I have wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. From the days of being a little girl carrying my “baby” everywhere up until today. I believe that we all have our expressions in the world and mine is being a mother.
Some people are born for it. Jenn is one of them.
The journey to motherhood got very real two years ago when my fiancé, Peter, and I started trying. I am 36 and at the time I was 34. I always thought that it would be easy to conceive.
It never once crossed my mind that getting pregnant would be difficult.
Oh, how wrong I was. After six months of trying unsuccessfully (and every month being disappointed) I suggested we go see a fertility doctor. I was convinced that my fiancé was the problem. I wanted Dr. X to test us both (even though I had already made Peter do a home sperm test and it came back fine). I wanted a professional opinion and some help. Honestly, I thought Dr. X was going to call and say that Peter was the problem and here's where we go from there.
On the day of our appointment Dr. X talked to us about infertility and in all honesty I felt like he was speaking a foreign language. I had always just thought the sperm meets the egg at ovulation and bam you get pregnant and have a baby. Simple, right? I was completely unaware of all of the science behind fertility and, remarkably, just how many people struggle with infertility.
Dr. X did an ultrasound and looked at my follicles (I've now learned that those are what hold the eggs) and said I had about 11, which wasn't awful for someone my age (I love hearing I'm considered a senior in the fertility world). They also did some blood work, sent me home with a prescription for Clomid and they planned to start IUI.
I was sweating at that appointment. As the guy, the partner, I wanted to stay cool, look like I knew what was going on. I should have asked a lot more questions. I should have had them turn up the AC. Later I had a beer and tried to forget the word “follicle.”
A few days later I got a call from Dr. X and he said that I had low ovarian reserve and that he thought I should not do Clomid but switch to injectables. I had no idea what "injectables" were but hearing I had to stick myself with needles didn't sound too appealing. Since he was the doctor though and I was the patient I agreed.
I hung up the phone, cried and immediately googled low ovarian reserve because even though he tried to explain it over the phone I was still confused. (Google has helped me so much through this process but has also given me major anxiety.)
We scheduled another appointment to discuss this new information and Dr. X came into the room and said "I think if you want a baby and finances are tough I’d recommend going straight to IVF." Right in that moment panic came over me because I knew how badly I wanted to become a mother, but also knew now just how much IVF would cost. I had no idea how we were going to afford this.
I also had no idea what the odds were for success. Dr. X said that this was the best path, but I don't recall him saying our chances were really slim. It’s a bit of a blur though. He did mention an egg donor as a possibility too, but I really wanted to have my own biological child and if there was still a chance we should try.
I believed with all of my heart that my body wouldn’t fail me because I knew I was born to be a Mother so how could it? We went home and did what any couple who didn't have 20 grand laying around would do: we borrowed it without having a solid plan for paying it back.
I think there was a moment or two in there when I almost passed out. This got really real, really quickly. My knowledge in this area was wildly lacking. I was completely uncertain about our odds, but I was very certain we didn’t have the money. And Jenn was incredibly emotional. The road got rough and I don’t think we were really ready for it. Jenn was crying, I was trying to get a line of credit, and neither one of us really knew that we were essentially putting over $20,000 on one number on the roulette wheel. I wouldn’t take that bet for $20.