God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fallopian Tube on the Mantle: Myths Explained

Over the weekend my husband and I were talking and joking with another couple about our journey. Someone made a joke about how I should have been able to keep my tube (as a refresher: I had to have my left Fallopian tube removed due to an emergency ectopic pregnancy surgery to save my life in December 2010) and how it would have been a great 'conversation piece'. Haha. As we were all laughing about the thought of a Fallopian tube in a jar on the mantle I promised that would be my next blog title... but then it seemed to fit with what I really wanted to blog about.

There are plenty of myths when it comes to infertility/secondary infertility/IVF/ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) babies, etc... and I thought I would try to dispel a few I've heard lately...

1) "Since you're pregnant now, once you give birth your 'clock' will reset and you may get pregnant naturally!"
What a wonderful dream this is! But sorry to say, very unlikely. This isn't a blanket statement you can say to just anyone, and I would recommend just not saying it to anyone unless you really know their story. The main reason (there are multiple factors) that Walter and I cannot conceive naturally is because I am anovulatory, meaning I do not ovulate. This is due to a disorder called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This syndrome causes me to have a higher testosterone level, insulin resistance, obesity, a high chance of getting diabetes/gestational diabetes, etc. The intensity of the symptoms vary from woman to woman, but they are something I have to live with on a day to day basis. True, there are steps I can fight and take to try to reduce the symptoms of PCOS, but I will forever have this disorder. Remember: diabetes, anxiety, cancer, etc... etc... etc will not go away with pregnancy, and unfortunately, my PCOS will still be there after Baby Wallheimer is born. This is also why 'just relax' didn't work before I got pregnant.

2) "*Gasp* You're planning to adopt next time around? You'll probably get pregnant then!"
This was also said to me before pregnancy in the form of, "Why don't you just adopt?" or "I know a couple who decided to adopt, and then they got pregnant!" This is pretty insulting. Not necessarily so much to me, but to an adoptive child. They are not a pawn in the game of infertility nor just a means to an end. Adoption is a decision Walter and I have made to open our home to a child who longs for a mommy and daddy like we have longed for a child. Walter and I have a heart and want to adopt, not out of desperation or because it's 'Plan B'. Although it is a rare possibility, it is a possibility I could become pregnant during the adoption process. Know that Walter and I would continue on, expecting then TWO wonderful blessings.

3) "Now that you're expecting you're no longer 'infertile'."
I've already addressed this, so I won't continue to harp on it... but this is untrue. Infertility is trying to conceive for longer than one year with no success. Praise the Lord for the miracle of modern medicine, because due to IVF we are finally carrying a child of our very own! After this child is born, Walter and I do not plan to ever use birth control or any other methods to not get pregnant. Unless we get pregnant within a year after the birth of Baby Wallheimer, we are still infertile. This is now called 'secondary infertility'.

4) "Your mind must be all about baby now!"
Oh yes, I am constantly thinking of little one. What's new in baby's growth today? How big is he/she? I wonder what life will be as a family of three...
But I also still ache for those trying to conceive. I keep up with a number of friends who are in the midst of their infertility, and I spend almost as much time praying for them as I do for our little one now. I feel unworthy to be blessed with such an amazing gift, and a type of 'survivor's gilt' has taken over. I almost cannot comprehend how blessed we are because I am so involved and hoping and praying for these other couples. They are already mothers in their heart, and mine.

5) "Why not just do IVF again for baby #2?"
There aren't words to express the drain IVF brings to a woman/couple. In my case, I just wanted to experience pregnancy. Just once. I wanted to enjoy every moment of nine months of momma-to-be bliss. Now that I will be given the opportunity to live that, my heart will turn to adoption. 'Just' doing IVF is never an option due to the emotional roller coaster it brings, and Walter and I have been-there-done-that. :) It was well worth it, thanks to little one... but I think we'll enjoy some time and then go through a different emotional roller coaster of being 'paper pregnant'!

Questions? Ask me! Really!


  1. Just wanted to say...My friend I mentioned to you that got pregnant after IVF has PCOS. I think people share stuff like that to be hopeful for you. Meaning they have been thinking about you so much that when sometime else talks about a positive IVF journey, you automatically come to mind...that was my reason for bringing it up. Thought it was a cool story, so I just shared. :) not trying to trivialize your situation or anything.

  2. Oh Rachel, I didn't think you were intending to trivialize my situation! I wasn't even thinking of that story specifically, and you are definitely not the only person to believe that myth for everyone. This post was not meant to belittle, it was just meant to inform since I feel like I've had this conversation a couple of times lately. A lot, actually. It's like it's not enough for one miracle for everyone, lol. I'm sorry if you were offended.