Welcome back guys! Your support has been nothing short of overwhelming, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for all the messages and the prayers. I pray that as you have prayed for us, the Lord fulfills all your hearts’ desires beyond your wildest expectations. For the strong, persevering women who also shared their struggles and hopes, wow! I see you! And your struggles are not in vain. If you are out there and you are feeling just as broken, just as frustrated, please know you’re not alone in this and your challenges are SO valid, don’t be afraid. I truly hope you get your happy ending.
Let’s continue (see part 1, and part 2)… three months after the last failed cycle, my doctor said he was ready. The Lupron hormone had put my reprodutive system on pause temporarily, and Dr Sobel was confident that my estrogen would have been supressed long enough to possibly make a difference with the endometriosis. The plan was to kickstart my body again and go with a similar protocol to what we had done in IVF cycle 2. The hope was to get bettter results since the endometriosis would have quieted down.
At the beginning of the cycle, my husband and I agreed to take it for what it was and not let ourselves break down like we did the previous time. With expectant hearts, we dove right into things and something magical happened – my eggs flourished! On the day of the egg-retrieval, we prayed and headed in for battle. At this point we had become pros of the egg-retrieval game so we were just so laid back and somehow at peace. A couple of minutes later, I woke up to the best news! They had retrieved TEN eggs! We were ecstatic and just so grateful to have made it this far. Ten whole eggs from my left ovary!
Then, the hunger games started.
- The Lab Wait Period
For anyone who has ever had IVF, you are most likely familiar with the mind-freaking period of waiting to hear how your collected eggs are doing. It first starts with a call 24 hours after egg-retrieval, to tell you how many of the eggs were mature (ripe) and how many of those mature eggs were successfully fertilized. If you are lucky enough to have any survivors from there, you can proceed to the next 24 hours when they let you know how many are still standing (statistically some will stop growing at this point). If you get a call to say you still have eggs remaining by the 3rd day, you will be scheduled for a Day 5 transfer of the remaining eggs. It is TORTURE. Every night I prayed and held my breath as I waited for 10 am each day to hear back.
- Day 1, 8:58am: Out of 10 eggs, we are down to half. 5 of them are mature and 4 of them fertilized. We remain hopeful.
- Day 2, 9:00 am: All 4 of them are still growing , we’ll get confirmation tomorrow
- Day 3 10:02 am: We are down to 3 which is enough to confirm a Day 5 transfer. God is working.
On Day 5, we transferred one embryo and began the two week wait.
This wait was full of all the usual pregnancy symptoms (thanks to the progesterone) but I ignored them. I started writing the first of these posts and just tried to get my mind off it. We had made it the farthest with our eggs and I was confident this was the last stop. We would finally have our baby.
On Christmas Eve, it was time to take our pregnancy test. This story I’m about to tell, I have never told anyone. We used one of those cheap strips (when you’ve taken several pregnancy tests, you start to buy in bulk), and waited the 3 mins. I don’t know how, but when we looked up, we saw two lines that indicated a positive. A POSITIVE guys! We started jumping until we realized the second line wasn’t a line after all- it was a freaking dent on the strip. It was horrible. I will never forget those 60 seconds of hope, just like I will never forget the minutes after. Your heart jumps and then it crashes and burns…. and burns.
30 minutes later after we regained feeling in our body, my husband looked at me and said the following “we will not break this time, tomorrow is a big day, we will move on and remember that God has a plan for us.” I truly believed and agreed in faith with him. We decided for that cycle to choose peace.
The next day, on Christmas Day, my period came.
In January of 2017, we headed back to see my Doctor. I was exhausted. Not sad, exhausted. Exhausted from constantly having to fight the jealousy when another friend announced their pregnancy; exhausted from holding back the tears when somebody you run into asks “so when will you guys start having kids”; exhausted from the random sharp pains I still felt from injections I had taken months ago. I was just TIRED. Infertility tries to devour every single part of you- the physical and the mental. I was sure I had nothing left to give. All I wanted for my 30th birthday was to be a mother and here we were in another year, with nothing to show but bruised thighs and an endless fertility bill. I was tired.
I’m not even sure I was mentally present at that follow-up meeting with my doctor. All i heard was “implantation failure”, “statistics” and of course “endometriosis”. I went home, called my mum and prayed like it was going out of fashion. I was truly helpless and just left it all to God. I had spent the last 3 years asking when? when? when? but it was now clear that it was out of my hands.
After our 3rd cycle failed and I began to crumble, my husband seemed to be spiritually gingered. He was so confident, it was scary. In January and February, we booked flights for the various trips we would be taking in the year and for every one he insisted on business class tickets for me, because in his own words -“you’ll be pregnant by then”. I didn’t argue because, hey, who doesn’t want business class tickets?! We carried on with life and focused on other things. I started working out and focused on reversing the scars I had on the outside.
For months, we did tests including an implantation biopsy called Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA). This tests helps narrow down your most fertile period down to a couple of hours. I really recommend it for anyone who has gone through multiple fertility cycles. In between these tests, we had random hiccups like a new cyst and premature ovulation. I just took everything in stride, because I was tired. I knew it was out of my hands for sure and that even IVF was not magic. God still has the final say and I was powerless.
I have held back on discussing the faith portion till now, because if I’m being honest, my faith wavered with every negative but I have to talk about it especially as it pertains to my support system. When I felt weak, everybody rose around me. My husband was 150% sure we were going to get pregnant, even if it wasn’t now. He just kept saying- God has done it, God has done it. On my birthday in May, he showed me a birthday card he had pre-written to me 6 months prior in which he addressed me as Mummy. This man was not taking no for an answer. My friend Bolanle said something to me after the first IVF when I told her I had nothing else to give. She said “you just rest, cry and pick up when you’re ready, the rest of us will petition Christ for you”. This is how I know that even when your spirit is broken and you have nothing else to give, God still has your back.
In the last week of April, we found ourselves in the middle of another two week wait.
Mannn, this two-week wait was a different kind of mind-meld. I felt nothing. No progesterone symptoms, no stress, nothing. Every morning I woke up with the same song in my heart- “He has made me forget the sadness of yesterday”. The song just kept coming up and I told my mother, who was in the middle of a fast (as usual lol). She said to keep singing it over and over and focus on God’s promise because God had told her too and she was just waiting for the confirmation. I did as best as I could. I went to work as usual and kept things as clear as possible. I was not going to let this disappointment break me. Not again. During the wait, i felt an urge in my spirit to start writing these posts. I started things off with a post on How to Survive Trying to Conceive. Then, I felt another urge to give out a baby rocker on Aisle Perfect. The urges kept coming and I did all of them.
10 days before Mother’s Day, for the first time in 4 years, we got our positive.
For 1460 days, we prayed. For 1460 days, we persisted. For 1460 days we hoped and today, we are proof He answers.
When I started writing these posts in April, I didn’t even know what my intentions were. For months, most of it has remained in my drafts, while I tried to fight the fear of exposing this truly sad part of my life. I knew I had to share it with someone so they could know they weren’t alone in this infertility struggle but out of respect for my other half, I held out for as long as I could. I just had to share EVEN before our testimony is complete. I ask you from the bottom of my heart to please keep us in your prayers, because the God that started this for us, will definitely finish it. I am sure people will judge me for sharing this before our child comes, but this testimony was mine to give. It has always been. I am testifying to what God has done for us because I promised I would.
The reality of infertility is this: It burns. It is hell on earth and it will do everything to break you. Just know that even if you break, you will always be made whole. Your perseverance, your faith, your spirit. It will all come out of it. Endometriosis ravaged my body but we’re still standing and I am so honored to be able to share this story with you guys. There are so many things I want to say about our struggle. I just don’t even know how to put it in words. I do believe in God’s timing. I also believe in the tenacity of the human spirit. I also more than ever believe that you don’t know how strong you are until you’re forced to be.
More than anything, I believe it is so important to pick the right partner in life. I intentionally use the word partner because there is no other way to describe the role my husband has played in this journey so far. Marriage is hard work and requires both parties to give their best but what happens when one party just can’t? My partner has carried this family on his back with the right words, the right support and the right spirit. I am so grateful. Happy anniversary Olamide, may this covenant forever stand in it’s entirety.
I’ll share our anniversary shoot with you on Monday. I am so in love!