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Infertility starts as a suspicion. It’s a thought in the back of your mind when trying to conceive as the months tick by. After a year of trying to conceive, you definitely know that something is amiss.
This is how it all started for my husband and me.
As soon as we met we fell in love and started trying naturally for a baby. But every month ended up the same… In disappointment. My husband believed he had low sperm count.
After the one year mark, we started the process of fertility testing to narrow down the cause of infertility. It was indeed a low sperm count and motility issue.
From there we moved forward with fertility treatment for a year and a half. During that time I had a total of 4 intrauterine inseminations with fertility medication of both pills and injectables.
After the 4th IUI, our fertility specialist gave us the news that we had to go a different route, which meant IVF.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t want IVF and we couldn’t afford it. So we switched gears.
We did a home intracervical insemination with donor sperm and… Success! Today we are blessed with a beautiful little boy.
There’s a common misconception in our society that infertility no longer affects you after you’ve conceived a baby. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Even though I have an amazing little boy now, I can’t simply forget about all the fertility treatments, doctor visits, medications, and tears shed to conceive him for 2 1/2 years.
The truth of the matter is infertility has changed my life completely. Although it’s easy to focus on how infertility has negatively affected my life, overall infertility has changed my life for the better!
Here’s how infertility has affected my life, both good and bad…There's a common misconception in our society that infertility no longer affects you after you've conceived a baby. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Click To Tweet
I am not the person I once was…
Infertility takes a lot out of you. After years of doctor appointments, inseminations, medications, countless tears, I was defeated. I was beat down. Infertility had taken its toll and I was thinking, “maybe I’m not meant to be a mother…”
But that was fear talking! Now after having a baby, those 2 1/2 years of infertility made me a stronger person. I no longer admit defeat with anything in my life. Especially when it comes to my fertility.
Because of infertility, I face difficult situations head on. Yes, I still have fears and doubts. Everyone does. But now when I’m faced with tough situations, I have the confidence to deal with it.
If I can deal with years of infertility, I can face any obstacle!
Life is precious
When you’re able to get pregnant naturally, you don’t realize how hard it is to make a baby.
You need a healthy amount of sperm and eggs, perfect timing, the right amount of hormones… There’s a lot that goes into making and growing a child.
When you go through infertility your life is an endless cycle of tracking cervical mucus, basal temperature, ovulation tests, fertility medications, inseminations and pregnancy tests.
For my husband and I, having a baby doesn’t just happen.
Knowing the hard work we put into having a baby, I believe that life is truly precious. Creating another life is no easy task and I didn’t conceive by accident.
Even if someone conceives a baby that wasn’t planned, it is never an “accident.”
My faith is stronger
When going through life’s trials, you have two choices: Stay strong in your faith or lose faith.
Although I didn’t lose my faith in Jesus during infertility, my faith did waver. It’s hard to maintain faithfulness when going through infertility. You pray tirelessly for a baby, but yet your arms are left empty.
After my 4th insemination, my faith was hanging by a thin rope. I couldn’t even find the words to pray anymore.
Looking back, I now realize that God was not telling me “no” to being a mother. He was simply redirecting me to a treatment option that was specifically for my husband and me.
God was making my fertility journey and my family uniquely mine.When going through life's trials, you have two choices: Stay strong in your faith or lose faith. Click To Tweet
Hope can be a bad thing
I would like to say that I kept hope throughout my fertility journey. But I didn’t. I would like to say I still have hope now after infertility. But I don’t.
Even though I found the right treatment to successfully have a baby, it doesn’t change the fact that my husband and I can’t conceive children together.
When we try for a second baby, I still have to take fertility medications, pee on ovulation sticks, order donor sperm and inseminate. Our precious little boy doesn’t make the hurt of infertility go away.
I haven’t tried for a baby for over two years now. But even though I’m not actively trying by ordering donor sperm, there’s always the hope that “we could conceive naturally” in the back of my mind.
No matter how many times I hope for a natural conception with my husband, I know it’s not possible. That’s why hope can be a devastating thing.
Hope is still there even though we can’t get pregnant on our own. Every month as my period approaches I still look for early signs of pregnancy. I still hope that my period won’t come and we would be pregnant on our own.
Hope is a cruel joke sometimes. My husband and I could try without fertility treatment for over 10 years and we still would not conceive on our own.
Sometimes I wish I could just stop hoping…
Infertility has taught me a lot. Through the many disappointing moments along my fertility journey, I’ve gained many positive outcomes.
I’m more confident than I once was. I know if I lived through infertility, I can live through much harder things in life. Fear no longer overtakes me like it once did. I’m now an infertility warrior!
My faith in God is much stronger because of infertility. God was faithful to me and fulfilled his promise of me being a mother.
My journey through infertility made me work really hard to have a baby. The ability to conceive and keep a baby is a gift and the creation of life is precious.
Life after infertility is possible! But I still have lingering hope I could conceive naturally. While most view hope as a good thing, infertility has taught me to fear the hope of conceiving naturally because it always ends in disappointment.
Liz Talton the mother of a toddler after ICI success and author of When You Can’t Find The Words To Pray: 30 Days Of Prayer Through Infertility. She blogs about natural fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood at Pitter Patter of Baby Feet. Catch her hanging out on Instagram, where she shares her behind the scenes and snippets of her latest blog posts.