Infertility can rock our foundation; our sense of control over our futures, our faith in our bodies, and our feelings about ourselves as women.
THIS IS MY STORY
I knew since early childhood that I wanted to become a Mom. I fantasized about it and even picked names for my future children. My journey to parenthood was a long and rocky one; four and a half years of treatments, including IUI, IVF, also several miscarriages and surgeries.
I remember the first month actually trying to have a baby. When scheduled to fly out to Philadelphia for a wedding, I took along saltines for pregnancy sickness. Well, that was the first of many monthly disappointments of not getting pregnant. At my age, over thirty, my husband and I decided to go to a Reproductive Specialist after six months of trying, instead of waiting for the suggested full year. It was devastating, then to find out that my tubes were blocked, also to be told that to get pregnant would require IVF.
After one of my surgeries, I got pregnant and miscarried at ten weeks. I will never forget my feelings of loss, and my husband wanting to ascertain that I really did miscarry. While trying to obtain an ultrasound, the on-call doctor I never met before told me that “ he will see me in nine months and all will be okay.” It was difficult to tell everyone that I was not pregnant anymore. After a few weeks, with the support of my husband and amazing friends, I was urged to get up, leave my house, and regain the strength and determination to keep trying. That was a challenge because I did not want to leave my bed. Everywhere I went, I saw pregnant women and babies. If one more person told me to just relax and or adopt, I was going to lose it. Actually, I am adopted myself, so people thought I would not be averse to the idea of adopting, and I was not. It was simply premature at that time.
We tried IVF a second time and when the results came back negative, I took it even harder than the first failed IVF. We went to the beach for some R & R, only to turn around because I could not stand to see so many happy families with their kids. Coming home to my canine fur babies seemed more comforting to me.
At this point, joining an in-person support group was the best thing I did. Those were the days before Facebook and Instagram. To this day, I am still friends with most of the women I met from the support groups. I also found a therapist that specialized in this field, and began reading everything I needed to do, or not to do. It got to the point that if someone told me to stand on my head for five hours, I would give it a try. Although having great support, I still felt alone and sad. All I wanted to do was be a Mom. I did not share all this with people outside my circle of close friends. I did not want them to feel sorry for me, and or keep asking me if I was pregnant yet, only to find out I was not.
I got stronger, stood up for myself and stopped going to baby showers. I had enough of doing that and crying for the rest of the day. What I learned from my support group was that none of this made sense. Why was I able to visit a friend in the hospital that just had a baby, but I could not go to baby showers anymore? I knew I had to take care of me, whatever that meant. I made time for myself and took mindfulness and meditation courses. I bought almost twenty self-help CDs before finding the one that gave me comfort and reduced my anxiety. I became more hopeful and strong again. Today, there are many meditations for infertility on youtube for free!
Although my third IVF resulted in another miscarriage, I was not ready to give up, even if my fourth IVF also failed. At this point, I took a break and tried some alternative treatments which also included having my right tube removed. While on break from IVF, two close friends offered to donate their eggs to me. This was a huge surprise to me and something that I will always be grateful for. Although I never had to take them up on their offer, there is nothing I would not do for either one of them. Today, they remain very close friends of mine. Finally, IVF number five was the winning number, giving birth to twins.
This roller-coaster journey of highs and lows has humbled me. I did not know it then, but it lead me to the work I do now, with fertility counseling. ( third party reproduction assessments, families seeking to adopt, as well as birth mother counseling.)
I am eager to listen, educate, support and help guide individuals in their reproductive journey. I am also LGBTQ+ affirming, working with many gay and or transgender couples helping to build their families.
Please call today for a free consult. I look forward to helping you and will be honored to be your counselor. (404) 783-7086.
My Infertility support services
- Infertility Counseling Individuals and Couples
- Support groups Mind & body Donor, Adoption & Surrogacy
- Third-Party Reproductive Counseling Consults and Assessments
Hosts Free RESOLVE groups
Tips for discussing Infertility with your Partner
Reproductive Biology Associates
The Jewish Fertility Foundation