Babies are everywhere. They are on TV, Facebook, strolling the streets of Chicago and the aisle at Target. Babies are a blessing and bring joy to everyone around them. However, when facing fertility issues, babies are a constant reminder of uncertainty and emptiness. Going to Target is a constant reminder of what you don’t have, Going on Facebook leaves you feeling pain and longing for something you can’t have…a family, a piece of you and your husband. And it leaves you wondering why…..why me? I started babysitting at the age of 12. I loved babies. I always knew I’d be a mom….until 2 years into my marriage and I wasn’t. And reality hit that I may never be a mom. I may never be able to have a baby. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, no reason as to why we weren’t getting pregnant. My husband checked out fine, I checked out fine. In fact, I was told my egg supply was that of a 20 year old, I was 35. My doctor suggested surgery to check my tubes and make sure they weren’t blocked. After waking up from the surgery, the doctor looked at me and said “Great news, your tubes look great! There were no blockages." And I felt defeated once again, I cried the whole way home. I just wanted someone to have an answer because then they could fix it. I just wanted someone to fix it.
Then came 2 rounds of IVF. I quickly got used to administering shots and my husband got used to my crazy mood swings. They retrieved 19 eggs, 16 of which were high quality. That meant I had 16 chances to have a baby! Doctors were optimistic. After 2 embryos were transferred, I got the news we had been waiting for. I was pregnant! In fact, my hormone levels were so high they thought I may have twins. The day after my first ultrasound, I miscarried. I was in disbelief. But we didn’t want to give up. We stayed strong and went through another successful round of IVF. Pregnant again. Miscarried again. Two miscarriages in 4 months is enough to turn a sane person crazy. But I knew I needed to stay strong. I needed to have a baby…I was determined.
We took some time off to enjoy life again. The IVF treatments were consuming us. It was all I ever talked about, ever thought about. We needed to step away and clear our minds and reconnect. After 6 months of focusing on me, my husband, our family, we decided it was time to tryagain. But I knew I didn’t want to go through IVF again. First of all, it is ridiculously expensive, and second, it was emotionally draining. After talking with our doctors, we decided to try doing IUI. A lot less invasive, less time consuming, less expensive. My nurse had told me it takes on average 3 attempts for a successful outcome. My husband and I decided we’d give it 3 attempts before taking a step back and looking at alternative options. After 2 failed attempts, we found out we were pregnant on the third attempt.
I took the news with caution and cried for 2 days. I didn’t want to get excited. Excitement had ended in disappointment in the past and I didn’t know if I could deal with one more miscarriage. I didn’t know if one more miscarriage would completely break me. The doctor wanted me to have weekly ultrasounds so we could keep a close eye on the development of the embryo. I was hesitant to have weekly ultrasounds, but hoped they would just provide me with the reassurance that all was okay. I didn’t sleep the night before my first ultrasound. I was terrified. As I went into the exam room and looked at the screen, I let out a sigh of relief when I saw that little black dot, as I had seen twice before. I was an expert at looking at these ultrasounds, I knew my uterus inside and out. So I knew that black dot meant I had a little baby in there and that was one battle won. As I looked closer at the screen, I swore I saw another tiny black dot, not quite as big as the one I originally saw, but definitely a smaller version. I looked at my doctor and saw her intently looking at the screen. After what seemed like an eternity, she turned to us and said “There are your babies." And it hit me…we were having babies! Not one, but more than one! At that moment, 2 things went through my head 1) I NEVER have to go through this again 2) my odds of having a successful pregnancy just increased. I had two babies, and if one didn’t make it, I would stillhave another. A horrible, awful thought…I know, but I knew I had to be realistic and cautious. I still had a long road to travel and nothing was certain. And so began my weekly ultrasounds. And endless sleepless nights. Slowly but surely, we hit the 10 week mark, then 12 weeks, then 20 weeks, etc. While the fear never fully went away, I allowed myself to slowly embrace my pregnancy as each week passed. I had never been so happy to feel nauseous or to have heartburn. I loved the constant reminder that those little babies were strong and hanging in there. Then, I could finally feel them kicking and that was the best feeling in the world! I still had some fear in me, but with each kick, jab, punch, hiccup, I knew we were all okay.
As I finish writing this, I have my little baby girl in my arms. She is absolutely perfect. My little boy is swinging in his swing next to me. He gives me a little smile each time I look at him. It’s as if he knew he was meant to be ours. I just needed to be patient because my babies were waiting for me this whole time.
Disclaimer: This is not a medical resource. The information is related to individuals and their unique situation. If you have questions or concerns about your health or fertility, please contact a medical professional.