I grew up in a large family. Being the second of seven children, and the oldest girl, I was given the opportunity to help raise my younger siblings and assist my mom in homeschooling them. God gave women an innate maternal need to reproduce and cultivate young lives... children, babies, their own offspring. For as long as I can remember, my sole purpose in life has been to get married and be a mom.
After graduation, I became a full-time live-in nanny, and waited patiently for God to bring me my husband and family. I nannied for 8 years, in 5 different states before I met Nick, married, and bought an acreage in central Iowa. We were hoping for a "baby-makin' honeymoon," but instead, we endured two years of heart wrenching anxiety… actively trying to conceive.
My heart used to go out to those struggling with infertility, I would think "how devastating for that poor woman, I honestly can't think of anything worse. I'm so glad that's not me." And yet now, my own personal nightmare has invaded my life and my home.
Each month, I would die a little more inside. Friends and family would say, "Give it some time." Or, "stop trying and that's when it'll happen." Or, "sometimes it just takes a year or two, and then you won't be able to STOP popping them out." But in my heart, I knew something was wrong.
After a year of heartache, we saw a fertility specialist. And following several tests and surgeries, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Endometriosis. Our doctor said it’s the worst he’s seen in a long time. We were told we could ‘try’ IUI, but the chances were slim, and that, if we want to conceive, InVitro is probably the only way.
Instead of doing cycles of IUI, we chose to put that money into our InVitro Fund and save like crazy. Nick got a second job, working 65+ hours a week, and I’ve been working 3 jobs, close to 80 hours a week. And when we did have a day off together, we would work on our side business of building custom upholstered headboards, painting backsplashes to look like real tile, and refinishing and selling old furniture for added income.
We were warned that I have a very aggressive form of Endometriosis, and the sooner we are able to move forward with InVitro, the better our chances are for success.
I felt like an inadequate woman, incapable of sustaining the life of a child.
It was difficult for me to be around my pregnant friends and hear them complaining about their morning sickness and discomfort, and watching their bellies grow. I've experienced a lot of guilt for not being excited for them and their new chapter in their lives.
Our goal was to save $12,000 in 12 months... which at the time seemed over-ambitious, but my heart needed to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And having a goal gave me a strange sense of peace.
We reached our goal in 8 months, and began the extensive and painful InVitro process in October 2010. We didn’t tell a single soul we had started this process, for fear that it would fail. I documented our journey through IVF on a separate blog called InConceivable.
We're so proud to announce that the IVF was successful, and all the heartache, sweat and tears were so worth it. We gave birth to twin girls, Paisley Joy and Adelyn Rose, on July 8, 2011. They're perfect. Our flesh and blood. Our miracles.
Here's a post describing the day we found out I was pregnant. Here’s a letter I wrote to my uterus. And below is the video we created to announce our big news on Christmas Eve.
We consider ourselves one of the lucky ones, and know that many don’t ever get their miracles. This still plagues my heart to this day. It will always be a part of me.
We hope that our story will encourage and inspire you to fight HARD for the desire of your heart. We’ve been very open about our struggles here on our blog, and welcome you to read back through the posts regarding infertility here.