For all those going through infertility…

… you are not alone. The female body is mysterious and difficult to understand.

This is not punishment for something you did or did not do. You are not at fault.

It sucks. It does. There’s no other way around it, but you will survive this.

Science knows a lot, but it doesn’t know everything. Follow your heart, gut, and head; whatever leads you.

Everyone has a story about something. Share and listen. You may feel alone, but you are not.

Try not to let the battle with infertility draw you away from those who strengthen you. It’s so hard not to push others away with the greatness of your pain. Give them a chance to be there for you.

Don’t hide your story. The worst thing we can do for each other is keep our stories a secret. Not only can we learn from each other, but we can connect and provide support for each other.

And we have a baby!

We had an induction planned for Friday, February 1st, at 9:30pm which was 38 weeks.

That was not meant to be as my water broke at 3:30am on Friday, February 1st.

Due to the polyhydramnios, I was carrying a lot of extra water. And by a lot, I mean like a liter. Luckily, I was wearing some really fashionable Depends which saved the bed, carpet, and need to clean up a huge mess. Unlike the first time my water broke, there was absolutely no doubt this time.

Our almost-five-year-old J, was diagnosed with Flu A just the night before, so we wrangled up the help of our amazing neighbors to stay with J until my parents arrived. So, they got an interesting call at 3:30am that morning and got on the road to relieve our neighbor from the many Nick Jr. episodes that J was binging on along with popsicles and juice boxes.

Knowing that baby was smaller than J, I was hoping to labor without any interventions. After 12 hours of labor from the point of my water breaking and not dilating past 1cm, I accepted assistance. Ignoring my husband’s recommendation (in hindsight was probably the better idea), I started pitocin without the epidural. Hours later, still at 2 cm and in too much pain, I asked for the epidural, quickly moved to a four, then to a seven, and my doc arrived and we were ready to push. The epidural was light so I felt every contraction, supposedly just pressure, but very much pressure it was. Though I didn’t push for 2.5 hours like last time, I pushed for 45 minutes, then my doc was called away (which was actually a relief for me and allowed me to let my body labor baby down on its own) for over an hour. Another 45 minutes of pushing once he returned and Baby R entered our lives.

He wasn’t screaming. He wasn’t too upset at all. He looked at us with one eye open, then two.

I stared into those eyes while I, again, needed surgery to remove my placenta. Instead of being rushed to an OR, my doctor was prepared to handle it in the delivery room while I stayed with my husband and my baby. We all got to stay together.

Unfortunately, the week didn’t pan out the way I wanted. Our son, J, couldn’t visit us in the hospital because of that FLU thing and couldn’t hold his brother until a week later once he was out of the window of greatest risk. My parents and all of us were dosed with Tamiflu and J and I were in limited contact while Baby R was restricted to his room. My husband and I ended up back in the hospital when Baby R’s billirubin levels got too high. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster, but we are together again, at home, as a family of four.

I don’t have the words to thank everyone that brought us to this place.

It’s really unbelievable.

Everyone who sacrificed time from their own lives to help with ours.

Those friends, neighbors, and family who have supported us by listening to all my worries and stories over and over. Bringing food after our failed cycles. Calling. Texting. Asking.

The doctors and medical professionals who supported them and us, through fertility treatments, tests, procedures, multiple surgeries, and losses.

My husband who is as bull-headed as I am. He held strong through all the ups and downs, and then further downs of hormone therapy, medications, treatments, tests, losses, and anxiety of the past seven and a half years.

I am forever grateful.