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Jeremy and Amber

Jeremy and Amber

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to stay at home and raise a family. I never anticipated that becoming pregnant would be a struggle. Nothing in my family history suggested that infertility would be a battle that we would fight. Three years into our marriage my husband and I decided to start trying for a family. I was told that it would take a max of 3 months to conceive. The doctor assured us that there was nothing to worry about; we were both active and healthy. A baby would be on its way soon.

I remember being so excited and hopeful those first few months. Giddy questions constantly ran through my head. What would my due date be? What would our life be like in 9 months? We had a wedding coming up and we would probably have an infant to show off at it. I couldn’t wait.

At 6 months of trying I was discouraged. My family doctor reassured me not to worry because we were young. If we still weren’t pregnant after a year we would be referred to the Fertility Clinic.

I never thought we’d get to that point.

A year rolled around and we went to our first appointment. I was excited, something was obviously “off”, but now we’d be able to get the help we needed to find the issue and figure it out. We left with hopeful hearts thinking that it was only the matter of a short amount of time now. After some routine tests my husband checked out fine and 6 months of tests later I was given the same news. Again, the doctor reassured me that I was young and there was nothing to worry about, it would just take time. Hearing him say this made me furious. I knew I was young, but I also wanted a baby now, not in 10 years. I wouldn’t be young then!

I’d reached the end of the routine testing road with only one more test left to try, a laparoscopy to determine if my painful periods were due to endometriosis. I was told to wait another 6 months for this test. Once again I waited. I waited for 6 months and heard nothing. When I called the clinic to ask about it they called me back an hour later with a surgery date. Someone had dropped the ball.

Surgery came and went. I had my follow-up appointment and the surgeon told me he had found very little endometriosis and it was likely not a factor in the infertility issue, but the affected tissue had been removed.

IUI was the next step.

But it wasn’t necessary because I found myself pregnant after the following cycle. Two years of trying, numerous ovulation tests, charting, pregnancy tests, blood tests, and surgery, but I was pregnant. I was in shock. My husband and I didn’t believe it. When I took the home pregnancy test and saw the faint line I felt nothing. Even when the doctor told me I was indeed pregnant I didn’t believe him. It took about 12 weeks for it to sink in. I felt sad about how skeptical I was. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I had imagined myself jumping up and down in celebration, but all I felt was doubt that it was actually true. At each prenatal appointment I expected the doctor to tell me that it was a false alarm. I felt robbed of such a wonderful moment.

Nine months later my son was born. I held his tiny, warm body in my arms and I could barely believe it.

Around his first birthday we decided it was time to try for baby #2. We’d always wanted two kids and it was time to give our son a sibling. Everyone, including our doctors, told me that the second one would be easier to conceive. I was hopeful, but scared. I didn’t know if I could handle the pain of infertility again. The raw pain that takes over your body the day you know conception didn’t occur that month. The pain that tears through your mind, heart, and body when you glimpse another pregnant woman. The anger that threatens to spill out when another person tells you to “just relax” and then it will happen. The exhausting grief of mourning each lost month. How does it hurt so bad? You’d think after months of the same result you would get used to it, but you don’t. Each month that wound is torn open again and each month it hurts more. Could I really do that all again?

Sadly, it turns out I can.

Next month will mark 1 year of trying. We will once again have the label of “infertility”. We have visited the Fertility Clinic again, but surgery isn’t an option this time. Despite what the surgeon told me my doctor informed me that it was the endometriosis that caused the infertility, that I was the “1 in 10 women” to get pregnant after surgery. But there are no statistics stating that surgery a second time is beneficial. Physically everything seems to be working fine. Our options are IUI, IVF or to just keep trying and hoping for natural conception.

We are still undecided on what to do.

And somehow hope still creeps in every month. It always shows up. That is the only way I can go on. I cling to that hope, even as it is ripped away from me. After the tears have fallen and a new cycle begins I forgive it for hurting me so much and invite it back. And I hope. Maybe this month.

More 1 in 6 stories

Jennifer and Don

I had intended to send in our story in the spring, ahead of Infertility Awareness Month in May, but thought better of it.