Let me begin by saying that I am currently 46 years old. Gosh, that sounds so much older than I think of myself.
I first got married at 22 years old and after trying for a year to get pregnant, I began seeing my doctor to find out if there were any problems, since all of the over the counter pregnancy tests came back negative. I surely didn't want to worry and never thought I'd be considered "infertile". Those tests really played tricks on my mind, as I so much wanted them to be positive. I'd look as hard as possible to see if that little indicator was a positive sign, instead of a negative one. No such chance.
Women are born with every egg they (we) will ever produce. Unlike men, who are constantly producing sperm. Kind of sounds unfair, but that's how it is. The one issue I did have was that my eggs were not maturing as they should.
My now ex-husband and I started going for all sorts of testing and I began many trials of thyroid medications and taking "egg-inducing" pills. (If that is such a term?) The testing concluded it was me having the problems. These medications were suppose to help my eggs grow. The doctors I had seen - and they were many - really could not find any significant problem. My thyroid was fine; I had a "dye test" to make sure my tubes were open and clear for a fertilized egg to pass through - that was fine as well. The "test or procedure" on the other hand, hurt as if my insides were being ripped out of my body! The doctor injects a dye into your tubes and then places a clamp onto your cervix. Mix that with having future "doctors" standing in the same room while this is being done! Embarrassing and painful! I asked the "Technician" how badly this will hurt and she said, "Don't worry, this will feel similar to giving birth!" Um, what!?! I am THERE to actually figure out why I can't have a child and THIS is how she compares it? I silently told her she was an idiot - I repented to God for that comment later.
All blood work came back just fine, as did the future possibility of ever carrying a child. So, my uterus could carry a baby - if I only could get my eggs to "grow up" (being light-hearted here). I underwent having HCG shots, which were to also help the eggs mature. Every day for a two week time period, I would leave on my lunch hour to go have blood work done and get these injections in my hip. I did this for several months. Unfortunately, as much as the HCG shots were helping, the eggs just weren't growing to the size they needed to be so that they could be fertilized and grow a baby. Therefore, my eggs were remaining in an "unmature" state. The last doctor I had seen was wonderful though. He tried everything he could and all kinds of new technology was performed. But after going through years of treatment, I was emotionally breaking down at this point. My heartfelt thanks go out to Dr. Eike Parl, who only charged us his costs on medications and was trying so hard to help us have this baby.
I silently wished I had at least gotten pregnant and lost the child than go through being alone and the feeling of great disappointment every month when that dreaded "time of the month" rolled around. I cried a LOT by myself and really didn't reach out for help. I really felt like a failure. Please note, I am NOT downplaying a miscarriage here, but just wanted some form of conception to take place - something "tangible" that people could relate to in my sorrow. You really try to reason with yourself during these times.
As you may imagine, all of this disappointment in myself and the treatment outcomes were really taking a toll on my marriage at that time, not to mention my self esteem. I was facing feelings of inadequacy, denial, anger, sadness, anxiety, and just plain being tired. I could no longer attend baby showers for my friends because I was crying so hard inside. I had picked out every piece of equipment I wanted for this baby that never was to be. I tried everything I could to keep my spirits high during these years, but it was just so hard. Nobody ever really talked about being "infertile" - it felt like I had the plague. I wanted so badly to be happy for my friends and family having children, but inside I was slowly dying. I felt so alone during this time of my life. I am not saying my ex husband wasn't there for me, but I really just felt so out of place and unworthy that I pushed him, my family and many others away. I put up a wall so high that no catapult could get over it. I couldn't listen to anyone telling me that is was "ok" or that I just need to "not worry and relax". If I heard either of those things one more time .... ugh! But it's hard for people to give support when they really don't understand it. My grandmother on my mother's side had 7 kids - surely I could have at least one? We had not heard of anyone in our family facing this.
Now top that off with being aware and reading Bible scriptures of "go forth and multiply" - well, I could not understand why I was facing this. I could not understand why "I" was feeling like I had done something wrong or how messed up my body was, yet those were suppose to be medically treated conditions and my treatments weren't working. I just could not grasp this emotionally. I would see women smoking, doing drugs, eating poorly, etc. and they were having kids with no problem. I even tried to push out the pressure of "making a baby". But man - this was hard! I was having to take my temperature and chart it. When it appeared that I was ovulating, we were suppose to try at this time. Gosh - talk about making it THAT much harder on a couple! It definitley is no longer "fun" at that point. Too much pressure!
Needless to say, my marriage ended in divorce. I will take part of the blame for that because I was just not emotionally stable enough to keep trying and even though adoption was considered, it did not seem that was a path we were headed in at that time. My ex husband had just finished Medical School and was onto a prominent career. I really didn't know what else to do, so I guess you can say that I ran away. No - this wasn't the wisest choice to make, but it happened. I had given up on myself, marriage and future family. Over the years, stories have surfaced as to the "reason" for that divorce. It's amazing how people that really never knew you can later give conclusions as to what happened. I have heard everything from one of us being unfaithful to the other, to the cause being jealousy. Neither was true. But most of the time, people just don't want to know the truth and prefer to draw conclusions as to a more sensationalized outcome - because that's more interesting to talk about. And honestly, if you are someone who has been blessed enough to give birth, it's pretty hard for you to understand the emotional impact on an infertile couple. People just don't know what to say to bring comfort and sometimes don't give encouragement at all. It's not their fault - they just don't know how to help - because nobody could help. This was a truly sad point in my life. Yes, I had family but again - I wasn't ready to hear the words of encouragment and just felt like drawing up into a ball and disappearing.
I soon afterwards jumped at the first guy who came along and proposed. I wasn't ready but did it anyway. He didn't care about kids - or so he said. We did apply for adoption and had been connected with a young girl near the end of her pregnancy. The adoption at that time was going to cost close to $16, 000 plus a monthly cost to the mother of $800 and repairs to her car, so she could continue working. After 8 months of marriage my second husband wanted out. We got divorced and I never knew what happened until 3 years later - he had gotten a co-worker pregnant and wanted to be with her. I withdrew my contract for the adoption even though the Attorney said I could go forth as a single parent. Well THAT wasn't about to happen. I needed to get myself "back" emotionally and spiritually. I needed time for "me".
Eleven years ago, I married an old friend I knew from high school. He already had two children from a previous marriage and I was already 35 by that time. I was emotionally stable enough to handle "not" having a child. I was set in my career and facing life head on. I was "spiritually ready" this time. I had heard God tell me that I was going to be the mother to his two children and I became that. Note: That is another story in itself and definitely was not an easy path to take. Being a step parent comes with its own pre-determined ideas from those around you and the fairy tales about step parents don't help much either. Another emotional rollercoaster. - - - All I wanted was to "just be a mom" to at least one child.
In October of 2008, we moved to the Port Charlotte area of Florida and I started helping out in our Youth Group at church. I can happily say that I am now studying to become a Youth Pastor and have close to 100 kids that I consider as my own and try to give guidance and encouragement to. I have become a "Spiritual Mom" to many.
If anything I have said can help encourage at least one person out there who is facing infertility, then I am glad I can help.
Most importantly though - PLEASE don't let it effect your marriage. God brings a man and wife together and if you are facing this situation, go before God. Of course, I am taking this focus into a Christian perspective - but that's what I know and believe.
Take this issue to Him and ask Him for help. The answer may not be in "having" a baby, but can simply be to bring you both closer together and bring glory to God in the progress of your marriage and what you both accomplish together in life. There is an enemy in this world. If you read the Bible, it's very clear that he is real. His main purpose is to destroy anything that God brought together. If he can succeed in breaking up your marriage, then you lose. Try to focus more on your relationship and bring God back into something you originally invited Him to when you were united at His throne.
Please know that God created you in His image. You are a Prince or Princess of the Highest King! You are here for a purpose. Now, that purpose my not be what you originally thought, but you are NOT here by chance or coincidence. You have a lot to offer those around you and your own story can help someone else not knowing how to face it or those ready to give up - a new hope.
My hope and prayer is that I am "Paying it Forward" to those facing infertility. Know that your marriage can become stronger and that giving up is NOT the option. You both can become stronger in yourselves too. Don't allow hate, anger or depression take control of your path. Take it to God and rest in knowing He will definitely bring forth more blessings in your life than you can contain!
After all, I now have well over 100 kids that I never would have known and for that - I am thankful to God.