At my follow-up appointment where we would discuss our options, my doctor mentioned to me that this radiological procedure which I had done was not always 100% accurate. She wanted to perform a surgery on me which would be for completely diagnostic purposes; to either confirm the results of the radiological procedure or to adjust the diagnosis. I went through with the surgery, and lo and behold-my tubes were fine!! I was confused, but relieved.
Around this same time, my husband had gotten a new job which meant better health insurance, which meant better treatment at a better hospital. Alhamdullillah, I was accepted as a patient with one of the leading infertility specialists in the country. We transferred all our medical records to her and of course, she still wanted to perform her own initial tests. After the initial testing was completed, she immediately began to suggest surgery-an “ovarian drilling”-which would hopefully balance my hormones. We agreed and I had the surgery done a couple of months later. Shortly after the surgery, I became pregnant for the first time, but after one week I miscarried.
There were so many wonderful sisters who were there for me during this time (and Allah knows who they are, may He bless them), but there was one sister in particular who really reached out to me. I’m not in touch with her that often anymore, but I will never forget how she would hug me with complete empathy and I would just bawl in her arms; she had also been through the infertility ringer and she understood. When my family found out I was pregnant, they were just as happy as I was and then just as sad as I was when I miscarried. My father at this time advised me to say the duaa that the Prophet Mohammed (saw) advised Umm Salamah to say when her first husband died: “Oh Allah, draw me closer to you during this trial, and grant me better than what I’ve lost.” I also spoke to the Imam of our local masjid and he advised me to recite and remember the following Quranic verses daily:
Kaaf, Ha Ya,Ain, Saad, This is a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakarriya, When he called out to his Lord a call in secret. He said: “My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and gray hair has spread on my head, and I have never been unblessed in my duaa to you, Oh my Lord! And verily, I fear my relatives after me, and my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an offspring, who shall inherit me, and inherit the posterity of Yaqub. And make him, my Lord, one with whom You are well-pleased!” (Allah said) Oh Zakariya! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son, whose name will be Yahya. We have given that name to none before him.” He said, “My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age?” He said, “So (it will be). Your Lord says: It is easy for Me. Certainly, I have created you before, when you had been nothing! (S19V1-9)
The next time I saw my doctor, she assured me that now, my prognosis was excellent, simply because I had gotten pregnant. She told us to just keep trying. A few months later, I became pregnant again…and miscarried, again. When I met with the doctor after the second miscarriage, she gave us two options-1) try again or 2) begin a new treatment which included daily injections I would administer to myself. I picked option #2-I remember thinking I did not want to go through another miscarriage. At this point, it had been about 5 years since we started trying to conceive.
Before I could begin the new treatment, I first had to attend a class which would teach me how to handle and administer the injections. I would be taking follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) through injection and then an hcg injection that would induce ovulation. When I completed the class and had all my needles, medicines and other needed supplies, I just had to wait for the doctor’s orders to begin treatment. When the treatment began, it was quite stressful. Even though I had practiced preparing the injections with water, I was still scared of making a mistake and I did not like the idea of poking a needle into myself! I had to also have an ultrasound done every other day, and then daily as we approached the end of the first round, because this treatment needed to be monitored very carefully. By this time, I had my bachelor’s degree and was working, which meant I had to take time off from work (a teaching job) to go to the hospital and have my ultrasounds done. The principal of the school was very supportive, but I knew it was stressful on her to have me out so much. Anyway, towards the end of the treatment, we were seeing 2 ”good sized follicles.” That meant it was finally time to administer the hcg injection (a very LONG needle) which would induce ovulation. Finally, the first round of treatment would be over and we would just wait and see if we conceived. (To be continued on Friday)
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.