Don’t Be Ashamed …

My twins will be turning 1 in six days! They are the reason I started this blog and they are also the reason why I am not so active. I am about to be a mom to twin toddlers a fact I am super terrified of. I am super emotional that its been almost a year with my babies. My husband said to me the other day time flies when you are having fun! I have been wanting to share a certain story. I am a little scared and nervous to share such a personal story. This story is filled with heartbreak, tears hopelessness but it has a happy ending.

My name is Amna and I suffer through infertility and this is my story. For the past 5 years my husband and I have been struggling to conceive. In spring of 2014 I was diagnosed with fibroids that were removed in November 2014. We were told to wait 6 months to start trying again. In January 2017 I was diagnosed with PCOS. It took us 3 years to determine what was causing us not to conceive. After the diagnosis of PCOS it took us another 13 months to conceive our second pregnancy with IVF (the first one failed). I still recall every month between the time I started trying again till the diagnoses of PCOS; every time that period came, I felt like an utter failure and hopeless.

When I first started this journey with infertility starting with the fibroids, I was ashamed and scared. I did not want to share anything with anyone out of the fear of getting those pity looks from everyone. A close relative suggested to me that Amna once you conceive and know everything is ok you should share your story. This is why am taking the time to write down this long story of my little miracles. I want people to be more aware that it does not take one night to make a baby it takes more than that at times. I wish and hope that someday we can discuss infertility issues openly without shaming anyone, giving pity or embarrassment. Going through this journey I have to say women with infertility issues are one of the strongest and most courageous women I know and have met. The thing that awes me with these women is that no matter what or how many times they get that monthly period or negative pregnancy test they never give up hope and carry on like brave soldiers. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this journey is you need blind faith and hope to make it through. You need a very supportive partner who puts his feelings on the side to be a strong support to you. Without that this journey is impossible to survive. I have been blessed with a great partner in this journey who has been there for everything.

On March 17th, 2013 I married my husband in New Jersey in front of our friends and family. We had to rush to Michigan on March 18th, 2013 to Michigan as my mother in law was hospitalized unable to attend the wedding and about to undergo surgery. For the next one year my husband and I were in and out daily from hospitals to take care of my Mother in law.  Due to the fact that my mother in law was severely sick and in the hospital; my husband and I decided to take care of her and get to know each other before trying to have a family. We had a semi arrange marriage. Where we were introduced met a few times spoke on the phone. But due to the long distance unable to meet that much. It was nice to take the year to take the time to be a couple and getting to know each other.

A year into my wedding I started to gain a lot of weight. I figured it’s due to the high stress of life and bad eating habits. I went to see my GP and she diagnosed me with fibroids. My largest fibroid came to my chest. This started my emotional downfall for the next 4 years. My doctor entered my room without reading my ultrasound report based of just the image she briefly saw stated you will never have a child. I did not know what fibroids were or what’s going on. Sad to say I was extremely ignorant at this point. I asked this doctor how you can say that. To which she responds to me Oh! I am sorry I did not see the report just glanced at the image let me go read and get back to you. Since then I have had this scare of a childless life. The moment I found out that she did not even take the time to read my reports and made an assumption I changed my doctors and medical system and came to University of Michigan Hospital. Best decision of my life! My surgeon was Dr. Skinner. Till today I love her! She took her time and sat down with me to explain everything. I got my Fibroids removed in November of 2014 and was told to wait 6 months before trying to conceive.

May 2015, we started trying again with no results. Summer of 2015 I made an appointment with Dr. Hassouneh at University of Michigan Northville Health Center for an initial appointment. She had me and Mustafa go for some pre-conceiving tests. Everything came out clear. Dr. Hassouneh then had me try for another 3 months where I took daily ovulating tests. That was not fun! Waking up every morning to pee on a stick to see if I am ovulating or not. This is how ignorant I was. In college I was a biotech major. I took all the major science classes biology 101 and 102 and so forth. I did have a basic knowledge or how the female cycle works. It finally dawned upon me which I was going through these tests and taking ovulation tests daily that the window of opportunity to conceive is one day in a month.  

I wish I was educated had appointments with an OBGYN since I was 18 instead of seeing one for the first time after I got married. I did go for my annual physicals and stuff before but nothing where I went for a female checkup. I now tell every girl I know once you start your period probably between the age of 16 and 18 start going to an OBGYN. You don’t need an OBGYN just because you are having sex and trying or not trying to conceive. The female body has a lot more to it than that you need an OBGYN to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

We kept trying for 6 to 9 months with the aid of ovulation tests with no results to show. Late summer of 2016 Dr. Hassouneh prescribed me 3 rounds of Clomid. This was prescribed after a year of trying with no luck and all test results coming back normal. I started Clomid in September 2016 and ended my third cycle in November. I recall being so hopeful and excited each month when we were to try with Clomid. Sadly, it was not meant to be and we did not conceive with Clomid.

As Clomid did not work early December 2016 I was referred to Dr. Mahany a Reproductive Endocrinologist or a specialist doctor for infertility. Dr. Mahany had me go through a month worth of testing. I went for multiple blood test and an extremely painful ultrasound to check for blockage. Every test result showed on paper that there was nothing wrong, they all came back positive. I was scheduled to see Dr. Mahany sometime in January 2017 to go over these test results. I still remember messaging Dr. Mahany what is wrong with me, everything is coming back positive. Dr. Mahany replied our appointment is less than a week away its best to discuss this in person.

I show up for my appointment with Dr. Mahany after a month of being poked and prodded. So here I am sitting in Dr. Mahany’s office with my husband and finally get a diagnosis. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). To help conceiving with PCOS I was given 4 rounds of Femara. Now at this point my husband started a consulting job where he used to be out Monday to Thursday, I decided to go for IUIs. Where they inseminate you. First 2 months we did the IUIs and last 2 cycles we decided to try the old school way. Femara unfortunately did not work for us.

I always used to joke with my Husband no biggie! We’ll just do IVF. Little did I know what IVF involves. Also, that I will end up going through two rounds of IVF before I have my twin miracles! This concluded part one of my journey! Its been a roller coaster the last 5 years. I am eternally grateful that my story ended with a happy ending but there were a lot of turmoil that we went through to get here. Please come back tomorrow to read part two!

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