Many women grow up dreaming of the day when they can become a mother. The day where they get to bring another life into this world.
But when Nicole Smith was ready to have a baby with her husband Sean Smith, she found out that pregnancy would be a much more complicated path than she originally thought.
“Then you get older, get married, and some of us have to do everything in our power TO get pregnant,” Nicole told Love What Matters. “That is something I never dreamed that I would have to experience. Infertility only happens to other people, not me. Or at least I thought.”
Nicole was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which prevented her from being able to develop and regularly release mature eggs during ovulation.
The diagnosis hit Nicole hard.
“Hearing that diagnosis froze me. When my OB explained that PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility, all I could hear her say was, ‘You can’t have a baby.’ How? How is this possible?” she recalls.”The only thing in life I was ever meant to do was be a mommy. We were eventually referred to a reproductive endocrinologist, who was supposed to lead us on our journey to conceive.”
They didn’t want to go through with in vitro fertilization if they didn’t have to. It wasn’t covered by insurance and was super expensive.
They didn’t feel comfortable with their doctor who was pushing IVF on them without considering other options first, so they found a new doctor.
First, they tried artificial insemination, also known as intrauterine insemination, and Nicole was sure that she would get pregnant. The process came with the expected medications and needles, but Nicole wasn’t ready for the mood swings, weight gain, and headaches.
“My husband and I were so hopeful. Looking at how well my body reacted to the medication, how could this not work?” Nicole said. “Well, it didn’t. This was a hard-hitting failed cycle. My period showed up the night before my blood test. How is that for irony?”
Eventually, her doctor said that IVF was basically their only hope for getting pregnant.
Now the Smiths were faced with the fact that this was their only option. An option that would cost them $17,000. But the Smiths were determined to have a child.
“There was so much worrying, tears, and fear for both of us because even though we knew this was going to happen, we just didn’t know how. We ended up taking out a loan to cover treatment. We were set! And we were also the proud owners of a $433 per month payment. A payment for a child we didn’t know if we were going to have or not,” Nicole explains.
So, Nicole started her injections of several medications which really took its toll on her and she didn’t know how much more she could take.
“I had to be strong. Strong for myself, and strong for my husband. Which, I haven’t really mentioned, is kind of awesome. Throughout this entire process, he had been so overly involved. He played the role of fertility medication administrator, punching bag, nurse, therapist, and husband. And when I tell you, infertility tests your marriage, it TESTS your marriage.”
She eventually learned that “strength, hope, determination, and most of all PATIENCE” was key to getting through the IVF process.
It was a very long process with lots of ups and down and uncertainties but eventually, they got pregnant.
The couple says they will never forget the day they got the call from the doctor saying they were pregnant.
Parenting Isn't Easy
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“The struggle is part of your story. Infertility is not something to be ashamed of. I have chosen to document my entire journey for the sole reason that people document the lives of their children and put it on social media for everyone to see — why shouldn’t I document the lengths I have gone to conceive a child?” Nicole said.
“I am not out of the woods yet, we are almost 13 weeks pregnant, but for now, we are enjoying the small victories, and are blessed with every moment of the pregnancy. We are dreaming of the day we get to hold our baby in our arms and truly say that ‘we beat infertility.’”
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