Deciding we wanted a family
At 26, my husband and I began a journey we never wanted to be on. A journey that would forever alter our entire lives. For three years we hoped and prayed for the one thing we struggled to achieve. Our faith and our marriage were tested, but we also grew in ways we never could have if it weren’t for walking this path. We decided we wanted to start a family.
It began in March of 2013. We lived in a tiny little 2 bedroom apartment and we didn’t have much money, but we knew we could give a child what we did have, love. And lots of it! I was a student at University and my husband was working two jobs to pay the bills. Looking back, I’m glad that God chose not to bless us with a child at that point in our lives because, while love is important, it really doesn’t provide all the things you need to successfully raise a child.
When the struggle started
Somewhere in the back of my mind I just knew I would struggle to get pregnant. It was a fear I’d had for many years. There was no reason to suspect I’d have a problem, it was just that gut feeling you sometimes get. So I bought fertility kits to track my cycles and my husband and I began excitedly dreaming about our future baby. I started researching all the coolest new baby gear and made plans for how I would announce our pregnancy to the world. But all of that excitement began to fade as many months passed with no baby news.
At this point, we hadn’t told anyone we were trying. I was fearful that people would say we weren’t ready and I didn’t want to have my excitement and joy dampened by negativity, so we struggled in silence.
After eight months, I decided to call my doctor. To my dismay, we found out our insurance wouldn’t cover any fertility testing until we had been trying for a year. I learned that this is the normal practice across the board, since infertility is defined as actively trying to get pregnant without success for one year. Needless to say, that meant I needed to wait another four months to find out if we had a problem.
Finally seeking help
I was dealing with irregular cycles which made timing difficult, but not impossible. Using home fertility kits, I had gotten pretty good at figuring out the best time to try. But Gilbert’s tests showed that he had a low sperm count and abnormal sperm formation which meant we needed to see a specialist.
After a few months of testing and discussions with our new doctor, we decided that the best course of action would be for Gilbert to have surgery. This would repair varicose veins around the reproductive organs which were causing the sperm issues. In the meantime, I also scheduled surgery for myself in order to check for any blockages in my fallopian tubes or other issues that may impact our chances of conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. Both of our surgeries were scheduled for the end of July 2014, 16 months after we decided we wanted to add a child to our family.
My surgery showed no physical problems which was a huge blessing and relief. Gilbert’s surgery went well and his doctor was confident that we would be able to get pregnant on
The road to treatment
The next several months after surgery were filled with ups and downs and crazy unexpected turns. We had initially planned to do three rounds of Clomid with timed cycles (meaning I’d take a pill every day for about a week, give myself a shot, then we’d try). But things just kept getting in the way. First I found out I was a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis, which meant my husband needed to get tested too. If he was positive they may not proceed with treatment because of the high risk of our child having CF. Thankfully Gilbert is not a carrier.
Then I found out that my rubella immunity had worn off. That meant we needed to wait another 30 days so that the MMR vaccine I had to get wouldn’t add unneeded risk to any pregnancy. And on top of all of that, I had completely irregular cycles (more so than usual).
Our first scheduled treatment cycle was canceled because of cysts found on my ovaries. Family drama and traveling for work, in addition to all the other issues, meant that it wasn’t until June 2015 (11 months after our surgeries) that we were finally able to move forward with our first fertility treatment.
The next several months were filled with frustrations, waiting, failures, and triumphs. And it all culminated with one big surprise. Read all about it in part two of our story!
Finding Support For Your Journey
The journey of Infertility is different for each one who walks it. Some find resolution, as we did, through the birth of their own child – whether through treatment or through the blessing of unassisted pregnancy. Some find resolution through adoption or fostering. Others choose to live a
I pray each of you can find peace and that God will bless your path no matter what resolution you come to.
1 in 8 couples
If you’d like to connect with other Christians walking the same path, check out hannah.org. This is a community of women who have walked or are currently walking the road of infertility. There are forums where you can share your ups and downs, your frustrations and triumphs, and all of the other things you encounter along the way. You can also read Jennifer Saake’s book Hannah’s Hope to help you navigate many of the hurdles we face in infertility from a Christian perspective.