At 32, Mai has been trying to conceive for two and a half years. She has been through three rounds of IUI and is considering IVF.
For the first 10 years of their relationship, Mai and her husband took diligent precautions to avoid pregnancy. That all stopped when they decided they wanted a baby.
Mai’s mother had conceived quickly, so Mai assumed she would, too.
“I gave myself a year,” Mai recalls. “I thought a year was kind of a reasonable timeframe.” When that year came and went, and Mai still wasn’t pregnant, she and her husband sought out a fertility specialist who recommended IUI.
Mai didn’t expect the IUI medications to affect her emotions as powerfully as they did since she had never had side effects from birth control: “Clomid hit me harder than I thought it would. I got pretty emotional and just exhausted.” Despite the side effects, she has persevered through three rounds of IUI…but to no avail.
Now, Mai and her husband are deciding whether they’re willing to go through everything that IVF requires.
“IVF just sounds horrible,” Mai says. “The medications, and it just seems like you need to take off work and it’s just so time-consuming—and I’m concerned about all the injections and all that’s involved. The whole thing is “a little worrisome.”
Before she considers IVF any further, Mai’s talking to a naturopath about alternative approaches and considering massage and fertility acupuncture, which worked for one of her friends.
Mai has great support from her husband. “If I start to think negatively, he’s the one who helps me come back to reality and see what’s actually good in my life.”
She also has support from her mother, who, Mai laughs, “probably wants a grandchild even more than I want a child!”
Even with the pressure and stress, Mai says this journey has strengthened their relationship. They’re approaching it as a team effort, working on being their healthiest selves in order to conceive.
“Women should not feel the pressure from their friends and society. They should just do things at their own pace.”
Mai has friends who are also trying to become pregnant, and what she’s seen is “that it’s all different. There’s no pattern that I can tell from my friends. I have one friend that’s been miscarrying over and over again…and it’s hard because everything you find on the internet, all the stories that are out there in the world, you can’t conclude anything really. All you can do is find stories that are kind of like yours.”