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Challenge: Infertility

So "Unexplained Infertility" really means "You're going to go insane trying to get pregnant."

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I'm 34. There is a clock in me that's just tick-tockin' away! Unexplained infertility... Just letting that clock tick, tick, tick...until there is nothing left of my sanity.

I've been with my absolutely amazing husband, Aaron, since 2013, and married since early 2015. He's a father already. He's been a great dad for 15 1/2 years. She's a great kid. We have her 95% of the time as she lives with us. But she's not mine. She has a mother.

We decided to wait to start trying for a baby until we were married for year. We lasted six months before I went off of birth control. We figured we weren't getting any younger and we'll never be "ready" anyway.

So here we were, 31 and 37, with so much going well for us in life. We found each other after each of us had prior marriages from hell and thought that real love didn't exist. Oh, it exists. Very much. We thought, hey, this is going to be a breeze. Making a baby and being madly, passionately in love. We're both responsible, kind, good to the world, great parents to my stepdaughter, have great careers, healthy, etc. He had a life hiccup before we starting dating and that man pulled himself out of something most people don't survive, all while taking care of his daughter who never went without anything, including attention and love. We deserved a sweet baby of our own.

The first six months of trying, wasn't really "trying". Just letting it happy naturally. I knew when the "prime time" was as my cycles are like clock-work. It's only ever off a day or two. I didn't take my temperature. Didn't check my cervix. Didn't need to. Boy, was I naive and cocky.

I started to worry. Like, really worry. It consumed me. What is going on? Obviously he's good to go because he's got this gorgeous human that eats all of our food and never puts her dishes in the dishwasher that he helped make years ago. His lil' swimmers are good. Is it me? What's wrong with me? Everything works down there perfectly. Aunt Flo's on time every month. Nothing crazy's going on down there. Normal. All normal. "Be patient", my gyn said, "these things can take time. After a year of trying, come back and see me and we'll go from there."

So here we go, another six months. This is when I started checking my temps, cervix, taking prenatal vitamins, watching what I consume. This whole process literally CONSUMED me. Every month, nothing. I can remember being a day late on my period and having such an excitement thinking, this is the month! I'm pregnant and the baby will be here in April...then it was May...then it was June. Every single time. I spent a small fortune on ovulation test strips and pregnancy tests.

So we are a year in. Can you imagine my anxiety at this point?! My stepdaughter is getting older, only a few years now from college, my husband is inching closer and closer to 40. I know he is getting apprehensive about starting another family. He's raised a kid. He'd done his thing. He's changed diapers, rocked her to sleep, taught her how to read and ride a bike. He's good. He'll never understand the need. She was almost nine when I came around. I didn't get any to experience any of those milestones and life experiences.

Now begins the infertility specialists visits. FUN! I'm a private person and so is my husband. These appointments and all of the testing was SOOOO out of his comfort zone. He's a manly man. Hunter, fisherman, a Renaissance man of sorts. But boy, he is supportive. I am incredibly blessed to be his wife. I got one of the good ones.

And just like I thought, his swimmers are good. Better than good, actually. They are amazing. So it's me. I'm the reason we're going through all of this. Well, duh! Okay, I can handle it. Just tell me, doc, what do I need to do to fix it? Medicine, vitamins, surgery? What is it?!?! Doc: "....Nothing. You can do nothing. You have unexplained infertility. We have no idea why you aren't pregnant." AHHHHHH!!!! I can remember almost losing it. Like, literally, I was going to go crazy.

This is when I started popping the Clomid. Five months of Clomid. I don't remember any adverse affects it had on my body so I'm not knocking it, but it didn't do anything for me. Every month, Aunt Flo came like clock-work.

So we're now a year and half in. Time for a procedure!! My husband agreed that it's time to get some help. Sweet! But he's only willing to do an inexpensive one because he's a cautious man and doesn't want to go into debt right before he has to send his daughter to college. Completely understandable. I'm a realist so I get it. So IUI it is. $1500 is reasonable. I'm excited! This is going to work, I just know it! So we start the process. He's even kind enough to give me my shots in my belly. Sweetly, too. The medicine suuuuckkkked! It made me feel all out of whack. But it was so worth it. This is going to work. We're going to have a baby!

LOL! Hilarious that I had any hope at all. Should have known better than to get my hopes up. It didn't work. Even though he's got super-powered swimmers, they couldn't get through to my super-powered uterus. It was friendly fire, uterus. Geez! Lighten' up.

So doc says now, "I'm sorry but you have only a 1% chance of getting pregnant on your own, and we still don't know why." Dear God, why can't I have an explanation!? It isn't fair. I take care of my body. Not one woman in my family has any fertility issues. What in the actual #$%@?!

Which brings us to present day, I'm 34, almost 35. He's 40. His daughter is three years from college. He's taken IVF, adoption, surrogacy, etc., off the table because we can't use our funds for that because we have a child going to college in three years. We'd be in debt forever and never be able to retire.

He'll never understand the need. My need. I accept that. He's a realist, too. I support him. He supports me. I will never hold any animosity towards him. It's not his fault. We're not made of money. We're doing okay but we don't have $15k-$20k for a procedure that possible may not work. My stepdaughter shouldn't have to suffer because her stepmom is a little broken and is being needy. She deserves a great education and deserves to hopefully come out of college debt-free. We want her to have a better life than us and want her to start her adult life in a proper way. An easier beginning of adult life than her dad and I had.

So I suppose now I should start the grieving process. Grieve for the maternal need that won't be fulfilled. That's a good next step. That's not sarcasm. I really need to grieve. People will probably say that's crazy, you can't grieve for something you never had. Well, you certainly can. I'm not going to be a mother. There will never be a little mini-me running around causing chaos and spreading joy, no one is going to call me mommy. So yes, grieving is an appropriate thing to do next.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful. Incredibly grateful. I have a stunning home, some land of my own, a great career. I have a gorgeous, smart, sensitive, strong husband. A beautiful stepdaughter that I am really close to that I am helping raise. I have many blessings and I feel guilty for whining. But I want to be someone's mommy.

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