Yesterday was May 10th. Just another day to most people… but for me, May 10th has always been a pretty big deal. I bought my first house 11 years ago (on May 10th). We shot our first wedding 9 years ago (on May 10th). After being told by the doctor that Jeff may have M.S., we found out last year that he DIDN’T (on May 10th). :) I’m not a superstitious person, but May 10th has always been a lucky, life-changing day in my life. Each year, I’m eager to see what it will bring…. And it’s almost always something.
Yesterday was May 10th, and it was BIG.
Maybe the biggest…
I’ve written and re-written this post several times in my head. Finding the right words has been tricky… “Is this too personal? Am I oversharing? What will our clients think? Will I cast a gloomy shadow on our usually-upbeat blog?”
I’ve realized something, though. Our journey to having a family isn’t a “gloomy” one. It’s been tough, absolutely. But it’s mostly a story of hope. And love (sooo much love, you guys). I love Jeff more today than I ever thought possible, our marriage 100 times stronger as a result of our infertility.
There, I said it…
It’s a taboo word, as we’ve found out. Even our closest friends and family members sometimes get quiet when we talk about it. It’s one of those topics where people just don’t know what to say. Jeff and I are 100% ok with sharing our story. It’s almost therapeutic for us. So many couples go through it, about 1 in 8 actually. If you’re one of the millions that have been affected by the pain of infertility, I want you to know that you are not alone.
When you’re in school, they never teach you that getting pregnant might actually be difficult. I remember feeling like it was possible to get pregnant if someone just looked at you the wrong way! :) But If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last 15 months, it’s that starting a family is often anything BUT simple.
Because that’s how long we’ve been trying to begin ours.
And as I look on with joy at my friends that are announcing their pregnancies and growing families, I’m thrilled for them (really!) But it’s also an undeniable reminder that we aren’t there yet, and I can’t help but feel sad.
And to be honest? Sometimes a little angry. I waited for YEARS to find the right person, and he is finally here. We were 34 and 39 when we were married… haven’t we waited for long enough? Are we somehow being punished for waiting so long?
When Jeff and I got married last February, we knew we wanted to start trying for kids right away. “We’re not wasting any time,” Jeff would say. “We’re getting pregnant on the honeymoon!” The clock was ticking, and we were eager to begin our family.
But it didn’t happen on the honeymoon, or in the months to follow.
I turned 35 in August. My sister-in-law bought an Aggie’s onesie for me for my birthday (Jeff loves A&M). I opened it up in front of our entire family. We were all sure it would happen any day. It was just a matter of time.
And then 2016 turned into 2017…
On January 17th of this year, when the answer was again “No, not this month,” something changed for me. My “Oh well! We’ll try again!” attitude was gone. I found myself on the floor in our guest room, crying my eyes out (as quietly as possible so that Jeff wouldn’t hear me). It was a new year, and I had SO expected to be pregnant by 2017. I’d imagined Jeff as a father so many times. We’d picked out names. We had dreamed about what sports our kids might play or what career path they might take. What if it was never going to happen? Could I be ok with that?
I had to know for sure what was going on.
On February 1st, we had our first appointment with our new doctor — a fertility specialist. I was so nervous, freaked out even. But he PROMISED (as he held my hand) that he would get to the bottom of things. It’s a funny feeling… you’re terrified that they’ll find something wrong with you. And at the same time, you want them to find something so that they can fix it. We braced ourselves for anything.
After running what felt like a million tests on both me and Jeff, we learned that there was something wrong. I needed surgery. I had a large, benign tumor (called a “fibroid”) inside of my uterus. Uterine fibroids are apparently common, but mine was the size of a large walnut (um, whoa.) In the off-chance that I had conceived a child, my chances of carrying to term were extremely small. Like, non-existent.
The doctor ordered that we stop trying for a baby immediately.
This is the part where things began to (finally) make sense. There have been so many moments over the last year where I have found myself weeping, literally crying out to God because I just. didn’t. understand why it hadn’t happened for us. Now I knew why. And we had a game plan.
I had the surgery on March 16th. The good news is that tumor was removed successfully. The bad news is that the doctor also discovered that I have endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder where tissue that normally lines the uterus somehow grows outside the uterus. I didn’t even know that was a thing… but it is. And it can also cause infertility. (insert sad face here)
So goes the infertility roller coaster. You’re hopeful. And then you’re brutally disappointed. You’re up. And then you’re down… My doctor was able to remove most of the misplaced tissue. Which means we’re up again. And he says that we are (finally) ready to have a baby.
Which brings us to yesterday, May 10th. Two months after the procedure, I’m fully recovered! I’ve been taking fertility medication (with some not-so-great side effects) for the past couple weeks, and the doctor said that yesterday (MAY 10th!!!) was our day to conceive! I’ve been joking with Jeff that conceiving on May 10th would make a great story. He hasn’t quite bought into my whole May-10th superstition, but this year I’m hoping to make him a believer.
I know it may not happen this month… but I am so, so hopeful.
In fact, the one thing I’ve never felt throughout this journey is hopeless. I know God has a purpose in all of this. Whether that reason is because God is still working on me and Jeff before we become parents, or because He has something else entirely planned for us, I know that His plan is perfect and His reasoning is infinitely better than ours.
And so, we wait. Some days with more patience than others… but always with hope. I know that this is only the beginning for me and Jeff, no matter how big or small our family is. ❤️
**Wedding photos courtesy of the incredible photography team, The Nichols.