Infertility: A Personal Journey

I know this isn’t something I would normally blog about, but one of my past brides has inspired me to write about this journey. Maybe it will help other couples who are going through the same thing. I also hope it will open the eyes of people who have not gone through this to see what it is like and maybe be a little kinder.

I always knew and I wanted to be a mom and a wife. Being a wife seemed to come easy even with our first year of marriage we were a world apart from each other. Jim was deployed to Iraq for 1 year plus 6 months of training before we got married. There were rough days and sometimes weeks of not hearing from him and not know if he was even alive or not. I thought those hard times were over and we could finally start a family together.

Image

Image

After we had been married for two years, we decided it was time to start “trying” for a family. So many friends and family around us got pregnant so easily that we thought it would happen for us pretty quickly as well. The first time I held my nephew I knew I wanted a baby – like now. Why wasn’t it happening fast for us? The first 8 months went by slow and I realized that maybe there was something wrong. So I went to my OBGYN to have her check things out and get her advice. She suggested I try a couple of rounds of Clomid to see if that would jump start things. Well 5 rounds later and still nothing, so she referred us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). Lots of tests were ran on myself and Jim. We were diagnosed as “unexplained infertility”. Great, we have a diagnosis now but insurance doesn’t cover a dime because *there is nothing wrong with us* in the insurance eyes. Unexplained infertility diagnosis was hard to deal with. I almost wanted something to be “wrong” so maybe there was a solution to the problem. The Dr might as well have told us I don’t know why you aren’t getting pregnant.

Image

{Holding my nephew for the first time}

Here we are two healthy individuals who are struggling for two years with no success and no answers. No one could explain why we weren’t getting pregnant. How frustrating. At the time, I didn’t know of anyone going through this so I really couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Everyone was getting pregnant around me. Everywhere I looked I saw glowing pregnant women who I secretly envied because I wanted that so badly. People kept saying oh it will happen for you guys or stop trying and it will happen. Okay these are things that people who have not gone through this process tell you because that is what they think you want to hear. Not true. All I wanted was for someone to listen and to empathize but instead I got advice on things that most of these people had never had to worry about. Not only did I go through years of physical and emotional pain, but I also had no idea why we weren’t getting pregnant. Obviously something we were doing wasn’t working.

Image

3.5 years into trying, I actually got pregnant! Oh happy day!! I was so overwhelmed with joy! I went into the RE to confirm that day and indeed I was! But that next day I started to bleed… what was this about? I went into the doctor’s office that day and they had confirmed that I lost the baby. That was very painful and lots of tears came with that miscarriage. I remember thinking will I ever be able to carry a child? I was very depressed after this had happened. I had told a few people about it and most were sympathetic and some were more like oh that happens quite often and you will forget about it one day. Nope sorry. I still have not forgotten that day or the feeling I had. I honestly couldn’t even believe someone suggested that – I would never say that to someone who had just gone through that.

Many years of trying to conceive in every way imaginable, the last hope of having a child ourselves was in vitro. We had tried basically all of the combinations of oral medications with the shots and IUI’s but nothing worked. (Side note: those shots in the stomach hurt and sucked!) I’m not going to go into everything we did/tried up to this point because that is getting a little *too* personal for me. But a new year came in 2012 and I told myself to just focus on my work instead of trying to get pregnant and it will happen when God wants it to. I still remember so many people asking us “when are you guys going to have kids?”. As if it was in our control or something. We would just look at each other and just smile back at the person who asked and say “when God wants us to”. Yes we had been married for 6 going on 7 wonderful years of marriage with no children. People asked us when we were going to have children all of the time – pretty much everyday.Β  It started to get to the point where it was getting hard for me to be happy when my friends told me they were pregnant. I didn’t even want to go to the baby shower for selfish reasons, wishing that was me and holding back the tears every time. Don’t get me wrong, I was/still am happy for all of my friends who have had kids but it was really rough for a few years.

Image

4.5 years later in February of 2012, I wasn’t feeling the greatest one day so decided to take a pregnancy test (one of many I had stored under the sink). It was early in the morning before work on a Friday (funny how I remember that part) when I decided to take it thinking it would turn out to be negative like the hundreds I had taken before. A few sleepy minutes later I look at the test and my eyes probably bugged out of my head. What’s this?! It’s positive? Surely something is wrong with this one – I must take another one. Sure enough that one was too. I remember calling Jim 2 or 3 times and he didn’t pick up – of course when I wanted him to pick up right at that moment he was busy working haha. I text him to call me asap. I hopped in the shower to pass time because after all I still had to go to work that day. He finally called me back about 15 minutes later (felt like an eternity) and was all sorts of concerned like I had caught the house on fire or something lol. I tried to make him guess what I was calling about but he didn’t want to play that game because he thought something was wrong. I said, “you are never going to believe this, but I’m pregnant!!!” We were both jumping for joy at this point! I was so happy all day but in the back of my mind was the miscarriage I had a year ago. Luckily, I was able to get into the RE office right away to take a pregnancy test to confirm and do all of the blood draws. Even though we didn’t get pregnant while on meds or through any procedure, my RE was the only person I had seen in years so I just instantly called them on what steps to take next. I was about 6 weeks along confirmed the RE. We had the first ultrasound when I was 7 weeks and we got to hear the heartbeat. Sweet, sweet sounds of the heartbeat. I wanted to cry tears of joy right then and there. God has finally blessed us with a child.

Image

My pregnancy was a bit rough in the sense of I puked pretty much every single day but it was all worth it in the end! It is amazing to know that a baby is growing inside of you. A woman’s body is amazing. We can grow a child and feed a child once they are born – simply amazing. Have I said amazing yet? haha Around 20 weeks we found out that this miracle child of ours is a boy! Boy, oh boy! Time to start decorating the nursery and getting ready for this little guys arrival in September.

Image

We decided on a name fairly easily. Gavin would be his name. I finally was that “glowing” pregnant woman I longed to be for so many years. No longer were all of the questions of when we were going to have a child and having to explain our story.

Image

{maternity photo by Sarah-Beth Photography}

At 39 weeks, we were ready to meet Gavin. I was still working up to this point – even did a wedding at 37 wks pregnant!Β  40 weeks came and he still wasn’t here so we opted for me to be induced. I had to photograph a wedding 11 days later so I wanted to get this show on the road! Yes I should have not photographed a wedding so soon after giving birth but I was determined to keep working.

Image

Finally the day had arrived to go to the hospital to be induced. Gavin was a bit stubborn and decided he didn’t want to come out the conventional way so I had to have a c-section. First of all let me just say that I have an amazing husband who coaxed me through those awful contractions and every minute of the c-section and I don’t know what I would have done without him there. I had some amazing nurses by my side and I am so thankful for them. Even though I had an epidural, I could still *feel* them cut me during the c-section but I had been through so much, what is another 5 minutes of pain to see this wonderful baby? Side note: I really wished I had opted to have his birth photographed. Not that Jim didn’t do a good job with holding my hand and capturing photos but I was so out of it that I didn’t take any photos of him in the hospital. I just wanted to remember his birth and that moment forever.

Image

Gavin arrived on October 1, 2012 at 2:31pm at 7lbs 12 oz. We finally got to meet this precious baby boy we had waited so long for God to give us. My heart felt like it was going to burst with love for him.

Image

Coming home from the hospital and starting our lives as a family of 3 was exciting and well worth the wait. Gavin may never know the journey we went on, but he will know how special he is to us. I don’t know if we will ever be able to have another child or not in the future. So I take photos of Gavin every single day. I never want to forget every moment, milestone and smile. You may get sick of seeing his photo on social media but I don’t care. He is our little miracle baby and I want to the world to see him.

Image

Image

Image

Gavin is now 6 months and I have loved every single day of being at home with him and watching him grow. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog about our journey and maybe I have opened your eyes just a little bit or maybe you read this being able to completely relate. Either way, my mission is accomplished πŸ™‚

Image

DSC_1587 DSC_1790 DSC_2048 DSC_6966_copy 46888_10101047189680488_282929412_n 401992_10101118088433818_264996079_n

{Sadly I don’t really have any photos of Gavin and I on the nice camera verse my iphone – getting photos soon though πŸ˜‰ }

12 Comments

  1. Just totally teared up. BIG HUGS! I have several friends who have had SO much trouble conceiving and I know there are *SO* many women out there who have had the same struggles as you. I really think its awesome that you put yourself out there like that. AND… it’s just one more reason to be so so thankful for that beautiful baby boy of yours! ❀

    1. Thank you!! Now you know why I post photos of Gavin every day πŸ™‚ He is my world ❀ I know a lot of people going through this same thing right now or have gone through it. God only gives us as much as we can handle. I think anyone who has gone through this comes out a little stronger in the end.

  2. So glad you shared this story, Jamie! I just read it at work and had tears streaming down my face. So touching. Gavin is one lucky little guy to have such wonderful, loving and dedicated parents!

    1. Awe Jackie!! Thank you! Didn’t mean to make you cry 😦 You saw me go through everything and I just wanted to saw thank you for being there for me!! ❀ you!

  3. Simply amazing Jamie! Many, many women are afraid or ashamed to share a story like this. You are an inspiration! What a gift Gavin is!

  4. This was so amazing to read, Jamie! Good for you on sharing “your story” with us! πŸ™‚ You are so blessed with gorgeous, little Gavin & he really is your Miracle Baby, so “brag” away my dear! I know where your heart is when you are sharing photos and whatnot. You are an awesome Mommy! Even more exciting times are coming your way! Yay! Thanks for your inspiring story!

  5. Amazing story. Thank you for sharing! Gavin is so beautiful! You and Jim are truly blessed and wonderful people!

  6. Just want you to know I’m so happy for you. I love seeing all the pictures of Gavin. He is a miracle baby and the most precious liitle boy. Your story is one that a lot of people have no idea of what you went through and brought tears as I read through your journey. He will bring you many years of happiness. Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a beautiful retelling of your story, Jamie! I teared up a few times remembering conversations we had and having seen many of the ups and downs of the process. Gavin is so blessed to have parents who sacrificed so much just to give him life…and in the end, how awesome that it happened simply by God. πŸ™‚ I have loved seeing the pictures you post of your miracle. He brings a smile to my face every time I see them.

  8. I did not know your story… But I’ll tell you, reading this I cried my eyes out. My heart goes out to you, your strength and your miracle baby. xoxo

  9. I have read your blogs and I think you are one of the strongest women I have read about! My heart broke when you lost your husband! You have a strong faith and are doing what you need to do. You have a beautiful son, and you help make beautiful moments in the lives of the people you phtograph. I feel honored to follow your journey!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s