Struggling with Infertility

I have a confession…I never wanted children. I liked them well enough. I thought they were cute creatures who should be birthed and reared by other people, but never me. I wanted to be free. Free to do what I want when I want. Children would complicate that. I never wanted to get married either. I wasn’t the marrying type. I wasn’t the mothering type. So, what type was I?

The partying type. I craved three things: freedom, privacy and peace of mind. I was also very self-absorbed and selfish. Not in a mean way, but I didn’t concern myself with things that didn’t directly affect me. Sound bad? Nope, not at all. I was just me. No other way to describe it.

It was year 5 of my marriage and my OB/GYN said “You need to think about whether or not you want children.” I sat there on the table in shock. I didn’t want to have this conversation. My marriage was in a bad place and my cousin was dying. I didn’t need anymore to think about. My womb would have to wait. I didn’t need anymore stress. She said, “I know Hollywood makes you think that you can wait until your 40’s to start having children, but that’s not reality. It becomes more dangerous and your chances of fertility are diminishing with each passing year.” I was 32. I told her that I can’t. I had already tried IVF and it failed. I was a failure. She responded, “Which doctor did you see?” I told her. She replied, “What did he say after your first attempt?” I told her that he called me and told me, “I think you should try again because I know I can get you pregnant.” I hung my head in shame and said, “I don’t know. It was too much.” She put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Sweetie, I know Art. If he said he can get you pregnant, he means it.” Three months later I was pregnant.

My struggle with infertility was heartbreaking. For someone who didn’t want children, the very thought of not being able to have children was excruciating. My womb literally ached from the children that I would not be able to birth. Unexplained infertility was the cause. No medical explanation on why I couldn’t get pregnant. I was broken. Why God was my constant cry? Why me? Why couldn’t I be a mother? I cried all the way home filled with the dread of telling everyone that I was a barren woman. Would my marriage survive? I didn’t know. I went home and crawled into bed feeling defeated. Feeling overwhelmed.

We decided to go through a second round of IVF. It was hard. It was painful. The injections, the mood swings, the tests, all of it over again. This time I prayed. I asked God to make me a mother. To fill my womb with a baby. I changed my attitude. I decided that whatever God did for me it was His wish and I would accept it because I vowed to not go through another round. I would refocus my energy on being there for my cousin who was dying. I couldn’t change his fate or mine, but I could change my attitude and the way I chose to deal with things. I would have an attitude of gratitude. Que sera sera. Whatever will be will be.

It was a beautiful day in September when we went back to the doctor to do the egg implantation. I was nervous. What was I going to do if it didn’t work? Could I accept that the one thing I didn’t know I wanted wasn’t going to happen? I had so many thoughts running through my mind. The doctor comes in and smiles and says, “We have two beautiful 2AA eggs that we want to transplant. However, the chances of having twins would be 52%, but the chances of one of them implanting would be 63%. If we do one single egg, it would be 47%.” I asked her what she would do and she said, “I would transplant two.” I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” The implantation phase is the last stage on the journey before the dreaded two week wait before you can take a pregnancy test to determine if you’re pregnant. I had gone through this before and decided that I wouldn’t worry about it. I would stay busy and occupied and just go through the motions that I was stronger than my womb and if it didn’t work, I could always adopt.

Two weeks later, I went in and took the test. I had multiple meetings afterwards and I got the call in the afternoon. My nurse said that I was pregnant. I tested positive. I smiled, “I said, thank you God.” I hung up the phone and began to pray. I wanted this and now a baby was growing in my womb. I was going to be someone’s mom. I literally got up and went into the bathroom to cry tears of joy. When we went in to have my 6 week look at the baby, I cried again. A baby. Wow! I thanked God and the nurse told me the due date and I cried and said, I get it God. My baby’s due date was the same as my cousin’s birth date. I knew at that moment that I was having a boy and God was letting me know He was in control. My cousin would not live to see my son being born. I needed to let go of him, but trust that everything happens according to God’s plan and purpose for our lives.

2embryos

God’s plan can sometimes take you on a journey, you didn’t even know you were equipped to handle which was the case with me. I was about 7 weeks pregnant (2.5 weeks after my positive response) when I felt this horrific pain in my abdomen and rushed to the bathroom. There was blood everywhere. I was in so much pain. I cried. I wanted my baby and there was so much blood that I knew that I was losing the one thing that I had only got to love for a brief minute. I went to the hospital and the incompetence of the admission staff made my pain more unbearable. I explained what happened and he said to me, “You probably already lost the baby.” Wow, I couldn’t control my tears.

My girlfriend Nikki came back to be with me during the examination as I screamed at the pain and the fact that the doctor was doing a pelvic exam while I’m bleeding. Nikki assured me that I needed to calm down. She reminded me that she had gone through the same thing and she delivered her healthy baby boy earlier that year. I smiled and held on to her hands and words as though they were the life line I needed. I needed to calm down. I was in chaos. I was being rolled into the sonogram room and I prayed and didn’t look at the screen or the woman as she tried to talk to me. I was in pain. I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to pray. I wanted God to fix it and fix me. I needed my baby.

The sonographer inserted the trans-vaginal probe into my uterus and I laid there feeling helpless with tears running down my face and the sound of the machine in the background. I was praying hard. She said, “I don’t see the problem. There’s the fetus and there’s the heartbeat.” I couldn’t believe it. I asked, “Are you saying that my baby is still there?” She said, “Yes, look at the screen. The fluttering is the heartbeat. It’s strong.” I couldn’t stop crying and smiling and thanking God. As I was being rolled back into my room, I promised one thing. I would be like Hannah in the Bible and I would dedicate my son to God as long as He promised to protect his life and let me give birth. This was my vow.

fetus

I had many more things that tried to derail God’s wish for me to deliver, but I prayed. My family prayed and my son’s father prayed. I am not as wise as Hannah, but I am a woman of my word. I teach and talk to my son about God all the time. We read his Bible stories and we take him to church. I gave him to God the minute He saved him in my womb and each day I wake up I promise to keep giving him to God. My faith helped me get through this horrific time, but it was not easy. Many things will try to derail you on your road to faithfulness, but you have to remain steadfast and unmovable in the chaos.

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