Dana's Story
posted May 9, 2006, Updated Feb 13, 2008

I am married to a wonderful husband who treats me like a queen. I have a wonderful job after leaving a career of 10 years. I have three wonderful pets, 2 cats and a dog. Yet the past three years have been painful to say the least.

Since I was 14, my periods have never been normal. My periods ranged from 30-50 days. I didn't track them, so when it was a long cycle I always wondered if I was pregnant. Never happened. I am thankful, it would have been with the wrong person.

We started off just trying on our own for the first year. Nothing happened but I heard from lots of people that it is normal for a couple to take a year to get pregnant.

One day I was driving past a sign that said acupuncture for infertility. I thought to myself, "that is good, it is natural". I made an appointment for both of us to attend. We asked many questions and I didn't feel that comfortable with the lady. She was very nice but she went on and on about the past and I just wanted to find out about my present situation to help our chances. I was still hooked on this ritual and found a very nice clinic in another town. Everyone was super nice and I felt very relaxed. After the consult visit I felt such peace.

I went for my first visit, which I was nervous for. I didn't look, but then she said she was done and I didn't even feel it. I went for several months and we both took herbs and potions. After a while, my mind wasn't agreeing with my body and I just wasn't feeling the treatments were helping at all.

After that we took a slight break. I went for my yearly gyn visit. The doctor suggested a fertility study. Before this, my husband and I had not considered any fertility pills because of the risks. Now, all my friends were deciding to start families or add on and they got pregnant right away. Even a few friends had surprise pregnancies. I was so upset that I decided to try the study.

It was very time consuming, having to go every other day and get vaginal ultrasounds and bloodwork, then once you ovulate you had to go for these tests everyday.

The important part was that they did other tests such as making sure my tubes weren't blocked. This is a very expensive (and painful) procedure. The test results came out good, in fact ALL of my tests results came out good. They tested my husband and he was above normal.

I don't know what pills I was on until September of this year. I had several IUI's which were not painful at all. I thought if I conceived while in a chair at a clinic and my husband wasn't in a room that it was a little weird. I soon got over that when they said I ovulated and I was doing well.

Three months this went on, and I got my period everytime. After the study was over I decided to go to a nutritionalist. A friend had been going for other problems and raved about it for months. I went and automatically felt awful. I decided to give it a try since I was at wit's end of all this infertility. The nutrionalist was pregnant and that was hard to see all the time. I saw other nutrionalists there but I didn't feel comfortable. I hadn't felt better and I had to take all these supplements three times a day. I was up to 8 a day. I just felt it was going nowhere.

We decided to take another break. Then I revisited my gyn for my annual and she prescribed clomid. We talked of side effects and I felt at this point I don't care. I just want to be a mom.

During all of this I have felt alone. All my friends in the beginning of all of this have since had children and moved on. Days of not getting pregnant were long behind them. New friends I had made got sick of listening to me go on and on about counting days and doctor visits. Good friends were there to listen but never went through it so they tried to relate but really couldn't. Strangers and acquintences said things that they thought was helpful. It hurt the worst.

They said:
"Relax it will happen, if you are stressed it won't"
I said:
I didn't stress for the first year and nothing happened. Besides if it were that easy I would have had two kids by now.

They said:
Maybe it wasn't meant to be.
I said:
Well, I don't want to say what I thought. So I didn't do anything but change the subject and go home and cry.

They said:
I said:
NO, I wasn't there yet. I wasn't ready to think about that unless it was a last resort.

They said:
It happened for me, it can happen for you. Stick in there
I said:
Good for you but that is not fertilizing my egg and implanting it my uterus for 9 months.

It is so hard to see pregnant women and not get angry that they are lucky and I am unfortunate. I have seen women take total advantage of having their own biological child. I just want to shake them and say, "you are dumb". I got upset over women who had children and commented on infertility because they couldn't have more. Hey, at least you had one or two or three. That is totally different than having NO biological children at all.

Then I thought, I need to not be mad. Good for them. Maybe they tried for a long time and it finally happened for them. That is hard to think but I try to remind myself everyday.

I feel like sometimes I am being punished for things I did. I don't have any regrets because I wouldn't be who I am today if I did. But I still felt that this pain that is so undescribable can only be punishment.

Now, I only have one or two people I can talk to about any of this. I feel even more alone. I do talk to my husband about it but he has no idea what it is like. He feels saddened too because he really wants to be a family. The hormonal and unique experience of growing a life and giving birth is beyond his comprehension. He is a man after all. He has been very supportive but yet I still feel stranded.

That is how I know that this journey has been and still is the longest and hardest I think I will ever have to endure. My best friend laughs at that because she tells me I have been through some crazy stuff in my life that seems worse. Nonetheless, she understands and tries to cheer me up when I call hysterical saying I got my period again.

I wish I didn't have all this animosity and despair but I really don't know how to fix it or deal with it. I thought of professional help but time is an issue. We have a puppy and he takes up so much more of our time than I ever bargained for.

In conclusion, I am 30 years old. I have no children and I feel so sad that I cry often. Maybe one day, I will get my wish. If I do not, I will live a miserable life. We may or may not adopt. Until we are on the same page about it, we won't. I am on my last trial dose of clomid (3rd month in a row) and if it doesn't work I will not know what state of mind I will be in. IVF is too risky, all that time and money and no guarantee. We just need to decide how far we want to take this. We both agree we should think of one step at a time when we get there. Things can change easily and fast!

My poem:

Dear Baby,

You are a dream I have every night.
I feel like until you are here,
things in life just aren't right.
I reach out to you but you are so far away,
but somehow I have to hold on to the thought
that you might be mine someday.

My love for you pours out of my heart
so much it floods my eyes.
I look to God and pray
and ask him to bless you in our lives.

And when that moment comes and you are finally here,
I will reach out to you and you will be near.
Either way I know that we were meant to be
and that we will love you for all eternity.

Update from May 28, 2007

Well I finished my third round of Clomid and nothing happened. I was at such a loss. I didn't know which way to turn or what to do. The gyn suggested that I go back to the Reproductive Endocronologist. I couldn't, I was in too much fear of what they would say. That those pain staking words would come to fruition and I would not be able to conceive my own biological child.

Was I ready to hear that?! Never, I thought. My periods seemed to regulate themselves once I turned 30 so I thought we should just try on our own.

Well one month later I was calling different doctors for an appointment. I needed to know my options. In a way, I thought I could never truly move on to another step of my infertility treatments unless I exhausted all that I could so far. At that point in time, I surely did.

In July of 2006, I went to see a RE and she listened to my whole history and said she could put me on IUI's with injections but it would be a waste of my time since it had been 5 long years. She said, even though it was only 3 years of actively trying, those first two years we were married and didn't do anything to prevent a pregnancy would mean that I should count that. Great, I thought, add more time to this difficult matter.

Then she said that IVF was to be our only option. I wanted to jump out the window next to me. I asked questions and just sat there shaking my head. How did it get to this point? What was so wrong with me that I couldn't get pregnant like everyone else who just woke up and said, yeah I will do that and a month later they were seeing two lines?! I told her I didn't want to do IVF and she said "Why?" very sternly. I said because of all the time and emotion that would go into it and wouldn't work, I don't know if I could live after that. I don't know if I could go on with my life as if nothing happened. (I wasn't thinking suicidal, just the end of the road to my infertility.) She asked if it was covered by my insurance and it was. She told me that it was my only option and if it is covered, I should take advantage of that.

My mom went with me to that appointment since my husband had to work and she told me the doctor was right. I said okay, I will do it. Of course I need to talk to my husband and see what he thinks. I had told him a couple of times about it and he said, well if you feel comfortable then do it. You are the brave one that has to go through it.

So they gave me the booklet of all the testing and information about the process. I thought this would all take a month and then I would be on my way. Well, the clinic was not very upfront and everytime I talked to someone they said different things. I didn't like the inconsistency. It made me feel like my best interests in mind. I did schedule my hsg and they said I have several small polyps in my uterus and I needed to wait a week for the doctor to talk to me and then schedule a D&C.

Well, frustrated I called another clinic and they got me in right away. After all the intial testing was forwarded they scheduled me for a polypectomy in September. I also found out they only take a certain amount of patients each month so they didn't overload themselves. Some people would see that as a little pretentious but I thought of it has clever. I did see the same doctor that I had in the study the year before. She agreed that IVF was our best bet. After my polypectomy, I rechecked with the doctor to say the surgery went well and there weren't several little ones, just one big one. Whew, was I glad I changed doctors.

Then they said, I needed a rubella shot because I didn't have enough immunity. Then I would have to wait 6 weeks before I could get retested and then get on the waiting list for IVF. Wow, bump after bump-I was so upset during this time. Why was this happening, I was so ready to start and every time I turn around, another step back.

Well, finally I was ready to go on the waiting list. November was filled up and December they didn't take patients because of yearly machine callibrations and the holidays. Ugh, I couldn't take another set back. This was a true test of patience, something I have little of.

They start you on birth control pills before you start your IVF (what? I am trying to get pregnant and you are preventing it more?!) I know it was to suppress my ovaries, but how ironic. Even my husband was baffled by all this. Well, since I had a history of migraines they didn't want me to start them until January and then IVF in Feb/March. NO, I said, I won't wait that much longer.

After talking to several nurses and coordinaters, they finally talked with the doctor and agreed to put me on them in November and December. I was relieved, finally this is happening. I ordered my injections and when I got that box and work, I had to open it and see all the things inside. I was so overwhelmed and scared. I found a website online and talked to several women going through IVF or had previously gone through it and they eased my fears.

I went to a local support group that I was starting and there was a woman who had a baby and was pregnant again. The doctors told her should could NEVER get pregnant. She did it and she said some important words that I will never forget and will tell other people about....."don't let anyone tell you 0% you won't have your own child, because I am looking at my 0% right now (as she pointed to her 9 month old son)" I went to the injection class and got my calendar. Wow, was that alot of information to take in at once. The calendar looked crazy. Appointments, shots, egg retrieval, transfer, timing.

January 5th came and it was time for my first shot, I rushed to the board to express my fear of pain. I had been around needles (I worked at animal hospitals for 10 yrs) it was the pain I couldn't handle. They again eased my fears that it was no big deal. After that first injection things got easier and easier for me. I bought a t-shirt that said "believe it, conceive it" (trademarked) and when I started my stimulation injections, I wore it to every appointment. I was excited by that point, I just said, gosh I cannot wait to have this baby.

The stimulation injections were very uncomfortable and I kept saying the word baby over and over and just did it. I pulled out all my baby things that I had collected over the years when my period was late and I thought it would be my month. I put my shirt on it and made a shrine to baby. When it came time for my egg retrieval, I was so happy. That week I remained positive (Which I didn't know where it was coming from because nothing else worked, what made me think this would? Yet, I thought, I was so used to be sad and depressed that I was going to act happy about all this, and I did!). They called me to say they had 10 eggs, 6 fertilized and on day 3 I went for my transfer. 3 looked good but they could only put two because of my age. That was fine by me.

They brought in the incubator that the embryos were in and they transfer went smoothly. I thought, wow this is it. We were given a picture of the two that went back in and a sample petri dish of their first 3 days of life. Not many people get that, they don't get to see their babies as blastocysts, not that I wish this on anyone, but I thought it made me instantly bond with them.

I also felt great because even though my calendar was tentative, I followed it to a T. I took in all the signs, why not right? The intramuscular shots were most frightening to me but I got over that quick, I had to do this, I had come so far.

The 2ww was long but after my first progesterone test, I got more hopeful instead of hopeless. I put the blastocyst picture in a frame and talked to them everyday. Sounds nutty but it kept me sane. My online friends going through infertility were there the whole time holding my hand and keeping me motivated. Which is astonishing considering some were at their low points. Amazing how woman can bond and be there for you! Well on February 15th, we got the news. I saw the number on the phone, took the deepest longest breath and answered. It was the girl from the smaller office where I got all my ultrasounds and bloodworks since it was closer to home. I knew as soon as I heard her voice that it was good news. I felt it in my heart. I was right, she said congrats girl you are pregnant!

I couldn't believe it even though I had a good inclination that it had happened for me. After all those years of disappointments you cannot get that negativety completly out. I screamed, cried and told her to say it again and again. She was so happy she choked on her tears too!. She said my number was 551 which anything over 100 is good.

I went a three days later and the numbers was over 2,000 then I went three days after that and the numbers were in the 8,000's. It was true through and through. We told his family, my family and some close friends (including my online buddies). We scheduled my 6 week ultrasound and my clothes were getting tight already. My friend joked that it was 4, I said, I don't think so but in my own mind I thought there were two at least. I didn't tell anyone, I kept it to myself.

On my 6 week visit they did a transvaginal ultrasound and within 3 seconds she said there is your two. I was elated and so amazed at my gut feeling that that was the case. My dear husband looked like a dear in headlights. He was happy just shocked! We couldn't wait to call everyone who knew we were pregnant and they were elated too!

They released me to my ob/gyn and she said I was high risk. I trusted her but felt I needed to not worry about if I was getting proper care or not so with much consideration I switched to a high risk ob. They really listen to me and I feel that I go often enough that they will do everything they can to ensure this pregnancy will be good.

On our 12 week visit we got to see them again, my how they had grown. We found out one was a boy and the other wouldn't uncross his/her legs so we had to wait.

On our 16th week visit, I went to get my cervix checked and the lady said, we aren't looking at the babies today and I frowned and said, well then I will have to wait a whole month to find out what the other is. She thought and then said she would take a peak. It was a girl! So a boy and a girl. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

My first trimester was great, I had food aversions but no morning sickness. I was going to acupuncture since my egg transfer so that was helping keep the symptoms at bay. At 8weeks I was already showing and had to tell everyone at work. They figured since it was kind of hard to hide it.

I am now 19 weeks (due October 22nd) and I look about 6 months along. I felt a flutter here there but it is hard to distinguish between all the rumblings that take place. I started shopping and getting our bedroom ready for them. I went and registered today and had a blast. I can't wait until I really start to feel them kick as I am still in shock that this happened for us.

I will update more later as I progress and then give birth. Thank you to Rachel for this site and allowing others to share their stories and mine! I read alot of them on here and I want to stand up and applaud you. It is hard but you are all strong and brave. I started my own local group to help women talk about their infertility because I feel, I will never forget how I got to this point and how much of a miracle this is. I still get angry at parents who take their kids for granted or who complain about being pregnant. I don't know if that will ever fade.

Updated Feb 13, 2008

The last I left off I was 19 weeks pregnant.

The rest of my pregnancy went well overall. I had a few scares of pre-term labor, non-fetal movement, stress that was causing emmense pain in my ribs, high blood pressure and some swelling.

The babies moved alot. My boy was more active and turned from breech to head down in week 26! My girl was head down the whole time and on my cervix. She had hiccups all the time and they tickled.

As I got closer the end, I was so big and uncomfortable. I had gained all of my 45lbs in my belly. I am only 5'2" so that was alot of weight to support. The end of my pregnancy was spent in bed with severe heartburn. I just told myself that this was all worth it, it was what I wanted and soon I would be holding my two babies.

On September 28, 2007 I went to my ob and he did an exam and said he felt baby A's head. That was a little creepy but it just meant that soon they would make their appearance. On September 29th I was up at 2am to drink water and watch tv since I couldn't sleep. I went to get up to get more water and MY water broke.

I ran to the bathroom and called my husband to come home from work. We arrived at the hospital at 4am and I was admitted and hooked up the monitors. I wasn't having any contractions and the babies heartrates were doing great. I was to go in for my c-section at 7am but throughout the day emergencies took precedence over me. Finally at 2:30 PM I was wheeled into the surgery suite.

At 2:44 PM Indira Ameet was born weighing 5lbs 4oz, measuring at 17" long. At 2:45PM (exactly 12 hours after my water broke) Arjun Ameet was born weighing 5lbs 8oz, measuring 17" long. They showed them to me briefly before whisking them off to the nursery to get examined.

I spent the next 9 hours in recovery, my blood pressure was spiking, my blood levels were decreasing due to my everlasting hemorraging. my uterus was so stretched out that it was not retracting. I was on severe pain medicines and other things to help me heal. I was in so much pain and very loopy but they brought the babies by to show me very quickly.

I finally was put in my room at midnight and spent the next 4 days recovering and bonding with my new family. They took the breast very quickly but were also bottle fed so I could learn to feed both at the same time. My husband took it all in very well and dived right in changing diapers, soothing and feeding.

When we came home there were many sleepless nights and crying both from the babies and me. It was very emotional to be taking care of these two precious gems and healing myself. The next couple of months improved slowly. Now they are 4 1/2 months old and are doing so well. They are meeting all their milestones for the adjusted age as well as their actual age.

I look forward to many more milestones as they continue to grow. I want to thank you Rachel for posting these stories. I continue to support women going through infertility with my monthly meetings here locally as well as online all around the world. Infertility is something I will always admit to having because it was such a HUGE part of my life. I will never forget the journey it took to become a mother. I never gave up even when it felt like the easier answer. I hope you don't either.