I always imagined I would be that Mom. You know, the woman with the obnoxiously large SUV with kids piling out as if they are clowns from the circus, with screaming messy faces full of joy and happiness with not a care in the world.
But infertility has gotten in the way of that dream so far.
It didn’t start that way, though. I was pregnant with my son, now 8, only two months into my marriage. Infertility never even entered my mind. We were blessed to get pregnant so quickly. I felt super fertile with no worries for the future of our family. My son’s delivery was picture perfect. He is healthy and thriving and an amazing young man that we are thankful for every day.
Cut to seven years later. Nearly three years of trying to conceive and here I am, praying to God every day, wondering why my blessing is taking so long this time around. I am a good person, so why must I be the one who suffers with infertility? My heart breaks every month when I realize that our efforts have once again been thwarted by some unforeseen force. I watch as my husband’s face crumbles as he realizes that our dreams of a large family fade further and further into the distance. A gut-wrenching stab ensues as my dear son asks, “When will our baby get here? I want a brother. Everyone else has one. Why don’t I?”
The Infertility Struggle
This has become my life. The life of infertility. Reading every related article I can get my hands on. Seeing not one, but two fertility doctors to figure out just what is going on with my body. Trying every fad diet or anti-infertility trend I can find in hopes that something gives. As if a simple solution will solve all our problems and we will get that baby we so badly desire. Acupuncture, diet changes, supplements. The list goes on and on.
The answer to our plaguing problem is simple but oh so confusing. Unexplained Secondary Infertility. Women with no issues at all conceiving the first time around essentially hit a wall fertility-wise as their bodies just shut off. Stubbornly refuse to get pregnant a second time. I have no issues medically speaking nor does my husband. We know because they have run every test in the book on us both and everything has come back heartbreakingly fine. Only adding to our mounting frustrations.
Month after month passes and I fight off overwhelming emotions as my Facebook feed displays pregnancy announcements and birth announcements of adorable angelic babies that I covet.
As strangers suggest, “Your son is so sweet with babies, give him his own.” I smile and laugh casually as I’m able to reply with a simple, “Soon.” As I want to collapse to the ground and cry rather than pretend that nothing is wrong and I’m not broken inside.
Some days, I feel like a toaster someone forgot to plug in or perhaps a faulty microwave on the fritz. After trying preliminary medications that left me grumpy, depressed and 10 pounds heavier with no success, we have since decided to weigh our options. I have friends who have struggled in the past so I don’t feel alone in this journey and most of these friends have eventually succumbed to walk down the IVF path. Some of which were successful, some were not. Some are so beyond grateful for their little blessings. Others who weren’t so lucky are left bitter and resentful anytime anyone mentions the word baby.
I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly and realize if I want to come through the other side of this journey with a full heart, I need to stay positive. I have to keep my chin up and roll with the punches. We will not give up.
We have begun our journey down the IVF road. Yes, the shots hurt. Yes, the medicine is expensive and sends you into hormone overload. Yes, I have had one too many internal ultrasounds and hate the sight of that “wand,” but at this point what’s one more? But I refuse to look back. We WILL be successful, we WILL stay positive. I REFUSE to become bitter.
My new mantra, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I swear I say it every day, some days more than others for sure. When the transmission goes out on my car and an appliance breaks down or another medical bill arrives, I take a deep breath and let it roll off my back. Getting upset will only make things worse, therefore, I listen to Elsa and just “let it go!” Life isn’t easy for anyone.
Our son is a blessing and we will NEVER take that for granted. But I know my journey with children is long from over. I can feel it in my heart. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…and all those other clichés. My heart is full so regardless of the outcome of our journey, that is how it will stay.