Finally: My Un-Fertility Story.

"I don't think you really want to get pregnant."

That was my acupuncturist. I had been working with her for a few months. Being the Type A person that I occasionally can be, the moment my husband and I decided we should try to have a kid, I read every book and blog... Cut back on the Bikram (hot) yoga... And started going to acupuncture twice a month. I also began monitoring my monthly cycles, testing my urine for ovulation hormones and taking my temperature every morning - then charting it into an extensive Excel spreadsheet I had developed.

(Confession: On top of being Type A... I am also a huge data nerd.)

Before we had gotten married, I wanted nothing to do with children. Not for a very long time, at least. And my husband knew that, and was supportive. He absolutely wanted children, but was happy to put that off till we were well into our 30s.

By the time the age of 29 rolled around, and we had been married about two years... I arrived at a place in our marriage where I felt confused about what the next step in my life should be. I was in a job that while I enjoyed the work, I hated the boss and the environment. I wasn't a fan of the city I was living in (Boston). And I pretty much felt not in control of my life. Completely silly, I know.

We are always in control. I didn't realize that then. But my body did.

We tried for about six months, with no luck in getting pregnant. I never cried. I never got frustrated. But I kept going through the disciplined motions that I had step up for the endeavor. The fact that I never got upset or cried confused my acupuncturist. And after the months of trying, I went to a specialist to get tested at the urging of the acupuncturist.

Oh the tests!

I alluded to one of the tests I had to endure here.  There were so many more for me. One or two for my husband. All came back perfect. Ideal. There was no reason why our bodies weren't producing an embryo.

But the specialists in the cerebral city of Boston are aggressive. And rather than saying, "You ovulate. You're healthy. So is your husband. You just need to relax and let things try to happen naturally for a little while longer," they had another recommendation for me:

  • Clomid (a nasty pill I had to choke down a few times a month to force my body to HYPER ovulate - which is SCARIER and far more PAINFUL than it probably sounds)
  • Intrauterine Insemination (meaning they would inseminate me with my husband's sample on the days I was ovulating)

It was a coordinated effort. It involved me monitoring my body, taking the pills at the appropriate time, getting my husband to go to the hospital to produce his sample, taking time off of work during the day to go to the hospital to allow them to inseminate me two days in a row, then going to the acupuncturist on the same two days to allow that to help.

On top of this, the side effects from the Clomid were awful. Bad acne, which lasted for about TWO YEARS. Horribly painful ovulations each month, which I hadn't ever been able to feel before but to this day can still feel, though they are far less painful. Manic anxiety and bitchiness.

After three months of the Clomid-Insemination-Acupuncture formula, we still weren't pregnant. The specialists wanted to be even more aggressive. They now wanted me to inject myself with stronger hormones, which would likely cause me to produce many eggs each month... Which would then require me to have the eggs extracted (which would be painful), and force us to do in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

"Wait," I said to my specialist. "I'm healthy. I ovulate. And you want me to take stronger drugs and go through a painful procedure just to get pregnant?"

That was the method, they said. If Clomid and the insemination weren't working, the solution was stronger drugs.

I went to my acupuncturist and told her what happened. She'd had a number of clients who she helped through IVF, but they were all clients who'd had specific things preventing them from getting pregnant. None were as healthy as I was reproductively.

"They're insane," I laughed to her. "And the funny thing is that my insurance will totally cover all of this because I've gone through all the testing and steps to try to get pregnant so far. This shouldn't be covered for someone like me. There are people I know who are truly devastated at not getting pregnant and who are so sad they are having issues. I'm grateful... But what the hell?"

That's when she looked at me and smiled.

"You are quite different from my other clients who come in here each month for this acupuncture treatment," she said. "Most are emotional. They bring pictures of babies to focus on during the session. They talk about babies and surround themselves with baby energy. But you don't."

She was right. I walked into each session with a smile on my face. She's ask me about my diet, sleep habits, digestion, cycle... I'd never talk about being sad about not getting pregnant - because I wasn't.

I was relieved.

"I don't think you really want to get pregnant," she said.

She was right. I didn't. Not like this.

I'd always lived my life with the idea that you move forward in life, and whatever happens happens. You try. But if something doesn't arrive to me after taking logical steps and putting in a little passion, then I am okay if it doesn't happen.

I went home and told my husband that if it was going to happen, it had to be naturally. By this point, I had found another job that was awesome. And I had developed solid friendships and had begun to love living in Boston. I didn't want to give up these new discoveries for being a mom. I wasn't ready.

My husband agreed. The only thing we disagreed on, sadly, was the sharing of the experience.

He was an incredibly private person who closely guards the perception people have of him. I am a person who wears their heart on their sleeves and wants to share as much as possible with the world. Especially this whole story.

We lightly argued about whether or not I could share it. I ultimately - like with a lot of things - chose to hold back on it. This was his story too. And if he wanted to keep it private at the time, then I was going to keep it private in my writing.

If you knew me in person, however, you would have known all about it. I shared the details of the whole hilarious experience of testing with friends and co-workers.

I wanted people - should they ever find themselves in a similar situation - to know that I had something to share about it.

Throughout the past few years, since going through the whole experience, I became surprised by how many people I discovered who'd had fertility issues. It's far more common than you might think. And I have my beliefs on why that is.... But that's for another post.

As to my own fertility story... My husband and I didn't aggressively try to get pregnant after this. Between work, a move to another country, my yoga teacher training, my realizing Canada wasn't a right fit for me, living in two different countries... There was never a desire to try. There was too much I still wanted to do before settling into children.

The children issue wasn't what ended my marriage. It ended up being due to the fact that we very much wanted different lives. And I decided two years ago that I had to start adding into my life the things I wanted. And ultimately that took us in directions that we couldn't make work together.

Do I want children still? Well, I love children. I would make a wonderful mother - there's no doubt. But I am living my life around what I want now, and only what I want. If I meet someone, we may end up choosing to have a child in some fashion. But for now, I'm not holding back on sharing my stories anymore.