When I got married at 19 years old, I didn’t expect or even plan on trying to have children right away. I was in college and my husband was just starting his career here in the US. But as a result of a routine doctor appointment, I happen to find out that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)-a condition that would make it very difficult for us to conceive, we were told (and that doctor was right). So, even though we weren’t planning on trying to conceive for some time, it suddenly became high priority for us to have a child.
After some testing, we discovered my hormones were completely out of balance and that both of my ovaries were covered with multiple tiny cysts. My doctor at that time told us we couldn’t begin infertility treatments without having tried to conceive on our own for at least one full year. So, after one year and no pregnancy, we returned to the doctor. That doctor then referred us to an OB/GYN who specializes in infertility-who then referred us to an endocrinologist…who eventually got us started on infertility treatments after having both my husband and I go through a second round of initial testing.
Our first attempt at conceiving was with a drug which could induce ovulation. After we tried that drug for a few months with no success, the doctor then combined it with another drug. And throughout all of this, my period was being induced with a third drug. During this process, I had to take my temperature every morning before I even stepped out of bed, and record it on a basal body temperature chart, which the doctor insisted I keep. This chart was supposed to indicate to me when I was ovulating through a rise in my temperature, but really, the chart at the end of the month looked like a toddler’s scribbling-there was no pattern or consistency to it at all.
Now, it’s been about 2 years since we started trying to conceive and since the treatments hadn’t been working, my doctor suggested we should check out my fallopian tubes. One or both of them could be blocked, she said, maybe from a past infection. It takes a couple of months to get an appointment to have a radiological procedure done. My husband wasn’t allowed in the room during the painful procedure, but he was allowed to watch from another room behind a glass window. I remember seeing the sorrow on his face from behind the glass. The procedure was finished and now we just had to wait for the radiologist to come and give us the results. We’re waiting when finally, the radiologist shows up and tells us that she’s sorry, but it looks like both of my tubes are blocked and we’ll have to talk to my doctor about our options.
My husband and I went home that day and we were quiet. I cried later that night, but my husband reminded me to have trust in Allah. He also reassured me that whatever happened-whether we were destined to have children or not-we would be fine. Intellectually, I knew that this was in Allah’s hands, but as a woman, my desire to have a child was in full swing and so, I was quite emotional. That night I called my mother’s friend who is an OB/GYN. She had been mentoring me during this process. I told her about the results and she immediately told me that “these days, you don’t need tubes to get pregnant.” She was very sure, and that made me feel better, even though we both knew that only Allah knew what was in store for me.
(To be continued on Thursday)
Hagar lives in Maryland with her husband and two young children. She enjoys attending Islamic halaqas, reading, learning new things, and spending time with her family