Being a “Mom” is a distinction that I yearned for from the day I met my now-husband, Ed. We both knew that becoming parents was a part of our future, however, we didn’t know that the journey to get there would be the most challenging of our lives filled with a rollercoaster ride of emotions and heartbreak that we would have to maneuver.
“Let’s have a baby!” I was so excited to hear my husband say those words to me. We were both ready to welcome a new member to our family, so we began trying. After a year of trying to conceive on our own and numerous tests coming back “not pregnant,” we knew that it was time to see a specialist who could shed some light on why we weren’t getting the result we were looking for. We went through the necessary tests and bloodwork and awaited the results from our doctor. They walked into the room and said, “Everything appears to be normal.” It was a sigh of relief but also extremely hard to hear. While that was ultimately what we were hoping for, it was also the most frustrating result. We were looking for answers and had to go back to the drawing board. We decided to keep trying on our own and eventually pursued IUI treatments. IUI is a less invasive option than IVF, and since our results were coming back normal, we were hopeful that starting with that treatment option would help us on our way to becoming parents.
Every month would pass, and another negative test would be a heart-crushing result for both Ed and I. There were waves of emotions. Frustration. Anger. Tears. But together we remained positive and hopeful for our future baby. After another year of trying IUI without the result we were looking for, we were emotionally and financially spent. Without insurance, treatments were costly and physically, we were drained. We decided to put a pause on getting pregnant and leaned on each other to stay strong and positive to keep pushing forward and when ready, try again.
When you are surrounded by social media, you see cute pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and baby showers. You get phone calls of friends coming to you announcing that in 9 months there will be a new member of your circle. You see family at holidays who ask, “When are you having a baby?”That was the toughest part . . . I was hesitant to be open about my struggles. I call it “the unspoken” … Why? There is a taboo surrounding infertility struggles and most stay silent during their time of not getting pregnant and having to endure invasive treatment.
Flash forward a few years and a global pandemic later, we struggled as most did with the shutdown across the country. Between that and doing research on what our options were, we met with our doctors and were given three options. IVF, Surrogacy, or Egg donation. As a couple, we chose IVF, as our doctor said I had enough good eggs to attempt. Throughout this process, I began documenting it online as I read others are so scared to share their journey. I wanted to shed light, that because we struggle . . . doesn’t mean we are anything less. The support I received from my community was outstanding and really helped our emotional battle during our first IVF cycle.
As I began sharing my story to family and my online community, I realized that if I could help one person going through what I was, that person who was feeling like they weren’t a good partner, that person who felt something was wrong with them, that person who didn’t feel brave enough to face this journey or the taboo that comes with it, I knew that was a bigger part of my story I would share with my child one day.
Our first IVF cycle failed. Again, disappointing news . . . but I was not giving up “hope.”
Through this all . . . remaining positive that my miracle would someday happen is what kept me going. It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to stop trying, but amazing things come to those who wait and after 5 years of ups and downs, our 2nd embryo transfer was a success.
Flash to nine months later, and a pregnancy I will always cherish, our beautiful baby girl, Evelyn Hope was brought into this world. Being a new mom is everything I could have dreamed of and seeing her in my arms was well worth the wait. Basking in her “firsts,” I want to share with others, that while the journey was hard to endure it helped us develop the strength we need for tomorrow and the positivity we will pass on to our beautiful miracle.
We can all be “brave” in our struggles if we have a little “hope.” It just may take some time or someone to help get us there.