1 in 6 stories

Stephanie and Vince

Stephanie and Vince

As we embark on our soon-to-be 10 year anniversary, I sit and reflect our journey here. I would be lying if I told you that I never would have imagined our story would have faced so many struggles - but I’d also be lying if I told you that I don’t appreciate my family a hell of a lot more because of it.

I always feared the challenge of potentially never being able to hear a little voice call me mom, and it’s that fear that I unfortunately allowed to dominate my entire being. We struggled with infertility very early on in our marriage and I allowed it to consume me. It was a time when ‘infertility’ was still a taboo subject and no one really openly talked about it. I so desperately sought out anyone that understood my journey and would not tell me to ‘just relax, have a drink, and it’ll happen’.

Vince and I embarked on the IVF/ICSI journey together, yet alone. Alone in the sense that there weren’t many platforms, such as this one, that focused on couples sharing their stories, advice, and words of encouragement.

The IVF journey truly took a toll on me, emotionally, physically and mentally. Moments of emotional breakdowns, depression, and resentment overcame me. I became an ugly person that I didn’t even recognize.

If there’s one thing that I want to share from my story, is how critical it is to live for today; not tomorrow, not 2 years from now, and definitely not dwelling on yesterday.

We had our son Mason in 2013 after our first successful IVF attempt. We had 2 blasts make it to day 5 and took a chance and put them both in! We were blessed with our 9lb12oz son 9 months later!

After 12 months, Vince and I both decided we longed to give Mason a sibling. Not having experienced the pain of a failed IVF cycle, I was determined and even excited to give it another shot! 2 failed cycles later, we felt defeated and utterly exhausted. ‘It’s a blessing you have Mason’ is what they would say, and while that’s true, no one can truly understand the anguish of succumbing to the notion that ‘I will never experience another first’ and that ‘my son will grow up alone’. There’s something even more toxic about that stress and emotion, which is so hard to articulate.

2 years after hitting my rock bottom, I sit in awe of my family. I gaze into my son’s eyes and focus on taking him all in. Enjoying every minute, including the tantrums, the outbursts, and every single giggle.

I look at my husband, and so grateful he chose me. Grateful that he battled through this journey with me and didn’t allow me to give up - give up on us. If I could share anything with anyone going through this pain, is that it’s a moment in time and an isolated chapter in your story. I beg you to not lose sight of today and miss out on the firsts you’re surrounded by. I may have missed out on being able to experience another late night feeding, diaper change, or first steps, but I can assure you that I will never ever take another Mason first for granted again…. like his first wiggly tooth!

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Meredith and Jason

5 years ago, the idea of blood-work made me cry. Now, I ask with little trepidation, which arm? In July of 2015, after over a year of trying, I was pregnant.

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When my husband and I started trying, we were relatively young. I was 26, he was 27, so we didn’t expect any problems.