My name is Andrea and this is the brief story of my husband, Bryce, and my infertility journey. I’ll start at the end of our infertility story – our journey has brought us to a new beginning and we are currently at home bonding with our 10 week old twin boys!
Of course, we never thought it would take us over two years to get here. We never once thought we would have to pursue fertility treatments – I mean my entire life I’d been told that unprotected sex would lead to pregnancy. Always. Well, didn’t we learn differently?
I met my husband a little later in life than some, I was 33 and he was 41 but in the end it was perfect timing. We had an amazing courtship and once we were engaged we knew we wanted to start a family. We started trying and in those first few months we actually got pregnant fairly quickly, unfortunately staying pregnant was another matter. In that first year we suffered a chemical pregnancy (I didn’t even know what this was until I joined the community of couples trying to conceive) and a devastating miscarriage. But because they both happened so quickly after we had started trying I thought it was just a matter of time. After the miscarriage each month passed with no luck. People kept telling me to take a vacation and stop stressing about it and I would get pregnant, the thing was – I wasn’t stressed – I thought I would get pregnant easily. As we began approaching my 36th birthday and moving into our second year of trying time began to feel like my enemy. I finally asked my husband if we could get some fertility tests done. I just wanted to know.
The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine was recommended to us by a friend who is an OBGYN. In that first consultation, we were overwhelmed with information! Looking back, we were so naive about fertility treatments! We, at the time, knew only two couples who had been through fertility treatments. This is all the more reason that I feel I should share my story – I felt alone and clueless, and there is no reason for anyone to feel that way.
Once we got our tests back there were issues on both sides he had sperm antibodies and I was on the cusp of normal for my age regarding egg quality and quantity. They presented us with our options for either IUI or IVF. Based on my age and the fact that we wanted at least 2 children we knew IVF was our best option. I didn’t want to waste any more time and I wanted our best option for success, for us that meant bypassing the less invasive and less expensive IUI and going straight into IVF treatment. And so, the tidal wave that is IVF swept us away!
If I could tell my past self anything it would be a caution about how much time and energy that IVF takes. To be clear, it was 100% worth it, but I had no idea the time it would take and just how incredibly unpredictable the process is. With sometimes daily lab tests, ultrasounds, Dr. meetings, and ordering and picking up medications it all took so much time, it often times felt as if my life revolved around my infertility and in many ways, it did.
We chose to be open about our journey right away, we sent messages to our friends and family simply asking for their support and loving thoughts. We were showered in love and support. I think because of this we were faced with very few people who shared negative thoughts about our journey, now that doesn’t mean they didn’t have them, they just didn’t share them LOL! We did get curious questions and we were more than happy to talk with people about the journey. I feel like this choice helps increase people’s understanding about infertility and brought us closer to our friends and family. We plan on continuing this openness with our children, in fact on our family picture wall is the 6 day embryo photo of our sons on the day of their transfer!
The process is an emotional rollercoaster – there is so much hope but there are also setbacks that feel devastating. For us it meant going through not one, not two, but three egg retrievals, finding out that only 3 of our 21 eggs made it to blastocyst stage, then finding out that given one more day 8 more made it to day 6! (Our sons are both day 6 embryos.) All along the ride our family and friends were there, my husband was an incredible source of support and comfort but the process was emotionally grueling. There are few who can understand what you are going through, starting my Instagram account (@becoming_amama) and joining the TTC (Trying To Conceive) community were some of my best decisions. I have met and connected with women all over the country, and beyond, who share my journey and this struggle.
Infertility has changed me and my husband in so many ways. We have become closer as a result of finding our way through this and working through the ways infertility has permeated our relationship. I believe that it has changed how we are as parents as well. We were always going to love our children but all that we struggled through to bring them into our lives makes loving them just that much sweeter.
No matter where you are on your journey I hope you know that you are not alone. I am still active on Instagram sharing my experiences with our little men and cheering on my sisters in infertility – do not hesitate to reach out!
You can contact Andrea on Instagram @becoming_amama