My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for almost three years and, damn, is typing that out depressing.
I didn’t expect that getting pregnant would be this hard. You have sex, and it happens. I mean, I’ve seen Lifetime movies before. Everyone knows that it happens if you skip a condom even once, especially if you are a teen or in need of a sudden plot twist, you get pregnant INSTANTLY. Maybe I’m just too old at almost 35 or maybe my life is twisty enough.
Technically, infertility is diagnosed when you’ve tried for one year without success. I am a giant control freak of a person, and impatient to boot, so I booked an appointment to check things out at six months. Thus began the Age of Medical Testing. The testing process for infertility is lengthy. I had blood tests, a Pap smear, ultrasound, contrast dye put in my uterus and Fallopian tubes to check for defects, and probably more that I’m forgetting. My husband also had a semen analysis (which meant I got to drive to the hospital with a cup of sperm in my cleavage. I was so worried I’d get pulled over.)
In our version of Mystery Diagnosis, we got the results back. I have cystic ovaries, and there were some male factor infertility issues. We were not going to conceive without medical assistance. This was a shock because I already have two kids from before this marriage. So while I thought maybe we needed some help, I assumed I’d pop a few pills and take my temperature, and we’d get pregnant in one or two months, tops. Instead, we were given two scary options – intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization.
Both were invasive and expensive.
But we really want a kid.
So we talked about it for a few days. I was ready to start doing things that day, but my husband was a little uncertain about the idea of reproductive medicine. We had a lot of in-depth discussions about pregnancy and child rearing in general. While I don’t recommend the whole infertility thing (zero stars on Yelp from me), the talking was helpful. We developed a better understanding of our stances on topics that aren’t always discussed. I know where my husband draws the line on genetic testing, and he knows where I stand on things like pregnancy termination for medical reasons. And those stances still aren’t the same, but we know what we would do in a situation like that.