We all have images in our heads of what infertility looks like. For many of us, it’s something that happens to other people. I didn’t think it would happen to me. I took it as a given that I would be able to conceive naturally, but that isn’t the way it happened. As the negative results piled up, my optimism waned. I began to feel resentful of the other couples who seemed to have it so easy. I became more and more desperate for answers, but at the same time I just wanted to retreat into myself because I was afraid of what I might learn. Eventually I had no choice.
Throughout the testing, the poking, and the prodding I tried to channel my trepidation into my breathing. Inhale, exhale, and follow the instructions. I felt like I was holding my breath just waiting for the pain or relief to wash over me. Thinking back on hearing my results for the first time, I can barely recall the moment. I know what I was told: I had fertility problems. Then I was in the car on my way home, my husband and I in total silence except for the radio playing. The song on the air was Big, Big Plans by Chris Lane. He sang “someday we’ll take our kids down there” and the tears came flooding. It felt like I was never going to experience any of that with my husband.
As I began my fertility journey, my emotions came in waves and shifted on a monthly basis. I remember being terrified. I was hopeless and hopeful at the same time. I was confused. I felt alone. Then came my resolve. I had to fight for the family that I wanted. No one can know what this feels like until it happens to them, but in trying to unravel my own memories of what it was like, I can also appreciate what it meant for me. Today, medical science has advanced to the point where, when I heard that I had fertility problems, it wasn’t the end of the road. Instead, it was the beginning of a journey. That journey wasn’t without hardships and pain, but ultimately it led me to my family.