Infertility, our journey
It does not matter if you have a friend, a family member, a co-worker or you yourself have suffered infertility. The fact is it sucks.
As young women & even men we are fed the idea of the dream. A good job, a home & a family, but what happens when you don't get that family?
Truthfully when I was young I did not want kids but at 19 I met my husband. As the years flew by the dream occurred, the home, conversion to wife but after we got married the road to motherhood was anything but smooth.
Get comfy, this story is long & it hurts my heart but I want you to know where I came from.
Talking to my GP when trying to get pregnant. I remember her words to this day. "You are in advanced age so if you are not pregnant within 6 months you need to see a fertility specialist" Advanced age, I was 34.
After 6 months you guessed it I was at the DR having tests to see what was happening, or clearly not happening. I assumed I had lowered fertility, it turns out I had such low egg supply that my chance of conceiving was 2%.
Shattered, I think that is the best word to describe it but also there were so many other emotions. Fear, shame, guilt, panic, embarrassment. The worst was the shame. I was ashamed to tell my husband, I was ashamed to face my family. I was ashamed that I could not do what I considered to be the one thing I was truly created for. I remember texting my sister in law asking her to tell my family I was okay but I did not want to talk to anyone & that I would call them when I felt capable. Capable turned out to be 13 days later.
IVF was the suggested path & over a couple of months we began our first cycle. I am not here to talk about the meds, they are for the professionals but I want to share the emotions. All the education, practicing needles & reading pamphlets could not prepare me for the emotions. Aside from a fortnight of injecting my body full of drugs I had egg retrieval surgery, recovery & then handing over all control & faith to a lab to grow my babies. It is a lot & there is nothing to do aside from leaving it to the professionals.
For me the coveted transfer day never came. Not once, not twice but 3 times. As we moved through each cycle we discovered my eggs would not mature or they would not fertilise or when that lucky one (yes it was just one) did it arrested on day 4. I still have a text message " Hello Brooke, your embryo has arrested. Please let us know if you wish to dispose of it" read that again. To this day my brain reads please let us know if you want us to throw away your baby.
After that last text I was done. I was full of hormones, exhausted & broken. My husband was broken. My family was broken. I remember one day I overheard my husband saying he was afraid to go to work in case I harmed myself when he was gone. That is the toll that infertility had on me. It is the toll it has on many couples going through the same struggle.
Over 8 months with lots of therapy, broken became sad & sad became hopeful. Hopeful for a new kind of life we imagined. As I healed I found a love of health, acupuncture, yoga & meditation. It was in a acupuncture session I had healed my soul so much the acupuncturist said to me jokingly "now don't you go getting pregnant" I laughed, she had helped me so much that I actually laughed.
It was only 5 weeks later through streaming tears I called her to tell her I was pregnant. Naturally pregnant. Through all the healing a miracle occurred.
I want to say here, this miracle doesn't always happen. I am not out here sprouting the "you just need one egg" lines. Sometimes we just don't get our miracle, sometimes we get the therapy & we move forward with life always having that empty space of the dream.
Now days I have a crazy 4 year who I love dearly. She shows me the world through new eyes. For all the love I have for her I want to say this. I would not take back the way we got here. This horrible ride has made my marriage stronger, it has made me stronger & it has shown me a world that needs to be discussed openly.
If you have anyone around you going through infertility here a some tips to help you & them.
- Don't tell them to just relax. This is a bullshit & infuriating comment.
- Don't tell them about someone else's miracle.
- Never comment that lost embryos or miscarriage were not born yet.
- Ask them what can you do to help?
- Read about infertility & get educated
- Support the partners, the men are often forgotten
- Never ask about when a baby or next baby are coming. Oh gosh just don't I'm cringing even writing the words!
If you are going through infertility or want to ask any questions please reach out to me. I will always share my journey to help educate others & remove the stigma.
PS. If you enjoyed this read or know someone that could use a read please comment them in, drop them an email, screen shot it. or guide them over to Instagram. Do what ever you need to do to help another parent thrive! It takes a village.