Meet today’s guest blogger, Nicole!
Tell us a little bit about you and your infertility journey: After not getting pregnant my husband and I went to see a fertility doctor. We only were actively trying for a few months but something in my gut told me that something was off in my body. I’m glad I trusted my instincts, because it turned out that I have endometriosis and cysts on my ovaries. We jumped right into things and started with our first IUI. We tried 2 more months of IUI and then moved on to IVF. After a scary complication that landed me in the hospital after my egg retrieval(my abdomen filled with blood), we had our first pregnancy! While it did end in a miscarriage, we were hopeful because it meant that I could get pregnant. After miscarrying, we did a FET, this time transferring 2 embryos that both stuck. I couldn’t believe that I was having twins! Despite pregnancy not being very kind to me, I loved every minute of it. My bump, getting to feel my little ones growing and moving inside me and the excitement of being a “twin mom”! We had weekly ultrasounds from 20 weeks on because of a few things the doctors were monitoring with the babies. Nothing made me heart feel as full as seeing my little ones each week on the ultrasound screen. At 31 weeks pregnant, we went in for our weekly NST and ultrasound and our world changed forever. The doctor was unable to find Will’s heartbeat. Our sweet boy had passed away. About 3 weeks later, I delivered my babies, Asher and William, on April 5th, 2017. Asher William Collins, just turned 4 months old. Being a mother to Asher, and our angel, Will, has been both the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.
Who offered you support during this process that really stood out to you? What did they do? The TTC community online was a great source of support for me. While I did not openly share my journey online, mainly because my husband is a private person, I have followed so many of my fellow infertility warriors. I share your successes and your hardships, mainly because I have been there. It’s really incredible how I feel like I know so many of you that have been brave enough to share your journeys.
In addition to that, I have discovered many of the people in my life have gone through infertility. By being very transparent to my friends and family about our infertility, many people have come forward with their own struggles and journeys. Fertility for many people is something they are not open about—I think because of fear or shame. But the relationships that I have grown and strengthened through sharing this common thing have been invaluable throughout this journey. Being able to talk about it, especially with those that had already walked this path, has helped me a lot.
When I was 25 weeks pregnant, we took our babymoon. One of my friends was at the end of her 2ww after doing her first embryo transfer. After trying for well over a year to get pregnant, she POAS and had her first BFP. I was the first person she told, even before her husband. I cried when she told me! My husband asked me why I was crying and it really made me realize how emotional this experience is and how we are all truly bonded together for walking this path. Each of our journeys may be different, but no one quite understands what it’s like quite like the TTC community.
What would you like couples or women who don’t struggle with infertility to know about infertility? It is hard. We, or at least I, worry about every little thing. Even after having a positive pregnancy test, I still worried every day that I would miscarry. I worried about things like what my HCG levels would be and having to schedule my social life around giving PIO shots. I had to do a lot of things that you did not. Please do not take for granted the ease in which you become pregnant and stay pregnant.
What is/was the hardest part of this journey for you? The death of my son. There is not a day, hour, minute that goes by that my heart does not ache for him.
Prior to my little ones birth, seeing everyone around me getting pregnant and having children while I was trying. I’m am not proud to admit this but it’s the honest truth. It was very hard for me to not be jealous or envious of friends and people that were getting pregnant and having babies very easily. As much as I was so happy for my friends, I would be lying if I said there weren’t many people I had to unfollow on social media or put distance in between us for a time.
What brings you hope during this journey? My sons. They give me strength when I am weak.
In what ways has infertility changed you and affected your life? Throughout this journey, I have realized that there is very little we can control. I wouldn’t say that I am a very religious person, but infertility has brought me closer to God and ignited my faith in a higher power, whatever that may be. Going through infertility and the death of my son has made me realize that there is a plan for our lives. I truly believe that no matter how cruel or unfair life may seem, that God would not give us more than we can handle. Faith in something greater than us has brought me a lot of comfort when I feel hopeless.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? Do not forget for one second how strong you are. This journey is tough, and can feel hopeless at times. Do not lose hope. Going through infertility will make you a better mother, whether it be to a baby, twins or an angel.
Want to contact Nicole? Instagram: Nicolemcollins or email Nicolembriand@gmail.com