Most people grow up and think they will get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Then life gets in the way and you discover it doesn't always happen like that. I grew up in Utah, a culture where if you didn't get married by an early age and have a baby with in a year, there was something wrong with you. As it happens, I would be waiting for my prince charming longer then most. I was in my 30s before I got married - an old maid by most local standards. My husband already had 2 children from a previous marriage, so I was an instant parent when I got married. I knew time was ticking and that a baby was the next step for us.
We had been trying for six months after getting married, but nothing was happening. I had a feeling something was wrong. We went to the OB/GYN to get a yearly check-up and to discuss us trying to get pregnant. The doctor didn't feel too concerned, and told us to keep trying for a few more months. If nothing happened we should then come back to look into further tests. The husband and I both had tests done. We found out that he had a low sperm count, but found nothing with me. They referred us to a clinic an hour away, where we went for 3 IUI's. When nothing happened, we decided to take a break. While waiting, we found another clinic only a few miles away from our house. We went for a consultation and during the consultation they did a vaginal ultrasound were they found that I have PCOS. Why didn't anybody else find this? Why didn't anybody do tests to see if I was also the cause of our fertility problems? I have had Hirsutism for most of my life, which is a symptom of PCOS, along with weight gain and not being able to easily lose weight. So why didn't any doctor do a test to see if this was the cause?
It was the first time we'd actually had a real diagnosis. We were both put on medications. I was put on Metformin to help control my blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance. He was put on Clomid to boost his sperm levels. We had to wait a few months for the meds to start working before starting treatment. During this time, trying to co-parent with my husband's ex-wife was frustrating, She would try and manipulate a situation to suit herself, wanting to change weekends 12 hours before hand, making life frustrating. The kids were acting out and being very disrespectful due to seeing their mom act the same way. Many thoughts were running through my head: do I want my child to grow up with this kind of disrespect, and did I want my child to see there older step-siblings treating me this way? I wasn't sure I wanted to go through treatments until things changed in our home. Some how, things needed to be different. The Husband and I needed to be better communicators, better co-parents, better spouses. The kids need to be more respectful, the ex-wife also needed to learn better communication.
In December of 2010, we started new fertility treatments. Month after month I would be put on higher meds to help me produce more follicles each time I would only produce 1 follicle and a few smaller ones. We would do the IUI and wait for two horrible weeks, knowing each time that I most likely wasn't going to get pregnant. In April of 2011, we had the dreaded sit down with the doctor. He said, "nothing has worked so far. I think it's time for IVF." I cried and cried. We got the paperwork and saw how much IVF was. $12-18 thousand, depending on if you wanted to attempt multiple cycles. I was devastated. How could we afford that? We were given a few loan companies to apply to, and were denied for various reasons. It felt like it wasn't in the cards for us to have a baby, but we both knew in our hearts that out family wasn't complete.
We discussed options. We cried, we prayed, and we hoped. Then we came up with a plan: start our own online business to make enough money to pay for the IVF, and get my mind off of anything related to babies. We called our company Up In The Night. We started selling home decor items, candles, and glassware. We've had a few bumps getting it up and running, networked like crazy on facebook, and had a few customers. But it hasn't been nearly enough to pay for IVF. I'm not going to give up. I know there is a piece of my heart out there waiting to join my family.
I am hoping to somehow become a great mother for my own children as well as my step-children. I also hope I can become a great business woman who can help others succeed. I hope to help others and be a great role model for others who need support being a step-parent, a co-parent, a hopeful parent, or with fertility issues - anyone who can relate to my story. I always thought I was the only one out there who was struggling with fertility issues on top of step-parenting on top of co-parenting on top of my own crazy life, but I know there are more out there who just need to know we are out here... I am here for you, to help, to listen to, to cry with, or to give advice. Just know that you are not alone.