I'm a small-town Minnesota dietitian and triathlete.
I help endurance athletes reach their performance and body composition goals through a flexible eating style.
I have a story. It’s one I haven’t shared a lot. Only to close family and friends. It’s my story of infertility. Everyone’s life can look perfect from the outside, but the truth is that everyone is dealing with something. Everyone has their struggles. My struggle was becoming a mom.
Everyone’s infertility story is different. For me, it took two years, thousands of dollars, and a whole lotta tears, medications, injections and medical appointments to get me pregnant. During the process, I remember my husband once said to me that when we were getting married he thought about all the struggles that we would likely face in our marriage, but infertility… that never crossed his mind. It’s not something that you even think will impact you because babies are born all the time, every day.
There’s no preparing for it. That moment of realization that it’s not going to be easy and it may not happen at all. It leaves you feeling incredibly shocked, frustrated and confused.
When this was all happening I wasn’t ready to share my feelings and struggles with the world, but over two years ago I wrote them down anyways for when the day came for me to share. The day is here. I’m ready, with hopes that it comforts another woman out there in need of knowing she’s not alone.
February 2016 —
Let me start out by telling you my greatest fear.
My greatest fear is living the rest of my life seeing women with cute baby bumps and feeling a sense of sadness because I may never experience that joy and excitement. Or seeing an adorable baby and know that I won’t ever feel the greatest love in existence of that for your child.
I’m a perfectly healthy 29-year old with an equally healthy 31-year old husband – minus the fact that he avoids vegetables – and we are struggling with infertility. We have been trying since September 2014, ever since I checked ‘completing an Ironman race’ off my bucket list.
As each disappointing month goes by there is a sense of urgency to get pregnant because your mind is buzzing about whether it is ever going to happen. When you hear of other people’s stories of infertility you see many stories of success, but there are also the heart-wrenching stories of couples who have been trying for many years and are still childless. Your mind begins to wonder which situation yours will be.
Every month I tell myself I’m not going to get my hopes up. That I’m not going to calculate when my due date would be, and daydream of telling my parents and family that I’m going to have a baby. Yet, I still find myself with those thoughts each month because I want it so badly. Then it happens. That dreaded moment in the bathroom where all those hopeful thoughts come crashing down.
I never noticed it before, but it seems as if every movie or TV show I watch there is someone getting pregnant. Don’t get me started on Facebook. It’s a daily occurrence for someone to announce they’re expecting a new baby. I’m happy for them, but at the same time, there is a sense of sadness that overcomes me.
My mom has always said that I’ve had my whole life planned out for myself since I was little, and it’s true. I’ve always envisioned myself as someday becoming a mom. So now realizing that it’s not going to come as easy, if at all, is devastating.
I’ve only told a few close friends and family members. It’s difficult to admit to others that my body is failing me to do something that should come naturally.
I’ve seen a few different statistics for infertility. Somewhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 7 couples suffer from infertility. I had no idea it was so common. In grade school, they practically taught us that if girls went within three feet of sperm that we would get pregnant. I encourage you to read more about infertility and learn how to talk with your friends and family members who are struggling to have a child. Resolve.org is a wonderful resource and has great information for friends and family of couples who struggle with infertility. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve actually said things to friends in the past that I shouldn’t have. I hadn’t meant to be insensitive, but I was ignorant of what they were dealing with. My hope with my writing is to raise awareness and let others know who are dealing with this that they are not alone.
My story has a happy ending. I got pregnant through in-vitro fertilization. In April 2017, our little boy was born and I became a mom. Everything we went through, it was 100% worth it and then some. We’re so blessed to have this sweet baby. I hope someday that we can make him a big brother. I have two frozen embryos that are waiting for us if we need them. Science and modern medicine is truly amazing.
There’s a comment section below. You are welcome to share your own experience. There is strength in numbers, and we’re not alone in this struggle.