Giovanna (USA): Hoping For a Miracle
My husband and I started trying to conceive in November 2015. We thought we would get pregnant the first month or two of trying – how naive of us. The following month I was convinced that I was pregnant, but every test was negative. We hadn't been trying long, but I was starting to feel that it wasn't going to be as easy as we thought.
I made an appointment with an OBGYN and was given an unexpected diagnosis: polycystic ovarian syndrome. She explained to my husband and I that pregnancy was possible, but that we would most likely need medical intervention. I knew very little about infertility and I definitely did not expect to be 23 years old and in that category. What a way to begin our first year of marriage.
A second opinion, two referrals and a few months later, our infertility journey officially began. Our first consultation with an RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) was in March 2016. We were to do all the required testing and make a follow up appointment to discuss the results. At the follow up, we were hit with yet another unexpected diagnosis: male factor infertility. My husband's sperm motility was very low and his sperm count and morphology were borderline. Our RE recommended Men's Fertility Blend vitamins, lifestyle changes for both of us, and advised us to wait six months before starting treatment. It felt like an eternity, but we were determined and knew we would get through it.
We were finally given the okay to start treatment in September 2016. We went into our first treatment cycle feeling very optimistic, but that was short-lived. Two failed cycles later, we were forced to take a break. In a sudden turn of events, my husband was notified that he would be working away from home for the next six months. Another dreaded six-month wait. Our dream of becoming parents seemed to be slipping farther away as time went on.
In January 2017, my best friend told me she was pregnant. She planned on getting an abortion and was very blunt with me about it. I was fully supportive of whatever she decided to do, but I could only hear so much before feeling really upset. What finally sent me over the edge was when she told me that her life was over. Why did God choose her instead of me?? She didn't want to be a mother and I did. What she saw as life-ruining would complete mine. I had been depressed for a while, but at that point I was pretty much destroyed.
We kept our distance from each other for a while, but eventually I reached out to her and we put everything behind us. She had decided to keep the baby after all. As much as it upset me to hear her complain about not wanting to be a mother, I was happy for her. I put my feelings aside and wanted to be supportive. However, not too long after, I started to regret fixing things between us. She started to rub her pregnancy in my face, said the most insensitive things, and wasn't there for me as much as I was for her. I understood that we were both on separate pages, but I at least wanted her to try to understand what I was going through. Instead I got: "Well, why don't you do this? Why don't you do that? Have you thought about adopting instead?" I felt like I had no one. Family didn't understand, friends were having babies left and right, my husband was never home… I was in a downward spiral and the pain of infertility was consuming me.
My friend found out that she was having a girl and names were eventually brought up. I felt like I could talk to her about the names that I liked without having to worry that she might consider one of them: "I like the name Olivia too, but I wouldn't take it since you are considering it." There's no way that someone so close to me would do something so cruel...right?
I went through two more unsuccessful Clomid/IUI cycles by the time she gave birth to her daughter. "We named her Olivia." I felt like I couldn't breathe; my hands were shaking. She had reassured me many times that she wouldn't do this. That sense of peace and closure I was given was viciously ripped away from me. Not only did I have to come to terms with the most recent failed cycle, but I somehow had to process my best friend betraying me also. To make a long story short, our friendship ended. It ended for other reasons too, but this was just something that I could not forgive her for. And it wasn't just me being a bitter infertile, I just wanted honesty and compassion from a long-time friend. To some people it may just be a name, but that name meant a lot to my husband and I. The baby that we had fought so hard for would have had that name. No one will truly understand something like this until they experience it themselves.
This journey has been gruelling. Infertility has scarred me in ways that I never thought were possible. I've questioned if God exists, and what I did to deserve such suffering. Many days I've thought I was going to lose my mind. I've cried my eyes out while screaming: "I give up"! But, even though I didn't choose this, I feel there's a reason for all of it. There are days that are rougher than others, but I've learned not to let them defeat me anymore. I refuse to give up.
After two years, five failed treatments, and considering using donor sperm, we decided to move on to IVF. IVF isn't easy and will have its challenges, but I'll welcome everything with open arms. Our little one(s) are on their way and for the first time in two years, I actually believe it. We WILL beat infertility.