I was so honored when Footsteps for Fertility asked me to be a guest blogger for this Mother’s Day. I, like many of you, suffer with infertility. First, to introduce myself, my name is Crystal and my husband’s name is Jared. We have been together for four years and married for almost two. He is a paramedic/firefighter for Pocatello fire department and I am a nurse at the hospital.
We have been trying to have a baby for just under two years. I was born with some uterine anomalies that were discovered when I was 19. We knew we would have a hard time carrying a baby, but little did we know how much our lives would change once we started trying to have a baby and were unable to. We tried for only a few months without success before we talked to our doctor. We soon started all of the fun medications that I am sure so many of you are all too familiar with. We went through Clomid cycles with no success and then tried Letrozole. After trying those medications for a few months our doctor wanted to check Jared’s sperm count and we discovered that Jared has only 5% of normal sperm, and I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which means I get cysts a lot that prevent normal ovulation, and I have microscopic endometriosis. With all of these different factors we were then told that In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was our only option if we ever wanted to have a baby.
We began our journey with a fertility doctor and soon realized how expensive IVF was and it is not even a guarantee you will get pregnant, let alone have a baby. I quickly became devastated over the news. Because infertility is such an odd subject for those outside of the infertility world to understand or discuss it was hard to know where to turn. We attended a few seminars and the Footsteps for Fertility 5K race where we were able to connect with other couples going through the same thing and that is the biggest thing that has helped us through our journey with infertility. Because of how much listening to other peoples stories have helped us, we are not afraid to tell anyone our story because you never know who you may be helping. It is amazing how many people we have connected with through this journey and how common infertility is among couples. That does not mean that it is not hard, and it flat out sucks, and it is not fair, I KNOW! At first I frequently found myself mad at people who didn’t want their babies, or abusing them, or were getting pregnant and having children and I wanted one so badly and couldn’t.
There is nothing more that I want than to be a mom, besides being a wife. Most holidays are usually hard when you don’t have children and are going through infertility but Mother’s Day is particularly one that I struggle with a lot. To me it is a day to be grateful for my mom, but on the other hand, it is a full day to remind me of what I want and long for and can’t have. Mother’s Day is a very difficult day for all of us women who long to be mothers. Some things that have helped me over the years are to try and find the positive in the situation.
Going through infertility has definitely made my husband and I closer as a couple. One of my favorite pieces of advice which I heard while at the Footsteps for Fertility race is, “no matter what, whether you get pregnant or not, you need to be able to look at your spouse and tell them that they will be enough for you for the rest of your life.” (Lori Moscato, Founder of Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation). This was one of the most powerful things I have heard, and am so grateful that I am able to look at my husband and say this about him. Another thing that has helped us is to make sure that we still make time for just us time instead of always focusing on our infertility and having a baby. We make sure that we have frequent date nights and vacations where we do not discuss infertility. And last, it is okay to have bad days, it is an important part of the process to mourn and to feel and express your feelings.
I am so blessed to have an amazing husband that is there for me on the good days and the bad. He is my number one fan and the first person to try and bring me back up. My favorite Mother’s Day story with him is last year. I was having a really hard time that we weren’t pregnant yet and so he bought me a Mother’s Day card and put our little dogs footprints on it and gave it to me for Mother’s Day. Little things like this make it so much easier to get through the hard times. I hope you all have a great Mother’s Day and find joy in the difficult journey of infertility.