In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I’m excited to share our infertility journey with you!
The more I have opened up about infertility, the more I have come to realize just how common it is while still feeling like a topic that is almost taboo to talk about. As my friend Lunchbox Babies put it, infertility feels like a sorority you did not ask to be apart of. But it is just that — a sorority of women who can uplift you and make you feel less alone… but you have to open yourself up to them to receive the blessing of support.
What’s ironic about struggling to get pregnant is that you most likely will never know if getting pregnant will be easy or more challenging until you are “ready” to start trying. For me, it was like a switch flipped and I went from being fine putting off having kids to being ready to hold my baby in my arms like, yesterday. Though we decided to try to start our family back in March 2020, God had other plans for us and prepared our hearts for parenthood in a way we never thought possible.
Watch our story through video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cc81nWEj3Rg/
We’re Ready to Try!
In March 2020 the world shut down and with a lotttt more time on our hands and two long walks a day, Tyler and I decided we were ready to try and start a family. I finished my last pack of birth control pills and buckled in for the possibility of getting pregnant really quickly — hey it happens! So we were optimistic. Then five months passed without me getting my natural period. My then gyno had recommended a progesterone withdraw to jumpstart my period and it worked! I took progesterone for 10 days and then boom! Aunt flow came back in August 2020.
Well then a few months went by without another period. In October, my doctor had recommended another progesterone withdraw (which again was successful), but then without a period in November we were encouraged to try progesterone again in December. This time would be “different” with the plan of taking Letrozole (an ovulation stimulant) to try and boost ovulation right after the withdraw.
There was SO much waiting for me to get regular. I now know that when you don’t ovulate, you don’t have a natural period — and without ovulation you’re not getting pregnant, either.
So time went by and tears were shed and a lot of shame was felt. I wanted to just feel like a woman whose body did normal womanly things like ovulate and have periods and get pregnant!!!! I prayed for God to allow my body to function how I so desperately wanted it to.
Meeting Dr. Marynick
In May 2021, Ty and I decided to take the plunge and visit an infertility specialist in Dallas named Dr. Marynick. I was feeling so many emotions of relief mixed with defeat, like I couldn’t believe my body had failed us for over a year and we “had” to take this route… but I was glad we were there. I felt beyond fortunate to have the means to afford a specialist but still a part of me felt like a failure. Now I am able to see our journey as so much more — truly a gift.
Dr. Marynick has been an infertility specialist in Dallas for decades and has helped so many of our friends and relatives have babies, so we knew we were in skilled hands. What we didn’t know was just how special our time at Dr. Marynick’s would be. From our very first visit there, we felt like we were a part of their community and felt so cared for — anything but just a “number.” After just a month of visits there and the beginning of a thyroid treatment through medication I was able to ovulate naturally.
Now of course ovulation is just one step in getting pregnant. Like a LOT of other things need to happen lol and the stars really do have to align. Can you believe that with a perfect egg and a perfect sperm and the perfect setting, you still only have a 20-25% chance of getting pregnant? Those are insane odds.
IUI: Intrauterine Insemination
So getting pregnant naturally is really truly miraculous. Ask anyone who has ever *tried* to get pregnant for more than a couple months… and remember those odds! It can feel like an uphill battle even when all your parts are working properly. Enter: IUI.
IUI stands for intrauterine insemination and is a procedure where sperm is placed directly into the uterus via a catheter. The doctor first weeds out any dead or “bad” sperm so you have all the best swimmers possible before placing the catheter through your cervix (yes it hurts lol) and into your uterus. The timing is *just* right so that you should hypothetically have a perfect little egg awaiting the sperm and chances of conception are increased to 40-50%.
Now for some science: many doctors will have you on some sort of ovulation medication or program (pills and/or injections) to stimulate follicle growth and increase the odds of one (or more) eggs being ovulated. In our case, I was taking Estradol injections into my stomach in the days leading up to our IUI, then a HCG trigger shot the night before the procedure. We had our first IUI in June and were so hopeful!
A Much Needed Reset.
Well first time wasn’t a charm. You can say the odds were just not in our favor but deep down, I knew even then that it wasn’t our time. I was praying so differently back then — I was BEGGING. Begging God for the IUI to work and for me to get and stay pregnant and to just HURRY UP and get our life started. It makes me almost laugh typing that now because I know so deeply that God’s timing is better than our timing. So maybe it took the first year of unsuccessful trying and the first failed IUI to re-recognize that. Hey, I can respect being put in my place haha.
So we took end of June and all of July off and traveled. We relaxed. We connected with each other on topics that did not involve babies or kids or future. We reminded each other and ourselves that everything happens for a reason. We had the best six week reset and my prayers started to sound a lot different. I thanked God for the relationship I had with my best friend husband. I praised God for allowing us the resources to be at an infertility specialist that was spending his weekends (quite literally) researching how to help us. I finally released control of my timing for our life.
IUI Round Two
August 2021 came and we were ready to try another IUI with a brand new mindset. I wish I could explain it better but I just knew this time would be different. As I laid in the office after our second IUI procedure, left alone with my hips elevated and the room darkened, I felt so overjoyed with this wave of peace. I knew this would work. And it did.
On August 25th I answered the best call of my life: our nurse Kristen from Dr. Marynick’s office asked me if I was sitting down because she had some news… what if she told us we were pregnant? I had already known (not from any physical signs… and no I promise I did not take my own pregnancy test!) because I had put my full faith in God. But hearing it out loud will remain one of the best moments of my entire life.
Telling Tyler that night at dinner was incredible. We had a night out planned for Ty’s birthday so the timing to celebrate could not have been more perfect. But I had received the call from Kristen around 4:30pm and knew I needed to get out of the house immediately if I were going to somehow keep this a secret until 6pm! I told Tyler I had errands to run and after sitting in my car (???? where am I going?? what do I need to buy/how am I going to tell him… creatively?!) I went to purchase some baby cowboy boots and had them wrapped. I brought the gift to dinner and lasted all of 10 minutes at our table before I insisted that he open his “birthday gift.” If you watched the video you know it took Tyler some time to process what he was opening lol. I think he had thought I’d gotten him custom cowboy boots and just bought these little ones to represent what was coming haha. I guess my gift wasn’t the most obvious. I had to stop filming to explain to him that we. were. pregnant. We were pregnant!!!!!!! So many tears. I still remember the sweetest lady who was a Savvy follower who had came up to our table and congratulated us when she had figured out what we were celebrating.
The next two weeks were just so fun for us as we told our immediate families and celebrated this new chapter. Our parents were very in the know about our appointments and throughout our whole journey so keeping any info from them was not even an option lol — we told them both on our way back from dinner! We wanted to shout it from the rooftop to be honest haha. We had a due date (May 4th!) and felt like we had this secret bond that felt so special.
And then there were… two!?
Fast forward two weeks later when we’re back at Dr. Marynick’s for our very first sonogram. I had taken my positive blood test two weeks before that had revealed we were pregnant, but now it was time to see the little nugget on camera. Of course we had lots of nervous excited energy going in… praying everything looked perfect. Praying for a heartbeat. Little did we know there would be a lot of silence before we heard not one heartbeat. But two.
I can still hear Dr. Marynick’s words so clearly… “Well well well. What we have here………… (LONGEST PAUSE EVER)……. is a twin pregnancy.”
I have never been more shocked in my life. Turns out Tyler was expecting this news. Lol! The first thing he said out loud following the reveal was “Hah. I’ve been praying for this.” He later told me that he had this inkling throughout the appointment that Dr. Marynick would tell us we were having twins. “I just knew he would,” he said. “I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t.”
I on the other hand cannot imagine what I looked like as one million thoughts went processing through my mind. How am I going to carry twins? Does this make me high risk? Two babies at ONCE? How are we going to go from no kids to two kids? HOW??? I was overwhelmed to say the least but still so grateful to be pregnant. But how was I going to do this?
We shared the news with our families who could not believe their ears. Twins?! There are so many cousins and grandkids and family members between us all but no one — no one at all — has had two babies at once. The bewilderment of our families actually felt reassuring as I was processing my own feelings.
Soon enough, through God’s grace, the anomaly of having twins turned my stress into excitement. Excitement turned into gratitude. God had heard us all along. And not only were we getting a baby… we were getting a family.
Roxy and Riley Atha were born April 12, 2022 — almost two years to the day that Tyler and I began our journey into parenthood. If you are struggling to get pregnant, you are not alone! Please reach out to me on Instagram as I would love to connect with you and encourage you throughout your journey.
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