A Personal Story of Infertility - Part One

Before I go any further, I think it’s important to mention first and foremost, that I have a child. Technically, that means I’m not infertile. But I’d like for you to listen to my story anyway.

I am unable to have children naturally.

Our son was conceived via IVF.

We got one single chance at being parents.

One.

I always knew having a child would be a challenge. But having a child via assisted conception was never something I expected to go through.

Our journey was somewhat simple in comparison to others. Beyond the years of worrying about what would happen when we tried for a baby, the process passed by pretty easily. Emotionally, the pain, isolation, and loss still weighs heavy on my shoulders. I wonder still if that will ever pass.

I was nervous but also really excited when we eventually decided to start trying. I didn’t want children when I was younger, but I had yearned for them after I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I remember all the nights I cried myself to sleep. The hours I spent huddled in a tight ball of tears and pain. We planned to have a baby and then start trying for another as soon as we could. We kind of had the attitude of get it all out the way, have a hysterectomy, and then all my troubles will be gone.

A dose of reality

By the time that first period arrived, I knew that we couldn’t have a child. I felt empty. I looked at the blood on the tissue and my heart sunk. But, I still held hope for the next month. And the next. Time and time again, the ache of my periods imminent arrival was a stark reminder of another month lost.

I did everything I was supposed to do. I took supplements, maintained a healthy weight, wrote lists that I could pin up on the wall to make me focus on what the goal was. I kept my legs propped up in the air after sex. I went through another surgery to make sure everything was clear and prepped ready inside me to home a baby. I talked about my feelings. I let them out. I cried them out. But, it didn’t work.

My doctor at the time chuckled at me when I spoke to him about it. “It’s only been a year, Shireen! Just relax and keep trying!”. Relax. A word we hear so often when trying to conceive.

I felt so lost. I spoke with counsellors, doctors, nurses, friends, family and other people trying to conceive online. But no one really knew how it felt. No one knew how I felt.

Over the months and eventually, years, I lost myself. A cloud of depression set in and I couldn’t find my way out.

We were referred on to a sub-fertility clinic, then a fertility clinic. I saw a counsellor regularly. We prepared ourselves for the one round of IVF we had been granted.

Part 2 to follow

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