It’s been a long while since I’ve written, and it’s about time I get back to it, as I will have more to share and a slightly different feel here on the blog. Why the change, you ask? My husband and I are so happy to share that we have welcomed two healthy baby boys into the world. Our journey to becoming parents has been a long and difficult one. Since most of you readers are friends and family, you may know a bit about our story but for those of you who don’t, I feel ready to share it.
My husband and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage and 13 years of being together this coming fall. I have always known he was the one I would spend my life with, and we have always known that we wanted children. We decided to “pull the goalie” when we got married, hoping to get pregnant spontaneously, just like on TV and in the movies. I wanted to be able to surprise him with a home pregnancy test and overwhelm him with joy and fear all at once. For women who do want children, who doesn’t want that? Well, that’s not exactly how it went for us.
We married in 2007 and although we both wondered if something was wrong because it hadn’t happened for us quickly, we had hope and just figured it was taking a little longer for us. There is no shame in that. In the spring of 2010, my husband actually noticed that I was late and suggested that I take a pregnancy test–leave it to him to notice something like that. So much for the big surprise.
I took the test and it was positive. Suddenly, I felt the wave of joy and fear all at once. I scheduled a blood test with my doctor so we could know for sure, and that came back positive. We were SO EXCITED. And then, within a matter of days, the dream was all gone. We lost our first, sweet, precious baby. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because even though I have just delivered my beautiful boys, a woman never really gets over a loss like that. It was so short lived, but so real.
The sadness and depression that comes along with a loss like this differs from woman to woman but it’s all real and it’s all okay. I had a very hard time for a very long time. I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone and I felt ashamed. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for us because I kept reading that miscarriage is very common, so I felt like I just needed to get over it. Seeing that a friend was pregnant made me happy but also so very sad, and that made me feel horrible. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t move on from this, but I couldn’t. Watching TV or movies was hard because if a character lost a baby or became pregnant, I’d cry. Sometimes I’d ask my husband to go to functions without me and just tell friends that I was sick because I just couldn’t pull myself together.
For as hard as it was on me, my husband struggled too. He struggled with trying to help me pick up the pieces, with being strong for me even though he was sad too. He didn’t know how to help me because I didn’t know how to help myself. He did everything he could. He was my rock, he held me when I cried and consoled me when I needed it. Truthfully though, he was worried. Worried that I wouldn’t bounce back from it.
Eventually, it got better.
After the miscarriage, we began learning about tracking my cycles and getting the timing right. After a year, nothing. We sought treatment at an infertility clinic and they told me I needed to do IVF, and they showed little to no compassion for the pain I felt. My experience at the larger clinic was too much for me to handle at that point. The doctor didn’t know my name without looking at my chart, and I cried after every appointment. I completely withdrew from a Western medicine approach, and I turned to acupuncture. I gave that a full year as well, and although I noticed benefits, there was no pregnancy. Everyone says that stress is your biggest enemy when trying to conceive, so we took a complete break from additional treatments.
Within a few months, things began moving in the right direction on their own. October of 2014 my husband found our forever home. We quickly got our first home ready to sell and prepared for the real estate roller coaster of buying and selling. Luckily, our home sold quickly and for a great price, and our forever home didn’t cost a small fortune. We were left with a profit and knew it was time to face the infertility issues. I had heard of a great doctor that had a smaller practice, and in my heart, I knew this was a part of the answer.
We moved into our new home in January, and by February I had made appointments with a naturopath, the new infertility clinic and with a new acupuncturist. I began doing Pure Barre three times a week and was determined to give my body the best possible chance of conceiving. I felt like I had my dream team assembled, and for the first time in five years, I felt positive about our chances. It took months to get there but we did it.
I have two clear as day memories of how we achieved (what I felt was) the impossible. The first was hearing our doctor tell us firmly but with compassion that we needed to undergo an aggressive round of IVF. He showed emotion but hope for us, and he didn’t sugar coat it at all. I felt ready to hear it and ready to do what was necessary. The second was once treatment had begun. I was a little over halfway through treatment, when my doctor advised that it wasn’t going well and that I needed to prepare myself for the possibility of stopping this treatment and starting up again in a couple months. My favorite nurse held me as I cried and she reassured me that this cycle wasn’t over yet, there was still hope. My doctor increased the dosage of my medications and we continued. I was devastated and for the first time, I reached out to friends and family for support. I welcomed prayer and positive thoughts, and I felt no shame. My cousin, my hero and inspiration, suggested affirmations and visualization, so I did it. We gave it our all.
My next appointment showed progress. It wasn’t a miraculous turnaround, but it was progress, and it was enough to keep on going. We finished out treatment and I underwent the egg retrieval and egg transfer. I only produced 4 eggs that round, very few for someone my age and in good health, and only 2 of them fertilized. We transferred the 2 and now I sit here writing this with my 2 baby boys in the pack n play next to me.
We got lucky that it worked in the first round. That we persevered. That we were surrounded by love and support. That we had the best possible team.
So many women have a longer, more difficult road, and my heart goes out to them. So many women don’t have a happy ending to their story, and my heart aches for them. This is just one story, my story. I found comfort in reading other women’s stories, and so for that reason alone, I’m sharing mine.