Do you remember in Elementary School when they asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Well, I always answered “A Mom” because that is all I ever wanted to be. I saw family, friends, and neighbors get married, and then have kids. I thought that is just what happened: you get married, and then you have kids. So, this was my expectation. When Clint and I got married almost 6 years ago, I never imagined it would take us this long to have children.
When we first got married we were always asked the question, “So, when are going to have kids?” I would answer back with, “not sure” or “soon, hopefully”, or “I already have one” and point to Clint ;) Many of our friends started to have children. Then they started to have their second and even third child, and we still didn't have our first.
At first I was embarrassed by the fact that we didn't have kids. I didn't want to tell anyone that we were struggling with infertility. I thought we were the only ones! I was a little naive back then. I would quickly change the subject if it ever came up. I know, very mature, but that is how I dealt with it at the time. I’m sure I offended more than one person, and I feel so bad about that now. I was just immature about the whole situation and too stubborn to talk about it.
We learned in January 2011 that I have endometriosis. I had surgery to remove it and thought that this was it! But, nothing happened. Later that year, we went through 4 cycles of clomid (hate that drug!) and then did 2 cycles of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI, aka: artificial insemination). By this point it had been a long year of medical stuff. I was emotionally exhausted and drained. I felt broken and unsure about my purpose in this life. Each day was a struggle to get up and going. I needed a break. So, we took a much needed “break” for about 5 months. It was so nice! No doctors, no medicine, no crazy hormones (well, I should say no extra crazy hormones!), and not as much stress.
A friend of mine told me about a specialist that she and her husband were going to go see (they were having infertility problems also). When she told me about him, something sparked inside of me. I know that sounds weird, but I can’t explain it any other way. She gave me his number and I held onto it for about 5 months. Clint and I had just decided to take a break from it all and I wasn't ready to meet with a specialist quite yet. To be honest, I was so sure and stubborn that it would just happen and we wouldn't need a specialist’s help. After about 5 months I finally got up the nerve to call for an appointment, and I am so glad I did. The appointment was one of the best ones we have ever had. Everything just seemed to click and make sense.
We decided to try another IUI. This round was so much better. I was taking a different medication than the one I had taken before and my body handled it much better. This whole process just felt better. It felt right.
On December 14, 2012 we found out that I am pregnant; a pure miracle. I think back on the past 4.5 years, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am who I am because of the struggles I had to go through. My marriage is stronger than I ever imagined it could be. I love my husband more than I thought possible. My testimony of the Gospel has never been challenged like it has been the past 4 years. Everything that I believed, everything that I learned growing up, came into question. There were nights that I cried for hours and days that I wanted to just give up and quit. But, God wouldn’t let me. Looking back, I can see that He put some people in my life to strengthen and uplift me; and others he put in my life for me to help so I would forget about myself. There is something so valuable about service. I could go off for hours on it, but I will spare you!
I never thought I would say this, but I am grateful for this trial. There are people that have impacted my life forever that I never would have met or gotten to know if it wasn’t because of this. I have learned so much about myself, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the scriptures that I never thought was possible. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is no (which is so frustrating!), but He never leaves us comfortless. He knows each of us and what is best. His timing is always the right timing.
Infertility is something that not very many people speak up about, and while I can understand why, I often wonder why there isn’t more that is said. Does that make sense? I had no clue how many people struggle with this! I often think that maybe if I had, things would have gone a lot better in the beginning. I am now more open about this whole experience and will gladly answer any questions. It’s interesting that things don’t always happen the way we expect them to, but they always seem to happen the way they are supposed to.
If you have ever struggled with, or are struggling with, having children, I am truly sorry. It doesn't matter if you've been dealing with it for 1 year or 15, it’s still hard. I don’t think anyone deserves to go through something like that. It is absolutely heart breaking, especially when you have a not-so-friendly reminder each month! Just know that you are not alone. You are never alone. I have learned that it is ok to cry. It is ok to be sad. It is ok to feel emotions. But, don’t dwell on them. Find something that will help you keep going. For me, it was my job. I love teaching. That is what honestly kept me going most days. I know, a whole lot easier said than done!
For those who have never had an infertility problem, be grateful and don’t ever be sorry about it! If you have kids, go hug and kiss them right now. They are each little miracles from our Heavenly Father. You may wonder what to say to someone who is going through something like this. A simple “I’m sorry. That must be hard” can go a long way. And sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. If you feel like you do need to say something, remember that less is more.
"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple does applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain." --Richard G Scott