A brief history of our infertility journey:

Prologue: Over a year before we think we might start trying to have a baby, I begin exercising regularly, taking vitamins, and make sure that I’m not using any medications or over-the-counter products that aren’t approved for use during pregnancy.  I want to make sure that my body is completely ready once we say “go.” 

July 2007: After being married for five years, we decide to start trying to conceive.  I go off of the pill (I had been taking BCPs for about thirteen years), and begin charting based on the Fertility Awareness Method described in “Taking Charge of Your Fertility.”  After reading the book and keeping track of my morning temperature and cervical fluid, I’m amazed at how precisely one can be aware of and control the conception process.  (I’m so impressed that my temperature actually drops on the first day of my cycle).  Wow–this is so simple!  I’m sure that we’ll be pregnant in no time at all, especially since we’re so informed about how to time intercourse.

Summer 2008: Hmmm…well, we’ve been trying.  No pregnancy.  My cycles are long (around 33-35 days), but regular.  According to my charting, we’re having sex at the right time to make a baby.  I note that most infertility literature indicates that the definition of infertility is trying for over one year without becoming pregnant.  I check the calendar.  We’re about to be officially infertile.  This doesn’t seem right to me–after all, I’ve only had about ten cycles.  It doesn’t seem like that’s long enough to use the word “infertile.”  On the other hand, couples that started trying to conceive when we did have already had babies.  On the recommendations of a few friends and my mom, I add OPKs to my charting regimen.

November 2008:  I start worrying.  I visit with my doctor, then make an appointment with the RE for testing.  I have an HSG, then a sonogram.  Everything looks normal.   M’s sperm is tested, and it comes back with a 3% morphology (everything else looks normal).  The RE tells us he’s seen many fertile men with similar morphology percentages, so this isn’t necessarily the problem.  According to him, if it turns out that the morphology is our problem, our best bet would be IVF with ICSI, because the abnormal shape of M’s sperm may be preventing them from fertilizing my eggs.  Because we seem to be relatively relaxed and not visibly upset when we’re meeting with the RE, he tells us to come back in six months to a year if we remain unable to conceive.  He advises us that, considering side effects and risks of multiples, there are no “minor” infertility treatments, and that with our test results, we may still get pregnant on our own.  We decide to continue to try to get pregnant without any treatments. 

So, here we are.  Still trying.  Processing our situation.  Talking through what to do next. 

In the meantime,  I’ve stopped charting.  The micro-management of each cycle was getting to be too frustrating for me–not to mention the fact that it wasn’t working for us. 

And to avoid being too downtrodden, I’ve started taking piano lessons–something I’ve always wanted to do.  

Our friends continue to get pregnant and have more babies. 

I love M more than ever.  It breaks my heart to think that he might not ever be a dad; that I might not ever be a mom.  It breaks my heart that my parents might never be grandparents. 

Despite this, I trust that God can make something beautiful and wonderful out of our life.  I don’t say that to mean that I think this is some part of some larger or cosmic plan, like our infertility is an obstacle purposefully placed on the chessboard of our life.  The fact is, we all live in a broken and distressed world–a world where things like infertility, sick babies, suffering animals, cancer, war, abuse and death permeate our everyday existence.   But I do believe in a God who restores what seems lost; who makes all things beautiful in their time.  So I continue to hope, and pray, that I can face whatever comes our way with strength and wisdom.

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