We spend so much time and energy avoiding pregnancy that it seems so strange to ever have to make much more of an effort to achieve pregnancy. Achieve pregnancy. That’s the way we phrase it when someone who has been trying to conceive, becomes pregnant.
Well for a year and a half I could not “achieve pregnancy.” Let me tell you about my family’s fertility journey.
A year and a half. That’s not so long, you’re probably thinking. I was lucky compared to others who had similar struggles. But let me remind you of the medical definition of infertility. According to the Mayo Clinic, infertility is described as, “being unsuccessful in becoming pregnant after 12 months of actively trying.” Other definitions expand to include, “to not only be actively trying, but to be actively trying while understanding your ovulation cycle.”
I was both. My husband and I began our marriage avidly participating in Natural Family Planning, or Fertility Awareness. Which, for the first year, the intention was to avoid getting pregnant. And we did well with it. So when it came time to use our handy chart to pinpoint “baby making time” we thought we had it down.
Not such a big deal after the first few months. But I really didn’t think it would be difficult.
After about 10 months of trying to conceive we started looking at alternatives. Not alternative conception methods – we wanted to keep everything as natural as possible, but alternatives to parenthood. We settled on adopting through foster care.
During the licensing process we began to see a local midwife about our infertility. In the end our focus on charting my ovulation was what helped the midwife diagnose an easy to fix fertility issue. I was given a simple diagnosis, a natural supplement and a timeline.
The midwife told me I would be pregnant before December, and that November I got my first double lined pregnancy test.
After a year and a half of trying, 6 months of those under the care of my midwife, we welcomed our daughter after an uncomplicated pregnancy and a straightforward labor. She was caught by the same midwife that helped us conceive.
Growing Our Family
Now, we’re frequently asked when we’ll be having another child. We’re still adopting – at least we’re planning on it. But please remember, a family’s plan for children is not your business. That is an extremely personal question and not everyone you casually ask may be ready to tell you about their fertility or their infertility journey.
I know I’m lucky. I know there are families struggling to conceive with no diagnosis or nothing simple about their dilemma. I know what it is like to live in two week increments and heartbreak and tears at every bulk-bought pregnancy test. I know your heart and I pray for you and the babies you long for.