Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tamara's Story Part 1

We were married for 7 years before we felt ready to start having children, but it would take us another three years before we'd succeed.  We've always been planners, so getting pregnant was no exception.  We went off the pill three months before we started officially trying, we toured hospitals, we even had a crib and some baby things.  Life, doesn't always work as planned however and about 6 months in to 'trying' with no baby we started to track my cycles and take ovulation tests etc.  We had some friends who had recently been through InVitro Fertilization, so we'd been through their struggles step-by-step (they are very open and generous with their info).  It was nice to have seen someone go through all the shots, the blood draws and then come out with a baby (actually bab-ies, twin boys).  It helped my husband Tyson and I come to terms, way before it was even necessary, with some of the more philosophical questions about IVF, such as:  Was it too scary?  Were we trying to play God?  Would it work?  What if we had multiples?

 One day, my friend doing IVF related a story about a man on an island who was praying to God and asking for deliverance.  A big boat stopped by the island and they asked him if he wanted a ride and he said "no thanks, I'm waiting for God to deliver me".  Well, maybe we are that man and IVF is God's deliverance.  Hasn't everything we know and have learned a gift from God to help us in our struggles?  I like to think YES!  If we have the means and know-how, we should use it.

So...with that in mind, we embarked on our journey.  

As most who are reading this blog either know firsthand or have probably intensively looked into the fact that IVF is very pricey and painful.  So, we weren't eager to start there.  We opted for trying things like Clomid, and then Clomid and Estrogen (just pills), and then we worked our way up to Artificial Insemination (IUI).  After trying three rounds of IUI, we decided to meet with the big fertility specialists in town--Shady Grove Fertility in Rockville Maryland.  They were very helpful and almost conveyor belt-esque with their efficiency and optimism.  I remember well, thinking how many of my friends had several children by my age and thinking I was fairly old to just be starting a family (I was 30).

In my culture in Utah --where I was primarily raised-- most women had a few little ones by 30, so it was so pleasant to hear at our first consultation just how young I was.  The doctor probably said 5 times...'well, we have plenty of time since you're so young' and 'since you're so young...'.  It was great!  They also were saying things like 60% chance of a baby, and 50% chance of twins.  These were odds I was willing to pay $10,000 dollars for.  And we did--we'll we would have. There are 7 or so states in the nation that have a mandatory policy that insurance must cover at least 50% of IVF (and in MD it was more).  We were so lucky (or guided?) to live in Maryland and ended up spending only $500 dollars to get pregnant.  Our first try with IVF was a success so we felt very lucky.

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