COLORADO SPRINGS — For most people trying is the fun part. The positive test is the exciting part, pregnancy the hard part, and labor the scary part.
But some aren't so lucky to follow that pattern. For us it was a difficult journey to get where we are, a place we weren't sure we'd ever get. I haven't revisited our journey of infertility in a while because it makes me feel guilty. I am very aware of the fact that we have been blessed beyond measure. We don't take that for granted and the difficulty conceiving gave my husband and I a new kind of empathy and taught us so much.
Infertility. It's still a word that really makes my heart skip a beat. For me it started with a mass on one ovary, much of that ovary had to be removed. That grew to a diagnosis of stage 4 endometriosis. Oh and you also have PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome). It didn't stop there. My uterus is misshapen, and one tube was blocked. There was a lot working against us. Surgery, after surgery, after surgery, my hopes would go up only to learn that the tumors and cysts came back even worse than before. We were given a two percent chance of conceiving on our own.
I remember each month passing by with yet another negative pregnancy test, and more stress and fear of never becoming a mom.
If you've ever been down this path you know just how consuming those thoughts are. "Trying" becomes a chore. Life revolves around ovulating, forget going away for a girl's weekend. Business is business, but it was worth every scheduled session and all the pain when we got---to our amazement-- a positive pregnancy test!!!
Thrilled, amazed, blessed... there was absolutely no word to describe our excitement.
We had a cake made to let family in on the secret. Pure joy washed over them, as they knew how much we had been praying for this. The fight was over. We were going to be parents, finally!!
We saw her little heartbeat and first kicks at our 7-week ultrasound. This little angel was going to be one spoiled baby.
But an angel is what she ended up. What was supposed to be a routine 12 week ultrasound to see our miracle baby, turned into our worst nightmare. I can vividly remember the nurse going quiet, looking everywhere for the heartbeat and then leaving the room. The doctor entered and put her hand on my leg. It was a blur of heartache and tears atter that. To say the following weeks...months for that matter, were dark would be an understatement. It was a hard and trying time.
We started fresh with a move to Colorado to be closer to my family (after years of living in the Midwest). We also began seeing a fertility specialist and before we knew it, we were on the fast track to IVF (invtro-fertilization). The money, the needles, the hormones-- this was crazy, right?!? We jumped in headfirst only to get another shocking surprise. The day before I was scheduled for my hormone injections, another positive pregnancy test!!
Remember that excitement most people get from this? Hidden behind that (not hidden too well) was a giant ball of fear. I couldn't go through the pain of a miscarriage again. But what kind of attitude was that? We were given another chance.
The announcement to our families came in the coming weeks. It wasn't a jump for joy kind of thing. It was more of a "let's say a prayer together" type of announcement. All this wonderful news for Ryan and I coming on the heels of my Aunt's death as she told us she would be looking over our baby from above.
Getting to week 12-- you know the "safe" marker drug by slower than molasses. Every day up to Maverick's birth was marked with fear and excitement. Actually, every day of each of my pregnancies felt this way. After Mav we were once again given a minimal chance of conceiving on our own. I hemorrhaged during my second pregnancy for months. We are still in disbelief that we have three healthy boys.
1 in 4. That is the amount of women that will experience pregnancy loss. How many do you know who talk about it? It is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Let's work to change the stigma surrounding loss and infertility because, let me tell you, it is an isolating pain where many women suffer in silence.
If you have questions about how I'm able to handle a busy work and home life, join my Facebook Group - Brie and Baby Three to get involved in the conversation.