Real Story by Kirsten

My husband and I have been together for 12 years. When I was 17 and he was 19 I found out I was pregnant, we weren’t trying, he wasn’t planned….we fell in the teen pregnancy statistic. I graduated high school 8 1/2 months pregnant, 2 weeks later on July 11, 2008 I delivered a healthy baby boy. Years passed and my baby fever grew more and more, we decided to start trying when Hunter, our son, was 2. When Hunter was 4 my husband joined the army and we were sent to his first duty station in Fort Lewis, Washington.

We tried for another year, by this time Hunter was 5, I was 22 and my husband was 24. I decided I should make an appointment with my primary care to see what on earth was going on. I had blood work done and a few days later my doctor called with news: I had an abnormal amount of prolactin in my body, way too high to naturally conceive on my own. He scheduled an MRI, & a month later I went in for a scan on my pituitary gland. We got the results: I had a prolactinoma–a small, benign tumor on my pituitary gland. We once again fell into another statistic. The 15% of American couples who cannot conceive statistic–we had secondary infertility.

I could not wrap my mind around the news I had gotten. Every woman in my family had no struggle getting pregnant, anytime they wanted a baby they got one, even if they weren’t planning for a baby, they still got pregnant. I was at an all time low, not only were my hopes of getting pregnant low, but I was also possibly looking at surgery to remove the prolactinoma. My doctor started me on a medication called cabergoline; & referred me out to an infertility clinic on base, but my husband was being sent off to training for 1.5 months, so we had to wait to try to get pregnant till he got back home. In October, exactly 1.5 months after I started my medication, my husband got home and we began trying to conceive. 2 weeks later the most amazing thing happened–I got a positive pregnancy test! I couldn’t believe my eyes! The medication worked, and I was finally pregnant with my miracle baby. Weslee was born on June 28, 2014, my healthy baby boy, my 2nd born.

My longing for a baby girl hit me like a ton of bricks when I found out my 2nd child was another baby boy, not because I wasn’t excited or happy to meet my newborn, but because I was so afraid I would never get the chance to get pregnant again. I wanted my 2nd child to be a girl, & I felt guilty for that. When Weslee was 1 year old we started trying again for another baby. I couldn’t accept I would have the same infertility issues that kept me from getting pregnant for so long, but after 6 months of trying with no luck, I decided I should go back to the doctor. Tests, blood work & MRI’s confirmed I was in the same boat I was in before, and I started the cabergoline once again, only this time things didn’t move as quickly. 5 more months went by, negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy filled my trash cans, our time was up.

My husband got orders to deploy to Afghanistan for 9 months. In May 2016 my heart got on a plane and flew away to another country. Heartache and tears as I sat alone, raising our 2 boys while daddy was gone, knowing my biological clock was ticking. Finally, in February 2017 we welcomed him home safe and sound. We have tried for 2 months unsuccessfully and here we are today. We got another referral to an infertility clinic to start talking about IVF and IUI. I feel like a constant weight in my shoulders, almost guilty for wanting another baby so badly when others can’t even have 1. Many tell me to just be thankful for the 2 I have, they are healthy and happy & it may just not happen for us again. It’s hard to talk to my family and friends– sure they try to be helpful and sensitive to our situation, but I don’t think they quite understand exactly how I’m feeling and they certainly can’t understand why I’m so upset.

Most people don’t get how I’m infertile but have 2 children. Most people don’t know I cry myself to sleep every month when I start my period–how can it feel like I lost a child I never had? That’s the hardest thing to explain. My heart is already so full of love for this baby, a baby I have never seen, held, a baby that doesn’t even exist yet & sadly, may never will. My yearning for a daughter is not just because I want a baby girl, it’s because I never had a mother & daughter relationship with my own mother. I crave that bond, I want it with my own daughter.

I’m writing my story with tears flowing down my cheeks, my eyes so full I can hardly see to type, but it feels good to let it all out. My fingers are doing the talking my mouth couldn’t ever do, flowing my personal thoughts about my infertility journey and my main reasons for my sadness onto this tiny little screen. I hope others can find comfort in my story, and know no matter their reasons for wanting another child, it means something, it matters; and you all deserves as many babies as you want. Love should be multiplied.

My triggers are my period every month, this month I started on the first day of national infertility week. My son’s crib in the spare room that he doesn’t sleep in anymore because we have moved him to a big boy bed. Baby clothes, baby girl clothes particularly. When I think of the most perfect baby names I have picked out and the nursery pins on Pinterest. I feel a sting of jealousy when someone announces their pregnancy, but it also brings me a sense of hope that one day that will be us again. My advice for anyone would be just to talk about it as much as you want, if your friends and family are “sick” of hearing about it, find someone else you can confide in. Don’t feel guilty for wanting a certain gender, the heart wants what the heart wants. Don’t feel guilty that you already have healthy kid(s) or that you aren’t grateful for the ones that you already have. Mainly, don’t give up hope & know you don’t have to go on this journey alone. ❤

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