Guest Blogger: Lindsay from (In)Fertile Grounds

Lindsay from (In)Fertile Grounds is this total sweetheart, who forgives me for posting this like a FREAKING month after she gave me her post.  Her infertility journey started not too long ago, and so her blog is pretty new.  But follow it, ya'll.  I'm totally rooting for her, because she started this road with only one fallopian tube to begin with... and then recently was threatened with the loss of the other.  No lie, I legitly (is that a word?) got chills reading the conversation she had with her doctor when he broke the news to her, asking her if she was expecting the results:
In one of the most honest moments I've ever seen from a doctor, he almost sighed, "I wasn't either."
Chills.

 ~Risa


Howdy everyone! I'm Lindsay and it's a great honor to be writing this message!

When Risa posted on Facebook about looking for guest bloggers, I immediately opened my e-mail to send her a message - and then I got cold feet. See, it's one thing to spill your guts to friends and family, but it's completely different to open up to strangers. Suddenly blogging about sex, cycle days, hormones and the myriad of emotions that accompany this journey made me feel shy. But then I reminded myself of how important it is to speak up about infertility. With millions of couples affected, if I can help even one person by telling my story then it’s worth it.  So I put on my big girl britches and clicked "send."

Now that you know how I found my way to Who Shot Down My Stork?, let me tell you a bit about myself. Born and raised in West Virginia, I grew up surrounded by family - parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and 10 cousins. We were (and still are) a very close-knit group. As the oldest of all the cousins, I fed, changed and soothed plenty of babies as a teenager.

I can't tell you how many times I heard the phrase, "Lindsay, you're going to be a great mom." As a girl who struggled to form a positive self-image (stupid teen hormones), I held the compliment close to my heart. One day, I thought, no matter what happens, I'm going to be a badass mom (who makes plenty of mistakes, of course). Although I didn't let the idea of being a mom exclusively define me, it has always been a key piece of my "life plan."

I began dating my (now) husband, Randy, in 2002 and we moved in together in 2003. We spent four blissful years enjoying being a couple and just generally having a great time.

And then it seemed like everyone I knew started to have babies.

Naturally, that was when the standard (and none-of-anyone's-beeswax) questions started.

"When are you getting married?"

"When are you going to have a baby?"

"Seriously, what the heck are you waiting for?"

I did the best I could to brush them off, but I really was starting to get the itch. I began to pressure Randy to "put a ring on it" and was met with much resistance. Raise your hand if you saw that coming? Yeah. Wish I had. I learned very quickly my husband is a man who takes his time making big decisions.

For Randy, that meant a seven-year relationship before the proposal. Ha!

Married in 2011, we waited just over a year to start trying to conceive. And, gosh, sometimes I can't help but wonder, "Did we wait too long?" We tried and tried without success. I felt like a crazy lady peeing on sticks or in cups, charting my BBT, and taking note of every twinge or feeling that could mean I was pregnant. I was obsessed. It was all I thought and talked about, so you can imagine (and likely already know) how frustrated I became with each passing month.

In April 2013, after just eight months of carefully timed sex and no positive pregnancy tests, I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I saw my gynecologist that same month and insisted she refer me to a specialist. While she didn't believe I had fertility problems, she listened to me and scheduled an appointment with a local reproductive endocrinologist.

I can't tell you how empowered I felt. I stood up for something I wanted and, as it turns out, needed. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I, however, wasn’t even close to emotionally prepared for what the RE had to say. In a small and extremely hot exam room during the month of May, Dr. R. found several fibroids and a large pocket of fluid that he later described as a hydrosalpinx, a severely enlarged and fluid filled fallopian tube.

Under other circumstances it may not have been as emotionally shattering as it was. However, I had my right ovary and fallopian tube removed in 2010 because of a dermoid cyst.

To hear my one remaining tube was likely beyond repair made me physically and emotionally ill. It was like I was unable to wake up from a nightmare.

Dr. R. looked at me at one point and said, "Were you expecting any of this?"

"Not at all," I replied through tears.

In one of the most honest moments I've ever seen from a doctor, he almost sighed, "I wasn't either."

We walked away from our first appointment knowing I needed surgery to remove the fibroids and damaged tube, as well as believing IVF or adoption would be our only options for having children.

My husband, ever the one to need EVERY bit of information before he’ll believe something, was reluctant to talk about our unexpected situation. As for me, I spent the next few months researching infertility, IVF and adoption. I sought out personal and national blogs to help me cope with our new reality.

After crying myself dehydrated and going through boxes of tissues, I woke up one day and realized we weren’t without options. Our path to parenthood would just be different than what we expected.

And that’s okay!

Of course I had days where the green-eyed monster appeared and I muttered under my breath, “Seriously? They can have kids, but I can’t?” But, I did my best to remain positive.

I recently underwent surgery to remove those pesky fibroids and potentially my fallopian tube. As I was coming out of anesthesia, I heard the nurses discussing the procedure – not once mentioning removal of the tube. It wasn’t until I was fully coherent did I venture to ask about the surgical report.

Low and behold, Dr. R. removed the fibroids and one VERY large cystadenoma, a benign cyst filled with ovarian tissues and fluid. While my fallopian tube remains, I still need to undergo an HSG test to make sure it’s open. There is also a chance of male factor infertility, but Randy won’t be tested for another week or so.

And so we wait.  Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting? ;-)

If you’re interested in following along, please feel free to visit me at (in)fertile grounds. Otherwise, I wish each of you the best of luck and plenty of good thoughts!

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