All my life, I knew I wanted a family. Becoming a mom was my greatest hope and dream! My husband, Mike, and I met in college and were married in 2012. We moved to Virginia to start a life together. We wanted to get all our ducks in a row before we had children. We got jobs and bought a house. We were ready! I am such a planner, so I had the month already picked out to become pregnant. I knew when I wanted maternity leave and how to maximize it, so I had it all planned.
Once we began trying in 2015, I was in for a rude awakening. After 3 months of trying, I think my gut was telling me something was wrong. We went to see my OB/GYN and after 6 months, we started to get some basic tests done. The first HSG test showed a blocked tube and I was devastated. They said it wouldn't be easy to get pregnant, but it was still possible. I went for a repeat test and everything was clear. Apparently, you can have a spasm during the test. After the initial tests came back with no further information, we went to see a fertility specialist. I was not happy with our first location, so I switched to Shady Grove Fertility. Dr. Greenhouse was the most amazing, caring doctor I had ever encountered. He was so detailed and answered my every email, question, and phone call no matter the hour or day!
We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility and decided to start with IUI's. My first IUI was successful, but after only 5 weeks, we had a miscarriage. I was again devastated. At this point, I had kept everything a secret. My husband encouraged me to be open about the situation and I started to discover more people who were going through the same situation or had gone through it. Since our first attempt was unsuccessful, we gave it a go 3 more times. Every time, the conditions were perfect, but unfortunately always ended with a negative test. During this time, my sister got pregnant and many friends as well. In fact, at the school I taught at, there were 10 people just that year who got pregnant.While I was thrilled for them, it just made every negative test sting a little more. I knew I would make a good mother. I had been dreaming of it my whole life, but it just wasn't happening for me.
I was getting very frustrated and after seeking advice from Dr. Greenhouse, we decided to move forward with IVF. I was terrified, but he was so willing to help and provide all the “what ifs.” We put a plan together so if the first IVF failed, we already knew what we were going to do next. Dr. Greenhouse was always thinking a step ahead of me and keeping my anxiety at bay. We had a very successful stimulation period and egg retrieval. We ended up with 20 eggs, 11 which fertilized. Unfortunately, our first transfer did not take. We immediately moved into an FET cycle. I was ready and hopeful. Again, Dr. Greenhouse and I made our “what if” plan so I could immediately have something to look forward to. This cycle felt different though. I feel like I knew I was pregnant from the moment we transferred. We transferred two embryos and while they both took, one lost the heartbeat around 6-7 weeks.
Right after we got the positive pregnancy test, our beloved golden retriever got very sick. She was only 6 but full of cancer. It was a very hard time for our family, but I must think that she stayed with us long enough to get us through this trying time in our lives. When she knew our baby was going to be fine, she left us.
Being a mother has been the most amazing experience I could ever imagine. Everyday I wake up and feel like the luckiest person in the world. Of course, there are sleepless nights, but they are worth it. Being a mom is the best job in the world.
Now, as I sit here 3 weeks away from my daughter's first birthday, I am so thankful for Shady Grove Fertility. I am thankful for their work and for their incredible patience with me. I am thankful for our family who supported us through the trying times. I am thankful for my husband who always kept it positive. And I am thankful for the most beautiful, perfect baby girl I have ever met. I know it is cliché to say that it was worth the wait, but she absolutely was worth every shot, every tear, every second we waited!
To those of you that are in the process, thinking about the process, or just beginning the process, stay strong and trust the doctors. Reach out and talk to others about your journey. You will be surprised at how many people there are that have gone through the same or similar experiences. Lastly, lean on your spouse through this. They will be your rock and give you the hope you need to keep going.