Guest Infertility Blogger: Meet Mandee

Meet ERIN-20Once a month, I host a Guest Blogger who shares about their infertility journey!  Meet today’s Guest Blogger, Mandee!

My husband and I were married in May of 2013 and had just finished building our home. We didn’t want to have kids immediately after being married. At the time my husband was away from home a lot for work so the timing just was not right. Due to his work I started running to keep me busy and occupied. When we started thinking more about starting a family I wanted to make sure I was in shape for a pregnancy and decided that I would enter into a half marathon and then once that was complete we would actively try to get pregnant as I had not been on birth control since before we had gotten married. I completed the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October of 2015 and shortly after that is when my problems started.

My husband had Appendicitis in January of 2016, and I had been sleeping in a chair at the hospital for 4 days when my hip started to hurt. I had attributed this to not sleeping in a normal bed. But as the months progressed the pain got worse, to the point that I could no longer run. I would have to come home from work because I couldn’t sit or stand or walk. I thought I had destroyed my hip from running. I started to routinely see a chiropractor and massage therapist trying to make the pain go away. We even went to the extent of buying a new bed. After a few months I started to connect the dots that anytime I ovulated or would get my period my hip would hurt. Throughout this time of my hip hurting we were still trying to get pregnant.  I went to my OB in June and explained the excruciating amount of pain I was in. She ordered an ultrasound, it came back showing that I had left ovarian torsion but she reassured me that I was fine and that getting pregnant would take time, that my pain was nothing and if I wasn’t pregnant in 6 months to come back and they would start looking at other things that could be causing an issue. At this point I didn’t want to be pregnant I just wanted my hip to stop hurting.

A few months after my visit with her I made an appointment for my primary care something in my gut just kept telling me something was wrong and the pain wasn’t normal. I had normal, regular, light periods and just this random phantom pain that I could not shake. My primary care provider had told me that there was a chance I had Endometriosis. But she could not diagnosis me with it, she told me to go get a second opinion from another OB and referred me to someone else in town that she helped teach in the OR as a resident. I made an appointment with this new OB and brought him all my records and imaging that led up to this point in his office. He sat down in the exam room and said I have looked at your records but I want to hear what is going on from your point of view. I explained the last 10 months to him and he said there was a good chance that I do have Endometriosis he laid all my options out for me. He knew that we were trying to get pregnant so he offered me different courses of treatment but they would prevent me from getting pregnant. He also offered me surgery and said this was the best route as he would be able to get in and diagnosis what was going on. I opted to have surgery and in less than 3 weeks he had me in the OR. I found out that my right tube is 100% blocked, I did definitely have Endometriosis and that’s what was causing my pain. The two week wait for my follow up appointment was hard. I have a Bachelors in Public Health and knew enough to know that this path we were going to be headed down to have kids was going to be hard. When I went to my two week follow up I asked my doctor what this meant for having kids and he told me that he was going to immediately refer us to the fertility clinic in town and that we cannot wait. We also found out at this time that the sperm analysis that my first OB had ordered for my husband was abnormal when she had advised it was normal.

By December I had begun my first IUI, they put me on the maximum dose of Femora and I did IUI’s from December to July, two of my IUI’s were canceled and none resulted in a pregnancy. During those 7 months of fertility treatments I had this overwhelming urge to fight to keep pushing and to make it through each treatment because I knew at some point it would have to work. We decided in June to refinance our house and use the money to pay for IVF but that we wanted to take a small break before we did that. In November of 2017, we started our first cycle of IVF. We were able to get 13 eggs, 11 of them were mature, 7 fertilized and 2 made it to embryo’s. We did Preimplantation Genetic Testing on the two embryos and found out that one was genetically normal and one was not. For our one embryo we did a mock transfer to make sure the transfer was going to be the most successful and completed a Frozen Embryo Transfer in March, unfortunately it did not take.

Throughout this entire experience I have had this burning desire to fight this to push through it and get what we want and deserve. But after our failed IVF cycle I was defeated, completely. Over the last few months the things that have helped me most have been running, talking to my husband and seeking out help through a therapist. As we start to approach what would have been my due date feelings intense feelings of desperation and longing are bubbling up. I am trying to focus on healing my heart and getting mentally prepared to do another IVF cycle in the near future.

I think the biggest piece of advice I could give someone is that this journey is not easy, it is painful and it is a pain that you never would wish on your worst enemy but I know in my heart when we are blessed with a child that all of this will be worth it. At first and still to this day I don’t typically like being very open about our fertility struggle but I have found a lot of comfort in finding others who have had a similar struggle with getting pregnant and hearing that what I am feeling is normal. So I am trying to be more open about it and talk to anyone who has questions or wants to know how we are doing. I would also tell someone to fight, working in the healthcare industry you are your own advocate for the treatment you want and deserve.

Want to contact Mandee? Instagram @mandeebustamante

Want to read more infertility stories from guest bloggers? You can find those here.  Or do you want to be a guest blogger?  Email me at adventuresofatwinmom@gmail.comor message me on Instagram @MyTwinMomAdventures

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