After 4 years of infertility treatments, I can attest to its overwhelming nature. It really is up to patients to be their own advocate.
I have always wanted a family. As the oldest of sixty first cousins, I grew up playing with babies almost daily as it seemed that one my father’s thirteen siblings would announce a pregnancy every year. It was a known fact — to me at least — that someday I would have my own children.
There would be three, in fact, by the time I was 27.
I had a plan.
Fast forward to 2010. I had just returned from my honeymoon and was in the office of my OB/GYN, ready to have my annual exam and excited to talk about having a baby. Based on something I said in passing, she drew blood as a precaution. She called me soon after, advising me to visit a fertility clinic “immediately.” Her words confused me so much that I asked her to repeat them. I could not have heard her correctly. We only just started to attempt conception and I was being told to go to fertility doctors? In an out-of-body moment, I told her I would and made an appointment while having no clue what to expect.
Speaking candidly, our first doctor’s appointment was unbelievably overwhelming. I majored in Chemistry and work in the pharmaceutical industry, but even I was in over my head. He asked my us endless questions and listed further testing to undergo. We learned new terms like EH, FSH, AMH, sperm count, motility, Fragile X, and follicles vs. eggs. Soon after, the “baby-making factory process” began. The initial instructions involved me visiting the doctor’s office on day three of my menstrual cycle, at which time the lab measured various hormone levels to determine how to proceed. While I knew what they were doing, I was oblivious as to why. After having blood drawn for a few days in a row, the nurses announced, “It’s time for your ultrasound.” That’s when a random doct