Waiting with Infertility
Infertility affects 1 in 8 women in the United States.
It’s hard to admit that I am 1 in 8 women. I never imagined being in this place. I never thought that I would be that woman who would have difficulty having kids. For so many years, I was told to wait for kids. I was advised to go to school. Get a college degree. Work hard. Travel. Get to know yourself first. Then, after getting married, nurture the relationship, get to know your spouse, and travel some more. Don’t have kids right away.
I did just that. Actually, I did all of that.
When my husband and I got married, we did want kids right away. I remember being on our honeymoon in Maui and enjoying our first few days as newlyweds. But, I was also so excited about pregnancy. Yes, I was scared. But, for the first time in my life, I was so close to motherhood. I was closer than I had ever been and I told myself that I was ready.
We didn’t get pregnant on the honeymoon. It was ok though. We had just got married and I was still in graduate school. We sort of just told ourselves that it wasn’t God’s timing and we accepted that. A few months after getting married, my husband had some health issues. Then, that led to us having some financial issues. After I finished my Masters degree, we then had marital issues. Still, we kept telling ourselves that it wasn’t our time and that definitely made sense. My husband and I had to work on so many areas of our lives first. Why would we want to bring a child into a mess?
So, we worked on our marriage and Praise God because He restored our marriage. We worked on our finances. We worked on our relationships, especially our relationship with God. I always dreamed of becoming a therapist/counselor. I knew that was what God had for me. But, once I finished my degree, I didn’t pursue that career. For years, I struggled. But, it certainly crossed my mind that maybe that was another thing to do to check off the list in order for God to bless us with our miracle baby. My miracle depended on me.
In fact, our miracle depended on our faith, our prayer, our relationship with God, and our ability to fast. Again, we did all of that. For years, we prayed to God, we fasted, we prayed some more. We asked for others to pray for us and yet the baby didn’t come. All around us in church, we saw couples getting pregnant over and over and over again. We saw families grow larger. We saw God moving in everyone else’s life. We couldn’t help but think that there was something wrong with us. Maybe we weren’t meant to be parents. Maybe we weren’t good enough. Maybe we missed something. Maybe we didn’t have enough faith. Maybe we didn’t pray enough. Maybe because we weren’t being obedient to God….especially me for not moving forward with a career in counseling. We placed so much dependence on our acts, our behavior, on us to give us what we wanted. We couldn’t help but beg God to tell us what we were doing wrong.
My very best friend, who is a nurse, in 2015 encouraged me to finally go see my doctor. It started out with seeing my OBGYN. She then sent me to have a horrible test done. “A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a test that uses x-rays and a special dye to detect scar tissue, polyps, fibroids, and other growths that may be blocking your tubes or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting properly in your uterus.” I remember the male physician who did this test told me that maybe I should lose weight and I left that appointment devastated. My OBGYN really didn’t have any advice or guidance for me.
After more prayer and more work for the Lord, my husband and I decided to look into a fertility specialist. The initial test really required us to look at the facts. We had been trying to have a baby since around 2008. This appointment was in 2016. For 8 years, we were trying to have a baby. Immediately, the doctor started tests. I did blood work. I did an ultrasound. The doctor advised me to lose weight. I had another HSG exam. We did genetic testing on ourselves. For about 6 weeks, it was in and out of the doctor’s office. I remember when I finally had an ultrasound to count my follicles. My heart told me something was wrong. I watched that screen so carefully as she counted. After that exam, which landed on a Sunday, I returned to church service and that was all that I could think about. Immediately, I started to look up information. My doctor confirmed it a few days later. My ovaries had a low follicle count which means that I had a low egg count as well. We felt rushed to move into doing IVF. So, we did. I started vitamins. I kept losing more weight. I was going to my appointments. I started my birth control. I did everything.
By the end of April, we did our first egg retrieval. There were 8 eggs retrieved and 5 of those eggs were fertilized. After 5 days, there were 2 embryos that were of good quality. The other 3 embryos were going to be monitored. But, we moved forward with the 2 embryos and those were transferred to my uterus. We remember watching our babies being visible on the screen before us. This was the closest I had ever been to being pregnant. So, I followed all of the directions. I rested. I could go to work. I prayed. I asked others to pray for us. Mother’s Day landed within my two week wait and a few people had wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. I was so full of excitement. I still had fear but, I was doing my best to think positive and live each day by faith. Our three remaining embryos didn’t progress so they were discarded.
My two week wait ended on a Friday, May 13th. I went in the morning to have my blood drawn and then I went back to work. They said they’d call me in a few hours but definitely before noon. By 1pm, I hadn’t heard from them so I called. I remember that phone call like it was yesterday. “I’m sorry but your pregnancy test came back negative.” In shock, I remember saying “Oh it did.” The nurse asked me to schedule a follow up appointment and I did. I just remember this rush of emotions come over me. I felt so overwhelmed. I immediately left work. I went home and called my husband and I wept. I had never cried that hard in my life. I almost hated myself. Why did I think positive?
It took us a while to process it. We went back to the doctor and she couldn’t explain what happened. But, she said we still had benefits and we could do it again. At this point, we had already paid over $6k for our first procedure. This second one would require that we buy most of the meds out of pocket and we just didn’t have the money to do that. We felt like our world had crumbled. Our friends and family prayed for us. But, in reality, no one really knew what to say and I completely understand. This was hard. This was by far the hardest thing we had ever been through.
We felt so alone. We had no one. Often, we felt forgotten. Everyone moved on in life, but, we felt stuck. Our dreams were shattered. Our lives were shattered. Our hearts were shattered. We loved God. But, we were angry. We were so hurt. We were so broken. There weren’t even a lot of resources at the time that I knew about. I remember calling the fertility specialist’s office and asked if they knew who we could talk to. All she could tell me was to check resolve.org. I did and at the time, there were only support groups. We just weren’t ready for that quite yet.
Fast forward to 2018, still no baby. We bought our first home together. We even got our first puppy together. But, we still felt very dead inside. I thought we were dealing with it just fine but, in actuality, we just found ways to distract ourselves in the wait. My husband expressed that he was dealing with depression and a lot of it had to do with infertility. So, right away, we looked for help again. We did find someone and with her help, we made the courageous decision to go through IVF one more time. She gave great advice and because of that, we were able to be a part of a clinical study with a different clinic. The only expenses we had were over about $1300. Everything else was covered. I had to do testing again just to make sure I was a good candidate. I lost a few more pounds as well.
This time, they retrieved 6 eggs. Four eggs were fertilized but they could only transfer one per the study requirements. During this time, I was going to a support group with other women who were either going through IVF or working out the details of their infertility with the same clinic. After the two week wait, I went into the office for the results. Not pregnant again. It was different. I was by myself and I went to the car to call my husband when I left. He cried immediately. But, for me, it was different. I was sad for sure. But, I didn’t have the tears.
This second IVF procedure was in 2019. It has officially been two years since then. I was able to find a therapist to help me process some of the trauma around the procedures and that has helped. I am here….this is my website. So, I moved forward in my God-given calling. But, we’re still waiting.
My husband and I will be celebrating 14 years of marriage in about a month. We’ve been waiting for our miracle for almost 13 years now. Waiting is all I know now and honestly, some days I don’t always do it well. It still hurts. It still stings. It still breaks our hearts. It still sucks. But, I want to be here for other women now and couples going through this. I want to be able to listen to their stories. I want to be able to grieve with them. I want them to know that I understand and that they are not alone. I don’t want anyone else to experience the journey without help, especially mental and emotional help. I want to give back and be there for someone else.
Hi, my name is Veronica and I’m waiting for a miracle baby. I have been waiting for 13 years.