Our infertility journey

Our journey started in 2018. We had just bought a house and my husband was getting deployed
for four months. We talked about wanting to start a family we had been married for 1 year and we
were ready. I decided to get off birth control ( I was on birth control for 13 years). I wanted to
track my cycle and figured it was the perfect time to start tracking it since my husband was gone. I
used the app, Flo, to track my cycles and I would make all the notes I could in the app. I had a
pretty consistent cycle and it would come every 29 days and I would always ovulate on the same
day. The one thing I forgot about was how bad my cramps were. Birth control hid all the
symptoms so I just took Tylenol and went through my day.


So December 2018 rolls around and my husband got back from being deployed! We decided to
start trying right away. I had my cycle all figured out and knew exactly when I would ovulate and
thought I had it tracked perfectly. My mom always told me how easy it was for our family to get
pregnant. I figured this was going to be easy….little did I know this was going to be a lot longer
process than I ever imagined.

The months went by and the negative pregnancy tests kept showing up. It was so heartbreaking. I
would see our friends announcing their pregnancy on social media, and it just felt like everyone
around me was getting pregnant. I felt so lonely and just thought it would never happen. Everyone
would tell me “just relax” it will happen, that is just not what someone wants to hear after you
know how long you have been trying. I knew something was just not right. I wasn’t sure what it
was but I knew something was off.

Have you ever felt like you were the only one going through this? I felt like I had no one to talk to.
I wanted to talk about it but then I didn’t. I would bottle all my thoughts inside of me and then cry
when no one was around. I wouldn’t even cry in front of my husband because I knew he wanted it
to happen also. This started taking over my whole life and I didn’t know what to do.


My annual appointment was coming up and I was so excited to try to get some answers. When I
got there I waited and waited like usual, I hate waiting for appointments. I finally got called and I
thought it was finally here I can finally get some answers… or so I hoped.
My doctor came in and I assumed was going to ask how I was doing. I didn’t even give him an
answer I just came out and asked we have been trying for seven months to get pregnant and it is
not working when should we see an infertility specialist. He asked about my cycle how long it is,
how heavy it is, and how many days does it typically last. I answered all the questions but he said
they do not do any tests until after a year of trying. So here I was not getting any answers that I
wanted and had to wait another 5 months. This was just so upsetting. I went home and cried and
told my husband the news and he looked at me and said it will be okay we will get pregnant.


My husband and I kept trying and the time kept passing. More of our friends were announcing
their pregnancy and the tears kept flowing. Any random symptom I would get I would google and
see if I was pregnant, this was not a good idea. I stopped buying pregnancy tests and I would just
wait for my cycle to come. The pregnancy tests would give me anxiety because I just wanted to see
the 2 lines and I never did. Five months went by with all negative pregnancy tests. We made an
appointment for the OBGYN to try to get some answers, this was 1 year later.

Part two of our infertility journey

In December of 2019, we finally had an appointment with my OBGYN to figure out what was
going wrong. It had been a full year of trying to have a baby and my husband and I were ready to
get some answers.

My OBGYN was so understanding of what we were going through. He told us that he and his
wife went through infertility and that he understands how frustrating it is. I was so thankful that I
could talk to him not everyone understands and to have a doctor that has gone through it before
was very helpful.

The doctor asked us if we were using ovulation tests and if we were timing everything. We did tell
him we were using those but we still were not having any luck. I also told him that I was tracking
everything on the app called “Flo”.

The doctor said that we need to do a couple of tests before we can move on to anything else. He
told me I need to do blood work and an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) and my husband needed to
get a semen analysis. After the blood work, HSG, and the semen analysis were completed we
would meet again and talk about our options. I was so happy, I wanted to find out what was going
on and we finally could. Now my husband did not seem excited to do a semen analysis but he was
willing to do whatever it takes for us to get our result which is a baby.

My Blood Work

I was ordered to get an intensive blood work panel done. I had to wait until the third day of my
period. I had been tracking my cycle for over a year and knew when I would get my period. I went
to quest diagnostics for my bloodwork and they were very accomodating with my cycle as well as
my work schedule. I entered the room and was a little nervous, I don’t mind my blood getting
taken but I always get a little anxious. I sat there and they took a couple of vials. I was done and
was told my doctor would get the results the next day.

The Results

The next day I looked on my portal and my results were there. I was trying to make sense of the
results. I would see a number and then look at the range and everything looked in range “normal”
to me. I just wasn’t sure what everything meant. I called my sister who is a Registered Dietician
and she tried to explain everything to me. I was still very confused. I just wanted to get back to the

The levels they tested for:
E2 (estrogen): Female reproductive hormone secreted from the ovary
Range: 20-400pg/mL
FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone): releases from the brain and stimulates the ovary to mature an
egg. High FSH levels can indicate to your physician that the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are
working harder than normal due to a decrease in ovarian reserve (egg supply). FSH levels can vary
from cycle to cycle.
AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone): AMH is the most accurate predictor of a woman’s egg supply.
This test can be more accurate than FSH because there is no fluctuation from month to month
and the test is not dependent on a woman’s menstrual cycle, which means women can have the
test at any point.
** This is the best indicator of female fertility (egg supply)
Range: over 1
LH (luteinizing hormone): a hormone that is integral to the final maturation and release of a
mature follicle.
Range: 1.9-12.5
**I am not a doctor and these were the ranges that my doctor gave me. They could vary for you.**
I kept looking at this and could not get the numbers off my mind. Everything was normal to me.
Some numbers seemed a little low but they were still in the “normal” range. This left me with a lot
of questions.
The reason the doctor wanted me to get an HSG test was to see if my tubes were open and to
make sure nothing was obstructing my tubes. If your tubes are open then the sperm can get
through. If they are not open then the sperm can’t get through and you are most likely going to
need to do IVF to bypass your tubes. Again you have to make an appointment on a certain day of
your cycle. The doctor wanted me to do this after a period but before I ovulate. This is also safe
because they would know that I would not be pregnant while doing this.
I had to take a Benadryl the night before the procedure and then I needed to take Benadryl 1 hour
before the procedure. The reason I took Benadryl was that I am allergic to shrimp and they have
to put iodine through your cervix and shrimp contains iodine. I have talked with other people
about this and they did not need to take Benadryl.

My husband brought me because I was on Benadryl and I get very sleepy on it. Friends I have
talked to were able to drive themselves there and leave right after. I had this procedure at the
hospital my doctor’s office does not do this.

They brought me back (my husband had to stay in the waiting room) I had to get undressed (all
the way). I was given a gown and then I laid on my back on the table. You have an X-ray machine
over your stomach and the radiologist is in the room next to you so you get your results right
away. The doctor will insert a speculum in your vagina and then clean your cervix. Next, they will
insert a tube into your vagina through your cervix and take the speculum out. The doctor will then
get the iodine and push it through the tube and into your cervix to your fallopian tubes. You get to
watch this the whole time on the X-ray machine. I thought it was really neat to see the iodine go
through your body. The doctor said, “your tubes are open”! What a relief. She did say that she
does see some obstructions in my tubes that could be polyps. She told me the results will get sent
to my doctor for him to review and that we will see what the next steps are.

I got dressed and walked out to my husband. I told him they were open, he was so happy and then
we went home. I was very crampy and I did bleed some. I laid on the couch for the rest of the
afternoon and took it easy.

All in all, do not be afraid of this procedure it took 5 minutes. It was uncomfortable but aren’t you
always a little uncomfortable when you get a pap smear? And you are doing this for your soon-to

be little one and that is what I kept telling myself. I would tell myself I will go through whatever
pain I need to as long as my end result was a baby.

Semen Analysis

So I knew my husband did not want to do this. I felt like he kept putting it off. It didn’t help that
every day I would ask if he made an appointment. He was getting so frustrated with me. I honestly
think he was scared. He had been in the military and on multiple deployments for years and was
exposed to a lot of radiation. I knew this was sitting on his mind for a long time that he was
blaming himself for us not getting pregnant because of the radiation.

He finally made an appointment. If you are really curious we had to sustain from intercourse for 2-
3 days before this. He had to ejaculate into a cup and then bring it to the lab. He was able to do
this at home. When he brought it into the lab he said he was asked a series of questions and they
made sure to label it correctly (so that they would know it was his) and then he left.
We were not given his results they were sent right to my OBGYN. So we had to wait until our
next appointment which was early February.

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