An Open Q&A of Our Infertility Experience and IVF Journey

A quick timeline of our journey:

We started trying “naturally” the end of 2017 through August of 2018 (almost a year) and then I took the next steps of taking to my OB about further testing.

No one in my family had ever struggled with infertility prior to our journey so we just kept thinking next month was our month.

After talking with my OB doctor and doing a few months of ovulation blood work she suggested we see an infertility specialist to run further tests since we were eager to start our family and had already been trying over a year. We started that process of testing: HSG test for scar tissue, PCOS testing for ovarian cyst, Garrett was tested, and we both went through a lot of bloodwork and testing. Everything came back totally great and healthy with zero indicators of infertility issues.

We did a round of IUI in November and another in December. Both were unsuccessful. The first round was heart breaking for us because we were so hopeful, but clearly it was not Gods timing for us to start our family. With our doctors suggestion we decided not to try a 3rd round of IUI so we started praying about the next step for us.

Full transparency here: we struggled a lot with what we should do next (whether proceed with IVF, look into adoption, take a break, etc.) we just kept praying that would give us peace with a decision. As a total gift from God we found out that Garrett’s company started a infertility program for their employees that helped with non-insured procedures and treatments which pretty much is 100% of infertility treatments. Such an amazing gift and we decided that was our sign to start the IVF process in 2020! I still get emotional when I think about how God totally showed up and answered our prayers on what path to take next – more than just the financial the gift but the feeling of total peace in our decision and feeling His presence through the decision process.

How did you know you were struggling with infertility?

Truthfully, as crazy as it sounds, I still have moments that I’m surprised by our infertility. It took me a long time to fully comprehend that we were officially struggling with infertility. I would say after our first IUI was unsuccessful the reality hit that even with the help of medical treatment we were still struggling to get pregnant. I really started to process the reality of our infertility.

Best advice for those going through the IVF process: 

So many things I’d love to tell others who are struggling.First that we are praying for you and sending you BIG HUGS!!! Everyone’s journey is different especially when it comes to personal emotions and that’s 1000% okay and normal. Try your hardest to not allow it to be all consuming. Infertility can be a total mind game so allow time to feel& process your emotions of sadness, frustration, disappointment but don’t let yourself stay there too long. Personally I would not allow myself to go there every day but the days I felt overwhelmed I would take time to go in a walk or sit somewhere and allow myself time to fall apart. I would do this in prayer time with God and had a playlist of 5-6 songs that I allowed myself to fall apart and feel all the heavy emotions. I would finish with a a prayer to God giving it all to him and asking for the strength, joy and clarity to remember all the other incredible blessing in my life. Some days I would just tell myself to focus and count my blessings over and over again (even sometimes blessing as small as waking up that morning or having a job) and for me that really helped bring me back to my joy and grateful heart. Do not feel pressured by a doctor & seek additional advice from another doctors if you don’t feel on the same page with your infertility doctor – take the time to be mentally prepared! Our doctor was amazing with us and allowing us to take our time and decide what was best for us!

Did you tell a lot of people?

Yes both our immediate families knew about of infertility. They were huge for us in being a support system through all the seasons and different treatments we went through. We told some close friends as well that we knew would love to be praying for us and be there for support. But I definitely didn’t tell a lot of people. If someone asked I would always be honest but I never felt the need to share a lot that was going on with people I didn’t think really cared for me  but more were just interested to be in the know. Sometimes it’s important to guard your heart and keep your circle close.

Did you try any other fertility treatments?

We didn’t do any months of just medicine. By the time we went to an infertility doctor were ready for a more aggressive approach/treatment. So after all the preliminary testing and the results we started doing IUI with the full shots chlomid/hormone pills. Two rounds of IUI that were both unsuccessful and then, finally, had success with our first round of IVF which we know can be rare so we are incredibly grateful.

Did you ever experience a miscarriage?

This is one of the biggest blessing in our story is that we never had to experience a miscarriage – early into this pregnancy I had a scare that were all signs of a miscarriage but ended up being a small hemorrhage and the baby was totally safe and healthy. It’s actually another incredible story through our journey that I hope to share at another time. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to mourn the loss of a miscarriage. You are amazing and so strong and I am sending all my love to you.

Did you choose the gender of your embryo?

This is another completely personal decision that each family has to make. To start off, one of our biggest discussions when it came to doing IVF and how involved we wanted to be in the process…. We in no way wanted to feel like we were playing God or family planning outside of doing the treatment to hopefully get pregnant. So we did not find out the genders of our embryos and just went with the healthiest embryo first that had the best chance of implanting. We also were what are doctor called a more “conservative style” of IVF where we did not fertilize all my eggs into embryos but instead only a few at a time. We have more eggs that are frozen that we can fertilize if/when needed. Yes, it will be a more expensive route since we will have to pay for an additional fertilization treatment of the eggs to embryos but that was our personal comfort level and decision we felt was best for our family and values.

Was one particular part of your infertility treatment harder on you than others?

For me the last few days before egg retrieval were rough… I felt a lot of pressure and discomfort. I joked but seriously felt like a hen holding in all my eggs. I ended up having a very successful/high count of eggs so I guess I wasn’t wrong to feel like a hen.

How did you deal with others announcing their pregnancies?

I feel so much for people who have this feeling and my heart goes out to you because I know it’s 100% not how you want to feel. My personal story started a little differently and honestly I wasn’t sure I would share it because it’s very personal to me but it’s a part of my ongoing story of Gods kindness and goodness to me. Especially in the moments I have been more raw and brokenhearted. I made a promise to myself and God that I wanted Him to use my story in hopes to reach someone else who needs to hear it and might be open to His presence in their own lives. So even if others may make fun or not believe it — my prayer is that someone may feel it’s authenticity and comfort. So here is how I have personally coped with some of these feelings:

In 2018, early in our process when by month three of not being pregnant I was getting really angry with God. I had a plan and couldn’t believe that  God wasn’t working with me to keep my plan going like clockwork…

I feel foolish even sharing that because it’s so ridiculous to think I was trying to tell God the plan. This, ironically, has been a theme in my life — me trying to pray AT GOD what I thought my life story should be… you would think I’d learn by now but obviously that’s the beauty of God’s grace.

Anyways, right after I got my period in month three of officially trying I was devastated. I had an experience in the midst of having a “heartbreak moment” that God revealed to me that I needed to take a minute to realize how good His plans for my life have already been unfolding and the many blessings I already have been given. After years of  praying for a husband through terrible breakups and dates that felt hopeless He gave me the perfect man for me, who  spend the evening holding me and comforting. He reminded me of other prayers I prayed and were answered not in the was I personally had hopes he would but FAR exceeding what I could have thought to ask or pray for… career, friendships, family.

He gently walked me through all the ways He has been good to me and reminded me that I need to rest in His peace and to look at this time of waiting as a gift to me and Garrett. I  kept hearing Him repeat “find JOY in  this time. This time is a GIFT. Look at the man you are now married too — the waiting for him was so worth it and  now I’m giving you just a little extra time to enjoy as just the two of you.”

I went to bed that night completely changed in my mindset. From where I started in total frustration and anger with Him to somehow going to sleep that night with an overwhelming joy in my heart and total peace that no matter how long it took or where the path might go, God was right there with me. He wanted to continue to bless my life and all I needed to do was remember His goodness in my life up until now and trust His words and promises for my life.

 

Thank you all so much for the prayers and support and well wishes for this miracle baby. For all of you who messaged me and are currently waiting for their angel babies, we are praying for you and your journey as well.

I cannot begin to express our gratefulness and gratitude for our people and everyone who prayed along with us and supported us through our journey.

 

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