I am going to get a little more personal with this blog post in order to give you insight into why my frenchies mean so much to me. They truly are my kids, my babies, my heart.
My struggle with infertility
In 2003, my husband at the time and I decided we were ready to start a family. We thought it would be easy. After all, it is easy to get pregnant, right? Well, as I soon discovered, it is not as easy for many women as you may think. I tried for six months to get pregnant. It was not happening, so I set up an appointment to go talk with my doctor. My doctor told me that getting pregnant is not as easy as people think and advised me to give it another six months. I did that and still had no luck so back to the doctor I went. This time, my doctor sent me to a fertility specialist who ran several tests. Turned out I had an “inhospitable environment” coupled with blocked fallopian tubes. The doctor told me that my chance of getting pregnant naturally was only 3% and that artificial insemination was not an option due to my inhospitable environment. Therefore, my only options were invitro-fertilization or adoption. I immediately started sobbing and thought to myself “what woman can not have a baby?” The feeling is hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced this for themselves. You feel a profound sense of loss. Not a loss like losing a loved one, but a completely different and overwhelming feeling of loss. My husband at the time did not want to adopt. He wanted a child that was biologically his so after a lot of research, discussing, and thinking, we opted to try invitro-fertilization. The closest clinic to me that did invitro-fertilization was over an hour away so we set up a visit to go discuss the process. During my first visit to the fertility clinic, I was extremely optimistic. The fertility specialist informed me that because of my young age, my good health, and the fact that invitro-fertilization completely bypasses the fallopian tubes, my chances were very high that invitro-fertilization would work for me. They showed me pictures and told me the invitro success stories. They went over the expense and although it was going to be extremely costly, I was convinced it would work so the expense would be worth it in the end if it gave me the baby I so desired. So, I began my journey of invitro-fertilization. I started with daily injections to increase the number of eggs I produced which resulted in Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. Basically, my body had an exaggerated response to the hormones I was injecting, and my ovaries swelled and produced many more eggs than the ovaries should have produced even in the artificial situation we were creating. Due to my response, we had to stop the process, let my body heal and then try again. After several months, we tried again with a lesser amount of hormones. This time it worked. I produced the optimal amount of eggs which they were able to retrieve and fertilize. We ended up with three “perfect” embryos. The doctors were still telling me that I was the perfect candidate for invitro-fertilization and instructed me to only have two of the three embryos implanted since I did not want to end up with triplets. They gave me an ultrasound picture of the three embryos that I kept sitting on my entertainment center up until the time that I received the bad news. The embryos did not attach, I was not pregnant. I was devastated to say the least. To this day, I still cannot listen to the song ‘Arms Wide Open’ by Creed because that was the song playing when I got the bad news. It took me a while to decide whether I wanted to go through the whole process of invitro again (the process is hard emotionally and physically) and if I wanted to go through the heartbreak of it not working again. I did ultimately decide to try again. This time we had frozen embryos from the first attempt, so we thawed them and again implanted two. And again, it did not take. I divorced before we got the chance to try again and then I turned 35. Your chances of invitro-fertilization working after 35 years of age is exceptionally low. That fact coupled with the fact that I was divorced made up my mind that I was done with my journey of trying to become a mother, at least to human babies.
Enter the Frenchies
I have mentioned before in previous posts that I have been a dog mom to several dogs over the years. However, no dogs or any other animals for that matter, have stolen my heart like my frenchies have. My dream of becoming a mother to human babies did not come true. However, my dream to be a mother did come true. My frenchie babies love me unconditionally and I love them unconditionally just like a mother loves her human children. The fact that they require so much care has completely satisfied my maternal instincts. I feed them, I bathe them, and provide all the care they need. I did not appreciate the fact that I started with three perfect embryos and ended with three perfect frenchies until my husband brought it to my attention. Once he mentioned it to me, I spent a lot of time thinking about that and the fact that everything happens for a reason. I have degrees in Biology and Behavioral and Social Sciences, I have studied animal behavior, and I have worked with animals for many years. This coupled with my love for animals makes me a great dog mom and this is what I was meant to be. I also love to help people and that is why I started this blog. I have three frenchie babies that I love with my whole heart and have experienced a lot with them. Additionally, I have knowledge of animal behavior so what better way to give back than to start a blog to try to help other frenchie parents be the best frenchie parents they can be.
By the way, I am no longer sad about not being a mother…. because I am a mother. I am a mother to Dozer, Molly, and Harley, the best kids any mom could ask for!
1 thought on “My Struggle with Infertility and Why my Frenchies are so Important to Me”
I know that ‘failure feeling’ of “what woman can’t have a baby?” Its deep and there aren’t words to fully describe it.
I’m a dog mom, and the 1st diapers I ever changed regularly were on our senior gal Maizy. The only thing that helps the empty space when a dog has to leave, like sweet Maizy did, is adopting another dog. Maizy was so A-maizy-ing, she had to send us two in her absence! Life is good, and full, and Frenchies are unique in their ability to satisfy a child-shaped hole in a woman’s heart. Long live our “babies,” yours and ours; all six of them.