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It’s My Body, Period (or No Period)

a blog by Jamie Pursley, April 11, 2012

No more periods, period.

That’s a really weird concept to grasp, if you ask me. So, no more periods, ever again, for the rest of my life? I feel selfish thinking that this is some kind of consolation prize for what I lost; I would gladly take back the monthly monster in exchange for fertility again. Being surrounded by women all the time, it sometimes feels like I’m just destined to never fit in again. Not part of the “mommy club,” and now I’m not even part of the “the most miserable time of month” club. It’s some kind of female purgatory where I’m not sure what my identity is as a female without one or the other.

We will be going to the REACH clinic on Thursday to meet with the founder, Dr. Wing, and discuss our case. I just want to make our final decision with where we will be undergoing our in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure and get on with the process. I feel more anxious now than I have all along, as I know how close it is, and it’s starting to seem real again. The warm feeling of thinking that this time next year, I may be counting the mere days until our baby arrives. Then again, I think about the emotional roller coaster I’ll be riding the nine months that we wait for it all to happen. A lot goes through my mind, from the hormone shots to the egg retrieval procedure, to thinking about the agonizing time we will have to wait to find out if our embryo implanted in Kristen successfully. It seems like a never ending checklist of “what will throw Jamie into emotional and mental overload today?" Never mind finding out if the embryo implanted in Kristen, I won’t feel any sense of relief until a healthy baby is placed in my arms, and I get to sign the birth certificate saying it’s ours. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past five months, it’s that life doesn’t come with a manual, and it sure as heck doesn’t come with a guarantee.

So, what should you do when you find yourself proverbially backed into an IVF corner? Breathe! No one can make you do anything that you don’t want to or that you don’t feel comfortable with in your fertility battles. You’re most likely on your own path to parenthood through infertility if you’re reading this, and you’ve been through enough without making a decision to simply please others. Go with your gut, as a friend once told me. It's never lead me astray before, and I know at the end of the day I’m doing what I have to so that I can finally get to my pot-of-gold at the end of the infertility rainbow.

Comments (5)

Hey, Jamie. You have my greatest sympathy. I'm so sorry for your loss, but happy you have a beautiful baby boy now! I'm currently at REACH, working with dr Katz team. This whole process has been an emotional roller coaster for josh and me. I have been pregnant three times, and lost all three babies. My last missed miscarriage was in October. I rememebr sitting on the table waitng for my first uktrasound. All that was running through my head was," I hope everything is ok, I hope they can detect a heartbeat this time. I hope this won't end like it did a few years ago. After about what felt like an enternity in that cold exam room the docotr comes in. She begins the ultrasound- my legs shaking from fear. "I see a sac and there definitely a fetal pole here, she's says. I feel a sigh of relief and get excited. This is it, the baby is there, and everything is fine. Then I hear the news I so devinstatingly was dreading. "I can't detect a heartbeat she says". She tells me to come back in a week maybe it's too early. That weeks was aweful. I cried and just new something was wrong. I wake up five days later bleeding. They rush me in to the docots and do an emergency uktrasound and tell me my baby dish survive. This has been so hard for us. So now, we have been seeing dr Katz team at reach and they figured out I have high levels of NK cells that attack the fetus everytime I get pregant. We will try to get us pregant and hopefully keep my body from attacking the fetus, but there may be a possibility of having to have a serogate. This is super stressful time right now and hearing about your story has given me hope and faith that this Can be possible for us. This is our dream and I won't give up until I have our baby in my arms

I was one of Dr. Wing's very first patients when he came to Charlotte in July of 1982. Unfortunately, I never carried a baby to term, but my husband and I were blessed with a baby girl via adoption in 1988.

Jamie--as a seven time IVF survivor and mother of two boys (one of them carried by a surrogate), I would say your advice to "go with your gut" is right on. But also, you are taking control of your future and I admire that. Everyone, in my opinion, needs to educate and inform themselves--and be a partner in this journey WITH their doctor. And don't ever let anyone tell you NO! If I had listened, I wouldn't have my kids!

You will Love Dr. Wing and his team! He is compassionate but straight forward. He is not going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear and he won't mess around when getting down to business. I initially saw another physician through REACH who was a bit more rigid and I didn't care for him. He is an excellent physicians and when it comes down to it, if he is the physician to process my transfer I would feel comforable, I just didn't want to deal with him on a daily basis.

Not bein part of the mommy club or the time of the month club can be a mind cruncher. Please know, neither of those define you as a woman. You are a woman because of who you are. What you have or don't have are just accessories to life. My husband and I struggle with not being parents when most of our friends have children. The worst is when people find out our age or how old we are and the taxing question of "do you have little ones" comes up. At times it's like a burning stake being slowly pushed into my chest. There are many options on how to become parents, through IVF, or adoption, you have the benefit and opportunity to share your love with someone else. I fully believe that being a parent is part of my make up, I just have to be a little more creative on how I/we get to that destination! Don't loose hope!!

Hi Jamie,
My heart goes out to you when I read your blog. I completely understand your frustration about not being a part of "the mommy club". My husband and I have been undergoing infertility for the past several years. So far, no least we now have answers as to the "why", which a lot of women don't ever truly get. We had seen several other Doctors before making our way to Reach. I have been a patient there for the past 3 years. We had first been placed with Dr. Katz and his team. I will have to admit...he's a great doc with a great sense of humor...and we all can use that sometimes....However, we had not truly found out that I had an egg issue when we were working with him...several cycles later...several miscarriages later...My husband and I called it quits. We just needed time to heal and to breathe. Take a good assessment of our priorities and our emotions. Last year we decided to go back and give it another try. This time I specifically requested Dr. Wing. He and his team were WONDERFUL! He gave realistic advice and direct answers. After going through what we had gone through...we could appreciate someone just telling us "like it was". We underwent IVF. Everything went better than expected until the day of embryo implantation. We had gone from 5 great embryos to 1...we were devastated. 2 weeks later...we were pregnant! Unfortunately, through the following weeks....the embryo didn't develop as it should and we eventually lost the pregnancy at 10 weeks. After having the D&C...we learned there many genetic issues related to the quality of the egg. We have once again taken a break, but now we know...embryo adoption will be the way we go next time!! Thanks to a facility in Tennessee, we still have a viable option that's both cost effective and still gives me an opportunity to try to carry. Dr. Wing will do all the preparation for the transfer and monitoring afterwards....but this will be a while as we still need to meet all the requirements for a traditional adoption. Dr. Wing ran every test known to man...was available at anytime for questions..and I mean anytime...I think he even called me from the golf course a Saturday morning..haha. His clinic has great statistics...I believe he leads the Southeast in success rates. I think you have made a wise decision in selecting not only his clinic, but having him directly assist you! I wish you all the luck in the world and hopefully you finally have the joy and happiness you deserve!

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