Infertile. Boom. I felt like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, walking around with a huge ‘I’ on my chest. I was 26 when I was diagnosed with infertility.
Years ago, my doctor causally mentioned something about Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS) and I might have issues getting pregnant, but didn’t make it seem like a big deal. Basically, my body doesn’t ovulate regularly. I was only 20 at the time, and babies were FAR from my mind and my biggest side effect was that I didn’t get my period regularly (No period?! How is that a BAD thing??!! haha). Fast forward to a few years later, and I was pregnant with my son without even trying. He was the best ‘oops’ we ever made! Seeing how quickly this happened, PCOS was the farthest thing from my mind.
Ever since the day Will Jr was born, I instantly wanted another baby. This kicked into high gear around his second birthday as we began trying. Once 6 months passed with no success, we started the process of seeking help, and this is where our journey began…
It was August 2012. After some initial tests, I was officially diagnosed with infertility relating to my PCOS. Will and I were incredibly optimistic and assumed that we would just get some pills, have sex….and get pregnant. That sounds easy enough, right? Wow, we could not have been more wrong.
Our sense of positivity gradually begins to weaken failed cycle after failed cycle. It was a crushing blow to my sense of self-worth. I wasn’t capable of doing the one thing women were put on earth to do- carry a child. After medicated cycles with my obgyn, we were ultimately referred to a reproductive endocrinologist at a fertility clinic. I never expected my life to lead down this path, but we were prepared to do whatever it took to have another child.
After meeting with the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), I was overwhelmed with information but excited about the possibilities. Given my age and history of conceiving a child naturally, it seemed like a ‘no-brainer’ that this would work. Wrong…again. Obviously, if you know us personally, you know we are expecting twins any day- so yes, it did ultimately work but it wasn’t without failure and losses along the way.
The journey to conceive was such an emotional roller coaster for Will and I. We put everything we had mentally, emotionally and physically into each cycle. There are so many more lows then highs in the world of infertility. It made us question our faith, our relationship, and even whether we were meant to be parents again. It completely messes with your mind.
As our journey lead to Invitro Fertilization (IVF), I quickly became a pro at giving myself shots each night of hormones to stimulate egg production in my ovaries. Eventually these eggs would be injected with Will’s sperm and strategically placed into my uterus. How could that NOT produce a baby, RIGHT? Ha!
It was exhausting to go through this process time and time again… and still no baby. I think as the ‘infertile’ one in the relationship, I had extra pressure on myself. I often times felt like I was holding my husband back from the family he was meant to have, because I couldn’t physically give it to him. One of the hardest conversations to have is telling him each time a cycle failed. He was just as emotionally invested as I was. Maybe he wasn’t the one giving himself shots or going to appointments every other day…but he was right there with me being my moral support and talking me off the ledge when I felt like our situation was helpless. Having to tell the person I love more than anything that it just didn’t work…again..and again… was crushing. It just didn’t get any easier. Although we always picked up the pieces, held each other up, and continued on with whatever was the next step.
We were determined to beat infertility! After 4 failed cycles with Clomid (fertility drug), One failed IUI with injectable meds, 3 IVF cycles, and two babies who didn’t stick around long enough for us to meet…we were quickly approaching 2 years of fertility treatment. We were emotionally drained and trying to decide what was next after our 4th IVF (a break? adoption? a second opinion?). This last cycle (#4) ended up being our miracle cycle as we became pregnant with these two babies that are currently bouncing around in my belly. I am still in shock.
As my due date is quickly approaching, I can’t help but think how fortunate I am to be in this position. There were so many days were I never thought I would be lucky enough to bear another child. I am forever grateful. These babies will never understand how much they were wanted and loved before they were even born.