I’m so thrilled to introduce today’s guest blogger! She and I went through our final round of IVF (after several rounds for both of us) around the same time and we both were blessed with boy/girl twins! How awesome is that? Meet Chelsea…
Tell us a little bit about you and your infertility journey: My husband and I were married in 2005 and I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2010 after 2 years of trying to start our family. We began doing Clomid cycles (6 total) without success. We changed from our OBGYN to an RE, where we began several Femara/IUI cycles. After a handful of failed cycles, we decided to move forward with IVF in the winter of 2012. Our first transfer resulted in a pregnancy, which resulted in a heartbreaking miscarriage on Christmas day. From there we did another IVF cycle, BFN. Then an FET, which resulted in a pregnancy, and then a miscarriage. Our last FET had negative results. We took a break, then in 2015 stepped back into the waters with a few IUI’s. One worked, resulting in a pregnancy, and another miscarriage. It was then I was diagnosed with a Factor V Ledden mutation. We decided to do one last IVF cycle in 2016 with a new clinic. It resulted in a twin pregnancy – praise the Lord! – and we welcomed our boy/girl duo at 35 weeks in May 2017 after nearly a decade of trying to start our family.
What led you to the decision of the route you are pursuing or pursued? For us, it was a constant prayer for wisdom. Often times we would take a step that we felt was right for us, and would pray that if it wasn’t the right time, or decision, that God would shut a door. My husband and I really wanted to be faithful in our journey and I know God knew that was the desires of our heart. It was very much a put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of journey. We would make a call, act on it, and then wait to see what God would do.
What things helped you cope with infertility? For me, the most important part of coping was clinging to my faith. I knew that God wouldn’t let me down and that He was with me every step of the way, regardless of how He chose to answer or not answer, my specific prayers. Additionally, my husband Josh and his sense of humor and intentional actions to protect our marriage from the brutality of infertility was crucial. The wonderful infertility community on Instagram became my ride or die team – the ones cheering us on and praying us through some of the hardest days. We also had to make sure that we were living, not just pressing pause on our life as we waited. So we chose to travel, try new things, schedule in date nights, and not focus our entire life on infertility, even though mentally it was nearly all consuming.
Do you think your infertility journey is going to or has shaped the way you parent? Infertility has shaped how I parent immensely. I realize now how precious the gift of parenthood is and I savor each moment – including the hard ones. I appreciate the small things, the mundane things, like baby socks around the house, or being tasked to fold tiny baby laundry. I realize what a precious gift motherhood is and I don’t want to shoo it away wishing for night of more sleep or days without having to clean spit up messes.
Some patients change doctors several times. Did you? What made you choose your doctor and or clinic? In total, I saw three clinics and three doctors and I am so glad I did. After completing 4 IVF cycles at one clinic, and having two miscarriages, being told I just had “bad luck” wasn’t satisfying and also, made me feel like they didn’t realize the financial burden of infertility. The second doctor made me realize what I DIDN’T want in a doctor. The third doctor was a true advocate for us and a partner, someone invested in finding success. I now have found resources like FertilityIQ.com to be a brilliant place to refer people to who are searching for the right doctor and fit. You HAVE to make sure your doctor is working FOR YOU. You are the customer. They are there to help you.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? God is in this waiting season. It’s so easy to become consumed with the very real pain and forget that there is an opportunity for growth in it. Through infertility, I learned the difference between having true joy and gratitude, something that wasn’t rooted in my circumstances. Take time to deepen the roots of your faith and marriage before getting into the gritty work of infertility. The stability of those two items will help you battle the immense and difficult journey ahead. Then, with your foundation firmly planted, find the right doctor for you. Don’t be afraid to schedule a few consultations. Be vulnerable with the people supporting you in real life, and in your social media community if you have one. Their prayers and support are critical in the hard times. And don’t give up hope that miracles happen every day. I have two sleeping down the hall and a decade ago, I never knew that would be possible. Chin up and fight on warrior!
Want to contact Chelsea? Instagram: @chels819, Facebook: Trials Bring Joy, or www.trialsbringjoy.com