Every path to motherhood is unique, and while no two paths are the same we can relate to each other’s journeys. The thought of becoming a mother always held a special place in my heart, and it was a role I always knew I wanted to fulfill. Growing up I was that little girl always playing house with her dolls, and holding all the little babies in her family smothering them with hugs and kisses. Being raised by two wonderful parents, and growing up closely with two sisters, definitely had a lasting impact on my wanting to start a family of my own someday.
How my journey began…
Fast forward to the year 2012, my husband and I got married, and we began communicating what our future plans would be. We mutually decided that we would take a year just to focus on ourselves and truly enjoy life together as a married couple before starting a family. Does this sound familiar? Planning out how you’ll start your family then boom life throws the unexpected at you? Curveballs are coming in left and right? One thing I have learned is that we can rigidly plan and strategize, but our journey is meant to unfold in its own unique and unexpected way.
Jump to 2013, we begin our journey to conceive and pregnancy test after pregnancy test they all revealed negative results. There was an array of emotions that washed over me, but the worst of all was fear. Am I not able to get pregnant? Will I ever become a mother? After about a solid year of tears, stress, and disappointment I decided I needed to set up my annual gynecologist appointment and try to put my mind at ease. Unbeknownst to me, that appointment would change my life.
My doctor called me into his office after my check-up and explained he discovered cysts during my exam, which meant I needed to be referred for an MRI to assist in finding a diagnosis. He discussed the possibility of fibroids, chocolate cysts, or a condition called Endometriosis. Immediately, I was on google going down the rabbit hole searching for all things cysts, and needless to say, my mind was definitely not at ease. A few weeks later we received the results of the MRI and my doctor was certain it was Endometriosis, but the only way to have that condition diagnosed is through a laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive operation performed on the abdomen or pelvis through one or a few small incisions. Typically, the recovery time is about 4 days to a week.
After my procedure I learned I was in stage 4 of endometriosis, which is the severe stage, and it all made sense, a light bulb went off! For years and years, I suffered from extremely painful periods, which even led me to miss school at times. As a teenager, I sought medical help, but my parents and I were informed it was “just a bad period,” and basically there was nothing to be done except deal with it. My doctor advised my husband and me that having a baby naturally might be difficult, not impossible, but difficult. He recommended we try for about 6 months on our own before seeking fertility options.
Six months came and went and still no pregnancy. I was devastated, frustrated, and so extremely stressed, which is definitely not a good combination when you’re trying to conceive. We decided it was time to set up an appointment with a fertility specialist to take control of our situation. Upon being examined, it was concluded that both my husband and I were healthy with no fertility concerns besides my endometriosis.
To continue on my path to motherhood, we were advised to continue trying and start an oral medication, Clomid, which is a non-steroidal medication that releases hormones to stimulate ovulation. Unfortunately, after a few months that didn’t work either, and we were given information on our next option, which was artificial insemination. Artificial insemination, also known as AI, is a simple non-invasive procedure in which sperm is placed directly into a woman’s reproductive tract. We were hurt and confused as to why we did not conceive especially since we were overall healthy, but we knew we had to proceed and take the next steps because we wanted to start our family.
Luckily, AI was covered by insurance allowable up to four times in one year. I said to myself we would not need to have this done four times, but I was wrong we used all four, and still no positive result. Again, devastated with our progress we continued on. We were then recommended to start one round of hormone injections for a month at home. This part of the process was definitely intimidating – preparing the shots yourself at home seems like a job for a professional, but my husband who is normally afraid of needles administered them like a pro!
We followed all the instructions and we still did not conceive. The doctor discussed in vitro as a possible option, aside from the price being about $13,000, it was just not a personal option for me at that time. For me, knowing both my husband and I were healthy, in vitro would be the last resort. At this point, I was exhausted and the whole process was becoming so stressful that I needed to take a break for my mental health and sanity. I just could not give anymore blood, have another ultrasound, or receive another negative result especially when we were giving it our all.
I needed a breather
Deciding to take a break was the best decision I made because I felt free, I felt the weight of one thousand bricks lifted off of me. I began to feel like myself again, I prayed about my situation and began to take my life back. I was no longer consumed with worry, constantly checking an ovulation app, or stressing about things out of my control. Although it wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, eventually I knew what’s meant to happen for me will happen in its own time, in God’s time.
However, getting to this point was not easy, because I had to change my entire mindset and perspective. Little by little, I told myself to just let it go, no more planning, and to just live my life. Trust me, I know it is easier said than done, but you have to push yourself to do it. We also booked a vacation and that was definitely nice to look forward too.
My husband was extremely supportive and patient throughout this whole process and I couldn’t be more thankful, even though I often worried I was disappointing him, he ensured me that we were in this together and in no way was this my fault. My family was very supportive, always checking in on me and keeping me in their thoughts and prayers. In life, during these difficult situations, the words may be hard to find but just knowing they were there is something I’ll forever be grateful for.
Things began to turn around!
May 2015, my pregnancy test was positive! Finally, tears of joy!! It was a surreal moment that I’ll cherish forever. I felt victoriously grateful that my time has come. In addition to the at-home pregnancy test, I needed more confirmation that this was real and happening, so I set up a blood test and it was indeed positive. After ALL we went through, we conceived on our own which is such a blessing. We had a beautiful baby girl 9 months later who brought much joy to our lives.
A few bumps in the road
About a year later, we started to discuss trying again because we always knew we wanted more than one child. Just speaking about it again, feelings of fear crept up on me, but I tried to not let it overcome me. As we began trying the second time around I was faced with a couple negative pregnancy tests. Knowing my situation, I didn’t waste much time and I went back to the doctor, and he recommended a second laparoscopy to clean out the tissue built back up.
Thankfully, the second lap was successful, but we received some rather devastating news. My right fallopian tube was completely blocked and my left tube was on its way there as well. He suggested we try for about four months on our own before seeking a fertility specialist. I was worried but clinging on to the fact that he said we would still try on our own. By the grace of God, I was pregnant within 2 months!! I couldn’t believe it and neither could my doctor!! He was shocked but happy of course.
My Happily Ever After
While life is not a fairy tale, here I am today with two beautiful little girls, my little miracles, who inspire me to be the best Mother I can be. Everything I do is for them and their happiness and I eventually started an online community for moms on Instagram: MomChat! Although no two paths to motherhood are the same, I hope my journey to motherhood could inspire others going through something similar. My advice to you is, to take one day at a time and definitely seek medical help if you feel like something is off. Always remember, there is only one you! Take care of yourself, not only physically, but your mental health as well. Remember, it is ok to plan ahead but be prepared for the unexpected that life may throw your way.