Infertility kind of came out of nowhere for Mike and Heather. Though she knew there was a possibility of difficulty conceiving, no one ever actually considers that they may not have the chance to become a parent.
In 2010 Heather began experiencing irregular or absent menstrual cycles. She visited her primary care Doctor to discuss her concerns, but was assured that not having a period every month would not be an issue. Uncomfortable with the feeling of being disregarded, she sought out a new Doctor to find answers to her problems. After several tests were performed it was confirmed that Heather had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a Hormonal Disorder that affects upwards of 10% of women nationwide. Heather began making lifestyle changes to optimize her health, but never considered that she may someday experience the heart break of Infertility.
Fast forward two years when Mike and Heather began dating. Things moved quickly, it was love at first sight. They moved in together after three short months, adopted two fur-babies, and began discussing the idea of buying a home. Because it was known that PCOS could create issues with conceiving, in 2014 they decided to start trying for a family.
When 12 months passed without a positive pregnancy test, they both began to worry and decided to talk with her Doctor. Infertility is defined as a healthy couple under the age of 35 failing to conceive after 12 months of trying. And just like that, she was diagnosed as Infertile. Testing began, and it was found that she had one completely blocked fallopian tube. Because the state of Maine does not recognize Infertility as a disease, insurances do not cover any treatments. They decided for financial reasons they would hold off on IVF and try ovulation inducing medications such as Clomid and Femera. After 7 failed rounds, and bills racking up from lab work, ultrasounds, and other tests, they decided to take a break before seeing a fertility specialist.
It has now been two years since they decided to mentally, emotionally, and financially take a break from the heart wrenching reality of Infertility. They are due to be married at the end of June, and plan to begin the journey of conceiving after their wedding. If they do not fall pregnant successfully on their own, they will begin the journey of ART.
In the meantime, Heather has done everything she can to educate others on the topic of Infertility and PCOS. She began writing her experiences through a personal blog, and has become a great support system for other women struggling with the same things. She has also begun advocating for insurance equality in the state of Maine, and raising awareness to the public. Heather believes a strong support system is a crucial aspect of getting through this journey.
-Heather C., Maine