4/24/2017

Listen Up: Learning to Embrace The Struggle of Infertility

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23-29. This guest post was submitted as part NIAW's theme: "Listen Up." For more stories and features on infertility and NIAW, click HERE.
Learning to Embrace The Struggle of Infertility
Photo: Leah Marie Photography
Calendars, ovulation kits, pregnancy tests...hope, worry, doubt...weeks, months, years.

After our 1st wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided to “start trying” for a baby.

This just happened to be 3 months after my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Todd and I  were both teachers and eager to have a family of our own.

After a year of negative pregnancy tests, we found out that IVF was the route we needed to take to try to conceive a child.

What?

Just like that, we were submerged in hormones, injections, patches, invasive ultrasounds and uncomfortable procedures.

Naively positive that it would work the first time, we anxiously awaited the call after my blood work, 10 days post embryo transfer.

My cell phone rang while we were on the 2nd floor of Barnes and Noble and immediately I knew it wasn’t positive by the sound of the poor nurses voice.

Round 1 yielded no baby or remaining embryos.

Onto Round 2, this time I started acupuncture, but still, I got the dreaded phone call of no baby, while at the mall food court.

However, we had 4 high quality embryos that were frozen.

By this point, I needed a break...physically, but more so emotionally, and so did my husband.

The highs and lows were extreme, yet each time we came out stronger as a couple.

Ready to tackle a frozen embryo transfer, we implanted 2 embryos on September 27, 2012.

I, again, received acupuncture, but this time Todd prayed with me, out loud, in the cold, stark clinic room just minutes before the transfer.

This time, while sitting at my desk at school, I got the call we were dreaming about...we were pregnant!
Learning to Embrace The Struggle of Infertility
Photo: Leah Marie Photography
Our prayers were answered with our precious daughter, Priya Nadine, born June 7, 2013.

My mother, Nadine, died on August 25, 2014, but I am so happy that she was able to spoil and love her only grandchild for a year.

We tried on our own for nearly 3 more years for another child, but again, with no success.

With 2 remaining embryos, we gave it one last shot on June 3, 2016.
Learning to Embrace The Struggle of Infertility
Photo: Leah Marie Photography
Miraculously, I answered one more positive call while watching our sweet Priya at swimming lessons that June day.
Learning to Embrace The Struggle of Infertility
Photo: Leah Marie Photography
Our strong son, Camden Kelson, completed our family on February 7, 2017.

Fertility treatments gave us our children and such a profound respect for life...it is so precious and unpredictable.

It is hard and unfair, but remember that everyone is fighting a battle.

Embrace the struggles you face and you will come out stronger than ever before.

Talk to those you love and be as open as you can.

Whenever I share with others that we have IVF babies, I am amazed at the number of people that have also experienced infertility, and a bond is instantly formed between us. A bond that neither of us had in our life plans, but it has forever shaped who we are.

We all have a cross to bear, so carry your cross, don’t drag it.

Jenna Hucka is a mom from Harlan, Iowa. She and her husband resolved their male-factor infertility diagnosis with the help of a fertility clinic in Des Moines, IA. 

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