My journey to motherhood began about a year into married life. My husband and I always knew we wanted to start a family and the time seemed right. I had everything planned…we would get pregnant in the fall, have our first baby in the early summer and once that baby was about a year old, we would try for baby number two. Well that plan backfired as the months went by and we were no closer to a baby than before we started trying.
After countless tests, procedures, blood draws, pokes and prods…you know the drill…we were no closer to figuring out why we could not get pregnant, but we were told our only option was IVF. It was crippling to hear those words. I felt like my greatest fear was becoming a reality and I was powerless to stop it. I was angry, sad, devastated, heartbroken.
Slowly but surely, my husband and I did our research, met with doctors and figured out a plan. Our egg retrieval ended in two healthy, normal embryos. I was so nervous but also so excited for our first transfer. Unfortunately, that embaby was not meant for this world and we lost it to an ectopic pregnancy. After allowing my body (and my mind) to heal, we went in for our second transfer with our one remaining embryo. It was our only chance, all our eggs were in one basket, literally.
As I write this post, I am watching my beautiful 6 month old daughter bounce happily in her jumper. She is a miracle baby in every single sense, the little embryo that could. So, what is it like to be on the other side of our infertility journey? Well, it’s amazing, my heart is filled with more love than I ever thought possible. Watching my daughter grow and learn is indescribable. Holding her in my arms makes everything we went through worth it. I am continually amazed by the tiny person she is and I am also pretty impressed with myself and the new beloved role I have taken on.
And yet, motherhood after infertility is also a struggle. I thought once we were pregnant, once our baby was here, I would not be as dialed in to the world of easy pregnancies that once surrounded me. I was wrong. Even now, when I see a pregnancy announcement or hear of this happy news from someone I know, I feel a pang in the deep recesses of my heart. It subsides faster than it used to, but it is still there. Honestly, I don’t know if it will ever go away. I will always have the thought, “Wow, it was so easy for them.”
I think what continues to hurt the most is the thought that I may never be able to grow my family. My daughter might not have the experience of growing up with siblings. Having gone through the process of IVF and coming out on the other side, my anxiety around pregnancy actually seems to have increased. Knowing what I know now, I am not sure if I can mentally, physically and financially undergo the process of trying for another baby and that thought is devastating. Infertility doesn’t just go away once a baby enters the picture. Infertility is something that will always be a part of me.
The silver lining in all of this? I believe that going through infertility struggles not only makes you a stronger individual, it strengthens your marriage/partnership and shapes you into amazing parents. Your heart grows while on the road of infertility. It stretches to not only help you heal, but make room for what is coming your way. If you are on this journey, I want you to know that I am in your corner. I am rooting for you and cheering you on as loud as I can. I wish you peace, strength and hope and I pray that you all get your miracle babies and one day soon, can join me on the other side of the infertility fence.
For more on my story visit www.theenlightenedmommy.com and connect with me on Instagram @theenlightenedmommy.