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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jess' Infertility Journey

Today Jess is sharing with us a part of her infertility story. When she began to write openly about her experience, I followed along on her blog with my fingers crossed that she and Josh would find something that worked for them. Read on to see what happened.

My friend told me a story that her doctor shared with her, and I'm now going to share with you: This doctor's family was buying a new car. At the dealership they saw a car with this interesting orange/coppery color. They had never seen a car in this color before, and were smitten. Not only did they love the color, but their vehicle would be unique. So they bought it. Once they started driving the car, they noticed vehicles in the exact same color...everywhere. Somehow they had never paid attention enough to ever even notice the color before. But now that they were driving this car, they saw the same color all the time.

This is a pretty common occurrence .. once you become aware/focused on something (an issue, phenomenon, etc), all of a sudden you start seeing it everywhere. Infertility is like this. Once you have the chat with your significant other: "Are you ready to have kids? Yeah, I think I am too. Let's have a baby!" then you literally see babies and pregnant women everywhere. It seems like your whole newsfeed is filled with pregnancy announcements, baby bump pictures, birth announcements, and pictures of adorable babies you just want to snuggle (or squeeze, in my case). It's like you've put on fertility-shaded glasses, and that's all you see.

At first it's alright, and kind of exciting. You're seeing what you're hoping will happen for you, and it's fun and adorable. And then the months keep passing by. Every month feels like a little wound is getting larger. The pictures and announcements are getting less cute, and more stress-inducing. And if you're pretty ignorant to infertility, like I was, after about nine months you start to feel like it's literally been an eternity.

Once that 12-month mark hit, I was off to the doctor. I told them all about my lady business, and let them run all the bloodwork, exams, and whatever tests they wanted. My obgyn mentioned that after a year of trying unsuccessfully, the statistics are 50/50 of potential problems with either the woman or man. Most of the time everyone just thinks it's the woman automatically (thanks a lot, gender roles!). After my tests came back mostly normal (I didn't ovulate regularly, but there's medication I could take for that), we decided to get my husband checked out. That's when stuff got real...

After multiple tests (sorry, dear husband...), it was determined that we were unable to get pregnant naturally. Even IUI (intrauterine insemination) was ruled out. Which was a bummer, since it's a lot cheaper. The fertility specialists told us that the only way we'd get pregnant was to do IVF (in-vitro fertilization) with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection--they manually insert each sperm into an egg, versus just mixing them together and letting them do their thing). Which starts at about $15k at a minimum, and has no guarantees. Since we aren't millionaires...this wasn't exactly pleasant to hear. We made plans to save our money, and do IVF in a couple years, or whenever we were financially able to do so.

The most crucial part of our entire experience with infertility was accepting it. And it isn't like you just accept it and *bam - you're never sad again!*. It's continually accepting it. And realizing that the future isn't doomed just because you don't have a child right this minute. Looking back, I now appreciate that extra time we had just as a couple, enjoying activities that would be a little more difficult after having children (simple example: going to the movies). It was definitely difficult to always appreciate it while it was happening, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Even if believing that can really suck sometimes.

What ended up happening to us? About 6ish months after we were finally told this news from the fertility doctors, I became pregnant. Apparently one of those teeny tiny sperm was hell-bent on making it to the egg. And while that sounds gross and my husband is totally going to get mad at me for writing that sentence, we are so happy it happened. Our son Henry is now 16 months old. And because we weren't sure if we were ever going to have any other kids, we decided to just see if nature would somehow defy science yet again. And a year later, it did. We are now expecting our second child, George, due September 2nd.

In a twisted way (I say that because I would never wish infertility on my worst enemy!), I am grateful for our experiences with infertility. While it was relatively short compared to a lot of other peoples' experiences, it opened my eyes to the world of infertility (it affects a LOT more people than you think!). No matter the time frame, I still felt the hurt and sadness that comes along with getting such discouraging news. But it made me appreciate the entire miracle of getting pregnant and birthing a child on a completely different level. I can never express how grateful and blessed I feel for our son Henry, and our future son George. They are literally my little miracles [well...big miracles, that happen to arrive in a tiny form :)]. And I truly hope that everyone struggling with infertility will someday have the same joy of having children in their lives (one way or another!).

If you have an experience you'd like to share, please email me! (livytay[at]gmail[dot]com).


  1. what a beautiful story. What a blessing you were able to conceive. I loved that you said it wasn't like you accepted it and boom, you were happy. It is a daily journey and a daily struggle to remember to be grateful for the things I do have not just what I don't.
    Thank you for being willing to share your story. It truly helps me feel less alone and more prepared to fight for my chance.

  2. Thank you Nichole. Best of luck to you!!! xoxo


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