Meet today’s guest blogger, Jaclyn!
Tell us a little bit about you and your infertility journey. My husband and I got married in July 2014. We started trying to have a baby the minute we returned from our honeymoon. When I got off birth control I got a withdrawal period but then never one again. We went to a fertility doctor that October and started a round of Clomid. But it didn’t work. I decided to go a more holistic approach to get my period back and also fix my thyroid that apparently was out of whack as well. I stopped drinking and eating from plastic, went gluten free, watched other things I ate, tried not to have every angry and sad thought control my mind every single second of the day, etc. That December, we went to Disney World and had a fun but the whole time I was sad because I kept looking at families. I wanted what these couples had, a family of my own. I thought, “Hey maybe I’ll get pregnant while in Disney since everyone told me when you go on vacation is happens.” But I knew in my heart it wasn’t going to. After waiting a few months, nothing was happening so we decided to go to a new fertility doctor in March. I was tired of crying every day. I felt like I was ruining my marriage because I was so depressed. I wanted to be a mother more than anything. I’ve always wanted to be a mom more than I even wanted to get married. There were even times I didn’t want to continue on with my life because I didn’t want a life without a child of my own. The new doctor promised me he would get me pregnant. Between genetic testing and waiting for insurance to approve us, it seemed like it took forever. Insurance wouldn’t let us do IVF until we tried artificial insemination (IUI). We did that in early June and two weeks later we found out it was negative. I was obviously upset, but I knew it wasn’t going to work. I knew that IVF was going to be the only way. We took the rest of the summer to enjoy ourselves while the doctor’s handled everything insurance wise and I started the medicine in August. In September, we finally did IVF and I found out right before my birthday that I was pregnant. There was a lot of crying here and there during my pregnancy due to the doctor’s finding issues with the baby’s heart. I gave birth on June 12, to a beautiful son who is my entire world. I had no time for meds, nothing. That unexpected natural birth experience allowed me to feel more like a woman again. Our son was in the NICU for the first week of his life due to his heart, but with time things had progressed and the cardiologist cleared him in January. We are hoping for another child to give our son a sibling. We have five frozen embryos and no matter how we have to have a second child, we are determined to have one more child. This was hard for me to write because I have only recently began sharing with others. I was embarrassed for a long time. But I have come to learn that there are so many people out there that are going through this. I want to be able to help them through their journey. I had no one to really talk to during my journey that went through this and that was hard for me. I became friendly with some other women going through IVF on Instagram but that was about it. If I can help other women and let them know everything will be ok, then I know that this was my purpose in life.
What things helped you cope with infertility? I realized there are a lot of couples dealing with this. That is wasn’t taboo anymore. I also turned to God to help me through this. I was angry at him for making me go through this. However, I think he knew how strong I am before I even realized it. I can handle a lot now.
How did you and your spouse encourage each other while on this journey? During the whole process, it’s pretty simple for the husband. They do not have to go put their body through all the medicine or procedures. My husband witnessed everything I had to go through. He was there helping me with the large needles I had to inject in my upper butt. He was there constantly telling me how strong I was and how we would have our baby. He saw the needles I had to inject in my stomach and how I did all of that on my own. He dealt with all my crying and my rollercoaster emotions due to my heartache and all the hormones I was on. He was my rock. Even when he became frustrated or sad, he held it together for me. I fell in love with him even more during all of this because he stayed by my side and helped me through it. He didn’t leave me when I told him too. I am so grateful for my husband.
Do you think your infertility journey is going to or has shaped the way you parent? I think it is shaping the way I am as a parent. I know what I had to go through to get my son, so I’m very protective of him. I would do anything for him.
What would you like couples or women who don’t struggle with infertility to know about infertility? It is hard. Emotionally, physically, and mentally hard. Infertility affects your heart, brain, body, wallet, and those around you. The couples or women that can become pregnant in the blink of an eye sometimes do not realize how lucky and blessed they are. It also hurts when those who are not struggling with infertility make jokes about becoming pregnant so easily. I would give anything to think maybe I was pregnant, pee on a stick, and be surprised with a positive test. No one truly understands what it is like to go through fertility treatments, until they experience it for themselves. Just please always remember to be sensitive to those who have to endure the heartache.
What is/was the hardest part of this journey for you? The hardest part was seeing couples announce that they were pregnant when you longed for a baby of your own. I couldn’t handle seeing all of the announcements. I always wondered, “Why? Why not me? When will it be my turn?” With social media, I saw the announcements all the time. I had to even give myself a break from it in order to avoid seeing the announcements. I am always happy for pregnant couples and wish them nothing but a healthy journey and baby. But it was still hard to see. I also had hard time learning about how some women didn’t even mean to get pregnant. Or how there are so many women out there that have baby after baby and the babies are taken away or they don’t want the baby. I just didn’t understand how God allowed those women to have children but the women who wanted children so badly and to become a mother more than anything else had to go through all this pain and heartache to hope to have a child.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? No matter what, there is an end in sight. AND IT IS WORTH IT. The journey may seem like an eternity but it will happen when it is meant to happen. Do not give up. And try not to stress. That is honestly the worst advice anyone gave me “don’t stress”. Wake up every day telling yourself, “I got this. I will be a mother or a father.” Positive thinking can go a long way. You just have to have faith and believe. And do not be afraid to share your journey with others, you’ll be surprised to learn about what others go through. I kept a lot bottled up and it wasn’t smart. Talking about it helps. Even if the other person has no idea and just listens. Educate them. Allow them to see what you have to endure on a daily basis. It helps.