How it all began....
Updated: Nov 26, 2019
I began this journey what now seems like forever ago, but in reality has been about two years. I knew in my heart of hearts that I had always wanted to be a mom, but was never sure when was the right time to begin this endeavor. I have since discovered, there is no such thing. I'm an analytical person and like to have things planned and organized (helpful skills as a parent, but NOT when trying to talk yourself into becoming a parent).
A little background here....I'm a single, adventurous, stubborn, only child who tends to do things in my own time and my own way. So it was no surprise to those who know me that I wanted to make my way down the road to parenthood all on my own, well at least it shouldn't have been. I reached a point in my life where I felt it was time to pull the rip cord. I was as ready as I would ever be to begin my quest of becoming someones mother. And so I began.
My first hurdle was finding the other half of the necessary genetic material for making a baby. I did my research and shopping and found one who I deemed and worthy of being my child's donor. In choosing, there were soooo many choices. I know that seems kind of the point, but things that I had no idea would matter, now did. I knew things like personal health and family medical history were important, but did I care about hair color, occupation, what kind of music he liked? While sifting through all the donor information, I learned that I cared about some of those details more than I ever dreamed I would. I found myself set on keeping blue eyes in the family. I shared them with my grandfather and wanted to share them with my child. I also discovered I was looking for someone with a more creative side to balance out my type A personality, and wanting someone close to my age just in case my child wants to meet him one day.
After navigating the donors and choosing one, the next step was an introduction of egg and sperm. Now, we all know the conventional way to do this.....but I was now in uncharted territory. Back to google I went to find the best way given my situation. Given my stubborn nature, I of course decided that I would try this on my own at home. It turned out to be much more difficult than one would think, probably the reason "Don't try this at home" is such a well known phrase. Between peeing on ovulation sticks, timing the pick up of a giant metal container full of liquid nitrogen and one very tiny vial of sperm, making sure to thaw and prepare it to the exact specifications, and trying to insert it at the exact right time in the exact right place....it was a losing battle. After just three months of negative tests and disappointment, I decided to seek help. I realize that three months is not a long time to try, but for someone with such apprehension about this decision, it seemed like a really long time. It took me so long to decide to have kids, I wondered if I waited too long. Now that I was ready to be a parent, I was ready to be a parent! Like right now! As I mentioned before, the whole Type A personalty kicked into overdrive. I was not accustom to feeling so helpless. Usually when I had a problem, there was a way to solve it. I'm no stranger to hard work, sacrifice, negotiation and sheer determination. But this was different, this was something I couldn't do anything about. I was so helpless, a feeling I'm not accustom to and don't much care for. Add in holiday stress and the loss of my grandfather, and I was pretty much a mess. But, no one knew that I was trying to become a mother, and failing.
So, back to finding help. I chose a fertility clinic to help me. I went in for a consultation and we decided to start with IUI, the easiest of the options in my opinion. Then the fun began, blood work to check hormone levels and daily scans to check the size of my follicles. Once they were deemed and appropriate size, I was given a trigger shot and instructions to return to the doctor 36 hours later for my IUI. As I anxiously returned, I had no idea what to expect. I was pretty much like any other pap smear I ever had, but I had to lay flat for 10 minutes after. Then I got up, got dressed and walked out like nothing had changed.
The two week wait is brutal every time, and it doesn't matter the results. In the interim, I went in for blood work. My progesterone was low making me more at risk for losing the pregnancy, if there even was one. They started me on vaginal progesterone. It's gross! I had to stuff these large white tablets up next to my cervix twice a day.....and the best part is when they start to dissolve, they begin to leak back out. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! After a week of that fun, It was time to take a test. It was positive! I finally had a positive pregnancy test, but who could I tell? No one. Back to the doctor I go for confirmation of the pregnancy. And yes, my beta levels were good, but the progesterone still low, so I was in for another six weeks of those fun tablets! I was so excited, and terrified! I didn't want to share my news. It was waaay to early....but I was dying for someone to talk to. There was so much going on in my head, it was spinning. I broke down and called a friend, my best friend. She had been through tumultuous fertility issues of her own and I knew talking to her would help. I was hoping she could help me gather my thoughts and collect my emotions. I needed to share my secret.
Two weeks later I returned for a checkup. They did a scan, and I saw the heartbeat! I couldn't believe it! I was only 7 weeks, but there was my little ball of cells with a heartbeat! This meant it was time for the fertility clinic to hand me off to my OB. I was on my way, my journey to motherhood was beginning!