Going through Infertility..You don’t have to do it alone!

Going through Infertility…You don’t have to do it alone.

Written by Nikki Csipkes, secretary of Conceive Nebraska

The month that my husband and I decided to start official trying to get pregnant was exactly one year after our wedding. I remember my husband saying “Please don’t be upset if it doesn’t happen the first month” and me being too excited to truly process those words. Being a mother has always been a dream of mine; in first grade for career day I brought in my baby doll and told everyone my career was going to be a mom! After that first month of trying to conceive, that dream took 47 more months to be realized.

48 months = 4 years- quite a long journey (but not as long as some other women I know). After year one of trying with no success we sought out the advice of an OBGYN who had us start on some tests to figure out if there was an issue. I had NO idea of all of the things that could go wrong and wish that I had understood the process a little better before starting. It is our hope at Conceive Nebraska that we get more information out to women through pamphlets at OB offices and/or classes about infertility testing.

My husband and I went through tests to check my fallopian tubes, his sperm count and longevity, my uterus, etc. Some were uncomfortable and again I wish I had known about a few of them beforehand. I went through surgery to remove some polyps, got advice and counsel from two reproductive specialists and tried four IUI’s. We were now three years into the process and I was exhausted emotionally after our diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”. We started looking into adoption but after a few months decided to try our last option: IVF.

Did you know that there is no way to find out if a woman has eggs, and if those eggs are good eggs without removing the eggs from the body? That is what we discovered…my body was doing was it was supposed to each month, but without this procedure we would never know for sure. We got 5 eggs that made it to the blastocyst stage and the doctor put the “ two most perfect looking eggs” of those five into me. The result was twins and as of this day we have a healthy 18 month old son and daughter!

Now that you know a little about my story I would like to tell you how I made it through this process. Infertility is lonely, heartbreaking, frustrating- basically a roller coaster of emotions. It is different for everyone, but I think some of the things that I did will help most people. I also believe that if Conceive Nebraska was around earlier, that this organization would have benefitted me even more!

Top 10 things that helped me:

  1. Infertility Support Group. Hands down the best thing that I did for myself…and I was pretty stubborn about going at first because I didn’t want to admit I needed to help myself. Meeting one other couple who also experienced unexplained infertility made me feel like I was not alone in the world. Did I mention these support groups are free?! Conceive Nebraska also aims to start one soon which is awesome.
  2. Nutrition. I saw a nutritionist before my IVF at Omaha Integrative Care (OIC) and again learned a lot about healthy eating. Honestly, I thought I was doing a pretty good job until I went to a consultation. There were difficult things about eating that healthy, but in the end I was in great shape when I went through IVF, had an extremely wonderful and uneventful pregnancy and delivery with multiples, and it has helped me lose the baby weight post pregnancy. While the consultation cost a little money, this is a good place to start: ensuring your body is as healthy as it possibly can be!
  3. Deep Relaxation Class at OIC. Again, I learned a lot, met a great teacher and made some friends, and it is guided relaxation. You hear so many times to “just relax” and many of us know that is just impossible so guided relaxation exercises really do help you relax (at least for the 20-30 minutes you listen to the recording!)
  4. Acupuncture. I learned a lot, met a great acupuncturist, and it is actually quite relaxing.
  5. Family. For some people, this may not be helpful depending on your relatives, but I had great support from my parents, sister, a few cousins, and of course my husband.
  6. Friends. I made some wonderful friends through my support group and we would have couples nights, or ladies lunches, etc. My best friend was also very understanding and caring towards my needs.
  7. Prayer. I am a firm believer in prayer but I also lost faith a few times throughout the process…but I always came back to prayer and having faith in God.
  8. Politely declining invitations. Please do this for yourself- this includes baby showers, wedding showers, holiday events with family, or any public outing that may make you feel uncomfortable or sad. I left some family parties in tears and remember it’s ok to text your husband from the bathroom to say we need to leave NOW!
  9. Pull the plug on Facebook. Ok, this one was pretty tough because I love staying connected to everyone in my life. But…it was way too hard to shield myself from the constant baby announcements, ultrasound photos, and posts about kids. I was off FB for about 5 months while we were gearing up and going through IVF. While it may have made me a little more isolated, I also protected my heart from a lot so I think for me it was the right decision.
  10. Try your best to have hope, and believe that miracles can and do happen!

I vowed that if I made it through the infertility process and became a mother that it would be my mission to help other women and couples through their journeys. Currently, I am the Secretary of Conceive Nebraska. It is our hope that we can offer free support groups, classes, information in doctors’ offices and clinics, and raise money for awareness and support of couples who are trying to become parents. I hope that in sharing my story, ideas, and thoughts that at least one person is benefited! We continue to pray for all of you out there in whatever stage of the journey you are on!