As I sit here writing this journal, I think it is important to state that I write this not as a means of dispensing medical advice, but instead as a therapeutic way of sharing my story. A story that although is unique to me, it is one that I know many women have had the misfortune of enduring.
About eight years ago, I woke up in my one bedroom apartment next to my husband, the man that I vowed to spend the rest of my life with, the man with whom I planned to start a family with. I laid there shrouded in complete silence, a silence that was deadening. I began to think of my uncle and the battle with cancer that he was quickly losing and as the sunlight shone in on that crisp October day, I thought to myself how wonderful life would be with children running around my cozy little apartment. We had been married for two years and it was time! I could not wait for my husband to wake up so that I could share these thoughts with him. I was beyond ecstatic to find that he also felt the same and had so for a while.
As we set out to begin this new chapter in our lives we were met with many ups and downs and close calls. Fast forward a year later and we still had not been blessed with a pregnancy. A friend suggested that I see a fertility doctor. As I reflected on this journey I see now how closed minded I was. I thought there was no way we could have a fertility issue and we continued our lives trying without the assistance of any fertility doctors. Fast forward, another year later and there I sat in my one bedroom apartment with the realization that indeed it was time to seek the advice and assistance of a fertility doctor.
My husband and I searched and found a doctor to work with. We both suffered through countless blood screenings and various tests to (thankfully) find that both of us were completely healthy. The doctors and staff could not pinpoint an exact fertility issue. My doctor suggested that we undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI) and we did so at first without the assistance of fertility drugs but as time progressed I caved in and began cycles with prescribed fertility medication. After countless tries with IUI and after much time had gone by, the results were never favorable. None of the IUIs had resulted in a pregnancy. By this point although I was discouraged and saddened, I was not yet ready to proceed with IVF as my doctor had so hopefully suggested. My husband and I were in agreement that we should take a few months off as this whole process was taxing on both of us emotionally and physically.
Time had passed, as it does so quickly and once again, the fall season was upon me and I realized that I was “late”! I went out and bought a pregnancy test, excited to test it out the next morning. I could barely sleep and when I awoke that fall morning in October, I peeled open the pregnancy test and went to work. The result… A positive pregnancy! Naturally! On our own! Without the use of fertility drugs! Tears of joy, excitement and relief streamed down my cheeks, until a couple of weeks later when my body decided to miscarry, and the tears that I shed were of a completely different nature.
In the beginning and for quite some time, I felt embarrassed and ashamed about my situation and would never talk about it to anyone. I realized however, that when I did open up to people, I heard so many stories similar to what I was going through. Infertility was – is nothing to be embarrassed about. It helps to hear other people’s success stories.
In the time between then and now, I have gained under my belt, almost eight years of trying to get pregnant, countless rounds of IUI, 2 rounds of IVF, what feels like hundreds of shots in the leg, 4 miscarriages, many shed tears, loss of hope, loss of faith, episodes of sadness and bitterness. I also have acquired a renewed sense of self, a strength that I never knew I had, hope and faith restored. See, as I ride on the heels of turning 40, I realize that although my journey has not been an easy one, it has been one that has taught me many lessons. Trust in self, Trust in God, Accept help from others and Believe that even though this wish that I have prayed for, for so long has not been given to me yet, I know in time, some way, some how, it will.