My husband and I were married in July of 2005. I was 18 and he was 24, we were married exactly one month after I graduated high school. To say that we were in love was an understatement. We were soulmates, first loves and there was no turning back. I totally believe that God put us together because he knew the path that we were destined to take. My husband and I moved into our own apartment and I went away to finish my last two years of college - I was in an accelerated program. It was hard being separated but absence truly made our hearts grow fonder.We talked on the phone several times a day and when it was time to hang up neither of us wanted to be the first to end the call. On one of our last phone calls before my college graduation my husband told me that he was ready to start a family. He asked if I felt the same way too. I had been thinking about it for a while but wanted to get my degree out of the way first, so I said yes. We had decided to start trying for a baby as soon as we were back in the same town.
In the beginning we just had fun with it and threw caution to the wind. We told no one about our plans because they all thought that I was far to young - including my own mom. As the months went on I started to get a little nervous because nothing was happening. I kept getting negative test, I never missed a menstrual cycle. I talked to my OB who told me it would be a year before I could see a specialist but she would run test to make sure everything was okay. We had our preconception testing done and everything looked fine. She gave us the go ahead and told me to try for 3 more months and if nothing happen to come back and she would send me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist aka a Fertility Doctor. The three months came and went and still nothing. We were referred to the RE who did extensive testing but complained that I was too young to treat at this time I was barely 21. My RE told me to track my cycles and use ovulation kits for a little longer and then he would treat me if we did not conceive. At this point we had been trying to get pregnant for over a year and we hadn't used birth control for the duration of our marriage - yet still I was not pregnant!
I knew that something wasn't right - my whole family was super fertile and no one had problems conceiving. I started to feel alone, I felt like the world was against us because no one would help me. After trying to conceive for 18 months my RE finally agreed to give me clomid to super ovulate me. I ovulated on my own but he felt that if I released two eggs I would have a better chance of conceiving. I took the clomid five days after my menstrual cycle started. I was super excited, I just knew that this would be the answer. I knew that this would make me pregnant. I took the pill and shortly after I had the hot flashes and sweats that some of the women talked about. The more of the medicine I took the more symptoms I began to feel. By the last pill I was a raging crazy woman - I would yell at my husband and then burst into tears. I never had a sex drive - but I forced myself into the mood in hopes that we would get a baby out of it. Seventeen days after taking the last pill my menstrual cycle showed up. I was not pregnant! I was hurt, I cried for the whole day curled up on the couch - I don't think I've ever cried that much since. That cry was the death of my hope. I proceeded with more treatments as an empty shell. We did that four more times before my RE decided to move on to IUIs.
I was so broken down in spirit, I had no hope that the IUIs would work. By the time we got around to paying for IUIs and thousand dollar medicines, my husband and I had been married for 4 years and it was 2009. We were in a really bad place together, the only time we made love was when I figured I was ovulating. I was depressed, I had insomnia and would stay away for 1-2 days before crashing into a deep sleep. To top it off, I had recently been diagnosed with OCD. People throw that term around quite often, but when you are diagnosed with it and living it daily, it can be taxing. I've always been somewhat obsessive about life, but dealing with Infertility exacerbated my symptoms because I had no control. To regain control I would count my steps, vacuum the carpet to have perfectly even lines, I would mop in a particular rhythm and I cleaned so much that I made myself sick. If I left the house, I would go back several times to check the stove if I had cooked that day. I organized our home like nobodies business. If my husband left anything out of place I would bite his head off. We fought a lot and I was so stressed about not getting pregnant that my hair began to fall out.
My doctors said that nothing was wrong with my husband and I. Our infertility was unexplained. He believed that we were a text book perfect couple. He even went far enough to say that my husband had super sperm. If his sperm were so super, why weren't they getting me pregnant? Before starting our first IUI, I came out of the infertility closet and let my mom know what we had been going through. She felt horrible for all the comments she made about not wanting to be a grandmother just yet. She helped my husband and I to get the medicines we needed for our IUI's. An IUI meant that they would medicate me to ovulate and right before ovulation they would get a sample of my husbands sperm to inject into my uterus. The one thing people don't tell you about infertility is that it is painful and very expensive. We know babies are expensive too, but nobody is asking you for 20K up front the minute you have a kid.
On the day of my first IUI my husband, mom and I got to the clinic two hours early. We wanted to make sure that we didn't miss my ovulation. The drugs I was taking produced four mature follicles meaning that there were four potential eggs to be released from my ovaries. That also meant that my husband and I could be the parents of quadruplets if we did conceive. We were ready to take the risk. The night before, I felt pain in my side indicating that I would be ovulating, my doctor told me that he had timed it just right. But I knew my body and I knew I was ovulating. So when they checked my ovaries via vaginal ultrasound that morning no follicles could be found. We missed the ovulation so the whole cycle was a bust. I was so upset I cried all the way home. It was as if I had done all that for nothing. Why was everyone getting pregnant so easily, meanwhile I was struggling to do what was supposed to come naturally? My husband tried again to console me and I wanted nothing to do with him. Since they had said his sperm was super I felt the problem was with me. I rejected my husband because I felt I was holding him back from his dream of being a father. I felt guilty for our infertility issues. He told me time and time again how much he loved me and how we would live a beautiful life together even if we could not have children. All the while I knew that our marriage would not last if I could not become a mother.
After more than 45 stomach injections, 20 plus blood draws, 20 plus doctor visits, 4 IUIs, nearly 10k dollars, 4 semen samples, and 60lbs of weight gain - we had zero pregnancies. I was devastated, stuck, depressed, disappointed - I felt worthless, inadequate, hopeless, and angry. Here I was going about life the "right" way with a husband and a home, but here was no baby. My doctor urged us to try IVF, but we didn't have 25k just laying around in our house. We had spent so much of our savings on IUIs hoping and praying they would work. I had enough and decided to take a break. I was not in a good place mentally or physically. Our break from baby making was indefinite - I needed to work on me. I felt so unloved and far from God. I felt so broken, so unnecessary to life. I stopped looking for God because I was angry with him, but He found me. He brought me to women who would speak life to me - he brought me to women who shared my struggle. I didn't know there were so many of us out there.
It was in 2010 that I rediscovered my faith and trusted God to heal my marriage. I realized that my marriage was for my husband and I, not just for children. I needed to clear up some things that were going on in my heart so I began working on them. I worked hard at being my own boss and did whatever it took to keep my mind off having a baby. It wasn't until 2012 that I realized all that I had been going through was to bring me to God. This trial that I was experiencing was to bring Him the glory for my life. I had put my faith in my husband, doctors, and family - none of them could validate my reason for life. In 2012 God put it on my spirit to take care of myself to lose the weight and to take back the reigns of my marriage. To this day my husband and I have not conceived our first child, yet we have more hope than ever before. Our marriage which was quite rocky the first 3-4 years had grown strong. We will be married for 9 years in July. We still have plans to pursue further treatment but we are relying on God's timing to bring us to our precious baby. Sometimes it still hurts - but God always soothes my heart and restores my joy.
I know this isn't a happily every after but this is our story. Our journey continues and we have found hope, joy, faith, and love in Christ - Infertility will not beat us down.
***UPDATE: I am so happy to share that on April 26, 2014, Charity announced that her and her husband are expecting twins! She originally sent this post in January, so I was so overjoyed to see how everything worked out over the past few months (:
If you have a story or post about infertility we would love for you to share it below in the comments!