Brittenay and Aaron
For most of my life I knew nothing of infertility. It wasn’t something that was talked about. In fact, it was the opposite. EVERYTHING would lead to pregnancy. I spent so much of my youth thinking that pregnancy was always a sure thing. With shows like 16 and pregnant, it just seemed like that was the norm. You’re told in school that if you have unprotected sex JUST ONE TIME, you WILL end up pregnant. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Nothing in my upbringing prepared me for what the future would hold.
When I met Aaron I just knew he was who I wanted to be the father of my children. It was pretty much love at first sight. Heck, my mom was planning our wedding on our second date. He came from wonderful parents and was kind and funny and a true gentleman. As we got to know each other more my love and respect for him continued to grow. He was hard working and dedicated, everything I had ever dreamed of when it came to picturing my life. Amazing father material. Over the first couple years of our relationship we had a couple “scares”. Aaron jokes about how if we knew then what we do now we wouldn’t have wasted money on any form of birth control, because our scares in hindsight weren’t really scares, they were just my body showing signs of something I didn’t yet understand.
We found out around our wedding that we were going to be an aunt and uncle! We were thrilled! From the second I found out about our nephew I was absolutely in love with him. The down fall was that the news of him made my baby fever even bigger. Aaron wasn’t quite there. He was in the early stages of starting his military career, in fact, 3 weeks after our wedding he was off to basic training. I knew it wasn’t the right time for us just yet, there was too much going on. Him joining the military wasn’t the only big thing happening in our life, I was also dealing with my mom battling stage 4 lung cancer. The months following our wedding were really hard. Not a time at all to think about throwing a baby in the mix, but that didn’t calm my ovaries wanting to explode every time a cute baby announcement popped up on Facebook, not to mention the secret baby board I had on Pinterest that I started the same time I started our wedding board.
A couple weeks after Aaron leaving for basic training, my mom took a really bad turn and on September 15th, 2013, which just to happened to have been Aaron’s 25th Birthday, my mom lost her battle with cancer. The months that followed are a bit of a blur, filled with planning and arrangements and just counting down the days until Aaron would be home. Once he finished basic and started his trade training we revisited the baby conversation. He still wasn’t ready, I more than was, and I think a lot came from the loss I had just endured with my mom. I needed something to focus on, something good and pure, but we made a plan to come back to the idea in September of 2014. On February 28th, 2014, our beautiful nephew was born and by that May Aaron was on board the crazy baby train. I guess cute and cuddly newborns can do that to you. We had a trip planned for Toronto in a couple weeks time, the perfect time to try for a baby, that then turned in to, “Well Toronto is just a week away, let’s just start now”.
It was a time before I knew ANYTHING about ovulation, the slim chances of conception each month, PCOS or anything fertility related, all I knew was sex makes a baby. By the grace of some miracle we ended up pregnant from that cycle. I was thrilled, Aaron was terrified, at first, then he was excited too, but none of it lasted. 4 short weeks later the miracle was gone and that’s when the true struggle began. I started researching miscarriages and found out just how common they are. 1 in 4 pregnancies end that way. With a statistic like that you’d think it would be something talked about more. We took a bit of a trying break while my body and mind healed and instead we focused on buying our home. September rolled around, and we jumped back in the saddle. Fast forward a year and nothing, I still really didn’t grasp there could be something wrong, or maybe I just didn’t want to admit it. But we knew it was time to start having some testing done. March of 2016 we finally got our answer, PCOS. I was no longer ovulating. I researched, and researched, and asked question upon question. I knew this wasn’t the end of our journey but just in fact the beginning of a different one. It took another almost 6 months before we could get to a place of trying with fertility meds. It took more tests, a surgery, follow ups, deployments and tears to get us to find our hope again.
Family and friends offered what they felt were words of encouragement both in regard to our trying and our loss. “Relax, it will happen”, “Go on another vacation”, “At least it was early and wasn’t a real baby”…… It was around this time I started talking and sharing more about what we were going through, because there are so many misconceptions floating around out there, that infertility isn’t a true issue or disease, that it’s just something you can get over by adopting, or “stop trying”. But infertility is so much more than all of that, and I wanted to be the voice for those who weren’t ready to be a voice for themselves.
Aaron and I are 1 in 6. We are 1 in 6 Canadian couples that struggles with infertility.
However, we are more than just a statistic, we are the face of pain, loss, fear and sadness. We spend more time planning sex than actually having it, because that is the reality of infertility. It’s medications and procedures and needles and blood work and time, so much damn time. But it’s also love, respect, joy, strength and an abundance of hope and faith put in to ourselves and our doctors that we will become pregnant, that I will carry a healthy pregnancy to term, that we will become parents. Infertility is just normal couples battling extraordinary odds to have the chance to become blessed with what so many so easily take for granted. It’s also money, so much money, but in the end it’s all going to be worth it when Aaron and I can look down at a tiny life that we have created with our love and strength and endurance.
More 1 in 6 stories
Our infertility journey has been an ongoing rollercoaster. At age 19, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, which always caused me to worry about my fertility.
I grew up in a big family surrounded by many cousins and a little sister. I babysat my younger cousins and earned my first paycheck babysitting my friend’s siblings for a summer.
We’re sure our story started like every other one – two people in love, already having a blended family and wanting to grow that family. But we were different than some.