Praying for pregnancy during pandemic: ‘My wife said ‘I think you’re crazy right now”
A few months ago, the Repeller team began collecting articles about motherhood and parenting during illness. The first part featured Abbi, who recounted her experience of getting pregnant for the first time during a politically charged time in Los Angeles. Today’s news is shared by Katy, who is undergoing IVF to have a baby with her husband – a complicated process that has been exacerbated by business closures related to COVID-19.
In 2019, when I was 35 years old, I had a terrible, slow time. I was going to see my OB that month and said, “Is this something I should be worried about?” My wife and I want to have kids but we’re probably a year or two away from that.” He said, “You don’t have to worry about that one big time, if you’re a year or so away. two to start a family, I would recommend that you start the process and educate yourself and make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. “” So, last May, we did that.
“Yeah, I think you’re starting early menopause,” she said. My mom started at 37, so last year she said, “I don’t want you to wait.” And I said, “Well, we just went to Mexico, and we have to wait at least six months because of Zika.” And he’s like, “I don’t want you to wait six months, I want you to try and start now.”
So we started trying to conceive shortly after that. We found an egg supplier online and started trying to do IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). Every month I have blood work done to determine if I can test that month based on my egg levels. So we tried three times and failed three times. Then we had several months when we couldn’t try at all.
I learned a lot about menstruation during my pregnancy. I really realized when I was 36 that my body had been doing this for 28 years and I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I don’t understand the confusion between the hormones your body produces during the first half of your period and the hormones your body produces in the second half, to strengthen the lining to prepare for the baby to implant itself inside. your uterus. I don’t know what any of this is doing.
There are a lot of things I’ve learned now that I should have known when I gave birth. They recommend paying attention to your stop during the second half of your period. There is a woman who is recommended to put your finger on it to know better, and as the shape changes, you will know when you are approaching ovulation. It’s a horrible thing that I’ve learned about myself during all of this. I don’t think anyone knows anything about how fertility and their own fertility work until there is a problem.
Anyway, my hormone levels were close to menopause that month and my doctor at the time would say, “I don’t recommend spending money to try and get your hormone levels looking the way they are.” do.” Then we immediately started COVID with a new doctor. He agreed with the diagnosis that I was going through menopause soon but he felt like I didn’t have many months. But he wanted to go ahead and try two more times. We have said that we want to try one more time. It depends on how much spam we leave behind from the person who gave us the spam. But we will not try to do this because the clinic is closed.
Then, on top of that, just one time, big laugh, and my time that month, I started having hot flashes. So I had hot flashes, I don’t know, during the day and night, maybe 25 to 30 times. I felt like this constant reminder that my window was closing fast and all I could do was sit At home I thought about it. There is nothing I can do.
Hot flashes come with some of those birth control pills but this is actually the first time I’ve had hot flashes without medication. The first few times I didn’t notice it and then by the end of the day, I realized, “Okay, this isn’t like ‘Oh, I’m walking around and I’m hot.’ This is a hot flash and this keeps happening, not once and I’m not taking any medicine. This is just my body doing this.”
My hot flashes start from my back. So, all of a sudden, it’s just, like, heat coming up my back to my neck, I’m sweating. I mean, it’s horrible. The only good thing is that quarantine is a good time to have them because I can take my shirt off in the middle of a conference call and no one will know.
But, another frustrating thing is that I follow all these people – I don’t even know what to call them, people in the world of infertility, women who experience this – and I listen to this A couple of podcasts about it. Everyone says, “You know what, when we’re all taking time off from our periods, we’re at home, maybe we’re going to get pregnant.” It’s gay couples talking about how that’s an opportunity. And I was sitting there and my wife was going, “There is no sperm in this house.”
Basically, every time you start your period, you start a new cycle. So I called my clinic when my period started in early May and they said, “We can’t open for that service.” They are only open to one specific type of surgery or procedure, which is frozen embryo transfer. Not by chance, it’s the most expensive thing you can do. They didn’t open for what I wanted, worst of all, cheap. But they said to check back in two weeks. So, I was due that week in May, but there was nothing we could do because we didn’t get my blood work done the first week of my period.
I am married and my wife has been amazing in all of this. She’s never wanted to have a baby, so there are parts of this she can’t completely empathize with, but she’s incredibly sympathetic. When I know that I’m not going to be able to get an appointment, I get really excited and feel good, like, “You know what? This is to make it work the way it should.” I’ve been on a diet. these people eat to give birth and I am completely forbidden. I haven’t had caffeine or alcohol for, like, six months. Somehow it’s a relief to be able to say on occasion, “You know what? I’m going to have a glass of wine tonight, and it’s fine.”
I mean, I have at least two weeks where I can work as I want to work. Eat whatever I want to eat. I can drink. I can stop eating too much god every day. Kale is supposed to make you fertile. I think I heard a bottle of wine by myself. And I have coffee on Saturday morning for breakfast. It’s amazing. I have had wine since then, but very healthy and moderate, not very sweet wine.
It’s nice to have the pressure off. But Mother’s Day inspired me and everything seemed impossible again. My wife had this moment where she looked at me and said, “I think you’re going crazy right now.” I’d say, “Hey, maybe (our friends) will be open to spam donations. They can come to our door!” That goes against the plan we have created for ourselves. Going with a grace donor was something we talked about at the beginning of our process, but for many reasons we chose not to do that.
At that time, he felt a nervousness that I could not understand. We talked about it and decided it was a little too soon. We need to give our best friends time to digest the news. It’s just something we have to consider. The truth is that it would be cheaper for us to go that way.
I am a birth mother. When I was eighteen, I got pregnant, gave birth and put her up for adoption. We have spent $12,000 so far, which in terms of IVF and infertility is very little, but given what we thought before – that we will try this once or twice and we will conceive and it will song. Finally—we think we’ll spend $5,000. The thought of not having to spend tens of thousands more is very attractive, especially now. My wife is a photographer and she doesn’t have any income right now, so we live on my income. We are very grateful that I have a job. But the idea of spending tens of thousands of dollars on other things is not safe now.
Since then, I have enjoyed being pregnant with my own child while keeping this child, that’s what happened to me. The only year Mother’s Day was difficult was the first year after my son was born. Since then, I’ve thought of Mother’s Day as a weekend to reflect on how amazing this boy is and to reflect on this amazing life he has that I’m a part of that I couldn’t give him completely when I was 18. . . .
This is the first year where (not being another mother) I thought that it was not my choice and that I might not have this opportunity. It was a horrible weekend. I cried all day. I thought, like, too much. We live right next to a flower shop. I was working out at my house on Saturday afternoon and watching people line up to buy Mother’s Day flowers, I was just in tears.
Trying to conceive through IVF is a big deal. You pass this hope and happiness that you are working for something and you think it will work. Then you will realize that it doesn’t work and it’s incredibly low and sad. And then, literally two weeks after that, you go back to the other side of hope. I would say there haven’t been many lows other than the times when we tried and it didn’t work.
Now the clinic is open, and we were able to try again, but we had a chemical pregnancy, which meant I got a positive pregnancy test and went into labor about four days later. We are now taking a month off and hope to try again in November. During the first quarantine, we didn’t know when the hospital would open again, but now having the option to try again in the future makes me feel trapped and hopeless.