Hold on to each other.

hugMy husband and I have the sort of marriage that makes other people sick.  We are truly happy and so in love.  Every day we are thankful for each other.  And I mean every day.  Even I am surprised sometimes at how well our relationship works.  In all the years we have been together, we really only have had one real challenge.  Infertility.

About a year after we got married, I stopped taking birth control.  We weren’t “trying” but we both figured, if I got pregnant, great!  After a few years of no little surprises, I started to wonder.  It took me a long time to actually go see someone about it, but once I did, we got the news that we had fertility problems and getting pregnant the old fashioned way would be very challenging.   So, we decided to start trying some fertility treatments.

For those of you who don’t know, there are lots of different ways to attempt to overcome infertility.  They are prescriptions for him, prescriptions for her.  There are a slough of letters representing a number of different methods and treatments: GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI, IUI, and IVF to name a few.  We started with IUI, or intrauteran insemination.  Not the easiest process, but it is not very invasive.  We tried IUI for a year.  With each of my cycles, I would take the right drugs and we would try and time everything out perfectly.  And every month, when I would get my period, my heart would break.

We got a new doctor.  He gave it to us straight.  He said we could try IUI for years and it will never work.  Our only shot was to try IVF, in vitro fertilization.  Even though I had prepared myself for hearing this, even though I was sure that was what the doctor would say, I still cried as we drove home from the appointment.  We had been trying to get pregnant for years at that point, but it wasn’t until that moment that it all became real to me.  Infertility.

As we started the process of IVF, neither of us knew what we were getting into.  The cost, the stress, the appointments, the injections, the pain, all of it was overwhelming.  I found myself so often being thankful that my husband and I had such a strong bond.  Otherwise, I could see how the strain of infertility can pull people apart.  My husband and I, however leaned on each other for support.  We knew in this whole IVF storm, we really only had each other to hold on to.  We were patient.

After seven years, many IUIs, and four failed IVFs, fresh and frozen, we finally had good news.  The fifth time was a charm.  We were pregnant.  Our twins were born this last September.  Our marriage is still strong.  I am still thankful every day that we have each other.

The struggles of infertility are difficult.  At times they feel impossible.  At times it feels like you are being ripped apart.  At times it feels like hope is useless.  If you are going through it, don’t give up.  Hold on to each other and keep trying.  We are living proof that it is worth it.  My husband and I just had the best Christmas of our lives.  Each of us, with a daughter in our arms and love in our hearts are so thankful we didn’t lose hope.

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