Our Infertility Story

Yesterday I shared a post on my Facebook page about why you shouldn't ask people when they are going to have children, or if they only have an only child, asking when they are going to have more. It seemed to speak to a lot of people who struggle with infertility or have lost babies so I thought I would take the time to share our story here on the blog.

About four years ago, I wrote a post on my blog titled "Saying Goodbye to the Babies I Will Never Have." I came to the point in my life when I realized that all the mourning I had been doing was affecting my relationship with the child that was right in front of me. I made a decision to stop focusing on our infertility. Now that doesn't mean I still don't have my moments because I do. But as I get older, and the baby making years are slowly slipping by, I am more at peace with it.  In fact, I held a newborn on Sunday and I can honestly say that the feeling of wanting one is mostly gone. It's not that I wouldn't take a miracle but I prefer to have a child closer to my son's age of eleven.

So here's our infertility story.

In June of 2000 we were married after almost six years of dating. I was twenty-three and he was twenty-nine. We were married for about a year when we decided to start actively trying to have a baby. I guess I thought it would happen quickly, after all, my mother has four children and she never had any problems. Boy oh boy was I in for a rollercoaster ride of emotions over the next several years.

After about six months of trying, I took a pregnancy test and there was very faint positive line. I remember the day like it was yesterday. As we were walking back to check on one of our food plots we planted for the deer, I grabbed my husband's hand and said, "I can't believe we're finally pregnant!" That feeling lasted one day.  By the next day I was bleeding. I went to the doctor but it was too early and all signs of a baby were gone. I was pretty devastated but relieved to know that at least we could get pregnant. I knew that we would never be a couple that would take infertility treatments or have any kind of extensive testing done. We couldn't afford to take that route and I knew if it didn't happen on its own I would probably remain childless.

This would start my psychotic phase of checking out and buying every single book on infertility and pregnancy I could get my hands on. I did it all. I took my temperature, checked my cervical mucus, and timed intercourse. Every month I would take a test and it would be negative. I seriously should have bought stock in pregnancy tests for as many as I bought and went through.

For two years after our miscarriage we tried every month to have a baby and every month I would start my cycle and cry. I cried a lot. I was a new Christian back then not coming to salvation until right before our wedding and I just didn't understand why God would do this to me. Hadn't I been through enough in my short life here on earth? Was it really necessary to add infertility to it too? I was angry with God and I wanted to control it so I tried to do everything I could to make it happen.

No hot baths.

You have to wear boxer shorts.

I need to quit caffeine.

Hand me a pillow so I can prop my butt up.

Maybe I should just stand on my head and that would help.

I drove my husband crazy. Cray-Cray. He was happy with just the two of us and did not understand this quest I was on to add to our family. Bless him. He put up with a crazy woman for those two years. Oh wait, he is still putting up with a crazy woman....

One day, I was at work after coming back from a vacation in Florida with my sister, and my co-worker looked at me strange because I was eating pickles and drinking chocolate milk for breakfast. (Seriously, I can't make this stuff up, folks). She said "You're pregnant." To which I laughed in her face and said "Yeah, right. You don't try for as long as we have and just get pregnant." She convinced me to go next door to the doctors office and take a test, so I did, knowing that it would be negative. Only it wasn't negative, it was positive. I sobbed and misdialed my home phone number three times before reaching my husband at home to tell him the news.

And so ended the crazy, "try to get pregnant" lady, and the, "every time I go to the bathroom I am afraid to find blood," crazy lady appeared. I don't think I relaxed while carrying my son until I was about twenty-five weeks and I knew he had a chance of surviving outside the womb.

I wish I could tell y'all that my pregnancy was wonderful and everything I hoped and dreamed it would be, but that would be lying. I hated my husband and mother-in-law, and junior put me on bed rest at twenty-nine weeks trying to come early. I gained fifty-two pounds and had him a month early. He weighed 5lbs 10oz. (Obviously, it was all baby those 52 lbs....) Because he was born early, he had lung problems and was taken away from me immediately after birth to be put on oxygen. This started a whole different rollercoaster of emotions that I now contribute to postpartum depression, but because we had tried for long and wanted one so bad, I could not admit to people that this wasn't what I had signed up for. That's a whole different post that I cover a little bit here.

My son was born in 2004. Fast forward three and half years, I am sitting at the doctors office and crying because I feel like something is wrong with me. We had not been able to conceive again, and I was just feeling 'off.' I think the doctor ordered the intravaginal ultrasound just to pacify me, but the ultrasound showed a grapefruit sized cysts on my left ovary with a hard center, which could indicate ovarian cancer. That was a scary twenty-four hours waiting for a blood test to come back and tell me whether it indicated cancer or not.

Surgery was scheduled to remove the cyst. I had never had surgery before and have never had it since. I woke up from surgery in so much pain it was ridiculous. What was supposed to be an outpatient surgery turned into a C-section scar across my lower abdomen. She removed the cyst, and the hard center turned out to be my ovary. She could not save the left ovary or the tube. This is also when she discovered that I had severe endometriosis. I have always had painful periods but just thought it was normal for me. She spent a lot of time trying to get all my parts unstuck from each other down there. My bladder, uterus, and bowls were basically glued together in one big ball from the endometriosis. She told me she could not understand how I even conceived and carried my son.

After surgery I was put on a drug called Lupron. I consider it a drug straight from Satan. I was supposed to take it for six months, but after four months, I told them no more. Lupron put me into menopause to help heal the endometriosis that I suffered from. That was seven years ago, and I have been menopausal since then. I was supposed to resume having cycles after stopping this drug but that has never happened. The doctor's explanation is that the surgery was too traumatic and it shut down my reproductive system.

Going through menopause when you are thirty-one is a treat let me tell ya....

Obviously, all chances of conceiving a second child after that were gone. I have been on a seven year rollercoaster ride of hormone replacement therapy and dealing with all the physical and emotional aspects of menopause. I have not been easy to live with. I hate being on HRT, but I cannot function normally off of it at this time in my life. My body wants, and needs, estrogen at this age, so I give it some.

That's our infertility story. I have had every emotion you can imagine dealing with this. I still get sad when I see pregnant women at the doctors office or out in public, and I know that will never be me again. I wished I would have treasured carrying my son more, since I would never have another opportunity to carry a baby. We have talked about adoption recently and are considering becoming foster parents with the intentions of adopting.

People who make a choice to not have more children will never understand what it's like to have that choice taken away from you. So I get it. I get all the emotions you are going through. I understand the pain of not being able to control something. The pain of having your body betray you when it comes so easy for others. The pain of seeing a newborn and knowing you will never have that opportunity again.

I have always been open about our infertility and will continue to be. I didn't know that when I went through all of this that someday, I may be able to reach out and help someone else, even if it's just having a good cry with them.

If you have any questions or just want to talk about it, please leave a comment below and feel free to private message me on Facebook too.

Love you, mamas and mama wannabes, and I am here for you!


1 comment:

  1. Jenn I feel your pain. I went through the same thing. I have a 25 year old daughter that I love dearly. We have 2 babies in heaven that I miscarried, one before Aimee and one 11 years after. I had endometriosis too. Didn't find out until after Aimee was 5 that I had it. Spend a lot of money going to a infertility clinic that we are still paying off. I know that God will use your story and mine one day to help somebody! Thanks for being real and telling your story!