A couple of weeks after my emergency surgery, we went on vacation to Mexico, a trip we had booked to celebrate the completion of my web development program. We couldn’t have gone at a better time. It was the distraction I needed to help lift my spirits. The day after we got back, I started a new job.
THERE WAS HOPE
I don’t know if it was the combination of a vacation, and having a new job, or my stubborn nature, but I was feeling positive and still hopeful about my chances to be a mom someday. It helped to know that my body could get pregnant, but with a tube gone, and the other barely there, it was obvious that the only way we could have a baby was to go through IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization). Now if you know me, you would know that I have an aversion to needles. So much so, I faint. Every time I’ve given blood, or done blood work, or done any kind of exam that freaked me out. Yep, I fainted. And here I was contemplating IVF. But there was still he matter of the ovarian reserve, and what Dr. Doom had said. I still thought he was wrong. I decided to try a new fertility clinic.
We waited a while before taking the plunge again. I wanted to give my body time to heal, and to prepare myself emotionally. I also needed to wait for my new insurance to kick in, which took about 3 months. In September of 2013, I set an appointment with doctor Thornton over at BostonIVF. The day I met her, I just knew she was going to be good. Once I gave her my medical history including what Dr. Doom had said and my thoughts on it, she said “Usually yes, the ovarian reserve declines but as you mentioned, some factors like stress can affect the outcome of this test. It doesn’t hurt at this point to take another test, especially since you were able to get pregnant on your own. Once we have the results, we can figure out next steps.” How about that? A doctor willing to try, willing to listen. She understood I was more than just a statistic.
We took the test, and lo and behold, the results came back positive. Imagine that Dr. Pang?! You really had no clue, did you? My ovarian reserve was high enough that my insurance would cover the costs of IVF. We were over the moon!! And we couldn’t wait to start the process. We were given tons of paperwork to sign, and to review. I remember seeing a huge paper stack of “potential side effects” and I gave those to my husband to read. I Told him to review it, but not to tell me anything about it. I didn’t want any potential negative thoughts of ‘what ifs’ in my head. I knew for this to work, I had to focus on positive thinking.
THE BEGINNING OF MY IVF JOURNEY
I was shown how to mix injection medications (there was a total of 3 injections that I would have to do daily, but I could condense them to 2 if I mixed 2 of them). The first night we prepared these injections, I felt like a chemist. We even recorded the process, so I wouldn’t forget. While recording this, as I was throwing one of the used needles into the supplied needle disposal bottle, I accidentally pricked myself, and screamed scaring myself and Matt. I had grabbed the wrong end of the needle. We burst out laughing. We were such rookies!
The laughter only got worse when it was time to actually do the injection. We had decided it would be Matt’s job to inject me. No way I could do it myself. And so he pinched the skin below my belly button, and every time he would say “okay here we go” all nervous, with a very serious expression on his face, I would burst out laughing. You could tell he was scared to hurt me, but his expression made me laugh. So, I would start laughing hysterically saying “wait wait wait.” And obviously, he couldn’t inject anything with a belly that was moving, I was laughing so hard. This went on for a while, and after 3 tries, finally, I calmed down and Matt was able to inject me.
I was so giddy. So what if we had to do this every day for the next month? So what if I had to give up alcohol, and caffeine? So what if I had to get pricked twice a day? We were working towards our dream of a family. Little did I know, it would take 3 tries. But one thing was sure, Dr. Pang didn’t know what the f*ck he was talking about that day. Not only did I get pregnant naturally, I also got pregnant via IVF, twice actually, but that’s another long story.
How about that Dr. Pang? What was it that you said? I’m glad I didn’t listen to you, and let you destroy our dream. See, I may have been 40 at the time, but I was more than just a statistic. Let that be a lesson to you.
And for all you warriors out there battling infertility, and going through your own hurdles to have a baby, don’t ever let a doctor define the course of your actions, not if your gut screams that there is a chance. Always get a second opinion. Don’t give up because my story could be yours.