Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Faces of Infertility: Casey & Jordan


In celebration of "National Infertility Awareness Week", I am featuring stories of infertility this week. These are all guest posts that I hope will put a real face on this devastating disease. Please spread the word and share these stories!

I’m a planner, always have been. I plan things out. I have success. That’s just the way it’s always gone for me. Any job I’ve applied for, program I have entered, scholarship I wanted…check, check, check. So naturally, having a baby would be no different. We would start trying at a time in the year where the baby would be born with a good birthday according to the school calendar. I mean, a September birthday would just be the worst.
Two years later and I would have given anything for a child with a September birthday.  Of course, if you weren’t in my inner circle you wouldn’t have known that all wasn’t going my way. I was a teacher, a spouses’ club president, a fitness instructor, a friend, a wife, and an active traveler. Chances are you probably asked, “When will you have kids?” or “Don’t you want kids of your own?” We had been married 5 years, shouldn’t we have a family by now?
Truth was, I was crying just about every day. Yes, I wanted kids of my own, I wanted them with every fiber of my being. I wanted to have a baby shower of my own, to have sleepless nights, to hold a tiny baby in my arms. Even more so, I wanted to be able to go to baby showers without leaving, to attend church without crying, to be happy when yet another pregnancy announcement was posted on Facebook.
The doctors said we had a less than 5% chance of getting pregnant on our own. IVF was our only “real” option, and even that wasn’t guaranteed. We tried it, only to have an early positive result turn into a negative. We tried it again, this time not even an early positive. Just a “no,” yet another “no.” All the while, life had to go on. There were responsibilities, and trips, and parties. People to be happy for and things to accomplish. Behind the scenes, though? Every day was hard. Every single day was a reminder of the fact that I was failing at something that every drunken cheerleader seemed able to accomplish.
Then came round three. Our third attempt with IVF. This time was different and we were finally given the “yes” we had been hoping for. Not just that, but TWINS! We had a double blessing after all that we had been through in the last two years. FINALLY. Weeks later on a flight to Boston, the bleeding started. The ER doctor coldly handed me a paper on miscarriage and sent me on my way. I have never cried so much. I have never felt so very hopeless. After all that effort, our babies were gone. But even then, the obligations continued. A speaking engagement, a new job upon on return to Turkey…life was still moving and I still had to put on a brave face.
I wore that brave face to a follow up ultrasound before scheduling a D&C. Except that I didn’t have to schedule that D&C after all, one of our little beans was there. One tiny little heart just beating away. We had experienced the lowest lows to the highest highs in just one week’s time. Deacon joined our family in June of 2012. He was (and is) a miracle in every sense of the word, and our journey to him changed my life forever. I now understood what it was like to want something so very badly, yet have it be so far out of reach. Our infertility journey changed my life and it changed my parenting.
Just 19 months later we welcomed our daughter, Sutton. A daughter conceived in that 5% window, and a clear reminder that God doesn’t work in percentages. No treatments, no help, just an unexpected blessing. From “that girl” that has it all together to “that girl” that carts around the traveling circus that is two children under two, and now I find myself again putting on the brave face.
1 in 8 couples faces infertility. Chances are you know someone who has been through the pain, or maybe even someone who is currently struggling. Maybe you have a friend who is dealing with hormones and shots and continued negative tests. You see the brave face, but you don’t see the struggle. Maybe you have a friend that has children so close together it seems as if she gets pregnant with no problem. You see the brave face, but you don’t see the struggle. Just remember, chances are there is a lot more going on in a person’s life than what you know or see.  

(Please note that all parts of this article are the opinion of the guest writer and not necessarily viewpoints that I personally share)

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