Today, once is 6 couples will struggle with infertility. It is an extremely difficult, yet sadly common battle that many people don’t talk about. We have both gone through infertility treatments to start our families and want to share our experiences with you. We decided to share our journey from infertility to motherhood so you, our beloved readers know how we got to where we are today. We want you to feel heard, supported and understood.
My Journey from Infertility to Motherhood:
Trying to Conceive:
How long did you try to conceive before seeking fertility treatments?
We began trying to start our family about a year after we got married. After birth control, I never regained regularity in my cycles and began having problems. After 7 months of obsessively tracking everything fertility related, I went to my OB for help. With some minimal testing, she found some tissues hat we tried to resolve in her care. After one round of Clomid, I developed large cysts on my ovaries and were immediately referred to a specialist.
Share with us what the infertility process looked like for you:
In retrospect, I find myself counting my blessings that our entire experience with infertility went the way that it did. That is not to say that there weren’t ups and downs and that we didn’t find it extremely taxing. After beginning to work the the reproductive endocrinologist, she quickly shared with us that we would have a 3% chance of every conceiving on our own, but initially thought that it wouldn’t take much intervention for us to get pregnant. I left that meeting feeling fairly positive about moving forward with fertility treatments, but things quickly turned.
Two weeks after our first appointment, I got my first positive pregnancy test and sadly suffered a miscarriage shortly thereafter. It was such a bittersweet moment and a glimpse of hope. After that, we began a cycle of IUI, and sadly found uterine polyps at our first ultrasound.
Two months later, I had surgery to remove the polyps, was diagnosed with a Diminished Ovarian Reserved, and was told that IVF would be our only treatment option. I then spent 6 months taking DHEA and a variety of other vitamins and drugs in hope to improve egg quality. Our IVF cycle began in January 2012. We were blessed to have 12 eggs retrieved, 6 fertilize, 5 make it to day 3 and only 2 make it to day 5.
On the morning of January 25 we had made the decision of a life time, to go forward with a fresh transfer instead of freezing our precious embryos for genetic testing. A “short” nine days later, we found out we were pregnant!
Infertility can mean many years of disappointment and pain. How were you able to overcome the feeling that each month/cycle would result in failure?:
The one constant during this entire process was the unconditional love and support of my husband. He is truly my pillar of strength and my rock. No matter what we were going through, I knew that our unbreakable bond would carry us through to the other side. I know that it couldn’t have been easy month after month to pick up me up after my hope and optimism shattered all over the bathroom floor yet again, but without hesitation he did.
I will not hide the fact that my hope dwindled and that each disappointment was insurmountable, but with the strength and love in our relationship, I learned to believe that someway, some how we would have our perfect family.
How did you stay positive during your struggle to conceive when you felt bombarded by pregnancy and birth announcements, baby showers, and other celebrations?:
I struggled with this a lot and was one of the hardest things about my experience. EVERYONE around me was getting pregnant and having babies. At the time, I had only one acquaintance who had dealt with infertility so I felt very alone and isolated. I didn’t have a support system of women to rally around me and relate to. I did my best to be supportive, but honestly, I am not sure I did the best job of that all of the time.
Tell us about the moment you found out you were finally pregnant!:
The day we found out we were finally pregnant was very unexpected. I went to the doctor for a routine blood test after our transfer, thinking that it would still be 3 days before we would get pregnancy results. My fertility clinic had an online patient portal where all test results were uploaded. Luckily, this system was brand new when we started our IVF cycle so I wasn’t accustomed to checking it for test results. Let’s be honest, I would have become obsessed with checking my results and then Googling like crazy!
In the afternoon of that INCREDIBLE day, I was sitting next to my principal as we were finishing up a meeting, and decided just to check the portal for the results of that morning’s blood draw. Much to my surprise, the first thing I saw was a test result reading, HCG 253! I immediately knew I was pregnant. In total shock, I turned the screen to my principal (and friend) and said, “holy crap, it worked, I’M PREGNANT!” Looking at the numbers, she said, “Congrats! I would say you’re having TWINS!” I immediately ran to my office and saw that I had missed a call from the doctor, who was trying to reach me before I went nosing around the portal.
I had always dreamed of the special way I could break the news to my husband, but that day, I couldn’t hold my tongue long enough to execute a special announcement. I tried to gather my composure enough to share with him that our dreams had come true, that our journey from infertility to motherhood was taking it’s final turn, but all I could sputter out was hysterical blubbering.
Did your experiences with infertility weigh on your pregnancy?:
Once I finally was pregnant, I struggled with some anxiety. I constantly worried that something was going to happen to our babies. I found myself creating disasters in my head and Googling every possible scenario.
While at times I could relax and enjoy the miracles I was carrying around, I often found it hard to see myself as any other pregnant woman. I had suffered one miscarriage and had to come to grips with the fact that my body didn’t function as it should when it came to reproduction. Those factors alone made it difficult to to just relax and “trust that my body would know what to do”.
My OB was AMAZING and I learned to trust in her expertise and compassionate care. She was aware of how unsettled I was and treated my pregnancy with tender love and care. She took the time to reassure my fears and saw me every two weeks, which included an ultrasound at every visit. When a problem did develop with the boys, she aired on the side of caution and calmed our nerves by referring us to a neonatologist who was equally as supportive of our anxieties. While it always wasn’t easy to relax throughout my entire pregnancy, it was the most miraculous experience of my life.
Time to brag….tell us about your miracles!:
- DDB, 5 lbs. and 9 oz., 11:26 a.m.
- MTB, 5 lbs., 11:28 a.m
What about your birth options? Did your experiences with infertility impact your plan for delivery?:
Suffering from infertility changed my thoughts on all of the birth options. My ultimate goal was bringing two live, healthy babies into this world. I was willing to sacrifice anything to ensure their health and safety. During our 10 week appointment with my OB after graduating from the care of my specialist, we decided that a C-Section was the only birth option we were comfortable with and scheduled the date immediately. Ironically, in the end, both boys were breech and a C-Section was my only birth option.
Parenting after infertility:
Tell us about the moment you meet your miracles for the first time?:
To be honest, a lot of that moment is a blur. So much was happening and all I cared that we had two healthy babies. It was a very emotional moment! It was an amazing relief to be holding them in my arms, knowing that I got to take them home and love them forever and that I had made it from infertility to motherhood.
How would you describe your perspective on being a parent after infertility?:
I approach everyday cherishing the memories of that day because I know I will never get them back. Keeping that in my mind helps with the challenging moments that all moms face and reignites my patience when needed.
We would love for you to share your story and your little miracles! Chat with us in the comments below!