Jason and I celebrated our third anniversary last week. We thought we’d have two kids by now - we never thought we’d spend the first three years of our marriage struggling with infertility.
Before I met Jason, I had my beautiful daughter, Hailey, without any issues! After Hailey, I miscarried at 15 weeks, 8 weeks and then had an ectopic pregnancy. My first marriage ended in 2011 and Jason and I married in 2018.
Despite my past struggles, I was confident our luck would be different. It wasn’t. We were shocked that after a year of trying I wasn’t pregnant, so we had our OB/GYN run tests - everything was normal (which, BTW, is super frustrating to hear - you want to be able to fix something!) after a failed IUI, we were lucky enough to to have infertility insurance through Wells Fargo so we met with Dr. Stephanie Gustin at Heartland Center about our options.
The IVF Journey
We decided to move forward with IVF - I had ZERO clue what I was in for! As someone who likes to plan, there is nothing you can plan with IVF - The shots. The mixing medicines. The unpredictable appointments. And the hormones, OMG. I alternated between feeling like I was on speed or so exhausted I couldn’t function past 7pm.
Our first round of IVF, I only had four eggs (because I was old 🤣 - 39), which resulted in one embryo, which unfortunately was abnormal. We were crushed.
We decided to try IVF again with Dr. Gustin’s support (and some new ideas), we were delighted to learn my 4 eggs made two normal embryos!
Then...The pandemic put everything on hold. So while everyone else was joking about pandemic baby booms, we waited. In May of 2020 we transferred the boy embryo and it worked! I was so excited to be pregnant - but it was short lived as I miscarried two weeks later :(
Still feeling hopeful, we had another embryo left. We transferred her in September 2020, and learned it did not work. We were crushed. In both cases I sobbed and felt in a daze for weeks. Thank God for my therapist.
Last month, we thought a miracle happened when we found out I’d gotten pregnant on my own. We were sooo excited and thought for sure it would “stick” since it happened naturally. A week later, we miscarried again.
What I Learned
We could try IVF again but decided we’ve done more than ever planned and are coming to terms that kids weren’t in God’s plan for us. This is soo hard when society not only expects, but somewhat defines, a successful marriage by the ability to have kids.
I learned a positive pregnancy test is NOT a success stick when it comes to marriage and family.
We are lucky to have found each other, and Jason is a wonderful stepdad to Hailey.
April 18-24, 2021 is #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek and I think it’s important to know that 1 in 8 women struggle with infertility - often silently. We make up stories to leave work, cancel appointments, or decline social invitations - especially during the pandemic when getting sick meant your treatments being canceled.
How To Support Women In The Workplace
What can you do to support your friends and colleagues?
Honor private appointments on calendars without overbooking.
Support our need for flexibility.
Sit with us in our grief without trying to “silver line” it or “have you tried ____?” (Trust us, we have)
Advocate for more awareness at your workplace so we can break the stigma and silence of infertility struggles.
For more about what you can do to advocate for support in the workplace, check out my article in Working Mother Magazine.