A Mothers Experience with IVF
Before beginning IVF, Tina and her husband were so anxious to start a family that they actually decided to start trying to have a baby two months before they got married. Why not get a jump start, right? Little did they know they were headed down a five-year-long journey with fertility troubles. Now Tina agrees, “Everything works out for a reason. I definitely knew I wanted to be a mother, and the time of trying I felt so ready. Now looking back, I don’t think I really was! We were barely getting married and I was graduating from college that same year. I can see now that it was actually better than it took us longer to have a baby.”
Here is a peek into Tina’s story with IVF and photographs from her family portraits taken while I was visiting Las Vegas, NV
Starting Your Journey
I had a feeling that it would be harder for us to get pregnant, but I didn’t think it would be this difficult because everyone around us was getting pregnant so quickly. The first year of marriage we put so much pressure on trying and I feel like we didn’t get to enjoy our newlywed year. I took so many pregnancy tests. I went crazy thinking every little thing was a pregnancy symptom and honestly, it just made it harder on us. It was stressful and sad when I didn’t get the 2 pink lines. It was heartbreaking.
Finally, in 2014 a coworker suggested seeing a fertility specialist and from there began our official infertility journey. She told us it would be very difficult to get pregnant naturally. Then, not even a month after surgery and we had just stopped thinking about it, I ended up pregnant! It was a complete shock, to say the least, and we were so excited. Unfortunately, this pregnancy ended in a loss. It was probably the hardest but most eye-opening thing to happen to us. After this, I decided I couldn’t go through a loss again and would do everything I could to be healthier and have a positive mindset. I became the healthiest I had ever been and even lost 40lbs. When I started a new job and was randomly reviewing my insurance coverage when I saw that infertility was covered (which previously it wasn’t). From there we decided that this was a sign for us to move forward with IVF treatment.
What Was IVF Like?
Oh man, nothing could’ve prepared me for the rollercoaster of emotions you go through for IVF. It was quickly the most challenging and lengthiest process I’ve ever gone through. I was in and out of the fertility center every other day for blood work, ultrasounds and administering myself shots of different medications daily (total of 134 shots given to myself). We had so many setbacks and complications during our process. It definitely was difficult. I injected myself with a medication I wasn’t supposed to, pushing us back another month, I had an allergic reaction to a very important medication, and at times I felt like I was breaking.
Advice for other IVF Mama’s
One piece of advice I have for those that are fearful of IVF is, of course, to stay as positive as you can. I’m typically a realist and I tend to stay on the more negative side of things, but for some reason, even with all this happening, I had never been more positive. I think the reason why I stayed so positive during this journey was that I was grateful. I was able to do IVF with coverage, and even though it sucked, I had answers. We were trying and making steps towards having a baby and we just knew it was going to work!
I would knock away any negative thoughts and didn’t let my mind spiral by engaging in them. Let yourself think of that negative thought, let yourself worry but only just for a second. Tell yourself that it’s okay that I’m worried, but that’s not going to change my positive outlook on what will happen! I also had so much support during IVF. I decided to make our journey public and when I posted videos I had friends, family and even people I didn’t know supporting me. Being public about our journey was one of the best decision I made.
Follow your gut! I did everything I possibly could to be relaxed. There are so many “try this cause it worked for me” tips out there with IVF. When someone told me eating pineapple would help, I would just eat a pineapple! Introspective advice during this process can be helpful, but if you feel like you don’t want to do something because it doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t do it. If you think acupuncture will work, then go for it, but, you don’t have to do everything someone suggests. Instead, go with your gut and only do what you think will be right for you.
Pregnancy and Changes
After doing IVF, I ended up having the best pregnancy. It was easy with no complications or symptoms, and I felt like I deserved it for sure! My favorite memory from being pregnant was feeling baby’s movements. It was such a freaky, cool, amazing thing to feel. For 4 years I didn’t know if it would happen and if I would ever get to feel that. My maternity portrait photo shoot was such a special moment in our journey! I will have those portraits from my pregnancy forever, and being pregnant will forever be one of my favorite memories.
I was also very fortunate to have a smooth labor and delivery. During the delivery, on my last push, I closed my eyes and my doctor and best friend kept saying, “Open your eyes, look!!!” But I literally just froze! I didn’t want to open my eyes because I didn’t want it to be a dream even though it was so real. Before I opened my eyes my best friend said, “Oh my gosh, he’s so cute!”. So, the first thing I said when I finally saw him was, “He is soooooo cute!!!” They placed him on my chest and I cried. I cried because of the relief from pushing him out, the overwhelming emotion that our little rainbow miracle wasn’t here AND that he was cute!!
Celebrating The Now
I love our journey and our story. Often I had wondered, why is this happening to us? Why is it so easy for others to get pregnant quickly? I now know that I was chosen for this because I could endure it. I realized how strong I am and not just anyone could go through it. It has made me appreciate life so much differently now. When I see my son, I literally see my whole journey. I look at him still and just cry because it’s made us so much stronger as a couple and as a family.
Our family portraits were so incredible. Right now we’re just celebrating our life as a family. We feel so complete and just enjoying every day of it. This portrait session is something I will cherish for the rest of my life as our FIRST family portraits! I couldn’t be more grateful to Lindsay for choosing us to photograph and for putting our story out there.
If you are reading this and going through infertility, whether you’re going through IVF treatment or not, you can always reach out to me! It’s such a lonely process and I hated feeling that way. I don’t want anyone going through IVF to feel alone. I’ve joined support groups to help other woman going through infertility to just be their support. You can ask me any questions or just text me when you are worried or stress. It’s such a difficult journey and I’m a big supporter of my sisters in wait! So please- feel free to reach out to me if you’re reading this!”
Interested in other mom’s stories? Read about a Mothers Experience with Gestational Diabetes next!