Patient Odyssey - My Wildest Dream

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Patient Odyssey - My Wildest Dream

June 25, 2005

I have pondered at length what my wildest dream would be if Oprah, or some other fairy godmother, were to grant it. Which famous person would I love to meet? What exotic location would I love to visit? Try as I might I cannot see past the sixth-month-old bundle in my arms. My baby girl and her three-year-old sister are my wildest dreams. Climbing Mt. Everest, running a marathon or meeting a superstar might be some people's wildest dream, but for me conquering infertility and raising my daughters is my wildest dream. At age 30 I started trying to get pregnant. I had endometriosis, I hadn't used birth control for almost ten years and I had never been pregnant. I had also never imagined I would have difficulty conceiving. There was a great deal of irony in the amount of energy I put into trying not to get pregnant before my husband Red and I mutually agreed we were “ready”. After trying for more than a year, we went to see Dr. Carl Herbert and I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Thankfully, Dr. Herbert took excellent care of us and at age 34 I conceived my first daughter with the help of Clomiphene and IUI. Conceiving my second daughter, however, proved more challenging, but was accomplished through IVF three years later. Even though I had tried IUI again and had produced many follicles, my IVF cycle revealed that the quality of my eggs was inferior. Dr. Herbert had the unhappy task of relating this distressing news to us during my embryo transfer, but he did so with tremendous grace and kindness. I have the utmost trust and confidence in Dr. Herbert and I feel blessed that he gave us the opportunity to conceive. Despite the quality of my embryos, we beat the odds and I conceived anyway. Yahoo! Ultimately my goals were met, but it was the journey through infertility that has brought light and clarity into my life. With the help of my amazing doctor and with nurses like Ann McGovern (to whom I cried countless times), the laborious process of conceiving against the odds was made easier by their warmth and encouragement. I don't know if it ever got "easier" being met with my period after each month's unsuccessful attempt, however. By far the most searing memory, beyond all the shots and ultrasounds, was news, from what seemed like every woman on the planet, of other people's pregnancies. And not only were they pregnant, but, their pregnancies were achieved unaided and on their first try. Of course! What saved me and my marriage both times was a combination of therapy, friends and family. My husband was amazing through it all and our marriage is stronger and brighter as a result. When all is said and done and both my girls are strapped in their car seats or cuddling with me on the couch, all of the infertility effort seems like a distant memory. I feel so blessed to have conquered my infertility. My wildest two dreams have been realized. -- Jennifer