I remember feeling so excited yet nervous when Jeff and I found out we were moving to St. Louis. He was recruited out of college to work for SBC in Telecommunications when the market for that industry was on fire. We were newlyweds, married less than a year, and had never lived more than 30 miles from home. I hadn’t experienced homesickness before and when my family left after helping us move, I felt my feelings of excitement disappear. The tears began to flow like a river.
I cried a lot in St. Louis. I began to make friends and learned to conquer three and four lane highways and tolerate traffic jams. But I kept wondering when we’d go home, and why we were living here. The homesickness never left.
Jeff and I talked about starting a family early in our marriage but we weren’t sure if that was a smart idea having just moved with a new career. In my mind if I just got pregnant and we had a baby then I wouldn’t be so lonely, and I would feel happier. All I have ever wanted in life was to be a Mom and if we had a baby then I would be living out my life’s purpose. We started trying to get pregnant shortly after we moved there with no success.
That wasn’t helping my sadness.
It was supposed to be easy and so much fun trying, but after six long months it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t as fun anymore. We tried and tried and every test would come up negative. I visited my doctor and was placed on Clomid. I can’t remember exactly how many rounds I took, but I do know it made me break out with acne, made me extremely moody, gave me an ovarian cyst and unfortunately did not get me pregnant. It was supposed to be an easy fix, just a little pill to help me ovulate and get things going.
There was something else wrong. I just knew.
Jeff insisted on being patient, but I think he agreed to see the doctor in a desperate attempt to do anything to make his wife happy. We both had testing and yes there was something wrong – with both of us – low sperm count and abnormal ovulation. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that those results were not good. We were told that the only way to get pregnant was through In Vitro Fertilization (words that were completely foreign to both of us at the time) and that it would be very unlikely for it to ever happen naturally. I could write another book just on those feelings alone with that kind of news.
We were referred to a doctor who was one of the leading doctors in Assisted Reproductive Technology, Dr. Sherman Silber. He had written several books on the subject and worked alongside the scientists, researchers, and doctors in Belgium perfecting the science behind In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and had a list of credentials a mile long. He just happened to be a colleague of our OB/GYN who had done our infertility testing. He had the connection to him and could refer us. This doctor had a long waiting list to get in but because of their relationship we were able to get an appointment within a few weeks. At the time I remember thinking “it’s great that we live in St. Louis so close to this amazing doctor.” I now know that God had his hand in that the whole time! We met him, fell in love with him and dove in to our first experience with IVF. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into but we did it anyway.
The next few months were shots, ultrasounds, tests, more shots, more ultrasounds and finally our big IVF procedure. The whole time we didn’t understand all of what we were doing. We were just going through the motions doing whatever was necessary to start a family. It was painful. I gained weight like it was my job. I was miserable. My stomach was huge from my ovaries overproducing eggs. My butt was sore from all of the shots that I had to take. My modesty had gone out the window with all of the people who were constantly doing ultrasounds and monitoring my follicle sizes. Our privacy about the matter was also gone because this required a lot of time off from work to do all of the tests and we had to explain that somehow.
But, I kept going because I wanted to be a Mom, period.