The Deep Pain of Infertility
As a child, I had ONE dream. To be a mom.
WARNING. LONG POST. Before I go into MY story, I need all of you to remember that NO two stories are alike. Just because you or someone you know is dealing with infertility does not mean that reading this will heal the pain. Maybe, hopefully, it will help to encourage BUT there is NO way to snap your fingers and make the pain go away. Each journey is different and each healing is different. This is MY story!
This is an abbreviated version of my story. There is no way I could share every thought, feeling and circumstance from the last 16 years of my life. I have tried being fairly open about my journey but some things have just been too hard to talk about. This IS the most I have shared with anyone but counsellors. I share it to hopefully be a blessing to others dealign with the same type of situation!
Between younger brothers and being active in my church and family where there were always little ones for me to “mommy”. I LOVED it! Having children is ALL I dreamed about!
While in my first semester of college, my boyfriend and I (now my husband), were getting very serious. I KNEW I wanted to just have a bunch of kids and stay home raising them like my mom did with my siblings and I. So, I left college knowing that it wouldn’t be long before I was married and having children.
In February of 2001, my husband and I stood before a BUNCH of friends and family committing our lives to one another. Just months later, we decided to start working on growing our family. Month after month would come and go with negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test.
My heart was sad but still hopeful.
Our close family friend had been my gynecologist for about 5 years. I made an appointment and we shared our dreams and our concerns. From the time I was 15, I had had endometriosis and ovarian cysts over and over resulting in many surgeries and treatments. Unsure the effects they would have on my fertility, the doctor scheduled a laparoscopic exploratory surgery.
Before the surgery, the doctor asked if we had checked to make sure there were no problems as far as my husband goes. We had not so he scheduled some tests to be run.
I will never forget the day that my husband came home. He sat in the car for a long time so I finally went outside to see what he was doing. He then broke the news to me that my doctor, our friend, had called to confirm the news we dreaded hearing.
Something that could not be fixed or reversed. There was NO possibility of having children with this man I loved. My husband was visibly broken by the news knowing he had “let me down”. I was broken but visibly stayed strong…. on THAT day.
The Hidden Pains
For a long time, I pretended I was ok. Feeling like if he knew how bad my heart was breaking, it would break him more. He would feel guilty. So, what did I do? I held it all in. I kept pretending I was stronger than I really was. It wasn’t “his” fault/”my” fault…. it was what it was but I didn’t him ever to feel it was HIS fault.
I would cry in my pillow or in the shower long after he was sound asleep. Infertility STINKS!
We set out for adoption. The price of adoption scared the life out of us but we managed to make it work. Exhausting ALL resources we had, we moved forward with adoption. All I wanted was to be a mom. Who cares if the baby was from MY blood, who cares if the baby grew in my belly.
In an EXTREMELY short time, we were mommy and daddy for the very first time. It was AMAZING! But, remember my dream of a house full of children? Well, shortly after he was born, I was already thinking about more children.
Unable to financially go through invitro or another adoption, our doctor recommended having a biopsy just to make sure there was not a blockage. So, a biopsy we did. We received even more devastating news, NO BLOCKAGES. It was what it was. I then felt 90% hopeless.
The 10% of hope I had left, encouraged me to try an IUI. Medicines. Medicines. And more medicines followed by a negative pregnancy test. Another IUI took every dime we had and then some. After the second negative test and a crazy emotional rollercoaster, we gave up! I GAVE UP!
I broke. I can remember going through all the baby items I had left from my son and piled it all up to give away. I dug through every tub, crying and out of control. I had finally truly BROKE! I wanted to end my marriage, I wanted to die. I wanted to crawl in the deepest hole and just die! Infertility had took complete control of my life.
After a while, I finally got it together and we decided to adopt again. We had someone come to us and tell us they would pay for us to adopt again. At the same time, we had bought a house, fixed it up and flipped it making almost exactly the amount of money we needed for the adoption without having to rely on anyone else financially.
About 18 months later, we were parents again to another baby boy.
Two boys kept me busy for a long time but the longing in my heart to have more children would never leave. For YEARS, I would beg God to take my desires to have children away from me. It seemed to be controlling my life in EVERY aspect.
Decisions to Foster
We decided to foster children when my boys were 7 and 11. (now they are 14 and almost 10). We had the opportunity to love a couple little girls. One was with us for a little over a year. The other, we had the blessing of adopting a couple weeks ago. You can find her story HERE.
In the middle of fostering, my heart had become so heavy wanting to carry a child. I still have never had the care about a child being MY blood. That has honestly never mattered to me. However, the deep desire of carrying a child would never let up.
Grasping For Any Kind of Hope
The deep longing to be able to tell everyone we were pregnant, hearing the first heartbeat, seeing the baby on the ultrasound, feeling kicks and even delivering just would NOT let up! I wanted to experience pregnancy SO BAD!
We decided to do invitro with 2 donor embryos. Doctor appointments, medicines, shots, more appointments, medicine, and shots. The big day came. THEN, it was just a waiting game. They say to wait 2 weeks before coming in for blood work but I decided to start taking pregnancy tests at about a week. Negative. Negative.
Slight pink line.
A little darker pink line!!!
I was getting excited. The day before going in for blood work, the test was once again negative. I was hopeful but not as hopeful. I went for the blood work anyways. Once again, another one of those horrible phone calls. NEGATIVE.
The Day I Couldn’t Hold It Together ANY MORE!
My heart broke. My hormones were crazy out of whack and I couldn’t seem to get ahead of my feelings. NOTHING soothed the pain. I just wanted to sleep all the time. I didn’t want to be around anyone and quickly I became what I consider a “crazy woman”.
Come to find out, not only was a depressed due to situational stuff but my hormones had become all out of whack from all the pills and shots I had taken during the invitro.
I was diagnosed with PMDD. I was spiraling deeper and deeper into depression. I didn’t want to be depressed. To overcome the PMDD, a handful of doctors felt a hysterectomy was needed. Talk about a double whammie. I was already depressed from the miscarriage and PMDD but now every single hope and dream of carrying a child was 100% GONE!
Invitro led to PMDD, PMDD led to serious depression, depression led to 2 surgeries to have a complete hysterectomy, hysterectomy led to more depression, that depression led to a lot of depression meds which then led to serotonin syndrome which was nearly killing me.
Infertility Was Slowly KILLING ME!
Bitterness had set in. Even anger towards my husband for “taking away my dreams”. I didn’t want to be sad, mad or bitter but I LET IT get me that way. My mind had become obsessed with having a baby. It took a really long and difficult year for me to see how ridiculous I was being.
The hysterectomy was not easy, but to be honest, it helped the true healing process to begin. No more wondering and dreaming of the “what if’s”.
Time For CHANGE
This morning in church, the song Blessings was sung. It spoke to my heart in a big way. All the time I have been busy trying to have a child, God knew there were three little kids who needed ME. He put all these trials in my life to bless me with these SPECIFIC 3 kids!
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops,
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?
I am so beyond thankful to have all of that past me. Some of you may be going through similar stories. Hang on, it DOES get better! Promise! In the mean time, look for the blessings God is placing in your life and seek after HIM… NOT after a baby!
If I could have done ANYTHING to cure my sorrows, I would have done that 15 years ago! Don’t judge those struggling. Until you have been there, you will never know how deep the pain goes!