I am sharing my story as part of a challenge to help raise awareness and advocate for infertility support in Canada. I invite my fellow bloggers and tweeps (follow the hashtag #creatingfamilies) to share their stories.
There are so many stories that can inspire other couples to keep trying just one more time, support that woman who was just told she can't be a mother without medical help and thousands of dollars and encourage that couple to keep believing in their dream to become parents.
Follow Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) on Twitter and share their information with women you know.
So, on this Mother's Day, this is MY story of infertility and becoming a mother, against all odds.
When Paul and I first met, one of the things that endeared us instantly to each other, was our love for children. We were meant to be parents together.
When we first wanted to try to have our own, routine tests led us to devastating information. We would NEVER conceive naturally. Not only that, but we should not bother wasting our time or money with drugs or monitoring or even artificial insemination. In-vitro was our one and only chance to have biological children (about a 50% chance given my age at the time).
After days and nights spent crying, yelling, aching, screaming and wondering "why us", we put together our money from savings and started our journey. While we were terrified to imagine that this may never happen, we were forced to stay positive. I forced myself not to think of the possibility that I might never know the feeling of a life growing inside me, never be pregnant, never give birth to our child. It felt as if my right as a woman had been taking away.
I really had no friends who could relate to my situation at all. All of my friends were pregnant around me, with no issues at all. I felt isolated, scared and totally alone. I had no one to turn to, except a few women on message boards in the U.S. Infertility was not really talked about and I had no where to turn for support, questions or hope. Ten years later, I'm so happy to say that women can look around them everywhere and see support from this community.
Our journey to parenthood began in January 2003 with morning routines of driving at 7am to our amazing clinic. Refrigerated meds, needles, and prayers consumed our days and nights. Then another obstacle. Our cycle was going to be cancelled. There were not enough viable eggs. But I stayed strong and believed... and we were patient. We got the call after another blood test and ultrasound to count my eggs... it was a go! The next day, our doctor called us to go to the clinic to "retrieve" my eggs. I had 8 eggs over the minimum size necessary to proceed and I felt like we had just won the lottery!!! Paul was called upon for his "donation" to the process. We left the rest of the job to the lab technicians.
Our doctor called to say that we needed to rush in earlier than expected. There were only 2 embryos left. We went into the procedure room to have the remaining 2 embryos transferred. We held onto each other and onto the ounce of faith and hope that still remained. Within 5 minutes, on March 18th, our two potential 'babies' were transferred into my uterus and we prayed they would hang on. Our doctor wished us luck and handed us our amazing petri dish, the first home of our embryos, as a memory of the journey.
Our dreams had come true. I was pregnant! We were parents...at the very beginning. We already loved this little person who had made us believe in miracles. Our prayers had been answered. Four years later, we started all over again (we had no embryos frozen). Another ten thousand dollars later, more prayers were answered and we were blessed again...with twins.
While my journey was heartbreaking along the way, it did have a happy ending. So many couples are still struggling, many of whom I know very well and do my best to support them.
Please forward this link to anyone you know, who may need support of this community.
I was honoured to be asked to share my story and compensated for my support of #creatingfamilies for Infertility Awareness Week 2013.