I would be lying if I said that I didn't forget about this week sometimes, National Infertility Awareness Week. The battle of infertility feels like a lifetime ago and now that that I have my miracle babies and our family is complete it is easy to just go about the motions of each day and forget the bumpy road. But the truth is, when I think about all we went through to become parents all of the emotions come flooding back.
Because going through infertility can feel so isolating I want to share a little bit of our story to hopefully help you feel not so alone!
Tomorrow will be 17 years since my first date with my husband. It blows my mind sometimes to think that we have been together for so long! We were married in 2010 and decided we wanted to wait a little bit for a family. We wanted to travel (which we did) and get settled into our home (which we also did). There was no reason to think we would have any trouble. By 2013 we were ready! Ready to start on our next adventure which was to become parents!
That first year was daunting. Month after month of negative pregnancy tests were some of the hardest days to navigate while our friends were getting pregnant left and right. By the end of that first year of trying we knew we needed to start looking into our next steps. We made all of the appointments and got started on the tests to start fertility treatments. Within those first few months of tests we were shocked and excited to find that I finally got pregnant naturally!! Everything was going well and we had just shared our news with our family. I was so excited to hit the 12 week mark and "be in the clear". It was that same day that I started to miscarry. The next several months were a fog as I processed the loss of that baby...the baby we wanted so badly.
We eventually started to try again on our own thinking that maybe it would all be OK and I would get pregnant easily the next time. Unfortunately that was not the case and we found ourselves back at the fertility clinic. We started with several IUI's since seemingly everything was fine. They could never find a reason why we couldn't get pregnant. By the third failed IUI we knew it was time to move onto IVF. We did our first round of IVF which resulted in only one viable embryo. We transferred that embryo which resulted in a chemical pregnancy.
Everything worked out where we could start the process of another IVF cycle right away so we did. After the retrieval we had six viable embryos! We decided to wait to transfer since we had a trip to Europe coming up and we wanted to just enjoy the time there. We came back and still gave it a couple months. Fertility treatment is exhausting; both mentally and physically and I think we both just needed a little break. In early July we transferred one embryo. The next two weeks were agonizing to wait and see if that embryo stuck. I was so hopeful but also scared it wasn't going to work. My personality type is that I am a rule follower! So when they tell you not to test on your own, I listened. When they called with my numbers and to tell me I was pregnant the nurse was so excited to tell me the news because she knew I didn't already know!
The next twelve weeks felt so long as we waiting to make sure all progressed and it was a viable pregnancy. Thank God, all was good and the next April we welcomed our rainbow baby! The days can sometimes be long but man are these years short! Six years with him have passed faster than I could have ever imagined but the joy I find it watching him grow and learn and become his own person can never be fully explained.
For our second son, things played out a little differently. Two months of trying and we were pregnant! So, our boys are a little closer in age than we anticipated but we love the bond they share. There is a story for our remaining embryos as well that I am open about but that may be a blog for a different day.
Leaning into God was truly the only way I was able to navigate the four years it took to welcome our son. Without the group Moms in the Making I think we would have eventually had children but my heart and mind wouldn't be the same.
It seems lately that so many of my newborn sessions have been IVF babies or rainbow babies and I am always truly honored to capture the memories of you becoming parents. I know how hard you worked to become parents and I understand that at times it may have felt hopeless.
Thank you for letting me share my story with you and I hope that in these words you can find some comfort that all hope is not lost and that you will have your family in due time!
*Images by Yawning Moose Photography