Faith & Inspiration, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Coping With Infertility: An Emotional Journey

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Last week I saw a dump truck with the words ‘Been There Dumped That’ written on the back.  It instantly seemed so applicable to my journey of coping with infertility.

You see, my husband and I were in the car on the way back from seeing the fertility doctor for yet another round of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Just a little over year ago, February 2017, we got pregnant after nearly 4 years of fertility treatments. In October of last year I gave birth to a healthy baby girl.  She is our miracle.  When we had her we had one additional embryo that we always planned on using and by the grace of God, that time is now.

But you want to talk about Been There Dumped That?  When you go through four years of fertility treatments and multiple procedures you dump a lot.  You dump your preconceived notion‘s of how babies are “supposed to” be conceived, you definitely dump your fear of needles, my husband and I have both dumped our modesty, I’ve dumped my fear of being 60+ when my daughter graduated from high school, and we’ve certainly dumped a lot of tears and a lot of money into the process.  But most of all, I’ve dumped my desire to need to control the things that I care about the most.

Ok, so maybe I haven’t completely dumped that last one.  But I’m working on it.

Ok, so maybe I haven’t completely dumped that last one.  But I’m working on it.

Isn’t that the way it always is?  It’s so much easier to give up control to God when you don’t really care about something that much. But the things that are closest to our hearts…our deepest desires…are so difficult to relinquish control over.

God has a way of reminding you who’s really driving the bus, though.  He was patient with me.  He let me strive and try and rely way too much on my own efforts.  And after years of trying we took a little break.  We began researching adoption and I quickly became overwhelmed with the complexity of the process and the financial commitment, even when compared to in-vitro fertilization.   So we decided to give IVF one last college try.  After years of trying, years of the ups and downs of this crazy journey we jumped and left it up to God to catch us.  And in His wisdom and His timing, He blessed us with the most beautiful little girl.

I’m not saying we wouldn’t have been heartbroken if we hadn’t gotten pregnant.  But we knew that no matter what, God would take care of us.  He had surely given us enough signs that He had been with us all along.

I remember early on in our IVF journey we had our first egg retrieval. I was 41 and had four potentially good follicles that hopefully held viable eggs.  Our hopes were at an all-time high.  This was our first try and we knew, just knew, it was going to work.  After the procedure I remember waking up from the anesthesia with my husband, Pete, by my side.  We were so hopeful and then the doctor came into the recovery room looking somber.  My heart sank.

She retrieved two eggs – both of which died by the time she harvested them.  Two weeks of injecting follicle-stimulating hormone‘s into my body five times a day had left me on the table crushed, empty and devastated.  This was not the time we were to conceive but it was the time we were to find the Doctor who would eventually help us bring our little girl into the world.

You see, the doctor that performed that procedure was not my regular doctor.  She was simply the doctor on call that day.  And her caring words, heart-felt regret and genuine kindness expressed during that brief exchange convinced us pretty quickly that she was our doctor.  I firmly believe that God put her in our path on purpose and that had it not been for that devastating experience we would never have found her.  And it was her care and sweet bedside manner that helped get us in coping with infertility.

For those of you who have not been through the fertility process who have not battled infertility issues, don’t worry this blog isn’t just about fertility it’s about what comes after.  It’s about my journey as a mom and part of that journey for me was going through in-vitro fertilization.

The IVF process is not entirely about the challenge.  There are moments of joy and laughter, especially during the aforementioned shots in the backside.  And there are moments of God-inspired awe where you realize that it’s a miracle anyone gets pregnant the good old fashion way.  The odds of a sperm and egg meeting seem infinitesimally small.  Isn’t that the way God works too he takes the impossible and makes it possible.  But that’s a post for another time.

The odds of a sperm and egg meeting seem infinitesimally small.

Here we are starting the IVF process again.  There have been so many changes since we started that original journey almost 5 years ago. We’ve grown and been tested in our marriage (when your husband has to give you 2 shots a day in your backside…that will certainly test your relationship).  We are parents now.  (yay) We are older (I’m now 46 and trying to get pregnant).  And yes I’ve been there and dumped that. So a lot of the hangups and hesitations that I had the first time around just don’t seem so worrisome anymore.

Yes, I will be saddened if we don’t conceive.  But I know with certainty that God is in control.  And he’s going to make happen the best thing for me and for my family.  Because when it comes to being there and dumping that, His experience infinitely dwarfs mine.


If you are currently coping with infertility, read more about what I learned from the process.

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