M y husband, James, and I met through mutual friends in April 2010 and married in May of 2016. While having children was something both of us wanted, we thought it would be at least 2-3 years before we felt ready to dive into parenthood. Much to our surprise, it didn’t take long for the post-marriage excitement to kick in and by the fall of 2017, we officially started trying for a baby.
I know it’s said that it can take up to a year of actively trying to conceive to get pregnant and while I don’t doubt that statistic, I felt pretty confident that something was wrong after only a few months of trying without success. Even still, we were nowhere near ready to throw in the towel or come to terms with our new reality, and so we played by the book and kept trying month after month, still without luck, for one whole year.
A YEAR'S WORTH OF TRYING
September 2018 marked one year of us trying to get pregnant. To put it simply, we were confused, exhausted, angry, and scared. I had a well-woman’s visit scheduled during that same month and it was at that appointment that I shared our frustration and failures with my OB/GYN. She gave me the option of receiving some basic testing under her supervision or getting a referral from her to go straight to Shady Grove Fertility.
Starting at a fertility clinic to me meant admitting that this was real. It felt too official. At that time, I declined the latter and my husband and I started basic testing under my doctor’s guidance. While the majority of our tests yielded normal results, my doctor did voice a couple of ‘red flags’.
It was at that time we were told we were no longer considered ideal candidates for basic infertility treatment, such as timed intercourse paired with Clomid, and so she wrote us a referral to SGF and with well wishes sent us on our way.
UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
In November 2018, we had our initial consult with Dr. Yazigi at Shady Grove Fertility’s Towson, MD, office. Dr. Yazigi was precise, straight-forward and goal-oriented. Simply put, his job was to get us pregnant and he felt confident that he could. It brought us much hope and excitement to hear that, as well as all of the avenues available at SGF for pregnancy.
After taking a month off for the holidays and to regroup, we began additional testing after the new year, which again yielded normal results. Our infertility was officially unexplained, which seemed to be both a blessing and a curse.
Because of our diagnosis, or lack thereof, Dr. Yazigi felt even more confident in our ability to get pregnant and it was somewhat refreshing to feel as though he was not intimidated by our prognosis. Since there was no real known reason why we were not conceiving, and because of our health insurance coverage, it was recommended that we start with a less invasive treatment first, so we did.
Three IUIs later and we were still not pregnant.
WHEN A POSSIBILITY BECAME OUR REALITY
At that time, we revisited with Dr. Yazigi and made the unanimous and intentional decision to move forward with IVF. After undergoing stimulation, egg retrieval, and genetic testing, we were blessed with 4 beautiful and genetically normal embryos.
And while we got pregnant on our first frozen embryo transfer, we abruptly learned of a blighted-ovum miscarriage at our first 6-week ultrasound appointment.
We were crushed.
While I always knew miscarriage was a possibility, especially being in the well-informed infertility club, I never thought it would be my reality. It took months to heal, both mentally and physically from the miscarriage, but in February of 2020 (Valentine’s Day to be exact!), we transferred our second embryo and it stuck and grew mighty and strong.
MILES, OUR MOUNTAINTOP VIEW
On November 9, 2020, at one week and one day late, our rainbow baby, Miles, was welcomed earth-side right on time.
And as I sit here writing this, staring at my healthy 4-month-old boy, I am still in awe of his miracle life, and the valley we trenched through to make it to this well-worth it mountaintop view.
Looking back, my biggest hurdle wasn’t infertility itself, but rebuking the shame that so often comes with it. I wasn’t infertile, and I most certainly wasn’t broken, I was simply walking through infertility.
Once I was able to let go of the lies the enemy was trying to feed me, I was able to speak truth over myself and found the courage to do so to others, too. By opening up and sharing my testimony, I was connected with so many new friends as well as reconnected with old ones who were walking or had walked through the same thing.
WISHES FOR MY FELLOW WARRIORS
To anyone reading this who is journeying through the same familiar valley, please rest in knowing you are not alone and there is an end in sight.
If you ever feel this isn’t true, I urge you to visit SGF and sit in their waiting room lobby that is filled with so many others, from all walks of life, battling this valley with you.
I also urge you to read more patient stories, like mine, for the constant reassurance of your success to come. It is not lost on me the blessing it is to hold my miracle son in my arms. So, please know, if you are here and your story is still one of waiting, or loss, or deep pain, my family is praying for you.
You are seen, you are loved, and your story matters deeply.
Your waiting and your hurt and your trial is real and valid and none of it will be wasted. You are a warrior and you will prevail.