by Carin

I guess I should start out with “Hi, my name is Carin and I am infertile”.  That is how I feel I should introduce myself every time I meet someone new. Inevitably, the first question after “what do you do” is “how many kids do you have?” My husband has gotten into the habit of saying “none yet” while I just usually stand there looking sheepish and saying “I don’t have any”. It’s like a stigma. No one knows what to say after that. I have heard everything from complete silence to “oh, well that’s okay,” to, my personal favorite, “take mine”. I want to shout to them that it is not okay!  This is not the life I chose for myself. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. By age 30 I was supposed to have been one of those moms who complains about her kids too. Now I find myself hating those who complain. Don’t they know how lucky they are?

Okay, my little rant is over.

I should point out that after years of trying, we were finally blessed with the birth of our first child via surrogate. I will get into that portion of the story later but wanted to give fair warning to anyone reading this who may be upset by reading about a new baby. I know that I had to stop reading stories, blogs, chats, etc. because too many people were getting their BFP’s (Big Fat Positives…as in pregnancy tests) and I just kept sinking deeper and deeper into the depressing world of the infertile.

My story is not meant to educate or stress one way of life over another. I am just one of you who has finally gotten lucky. Because no matter what any doctor or therapist may tell you, getting pregnant is sheer luck. All the planets and stars have to be aligned during an eclipse, while planting a potato under a full moon or something like that. The fact that some people are luckier than others was always a source of agony for me, but that’s just the way things are.

My story truly begins in 1999 when I met my husband. It was on a disastrous cruise in the Mediterranean. The fact that they were playing “My Heart Will Go On” from the movie Titanic was the first omen that something wasn’t right. The ship didn’t sink, luckily, but the only really good thing to come out of that trip was a wonderful relationship. In August of 2000, I started having some “female issues.” It turned out that I had a mucenous cyst (also known as a borderline tumor) on my left ovary. The cyst was removed in February of 2001. I was immediately referred to a Gynecological Oncologist for consults and blood tests. First and second opinions indicated that the ovary should come out. My oncologist said that since I was still young (age 28) he recommended removing only the left ovary and fallopian tube. These types of tumors tend to be unilateral and shouldn’t affect my ability to bear children. I got engaged in March 2001 and had laparoscopic surgery that May. If only I had known what I was in for.