Hi friends, today I’m wrapping up our second year of infertility. If you missed my previous posts, you can catch up here. This year was marked by a “one step forward, two steps back” feeling. Every time I thought I had made progress in my physical, mental, or spiritual health, something else would inevitably come up. I felt like I was caught in a cycle and struggled to get out.
As you read through this post, think about a time where you felt stuck in a cycle (whether it was disappointment, grief, feelings of failure, etc.) and what helped you cling onto hope that you would eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re in that place now, what is one truth you can cling to?
IUI #2 – March 2021
Our second IUI was much better than the first. My doctor listened to my frustrations about how the first one went and made sure I felt extra supported. I felt much more comfortable and was thankful he made it a point to work around my timing to do the procedure himself. I was feeling hopeful and thankful for the support of my other TTC friends.
Unfortunately, I got my period again the morning of a friend’s baby shower. I didn’t really want to go, but told myself to get it together and be a good friend. It was the last thing I wanted to do after getting the news my IUI was unsuccessful again. It didn’t seem fair to celebrate pregnancy when it was the one thing I wanted and couldn’t make happen.
A verse that really encouraged me after this attempt was: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
I called my OB to let him know the news, and he didn’t want to do more IUIs without me seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. We met with a doctor from a fertility clinic who laid out all our options and did a blood test to measure ovarian reserve and an ultrasound to check my ovaries, both of which were good. She recommended the HSG test again (the one I thought would be $3,500) which was much cheaper through their clinic. I was so glad we had some next steps.
I called to book the appointment and was informed that before I could do anything else, I needed a chicken pox booster, and since it was “live” I would need to wait another month before trying. I was so angry. I felt like I had taken one step forward and two steps back. I had done several blood tests at that point and was frustrated no one thought to check my antibody levels. I felt like I had already wasted so much time.
I tried hard to cling onto hope, but it felt like my prayers were the only ones not being answered (all three of my TTC friends had gotten pregnant during this time and I didn’t know anyone else who was struggling). I was frustrated that my faith wasn’t stronger and felt like God was testing me, trying to make me learn a lesson I clearly hadn’t learned yet. I’m thankful I know now that was a lie from Satan and God was not giving me a test to pass; He is so much more merciful and graceful than that!
I felt tension with how honest I should be with my pregnant friends – I didn’t want to make them feel bad for getting pregnant when I still wasn’t. Thankfully, they were persistent in asking me how I was doing, and I learned that it’s possible to carry two conflicting emotions at the same time.
Matt was my rock during this time. Every time I broke down, he would hold me, listen to me, remind me of God’s truth, and distract me. He knew I was dreading going to church on Mother’s Day and instead got me breakfast, took me for a walk in the park, and let me blow off some steam at our local gun range (so fun). He planned a special birthday trip to NYC in the month we had to take off for the booster shot, and it was just what I needed.
HSG Test – June 2021
My HSG test was the first of many trips to the fertility clinic, which is about an hour away. I felt scared and kept thinking: What if there’s something wrong with me? Thankfully, it was a quick and painless procedure, and everything looked good. I asked the doctor about next steps and we decided to do a third IUI at the fertility clinic.
IUI #3 – June 2021
Thankfully, our third IUI was on a Sunday so Matt could come with me. I was glad we were with a specialist, but was getting weary of experiencing the same thing over and over again. The procedure was quick and painless and the numbers were good. I was finally excited and felt better about this procedure than ever before. I had asked a few people to pray for us, and those prayers were felt.
This time I knew God was carrying this burden with me and I felt His presence. I found out I wasn’t pregnant, but I didn’t process it the same way I had before. I felt so tired of the cycle of hoping, waiting, and being disappointed. Two days later, we flew home for a family reunion. It was a good distraction. I called the clinic while on our trip to schedule our next procedure, but they said I would have to come in for an ultrasound to check for cysts from the medication. Obviously I couldn’t come in since I was at home, so I resigned myself to another month of doing nothing. But I was thankful to see family and was able to connect with a family friend who had also gone through infertility years before and could resonate with how much it sucks!
IUI #4 – Sep. 2021I
After some timing issues with an IUI attempt in August, we drove to the clinic in September for a mid-cycle ultrasound. I got the trigger shot and was scheduled for the next morning. I went into this procedure thinking it would be our last, as I had read online somewhere that after 3-4 tries IUIs likely wouldn’t be successful, but the doctor said there were other combinations of medication and monitoring we could try. Even as I paid our expensive bill, I was glad and hopeful. But two weeks later, after so many prayers and almost $3k spent on appointments and treatments, there was no positive test. I didn’t know where to go from there. I wanted to give up, but knew it would be fruitless because the desire to be a mom would never go away.
I asked God so many questions: Why isn’t my body working? Why is this so hard? Why do I have the desire to be a mom and it feels like everyone is getting pregnant but me? Why does this cost so much? Why aren’t you answering my prayer? Why is my faith so small? Why do I feel so empty when I have you?
After pouring out my heart to him, I wrote: Lord, thank you for reminding me that even in my suffering, you are still good. Forgive me for putting my desires above you. I submit to your plan. I love you.
I texted some close friends and family members who had been praying for us with the news and asked them to send me a Bible verse so I could spend time focusing on God’s truth. I’m so glad the Holy Spirit prompted me to do that – those verses and messages gave me hope in such a dark time as we wrapped up our second year of trying. I will share them in my next post in hopes they will encourage you, too!
When I was in this cycle of hope and disappointment, I clung to Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
- Community is so important in times of struggling. Surround yourself with people who it’s safe to be vulnerable with.
- Whenever your emotions threaten to take over, acknowledge and process them while focusing on what is true (both facts and Bible verses).