My husband and I were ready to have a baby. Then, it happened – the very first month. There were those two pink lines, and my heart raced with excitement, dreaming of all the rainbows and sunshine that motherhood would bring. We had always said we wanted two children, and we were excited to start our family. Words could not express the emotion we felt the day we set our eyes on our precious baby boy for the first time. Our lives were forever changed in the best possible way.
I relished all things motherhood. I LOVED being a new mommy, as it gave me the most indescribable, “this is what I was born to do” feeling I’d ever felt in my life. I remember gazing down at my baby boy thinking that he seemed too good to be true.
When our son was nine months old, we were ready to try for Baby #2, but little did we know that we were about to face a very uphill battle with secondary infertility. After 5 years, 3 miscarriages, 4 surgeries, a slew of fertility treatments, and lots of emotional ups and downs, we were unsuccessful to conceive a 2nd child as easily and seamlessly as we did our first. As each unsuccessful month passed, my heart broke over and over and over again at the thought of not being able to grow our family as we’d dreamed. I worried, over-analyzed and grieved more deeply than I ever had. I changed my diet, I exercised more, I exercised less, I took vitamins, I did whatever I could to try to control the situation but it was no use. I felt anger towards my body for failing me and not accepting a pregnancy, something it had ALREADY done once before! While I felt so grateful for our son and continued to savor all our moments together, I simultaneously felt immense sadness and desperation for this desire deep in my heart to have another child.
After five years of pain and heartache, we finally decided it was time to “break up” with the fertility world. I struggled mentally and emotionally with “giving up” because I felt like I was quitting something that was more important to me than anything else in this world: growing our family. I knew I had to leave the black cloud of infertility behind in order to be fully present to enjoy this life with my husband and son. I found some contentment in thanking God for the love we shared as a family of three and that I got to experience motherhood once. But, the truth is, my brokenness lingered and though my yearning lessened, there was still a tenderness in my heart that I prayed would heal over time.
As a woman and a mother, secondary infertility is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I prayed to God for strength, understanding and perspective. And perspective is what He gave me – a perspective of gratitude for what He’d already given us through our marriage and our healthy, fun-loving little boy. He also gave me the phrase “choose joy”. These two little words became my silver lining on cloudy days. They helped me cope with secondary infertility by choosing gratitude for all the goodness instead of dwelling on the sorrow.
Excuse Me, What???
In early 2017, we experienced the shock of our lives when two pink lines popped up in the most unexpected way. We. Were. PREGNANT!!!
But, how? We’d done nothing – no shots, no blood work, no medications. My brain couldn’t comprehend what my eyes were seeing. Over the years, I’d had so many people tell me to “just let it go” – to “stop trying” – to “relax” and then it would magically happen. But, I didn’t believe it. Never in a million years did I think a miracle story would happen to us.
As I write this, I am four months pregnant and once again, life feels too good to be true. Our hearts are overflowing with joy, thankfulness, and outrageous happiness for this miraculous gift! But just because we are pregnant now doesn’t mean that the experience of infertility has left me, that the brokenness still doesn’t seem fresh at times and that I don’t feel the heart stings of other women going through the exact same thing we did. It will forever be a part of me, and I only hope I can continue to walk alongside other women who know this struggle all too well…to share an understanding heart.
To those of you who might be struggling to conceive, grieving the loss of a baby through miscarriage, or experiencing any brokenness in your journey of motherhood, I pray that our little story will bring you a glimmer of hope and encouragement that miracles can and do happen.