Life is crazy! Sometimes it throws in a twist so ironic that you can’t help but laugh, shake your head, and hold on for the ride.
My husband and I struggled with infertility for more than 8 years. It was a roller coaster of doctors, injections, surgeries, emotional meltdowns, and years of hoping, praying, and waiting with no result. After trying everything, plus one failed attempt at IVF, we tried IVF a second time at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. It worked! After six years of trying to have a baby, I gave birth to our son Hayden in October of 2013.
There is something about infertility that makes you think that if your wish for a baby ever does come true that you will be so grateful none of the normal motherhood woes will ever enter your mind. That is not the case…at least not for me. Motherhood can be hard. It is a blessing and a gift, but even though we wanted it so badly, there are moments after you become a parent where you wonder what you were thinking. It is also interesting that after all the struggle and emotional turmoil of infertility, once you have that baby a lot of those memories and feelings of despair just disappear.
When Hayden was about a year-and-a-half we still had one embryo left at CCRM and decided we were ready to try for a second child. My husband, Tim, and I have always wanted two children, so we decided to go through IVF in Denver again. Everything went smoothly, including my mother flying in from Canada to help with Hayden while I was on bed rest, and in March we found out we were pregnant. I was incredibly nervous and anxious about the pregnancy and would analyze and agonize over every test and number. Things seemed to be going along well, until they weren’t. We had an ultrasound appointment when I was 10+ weeks along and they could no longer find a heartbeat. No more baby, no more pregnancy, no more second child.
It was devastating. We decided to take the summer to think about things. Were we prepared to start the IVF process all over again from the very beginning? Could we handle it emotionally, physically, financially? As the summer went on I talked about it and saw a counselor about it. I thought about how blessed our lives were with a happy marriage, a happy, healthy son, and a career that I loved and was eager to find more time to focus on. Life was good. We were good. On a weekend trip to San Francisco to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary (our first trip away from Hayden) we decided we were done trying. We would be happy and grateful for what we had and now we could move on to the next chapter of life.
Days after we got home we were preparing to have some friends over for dinner. Hayden was refusing to nap and after I tried to put him down for the 4th time, I slumped to the floor outside his room exhausted. I was so tired I could barely move…was this what it was like to be 38 with a two-year-old? If so, I was screwed! My mind flashed to earlier that morning when I had sneezed and got a shooting pain in my abdomen. I was late too; I was supposed to start my cycle on our last day in San Francisco, but it had only been a few months since the miscarriage, so it could be off…right?
I called Tim who was at the grocery store. “How would you feel about buying a couple pregnancy tests?” I asked, along with the beer and wine he was buying for our dinner party. He got the tests, and 20 minutes before our guests arrived, I found out that after 8 years of infertility, with only 1 remaining fallopian tube, and 4 days after officially deciding (and announcing to our families) that we would not be having any more children, I was pregnant.
I was due to have a baby girl in late May. How could this be? Why now? What crazy timing? It took me a little while to wrap my head around it. After months of convincing myself that one child was good, maybe even better; we could get on with life, we could travel more easily, I could focus on my artwork again, I was sleeping again! I guess we were meant to have two children after all and now that miracle baby is 3-years-old today. Mikaela Kenety Ford, who pushed her way into this world from some impossible place, is here and as lively as ever.
Dealing with infertility is so difficult, and I feel deeply for all those who are going through it. There is so much pressure to think positively, to not stress about it so much, to let it go, which is absolutely impossible to do in the midst of it. And then we became those painfully annoying people that (after 8 years) decided to “just stop trying” and got pregnant. Life can be so crazy sometimes and these are the things that make you smile, shake your head, and hold on for the ride.
Happy Birthday Mikaela!