went on to explain how everyone until know had been trying to lower my raging hormones to a balance that was never achieved. What he wanted to do was raise the low hormones so that a balance would be achieved… on the high end.He told me I was just barely in the window when I could start the new treatment. It was costly but we could make it work through insurance. Should we start now?

My heart raced. This appointment was not as I was expecting. There was hope! What would I tell George? The thought passed through my head and for a moment I thought about calling him, coming clean… but I feared his rage so I decided it was best if I saw him in person before I did any explaining.The doctor gave me a shot in the gut, then showed me how to use the pen syringe. He gave me enough medication for a few days and sent me on my way.
On my way to the car I stopped at a church and lit a candle in prayer… A Baby, Virgin Mary, just one baby, and I won’t ask for anything else in my entire life… not even for a second baby. Just one and I will be happy… forever and ever…

I went home but didn’t tell George immediately. I wanted to, I felt awful not telling him. We had to be in this together, he had to know… Finally I summed up the courage and told him a few hours later. I told him I didn’t have to do any more shots if he had changed his mind. I apologized for not telling him but I didn’t want to fight with him over nothing… except this time, there was something. He nodded and hugged me… there was hope and he wanted a baby too. “Last chance”, he said and I nodded in agreement… “Last chance…”


The pain was excruciating! I just wanted it to stop! The fever was giving me the shivers and I found no relief anywhere. On top of everything I couldn’t take anything for it on the off chance I was pregnant. I had developed a rare side effect of the hormones called OHSS. My abdominal cavity was filled with fluid, my ovaries were the size of a grapefruit each… but there was hope! For the first time in 10 years I had ovulated! For sure, honest to God, I had produced eggs, from both ovaries! And there was a chance… a sweet chance, that I was pregnant.Except the pain was making my brain hazy… at that moment I didn’t care. I just wanted the pain to go away. I was pumped full of hormones that would help support a pregnancy and this was making things worse. I just hoped it was worth it.


The test was a blaring positive! I looked, still half asleep, chasing cobwebs from my eyes, in disbelief. How could it be? I was bleeding just 3 days ago, I was sure I was getting my period. Positive? POSITIVE?!I called George, I called everyone! I’m pregnant! I was really, really, honest to God, cross my heart, PREGNANT!! My roller coaster ride was about to begin…