I’ve thought all week about writing this post. I’ve gone through it a thousand times in my head. Every time I look at one of my children more words come and more tears flow. I have very little extra time these days, and what time I do have beyond keeping 2 kids alive is usually spent cleaning, cooking or caring for my seedlings but tonight, I’m sacrificing a bit of sleep because this topic is so very near and dear to my heart.
This week was Infertility Awareness week, a topic that I know intimately.
From the moment I decided to start dating my husband (after a few weeks of his persistence!) I knew that I wanted to spend my life with him and we also knew that we wanted a family. It didn’t take us long to start trying and at first I didn’t worry about it. I wasn’t obsessed with it and I wasn’t heartbroken when nothing happened right away. A year went by though and I decided to go see a doctor. It wasn’t very long and I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and it didn’t surprise me in the slightest. The doctor that I went to see prescribed me clomid for a couple months and sent me on my way. It didn’t work and I never went back to that physician. I happened to find an amazing family doctor and he eventually referred me to a fertility clinic.
That was about 2 or 2.5 years after we had started trying and I was then in nursing school. It took a while to even get into the clinic and then an even longer time to get things going. Multiple tests, and several referrals for me before we even started treatment. We went through 4 rounds of clomid and by the end I was on the highest dose they prescribe. I only ovulated on the last cycle and it didn’t result in pregnancy. At this point I had my hopes up, I was desperate for a baby and I experienced all the emotions that go with that. Thankfully I had the distraction of school but it was still devastating month after month and especially when taking a medication that is supposed to make you ovulate. My body was failing me, failing us and even medication couldn’t fix it. After four rounds they made us take a break and we took a long break to decide what we were going to do.
Then, miraculously and surprisingly we got pregnant and it was twins! We were over the top excited, we couldn’t believe it and we found out only one week before we had an appointment at the fertility clinic to start treatment again. I called and cancelled that appointment and the next week we learned that I had miscarried both babies.
That was my lowest low. I don’t think I’ll ever begin to put into words the complete and utter devastation and heartbreak that comes with a miscarriage in the midst of infertility.
After the miscarriage I was referred to an OBGYN for a consult and he advised me that although we conceived naturally that we should still proceed with a referral to the fertility clinic. I continued to have absent menstrual periods so my chances of conceiving naturally are about 25% of that of a normal couple.
We were eager to start a family and so we decided to get another referral and surprisingly were accepted within a month. For some reason they let us forgo the usual testing even though it had been a long time since they had seen us and we started treatment right away. To my complete surprise we got pregnant our first round! That round though, it was difficult. I experienced every negative side effect of clomid, so much so that I was convinced I had some sort of inflammatory arthritis.
I spent the entire pregnancy beyond grateful for this gift of life. The pregnancy wasn’t easy but I didn’t feel the difficulty because it had taken so long to get to that point. From that first pregnancy test to every single ultrasound the awe and wonder never left. Even now as I look at my 3 year old son I know just how incredibly blessed I am.
After having Ezekiel I was strongly encouraged to use 2 forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy for 2 years. I declined because how could I prevent something that took 6 years to achieve? We didn’t want to get pregnant right away and just tried our best to “be careful.” Then miraculously (for real miraculous!) somehow we ended up pregnant again and naturally!
Growing our family has been the hardest, most beautiful journey we’ve been on. It’s been our highest highs and our lowest lows. We’ve experienced desperation but we’ve been taken down a journey of hope. When I look at my children I see redemption, I see love, I see joy and I see hope. They are my reminder that God’s timing is always perfect and his hope is always present.
There’s a lot I could talk about regarding timing. Both my children were conceived at times that were crucial in our lives, but that’s another blog post for another time. For now, if you are going through infertility I want you to know that I understand, you are not alone and I stand with you in hope.