Tommy and I got married in January of 2016. I have always wanted to be a mother and Tommy, being a kindergarten teacher, was made for the role of being a father.

There were no plans of starting a family immediately, but when we found out I was pregnant right after the New Year in 2017, we were equally thrilled and terrified. It was just a little over a week later I miscarried. We decided to try again immediately and I was pregnant by March. This time it wasn’t but only a few days after seeing the positive pregnancy test that I began to miscarry again. We were devastated and confused and decided to take the summer to emotionally and physically prepare ourselves for trying a third time. Little did we know, nothing could prepare us for the roller coaster ride we were about to get on.

We started trying again in the fall and I found out I was pregnant at the end of October. We were sure the third time was the charm. Unfortunately it was not. And we found out there was no heart beat just before Christmas. There is no good time to miscarry..but a week before Christmas is just cruel. We had planned to tell our families during our holiday gatherings. I even had “Baby (our last name) due July 2018” printed on onesies. What’s worse, is the baby’s due date was on my 33rd birthday.

Things weren’t progressing, so I opted to have a D&C procedure and genetic testing done to hopefully get some answers. We learned our baby was a girl and she had Trisomy 22. We named her Wren. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep doing this for but we were pregnant again by March 2018. I went in for my first ultrasound and the ultrasound showed I was in the process of yet another miscarriage. It was at that point my OBGYN referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist.

There are many different reasons for infertility and infertility literally means “the inability to conceive”. But this was not the case for us and the most frustrating and gut wrenching thing about MY infertility was not the ability to get pregnant, it was the inability to stay pregnant. After vials and vials and vials of blood for every test imaginable and many invasive and painful procedures, I never got an answer as to why this kept happening. Everything “looked great” and our doctor just chalked it up to “bad luck”. However she advised us not to continue playing Russian roulette the old fashioned way and suggested IVF with genetic testing to ensure we didn’t miscarry again. She promised us a take home baby so we did just that..

Ironically I had my egg retrieval on my birthday and Wren’s due date. We let the doctor pick the embryo for the transfer based off of quality so we would have the best chance. It was a girl! Our second transfer landed on my 35th birthday almost two years to the day (totally ironic again as these things are based off doctors’ schedules and your cycle…however the irony was not lost on me!) That transfer resulted in a boy! One of each! And 21 months apart! After four miscarriages, we did one round of IVF with PGT testing and two transfers that resulted in our two beautiful rainbows.

Infertility is soul crushing. It is grief and wondering what you did wrong. It’s still showing up for life with a smile while living a second one behind closed doors. It is isolating. It is phone calls and e-mails, a second job really. It’s planning doctor visits filled with pokes and jabs around your work schedule. It’s timed medications and alarms on your phone. It is months of bloating and bruising from painful timed shots. It is weight gain and mood swings. It’s anxiety and depression. It’s not even recognizing yourself. It is the lowest of the lows in hopes for the highest of the highs. And if you are one of the lucky are given the gift of nine months of severe anxiety. Waiting for each beta hCG test to double. Waiting for a heartbeat. Waiting for each ultrasound. Holding your breath for far longer than you should until you hold your baby.

Persuing fertility treatments was the most financially, emotionally, and physically draining thing I have ever done. But it was so worth it and I would absolutely do it all again.