Before I started blogging I wrote this post on Facebook. I wanted to share it with you on my blog since my diagnosis of infertility is such a big part of who I am. It has helped me to be patient and keep hope during times of darkness. It's also helped me to be grateful each and every day for being a mother. And It has helped me connect with others who have also struggled with infertility.
Whether you struggle with infertility or not, I hope that you’ll find inspiration my story and share it with others who may be going through the same things; let them know that they are not alone.
October 16, 2016,
If you have no idea what this photo is, I don't blame you... I didn't either, until it was our reality.
This beautiful picture is the first picture we ever received of Brooklyn; she was a 5 day old embryo. The embryologist graded her "fair" that day they did the embryo transfer. (She was, and still is, anything but fair!) She decided to stick around and two weeks after we transferred this embryo we found out we were pregnant for the first time!
That day, April 3, 2014, is a day I'll never forget. Our fertility doctor, Dr. Klein, called me at work; I was shaking, I didn't want to answer. Why? Because I had received a call from her just about 2 months prior. A call in which she told me that neither of the 2 embryos we had transferred during our last attempt had implanted—that we were not pregnant. In that moment, when she told me I wasn't pregnant, my entire world felt like it was closing in on me; I have never felt so hopeless as I did that day.
But April 3rd, 2014 was different. Dr. Klein said to me, "Shannon, you're pregnant. It worked." I am actually sobbing as I type this post because there are days I still cannot believe it's true!
Our first child, our miracle, Brooklyn was born on December 5, 2014.
I am infertile. Before we had our daughter Brooklyn, we had two failed attempts at artificial insemination. Our first round of IVF produced three embryos, in January of 2014 we transferred two embryos and neither implanted. Brooklyn was our lastchance with that first batch. Our sweet, perfect, frozen embryo that you see in the picture above.
Fast forward to Fall of 2015...
I had to stop breastfeeding two to three months before I could start injectable fertility drugs to attempt to get pregnant again. Though we were beyond grateful and felt so blessed for already being parents, that second round of IVF still comes with its fears, insecurities, and pain.
We all have a vision for our future and our family. When you have no control over the outcome, it's easy to let fear take over, but instead we chose hope.
The IVF cycle was far from ideal. At one time I had a nurse tell me she had never seen anybody respond so poorly to the medications as I was. I was told that we would probably have to cancel the cycle, but my doctor trusted my body as I had responded similarly before. We transferred two embryos November 2015 and our sweet little Jameson decided to stay put.
I took three pregnancy tests that day—I just didn't believe the positive result!
And on July 24, 2016 Jameson was born.
When I first was going to share my journey about IVF, some of my family members warned me, "Are you sure you want all of Facebook to know?" "Are you sure you want to share your story?"
But in my heart, I knew I had to share my story with anyone who wanted or needed to hear it. I know that because I met others who had shared their stories of infertility with me. My "prison" felt a little less dark—a little less cold. And the more I was able to talk to others who had gone through, or continued to go through, what I did, the chains of that prison started to break free.
By connecting with others who also struggled and struggle with infertility, I felt like I was able to keep from drowning completely. There were times I felt like I was barely treading water, but knowing others had endured and some had success kept me afloat.
So again, I share my story, because this may be the first time you're reading it and you might be fighting a similar battle. You might know someone who has the same struggles that I do. My hope is by sharing my story I can unlock someone else's prison and show them they are not alone—to inspire hope in a time that is filled with doubt and fear and darkness.
I've been in that darkness. I still have a vision for our future and our family. We want more kids... Is it possible for me to get pregnant again? We don't know, we can only hope and pray.
In the meantime, we say a thank you prayer each and every day for our two miracles. We say a pray each day for those struggling to have children of their own. We say a pray for those who have had pregnancy or early loss in any way. Through miscarriage or a failed embryo transfer, or before they got to watch their children grow old.
I will share my story over and over again because I want you to know I am here. I have been there. My heart will break with youwhile you are struggling. I will celebrate your successes. I will simply be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
Whatever you need, no matter how close we are (or whether we know each other or not), I am here.
I've also shared the story of what it felt like before having our first child, the stress, the guilt, and all the emotions that came with it. Read about it here.
And feel free to share my story with anyone that might be going through the same thing.