Our journey through infertility
This is one of those post that has taken me a while to finally hit “publish”. I would type some, leave it and come back weeks or now in this case months later. I woke up with a conviction to share my story. Each persons story and struggles with infertility are different, yet the same and relatable heartache.
For us it felt like first comes love, then comes marriage then comes…emptiness. Yep, thats about how I would explain it. I can remember being in high school having my future all planned out, I wanted to be married at 21 and have a baby at 22- I wanted to be a young cool mom. Being apart of a large family, the eldest of four children, being a mom was something I always looked forward too. While attending college I would routinely meet with academic counselors, when they would ask me what my career goals were, the look on their faces when I responded “a stay at home mom” was priceless. I know with certainty that being a wife and a mother was my calling. I longed to be a mom, I pretty much had perfectly placed my major life events on a timeline.
Insert our love story. We met, fell in love, got married, and wanted to start our family right away- a honeymoon baby to be exact. I thought I’d give it a few months, and we would certainly be pregnant. After about 6 months around that time I would sneak away to make sure my husband wasn’t around and frantically rip open a pregnancy test. Little did I know peeing on a stick would become a hobby for me. For those short minutes, I envisioned what the next nine months would look like. As I stood there, scared to look, but excited to know- I would beg and plead with God. “Please, God, please let me be pregnant… Let this be the month, make this test positive”. I would make these convincing arguments- I’ll read my bible more, I’ll try to be a better christian, I’ll do whatever you want. After I felt like I had given God my closing arguments, I’d take a breath and look.
NEGATIVE. I’d look away and look again- still one line. Trying several areas of the house- I mean, the bathroom has awful lighting, that is clearly the problem. Try another room- window light, nope still only one line. I would look at it squinting hard trying to convince my self there could magically be second line. Nope. Nothing. Not pregnant. Big.Fat.Negative.
This went on for a while- six months, eight months- okayyyy is it suppose to take this long? I mean, I spent the better half of my teenage life trying to avoid pregnancy, now that the timing is right, I didn’t think it would be this hard to actually get pregnant. I was very open in saying we wanted a baby right away, I wasn’t expecting it to go on for this long. Then I would get the “you’re not pregnant yet!?!” statements. This leads me to frantically looking up and reading about topic called “infertility”. I took everyone’s advice and tips. Whatever they they heard worked for their friends cousin, I would do it. This position that position, legs up, eat this food, don’t eat that, drink this tea, acupuncture, yea I did it all. Months lead to a year which lead to us seeking help. At that one year mark, we medically hit that threshold of needing intervention after my “homeopathic” approaches didn’t work, so we started fertility medication. So many doctor appointments, procedures, tests, needles and blood work. It was hard work! After we reached the max of 6 failed months of medication, and nothing else my doctor could do for us, we were referred to do more invasive treatments-Intrauterine insemination (IUI).
We were devastated. So many thoughts crossed my mind. Will I ever get pregnant? Will we have to do IVF? Can we afford IVF? What if we have to adopt? I’ll never get to feel the flutters of a baby moving, the dreaded morning sickness. I wanted to experience these things. There was one night my husband and I were watching a movie and there was a scene with a pregnant woman, and I was so overwhelmed with our struggle that I couldn’t even look at the tv. I told him I was tired and going to take a shower, and all I can remember is rushing up the stairs not wanting my husband to see me cry and standing there in the shower sobbing feeling that I will never know what it’s like to have a baby. I so desperately wanted to move on to the next season of life.
I never expecting to walk this path, my timeline check off list was thrown off kilter. I should of already had a baby in my arms. I should have a decorated nursery, I should be experiencing motherhood bliss. Instead, I have a empty room and almost 2 years of heartache. There is always a point when you just want to give up. I would pray and ask God why am I being punished, what did I do to deserve this. Why me. This was a spiritually hard and challenging time for me, I wanted to desperately cling on to my faith, but it was difficult when I was angry at God. I would keep repeating God has a plan for me, God has a plan for me.
We pushed forward to the next step with meeting the doctors at Shady Grove Fertility, this appointment I had made weeks in advance and was counting down like it was Christmas. The morning of our appointment, I was due for my monthly cycle, and I figured I might as well take a test. By this point peeing on sticks was like second nature, brush your teeth, pee on a stick- that’s my life now.
POSITIVE…Wait.What. Seriously, no freaking way. I must be reading this wrong. My husband was walking out the door and and there I was standing there half naked with the door open while it’s snowing telling him we don’t need to go to our appointment today- because I was PREGNANT. I felt like I’d never get to say those words. 7 more test confirmed it and 9 months later we welcomed our sweet, precious baby girl.
My story doesn’t end there. We wanted to try to grow our family sooner rather than later with our last experience, so when our little one was about 15 months old, we started trying again. Month after month, still nothing. Hahah God, very funny, AGAIN!?! Didn’t we pay our dues? This time around I really tried to hold onto God’s promise that he has a plan and I must be patient. I don’t do patient very well. My heartache was creeping up over me again and consuming my life. I guess we will only have one child. I am ever so thankful to have her, even though I desperately wanted her to have a sibling. More fertility medication, testing, needles, procedures, and doctor appointments. The last test before moving on to IUI was having was an endometrial biopsy which is the removal of a sample of tissue from your uterus to see how your hormones are affecting the thickness of it to see if there was any other medications that could benefit us. This is done around when you’re expecting your monthly cycle. Ironically, once again this appointment was made weeks in advance with it just so happen to line up with my cycle was due. I was hoping they would do the routine pregnancy test and it would be positive, I could already seeing my doctor walk in swinging the door open congratulating me. But instead, that vision didn’t happen and he walked in and began to explained the procedure to me. The next day I still hadn’t gotten my cycle, and because peeing on sticks is my hobby, I took another test. POSITIVE. OMG. Total freak out mode. First thing I did was google “Endometrial Biopsy and pregnancy”… all that kept coming up was “pregnancy could be damaged, pregnancy could end in miscarriage, should NOT be done while pregnant”. I was already starting to mourn the loss of this baby that I just discovered was there 30 seconds ago. I immediately called my doctor and rushed in to see him and performed an ultrasound and confirmed I was indeed pregnant. I was told I had a chance of having a miscarriage. This crushed me inside. Here I am 16 months trying to get pregnant, I finally do and I’m at risk of losing the pregnancy. To God be the glory, days passed and into weeks and the pregnancy stayed. The exact spot my doctor removed a sample of tissue was the spot my sweet baby was not implanted. This should of been a warning sign to be that sweet baby girl #2 would be sassy, feisty and a tough one!
This journey has shaped me to be the person I am today. Up until this time, I really never had anything test my faith. In fact, I would label my self a mediocre christian. But this changed me. It has grown my relation with Jesus, knowing that things work on his perfect timing and I spent more time in the bible reading his word. We experience difficulties in life for reasons we may later know, or never know. But I know this was meant for me. Because of my struggle I am a better christian, a more patient mother and a support system for others from my best friend to strangers. I’ve been very open about infertility, and with that others have been able to approach me when they feel like they are loosing hope. It took some time, but one day it just hit me thinking “Wow God hand picked and personally chose me for this”.
God has a plan. For each one of us, we can’t fit the puzzle together right now but God knows how it will look at the end. Infertility the first time, tested my faith and the second time it strengthened it. While I don’t know what is in store for the future of our family, if we will be blessed with another baby or not, but I do know that his plan is greater than mine. I will walk by faith not by sight, I’ve come to stand firm on that promise.