Laughter Through Tears is designed as a safe haven for the fertility obsessed to come and fuel their addiction in a positive way. It is a way for me to share our story. It is a way for me to remember to laugh. It is a way for others to publish humorous content related to a typically unfunny subject.
I promise that there will be no hormone induced venting. No pity parties. No gory details about the inner workings of my anatomy. Just me searching for the lighter side of a tough topic and hopefully helping a few people have hope and humor along the way.
Meet the Winslow’s
My husband Bill and I have been married for eight years. We started trying to get pregnant soon after we married and it didn’t happen in the first 6 months. I never charted body temperature or peed on a stick and waited for a smiley face to appear. We didn’t try that hard at first. I think once or twice I did hold my legs up in the air for fifteen minutes or so after one of our baby making sessions. But we thought that was a riot, it was fun, we weren’t too concerned. Well… not too concerned.
Just when I was beginning to think something might be a little off, I was promoted to a mid level executive position with my company (a commercial bank) that required me to be away from home as many as four nights a week every week. We decided to put baby making on hold for a year or two and focus on my career. It was a great opportunity and hopefully a stepping stone to something bigger in a couple of years that would pay more and allow me to be close to home. I was on the fast track. Officially in the “talent pool” so to speak.
In 2008 things changed in the banking business as you may have noticed. There was a little bit of a financial crisis and a restructuring gave me the opportunity to go into a job at the same grade level, slightly better pay, but with much less travel. (Admittedly the little financial crisis worked out better for me than most but since Bill is a realtor we considered it a wash).
Just like that we were back in the baby making business!
I mentioned our plans to my OB during my regular visit and casually told him of our previous attempts. Because of my age, 34 at the time, he decided to do an ultrasound just to see how the plumbing looked. He immediately referred me to a fertility specialist, suspecting my tubes were completely filled with fluid. The specialist confirmed the diagnosis and removed the tubes to give us the best chance possible with what would be the only way we could conceive, In Vitro Fertilization. IVF. Test tube baby making (which is actually a misnomer, they use petri dishes).
We never did any of the other usual “stuff” leading up to IVF. No IUIs, no Chlomid. We passed “Go” and went straight to IVF. So, I am pretty useless on the topic of other reproductive treatments.
As a busy working woman I remember thinking “cool, this way I can just schedule our pregnancy. Maternity leave in the summer here in Northern Michigan would be AWESOME. We will schedule it, the lab and doctor will do the hard work, I will pick the time when they will put that fertilized egg back and whammo, I’ll be knocked up!”
Um… not that simple. NOTHING about IVF is simple.
Over the next few years, four embryo transfers and tens of thousands of dollars we finally had a little girl who I will call “Spork” in this blog because she is not old enough to tell me if she wants me writing in a public forum about her. The name Spork comes from what Bill has always called the Pebbles Flintstone like pony tail that perpetually stood in the center of her head during her first year of life. It has become a nickname for her and makes for a fine pseudonym. Spork was born in January of 2012. It was middle of flu season and temperatures were sub zero for most of my maternity leave. By then I couldn’t care less.
We have been trying to give her a sibling since January of 2013 and once again it has been a long road. This long road winds around two clinics, three more embryos transfers, and one heartbreaking miscarriage. We just had a a failed cycle last week (transfer number 7, embryo numbers 18 and 19). We have one more genetically normal embryo on ice and will be transferring it as soon as we can. Time waits for no ovary!
As painful as all this has been, we have experienced joy from time to time along the way. We have learned to stay positive at the most grim of times. We have met amazing people who are loving and dedicated in their field. Since we started sharing our story openly we have had been inspired by so many others that have experienced challenges with fertility.
Sure we have hormone fueled fights (guaranteed at least one for every cycle… you think I would learn what estrogen does to me and avoid them, but no). Yes we sometimes lose hope. We aren’t perfect pollyanna types. We cry sometimes. But we laugh too.
And sometimes we laugh through our tears.
I hope from time to time you will too.
Thank you for reading. Enjoy!