Hope was what I held onto each day, week, month, year. Every year that passed vanished without the fulfillment of my most desired dream, my dream of becoming a mother. I craved to start a family. For three years, I waited. I cried.
I was consumed.
Clomid came first. Recommended to me by my OBGYN. More time passed. Nothing. Then after more and more time had passed we were sent to a fertility specialist. I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Three IUIs and still nothing. Then came a painful Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)an X-ray test to outline the internal shape of the uterus and show whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. My right tube was blocked. We decided, moving forward, our best option would be IVF. An egg retrieval of 10.
After days passed, we were left with six embryos. We did our fresh transfer on July 20, 2015. WITH SUCCESS. “Congratulations! You’re pregnant!” In those moments when I first heard those words, the words I’d been longing to hear for so long, I finally felt that sense of overwhelming joy I’d been waiting for. It was incredible, to say the very least.
Fast forward to April 6, 2016. The day our little girl, Vivienne, was born. Our sweet little “excellent” embryo had made it and we got to hold our little girl in our arms for the first time. It was ALL worth it. Every tear, every heartbreak, every year, every dollar, every injection and all the prayers for our precious baby.
After Vivienne’s first birthday, we were ready to “try” again. This time, a frozen embryo transfer. Soon after, we were pregnant again. However, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and we found ourselves back to square one, overwhelmed with fear and heartbreak. I was broken. I felt like my body had failed us. Would Vivienne ever have a sibling?Fear can be crippling, so it was hope we clung to. Through our failures we chose again and again to cling to HOPE.
Last April, we found out we were expecting again and again, we were overwhelmed with joy. Our frozen embryo transfer had worked and was sticking! However, I lived in fear, so afraid to lose this babe…
Jumping ahead to the delivery room, we were over the moon to find out it was a boy! A month early, tiny with jaundice but we were ecstatic. Ten minutes after meeting our baby boy, we got unexpected news. Our precious baby George had markers for Down Syndrome. Fear once again filled my heart. Fears of the unknown. It’s been 5 months since we received his official diagnosis confirming he has Down Syndrome and every day I try to remind myself to not be so afraid of the things that I don’t know or fully understand. A reminder to worry less and move forward with hope.
During this journey of infertility, IVF and parenthood I have experienced many great things. Faith. Hope. Love. Joy. Strength. And excitement. But I’ve also experienced many ugly things. Fear. Pain. Grief. Loss. Anger. Sadness. Guilt. So much GUILT.
I share my story, my journey, to let others going through the same thing know that they aren’t alone. Infertility is hard. It brings struggle, pain, heartbreak and self-doubt. It comes with needles, pills, endless tests and doctor’s appointments. Some days are filled with anger while others are filled with HOPE. The scars of infertility don’t fade the minute you find out you’re pregnant or when you give birth or even when you have the family you’ve dreamed of. I am a completely different person now than I was 5 years ago. I am stronger because of this journey. Friendships have developed, relationships have grown and I am still learning to not take things for granted.
I was always happy for my friends, loved ones, and acquaintances when I found out they were expecting, but I was crying on the inside. It hurts the most when you have to pretend it doesn’t. So I share my journey for those who find themselves pretending, those who are hanging on to hope and prayer, those who have to work so hard for the family they crave. You’re not alone. It will never be easy and odds are, you will never be the same but choosing hope is worth it.