The pain has been immense last six years. Lost a beautiful pregnancy to unknown causes, where now I suspect chromosomal abnormalities. But there was no fetal testing. So, I won’t ever know. I just know it was a boy. I still keep the two pictures from the sonograms despite trying to shred them many times with the intent to ‘get over’. Three years ago, we made the decision to seek help. Then there was another boy and a girl that didn’t make it beyond being blastocysts.
When I first stepped into a fertility clinic in my mid-thirties, I was very amazed to see a room full of hopefuls to seek services or those that already were somewhere along the process. Some must have recognized me and quickly covered their face. Regardless of the success or failure, primary and secondary infertility issues are rarely discussed especially amongst South Asians. Add religion in the mix and it becomes the most complicated human phenomenon known.
Perhaps, it is the stigma or could be cultural corollaries. I am a metrics person and having some facts would’ve helped us make educated choices. But there is not much available in public domain besides informal focus groups. That day, I knew that I must do something about raising the awareness and gather sensible data even though my path and process might be very different from others. Also, I might have caused my family the most discomfort with my intentions because they are very private and I’m quite the opposite.
Despite everything, there is innate bias which pins infertility on women. I think biological clock tick and the dogma that comes with it are untrue. Everyone’s body is different. Bottomline is about the hormonal and other pertinent readings for a natural conception. There are women who’ve conceived and delivered a healthy child at 50 and despite having all kinds of struggles and pre-existing conditions. My confidence therefore comes from being fit, perfect vitals, staying positive and getting creative with responses to weird questions.
To add to it, I can personally state that insurance is a sham in this country. And, the worst part being that they completely control the decision making process unless we want to pay out of pocket which is ridiculously expensive. No matter how handsome the paycheck is. If you ever thought this was the only thing, most fertility clinics thrive on this business. It is has become a baby-making factory. Different programs, payments structures, uncovered costs, insurance rejections– it is a nauseating swamp.
While my scientific efforts will continue, I have been learning few things that I never before have. When people give advises that flow like a river, I have a checklist of questions to collect data – and a lot of it. So, next time you’re interested in knowing my infertility journey, also be prepared to provide your intimate details such as how, when, what etc (wink). As Adam Savage rightly said, “In the spirit of science, there really is no such thing as a ‘failed experiment.’ Any test that yields valid data is a valid test.” And you, my curious friends are my worthy subjects.