Often, we are contacted after discovering that adoption may be the only way to grow a family. This holds true for my family as well. My husband suggested telling my infertility story to bridge a connection between myself and clients. Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone once you realize that you share a common history.
My infertility journey first began about 6 years ago. At first, my doctor thought everything was fine; she said that sometimes time is all that is needed. I appreciated her optimism and she put my mind at ease. However, after several months I returned to my doctor because I was insistent that we try something, she prescribed what I have come to discover is the first stop on the infertility adventure –Clomid. I was hopeful at first. I had read all about the medicine and, for many, it did seem to be the miracle cure. The medicine caused some pain, so I thought it might be working. When I returned to my doctor for a lab check, she told me that I was now an ovulating champ! I felt great, after all, I was a champ.
After several months of nothing, my hope was beginning to diminish. My doctor thought that since my body responded well to Clomid it might be a good to stay on the current path, but switch up the medicine. I am a team player with a goal in mind, so I agreed quickly. More quickly than I should have. Because of my need for speed, I overlooked the possible side effects. Of course, most of the side effects were the typical ones listed on most medications- nausea, headache, blah, blah, blah, and ovarian cysts. Truthfully, even if I read the side effects in their entirety, I would have taken the medicine anyway.
About one month into the medicine, I started experiencing a sharp pain on my right side. Now, I am willing to accept some pain in exchange for progress, but it felt like I was being stabbed every time that I moved. This, of course, had to happen on the weekend, so urgent care was my first stop. However, after they learned that I was taking fertility meds, they quickly moved me right along to the ER. While in the ER, I was hoping that maybe it was just my appendix; remove it and this would be a one time only incident. Unfortunately, after some tests and investigating they discovered that I had 2 ovarian cysts, one of each side. One was typical and would take care of itself in time (by taking care of itself it ruptured and caused pain that made the stabbing pain seem like a walk in the park), but the other was concerning. This cyst required watchful waiting.
For the next month, I had to visit my doctor weekly. At these visits, they were checking to see if surgery would be required or if the cyst was shrink. Fortunately, the latter happened. At my final check-in visit, my doctor informed me that once a patient has experienced an ovarian cyst, regardless of the cause, they will likely experience more…. spoiler alert, she was right! This is something that I still deal with too often.
Another year went by. At this point I was desperate, so I visited a specialist in Atlanta. I was more nervous at this appointment than I have ever been. The doctors were patient and understanding, and fortunately they moved quickly. After routine tests, I was told that In Vitro [IVF] was my best option. However, at the end of the conversation, he added that although there might be some success with IVF, if I had to have a child, adoption might be the safer, more secure route. He further explained that even if I got pregnant that did not mean that I would bring home a baby because many things could disrupt a pregnancy, especially in cases such as mine where there is so much unknown.
After that conversation, we chose to pursue adoption and quickly adopted a son. A year later, we knew we wanted one more child and we were trying to determine if we would again go with the route that was now familiar to us- adoption. Deep down, I knew that adoption would be the way to go, but for my own piece of mind I needed to know what the underlying culprit was. Why couldn’t I get pregnant when it seemed like everyone else so easily could? So, I agreed to an exploratory surgery or as my doctor so eloquently put it- “a dust ‘n cleaning”. After the surgery, my initial question that led me to surgery, the question that plagued me for years was finally answered – endometriosis. This diagnosis gave me the answer that I was seeking and it allowed me to easily move forward with a second adoption, the adoption that would and did complete our family!