When I pictured how my life would be, I never pictured it to be slapped in the face with the word “infertility”.
I grew up in a pretty large close-knit family where everyone had at least 3-4 kids per couple, seeing that always made me want to have the same thing. When I was 16 years old, I remember always getting intense period cramps that would take my breath away from me. Fast forward in my 20’s, I consulted with numerous specialists that told me it was “normal”. That’s when I did my own research and became my biggest advocate. I then came to the realization that I might have Endometriosis. I remember I was 25 years old in a serious relationship, and I turned over to my then boyfriend and asked him if he was okay with not having kids. that’s how scared I was about the possibility of me being the #1in10.
“Then I met my beautiful husband at the age of 29, married at 30 and like many, we started trying to conceive. 7 months flew by, and nothing. I knew deep down in my gut that it was because of my undiagnosed Endometriosis. I then went to my OB and he did an ultrasound on me and found I had a 7cm cyst which I already knew about and all doctors told me it was a “Dermoid Cyst”. He told me otherwise. He turned over to me and told me, Christine you have an Endometrioma which means you most likely have Endometriosis. I stared at him and thought to myself, I knew that all along, but no one ever said that word to me, ever.
Later that month I got scheduled for surgery to remove the cyst and remove any adhesions or lesions while he was in there.
After the surgery, he told me that he left 90% of my ovary (thank goodness) and he told me he found no signs of Endometriosis elsewhere. I knew that was absolutely wrong. I told my husband that I want to see a specialist in Endometriosis, and he told me that I was acting like a hypochondriac, but I had done over 5000 hours of research and read so many articles on Endometriosis that I swear, by now I could be an Excision Specialist. A few months after my surgery, I got PREGNANT! I couldn’t believe it; I was ecstatic and that moment of seeing that positive pregnancy test will forever be in my heart. However, with everything else. It quickly became a nightmare and ended a short week later.
Okay, now I am back to square one.
My husband said “let’s just give it some time, maybe we will fall pregnant again”, but nope, another year goes by and nothing. I then called one of the top doctors in Canada who specializes in excision surgery for Endometriosis and he told me that I most likely needed surgery. Low and behold, it was all over my pelvic region, cul-de-sac, ovaries were adhered to my uterus, and in my uterosacral ligaments. I knew it all along but everyone didn’t believe in me. Another thing he told me that absolutely was devastating is that my right ovary was split in two and extremely small from my previous surgery which the other doctor completely misinformed me about.
A few months later, we did our 1st self-paid IVF cycle and it went horrible. We got 10 eggs retrieved, 6 mature and 2 fertilized, with 1 being genetically normal. We then knew that this was going to take time, so we went on the list for the government funded cycle hoping and praying we would get in fast, which we did. My doctor told me that my eggs are horrible quality, some of the worst she’s seen and that she would like me to go on Lupron Depot for two months, which is medication that puts you in medical menopause. Okay, so I thought to myself, this is it. This is the cycle we’re going to make beautiful embryo’s and get pregnant this year. NOPE. Of course not. They retrieved 18 eggs, 2 mature and 1 fertilized. I completely lost it, I fell to my knees and cried out loud and thought to myself that I am never going to be a mother.
I found Fertility Friends Foundation online when I was searching for hope. Hope that when you are in the darkest time of your life, you search for anything that can bring you a smile for even a second. We are not financially able to afford another IVF cycle and yet we desperately want to, but are not fortunate enough to. I applied to the grant to hopefully give us another chance, and God willing hopefully our last cycle we will ever need to bring children into this world. Infertility is the hardest pill to swallow that my husband and I had to face in our lives. It has been devastating news after another. I am hoping and praying that we get another chance at this, and will forever be thankful if we do.
I don’t want my story to discourage you if you have Endometriosis and we want to start a family. You always need to be an advocate for yourself, and make sure you see a fertility specialist as soon as you can.