“’When I grow up, I want to have 13 kids, no husband, and live in my parents’ basement,’ said 3-year-old me. Only one part of that dream is still true. I want babies and lots of them! Since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of the day I would trade in my baby dolls for the real deal. A little baby, half of me and half of the person I love. Fast forward 24 years, here we are. I’m married to the man of my dreams, living in the coziest of homes filled with two sweet pups, Sugar and Rosie, and one cat, Miller. Our home is full, but our arms are empty.
Taking a stroll through memory lane, I met my husband, Levi, the good old fashioned way: social media. After a year after dating, Levi popped the question on his family farm. We married a year later in September of 2016. It was beautiful and perfect, but let’s be real here–I could’ve married Levi by the dumpster in some alleyway and I would still say it was beautiful and perfect.
After our wedding, we decided we didn’t want to wait to start a family. Despite the opinions of others, we both knew our hearts. We knew we wanted the big family, sleepless nights, poopy diapers, early morning school drop-offs, and family vacations. We wanted it. So, we tried. And tried. And we tried some more.
After 6 months of trying, we had more negative tests than I could count. In May of 2017, I decided to meet with my OB/GYN and after a long wait in the waiting room, a round of blood work and an ultrasound, I was told I had two large cysts on my ovaries. My OB was not concerned with the cysts and left me with, ‘Keep trying. If in 6 months, you still aren’t pregnant, call me.’
I left feeling defeated and conflicted. I just knew in my heart something wasn’t right. My mom has always taught me that I know my body better than anyone else. (Thanks, Mom!) After a few weeks of discussion with my husband and many hours of prayer, I made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist.
I met with my RE in August of 2017 and within minutes, he diagnosed me with endometriosis. Two cysts on ovaries were the size of a lemon and the other, the size of a golf ball. The cysts were endometriomas, a cystic mass of ectopic endometrial tissue, otherwise known as ‘chocolate cysts.’ My RE sent me to a surgeon, who I was thankfully able to meet with the same day. We scheduled surgery for September, the weekend of our first wedding anniversary. How romantic, right?
Surgery confirmed I, in fact, had endometriosis. Stage 4 endometriosis. My surgeon removed both cysts and as much endometriosis as he was able to. I left with a positive prognosis. Everyone, myself included, believed we would conceive within months of my surgery. Fast forward one year, still no pregnancy.
We began looking at our next option–In Vitro Fertilization. Otherwise known as, ‘Cash out your 401K, sell a kidney and get a second, third and fourth job to have a baby.’ We began our first IVF cycle in November of 2018. My doctor was able to retrieve nine eggs. Of those, seven were mature and four fertilized. After 5 excruciatingly long days, we were left with two perfect embryos.
Several days later, we transferred one embryo, the most perfect embryo we could wish for according to the embryologist. We left our clinic with high hopes. We stopped for McDonald’s fries, rested, ate warm foods, kept my feet warm, journaled, and recorded video diaries of the symptoms I was feeling. We prayed for our baby and planned when a gender reveal and baby shower would be. We also guessed the possible gender of the embryo and discussed baby names. We did all of the things.
On the morning of Valentine’s Day 2019, we got the call, our beta call, the call we had been waiting on for what seems like years. The nurses’ voice cracked as she said, ‘I am so sorry, it was negative.’ I never knew devastation until that call. We grieved and still grieve to this day. Our bones are laced with grief.
For now, Levi and I are enjoying each other, our family and friends, and normalcy for a little while. We are exploring and open to all avenues of parenthood. As of now, we are awaiting a second laparoscopy, a second embryo transfer, and working on our license to foster in hopes of adoption. God placed a promise on our hearts a long time ago to be mama and dad. How we get there is up to Him. We have complete faith and hope in His plan.
Of all of the unknowns with this process, I do know my husband is the greatest man God could have ever given me, God is still good, and we will have our happy ending one day. Ephesians 3:20 ‘Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elayna C. from Missouri. You can follow their journey on Instagram and YouTube. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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‘They’re gone, we lost them.’ A substitute teacher touched my belly. There was no belly. I had to mutter these words.’: Couple struggling with Fragile X Syndrome, infertility, finally pregnant with rainbow baby, ‘People tell me how strong I am. I wasn’t given another choice.’
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