Welcome to my first blog post! This blog is going to be my way of sharing the journey we are taking in the hopes of expanding our family. But before I can continue the story, you should probably know who we are and where we have been.
In the summer of 2011, I met Dean, the man who would become my biggest supporter and my best friend. For two years we got to know each other, fell in love, moved in together, traveled as often as we could, bought a house and then in November 2013, just a few days before my 26th birthday, Dean proposed while on a trip to Mexico with our friends and my family.
We’ve always loved to travel and knew right away we were going to get married in Mexico. So in January 2015, we returned to Mexico with even more family and friends and were married at the same place we first said ‘I love you’ to each other back in 2011.
We had talked before about having children and what that would look like for us because shortly after our engagement, Dean was feeling a little bit ‘off’. After a few doctors appointments and some tests, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. We knew kids were a part of our future, so before going through surgery to remove the cancer, we headed to the Regional Fertility Program in Calgary to freeze and store some sperm to give us the comfort of knowing we had options no matter his outcome. Thankfully, Dean has been cancer free since early 2014 and treatment did not impact his fertility. We went forward into our wedding knowing he was healthy and all was great… or so we thought.
After our wedding we started trying to get pregnant immediately. Dean is a few years older than me and with the scare of the previous year, we wanted to start trying for our family as soon as possible. So by the end of our Mexican wedding/honeymoon, I stopped taking my birth control pills. By late March 2015 I was convinced I was pregnant. You always hear about those women who stop their bcp and are knocked up that next month. I was sure that was me; I was gaining weight, I had been feeling nauseous and I had yet to get a period since my last withdrawal bleed in early February. I took a home pregnancy test and it was negative but yet still no AF. After a few more weeks I went to see my new family Doctor who decided to do a full work up since I was due for a physical anyways. A couple of weeks later, Dr. H confirmed that not only was I not pregnant but that my hormone levels were a bit abnormal which was likely causing my symptoms. He didn’t have much more for me than that, but decided I should be seeing a specialist and referred me to Dr. P.
Jump forward to August 2015 and I was still waiting for my initial appointment with Dr. P. When waiting for an appointment with a specialist you assume you will be waiting a while but the anxiety of finding out what was going on with my body was killing me. By this time, although I was living the same lifestyle and was active, I had gained around 60 pounds. I had also started growing some unsightly hairs on my chin and had still not had a period. I started googling some of my symptoms, which I know can take you down a dark path. Most of my research was leading me to believe there was a chance I had PCOS but unfortunately without having more tests including an ultrasound there was no way to be sure. Thankfully, my appointment was coming up and I hoped I would get the answers I was looking for.
After an initial consultation, Dr. P put Dean and I through all the fertility tests. Dean had it fairly easy, just some blood work and a semen analysis which, as we assumed it would, came back great. I on the other hand, had the full work up. Blood tests, ultrasounds, pelvic exams and a HSG. You name it, I probably had it. As uncomfortable as some of the tests were, they were worth it because I finally had my answers. My obsessive googling had been correct, Dr. P told me there were cysts in my ovaries, my hormones were imbalanced and with all of my other symptoms, he diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Although I was expecting it, I was still shocked and horrified. As a woman who has always wanted kids, I didn’t know how to comprehend that my body was not able to physically do what nature intended. Little did I know these feelings were just the beginning. We were about to begin a long battle with infertility and the coming months would be filled with tears, anger and disappointment. The details however are better left to Part 2 of our story.