Tiffany (USA): They’ll never crack through your shell
I have suffered from major depression and anxiety since I was young. It isn’t as controllable as just wanting to be happy. They like to control me. At times they can be debilitating. I found yoga brings me balance that no pill could.
In 2013, Ralph and I married. He’s a musician, I was a yoga instructor, and we both have grown up jobs to pay the bills. Included with this union, I gained two beautiful bonus daughters, both in their twenties. They have a great mom so I’m not filling that mom-cup for them, I’m just their “Tiffy” and I’m honored to be a part of their journeys.
We live in Southern California with our chocolate lab and fluffy gray cat.
My husband had a vasectomy approx. 17 years before we were married. We found an incredible Doctor in L.A. to reverse it in June 2014 and began trying to conceive in August.
I remember that first period that came in September. I cried while hubby held me as we stupidly thought it would be that simple.
Infertility became my new demon to wrestle with. I’d been off all my head meds since February 2014 but still saw my therapist weekly.
By January 2015 I was getting concerned, it was almost my 35th birthday. That un-magical number in the fertility world was haunting me. I began using OPKs & BBT to track my ovulation; my cycle was like clockwork. We went back to the fancy Doctor in L.A. and got hubbs’ swimmers analyzed. His count was somewhat low and there were motility/morphology issues.
Around this time, I stopped teaching yoga, the infertility was consuming me, I still practiced when I had enough will to.
We did three un-medicated IUIs during 2015/2016 with my OBGYN – not even one lil’ two-line pregnancy test.
Devastated and reaching new levels of depression, we sought out fertility clinics. This was a hard concept for me. The first RE we saw was really rude, we almost decided not to do any fertility treatment after that experience.
In September 2016 we found a clinic. The new RE found antibodies on the heads & tails of hubby’s sperm, which sometimes happens after a vasectomy reversal. She said that this would be the main reason for ICSI/IVF.
In February 2017, we started our first IVF. We got a loan; our insurance covered zero expenses. During my SIS the RE found uterine polyps. I had to get a hysteroscopy by my OBGYN because insurance wouldn’t cover our RE doing it. After I healed she did another SIS & saw a small area of concern but she decided to go forward anyway.
In April 2017, we started our second IVF. We got 33 eggs, 30 mature, 20 fertilized and by day 5 there were 7 embabies. We transferred two. I ate organic, drank at the right temperature, kept my feet warm, didn’t exercise much or do any yoga (RE’s advice), meditated, thought positive…we still got a BFN.
I was a complete mess. My hubby consoled me the best he could. I was so shocked with the news because I didn’t give any energy to the possibility that I wouldn’t get pregnant.
Our RE suggested a new IVF cycle instead of FET even though we had five ice babies; she wanted to see if we’d get better embryos with a different medication protocol. We were told we would only have to pay for medication.
After a couple months I had another SIS to check my uterus, she saw that area of concern before my IVF had grown. I had to get another hysteroscopy and this time my OBGYN found it was a submucous fibroid! Could this have killed my first embabies? These guys can cause fertility issues!
In September 2017, on our third IVF cycle our RE explained we would have to pay for everything. I was dumbfounded; we were almost out of money! Our credit was shot so we couldn’t get approved for another loan. This meant no IVF; my dream was crumbling.
The nurse called regarding upcoming appointments and I told her my secret. With no money or hope, I shared I was suicidal. I didn’t have a plan, just felt more hopeless than I’d ever felt in my entire life.
I was hospitalized. At the hospital, I just wanted to find out how I’m supposed to cope. There are no infertility support groups near me and I had no one in my life that understood what I was going through. But they wouldn’t listen. They didn’t think infertility was a crisis. I got out the next day having to get on a low dose antidepressant. We had to cancel that third cycle.
Miraculously, we were able to borrow money. November 2017 on our fourth IVF: 30 eggs retrieved, 16 fertilized and by day 5 we had 6 embabies. We transferred 2 and tried to be as hopeful as we could, it’s harder to have hope after going through a failed IVF.
Three days before Christmas, we found out the bad news. I don’t like that they call it a failed cycle. I may not have heard their heartbeat but I loved them and I feel like I lost two sets of twins, but that’s just me.
I’m not the same person; I’m tired, I’ve lost faith, hope, my body, I’m in debt – I’m more lost than ever.
We have nine frozen embabies and it feels like they’re being held hostage; we’ve had issues with our clinic’s lack of compassion, rudeness & miscommunication.
I have a ginormous decision to make. To try FET if we can scrape together enough money or try to accept that I’m never having babies?
I’ve always wanted to have a child. I didn’t grow up dreaming of a fairy tale wedding or happily ever after relationship but to my surprise I fell heart first into the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m so grateful to have him as my husband. He loves me even when I thought I’d never be loved. With him by my side; I’ll survive.
May love surround your hearts always,
To follow Tiffany on Instagram please follow @infertilitiffy