There it was. My Aunt, in her kindness, had begun this thing. She started the “Baby Love” Fund.
I ugly cried sitting at the ATM with cars waiting behind me. Saying yes to something so big and uncertain was really scary.
When I told my sister I was considering IVF, she said, “You have to at least try. If you never try, then you will always wonder what would have happened if you would have just tried.” Hadn’t we BEEN trying this entire time? It felt more like maybe we needed to fail in the biggest way possible so that I had no choice but to give up.
But she was right. This kind of trying was different. We weren’t alone anymore, so we said, “YES!” to trying again, because the idea of possibly having a family was worth fighting for!
My little sister and her husband moved in with us so they could give their rent money to our “Baby Love Fund.”
For Christmas, we received cards of good wishes with checks for “Baby Love.”
Then my family threw me a birthday party, and everyone who came brought us a gift for our “Baby Love Fund.”
Later, a coworker of Ryan’s, who had recently moved to the states from Egypt, heard our story and gave us $1,000.
My mom mentioned our story to one of her patients, and they sent her home with a $50 bill to give to us.
We were blown away by the love shown to us by friends, family, and even complete strangers. Within six months, we had $20,000. I love that New Mexicans love to help others. They might barely be getting dinner on the table, but they have something to share as well.
So seven years of “trying” brought us to the most trying part of all. The whole IVF process took about 2 months. IVF was scary. It was frustrating. And it was often terribly funny and humiliating at the same time.
At one point, when I woke up from an intense procedure, the nurses told me I had made a “slap bet” with my doctor right before I went under.I had also apparently called him a very bad word and laughed hysterically.
People had literally invested their money into my body, and I was scared to death that it was all for nothing.
I was terrified of what would come next, because this was our last try. What would happen if the pregnancy test came back negative? I knew I was meant to be a mother, but what if mother nature felt differently? Would I be able to trust God and love Him if He did not give me the child, the family, that I so desperately wanted? We waited, and we waited some more.
We got another call from the doctor’s office one evening while we were driving along Comanche. My blood work for the day was in.
I was not infertile. Now I WAS PREGNANT, and I was carrying hopes and dreams and wishes inside of me.
So guess what we did? We cried! But this time when we cried, we were not alone. We knew we were surrounded by those people who loved us, and who had come alongside to help to us in our time of need.
Infertility had made me feel alone. Desperate. Broken. Weary. Crazy.
Being pregnant is not what changed any of those things. Being a mom didn’t change any of that either.
For me, the beginning of my healing process started when I stopped hiding my story and began to speak out about my brokenness. When I allowed others to step in and be the help and the love I needed, I discovered I was not alone. Not crazy. People loved me and cared enough about MY dream to invest in an uncertain future.
A few weeks after I found out I was pregnant, we found out my little sister was pregnant too. Our babies were due two weeks apart. “Sister-Moms!”
My story isn’t over. It hasn’t all gone according to plan. I don’t know who in this crazy world thinks they can control any of these things anyway! I just keep remembering that I am the lucky one. For so many women, things don’t work out how they want. They remain mamas without their babies. They have empty arms and broken hearts waiting for “someday” to come, thinking each new wish might be the one that gets answered. It’s important for them to know they are not alone, and they are not broken. Their story is not over.
You are not alone. Check out Resolve, the National Infertility Association for resources, information, and support.
Originally published April 2017