Yup, you read that title right!! I’m so so so excited to finally be writing and sharing this blog post. It’s been a long road to get to this post, a two and half year road of infertility struggles but we’re finally here! It’s a long post so be aware but I really have this desire to share our story and journey with you all. During this infertility struggle, I found hope and strength in other’s stories of infertility and so I hope this post will do the same for others who may be walking the same road or someday may walk that road.
August 2016 we stood in the kitchen and decided it was time. We had always talked about when we hit our two year wedding anniversary we would start trying and we were pretty close to that, so why not?! Honestly, I went to bed that night excited for what our future held. I saw our lives changing drastically soon. However, our lives held different plans. We spent the next year and five months trying naturally with absolutely no glimmer of hope. Each month passed and each month ended the same way the month before had. I honestly never even took a pregnancy test, never needed too. In January 2018 we headed to the OB who immediately referred us to Shady Grove Fertility. After a ton of testing, we were diagnosed with “unexplainable infertility”. There’s a strange mix of feelings associated with a diagnosis like that. Relief that there isn’t something drastically wrong with one of us that would prevent us from growing our family, something we both really desired. But yet, if there isn’t anything medically wrong with us (or at least something that the testing couldn’t find) then why isn’t this happening for us? Why after 18 months have we not been able to get pregnant?
I’ll be honest, even in the midst of the questions and confusion, we both had a sense of peace about the whole process. Looking back now on our two and half year journey, I understand why it took so long. Our marriage is in a completely different place than it was two years ago. We’re in a place more ready to take on bringing a child into our marriage. We’re individually in better places to be parents. Our finances are in much better places to take on the financial responsibility of a child. It was a long and hard road, but there were blessings in it.
In late March 2018, we started our first fertility treatment – IUI (click here for the medical info about that process). Two weeks later we finally got a positive pregnancy result! Yes!! Our first fertility treatment was successful and we were pregnant! We followed up with Shady Grove a week later and saw our little 6-week fetus’ heartbeat. Just that tiny little white spot on the screen moving. Two weeks later we were back for our 8-week appointment. Our doctor informed us that the fetus was only measuring at 6 weeks, which means one of two things. Either the egg implanted later than we thought and was right on track for its development or that there was something genetically wrong and the fetus wasn’t growing properly and would result in a miscarriage. We sat in the exam room a week later, when I was overtaken with a strong feeling of fear and peace. I even thought to myself, “It’s amazing how fear and peace can coexist at this moment.” Our doctor came in and immediately upon starting the sonogram, “I have bad news, the heartbeat has stopped.” She gave us a few minutes to collect ourselves before having a conversation about the next steps. At the end of May 2018, I had a D&C. Miscarriage is hard but again, I’m so thankful for my faith, husband, family, and friends. Someday, I’ll have to share more about miscarriage.
We spent the summer allowing my body to regulate itself again and prepare for another IUI cycle. After two more failed cycles, our Doctor started talking about the statistics behind IUIs. After three failed IUI cycles, the success rate drops to next to nothing and so she encouraged that we start an IVF cycle. Fortunately, due to the hubby’s insurance, our entire fertility treatment was completely 100% covered! The only way we were able to make all this happen. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes insurance doesn’t line up with medical advice. So our insurance wouldn’t let us bypass the 3 more IUI cycles they require and go right to an IVF cycle. After much conversation and prayer, the hubby and I decided that we needed a mental, emotion and physical break. Instead of jumping in and speeding through the IUI cycles, we needed to step back.
In October, I was talking with a family member who has been walking the infertility road with us as well and shared with me about a book she had read, It’s Starts with the Egg. I encourage EVERYONE to read this book! Even if you’re not trying to get pregnant – the information in this book is incredible! I’ll have to share more about what I learned from this book in another post as well. I came home with this book and within a few days, I had read the entire thing. I started to implement some of the advice from the book and with our thoughts of taking a step back from trying to get pregnant for the first time in 27 months, we sat back and enjoyed November.
Then the big massive surprise!! At my annual OB appointment, my doctor walked into the exam room and said “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” That’s right. After 27 months of trying everything under the sun to get pregnant, it just happened. While yes, as everyone who’s reading this will say and think, and I’m sure, removing the stress of trying allowed us to get pregnant. I do agree with you. But I also believe some other things played into it, happy to discuss those in person if you’d like. But honestly, I don’t care what it was, whatever it was, it worked!!
So now to answer all your questions….
How far along are you?!
I’m 20 weeks today! I’m exactly halfway through!
When are you due?
July 31st! So we’ll have either a July baby or an August baby, only time will tell.
Boy or girl?
A boy!! We found out yesterday. We were both shocked!! Both the hubby and I were convinced we were having a girl. But are very excited to be having a boy.
Are you sharing the name?
Yes and no. Yes to close family and friends but not on social media. Once he’s born, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops! It’s actually a name that we’ve had since we were dating.
How am I feeling?
As soon as I hit the second trimester, I’ve been feeling amazing! Honestly, sometimes I forget I’m pregnant. The first trimester though? That was a different story. If you were wondering what happened to me between Thanksgiving and February, that’s where I was. Laying on the couch, binging Netflix or sleeping, and trying to keep the little bit of food I was able to eat, down. The first trimester was rough. Week 5 hit and it was instantly there. Fortunately, at week 11 it let up and I was able to eat real food and real sized meals again.
Have you had any cravings?
Fruit!! I’ve wanted super juicy fruit since day one. All day, every day! I’d say it’s a pretty good craving. Other than that, no real cravings per se. Just excuses of “oh I’m pregnant so I’ll have that bowl of ice cream please.” haha
How will this affect the business?
Right now, I have answers but I also have lots of questions about that! Fortunately, this crazy thing happened where I didn’t get a since wedding inquiry for June, July or August of this year. It was causing me a lot of stress and then I got pregnant and the lightbulb went off! God had a plan and he was taking care of us! So, fortunately, I don’t have to cancel any wedding contracts. I spoke with all my May brides and my September brides yesterday and as expected, they were all amazing! Super excited for us and barely concerned about their weddings. So I’ll be shooting 4 weddings while 7 months pregnant (definitely need to find some supportive comfy shoes for that!) But then I’ll be good for June, July, August and half of September to give birth and heal. Come July 1st, I’ll be on Maternity leave and won’t be taking on any more portrait sessions for the rest of the summer. So if you do want summer portraits, make sure to reach out NOW! Dates are filling quickly. If not, just reach out for a fall date. I’ll start taking portraits in September. My questions about how it will affect business, you ask? My main one is just, how will I get it all done! It’ll be hard to find the balance but so many before me do it on a daily basis and so once we get a groove I know it’ll be great. But yes my business will remain open and I dream of growing it even bigger and better! My Instagram will just be filled with more baby pictures!
So that’s our big news! That’s been our journey!! I’m so excited that this news is finally out there and I can finally share this massive part of our life with you all. Let me know if you have any other questions, I’m excited to talk about it and share all about it!!