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August 25, 2017
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March 7, 2018

The Delainey and Ryder story by Alison Black

This is a guest blog by Alison Black, you can find her and her amazing family on instagram

 The Delainey Story.

We started our journey to become parents 26 months before we got a positive pregnancy test. I never gave it any thought that we may have trouble getting pregnant and before I knew it I was living my greatest nightmare. We got to the point where we talked about adoption and we talked about a surrogate carrier because after 2 years you really start to wonder if it’s actually going to happen. 

{I know our story is only half as long or hard as some woman out there so by no means am I trying to take away from their story.}

I went to see my doctor after 8 months because I figured something was up and my cycles were only getting longer (up to 46 days long). He ran some tests and everything came back normal. He told me to cool it with my workouts, take my BBT (basal body temperature) each morning and he was certain he’d see me soon – pregnant. 

2 months later I made another appointment with my doctor because let’s be honest here – I was frustrated. It was taking far too long in my mind and I hated that we had to wait 1 full year before they would see us at the fertility clinic. So I said I was coming in for my ‘pizza face’ when really I had an ulterior motive. Whether is was my tears, the decade he’d know me or his gut feeling too that something must be off – he agreed to refer me to the fertility clinic a month early. Which was appreciated seeing as we were told there was up to a 6 month wait to get in.

In the mean time, I went and saw a Naturopath doctor for the first time.

I did a 3 week Brown Rice Cleanse diet, 2 rounds of 3 different UNDA drops, numerous foot and tongue readings and then many acupuncture appointments with her. It felt good to be doing something, rather than just waiting around for the fertility clinic to get us in. I worked with her for about 6 months and although it didn’t help us conceive it helped me mentally. My husband just called it voodoo. 🙂

We lucked out (with me calling twice and reminding them I wanted to be on the cancellation list!) and we had our first appointment with the fertility clinic in December 2011

January was a busy month – Justin had a bunch of tests done, I had countless rounds of blood work, ultrasounds, a follicle count and finally an HSG.

Our fertility doctor told us that many women get pregnant the cycle after an HSG because it flushes out your tubes. I was SO hopeful that this would be our answer and this was all we would need from the fertility clinic. Surely the painful experience from the HSG alone was enough! No dice.

Enter Clomid. I felt so much hope when we got to this point. I thought FINALLY something that is really going to help. Since they didn’t find anything ‘wrong’ with Justin (he was actually “above par” with super sperm they told him) and my only issue was not ovulating on my own (I was later diagnosed with PCOS) – I figured this has got to work. I was finally excited again because I actually thought we had a shot. We ended up doing 6 rounds of Clomid (with a 2 month break between the 3 months) Still no dice.

During those 8 months I did everything I had read may help.

 I booked a massages. I quit my regular workouts and just did yoga for a full cycle. I tried infertility meditation. I ate kiwis & pineapples like my life depended on it. I tried the yin yan hot cold method…You name it, I tried it. 

I also started seeing a Chinese medicine doctor. With her I did acupuncture, gross fertility teas, small acupressure needles in my ears – pretty much just freaked the heck out of my husband but still nothing.

But again – I think mentally it helped me. Because even though I knew it wasn’t “my fault” this was happening I still carried guilt and this was me trying to do something/anything to help.

Through pain you learn a lot about yourself. Things you never knew you wanted to learn.

I know this process has made Justin and I ten times closer than I ever thought we could be. We talked more. I cried more than I am certain he EVER wanted to see my cry. I saw a different man in him then I thought I had married – sure there had been times that had been rough for us but Justin had been so strong throughout this process and so understanding. He always asked if I need to talk, even when I say no but burst into tears he’d just hangout with me until I could talk through my sobs. He reassured me that we were in this together and that it wasn’t my fault. He tried to make me see things differently about this process – when I was mad and sad he tried to turn those feelings into being frustrated instead because this process did not deserve my sadness. He has been so great. I just never in a million thoughts, imagined that is where we’d be at or that we’d actually be talking about IUI, IVF and adoption as the only way to have a baby – but I could not imagine going through it with anyone but him.

At our next follow up at the fertility clinic (after my last month of clomid) we had many discussions about our next step. We really trusted our doctor but I really felt the need to do more. Not try Clomid again, not just try another drug. So we decided to plan for IUI in January as my body needed a 2 month break from all drugs. I also requested a different drug other than Clomid. So right after Christmas I started Letrazol and then was scheduled in for ultrasounds to see when my body was ready for the IUI. To our surprise our first ultrasound showed it was go time! Prior to, Justin had to give me a shot of HCG in the stomach and then we were good to go. 

I won’t go into detail about the IUI – you can read about the procedure here. It was pretty straight forward and 18 days after it we got this:

And we could not believe our eyes.

We were so lucky. 

My heart hurts knowing there are couples out there {still} going through or starting on a journey of what we went through. It’s cruel and some may not understand but it’s painful. Not that I didn’t appreciate the amazing life I had but it was 2 very long hard years.

So I empathize with those couple still going through it. I will say that I do feel like I came out a stronger person. I “met” people that I wouldn’t have connected with had I not gone through fertility junk. I think infertility deserves to be talked about, it doesn’t have to be this big secret and 1 in 4 couples suffer from it’s important to know about it.

The Ryder Story.

I will say I was in a much better frame of mind going into fertility treatments this time around. Last time we had spent a year trying on our own and then we spent another year plus some working with the fertility team before we did our IUI and at that point I was DONE, broken down, tired and ready for something to finally work. This time my heart was already so full that I was totally ok when each month went by and I wasn’t pregnant. We knew we hoped to have one more babe but I was totally, 100% thankful we were able to have Delainey in the first place that I was sort of in the mind set that “what will be will be” and if we were just meant to have Delainey I was ok with that. I already had an amazing family and was totally fulfilled. Infertility got the best of me the first time – I wasn’t going to let it get me this time.

We decided we would just let my body do it’s thing after Delainey was born and if we got pregnant on our own at any time then great. If not – we would call to book another appointment with the fertility clinic after Delainey’s first birthday. We were able to get into the fertility clinic much quicker this time because we already had a chart number, we knew what our plan would be and didn’t have to do any of the initial tests. I was really thankful for this but part of me also felt bad because I knew there were also many couples out there waiting to get into the clinic for the first time and here we were just walking in. I was so torn.

We met with our doctor in November. He was amazing. He is very to the point and doesn’t beat around the bush. I was dreading this visit thinking he would want me to start back where we started on our journey to Delainey because before our IUI he was always SO sure we could get pregnant on our own.

But he looked at my charts from my IUI and commented that he was utterly shocked we got pregnant the month we did as I had 1 follicle. They compared this to a bubble bath {although a slight exaggeration} – most women have a bath full of bubbles at that time of the month. I had 1 bubble. Who became our Delainey.

So with that he said we were more than likely going to need another IUI and we were welcome to jump into that as soon as we wanted to.

He did offer us a few options though.

1. Try 3 months of Letrazol alone. [Which along with the injectables and the IUI – is the drug I was on when we got pregnant with Delainey. Pretty much the same drug as Clomid but I had no success with Clomid alone for the 6 cycles I was on it so requested a drug change for our IUI.]

2. Do 1-3 months of Letrazol and if no success book an IUI along the way.

3. Do an IUI as soon as soon we wanted (along with the injectables and Letrazol).

So he gave us a prescription for Letrazol and told us to think about it and keep his office posted.

We decided to give Letrazol alone a try and just play it by ear.

To be totally honest we weren’t counting on Letrazol working on it’s own but we decided we weren’t in a huge rush and we had nothing to lose trying. Plus it would have been really amazing to not need an IUI again.

Month 1 was unsuccessful.

During our 2nd month and after having a constant headache, feeling lethargic and having an awesome bloated belly for 7+ weeks {side effects from the drug} I asked Justin what he thought of doing an IUI our 3rd round of Letrazol knowing I could only be on the drug for 3 months before they make you take a month off. He was game so we called the fertility clinic to inquire.

As we suspected month 2 was a bust as well so we called the clinic, started month 3 of Letrazol and began going to the clinic every 2 days for pelvic ultrasounds {to determine when/if my follicles were mature enough to release an egg}. Right from the get go this cycle was different from our cycle with Delainey which right away made me nervous.

With Delainey we only required 1 ultrasound and then it was go time. This time after my first ultrasound I had no follicles.

2 days later I had very few baby follicles but they weren’t nearly big enough.

Feeling defeated and scared that we would miss ovulation entirely I went into my third ultrasound. I had a different doctor than the first 2 times {not our Dr for any ultrasounds} who I thought was great and he was very chatty and answered all these questions I all of a sudden had. He showed me the screen of the pelvic ultrasound as he measured my sporadic follicles. Finally I had 3 on my left side and they were all over the minimum in size. We got word that it was go time for our IUI in 48 hours.

I’m not sure why but this time around I was much more in need of information. I wanted to know ALL the details and why. I think the first time around it was just so new to me and I was a deer in headlights most of the time.

Each time I was at the Fertility Clinic this time around though I was reminded of how lucky we were – even though I hated sitting in that FULL waiting room with a passion and that we had to pay someone to get us pregnant AGAIN. I was surrounded by families all in the same position as we were BUT I heard women talking about having a 12 week cycle and being back for more drugs to try and stop the cycle. Women who had driven 15 hours for an appointment and then having to worry about keeping her $8,000 worth of drugs cold enough on the drive home. I witnessed families putting $14,000 on 3 separate credit cards for their next procedure. It made me so sad, sick to my stomach, guilty for feeling defeated with my situation but thankful. So so gosh darn thankful. And REALLY hating infertility and the fact that there is no funding to support these families.

Last time around I had Justin do my hCG injection in the tummy but this time around I decided I could do it myself. So I set my alarm for 11:00pm that night and was pretty proud of myself if I’m being totally honest BUT it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. {hCG injection is to trigger the egg’s release}

The day of our IUI thankfully was on a Thursday so Justin went for his appointment in the early morning and then was able to hangout with Delainey in the late morning for mine.

{That’s another thing: We COULD have taken Delainey with us and Justin could have joined me for all my appointments and ultrasounds like he did last time but we really weren’t comfortable bringing Delainey with us. There are many families that do bring their first born with them but it was a choice we made not to. Thankfully Justin was around or Gramma Debbie was around even though we had to tell a couple white lies so she didn’t know what we were up to. We wanted to surprise family this time instead of them knowing what day I was taking a test on after our IUI}

The nurse who did our IUI wasn’t the same one as our first IUI but after this whole cycle being so different than our IUI with Delainey I was ok with it/didn’t cry! ha ha 😉 She was great, was super chatty and informative which I totally needed. It’s not the most comfortable procedure but it’s quick and painless really.

After the procedure you basically just go on as normal. They say to not workout for that day and to take it easy which I happily did. I had quite bad cramping this time around and it lasted for quite some time which again was different from last time. I also had cramping throughout the next few weeks as we waited which really worried me, made me lose a little hope and I struggled with it a bit but we waited. We kept our fingers, toes and tongues crossed and waited some more. You are told to wait 18 days post IUI which we did with Delainey so I told myself I had to do again even though it landed on a Monday and I couldn’t imagine having to go to work if we got good news or bad news. And even though technically I was 6 day late I was not sure what sort of news to expect.

Thankfully – some how we got lucky again and we saw this.

We could not believe it. It really was too good to be true. We found what works for us. 


I called the clinic to tell them and the nurse I talked to made sure I knew how lucky we were. She said most couples require up to 3 IUIs until they are successful and often have no success with them at all and ours were successful on the first try both times. We are so incredibly grateful.

My advice:

 Don’t keep it all to yourself. I felt SO much better once my friends and family knew what we were going through. 

Be your own advocate and ask for other options. My body did not respond well to clomid so I asked for other options. 

Have someone you can confide in. They offer counselling through the fertility clinic and I definitely would have taken them up on it had I not had “a Whitney”. My best friend Whit and I emailed each other every day and I confided in her exactly what I was feeling and even when I wasn’t being honest and said I was fine, she called me out on it. I don’t know where she pulled the words from each month but they were exactly what I needed to re-think where we were at and where my mind was. Not to say I didn’t have bad days but having someone to give you a boost or a kick in the butt was needed. 

She once said “try to view your body like one of your students {I work with students with autism} be patient, be kind, love it and just remember it is learning how to deal with Clomid and other treatments you are handing it. Every time you want to stress or hate on that body of yours in general, try to imagine this as a sweet little autistic child who is just trying to get through a day with all the new stuff around them.”

Genius right! I seriously have the BEST best friend. I have said to her so many times throughout these years – EVERYONE needs a Whitney. I don’t know how people would get through this or life alone  – without one! So find yourself someone you can confide in – other than your partner – because like I said Justin too was a saint!

Talk to your partner. It helped so much when we talked things out and were on the same page. It’s hard on both of you.

Get a dog. Seriously we may not have made it without  our dog Cruz!

If you have any questions, want to chat, vent, anything feel free to email me. justinandalison{at}gmail{dot}com

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