My wife and I got married in April 2017 when we were both 36; an age that still felt young in the elongated youth of 21st century norms. But no “40 is the new 30” slogan was going to hide the fact that we were in the dusk of our biological window, so we began trying for a baby on our honeymoon.
However, pregnancy eluded us.
Several months in, we got a little more intentional. We tracked hormone levels, cycles, and mood. We explored the “everyday method” (which is as straightforward and exhausting as it sounds). And we listened as unsolicited advice rolled in from all directions like a train depot. “Have you tried…” “Why don’t you…” “I heard that…” “Don’t overthink it…” “It’ll happen…”
You can’t blame people for caring, but after a while you realize the 3.5 billion-year-old conveyor belt of procreation isn’t working like it’s supposed to no matter how many times you’re told to “let go and trust the universe.”
That’s the thing. We did, and when it came to pregnancy, the universe was saying that we were a cosmic folly.
The underwhelming term we had to live with was “unexplained infertility.” How’s that for a let down? My sperm was shipshape, and Sam was producing viable eggs, and yet our “abracadabra” did not produce any bundles of joy. There were whispers of possible issues with fallopian tubes and uterine walls, but the only definitive thing we got was that eyebrow raise, head tilt, and shoulder shrug you get when doctors don’t know what else to say.
That’s ok. We’re only special to ourselves. Evolution was moving around our genetic blip as siblings and cousins had kids, signifying that our one particular bud did not grow a leaf, but the family tree was alive and well.
“The tribe has spoken. Get over it. It’s not about you.”
And yet, for me, it is. It most definitely is. We considered adoption, but ego is a hard thing to ditch for a species preoccupied with self; and only humans have the audacity (and at times, the means) to look the universe in the face and say: Not yet.
This was one of those times.
Between June 2018 and July 2019, we attempted IVF (the egg retrieval/embryo creation part) four times. I won’t get into the…