When my husband Brett and I got married in 2010, we wanted babies right away! We were both 25 and ready to be parents. We started trying on our honeymoon. A few months went by, then a year, then 2 years and…nothing. By the 3rd year we knew something must be “wrong”. We were referred by my OBGYN to Fertility Associates of Memphis and saw Dr. Kutteh. We did all the blood work, ultrasounds, and testing and saw that I had a very large cyst on my fallopian tube and hypothyroidism. I had surgery to remove the cyst and got on thyroid medication. We also had male factor infertility. We were told there was almost no chance of getting pregnant on our own and were not good candidates for IUI. We had to move straight to IVF, so that’s what we did. Our insurance did not cover any of my medication or procedures. We were both teachers at the time and could not afford everything on our own. Everything felt pretty hopeless. I asked “Why us?” a lot. Fortunately, our friends and family had multiple fundraisers for us and helped bear the financial burden. I carried a lot of guilt and shame having to have help not only with getting pregnant, but paying for everything as well. After my egg retrieval, lots of waiting, stress, tears, pain, and medication, we ended up with 4 embryos and transferred 2 of them by IVF in August of 2014, which got us our precious firstborn, Cantley. He is now six. We felt so humbled that our IVF worked the first time, because I know many are not that lucky.
When Cantley was just 7 months old, we were shocked to find out that I was pregnant. Something we didn’t think was possible was happening! When I was 18 weeks along, we lost our sweet baby. I delivered him quickly and we got to hold his tiny body for a few hours before he had to be taken away. We named him Ryser. Feeling heartbroken and defeated, we got comfortable with the idea of just having one child. I felt like my body had once again failed me. We again were asking ourselves “why is this happening to us?”
Eight months after our loss, we were in disbelief to find out I was pregnant again. Our doctor had figured out that I have a blood clotting disorder (Factor V Leodin & Antiphospholipid syndrome) which probably caused our miscarriage. I was monitored very closely and did daily blood thinner injections and we had a beautiful baby girl named, Rue, in July of 2017. She is now 3.
In the summer of 2020 when the world was crazy with Covid, we decided to transfer our remaining 2 frozen embryos and hopefully complete our family. I prepared myself that it probably wouldn’t work with me being 6 years older then the first transfer, all my same issues still being present, and the embryos being lower quality. But, it thankfully did work, and 9 months later, we had our sweet Caroline who is now 3 months old.
When you look at these pictures you probably see three beautiful, healthy children, color-coordinated clothes, and two extremely blessed parents. I see it too. But you know what you don’t see? An almost 11 year journey. Years of infertility. Month after month of disappointment. Thousands of dollars worth of medicine, injections, and invasive procedures. Knees worn out from prayer and praise. A baby boy that’s not in the picture with his brother and sisters because he’s in heaven. Family and friends that rallied behind a couple who couldn’t do it on their own. Amazing doctors who used science and faith to get the job done. Two people who never gave up hope.
And my wish for you, no matter where you are on your journey, is that you never give up hope either.
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