Infertility was a word I had never thought about. It truly never crossed my mind as a child, as a single adult or even as a newly married adult, until it became part of our life 1.5 years into our marriage.
Our journey has been filled with many ups and downs. We got married June 22, 2013 and decided we were ready to start a family December 2014. 8 months went by with no luck, so we decided to seek some professional help. We are 34 years old now and almost 6 years into our infertility journey.
After 2 IUI’s, 4 surgeries for Stage 4 Endometriosis, 1 pregnancy which was a cornual ectopic pregnancy and resulted in emergency surgery (cornual ectopic’s count for 2% of all tubal pregnancies and 1% of all pregnancies as a whole; it’s fair to say these are very uncommon and can be life-threatening), finding out about some blood-clotting disorders and then 3 rounds of IVF, we are still so hopeful for the day we will be called Mama and Daddy.
Infertility is a hard journey. It takes all control away, it carries a hurt that only a select few can understand and it can often feel like life is just passing you by as a dream starts to feel further and further away while others’ paths seem to be easier. It has you question “what is wrong with my body? why is it so broken?” and not to mention it is very expensive. It’s full of waiting rooms in doctor offices, blood draws and hopeful ultrasounds. On the contrary, it brings a growth in you personally, your faith, your marriage and your relationships if you allow for it. I’ve learned that my body CAN do so much. It allowed me to be a Division 1 swimmer, I can hold my nieces, nephews, god-children and friends’ babies and it will allow us to hold our miracles one day. It can be an isolating path to walk, but what we have learned is that our faith has never been
stronger and our desire to be parents has never been greater.
Hope is a funny thing in this category as well. People will tell you “this too shall pass” or “God has a plan.” We know all those things, and most who are struggling with infertility know those things as well. We have found ourselves being hopeful, but also being guarded, and we have learned that is ok. Loss changes you. March 26, 2018 changed us. We think about our little baby we lost a lot. It was the only time I have ever carried life, and unfortunately, we were not able to meet him/her. We were different after that day and we will choose to always honor our baby. There are certain moments you will never forget; we’ll never forget the ultrasound tech not being able to find the baby and our doctor telling us “this could be bad, you need to come back tomorrow for surgery and we likely won’t be able to salvage your fallopian tube.” But we also cling to the good; it was caught at a perfect time. We were so grateful it didn’t rupture, and our doctor had the foresight to act quickly. I was able to leave the hospital as a healthy and hopeful Mama-to-be and as I mentioned before, JP and I became two changed human beings. Changed for the better; a more empathetic, compassionate, sensitive and loving two people. Through that loss we gained strength, which led to healing, which has led us back to hope. We have gone through that exact cycle many times.
Fast forward to today, we have moved onto a Gestational Carrier. We were matched April 1, 2020. We are thrilled, hopeful, and trusting God has us on this path as it is the “safest” way for us to become parents. Doctors have told me pregnancy likely is not safe for me and we take that to heart. We now view that scary ectopic pregnancy as complete protection! Protection over my life and provision over what is to come. Surrogacy so far has been such a beautiful journey. It’s still not a guarantee, and there is so much paperwork and decisions to be made, but oh how we are looking forward to walking side by side with our wonderful carrier. No matter what the outcome is, we have learned so much about how selfless surrogates are and how grateful we are to have this option at our fingertips. It’s a beautiful and delicate picture of empathy, trust, grace and hope.
If you’re walking with someone who is struggling to start a family, lean into them and know that no one walks this road perfectly. Offer them grace on their hard days, let them love on your kiddos if you have them and then let them determine when they need some space. Ask questions about how they can best be loved. Talk about it. Infertility is called the “silent disease” for a reason. It can cause one to feel unrelatable and often lonely. Let’s break that stigma together so we can heal, help those struggling to move forward and celebrate when it’s time to celebrate!
I want to always remember that we are all walking through life with some sort of hurt, longing, yearning and/or waiting. Hardship comes in different forms for all of us. We never thought surrogacy would be our route to parenthood, but we are embracing it more and more every day. We can’t wait to celebrate once we’re on the other side! We know that day is coming, and we will continue to wait expectantly.