I always knew I wanted to me a mom. When I was a little girl I’d proudly declare, “when I grow up, I want to be a mama.” And that desire only grew stronger with time.
My husband and I met 16 years ago in a radio broadcasting class. I was one of only two girls in the entire class and on the first day, when I walked into class, I scanned the room and decided that I’d sit next to the cutest boy. That cute boy turned into the man of my dreams, my best friend and eventually my partner in life.
James and I knew we wanted kids, we talked about it on one of our first dates. This was a deal breaker for both of us. We even joked that one day we’d have a little girl and name her June, and call her Bug for short. We dated for eight years before getting hitched and are now going on eight years married and counting.
We thought we had all the time in the world to start our family. We traveled all over Europe and on a trip to France we decided it was baby-making time. Looking back, I feel almost embarrassed at how easy I thought this process would be. We essentially pulled the goalie on a train trip from Germany to Paris and felt confident (doubt-free, actually) that we’d be meeting our newest bundle of joy in nine months. We literally high-fived after. I’m shaking my head as I write this. Boy, were we wrong.
We kept tying on our own for one year, but it wasn’t happening. At this point we are surrounded by our friends and siblings having babies and, although ecstatic for them, there was a hint of jealously. Okay, way more than a hint, I was green with envy. The internal battle to feel joy for others separate from my own pain was a difficult task.
This is when we decided to seek assistance. We ended up at Seattle Reproductive Medicine (@srmfertility) where they did (what I felt) was every dang test in the book. The pros determined that I have PCOS and my husband has varicocele. Both diagnoses are not uncommon, but they do make for the perfect storm to hinder us from conceiving on our own.
So, we jumped right it. The plan was to have five IUIs then start IVF if needed. I started taking fertility treatment to help me ovulate. No one told me how crazy this would make me feel. I started with Clomid then had to switch to Letrozole. That helped, but I still felt so alone, sad, frustrated and angry. I gained 20 pounds, folks – 20 pounds! The hormones made me feel out of control.
One, two, three IUIs and still nothing. We added trigger shots to help the odds. Finally, we were at IUI Number 5. This was it — the make or break — I was terrified of IVF.
It worked. On our fifth IUI we were told we were pregnant. We were shocked. Overjoyed. I screamed in a pillow (twice) as I could not contain my excitement. After four years of trying, it was “our time” to be mom and dad.
My pregnancy was rough. I was terribly sick, I lost weight from all the vomiting. But it was worth it, behind every barf was a part of me that soaked it all in because I had longed so badly for this experience. On delivery day, I was 10 days late — even though I was barley dilated, the nurses felt so bad for me they admitted me. My friends joke that I worked hard enough for this baby, that I deserved a manageable delivery. After three days in the hospital and eight hours of pushing, she was here.
We now we have our daughter — and you guessed it, her name is June, Bug for short. She is now almost 4-years-old and the light of our lives. Words cannot describe how much we love our little girl.
And now once again we are longing to add to our family. Two years in on trying (for Baby Number 2) we have completed six IUIs and are currently deciding our next steps — most likely IVF.
Sometimes I’m hesitant to share “my story” because I didn’t have to do IVF the first round and I know so many other couples have struggled far more than us. But I have to remind myself that everyone has a different story — not better — just different.
Thank you so much, Science, for my darling, sweet Junie girl and hopefully I’ll be thanking science for Baby Number 2 down the road. Remember, you may feel overwhelmed in your battle but you are not alone.