‘Maybe all I’ll ever be is an aunt.’ The entire 45-minute drive was nothing but tears.’: Woman opens up about battle with infertility

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“’I’ve always wanted to be a mother since the time I was able to understand.’

Hello, my name is Katelynn from South Georgia, who has struggled with infertility for a few years. I have been trying to conceive for 3 years; in the beginning, I did not want to believe this was what was going on, but I finally came to realize this is me and my struggle.

man and woman standing together
Courtesy of Katelynn Foster

Struggles with Infertility

As a younger woman, I constantly developed ovarian cysts on my ovaries; though I never was told this would cause issues in the future; to this day my infertility is still ‘unexplained.’ This journey has impacted my life from all angles. I sought help from an OB. They seemed to want to assist me with my journey. I began taking oral fertility medicines and visiting the office monthly for ultrasounds and occasional blood work to check what my body was doing. This is when this journey hit me the hardest, my body was NOT responding as it should have. Prior to seeing this OB, I had seen another OBGYN since 2016, she couldn’t help me, and after multiple trips with no test or answers; I sought help from another gynecologist.

This journey has caused anxiety and depression; constant hope, doubt, anger, faith, and so many other feelings along the way. Many moments I just wanted to be alone and left at home. I did not want to be around anyone or hear anyone tell me, ‘It’s all in God’s timing. Quit trying so hard. If you can’t have a baby, you have your nieces/nephews.’ Mixed emotions would just affect your everyday life.

Through this journey, I began releasing my feeling to a relative who was very close to me, and who related to and struggled with miscarriage and infertility. She passed away mid-journey. Not only was I struggling with this, but I was grieving the loss of my best friend who also related to my situation exactly. She would always know what to say and how to say things. Anxiety and depression hit me extremely hard, all I wanted to do at this point was give up. I had horrible thoughts. ‘It’s not meant for me to be a mother. Maybe all I will ever be is an aunt.’ Negative thoughts on top of negative thoughts. In December of 2021, my current doctor said, ‘Your body just is not responding like it should, there is nothing else we can do for you.’ My heart ripped out of my chest, the entire 45-minute drive was nothing but tears. Nothing anyone said to me, I was just ready to give up.

photo of pills and tests
Courtesy of Katelynn Foster

Expressing My Emotions

My doctor referred me to a specialist 2 hours away; they did not have an opening for 6 months. After 3 years of trying to conceive, multiple medicines and doctor visits, and losing my friend throughout the journey; I needed a mental, physical, and emotional break. I was at my breaking point. I would get drunk to avoid my feelings. I would smile to comfort everyone around me so they’d think I was okay, really I was breaking inside. Everyone else around me was announcing their pregnancies or already having their little bundles of joy. I wanted to be happy for them but deep down I wasn’t. I began to question God, ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why are they able to be parents? Am I not cut out to be a mom? Lord, WHY?’ All the negative pregnancy tests, positive and negative ovulation⁠—the countless nights, I lay awake crying and asking questions.

I sat and spoke with some immediate family and my husband and told them this journey has taken a toll on me and my mental stability. I had to find the method that helped me express my feelings without sounding crazy to everyone who couldn’t relate and having them potentially call me insane.

I began typing my feelings and slowly began feeling more of myself again, all the weight I had been carrying was finally expressed in a personal blog. Once this began to help, I decided my next step was to accept the fact infertility was nothing to be ashamed of, and I did not cause this or have any control over this disease. I refer to infertility as a disease because that’s exactly how it makes you feel.

injection materials
Courtesy of Katelynn Foster

Supporting Others And Moving Forward

I wanted to get my mind right, and become hopeful about this possibility. I wanted to wake up every day knowing and feeling happy one more day has passed but one more day closer to our appointment and our chance. In the meantime, I began sharing my journey on my Facebook page and so many people were unaware but all their kind words helped me know going public was one of the best decisions I have made through this journey. I always thought infertility was something you should be private about and not share with anyone, because it is not a topic many people would like to talk about. I wanted to bring awareness to infertility and help women overcome the struggle I had faced in this journey. No one should ever feel like their story is too little or too big to share. We are all different and our journey is different, but we are all struggling together.

With the help of a local company, we sold shirts locally, ‘Jesus over infertility.’ We had a very good turnout with the support of our small town selling these shirts. I began going back to church and found one that understood and accepted my past and struggle. They uplift me, pray for me, and hear me when I need them. I woke up one morning and believed I WILL BE A MOTHER ONE DAY, whether God blesses me with my own baby or whether we have to adopt a sweet little baby. I began getting the nursery together little by little. We currently have the room liveable for a baby, although this is something we decided to do now⁠—it is very gender-neutral, but it is perfect.

Photo of tshirts
Courtesy of Katelynn Foster

Mid-June we went to our first initial appointment with the fertility specialist. He had to review minor documents to decide what treatment would work best in our favor. Either Superovulation Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) for $3,000-5,000; or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) $13,000-15,000. After leaving this appointment, the negative tried to come back. I was scared⁠—how can I afford to pay $15,000 for treatment?⁠—but we are taking the opportunity to try IUI, which has been successful multiple times by this very doctor. We are currently preparing for this treatment as I write this blog.

One thing I would love to share from my story is to always remember your story and journey are not the same as everyone’s; always be kind, listen, and love the person going through this battle. Some, like me, have finally opened up, some are not ready yet. If you are someone struggling with this horrible heartbreaking disease Infertility, don’t be ashamed. You are not alone, and your story is worth being heard. Although the positive seems so far away, our time is coming, and we are all worth being a Mommy one day.”

woman taking selfie
Courtesy of Katelynn Foster

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katelynn Foster of South, GA.  Submit your own story here

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‘After a year of disappointment and failed tests, I was diagnosed as ‘infertile.’ INFERTILE. It crushed me.’: Wife discusses experience of infertility, IVF and pregnancy 

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