We are so incredibly beyond excited to be expecting our first child in January!!
I’ve thought a long time about how to start this post. Our fertility story was not quick or easy and was incredibly emotionally difficult. While I know our journey could have been a lot worse, we’re so glad to be here now, getting close to meeting our kiddo and learning week by week that pregnancy no joke. Check out our story below.
Our Fertility Journey
We made the decision to start trying in July 2020. By August I was off birth control and being the ever diligent Type A personality, starting tracking and testing my ovulation. I started immediately with a plan to take this seriously and efficiently. That was probably my first mistake. The second, I definitely didn’t see coming.
One thing many people don’t know about me was that prior to starting this blog, I was in a very high-stress job where I was emotionally abused on a daily basis. Working from home seemed to make the abuse easier to dish out. I guess it’s simpler to slowly tear down someone’s self worth when you don’t have to look them in the eye. As you can probably guess, staying in that job was really unhealthy for me and despite Kevin’s pleading, I continued to work for the company through the height of the pandemic. By end of 2020, we still had not gotten pregnant and the stress of my job had only gotten worse. It wasn’t until April of 2021 that I finally got the courage (or maybe was just broken down enough) to finally leave. I should have left much earlier. Maybe I would be been in a better emotional state, but the fear of being jobless and depending solely on Kevin financially made me continue to push off quitting despite how much I was struggling. Little did I know that the real work didn’t even begin until after I left.
Any kind of abuse, including emotional abuse leaves scars. It took months before I was even able recognize that what I had gone through was trauma. Trauma that leaves you questioning everything; your self worth, abilities, what you’re even capable of and it comes with a boat load of stress that I didn’t even fully realize. As you can imagine, by July 2021 the stress of me also not being able to get pregnant on top of everything else started to eat away at me. I felt broken and helpless. And while I recognized at the time that stress was likely a major contributor to our issues, it didn’t make me feel any better about my inability to do something that should have been natural for me. I told myself not to think about it, to take breaks and take the pressure off, but telling someone not to think about something is a sure way to make it stay front and center in their mind. By September, I was at my wits end and we were in our first meeting at the fertility clinic.
One thing the radio commercials don’t tell you about fertility testing is just how long everything takes! Between long waits for appointments, blood tests, ultrasounds, and sonograms it takes months before you can even get a diagnosis.
Do you want to know what’s worse than finding out what’s wrong with you? Finding out that there is no explanation for your infertility. That there is nothing anatomically wrong with you.
Another thing I didn’t realize about fertility is there are only a handful of things that could be wrong with the male, but endless things that could be wrong with the female body. I can tell you first hand, there is nothing more defeating and stressful than being told regularly of all of the different ways that your body could be working incorrectly. I had my cervix tested for fibroids, my fallopian tubes tested for blockages, blood tests (and my emotional state test on a regular basis).
By January 2022, we decided to move forward with IUI (intrauterine insemination). With an IUI, you take hormones for a week to promote egg growth and are monitored regularly by a doctor to see when the optimum time for ovulation will be. When the doctors decide its time and your eggs are in the best possible condition, you take a trigger shot to start ovulation. Within 24 hours, sperm is placed directly into your cervix to give the egg/eggs the optimum chance to be fertilized.
We went through IUI twice over the next two months. Each negative test more heartbreaking than the next. I’m convinced that the stress that I was putting on my body to get pregnant was the very thing that was keeping us from it. They say that if IUI doesn’t work in 4 tries, it’s not going to work for you. But while IUI is cheaper than IVF, it’s still expensive and is about $3,800 per round, completely out of pocket. As a now one income household, it just wasn’t sustainable to keep going.
By March, we decided that it was time to consider IVF. If you think IUI was expensive, IVF is a whole different level. Our original fertility clinic was charging about $30,000 for one round. If it didn’t work, that was it, there was no guarantee, no do-over, we would just be out $30k. Knowing that kind of pressure would not be good for me, we opted to change clinics to one that offered up to 6 rounds to collected the necessary healthy eggs and was going to be closer to $24,000.
Now I know what you’re thinking, that is still a ton of money and it was money that we didn’t have. We were fortunate enough to have parents that were willing to loan us the money we needed to start our family. We know not everyone has that privilege and we are so grateful to them to be on this journey with us.
In April 2022, I waited for my period to start so that we could begin our hormone therapy for IVF and as days passed, I realized that I was late. I was so afraid to take a test. I had been late before, we had gotten our hopes up before, our hearts had been broken before. At four days late, I went to a routine annual appointment with my gynecologist where they gave me a test and it was my doctor who actually told me the news. WE WERE PREGNANT.
To this day, I’m convinced my body decided that with IVF we were having a baby one way or another. My stress level had decreased and my body was finally ready. I was in shock and cried pretty much the entire drive home.
After getting myself together, I went into the house and took a test at home to give to Kevin.
Our journey had been so long and tiring, his first thought was that I was kidding. (It wasn’t until a few weeks later when he heard the heartbeat that it actually started to sink in). He’s so excited to be a dad and I know he’s going to be so amazing at it.
It still feels unreal but we’re finally here! We are so beyond grateful, nervous and most of all excited to be parents. We love you already little one and can’t wait to be your mom and dad.