Finally, we had to face the facts that it just wasn’t going to happen the “old fashioned way” and, now pushing forty, our chances weren’t getting any better.
My wife and I spent ten years trying to have our daughter. Ten years of frustration, and disappointment, and tears.
Ten years of smiling through the pain, as we held our friend’s babies while knowing we were going home with empty arms.
Sometimes it felt like there’s no hope, like our miracle would never happen.
Sometimes it felt like there are no miracles.
So, I want to share my story, our story, in hopes that it will remind those who may have grown weary, that miracles do happen.
As I mentioned, we spent ten years trying to have a baby. We read the books, we took the vitamins, we followed the advice, and nothing worked. Finally, we had to face the facts that it just wasn’t going to happen the “old fashioned way” and, now pushing forty, our chances weren’t getting any better.
We decided to go the IVF route.
We sold our home to pay for the treatments and, after what seemed like an eternity of tests, and medications, and doctor appointments, we finally got the call that it was time. We were scared…no, we were terrified. We had one shot at this, and we’d pushed all our chips to the middle of the table.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Jack Canfield
When the clinic called and told us that we had four viable zygotes (fertilized eggs), only half of the optimal number, it was another blow. We made the implanting appointment for early the next morning.
Arriving at the clinic, blurry-eyed and stomachs churning, the final blow landed. Now there was only one viable egg, bringing our chances of conception to less than 10%. Our doctor left us alone to talk, and we talked, and we prayed, and we shed our tears.
All of the time, all of the sacrifices, came down to this…we were, literally, putting all our eggs (and we only had one) in this basket, and the odds were not in our favor.
We didn’t have another house to sell, and we were running out of time, so we took our shot, we went all in and laid our cards on the table. It was a very quiet drive home, and the days until the follow-up appointment were a sleepless blur.
This July 9th, we will celebrate our miracle’s 12th birthday…this amazing, precocious, quirky little girl with her mama’s beautiful face, and her daddy’s weird sense of humor. Here’s what I want to say to you, my friends who are walking through the valley I know so well…
Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends. Unknown
Talk to each other! Men and women process strong emotions, like disappointment, frustration, and grief very differently, and the long months, or even years, can make us (especially us guys) want to isolate ourselves, to shut out the world. But this is a valley that we must walk together. We have to talk to each other and, more importantly, we have to listen to each other.
We speak different languages, men and women. Frustration can sound like anger, grief like accusation, fear like indifference, and in a time when the most important thing is to hold tight to one another, infertility can become a wall between us.
There are plenty of books out there on how to communicate with your spouse, and (I’m talking to the men here)…they work. I know because I’ve read a few, albeit skeptically at first, and it was amazing to learn what she heard when I thought I was saying something completely different, and vice versa.
Keep the faith.
Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. Unknown
Whatever your personal faith may be, cling to it. Whether you pray to a god, the universe, or the power within yourself… do it… a lot. Read books, make plans, make a list of everything you’re grateful for and re-read it, add to it every day. Talk to others who have gone ahead of you on this journey, and do whatever you have to do to stay positive and hopeful.
Not only is this medially proven to increase our mental and physical health, but it drowns out the voices of our fears.
I know, because we have one.