It was almost exactly one year ago my husband and I were discussing whether or not we would start sharing what had been going on in our lives for the last several years. The appointments, medications, treatment plans, endless research, thousands of dollars...the opportunity finally came when Dave and Steve, my friends, gave me the opportunity to talk about it on the radio in September 2017. If you can go back and listen to that episode, you can hear the tremble and nervousness in my voice. But I wanted to share with the goal to help just one person feel like they were not alone. What I did not expect, is that that day was the turning point in our journey.
Our story begins almost four years ago. We had been married for a few months, and while we weren’t thinking about a family yet, I had issues with my hormones growing up so I wanted to be sure things were in working order as an adult.
But things weren’t good. I wasn’t ovulating. In case you’re not familiar with the whole baby making process that’s kind of a big deal. Ovulation disorders are the most common form of fertility problems. I did so many tests that first year. Ultimately it was determined my body wasn’t producing the necessary hormones to get pregnant and my cortisol was high. I was healthy on the outside, but my body wasn’t working on the inside.
At first I wasn’t too worried. But I didn’t respond to the less invasive medications. I was running quite a bit at this point in my life so doctors suggested I cut back a bit. I knew really active women could have issues with their cycles but I’m not a professional athlete I thought! Nothing happened, actually my hormones continued to deplete.
The next two years were a blur of appointments, medications, payments, and diets—then, enter my acupuncturist turned friend (and therapist) Andy. Andy was the first person to suggest I could get pregnant if I slowed down...a lot. Not just physically, but mentally. He wanted me to rest. And he will laugh remembering how resistant I was to this diagnosis as someone who lives off being on the go.
In 2015 we were told IVF was our best option to have children. I was 27. We decided not to go that route and started putting money aside to adopt. I continued to go to showers, birthdays, gender announcements, putting on a brave face.
In early 2017 I came across the story of Tina Muir on her running podcast. Shoutout Tina! Tina is a professional runner who made headlines for sharing about lack of a period (and low hormones) for years. It is apparently an epidemic in the serious running community. She decided to step away from her career to have a shot at having a baby. Within a few months of going cold turkey on running, she was pregnant.
I laugh that I’m comparing myself to a professional runner, but I reached out to Tina and made the decision to take my last run. I was terrified.
In addition to giving up running, I said no to events, slept 8 hours religiously every night, and started eating more plant based. It preoccupied so much of my day. What’s too much? Was this going to work? I called it my “sloth” treatment. Sit and recharge, repeat. There were many tears over those months. It was also uncomfortable watching my body change while working in TV where we are constantly picked apart for how we look. If people noticed they didn’t say anything, and my husband was very supportive even though I don’t think he thought deep down it would work either. I don’t know what kept me going, but after seven months of “all in” and 10-15 pounds later, I was pregnant. No meds, nothing. My body had needed a break.
But then, our joy turned to grief when I miscarried at 9 weeks. This was probably the lowest point. I had given up a piece of me and now I was not sure if I could carry a baby to term.
But I kept praying, stayed the course, and three months after losing our baby, I was pregnant again. Hearing the heartbeat at the end of the first trimester was one of the happiest days of my life. I still can’t think about it without tearing up. All the struggle of the years that had been leading up to that moment ran through my mind. It was like God wanted this to be our story.
One of the most amazing things that has come out of this last year has been meeting couples and hearing stories of hundreds of you still in the trenches. My husband and I spent all weekend reading the insane amount of messages we got after we announced, that our news gave you hope. That is what we want for you. To know a year ago I was infertile, and so much can change in a year. And above that, that we knew whether or not we had a biological child, adopted, or chose to be child free, we would not be defined by infertility and live a fulfilling life.
I truly give credit to Dave and Steve for giving me that chance to share my story a year ago. Whie it seemed to touch a lot of you, the truth is you all healed me. It was the missing piece to help me let go. I can’t wait to share that story with our child someday.
Sending you love, light, and baby dust