Married six years now, the Huttos want a baby so badly they have tried every avenue they could find for making their dream come true.
Mrs. Hutto has been through so many procedures and treatments now, you might think she would give up.
But as long as there’s any hope at all, she and her husband will keep trying.
For now, though, Mrs. Hutto wants to establish a support group for couples and individuals who are working through the same frustrations.
Meetings begin June 12 in the board room at Citizens Baptist Medical Center in Talladega, and will start at 6:30 p.m. and continue until 7:30 pm. They will be held each second Tuesday of the month thereafter.
Mrs. Hutto’s efforts to conceive will continue at the end of June, and now, she’s a participant in a research study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for women with the disease she has, polycystic ovary syndrome, which is one of the issues keeping her from becoming pregnant.
She will begin working with an endocrinologist later this month, hoping to learn about other options she and her husband may have in regard to having a child of their own.
Mrs. Hutto tells about the procedures and treatments she and her husband have had.
“I have done several rounds of what I call the ‘Fertility Cocktail,’ which is a combination of several medications including Prometrium, Provera, Clomid, Metformin (on a daily basis), Letrazole, Spirolactone, Vitamin D and Progestone suppositories,” she said. “I have had blood work, so much blood work, hundreds of vaginal sonograms, the HSG dye test (two of those), SIS Test, a biopsy on the cervix because I had abnormal cells that could have been pre-cancerous but weren’t, there has been surgery to remove cysts, a dilation and curettage (D&C) and there was semen analysis for my husband.
He was treated with a natural supplement called Fertility Blend and he also took Clomid, Mrs. Hutto said.
Mrs. Hutto said that along the way through all their pursuits, they found that her husband has some issues with semen.
“They look at several different things in the sperm to make sure they are doing what they should be,” she said. “They look at the motility, morphology, and count of the sperm. His sperm count was low, and the shape of the sperm wasn’t correct, and they weren’t ‘swimming’ the right way. This was a major issue as well.”
Mrs. Hutto was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) in November of 2006.
“I do not have a regular menstrual cycle,” she said. “Without medication I may have one two or three times a year This disesase also causes issues with ovulation, cysts, hair growth. It elevates the level of testosterone and lowers female hormone levels also creating a problem with hair growth. This is the main reason that we haven’t been able to conceive. I have always had problems with cysts and they interfere with the conception and fertility processes.”
Having polycystic cysts means that they are horomone based, she said.
“Any fertility medication that they give you makes the cysts grow and that becomes painful,” Mrs. Hutto said. “The interference of the cysts are part of the reason we haven’t conceived.”
At one time, Mrs. Hutto asked her doctor what chance the couple had of getting pregnant on our own without fertility medication and she told her “one percent.”
“That was devastating to hear,” she said.
Mrs. Hutto talks about her desire for having a child, and explains how it feels.
“The best way that I can describe it is, knowing that you were meant for something you have such a strong desire for (not just a want) to have something and you can’t have it no matter how hard you fight for it. It isn’t fair,” she said.
“You go through a series of emotions from grief, depression, anger and guilt. There is every emotion that you can imagine. You grieve for the child that you know you are meant to have, but can’t have, you feel guilty because you can’t give your partner the one gift that everyone should have the blessing of having, you are depressed because despite all your efforts it’s completely out of your hands, and you are angry because you don’t understand why you have to be the one to go through this.
“I know that I am meant to be a mother, and knowing that makes it harder when you just can’t be one,” she said. “It’s hard to understand why there are so many out there who have babies and don’t want them. Holidays are always hard. I would say Christmas and Mother’s Day are the worst for me. Mother’s Day for the obvious reason, but every holiday is a reminder of what you don’t have.”
Most recently, in November of 2011, the Huttos were finally at the point to where we were going to try artificial insemination, Mrs. Hutto said.
“I took all of the medications required and went in the day before the test was scheduled and was told that we weren’t going to be able to do the insemination because I had one cyst on my left ovary that had tripled in size and another on my right ovary that had developed to nearly the same size as the other one,” she said.
Mrs. Hutto said the cysts were too large, the doctor told them that she didn’t feel like the procedure would be worth the while since the chances weren’t in their favor because of the cyst complications.
“She then told us that because the cysts were causing such an issue that in vetro fertilization would be the best chance for us, and even then, we would only have a 50 percent chance at best,” she said.
“This is very expensive, about $15,000 per treatment,” Mrs. Hutto said.
“We weren’t able to move forward due to the financial requirements of having that amount of money on hand. We decided to take a break and think about our options.”
Mrs, Hutto said she is very fortunate to have a husband who has been so supportive and understanding throughout this process.
“He has been a source of strength for me, when I didn’t think I had any strength left,” she said. “Infertility struggles can strain any relationship, especially a marriage. I think it’s important to have a strong relationship with your spouse in order to survive the battle together.”
The medication that you have to take makes a you a hormonal crazy woman and your spouse catches most of the backlash from that, Mrs. Hutto said.
“I’m not saying that he is perfect and that he has never let it get to him because he has, but I couldn’t do this without him, as well as the support of our family and friends,” she said.
“We are very thankful to have everyone who has always been behind us, given us a shoulder to cry on, and always tried to find comforting words to say.”
Forming the support group, Mrs. Hutto hopes to open up doors for others coping with the same issues.
“We have considered many different options,” she said. “I have looked into several adoption agencies over the years. I have also spoken with the Alabama Department of Human Resources about becoming a foster parent. The reason that we haven’t pursued these options further is because I have a strong desire to carry a child of our own,” she said.
“It’s not about being pregnant, it’s about having a baby that came from a love that two people share. It’s about being able to give this gift of life that is a miracle that so many take for granted,” she said.
“It’s about creating that bond with a life that you haven’t even met or heard speak. It’s about knowing in your heart that you have the right to bear a child and yet it seems so unattainable.”
Mrs. Hutto said eventually, she believes she and her husband will adopt, and maybe even have some biological children of their own.
“But I think that helping others is something that I need to focus on right now,” she said.
”It makes me feel that I have a purpose in all of this and that everything we have been through isn’t pointless. I feel that we have been through this battle for a reason. This is the hardest thing that I have ever faced, and if I can help one person go through it so that they know they’re not alone then I would say it’s worth it.”
For those who are interested in joining the group, Mrs. Hutto says this:
“Know that wherever you are in the fertility process, that you are not alone,” she said.
“There are so many people out there facing the same things you are, and it helps to talk about it. I think that it’s hard to talk about for some because it’s a painful topic. People will casually ask questions about when you will have a baby and they don’t realize everything you’ve been through. It’s hard to try and explain things to others when they can’t really sympathize with you because they haven’t been there.
“Until they’re in this place, people have no idea what it takes,” she said. “Strength, patience, courage, faith, and all of these things have made me a stronger person. I just want to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by this disease, and I will never give up on being a mother.”
The following is a poem Mrs. Hutto wrote that will appear in the September-October “Stepping Stone” newsletter published by Bethany Christian Services, a Christ centered ministry for couples facing infertility challenges or pregnancy loss and based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“When Will the Day Come?”
When will the day come…that you’ll be here?
When will the time come…too long I fear.
Too long to wait to see your sweet face,
Will it take too long and waiver my faith.
When will the day come…when I’ll feel you grow?
When will the day come…I may never know.
They say it gets easier…I should let you go.
But deep down I know, I will never say so.
I know that you’re waiting in Heaven above,
To let me and Daddy wrap you in our love.
To say I’ll give up will never be true,
’ll never stop fighting to finally meet you.
I know in my heart that to me you belong,
I wait for the day when we’ll bring you home.
When will that day come? I hope that it’s soon…
But until it arrives, we’ll be preparing for you.