In addition to having chronic migraines, I also have what the fertility doctor called, “unexplained infertility “. My husband and I are the 1 in 8 couples who have no known medical reason WHY we couldn’t get pregnant on our own.
This week is National Infertility Awareness week, and in support of advocating for more stories and less stigmas attached to infertility I thought for my blog post this week I would share my story. In hopes to inspire someone else who is also struggling.
My husband and I got married in 2005, fresh out of graduate school. With our masters degrees in hands we were ready to blaze some serious professional trails. Both being extremely passionate about working for colleges and universities, we figured we would spend the first few years of our marriage moving up in our careers. We decided that at 30 would start officially “trying” to have a baby. That would give us 5 good years of marriage and career time before creating our 2.5 children (remember I had that road map from my last blog posts, and am a planner so this was the plan!).
Seeing as I was a perfectionist, I knew we would get pregnant right away. Well, 6 months went by, then a year then two years. At this point I was well into a Ph.D. Program and we decided to make a huge move across country for a job.
It was also around this time if you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that my “chronic”migraines began..so over a 4 year period we ping ponged between headache specialist and neurosurgeons trying to fix the structural problem that was causing my pain. In between surgeries and recovery periods, we had been meeting with my OBGYN, trying IUIs to get pregnant. After 6 tries, our OBGYN said you guys need to go see the fertility specialist. At this point, I’m 35 years old, and almost done with my Ph.D.
It took several months to get in to see the fertility doc, so when we finally saw him, we met with him for over 2 hours discussing everything and anything that could be causing us to not get pregnant. We also explained to him my history with chronic migraines and neck surgeries. So he suggested we try one more round of IUI. After that if I was still not pregnant then we would need to start thinking about IVF.
Hearing him say the words IVF immediately threw me into a tailspin, there was NO way we could afford that. But I put that thought on the back burner and pushed forward. The final IUI was a failure. All together we did 8 IUIs. Which if you have ever had to go thru infertility treatments you know those two week waits are the worst..praying that your pregnant but also trying not to get too excited..it’s an emotional roller coaster.
At this point, I began VERY ill again with my chronic migraines and we had to put fertility on hold. I was now 36. In 2016, I had a procedure done that my neurologist hoped would help with the migraines. So after I had some healing time from my procedure, my husband and I begin to try to decide what we were going to do. Do we adopt? Do we foster? Do we just suck it up and do IVF. There were so options, and I could feel my biological clock ticking inside me…as you creep closer to 40 you have less chance of getting pregnant.
If you know me, or have been following my for a bit, you know that I am a spiritual person. Through my years of chronic pain, migraines and infertility, I have grown in my spirituality. Learning to trust him, and lean into him when times were tough. Which as a recovering perfectionists is a hard thing to do. So anyways, through our fertility journey, I ended up becoming really good friends with a girl who was also using our doctor to try to get pregnant. She was telling me about how IVF was affordable and how our clinic was willing to work with you, etc. My husband and I were still SO unsure about what to do, but I had this moment where I had an overwhelming sense that we needed to do IVF. Almost as if someone had whispered it into my ear.
So one month later we call the doc, and get everything set up to do IVF. Knowing that we really only had one shot of doing this, we wanted to do it right, so we went on a fertility diet, stopped drinking,and even changed the types of items in our home that had chemicals in them that had been found linked to infertility. We really went ALL IN!
In March 2017, we began our first round of IVF with all the injections and trips to the doctor.
We had our embryo transfer on March 23 (we were so excited and nervous)!
On April 1, 2017 we took our blood test, after the two week wait, to find out we were PREGNANT! It was a miracle…statistically, getting pregnant on your first round of IVF is pretty low. But by the grace of God, we were pregnant.
On December 9, 2017 we had our baby boy, Keaton Joseph. He arrived ON his due date (he is already a perfectionist like his momma).
We still have 3 embryos left that are in storage. We are still trying to decide what we want to do with them, since I turn 40 this year, and my chronic migraines have been so terrible and uncontrolled. So we shall see…
Going through fertility treatments while managing chronic pain was one of the hardests things I have ever done in my adult life. I am so grateful everyday for my sweet miracle baby. He truly was a gift sent from above, and even though managing chronic migraines with a baby is hard; he is my motivation to keep going and to keep fighting for better control of my migraines.