In 2008, we started trying for children. I was so excited about becoming a mom, that I actually started baby shopping that very first month. I look back on those moments and shudder, if only I had known what lay ahead.
After a year, an infertile friend of mine recommended we seek help. I was reluctant, I believed my problem was related to the grief I was experiencing over losing my dad. Eventually though, we went to see a fertility specialist. Initial tests seemed to show that all was fine with us, and so we went home and carried on trying.
I’m quite sure that in that year, I tried every single natural remedy for infertility known to mankind. Nothing worked. I kept the pregnancy test industry in business too, using at least two or three a month, just in case one might be a dud.
Our medical fertility journey started in 2011, and over the next few years we did 3 IVF’s. They were expensive, exhausting, and all gut wrenchingly negative. It became apparent that my eggs, although I produced them in copious amounts, were severely damaged.
The writing was on the wall. I was not going to be a parent to a genetically conceived child. We started the adoption process, but we discovered that were not the only ones in that boat, and the call never came for us.
By 2014, we started to consider a life without children. After what we had been through, the idea of moving on and starting to live our lives again was becoming appealing. It had been a long road, and we were ready to put it behind us.
A friend managed to convince me to give it one last shot, using donor eggs, which I had been reluctant to do due to ethical concerns. She told me I would always wonder if I didn’t try, so we decided to do it as an ABF and farewell to our infertility journey, a treatment to help me close the door. I never expected it to work, I just went through the motions, the painful injections, the scans, the embryo transfer. I told myself that this was going to be the last negative pregnancy test I would ever have to endure, and it was going to set me free forever. I was like a racehorse at the starting gate, I was done and ready to get out of the painful limbo of infertility.
When I did the first pregnancy test a day or so early (an old habit), I actually barely looked at it. I think I might have even thrown it in the bin. But something made me go back to check, and seeing a positive on it was beyond surreal. I felt like I was living on another planet, like there had been some kind of mistake.
Today I am mom to a beautiful set of 2 year old twins, the greatest gift on earth. Without our angel egg donor, our lives would be so different now and we are so tremendously grateful to her. We were lucky to be able to afford this, we were lucky to live in a country where egg donors are so generous. We were lucky that eggs were our only real issue.
But we are also very mindful of others, who may not have had the classic “happily ever after” ending. While parenthood is amazing, it’s not the only amazing thing in the world. For those brave people who move forward towards a childfree life, I salute you too. It takes tremendous courage to let go and just let infertility be. It’s the ending that not many people talk about, and an ending that is a reality for many. I truly believe there is light at the end of their grief and their hearts will heal too.