August 20, 2009

How hard can it possibly be to grow a dandelion?

It’s practically uncanny that dandelions have the ability to reproduce without pollinating.

I mean, think about it… they’re everywhere… and all they have to do is dry out and turn into little puff balls the next time they open. Waiting. Some unsuspecting child comes along, makes a wish and blows all of those little seeds into the wind. They land and grow. Everywhere.

I was one of those unsuspecting children once. Picking a dandelion… feeling the sticky milk on my fingers, closing my eyes and making a wish… blowing that wish across the grass and watching as the wind took it to where wishes got granted.

Here I am, 33 years old, and still waiting for that wish to come true.

I’m Dandelion Bud. I’ve been waiting my entire life for my chance to be a mom. When I finally met the future Mr. Dandelion Bud, I knew that this was it. Before we got engaged, I told him that I planned on having my first child before I was 35, and if he planned on having any involvement in that proposal, then he had better get a ring on my finger, and soon. Apparently, he wanted that child as badly as I did, because a few months later, I had a ring and a wedding was in the works. Five months before that wedding, we ditched the birth control and had at it.

We had been trying for 5 months, when I started getting a feeling in my gut that something was wrong. I KNOW it can take a year. I KNOW I’m older than 30. But I also KNOW that my instincts are rarely wrong. Especially those about myself. My OBGyn blew me off. She practically told me I was crazy. And then she told me the words that she should learn to NEVER tell a woman who isn’t getting pregnant.

She said to relax.

What she actually said was, “You’ve only been trying for 5 months. Relax. You just got married. Enjoy being a newlywed.”

What business of hers was it how we enjoyed being newlyweds? We decided ages ago that we wanted a baby. The timing was none of her business. But with that attitude, I started OBGyn shopping, to find someone who would care about the same things I did – or at least to pretend to, even if they didn’t. We also called our primary medical doctor (PMD) to see if he would write the prescription that changed our world.

And Mr. Dandelion Bud had his first semen analysis (SA).

The first SA brought us to the urologist – who recommended I get checked out also. Didn’t make sense to get all of these tests done on him, only to find out later that I had issues too. Enter our awesome reproductive endocrinologist (RE). The first thing he said to us was, “I can get you pregnant”. I like him.

To make a very long story short – and maybe I’ll touch upon more of it sometime later on – Mr. Dandelion Bud has been tested up, down and sideways. The tests haven’t always been pleasant. I have been tested up, down and sideways… those tests have DEFINITELY not always been pleasant. But our official diagnosis is unexplained Male Factor Infertility (MFI). Unexplained = no diagnosable explanation.

Our RE gave us a hypothesis that the MFI is related to a hernia repair surgery Mr. DB had as a child. I think it’s f-d up to all h-e-double hockey sticks that we’re going to have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get pregnant because of his surgeon’s mistake. (The “out of pocket, no fertility coverage through insurance” story will have to be its own story.) Our only option is IVF (in vitro fertilization) with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).

I owe my old OBGyn a lot. I owe her for opening up my eyes to her true colors. Can you imagine if I had waited another 7 months, banging my head against the wall with each perfectly timed negative home pregnancy test, rather than getting tested when I knew something was wrong. By trusting my instincts, we’ll get to our IVF miracle a little bit sooner. And maybe I’ll still get that baby before I turn 35.

A long time ago, when I was going through a really hard time, I found a poem that helped me a lot… the meaning of the poem has changed a little bit for me now. But the general significance remained the same. “I hold your hand. You are more than ‘OK’, Bright singing yellow green life. Spring. Deep roots push you into light. Light.” (poem “Dandelion Children” written by Marie Cartier)

I am a Dandelion Child. I am strong. I will survive. I will get pregnant with my IVF miracle (or as Mr. DB calls it: our “statistical improbability” – he’s analytical).

I AM a Dandelion Bud. And I think infertility sucks rocks.


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