Many of you know that Josh and I have struggled with the trial of infertility for the last 4 years. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in 2012 and it has been a rollercoaster ever since. While I know there are many out there who have struggled longer than I have, or are still struggling, or still wonder if they will ever become mothers, it is not possible to compare one woman's journey with another's. There is no such thing as "my pain is greater than your pain." I like to use the analogy that I may have a broken arm while you have a broken leg. We suffer differently, but we still feel pain. And in the world of infertility, just having that common pain with another brings a little bit of comfort to know that you are not alone. I was not alone. I have met countless women who are full of faith and strength and I would not have met them and learned from them if I had kept my struggle a secret.
Let me break down some numbers for you about my journey:
8 Clomid cycles
2 Letrozole cycles
2 failed IUI's
5 OB/GYN doctors
1 reproductive endocrinologist
29 blood tests
2 semen analyses (Josh)
1 HSG procedure
1 month of dieting
3 months of acupuncture and Chinese herbs
6 months of chiropractic
All of that adds up to thousands of dollars spent, sometimes causing us to go into debt.
43 months of:
negative pregnancy tests, painful menstrual cycles, disappointment, shattered hope, feeling forsaken by God, struggling with my faith, nights of crying myself to sleep, painful pregnancy announcements from people whom I loved (and maybe even from some people I didn't like), emptiness in my arms and in my heart, feeling like we were an incomplete family, etc.
I write all of this down not to brag or whine, but to say that this was the price I paid for my little blessing that I am carrying. All of that was worth this moment right now, and the moments that continue to happen for us as we experience this pregnancy together because let's face it, whatever the mother of the child experiences, the father experiences it too by default haha.
I feel so guilty announcing to the world that we are expecting. Only because I have been on the other side for so long, wishing it was me. No matter WHO it was or how much I loved them, it still stung to hear of another pregnancy announcement. It has strained my relationships with people as I struggled to balance my own suffering with the love I wanted to express to them. If you are one right now, reading my blog, and feel this...know that I am so sorry and I love you. You are definitely allowed to feel bitter or sad. That is your right. Take the time to feel it, because trying to ignore it or pretend that pain is not there will only be worse for you in the end. But also, move on from it. Say a prayer, decide to have faith, and tell yourself that you are loved and your time will come when it is right. There's no medical explanation for why I am pregnant right now. I got pregnant, not from a procedure or any fertility drugs, but by a miracle. I have a testimony that this was just when I was mean to conceive. For so long, I tried to force God's hand. I don't regret any of the efforts I took to fight for my baby, but I also wish my attitude had been better. I know that the Lord blesses us when he knows is the perfect time for us in His plan for our lives.
I look back and see all the wonderful blessings Josh and I have experience because we were gifted with time. Yes, we struggled for 4 years, but we have had 4 years of love, of joy, of being bonded closer than I ever could have imagined. We both got to finish our degrees, begin careers, have many many many date nights and surf sessions together. We have had 4 beautiful years, and now that beauty will only be added upon.
I guess my purpose in writing this was twofold: one, so I could start keeping a record because I'm horrible at journal writing and it's one of my goals to establish that as a habit. Also, I wanted to share my testimony that God loves us. He was always there right by my side and I know that the fight will never be over. He loves you, and has chosen you to go through whatever trial you are being called to go through because He knows it is your refiner's fire. He is molding you to be the best you that HE could imagine. So keep the faith, and believe in miracles, because they do happen.