The writer of this post is an amazing friend whom I love and admire so much, and she wished to remain anonymous in sharing her struggle with infertility.
Everyone has a pregnancy story to share. Some struggle trying to get pregnant. Some struggle with a complicated pregnancy or even struggle holding on to a pregnancy. No pregnancy is easy. It is an incredible experience, but not an easy experience. Even those who have a perfect pregnancy on paper, sacrifice much to bring a child into the world. Here is a bit of my own story.
We were married in June 2014. We hadn’t planned on thinking about kids until after the first year or two of being married. Around September 2014, after being married for 3 months, my husband told me he had a strong impression that we should start trying to have a baby. WHAT?! That was not the plan and I always stick to the plan! I was stressed, and nervous. Neither of us felt ready, but after some prayer and pondering, I came to the same conclusion. It was time to start trying.
We tried for about 4-5 months and nothing was happening. I had been having some pains in my stomach and I was throwing up at the same time every month. I was slightly concerned, so I decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to meet with an OB/GYN just to talk through what was going on. I don’t think my doctor meant to be rude, but she looked at me and said, “Come back when you’re pregnant”. Okay. I ignored these odd symptoms. Talked them up to coincidence and went on my way.
We tried until it had been 11 months. I decided to go back to my doctor. It had been 11 months and nothing had changed. I was still throwing up every month—no way was this a coincidental flu or food poisoning every month. I had lost 15 lbs. I wasn’t pregnant. I knew they wouldn’t put me in the ‘infertility’ category until 12 months of trying, but I already knew something wasn’t right. Again, my doctor gave me the same response, “Come back when you’re pregnant”.
For the last couple months, I had been trying EVERYTHING. At this point I had been tracking my basal body temperature, I had been using ovulation tests, I was reading every blog on tricks to get pregnant. I was to the point of holding myself upside down in hopes of egg and sperm meeting through pure gravity. It was frustrating. We were doing everything right.
At this point, I needed someone that would listen to me. I found a new doctor at a different office, a fertility specialist.
My new doctor was very attentive. I did blood work and they started me on the fertility drug, Clomid. The blood work came back perfect and I tried that next month taking the Clomid… Nothing. So, the next month came. This time they did an ultrasound around the time of ovulation to see if the Clomid was working. I had 4-5 great eggs ready to be released. I was thrilled the Clomid was doing it’s job. I also started thinking about the possibility of multiples. I mean, how could you not? Motherhood seemed like it was within my grasp. My doctor even told me he’d give me $1000 if I didn’t get pregnant this month….
I didn’t get pregnant. (I’ve still yet to see a penny of that $1000, by the way).
So I tried a third month. And a fourth month. Nothing.
I knew my friends and family meant well. But any comment they made seemed to push me deeper into my dark pit. Friends would tell me they could relate because it took them 5 months or even 7 months. Or, they had a miscarriage. I want to be clear- no circumstance is easy. A miscarriage is a terribly hard thing to go through. But I had hit the point where I would have cried in joy over a miscarriage because that would have meant that it was possible for me to get pregnant.
At this point, I ached for a baby. I was past ready. The reality of time had set in. At the point I got pregnant, I would still wait 9 months before I could hold that baby in my arms. Every day that passed felt painfully long. My husband was incredibly patient with my emotions. I cried a lot. I was tired of trying. Tired of thinking about it. Tired of feeling like my body was failing to do what it was made to do. Not to mention, tired of throwing up and feeling like I had the endless flu.
Social media was my black hole. It was hard to watch friend after friend announce their future babies, new babies and hardest of all…accidental babies. I wanted something good. Why was I not being blessed for wanting something that the Lord also wanted for me? What was going wrong? I was in perfect health. We had no answers. The doctors were stumped.
The best advice I received was from a friend who had been struggling to get pregnant for 5 years. She told me the anger and frustration I felt was normal. But, the only way to move forward was to let it go. I repeated those words to myself constantly. Let it go. The pain didn’t leave, the hurt was still there. But we do have the ability to control our own emotion. And for the first time in months, I could feel joy for other growing families. It hurt, but I was feeling joy again. Let it go.
The next step was to repeat blood work for the third time. They found my prolactin levels came back high. The puzzle started coming together.
It turns out that I had a prolactinoma (a benign noncancerous tumor) on my pituitary gland that was producing too much prolactin and keeping me from becoming pregnant. It ended up being a simple solution. I started taking medication to shrink the tumor. The next month I didn’t throw up. The following month I was pregnant!
Not every story ends up like mine, I was very fortunate. I struggled with infertility for two years. Many struggle for 5+ years. Some never find a solution.
I had many tell me, “Oh, the Lord is teaching you patience”. I can honestly say that this trial did not teach me patience. I’m still working on patience. And, if any life experience teaches me patience, it will be motherhood. However, I did learn humility. I did learn empathy. I gained a little more gratitude. I gained a little more perspective.
I am forever grateful to my husband for being sensitive to the spirit. Had he not listened to those promptings, it would have been a much longer journey. As much as I like to create my own plan, I am constantly reminded in life that it is His plan. It will never be my plan. For that, I am truly grateful. The Lord’s plan is a plan of happiness.
And throughout life, sometimes we just have to let it go. Move on. Enjoy the plan you are given.