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Infertility Stories of Hope (for those in the trenches now)


I still remember my journey like it was yesterday, and that intense feeling of loneliness, coupled with wondering whether it would ever happen for me. The fear, the sadness, the desperation. I was desperate to hear infertility stories of hope from people who had got through it, and come through the other end… I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone and that people were feeling the same as me.

So today, for anyone in the trenches, I reached out to all the women in our Facebook Group for Fertility Warriors who have come to the other side and asked them to share their stories with you. They came together and answered in a show of solidarity.

These are their infertility stories of hope.

 

Things never went according to plan

My husband and I struggled for over 2.5 years with male factor infertility. We tried everything we could to conceive! It was heartbreaking. We were told our only realistic option for success was IVF. We were successful on our first cycle, thankfully.
This journey is not without struggles. Things never went according to plan. Our journey is unique to us, as yours will be to you. Keep a positive outlook! Give in to the process, trust your doctors, and remember to love your significant other through it all. ~ Jessica

 

Three rounds of clomid

I did expect it because I was 39. I was diagnosed with low egg quality. I did three rounds of clomid. Then had three miscarriages naturally. I am now 15.5 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby boy. My journey did not involve IVF but was heartbreaking. Stay positive and like Jessica said follow her advice too. ~ Heidi

 

Don’t give up

My fiancé and I struggled for 2.5 years with unexplained infertility. I had test upon test done and we finally did hubbys sperm analasys and found out that his count was 0 due to testosterone shots he was getting by weekly(male version of birth control). Right away he stopped taking the shot and within 2 months we found out we were pregnant with our little miracle Jaxxon. I am currently 29 weeks today. It’s been a battle with pregnancy related issues but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Don’t give up guys it can happen you may just need to explore other options . Pictures of my little ham . Hubby and I each have 1 child from a previous relationship that’s why we were so confused ~ Kaity

 

Take time out from the journey to spend quality time with your partner

We kinda expected infertility, my mum had difficulty conceiving my eldest brother and for 8 years we weren’t trying, but not preventing either and nothing happened. I was diagnosed with PCOS and whilst I was ovulating, it wasn’t a strong ovulation and I wasn’t producing enough progesterone meaning my luteal phase was quite short. We were fortunate enough to conceive our little girl on the third round of clomid. My cycle was being tracked via blood tests and it turned out that I was ovulating on our 8th wedding anniversary so it must have been good luck! It’s important to take time out from the journey to spend quality time with your partner. ~ Rachel

My biggest piece of advice and action you can take to improve your fertility journey

 

I didn’t expect infertility.

I didn’t expect infertility. I never had anything pointing to it. We have male factor, but of course he never expected it either.
We did 6 cycles of medicated and monitored IUIs before we got pregnant with our first. Hubby used anastrozole, fertilaid, count boost and motility boost to improve count. We are now on 4th cycle for our second child. I know many people wonder why not IVF…I just didn’t/won’t do IVF for my own reasons. Be open with your doctors and be open to their plans. Also use your support system (family/friends) as much as you can. ~ Christina

 

Miracles take many forms

I didn’t expect infertility. All of my friends have been getting pregnant in a month-3 months. My husband and I are extremely healthy and are 30 and 29. I started to see a naturopath after 9 months of trying and she was an incredible person to work with in my journey. And then I started to see a fertility specialist at a year of trying. My diagnosis was hypothyroidism & pcos. Basically I had irregular cycles and wasn’t producing mature follicles. I did 3 cycles letrozole with very close ultrasound and bloodwork monitoring and then 2 more cycles with injectables(gonal-f and trigger) with the letrozole and iuis. I also made a lot of diet and lifestyle changes (gluten free dairy free, gave up running, started acupuncture again, got rid of plastics and products that weren’t natural). I spent a lot of time crying and hoping and just generally feeling like I was falling apart. Keep talking to the people who will support you the most and truly care about you and your journey. Communicate with your spouse and when you hit rock bottom cry and invest in a punching bag. Miracles take many different forms but I can promise you that if you keep the hope it will happen. I can also promise that I will never stop bringing awareness to this issue. I will fight for you to have that baby!! ~ Jenny

6 rounds of medicated IUI’s

I did not expect infertility, but our diagnosis was unexplained infertility. After 6 rounds of medicated IUI’s we were finally able to conceive on our first IVF with one normal PGS tested embryo. This was after 3 years of trying and I am now happy to say that I am 10 weeks and 6 days pregnant. <3 It has been such a journey to get here, all with the help of: the fertility warriors support group and podcast which made me feel that I am not alone in all this. Lots of therapy helped along the way and still does, acupuncture is wonderful!, a great RE and of course with my wonderful husband. You learn a lot about yourself and about life and how things don’t always go as planned, but it only makes you a stronger person in the process. ~ Eileen

 

Unexplained infertility made us even more frustrated

Like most, my husband and I didn’t expect be going down this fertility journey; we really thought conceiving would be fairly easy since we are healthy and there’s no infertility from both sides of our families. After a year of trying on our own (we did everything: changed our eating habits, did ovulation tests, and so much more), we saw a fertility specialist hoping to find answers why we were struggling. Every test we took pointed into us as unexplained infertility, which made us even more frustrated. We did two failed IUI rounds and then did which resulted in two failed transfers along with one chemical pregnancy. With the support of a small group of family, friends, and support group members we found the hope to do another IVF cycle. Our first transfer was successful as we are currently 23 weeks pregnant with a baby girl! We are trying to enjoy every moment but also so very looking forward to meeting our baby girl. She is worth every doctor’s appointment, injection, ultrasound, blood work test, and everything else we have done through our journey. I learned that this required strength I never thought I had. Women going through this journey, in one form or another, are the strongest people I know. ~ Sara

 

Exactly four years to the day since we started trying to conceive

My husband and I started TTC in December of 2013. We didn’t really expect any issues. Nobody in our families, except one of his aunts, ever had fertility issues. His sister had 2 children that were both conceived in 3 months or less and my brother had 2 that were both surprises. Genetically we were good to go. But I’ve always had a fear of being infertile. My periods had never been regular and I’d seen a documentary when I was in high school that said women with naturally red hair (like me) have a higher percentage of infertility than all others combined. (I have not confirmed that information since so take it with a grain of salt, please!) After a year of trying without success I started looking into doctors. I was almost 30 and had never been to an OB. Partly because I was afraid of hearing I’d have issues conceiving. After months of research, and still no plus sign, I chose a doctor. My first appointment was set right around the 2 year mark. Unfortunately, I was never comfortable with him. He barely looked at me, brushed off my concerns, and just threw Clomid at me right off the bat. I said I was concerned about having PCOS, he shrugged and said “probably”, then ruled it out after a quick sonogram. We did 2 cycles on Clomid with no evidence of ovulation (based on just blood tests bc he didn’t do ultrasounds to check for follicles). Then his practice closed and I had to find another doctor. It had taken me months to find a doctor and get the courage to go the first time. I felt so defeated. I decided that instead of researching again, I was going to go to the same OB my brother’s wife did. By that point they had 4 kids and she loved her doctor. I met my new OB and absolutely loved her. My first visit she spent over an hour just listening to me, addressing my concerns, and letting me cry. She reordered all the tests my previous doctor had done bc she didn’t trust his judgment and also ordered tests for my husband. She confirmed that I did, in fact, have PCOS but that it didn’t show in the usual manner. My husband, despite having vericocole, had great counts. Our overall diagnoses was unexplained infertility. We then did 6 months on Metformin to try evening out my cycles. After that we tried Clomid for 3 cycles (right after the 3 year mark in our TTC journey). I had an unconfirmed chemical pregnancy in the last cycle. She wasn’t happy with our results and wanted to take the next step. So we set up a hysteroscopy/laparoscopy. Unfortunately, we had to wait several months to get in. Everything went well during surgery, she was able to remove the endometriosis she found, and said my tubes were both wide open. After surgery, we decided try Femara instead of Clomid for my next cycle. My Day 14 sonogram showed a beautiful follicle on my left side measuring at 19. But my blood test the next week came back with numbers too low for ovulation to have occurred. I was okay with it because part of me thought maybe I ovulated late (not uncommon for me) and the other part thought the month after surgery was too soon to expect results anyway. Two weeks later, on a whim before going out to drink for a friend’s birthday, I took a test FULLY expecting a negative. Two minutes later, for the first time in my life, a perfectly clear little plus sign was staring back at me. Exactly 4 years, to the day, since we had started trying. I’m currently 37 weeks with our little miracle. I still have trouble believing it’s true. After so long, I’d started to give up hope. I knew we couldn’t afford IVF and even IUI would have been incredibly difficult on us financially. I’d broken down so many times thinking I’d have to use my inheritance from my great-grandmother to have a baby instead of buying a house like she’d intended. Luckily, we never got that far. Every journey is different. Every journey has its own hardships and heartbreaks. You feel inadequate, broken, insecure, and a million other things all the time. But you are NOT just your journey. It’s a part of you, it will shape and mold you, but it does not define you. My journey broke me down. I had so many days where I honestly didn’t think I could keep going. I almost gave up so many times. But I kept trying and in a couple of weeks I’m going to hear my doctor tell me “Congratulations, it’s a…” and hand me a tiny human that she fought hard to help me create. My heart is so full. My arms are about to be as well. And I hope and pray for all my fellow warriors to have the same one day. ~ Morgan

 

The same day we found out, we also lost the baby

I started my journey 5 years ago. I did not expect to have any infertility issues, because I have a daughter from previous relationship. She is now 11. My husband and I casually tried for 3 years (yes THREE!). We had a couple moves in between there so we didn’t seek out a RE for a long time. I remember my first apt. I showed up by myself thinking “this is going to be easy we just need a little help.” I rolled into my apt., after work, exhausted, drained, and had an espresso in hand. I was doing EVERYTHING opposite of supporting my own fertility. After preliminary testing we found my left Fallopian tube was completely blocked. Okay. Not a big deal I thought. We still have ONE good tube. We did 3 IUI’s, and continued to try naturally. After 3 failed attempts we realized I could not deal with the emotional roller coaster and disappoint any longer. We mustered up the finances to start IVF. I had surgery to cut my left tube prior to IVF. BOOM. I got pregnant spontaneously. We were crying we were so happy. The same day we found out, we also lost the baby. Talk about one hell of an emotional roller coaster! I had surgery on my left tube. My doctor now informed me I have low egg reserve at 32 years old, and the odds were slim. We got 10 eggs at retrieval; 2 made it past blast. We transferred both embryos. BOTH took! I’m scheduled for a C-Section TOMORROW. Our miracle babies are here. 5 years later. I always say; if it’s still on your mind keep trying. One day, this journey will end. Only you know what is best for you and your family. All the baby dust in the world ~ Ashlyn

How to Recover from a Miscarriage

Here I am now, holding by sweet baby boy

We started trying for a baby around our 3rd wedding anniversary in 2016. I never anticipated we would get pregnant right away but certainly never expected for us to be infertile. I remember each month we would get that positive ovulation test and I would think- this is it! But nope… a year went by and my OBGYN referred us to a specialist. After a slew of testing we discovered my husband has low morphology and I needed an exploratory lap procedure to rule out endometriosis. My husband was diagnosed with a bilateral variococele and had surgery in January 2018, I had my surgery the next month where they found mild endo, lots of polyps and scar tissue from a previous surgery. We took a few months after the procedures to try naturally and finally decided in May, after a consultation with our doctors, to try IUI. We did ovulation induction with letrazole, trigger shot and followed with progesterone suppositories. 2 weeks later I got the call that my bloodwork came back positive, we were pregnant and no one was more shocked/surprised than me! Here I am 9 months later holding my sweet baby boy. He is healthy and perfect and as hard as the infertility journey can be… he makes it all worth it ❤ ~ Jamie

 

I have endometriosis and had leukemia as a child

I expected infertility could be a possibility. I have endometriosis and had leukemia as a child. The chemotherapy drugs can potentially have an effect on eggs. Because of this, when I wanted to start trying and had low AMH levels at a cancer screening follow up, We went to see a RE after trying for only 6 months. They did the full workup and re-did my AMH and everything came back normal, husband was also normal. We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I did a few Clomid + trying naturally cycles but eventually decided I didn’t like my clinic.

After a year of trying with no luck and seeing specialists.. we took some time off (2 months). I quit my overly stressful job, started working out to lose a few lbs, and found a new clinic around the corner from my new work. This opened new doors as I felt better about doing more intensive treatments and monitoring since I could effectively go on my lunch break. This doctor and I clicked, and I liked his way of thinking on everything and how he explained why he wanted to do a certain treatment. We ended up doing two back-to-back cycles of Clomid + monitoring + IUI and fell pregnant. I am now 27 weeks with a healthy babe. ~ Anna

 

I was 32 years old when we began TTC

My husband and I were TTC for 2.5 years with one miscarriage. I was 32 years old when we began TTC. When we started to look into why we were struggling, I was in a really dark place. I hated my job. I was over-stressed with work, deadlines, office politics & coping with a death in the family. I was disappointed with my body for letting me down month after month and feeling lots of pressure from the family to hurry up and have a baby. I was depressed & angry. I under went a myriad of tests. My husband did too. Our diagnosis was unexplained infertility. Which is really frustrating because there’s no answer as to why we struggled so.
I did 5 rounds of Clomid; 3 IUI’s, & 1 full round of IVF w/ ICSI. I became pregnant on my 1st fresh transfer from IVF. We now have our miracle baby girl who is 7 months already! I have 3 snow babies waiting for us when we are ready. We did PGS testing so we already know their genders, which is crazy! My advice would be to take a look at your lifestyle and do whatever it takes to get yourself to a happy place. Stress has an insane negative impact on your body. ~Dani

 

Used birth control for years… didn’t expect to be infertile at all!

Used birth control for years….didn’t expect to be infertile at all! What a waste of money…ha ha. We tried for five years. Three and a half on IVF. Two miscarriages. I have Endo, Admo and PCOS. My doctor told me last year it wasn’t going to happen for me and to look at surrogacy ( adoption is near impossible in my state). So we gave up and looked at surrogacy. Now we are 16 weeks pregnant and everything is going well. I totally credit my natropath. Good luck everyone. I hated people telling me stories like ours while we were trying…never expected to be one myself. I hope you go on to have a story like ours x ~ Cat

 

Never lose hope!

I somewhat expected infertility bc I was diagnosed with endometriosis after a laparoscopic surgery at a fairly young age (19), however I never expected the journey that ensued. Other than my endo, we were completely unexplained. We tried for years naturally w zero success. None. Nada. Not even an Evap line! We started seeing a fertility specialist in April of 2018 and started medicated/triggered IUIs instantly. We did 4 back to back IUIs total, the first 3 ended in early miscarriages. We found ourselves attempting to recover from 3 devastating miscarriages all in a little over 4.5 months. To our surprise, we swapped from clomid to femara on the 4th and final IUI before beginning IVF, and it was a success! I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant w our sweet rainbow baby boy 🌈👶🏻. I truly thought that this would never happen to me. Never lose hope! ~ Haley

 

A repeat analysis showed zero sperm

My husband and I had been “not not trying” to get pregnant for about 3 years when we finally sought help to figure out why it hadn’t happened for us. All of my testing came back normal but we were shocked when my husband’s SA came back with less than a million sperm. A repeat analysis showed zero sperm. We saw a local urologist who alluded that he thought there might be a chromosomal issue causing his azoospermia. We were referred to an infertility specialty urologist and my husband was diagnosed with Klinefelter Syndrome. We were told IVF would be the only possible way to conceive and we would have a 40% chance of obtaining sperm from my husband with a surgical procedure. We did a timed cycle so my husband had his surgery done the day before my egg retrieval and we have donor sperm preselected and purchased in case my husband’s procedure wasn’t successful. Thankfully it was very successful and 5 tubes of sperm were obtained! I had 14 eggs retrieved, 9 fertilized and & made it to day 5. We transferred 2 and were so blessed to be pregnant with our son on our first round. I had a great pregnancy and our son was born perfectly healthy. We have 6 frozen embryos and 4 vials of my husband’s sperm and hope to add a sibling for my son in the next few years. ~ Caitlin

41 truths about infertility

 

Like many others, my husband and I thought we were going to do the right thing and in the right order.

Like many others my husband and I thought we were going to do the right thing and in the right orders. Get married first and then start trying for kids. We never thought we would have any issues trying to get pregnant. We were training for a marathon and that helped to keep us busy. However after the race we started trying trying for about 2 yrs. I was 32 when we started trying and by the time we got to a fertility specialist I was 34 almost 35. We tried three iui’s all failed, so we moved into trying ivf. During the ivf process and being pumped with extra meds because my body didn’t respond and never created more than 3 eggs we decided we didn’t want to do egg retrieval’s after 3 attempts to make some eggs. We then decided to take a break and became really discouraged. With the help of my ob, we found a new clinic and started talking about what we could do that had a higher success rate. Since my body didn’t cooperate the best choice we thought was a donor egg. Let me do a psa no it was not an easy option at first, yes I grieved, yes I was angry, yes I hated my body, but being a mommy and daddy was so important that I eventually was able to cope with the choice. We did a fresh donor transfer at the age of 35. I had my baby in December of last year. Healthy 3 month old boy and I never doubt he is mine!! 💚💝👼🏻 ~ Amanda

 

At this point, I was beyond frustrated, sad and angry

I sort of expected it because when I was 17 I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I had my first surgery to remove a cyst that was the size of my ovary. After that was on birth control for so long . Once I turned 30 I stopped the birth control and had miserable period pain going fwd. Fast forward 7 years later before getting married me and my husband go to a fertility dr to see what’s going on and low and behold stage 4 endometriosis , blocked tubes, cysts and fibroids. First surgery to remove one tube , cyst and fibroid. We then tried 2 iuis, failed! Then we do two cycles of IVF, failed. Second surgery to remove other tube and small cysts. Third cycle of IVF failed. At this point I am beyond frustrated, sad, angry ! My dr tells me about the ERA testing and we are hopeful! Now at 39 years old , no tubes, stage 4 endometriosis, we are almost 10 weeks pregnant! I can not stress enough how I’m so grateful for that ERA test! I truly feel that is why we are pregnant right now! ~ Jo Ann

 

 

I hope in sharing these beautiful stories of hope from women who have suffered, just like you – all the hard days, the unexpected twists and turns, the diverse scenarios but ultimately… success, that you feel less alone on your journey. All of these women were initially part of our main Facebook Group. They all wish you happiness and success and they are all standing behind you, cheering you on. We are a tribe of warriors. We got your back. Sending lots of baby dust <3

If you’d like to know more about my journey, make sure you check out my book, Screw Infertility on Amazon. It’s had all 5 star reviews and it isn’t a long read… but it is inspirational and shares 10 powerful lessons that changed my journey, and can change yours too.

Infertility Stories of Hope (for those in the trenches now) | Robyn Birkin | Author, Podcaster, Eternal Optimist
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