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My 30th Birthday, Deployment and Infertility

Photo Credit: controlyourdestiny.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: controlyourdestiny.wordpress.com

2013 will be another year of changes. One of those changes being a mini and full deployment for the husband and the big 3-0 birthday for me. Really, if I sit down and think about it, the military lifestyle means tons of changes every year, some expected and others unexpected. As a military spouse I think one of our creeds is “plan and prepare for change”.

This looming deployment and my thirtieth birthday seem to be two huge elephants in the room. For reasons you probably won’t expect. You see my uterus, it’s broken. Ok, well maybe not my uterus, maybe my ovaries, my fallopian tubes or some other female anatomy that allows you to conceive a baby.  In medical terms I am infertile. Just looking at the word infertile on my computer screen makes my stomach turn. If I am completely honest since the age of eighteen I always knew something was off and I would have issues getting pregnant.  Some days I feel like I am broken and less of a woman because I cannot conceive a baby when what seems like hundreds of women around me are announcing their pregnancy. I am left wondering if I will get my period more than twice in 2013.

When you start to talk about infertility you start spewing off enough acronyms to confuse a Sailor who lives and dies by acronyms. PCOS, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, is my acronym of choice.  Simply put PCOS is a hormone disorder, or a hormone imbalance.  One of the symptoms is lack of ovulation.  I thought having this diagnosis would solve all my problems. We know I don’t ovulate and we know my hormones are all kinds of crazy so the solution given to me by a myriad of doctors was to take Clomid. They insisted that I would become pregnant with the help of a few pills. 

We tried Clomid three times with an increase in dosage each time. Each round of Clomid ended the same way: tons of hope when my period was late, more pregnancy tests bought than one should ever have to buy, tons of negative reads, then inevitably the tell tale signs of no pregnancy, and the arrival of my dear aunt Flo. I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster.  My poor husband must have felt like he was living in a horror story because my body did not react well to the Clomid. I cried even more frequently than usual, which was already at the drop of a hat. I was moody more so than any woman should be, and I was angry at God and myself for not being able to create a baby. A lethal combination if you ask me.

We decided after the three failed attempts it was time to re-evaluate.  That was in December of 2011. We also knew we’d soon be spending time a part.  Scott was heading off to Officer Candidate School and then we were PCSing, Permanent Change of Station.  I spent much of this time trying to decide what we should do next, did we want to try IVF, in-vitro fertilization, or if we should pursue adoption.  I also spent this time going to what seemed like an endless amount of doctors’ appointments to try and figure out why the Clomid failed. More tests, more blood draws, more procedures and they found more abnormalities, a wall in uterus. Something that doesn’t necessarily prevent me from getting pregnant but can cause issues, including miscarriage if I do manage to conceive. Some thing else to add to the list of issues.

 The wall was found around the time of Scott’s OCS graduation and our pending PCS cross country move to Virginia with a three-month pit stop in Florida. Surgery and fertility treatments would have to be put on hold until at least the fall. The fall of 2012 arrived as did our entire shipment of household goods. We began to settle into our home in Norfolk and one day I woke up and it was as if God had given me a moment of clarity.  The decision was adoption. The drugs, the shots, the procedures, none of that was going to happen in 2013 because duty calls, and deployments are happening. We’ve made the decision to pursue an adoption. To use the time my husband is deployed to save up the money and do all the research.

This leads me back to the elephants in the room, deployment and my thirtieth birthday.  The last few years we knew there would be a chance of going back to sea duty in 2012 or 2013.  I had always assumed we would already have children or have one on the way by the time Scott deployed again. It was just how it would be. I was prepared for it to take a while or to need help, but I had always prepared myself for our next deployment to include kids. These same assumptions I created for a deployment are also the same assumptions I had for what life would be like when I turned thirty.  Funny how the deployment ended up being the same year as my thirtieth birthday, which if I am trying to look at the glass half full means I won’t have to deal with disappointment twice.

I am quickly realizing 2013, much like 2012 will be a year where I need to embrace change and the unknown.

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