Greg and Charlene
Hi, my name is Charlene. My husband Greg and I met Aug 1, 2007. Our relationship was love at first sight. I know how cliché that sounds, but it felt right. We quickly moved in with each other, and were engaged Dec 2007. I know, 5 months, but in those short months we fell in love and couldn’t stop planning our future together. We both wanted children and kept saying 3 children. Sitting here now I am laughing at myself. Infertility wasn’t something I was aware of, or even considered. I just took it for granted that this would happen naturally. We knew we would have a long engagement so I decided, going into 2008, to stop using birth control. I started taking TriCyclen Low when I was 15 and religiously took it every day. 2008 flew by, both busy in our careers. I work with individuals with intellectual disabilities, first in a residential setting and now in a vocational setting. Greg is a Linesman. In the middle of 2009 I started to set up appointments with my family doctor to inquire why I hadn’t gotten pregnant. She really wasn’t very concerned. I was sent for blood work and it was suggested I lose 10% of my body weight.
At this point I blamed myself and thought it was due to my being over-weight. I joined weight watchers and lost more than my 10%, yet nothing changed. By the end of 2009 I started to think something might be wrong, I watched everyone around me have children so easily.
My family doctor referred me to a gynecologist that specialized in infertility. My first appointment was very disappointing: she didn’t take my concerns seriously. I was sent for more blood work and ultrasounds. My cycle has never been regular, and I could not have one for months. The specialist concentrated on that. Between 2010- 2012 we were actively trying and attending appointments to weed out all the concerns.
Greg was adopted as a child, along with his brother. They were adopted into a wonderful family. We knew we wanted to adopt at some point, and have heard it’s a long process, so we sent in our application at the start of 2011. Greg and I began to plan our wedding in Cuba for 2012. I wasn’t going to stop trying to get pregnant, so we kept trying and having appointments every 6 months. Before we left for Cuba in May 2012, we were told that once we returned, we could start Clomid treatments. Our wedding was amazing, and, of course, we had hopes of returning home pregnant. Once we returned home, one week before my appointment to start our Clomid treatments, we had our first miscarriage. I went into the hospital with bad cramps and they came in and said “YOUR PREGNANT”, words we have been wanting to hear for so long. I knew something wasn’t right due to the cramps, and during my visit we miscarried. I was devastated but optimistic at the thought we could get pregnant.
I wasn’t able to start Clomid until I had three cycles, which was so much easier said than done. In the Fall of 2012, we moved back to our home town, East Hants and started work with new companies. I now work for a non-profit called Prescott Group and Greg is working for Vista Care.
We started Clomid going into 2013 - three months on 50mg, three more months of 100mg, and then 3 more months of 150mg. All UNSUCCESSFUL . One month after stopping clomid, we had our second miscarriage and again I had severe cramps and my HCG level wasn’t rising. At this point I knew I couldn’t get pregnant naturally, and I became quite depressed, I was sad for Greg and myself. Greg is awesome, he is my backbone and such great support. The only answers we ever received has been unexplained infertility.
Coming into 2014, we were 100% into starting the adoption process. We beganour PRIDE Training and finished. We decided we would love to welcome two siblings under 7 years of age into our home. We have had our home study done, and now just need to complete our assessment. We are still waiting. I know it’s a long road, but it’s so hard to swallow when you know there are kids that need a loving home. If I have learned anything throughout the process it’s that patience is needed. We looked into IVF a couple times throughout the years, but the cost is what has been the issue. During the spring of 2014 we had many conversations concerning IVF. It is our last step. I feel we have tried everything and IVF is our last chance. So we decided to use our savings, which we were planning to use on purchasing a house, and we started IVF in July 2014. I was so excited to start this treatment and get an answer. To our surprise, around the first of July, our amazing friends and family threw us a surprise, “Next Chapter” Party to show their support. It meant the world to us. We were waiting for my cycle to start, which should of been towards the end of July. Guess what? It DIDN’T. I really wanted my cycle to start naturally, which would begin our IVF treatments. It’s funny the control we hold onto. I wanted my body to cooperate for just this part. I was admitted and I held out. There goes our summer, holding onto my last string of control when really I had no control at all. The Fall of 2014 was pretty stressful, Greg and I had endless conversations about taking the medication to start my cycle, which seems like it is not a big deal, but for some reason I was totally against it. I wanted my body to work.
Finally I decided to take medication to start my cycle, and we started IVF in February, 2015. The treatments didn’t have as many side effects as I had expected. The injections portion seemed overwhelming at first, but wasn’t hard for me. I would say the stress and anxiety happened days before the retrieval. Waiting each day to see the growth of your follicles and your levels. The retrieval was very overwhelming, but the medication helped. They retrieved 13 eggs. We were so excited! 13, what a great number! Then the next morning, the first call came: there were only 2 fertilized embryos left. I was devastated. 13 seemed so good. Now 2 is what we need and is all we have. Those two embryos developed nicely and wee transferred on Day 5. I am now 4 days away from my blood work which will give us the result. Four days away seems like a life time, it keeps my mind racing all day and night. The only best way to explain Infertility is the biggest mind game full of highs and lows. In 4 days we will know the answer and the next stage of our lives will begin either way. All I want is a positive test, a healthy baby. At this point I can’t think about the other result. I feel for all woman & partners going through this difficult diagnoses. Not only the stress that occurs, but the financial stress as the treatments are not always covered through medical care. That is what needs to be changed. If the financial stress was relieved, you could focus on the treatments and yourself. Even though 1 in 6 people are effected by infertility, it’s still a very lonely road. It’s important to have a support team and people you know you can rely on. We are so blessed with great family and friends and employers, but still, they don’t know how I feel or how much this can consume your life. It wasn’t until I joined a support group through ARTT that I talked with woman that truly understood, What a great feeling! For our story, the ending is almost here, and either way a new story begins. Que Sera, Sera
More 1 in 6 stories
This may well be the most challenging post I’ve ever written. No, scratch that. It was fairly easy to write, but it took some time to gain the courage to hit the publish button.
I am standing in a four plex arena watching my husband play hockey. Mothers push strollers while their babies are wrapped tight in blankets.
When my husband and I decided to start our family, we never thought we would have any trouble getting pregnant.