Finding Joy in the Journey:
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. But for some of us it’s not that easy…I know your story all too well:
It began with what seemed to be a simple desire to grow your family. Month after month you spend all your energy on making sure you eat right, taking your vitamins, and mapping your ovulation so you can time sex perfectly. You’re so confident that this is “the month” because you have done everything better than the last.
My husband, Andrew, and I were like any other couple-high school sweethearts who started dating at seventeen and married at twenty. Two and a half years after we married we began trying to conceive. After an early miscarriage, in October of 2014, Andrew was referred to an urologist where he was diagnosed with varicoceles (varicose veins in the scrotum increasing the testicular temperature causing the sperm to die). Six months of taking clomid with little improvement we decided to seek further medical advice. After many recommendations we sought advice from Dr. Raymond Ke at Fertility Associates of Memphis where I was diagnosed with low ovarian reserve meaning I had a decreased number and quality of eggs left in my ovaries. Our chances of becoming pregnant was less than 5%.
Since we had male factor infertility as well as female factor infertility our best option was in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This is a costly procedure as well as a lengthy process.
We knew IVF was going to be very expensive and because health insurance didn't cover any medical costs associated with our IVF with ICSI cycle we spent $22,000. We were very fortunate to have conceived on the first frozen embryo transfer (FET) as many couples have to endure years of failed transfers, not to mention the excess of emotional and financial strain.
We were blessed with our precious miracle son, John Michael Kelly on December 6, 2016. His beautiful blue eyes and adorable little features were worth every penny, lab draw, early morning trip to Memphis, needle stick, and tear. We would not hesitate to do it again in a hearbeat.
Infertility tested my faith. I would love to say that I remained strong through the years of trying to conceive but the truth is I didn’t. I was completely broken, in a valley that only God could pull me out of.
I began looking at our infertility as a journey and found joy along the way.
No one chooses to endure the hardship of infertility but look where it has led us. We have grown stronger as a couple, closer to God, and have been blessed with our miracle son. We’re able to share the testimony of God’s love and faithfulness in hopes that someone finds encouragement, hope, and comfort. No matter how God chooses to redeem you, open your heart and allow Him to. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
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