In order to honor those families that are affected by infertility every single day, Austin Moms Blog has shared several stories throughout this week. What binds us together is motherhood and whether you are a veteran mom, expecting mom, new mom, or just want to be a mom, we all have one common denominator… our love for children and motherhood.
This is Marianne’s story.
You know what is so funny about all of this? I never was one of those women who longed to be a mother growing up. I graduated from college, moved to the Cayman Islands for a two year adventure, and jumped on my career path that I loved. I traveled for work and pleasure, worked out, hung out with my girlfriends. It was the last thing on my mind. It is unbelievable how when you find out later that YOU CAN’T HAVE ONE how it is the one thing in the world you want more than anything!!!
I met my husband in Mexico when I was 30, he moved here, and we were married when I was 33. It was a fairy tale and we were so happy! Still traveling, working, and having fun. We were actually on our first anniversary trip back to Cancun where we met when we decided we would start trying for a family. We were officially ready! I went from thinking people’s kids were annoying to wanting to create a human being with this wonderful man. How cool would that be?
Well, it would have been cool if I could get pregnant! Since I was closing in on mid-thirties we started infertility testing after 6 months of trying versus a year of unprotected sex like the younger ladies out there. My hormone levels were within normal range, tubes were open, no problem with my uterus although someone once said it looked a little small. I was diagnosed with the dreaded “unexplained infertility”.
After a few years including lots more testing and 5 failed IUI’s (insemination’s during ovulation) we had to bring in the big guns, the silver bullet of treatments… IVF. We had a good number of eggs, they fertilized well, and we were at a clinic in Houston where everyone not only got pregnant, but it seemed like almost everyone who went there had twins!
You guessed it. The biggest heartbreak of all time. Our first failed IVF. After that first one, you just start thinking nothing will ever work. Second IVF failed, too. I was getting up there being 37 at that time and I took lots of breaks over the years. The emotional toll was too much for us. I was so beat down that there were many days I could barely get out of bed. I withdrew from the world, all of my relationships suffered, and my job no longer brought me joy. Oh, depression. You were a friend of mine for a long time.
No one could tell us why our cycles were failing. When you are someone who has always achieved your goal if you work hard, this is a hard pill to swallow!!! We went to a doctor in Colorado who took one look at me (practically with my clothes on, he is that good) and he told us my uterus was the smallest and most misshapen that he had ever seen due to a drug (DES) my mom was given when she was pregnant with me to prevent miscarriage. It was basically poison that was taken off the market right after I was born for causing cancer and, you guessed it, infertility in the daughters of women who took it. It didn’t even prevent miscarriage! Damn you, Eli Lilly! You broke my uterus! Anyhoo, this guy has seen thousands of uteruses with women coming from all over the world to see him and I trusted him 100%. (pop culture note – this is the doctor Bill & Giuliana Rancic go to.)
After my surgery/procedure to learn why I was having difficulty conceiving, our doctor said I would need a gestational carrier, aka a surrogate, to carry for me if I wanted the chance at a biological child. We cried tears of RELIEF for the first time as I lay in the recovery area of the surgery center surrounded by other couples wondering what was wrong with them.
My husband told me later that when I was coming out of the anesthesia I said to him “please don’t leave me” over not being able to conceive. Ladies, there is nothing like the guilt associated with the feeling that you will never be able to give your husband a child.
After all of our years of heartache, we ended up having one, beautiful biological son via surrogacy.
Please join me this afternoon as I complete the National Infertility Awareness Week series by sharing the intimate details of our surrogacy experience.
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, it is our hope to raise awareness and educate our community about the varying types of infertility and the many options available. We hope that you are empowered by this series, because we really are in this journey of motherhood together. Please continue to support the real moms this week as they share their journeys. To read more, please click here.