Finding the Positive in Infertility

June 11, 2009 is a day I will never forget. It started just like any other. I went to work, came home and was greeted by my chocolate lab. The only difference was, for the first time, I was not able to say hello back. I had developed an excruciating pain in my back and couldn’t move. I couldn’t take her downstairs for our normal walk around the neighborhood, get up to get her dinner ready, or reach my phone to call my husband. I was stuck sitting straight up in a chair … not able to move my neck, back or stand.

My husband arrived home from work, and found me in the same position. I hadn’t moved, and he could immediately tell something was wrong. I told him my back had been bothering me for a little while, but had gotten worse with each day. He gently moved me to our couch, and we discussed what might have happened.

I hadn’t lifted anything or done anything out of the ordinary. He asked if it could have been my fertility drugs, but I wasn’t so sure. I had completed three intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles, two using Gonal F injections, but this cycle my body wasn’t responding to the medication. Each day I would have my regular appointment to be monitored, and each day my fertility doctor would increase my dosage since he wasn’t seeing any progress.

We realized that as my dosage increased, so had my back pain. We decided to search online, and found that an estimated 5 percent of the people using Gonal F injections develop severe back pain.

Since it was late, we decided to get some rest and call the fertility doctor in the morning. My husband helped me get into bed, set me up with a heating pad, and got me some Tylenol. The next morning there was no improvement, so we headed straight to the hospital. After a series of x-rays and tests, we learned I had strained my back. The doctor wasn’t able to confirm or deny that it was due to the fertility drugs, but to this day we still question what else it could have been.

I remember lying in the hospital bed, looking over at my husband, and realizing that our time going through infertility treatments was over. No matter what had caused my injury, I knew I would be going through physical therapy for at least six weeks, and I couldn’t imagine ever injecting my body again. I felt like this was my answer, and shockingly a sense of peace come over me as I realized I would never be pregnant.

I’ve been asked if I regret going through infertility treatments since it didn’t end with a pregnancy, but as horrible as it was going through the treatment process, and as much as I hoped it would end with me conceiving, I’m still glad I did it. I can see now how God was using the process to teach me things I never would have been able to learn unless He used the deepest desire of my heart to break me and mold me into the person I am today. He showed me through the process that the experience was more important than a pregnancy because it was preparing me for His answer, and opening my eyes to His plan for my life.

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