Dan Majesky, a soon-to-be father, spoke about the difficulties of trying to conceive a child in a viral Facebook post.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Majesky’s struggles aren’t unique, as 1 in 9 couples struggle to conceive.
He and his wife were among the outliers for some time, he said.
Dan Majesky recently recounted the long journey of his wife Leah trying to get pregnant with a wonderful Facebook p… pic.twitter.com/zHxqaWA0Tm
— Nick de Klerk (@nfdeklerk) May 24, 2016
After three years of trying, the couple is finally expecting, he announced, posting a photo of his wife’s sonogram. “We are pregnant. … Arms and legs and moving around. We’re very excited, but I’ll be holding my breath for 26ish weeks,” he wrote.
Speaking with TODAY, he said, “I wanted to write a little more about what we had been through on the way to that announcement.”
“Especially regarding the miscarriage, because neither of us wanted that to go unremarked upon. That was a hard time for us—a lonely time—but that baby left a permanent mark on us, and it didn’t seem fair that it would get hidden away.”
He didn’t intend to share the story beyond their friends, but, he added, the “response has been as overwhelming as it was unexpected. We’re both humbled.” It was shared tens of thousands of times this week.
Private messages and comments revealed more.
“We’ve gotten a pile of messages of encouragement, but also a lot of people sharing their stories with us, some of whom have never shared their stories before,” added Majesky. “People have gone on much longer, much tougher journeys than we have. I feel a bit like a pretender in the face of what we have not dealt with, but not a single person has degraded our experience in any way. If anything, people who are also doing this, experiencing this, seem to want to lift other people up to their level. There’s really a spirit of being all in this together.”
His viral post, in part
He wrote: “Off to the doctor we went. His and hers appointments for collections of blood and semen and measuring parts and such. Medical science being what it is, we got the answer to all our problems: ‘You’re fine, and there shouldn’t be a problem.'”
“Do doctors ever tell anybody, ‘This is what is wrong, and this is how to fix it,’ and then give them pills, and they’re fine? This is not my experience.”
And, he noted, his wife “didn’t get pregnant.”
So maybe we’re bad at timing, or something, or god knows. Usually that’s fine, but we are in our late 30s, and clocks are ticking. The doctor told us that certain hormone levels were low, lower than they should have been, and that meant our egg supply was dwindling.
Let me tell you something. There is nothing you can tell a woman that will make her feel more young, beautiful and vibrant than, “You have a dwindling egg supply, and it is time to pick up the pace.” You should try it. Maybe at a bar.
And that was when we began IUI, intrauterine insemination. IUI is – colloquially – the turkey baster method. When they told us about it, I tried to really hear what the doctor was saying, but all I could hear echoing around the room, off of the oyster-y pearlescent floors and the alien-vagina wallpaper, was “dwindling.”
For Leah, we eventually figured out, this meant a regimen of hormone boosters to facilitate egg production. Are you aware of what happens to people when their hormones go out of the norm? They are not happy. Unless they are happy, in which case, they are very happy. There is no mild. There is no average day. Her job was to feel like her brain and soul were on fire.
After a few years they made a breakthrough:
Through this process, and through both of our lives, neither of us have ever had a home pregnancy test come out positive. Even when we were pregnant before, it was the doctor who did a test. This last one, Leah couldn’t bear to look at it herself, so I looked at it while she was in the shower, and told her no, that it was negative.
While she stood there, crying, I googled “pregnancy test faint line.” As it turns out, even the faintest [expletive] line in the whole [expletive] world means you’re pregnant. So we’re pregnant.
Not that we believed it at first, but we are. Three scans later, I’ve even heard the heartbeat, like a hummingbird, and it’s beautiful.
As I write this, tomorrow is our first obstetrician appointment, and we’re so nervous. So, so nervous. I wouldn’t dare to post this until we’re in the clear enough, and ready to tell people. Almost no one knows right now. We’re worried to jinx it, us, we, who don’t believe in jinxes. Mostly, we’re afraid of going back through the pain. To have to retract it, publicly, is too much to think about.
I know plenty of people have gone through more than us. We are comparatively very lucky. Some people have never gotten pregnant. Some people could not go as far as us. Some people have taken many Next Steps beyond where we were. Some have been successful, but many haven’t. I hesitate to share this because I don’t want anyone to read this and feel what we felt, watching others’ dreams come true.
Some people have found out, or have guessed, and have been very kind to share their own stories with us, and it has helped tremendously to not feel alone. Many thanks to all of them. I hope that maybe this helps someone else feel less alone.
And I hope that everything goes well, and I can inundate you with pictures, starting in November.
The CDC says it’s a more common problem that most people realize, saying:
Infertility is not always a woman’s problem.
Both men and women contribute to infertility. Many couples struggle with infertility and seek help to become pregnant; however, it is often thought of as only a women’s condition. A CDC study analyzed data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and found that 7.5% of all sexually experienced men younger than age 45 reported seeing a fertility doctor during their lifetime—this equals 3.3–4.7 million men. Of men who sought help, 18% were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem, including sperm or semen problems (14%) and varicocele (6%).
It estimates that about 6% of married women 15-44 in the U.S. are unable to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse.
And around 12% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.