Why I Finally Decided To Talk About My Struggles With Infertility

by Addie Graffin
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Four years ago, my uterus felt like it was ripped out of me, stomped on and thrown back into my guts. It was a week much like this week — beautiful and almost summer like. The air was crisp and clean and people were excited for football and all the fun fall things ahead.

Me, I was laying in bed – crying and worrying mostly. Worrying that if this procedure did not work, I was never going to have kids. I was never going to experience motherhood. Kevin was never going to experience fatherhood. And worse, I felt like if it didn’t work, it was me. My fault. Did I not do enough? Was I not healthy enough? Did I inject the medication wrong? Was I too stressed out? Were my eggs no good?

Oh, man I can’t even describe the amount of worry I felt. Yes, I was a Christian and we are not supposed to worry because “tomorrow will worry for itself.” But I was worried. I had a plan and this plan needed to work and if it didn’t I was surely going to lose my shit. God only gives you what you can handle— or this, God only gives you what HE can help you handle.

Either way, he knew I couldn’t handle a negative test. I know this date very well. Not only because it was Labor Day weekend, but also my cousin would be delivering her new baby girl this next week and I knew if I had a negative test I would never be able to step foot in that hospital room and see the new little one. I would not be able to take it. She gave birth that week—and at the hospital I was able to announce that I was pregnant. Very newly pregnant, but I was. I had never been pregnant in my life — this was a true miracle.

Going through in vitro fertilization was not for the weak. I must say, if you have done it or plan to do it, you must be strong. I remember multiple ultrasounds laying in the room bawling my eyes out at why I had to go through this? Why?!

The routine ultrasound check to see if your eggs were growing like they should be. I remember a time being afraid of needles. After being stuck every other day for multiple weeks, I now can prep that vein even before the nurse steps foot into the room.

I was in secret with the process. Kevin and I told very few people. We weren’t ready to share. I was not ready. I was embarrassed and ashamed. My body was not doing what it was intended to do. Doing this in secret was literally the worst thing I think we could have done for us mentally — always hiding from people and making excuses on why we couldn’t be at events. It was exhausting.

I will tell you this, though, it did bring us closer together as a couple. All we had was each other a lot of the time. Just us home – alone—A LOT! Me laying in bed feeling “sick,” but really I was definitely depressed. I also didn’t want to tell anyone because if it didn’t work, I didn’t want the awkward conversations with people.

It did work though. We delivered twin boys in April of 2014. So blessed. So very blessed. I still was not really ready to speak out loud about our struggle. I was still embarrassed and didn’t want the questions. I wasn’t ready.

Sure, we got the questions and the looks and the “do twins run in your family?” questions. And we would say, Yep, they do. Kevin’s friend, at the time, even had the nerve to post on his page: “Hey, my wife wants to know—are your twins natural?” Really? My blood still boils talking about it a little. First, why would you ever post that question. And second, are they natural? Really? No, they are fake kids.

I can assure you after throwing up for 18 weeks and carrying these 6 pounders in my belly for 36 weeks and 5 days strong, these babies are real. I kind of feel sorry for that guy because I reamed his ass for asking this question. Now looking back, I suppose I could have handled the situation better.

Listen, I know that people who have not dealt with fertility issues don’t know what is wrong and right to say. I will give you advice: if you have to question it in your heart if it is appropriate or not, THEN JUST DON’T SAY IT. I don’t care if its your best friend, your daughter, or your daughter’s best friend….JUST DON’T. Don’t ask it unless they seem ready and open to discuss, okay?

Now, on another note: I am ready and open. My next round of IVF, I was ready. I mean, I was a soldier. I knew what to do and when to do it. I did all my own shots and drove my own butt to the doctors appointments, with company sometimes (they were 2 ½ hours away).

I had to be this way—I had two baby boys at home who needed to be cared for and a husband who worked ridiculous hours. I had to get tough and be tough. I told everyone who would listen what we were going through so I could ask for help—we needed it. It wasn’t about me anymore — it was about them.

I needed to get through this without it affecting them negatively in any way. I did too. I really rocked this round of IVF. I can honestly say that. I made it through—my body made it through.

Long story short: doctor asked how many eggs you want to put it. Kevin said one. We have twins at home. Okay, fine—you have a 25 % chance of this working. The doctor recommended doing two eggs because the chances go up to 60 percent. Kevin said no. Doctor said you will not get twins again—I can almost promise you this. Kevin said, “Doctor, one egg.”

I am flexible about it, but then the week before the procedure is going to go through, Kevin said, “Let’s just do two.” Okay, I say. That is literally all I said. I didn’t want him to change his mind because I knew with one egg, the odds were against us—so two it was.

Six weeks later, at our ultrasound appointment, I saw it – I saw two sacs. Kevin had no clue until the nurse said, “Oh, its twins!!”

Kevin and I looked at each other. The nurse said, “Are you okay?” I said, “Well, we have twins at home; they are 17 months old.

The nurse said, “Oh.”

Kevin left the room and the nurse asked, “Is he okay?”

I said,”Not sure.” Dead silence the entire ride home…the whole night almost.

Now, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, there it is the story of our family.

If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility and want to chat, please do reach out. I wish I had known someone to talk with and felt comfortable to talk about it going through. I think it would have been much easier the first round if I had that and if I had felt more comfortable.

There is nothing wrong with you. This is the hand you were given and you can get through this. I know all too well. I can’t make it all better, but I can sure as hell try.