I bet you can tell how HUGE this day is to me- I have had such wonderful women in my life that I really want to celebrate! In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to share the stories of three women who have each become “mothers” and how they all reached that role in different ways. These women are amazing and inspiring, to say the least. Today, my beautiful friend Charle will share her story of the bumps on the road to motherhood. I am so grateful she was willing to share her story full of emotion and raw feelings because she knew someone out there is going through what she went through. Her answer when I asked her to share was “Why go through things if you can’t share it with people!” What a great example of faith and her willingness to help those around her. Here is her story:
Let me take you back to how I FINALLY started my journey to motherhood. My husband and I had been married almost 5 years and had just finished with our first round of IVF. My nurse practitioner called to tell me that both of my blood tests were negative and that I was definitely not pregnant. My husband and I had spent years of trying to conceive using methods I never thought imaginable (you know what I am talking about). We finally got the gumption to fork out thousands of dollars to take a chance on a procedure that wasn’t one hundred percent guaranteed and we now had to now deal with the news that it wasn’t going to happen (at least this time around). After all the blood (literally), sweat and tears trying to even make the decision to take the most invasive measures possible to be parents; after all the shots, medications, doctors visits, blood tests and the anxiety of feeling like a glorified lab rat, I was now supposed to deal with the fact that two “good” embryos that had been fertilized and dividing wouldn’t even take a dive into my supposedly healthy uterus and implant. The best part about all this is no one could tell us why.
At this point in my life, feeling good about my life and my situation wasn’t even an option. I certainly couldn’t find relief for my worries turning to my family with a mother that had four kids in five years and a sister that had two kids in less than one year. I couldn’t find resolve to my situation by turning to friends that announced pregnancies like politicians announced tax cuts. I couldn’t find solace in talking to doctor after doctor looking at their medical charts saying, “you are in the two percent of couples that are unexplained.” When all I kept hearing was keep trying, like the word “trying” was some sort of magical medical term that if said enough it would eventually produce healthy breathing children out of thin air. “One of these times it has to work, there is no reason it shouldn’t,” they would say.
So, I came to a cross roads. My walls were broken and the rain felt as if it was falling in buckets. I had a decision to make, feel completely broken and worthless because the thing I had my sights on my whole life (yes, my whole life, I was a first grade teacher for heaven’s sake) was looking bleak, unexplainable and less and less possible. So you give up, or persevere. Fortunately for me ,I wasn’t raised with the know how to give up. So, I looked to God and asked how this is going to make me better person. My husband and I saw no other road than to go through IVF again since we had embryos left to use. We put two embryos in once again, not really hoping for anything. Just knowing we were doing everything we possibly could.
I got a phone call on day Eight after transfer that my HCG levels indicated I was finally pregnant. I must have peed on 10 pregnancy sticks that day. It was surreal after how many of them I had ever taken that they could come up as positive. A week or two of monitoring my hormone levels and the day finally arrived where I could see our baby on an ultrasound, or TWO. I was having twins and felt so incredibly blessed and thrilled about it. After everything we had been through to get to this point in our lives all washed away with tears of pure joy.
Now, I am on my second pregnancy with our third girl. We also, went through IVF to get her here. Last July we decided that we were going to transfer two of the Nine frozen embryos we had remaining. Hoping for one this time. Never thinking that it wouldn’t work yet again, or that six of the last seven embryos that we had left wouldn’t survive the unthawing process. Getting the negative results from our transfer and learning we only had one embryo left we were left to fall to pieces yet again. We had saved all year to come up with the money to do one transfer with two embryos how could we possibly come up with more money… and if we did we probably had better odds of winning the jackpot in Vegas than having this last embryo attach to my uterus.
I was beyond frustrated at everything. Once again my Father in Heaven used this as a moment where he could mold me and teach me to become something better than I was. I went to the fertility center to have my final blood drawn and for some reason they kept poking me but my blood wouldn’t draw. They left the room and that is when I was introduced to Lucy (the lab director, the one who monitored the frozen embryos). I told her my name and she immediately knew who I was and all about my one last embryo. She proceeded to take me back to the lab where for 45 minutes she convinced me with pictures and charts that the last embryo I had left was a baby maker. It felt good to hear, but I wasn’t quite sure I understood why this one would be a baby when it was the same quality as the other two I had just transferred in.
So, through a series of miracles we decided to give this last embryo “her” chance. I went through the series of shots and medications they give you to prep yourself to be pregnant, still not knowing till the day of transfer if the embryo they had frozen for the second time would survive the “unthawing” process. I arrived at the fertility clinic that day as nervous as I have ever been for anything in my life. I arrived and they promptly put me in the room where the procedure would be held. Then I waited for the doctor to arrive. It was an eternity waiting for him so I was sure that they were figuring out some way to tell me that I had no embryos left. So, as soon the doctor walked in I immediately burst out in sobs exclaiming that the embryo didn’t unthaw. He then smiled, which I thought was an odd way of reacting to a situation like this. Then, I realized that he was holding the picture of our last embryo perfectly ready for transfer that day.
On day eight once again, I got a phone call. This time it wasn’t a nurse practitioner, it was Lucy. She had called to tell me that my HCG numbers were high and that I was pregnant. She told me I had given her the best going away present ever… that day was to be her last day. Coincidence, I don’t think so…
My experiences with infertility has given me SO many blessings that I never would have ever had. First and foremost, it gave me a husband that I knew would stick by me through all the emotional, physical and spiritual ups and downs that we would go through together. It has not only given me my beautiful girls, but a deeper understanding and appreciation for them. It has given me friends and acquaintances I never would have met. MOST OF ALL, It has given me a strong desire to follow my Father in Heavens lead. He knows us, he knows what will challenge us and make us more than we ever thought that we could become. I am so grateful to be a MOTHER. Those words grow more special every single day.