Although many of our Dallas Moms Blog readers have had successful pregnancies, our thoughts go out this week to those who have a calling to be mothers and are feeling empty. During this week of National Infertility Awareness, we’re sharing one reader’s emotional experience as she fought for the family she desired. Along with Resolve.org (National Infertility Association), we encourage you to “Break the Silence” and help bring hope and comfort to other women who might be struggling by sharing your story. Remember, you are never alone!
Growing up, girls are told over and over how to avoid getting pregnant, but no one ever tells you that when you’re ready to finally have a baby that it might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.
When I got married in October 2004, I never thought getting pregnant would be so difficult. But it was; emotionally, physically, you name it.
In the spring of 2008, I realized that hadn’t been preventing pregnancy for awhile, but we hadn’t conceived. Starting to become suspicious, I decided to talk to my doctor, Clark Griffith at Presbyterian Dallas, and we agreed to start some testing. The tests weren’t too bad, but to be perfectly honest, all modesty was definitely thrown out the window.
It wasn’t until I was looking over our insurance that reality was settling in. Since our insurance wasn’t that great, the tests were billed as infertility, and they weren’t going to be covered. Infertility. This would be the first of many times I would hear this word. I still hate it.
We found out that each month I was having ovulation issues; if I ovulated at all. My doctor started me on Clomid, which I had heard lots about. I wasn’t worried about side effects, and luckily, there weren’t many.
We tried it for 6 months with no luck.
Every month that went by was heartbreaking. I felt like a failure. Women have been having babies forever and I couldn’t do it once. I worried that my husband would hate me (I would later find out that this is the farthest from the truth). He has 2 sisters and I knew how important it was to him to have his own family.
I started to hate people who got pregnant. I would judge every pregnant woman I saw wondering if she was a good mommy. I hated feeling that way.
After 6 months, Dr. Griffith changed me to Femara; it is normally used for breast cancer patients, and was covered by insurance! Hooray!
Two months later, October of 2008, we got pregnant with our oldest, Liam. He was born July 15, 2009. I felt so blessed for this beautiful boy. All the stress, pain, bills and sadness had been worth it.
Can there be another?
When the time came to try for number #2, everything I read said the 2nd time after fertility drugs would be easier. I was hopeful that it would be true, but it wasn’t.
We tried again in 2011 for 6 months, alternating Femara and Clomid with the help of Dr. Griffith. Although he was very supportive and encouraging during all of these months, the old feelings came back.
People often talk about the physical stress infertility puts on your body, which luckily wasn’t much for me, but the emotional stress is all too real. You can’t explain it to people because they can’t see your pain. It would have been easier if I had had a wound to show them.
It’s especially hard to explain to people who have never been through it. I felt like it came so easy to my friends and family. I forgot that things don’t always look as they are on the surface. Luckily, the second time around I had close friends who could identify with what we were going through.
One friend in particular was using a surrogate to help grow her family and she suggested a new doctor, a Reproductive Endocrinologist. I went and met with Dr. Samuel Chantilis at DFW Fertility Associates in Dallas. He helped me put all my fears and nerves away. He is a very friendly, relaxed guy who really helped me be calm about such a touchy subject. We discussed all my options, my age (35 at the time which is like the “kiss of death” age), and decided on an IUI (an indo-uterine implant).
I had read a lot about IUI and was fully prepared for what we were getting into. We used Clomid, daily shots in the stomach (thankfully the hubby did this because I could not), and frequent trips to the Dr’s office for blood draws. Once again, most of this was not covered by our insurance (you should check with yours first!), so we worked out a payment plan with the office.
After the first month and several negative pregnancy tests, the husband and I talked about what to do next. We decided that financially we could only afford to pay to do the procedure 3 times.
Another miracle baby.
I shouted and cried because I couldn’t believe we had been blessed again. August was born August 21, 2012. Two stinky boys. The best I could ever ask for.
Everything we did over these years was worth it. It was draining on me, my family, my husband, our bank account and my body, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Okay, well I might change a few things, but I have two beautiful boys.
We’re a family. I couldn’t ask for more.
Cheri Grimes is a wife, mother, teacher, coach, Pinterest fanatic and writer who lives in Garland. She loves spending time with her 3 men, friends and family, whether at home or out around town, crafting or talking about all things baby on her blog Grimeslife.blogspot.com. She and her hubby enjoy trying fun restaurants and love to take BBQ road trips.