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It’s been eight years, eight years of my husband and I trying to start a family. If you had told me eight years ago that this would become the hardest journey of my life, I would not have believed you. If you had told me twenty years ago that I would have this much trouble getting pregnant, I would have laughed. Well, I now believe you and that laughter has turned into a lot of tears.

It all started six months before we even made the decision to start trying. I was diagnosed with severe dysplasia and had lesions on my cervix which needed to be removed. At the time I was planning our wedding, so my doctor suggested we should wait, enjoy our special day and arrange to have the procedure done after. The wedding was flawless and absolutely magical, we had a wonderful honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas and when we returned, the date for the procedure was confirmed.

The procedure I had to do was called a LEEP, which stands for loop electrosurgical excision procedure that uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut out abnormal tissue. The procedure went well and life went on…until a month after.

If I remember correctly, it was October 30th, 2006, my period was a few days late and of course I started thinking all kinds of thoughts, one being “could I be pregnant?” Then after an hour or two I went to the bathroom and low and behold my period started. So I put on a pad and that was that, until thirty minutes later when I had to change my pad. Then thirty minutes after that I had to change it again. This will get a little graphic, but I went through about half a dozen pads in an hour, it was like I got shot. Todd and his twin brother Shawn drove me to the health clinic and after about 45 minutes they could do nothing and I was just full of blood. That’s when I was rushed to the emergency. It’s a night I will never forget.

On the ambulance ride down I was in a lot of pain so the paramedics gave me some valium. I have to tell you, I don’t understand the purpose of valium. You still feel the pain, you’re just so drugged up that it doesn’t matter. When I arrived in the hospital I was placed on a bed and was put in a small waiting room. While I was waiting, the blood kept coming out and I was still in a lot of pain. Until finally a blood clot the size of a grapefruit came out! I know this is quite graphic, but this is all true.

I finally was seen by a couple of doctors and after analyzing my situation they came to the conclusion that when I had my LEEP done, my doctor cauterized my cervix closed. Yup, that’s right, my cervix was closed and so when I had my period, the blood had no where to go but in to my uterus.

Now March 2007 rolls around and I just finished my three month waiting period after stopping the pill. Excited and nervous all at the same time, but Todd and I decided it was time to start a family. And so the quiet nightmare began, we were either having chemical pregnancies or weren’t getting pregnant at all. Then I started to develop cysts and from there it basically went down hill.

In November 2007, something else started to happen. As word caught on with our friends that we were trying to get pregnant, they also started to try. Then it was one after another, up until even today, that all our friends around us started getting pregnant. The first two or three I could handle, but after several, I didn’t think I would have the emotional strength to be happy for my friends, but I was, because I had to be.

After months of trying, failing, doctor appointments, ultrasounds, diet changes, acupuncture, and so on and so on, I found out I had endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Dealing with endometriosis is not easy, it’s actually pretty miserable. Thankfully through lots of research and reading I was able to control it through my diet.

We continued to try all throughout 2008 and 2009. Then we moved to Brazil for Todd’s business in January 2010. We sort of continued trying, but not with the same intensity back in the U.S., because we had a whole new set of issues to deal with due to living in a foreign country.

Upon returning from Brazil in January 2014, me at the ripe old age of 40 and Todd 39, in a way exhausted from the four years in Brazil, we were hoping to get back on our pregnancy journey. Of course this came with finding out that at least four other friends were pregnant, almost twenty friends in total over the course of these eight years. However, it was different this time, because those four friends had struggled to get pregnant and were trying IUI (Interuterine Insemination) or IVF (Invitro Fertilization) with a fair amount of failure.

In July 2014, I finally had laparoscopic surgery to confirm my endometriosis and to clean it out! I thought the day would never come. My doctor even told me it was a mess in there, I can only imagine. She wondered how I was never in a lot of pain, but I told her it was all due to diet. That’s for another post…

Just this past January 2015 was our first official IUI session. It failed, but that’s OK, because we finally have a chance to give this pregnancy thing a seriously good try. I’m hoping it’s not too late, but I feel we are in a really good place to finally make this happen.

I’m sharing the details of my story, because I am one of millions of women that have fertility issues. It is a horribly devastating feeling to not be able to reproduce. I’m a pretty tough cookie, but this has taken Todd and I to hell and back many times. But we’re not giving up, if anything we’re just getting started.

What I want to know is, why aren’t more women sharing their stories of infertility. There have been a few exceptions like Celine Dion, Giuliana Rancic and Sarah Jessica Parker, but on the whole not much. When I hear that Susan Sarandon gave birth at 45, or Halle Berry is pregnant at 47, or Geena Davis having twins at 48, my question is how? Is it taboo to talk about this? Do these women not share their story because they’re embarrassed? Or do they want to give the illusion that it “just” happened? For eight years I’ve been hoping to hear more stories about infertility from women of all walks of life and I feel I’ve been let down. Yes, the friends that have become pregnant after their struggles of infertility are a blessing in my life, because it gives me hope, but I want to hear more stories. I want to feel I connect with a community of women and couples that know what it means to be reproductively challenged, but they are few and far between.

The face of infertility is me, it could be you, it could be your friend, it could be your coworker. It could be a woman in her early thirties, late thirties or early forties. When we first started trying I was 33, now I’m 41. Yes it’s more common that a woman in her forties will have fertility issues, but 33 is quite young and it comes as a shock to know you have fertility issues.

If you have fertility issues know that you’re not alone. Don’t be ashamed of it, talk about it, share your story, and when you become pregnant we will celebrate with you and it will all give us hope that maybe one day soon, we’ll be pregnant too.

About The Author

Founder

Robyn is the Founder and CEO of Simply Be Good. Simply Be Good is a health and wellness media brand empowering and informing people to make better health and lifestyle choices.

840 Responses

  1. Jennifer Tantillo

    I started trying when I was 30 and didn’t get pregnant until 35. I gave birth to triplet boys in 2001. Infertility is tough on a marriage. Don’t be afraid to try different facilities. I got pregnant on my first try after I changed doctors.

  2. Kari

    Hi Robyn,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story; it is not dissimilar to stories we hear every day in the office where I work. I am personally a fertility patient, having been TTC, treatments and all, for the last 6 years (I’m 31). I am now the office manager for the Eastburn Hypnotherapy Center here in Denver, where I am blessed to work with the world-renowned creator of Hypnofertility therapy, Lynsi Eastburn. Over the last 15+ years, she has helped over a thousand women conceive, many of whom are in their 40s and 50s and were told by top specialists that pregnancy for them was “impossible”. Lynsi’s techniques are absolutely life changing, and she is frequently told that Hypnofertility is “the missing link”. She does sessions via Skype and phone with women all over the world; it might be worth it to check her out if you’re still wanting help. I wish you lots of luck with wherever your journey may lead you!

  3. Cleopatra

    Hi Robyn,

    Thank you for your lovely article. I am 26 turning 27 in August, yes technically young still with plenty of time to concieve I am told. My husband and I have been trying to concieve coming on 2 years. I have lean pcos and other then missing cycles and annovulatory cycles I am healthy and well equipped to get pregnant. We’ve done one iui last year June, had an hsg done which was clear and metformin from September and just stopped it this week as it unfortunately stopped working when before for those 6 odd months it had worked well. We’re doing another medicated iui this month and I am praying it works otherwise were on the ivf waitlist here in NZ and planned for orientation in October.

    I just wanted to say your article was perfect and that I often think the same. Why are all these people and celebrities having children after fertility issues and not speaking of it more?! It needs to get out there and be spoken about! It’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, it needs awareness. I am open with most of our struggle and never feel ashamed about it. I much prefer educating people around me and making them aware of the fact that for some, children dont just ‘happen’. I too want to know how all these miracles happened and I wish they’d give us all the information on how it did as it gives us hope.

    I pray you and Todd get your babies soon, I always say I would like fraternal boy/girl twins as well. Once and we’d be done, if only it were so easy. Wishing you all the best for your future treatments, I’ll be keeping an eye out for good news for you. Is there a way we can connect with you through facebook or the likes?

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