My Fertility Journey: And Becoming My Own Advocate
The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be considered medical advice.
Always consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.
I really feel that the fight I fought to get pregnant prepared me to trust my gut.
My fertility journey went from 0 to 100 very quickly. Starting at a 0 anxiety level and thinking that I was in no real rush, I went off of birth control. My husband is younger than me and was not totally “ready.” I told him we could wait but that first I needed to know that we wouldn’t have any issues getting pregnant. I was 32 and slightly hesitant about waiting and having a potential issue down the line. Sure enough, we did diagnostic testing and found out there were issues. This is when it went from 0 to 100 for me.
We gave it 6 months of trying naturally before seeking out a medical opinion. I didn’t have great experiences with my first few OB/GYNs. Finally I met with someone who encouraged me to self-advocate. She said, “You drive this train, and you can determine how fast you want to drive it.” That’s when I reached out to a fertility clinic and moved my care provider over to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE).
You drive this train, and you can determine how fast you want to drive it.
I also had to advocate for my insurance coverage. That experience in itself was a nightmare. I knew that we were eligible based on our test results, but we got denied. I had to go through painstaking phone calls and review endless files to realize that my clinic hadn’t sent the full file to my insurance company. Unless you take the time and you fight, you wouldn’t necessarily know this type of oversight took place. Sure enough, once the accurate file was sent over, we got approved. It covered thousands and thousands of dollars for us. It makes me so sad that unless you’re assertive like I was, you get nothing.
After 2 failed intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), we moved on to in vitro fertilization (IVF). A close friend who had done IVF advised me to ask for a saline sonogram before I got started. The results showed that I had a septate uterus and needed a surgery called a hysteroscopy. Once the hysteroscopy was done, we started the egg retrieval process. After retrieval, we were lucky to have plenty of embryos. We were hopeful and excited for our first embryo transfer. It failed. The same friend who advised me to ask for a saline sonogram mentioned a reproductive immunologist. Due to a family history of immunological issues, we made the tough decision to postpone our next transfer until I visited this specialist. I couldn’t get an appointment right away, but everything I felt in my heart and my head told me I needed to do this, and give this next shot everything I could. Finally I had my appointment and was given an immunological protocol for the next transfer cycle.
My next transfer was a success and I was pregnant. I got through the process by being my biggest advocate and never giving up. Our journey would have taken some couples years, but because I asked for specific things, early on, and had incredible support, our process took us just a year.
Fight for what you feel is right for you. If you think you have an issue, fertility or otherwise, act on it.
I really feel that the fight I fought to get pregnant prepared me to trust my gut. Believe in yourself. Self-advocate. Fight for what you feel is right for you. If you think you have an issue, fertility or otherwise, act on it. My innate inclinations during my fertility journey, and then in new motherhood, have given me the confidence and ability to believe in myself like I never thought possible. Motherhood starts the moment we decide we want to become a mom, and it’s the most empowering experience from start to never-ending finish, because, let’s be real, we’re all out there fighting the good fight.