It’s hard to figure out where to start and what story I should share first. So, I am going back to the very beginning before the triplets were even conceived. With 7.3 million women in the United States who have used infertility services in the past year, this is a more prevalent and relatable topic now more than ever. Chances are you know someone who has experienced infertility or you may have experienced it yourself. Either way, this is the story of our infertility journey.
It never crossed our minds that we would have difficulty getting pregnant. However, after a year of trying to get pregnant I was worried that something was off and scheduled an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist just to make sure. The night before our first appointment to meet with Dr. S, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about all the possible situations and I already hate going to the doctors. I had anxiety about that as well. The one thing I have always wanted to be more than anything in the world is a mom and going to see a specialist made me feel like I might not be able to. I told myself I would do whatever it took to make it happen. Our first appointment was extremely emotional for me. Dr. S was so sincere and understanding that I felt much better at the end of the appointment. I left the fertility clinic repeating her words. “It is no longer your job to worry about getting pregnant. It is my job to worry about that now.” I was more confident that we would have answers and felt like we were one step closer to becoming parents.
A few weeks later Dr. S had the whole picture from all the tests Joe and I completed. I was terrified and excited all at once but I needed to know the results. When she told me that one of my hormone levels was too high, which meant I don’t ovulate and that was the likely reason we had not been successful at getting pregnant. I was devastated. She explained that this was the best thing that could be causing our infertility because it was the easiest fix. At the time, I felt like it was my fault and that because I couldn’t get pregnant I was failing at being a wife. I know this a huge stereotype and my dear husband repeatedly told me that it wasn’t and he loved me no matter what happened. Whether it was through treatment or if we had to adopt he would always tell me, “All I want is you.” It took me until I was pregnant in the hospital that accept his words but, that’s another story for later on.
We decided to start treatment right away. I felt like the only way for me to feel better about not being able to get pregnant on our own was to continue our journey and start treatment. Our first cycle of Letrozole with intrauterine insemination (IUI) was in October. (Letrozole is similar to Clomid but, it has less side effects and you are less likely to have multiples than with Clomid.) This treatment allowed me to ovulate mature eggs. The IUI was optional but, we decided that we might as well do it to give us the best chance at getting pregnant. The doctor explained that the medicine makes women crazy and told Joe “good luck” this week when we left her office. I did my best to stay calm and sane but my husband took advantage of the situation. I know I was more sensitive about things but Joe thought he was hilarious and would push my buttons on purpose because he liked my reactions. So I don’t feel bad about how I acted, since he brought it upon himself.
All joking aside, the first round of treatment was not successful. When they told me that I wasn’t pregnant I was devastated yet again. It was then I realized that getting pregnant was not going to help me feel better about infertility and that I needed to come to terms with it on my own. I feel like once I accepted this I started feeling better about not being able to get pregnant.
We started the second cycle of treatment in December. Joe and I decided that we would try one more cycle and then we would take a break because of finances and timing. If we got pregnant from February to April then the due date would be during Joe’s busiest time of the year. When we went in to see if my eggs had matured enough they weren’t quite ready and we could have either upped my dose of Letrozole or check again in two days to see if they grew. We decided to check in two days. When we went back I had two mature eggs, so we could continue with the IUI. Joe and I had a conversation about twins and if we were ready for a challenge like that. We both decided yes and carried on with the treatment. The timing of the IUI would put my two-week blood draw the Tuesday after Christmas. I told myself I wouldn’t cheat and didn’t buy any home pregnancy tests. Joe and I were very fortunate to become pregnant on our second cycle of treatment! I am saving how we found out I was pregnant for another post, because that was when our life changed forever.
Fast forward to after the babies were born, Joe and I brought the babies to meet Dr. S. The nurses pulled my chart and they were amazed that we had triplets from IUI and not in vitro fertilization (IVF). They ended up passing my chart around because they couldn’t believe it. They said these were really miracle babies because I only had two mature eggs when we did the IUI and none of the babies shared a placenta or sacs. We learned that most likely one of my eggs split before it was fertilized or before it implanted, so they could be half identical, identical, or fraternal. Joe and I knew we had three little miracles, that’s why when my perinatologist talked to us about our options of selective reduction we didn’t even need to discuss it. We knew God gave us these three babies for a reason and everything will work out.
Throughout this story I have been using we instead of I. This is because our infertility journey was something my husband and I went through together. My wonderful husband went with me to every doctor’s appointment and held my hand throughout this entire journey. He listened to me cry and explain how scared and disappointed I was. He reassured repeatedly, would distract me, and remind me of all the good things that we have. I know at times he felt like nothing he said or did helped and sometimes it didn’t, but he continued to be there for me. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without his support. It was an incredibly emotional time for us, well mostly me, and I was terrified that it was going to tear us apart. However, it made our relationship stronger and reassured me that I really did marry the perfect man for me.
I would love to hear your thoughts or questions. Everyone’s experience is different and special so I would love to hear about yours.