When Matt and I got married, we knew we wanted to start a family right away. Having kids is something we talked about a lot and was very important to the both of us. We were naive and assumed that getting pregnant would happen right away. When month after month began to pass without getting pregnant, we started to worry. Then months turned into years.
We endured 4.5 emotionally and physically painful years filled with tests, surgeries and heartbreak in an attempt to have a family. Eventually, we met with a fertility doctor and we were given a 2% chance of ever conceiving naturally, with NO specific reason. So in February of 2014, we decided to take a chance and started our first IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle.
For anyone who doesn't know, IVF is extremely expensive, really painful and is an emotional/hormonal roller coaster. It consists of daily hormone injections, nose sprays, blood work and ultrasounds, then a painful procedure to remove your eggs and more people between your legs than you ever cared to allow... and you aren't even guaranteed it will work. In fact, it almost didn't for us. I didn't respond to the meds like they had hoped, they got very few eggs and at the end we had just two little embryos hanging on.
Thankfully, even though the odds were against us, one of our little embryos held on and all the pain and years of waiting were finally worth it that first moment we heard Sawyer's heartbeat. That incredible moment was one I thought we would never get to experience and had I not been lying down, I probably would have crumbled with happiness. Our miracle baby was born December 2014.
When you finally have a baby after struggling with infertility for so long, you expect your wounds to be healed and you try to forget everything you went through to get there, but you can't. You know too much to go back. Your wounds will soften but they never go away, they are a part of you and it turns out they are easily reopened...
Sawyer is more than we could ever have asked for, this amazing little person brings more joy than we ever could have imagined, so much that our hearts and arms are longing for more babies. We want Sawyer to have the experience of a sibling, he SO deserves it, we deserve it.
So, the end of last year, we decided to move forward with doing IVF again. We knew the battle we would go through again, but we had experienced the beauty that battle could bring and so we put on our brave faces and on Christmas Eve I started those dreadful injections again. We were optimistic going into this cycle, given that it had worked before and they had a better understanding of how my body responded to the meds. We ended up getting a lot more eggs this time, but we ended up with just two little embryos hanging on in the end again. I wish wholeheartedly that this part of our story had a happy ending, but it doesn't. This time, our cycle ended in a chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage). I may have only been pregnant for a really short time, but let me tell you, the loss (especially after all we'd been through to get to that point) wasn't any easier...
The only good thing that came from this cycle was that we now had an answer - poor quality eggs, likely due to my Endometriosis. Unfortunately there isn't much we can do to improve my egg quality and our chances of conception if we were to do IVF again. Our only other option would be to use donor eggs; however, I use the word option very loosely. Donor eggs are not available in Canada unless it's a known donor.
As grateful as we are for Sawyer (which is really, really grateful), grieving the loss of our hopes and desires to have another baby and the life we had pictured for ourselves and for Sawyer will still be a battle. As a dear friend (one that's always known me better than I've known myself) so perfectly put it: we are caught somewhere between feeling grateful and feeling cheated. We don't know what the future holds for us, but we know whatever it is, we'll get through it together. We will hug that precious little boy of ours extra tight and be thankful for how far we've come.
Matt and I have been really open with our struggles because having that support system was important to us and has helped us through our darkest times. We really need to talk about the hard stuff in life more often. If sharing our story encourages just one person to open up to their family and friends to talk about their struggle, then my job is done. ❤
"Alone we are strong, together we are stronger."