Fertility Battles Part Two

So what now...? My OBGYN recommended an IUI or IVF to me that day and framed it as our only option. At this stage since we believed that my husband's sperm could not get through my birth canal to reach my eggs. So a fertility specialist was our next stop. I remember going to the NFC with my husband for the first time. It was massive, spotless and run like a well oiled machine. I remember rooms upon rooms and what seemed like hundreds of nurses in navy walking the halls. I couldn't help but think that I was in some special scientific facility, where big technological advances in baby making took place. It was quite overwhelming and scary to think that we needed to be in the hands of a specialist to help make something so natural, a child. To create something that God created so beautifully. Was this not my purpose as a women, or at least a BIG one...to have and carry a child of our own. Why did we need help to do this? At this point we had been trying for over a year and 40 was slowly gaining on us. So it seemed clear now that we truly could not do this on our own. Even though my denial in this truth was thick and well defended, sitting in the NFC waiting room with all the other women that day the truth was real and I could no longer avoid the word...infertility. This was accurate and meant us. All the while I still felt it was my fault. It was my body that was failing us and my body to blame for our struggle. I battled over and over again with this guilt. Thinking still this was part of the consequences of my mistakes as a young and sometimes careless women. It wasn't until I was crying to my best girlfriend Sarah, where I was reminded again, that is not how GOD works and not how he loves.

That day at the NFC they spent over 2 hours with us. Talk about being thorough .Our doctor and a nurse talked with us about everything from blood tests, to antibodies tests, to HSG tests, to genetic tests, to diet suggestions and restrictions, as well as the doubts they had about acupuncture and eastern medicine. At this point I was investigating and reading books upon books about; natural baby making, healing the body, how to make a baby when your body makes it difficult and was quickly becoming a believer. God gave us a body that was so ordered and wonderfully made and he created this body to heal itself. That was how God designed it. It was my job to do a better job of taking care of my body, so that it could do what it was intended to do. So hearing the doctor say there wasn't really any proof or research to back any of the natural eastern methods up, was disheartening. As a therapist I know most doctors buy into the medical model and are not usually believers in a holistic approach, let alone an eastern one. I am however easily influenced by doctors, especially when I feel so dependent on them for answers. It was enough information to take me for a spin, but it did not sour me on my holistic efforts. I figured to do acupuncture and take other mindful precautions, along with whatever the NFC prescribed, couldn't be a bad thing and could only help us in the long run.

Before we paid our $$$ bill and they sent us on our way, nurses drew all sorts of blood work on my husband and I to test for various things. One of the tests was for the "sperm antibodies" test. Our NFC doctor informed us that they don't use "postcoital" tests anymore, as they feel they are "antiquated". Instead they do an actual blood test to see if you carry the sperm antibodies or not. It's quite straight forward. If you are positive for antibodies then your body does attack sperm, if you are negative then your body is normal. A few days later we received the test results and it turns out I did NOT have the sperm antibodies. So apparently the whole thing about my "body being toxic to my husbands sperm"... was bunk. I couldn't believe that my OBGYN was not more advanced to know that the "post-coital" test isn't a sure fire thing and then would use something so inaccurate on his patients. How could a doctor use something so unreliable and then falsely break the heart of a women who wants so desperately to have a child. It seemed so negligent to me and irresponsible to me. However, when I mentioned this to the NFC doctor, he shrugged it off like it was no big deal saying, "Yea they still use them for some reason." Unbelievable. When I asked him why the "post-coital" testshowed such failing results he said, "Yea probably just a bad day or a one off...can't really be sure...but you don't have the antibodies." I remember feeling wronged and lied to and then so completely desperate for answers all at the same time.

Our next stop was to take an HSG test. The HSG test is where they put a balloon of sorts in your uterus and release a die to hopefully pass in one end of each of your fallopian tubes and then out the other side. If the die passes in one side and out the other, your tubes are open. If the dye does not pass through, then one of your tubes are blocked. Well it turns out this is more of a reliable test and really does test for what it is intended...thankfully. It turned out that the test showed a problem on my left side. The dye went in one end, but not out the other. My right side was fine, but the left was obstructed and could be the main reason why my husband and I were having trouble conceiving. Why and how did this happen? Well they had all sorts of possible reasons, but nothing definite. Maybe adhesions or blockages from the last 38 years of what I couldn't possibly imagine. Nonetheless, there truly was something blocking my husbands sperm from actually reaching the eggs. Thankfully, I had eggs...lots of them apparently for my age. "Beautiful" eggs I remembered the fertility doctor saying. I thought, 'why would God give me so many beautiful eggs that we couldn't access.' What was the point in that? Again my heart was broken and my dreams falling further out of reach. However somehow I still had hope. Hope...my small hope was still hanging around. Somehow it never left me, not then and not still.

To be continued...

Julie Mangus