It’s been exactly seven years since I struggled with infertility. 10 1/2 years if you count when it started.
I’ve written at length about my journey through that hard time, but many of you are newer to reading my story and may not want to go scroll through my old blog (annasjoyblog.blogspot.com), so I’ll share a bit of it here.
We were married in 2005 and a year later planned to start trying for a baby. In anticipation of this, I prepared to separate from active duty service in the Air Force and we started clearing out the room that would be the nursery. It’d be more dramatic to say that room stayed empty for four more years, but the truth is that it served as a guest room and housed foster kids in the meantime.
A year and a half into the trying, we decided to get tested to see why we weren’t getting pregnant. The tests, including a Hysterosalpingogram, came back inconclusive. My obgyn suggested some things that might help; Metformin (a diabetes drug that was thought to help fertility), Clomid (a fertility drug that is supposed to regulate ovulation), seeing a urologist who specialized in male fertility, but nothing helped. We still didn’t have a baby and still didn’t know why.
I started following several bloggers who wrote about their journeys through infertility and started a support group with other women in my church desiring to be moms. Fortunately, I never felt alone, but I did feel lost because for us, there was no roadmap or timeline to the end of the journey.
If something can be both long-awaited and sudden, that’s how our infertility journey ended. In April 2010, Ayla came in to being. I knew someone was “in there” after about 12 days because I’d been Taking Charge of My Fertility. We wanted to have kids close(r) in age, but ours are three years apart (almost exactly. April is a good month for us!), so we had a second–shorter–trip in the waiting lane.
Sometimes I see one of my kids interacting with someone, creating joy with their magical smiles and hugs, and I think, “yep, that’s why they are alive and this age at this very moment.” And while that might be a comfort to me now, I’m not naive enough to try to use it as hope bait for someone still waiting for the end of that journey.
I still struggle with infertility because I still have precious friends walking through it. It feels somewhat trite for me to sit here with my life full of mommyhood, saying “I know what you’re going through.” But there isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t remember what it was like to want to be pregnant, to mourn on the day it was clear I wasn’t and to hold the questions of Why and When like burning coals in my heart.
No, it’s not the season I’m in anymore, but I want to remember it and honor those who have been through it and are still there. My tears for the loss of dreams, expectations crushed and unanswered questions may be stored in the vault of memories, but today I’m taking them out on loan for my loved ones still in the wait.
In honor of this week, a time to recognize that infertility exists and affects millions of women (1 in 8 couples), I’m raising my hand and waving my banner to support those I love in this battle.
One of my favorite warrior mamas, JM, shared an incredible blog post about her story of Unexplained Secondary Infertility, and I’d love for you to read it. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with any type of infertility, there’s a list of resources at the end of her blog you should check out.
Finally, I’d love to pray for you (for this or any other issue) if you’d trust me with that. Leave a comment or email me at annasjoy at gmail. Thank you.