"I remember thinking, I never thought this would be me. My family hadn’t struggled with this, so it never crossed my mind."
What are some of the feelings or struggles you have been through on this journey?
Initially it was disappointment, we had been trying for a few months at the time and I was disappointed and discouraged that it wasn’t working. I was seeing others get pregnant around me, but it wasn’t happening for me yet. Slowly we came up to a year, but I didn’t want to recognize that something wasn’t right. You don’t want to say that something is wrong, you just keep hoping that it will happen the next month. But that next month kept coming and nothing changed. It was difficult to admit that something was wrong. I remember thinking, I never thought this would be me. My family hadn’t struggled with this, so it never crossed my mind. As a kid I always dreamed of being a mom, I would always be playing house in the basement with my doll. I figured you get married, when you are ready, you try for a bit and get pregnant, it seemed easy. Well, I learned very quickly that it is not that easy. Listening to other conversations about pregnancy or children were often hard depending on how I was feeling. I would either tune out or put on my happy face. At this point very few people knew, I was ashamed to tell others that we were struggling to have a family. I felt as though I was failing as a woman, not being able to bring a child into the world.
We would also have people asking, “When are you going to have kids?” We knew they meant well but it cut me to the core. Every time I was asked, I worked hard to not cry, knowing they had no idea about our situation. So, I would tell them, “We will see when it happens” and laugh and try to change the subject, hoping they wouldn’t ask questions. That went on for about a year and a half to two years.
What about adoption?
An interesting thing, when we were engaged, my husband and I discussed that if we couldn’t have kids we would adopt, not realizing that we may have to consider that one day. Having no clue that we would end up on the journey of infertility. Being on this journey I realized that adoption isn’t as easy of a choice as I thought. I know many families who have been blessed through adoption, but I have learned it is not something you just jump into. We had a few people ask us when they heard about our infertility, ‘Why don’t you just adopt?’ or ‘What about adoption?’ It takes time and prayer to make sure it is the right thing to choose. It is not the right choice for everyone.
Did you end up going to a fertility clinic?
We made the difficult decision in November 2020 to go to Heartland Infertility Clinic. It was acknowledging something wasn’t right. We fortunately got in quickly, which was amazing to begin with, some people wait for months or longer. After a few months of testing, bloodwork, and ultrasounds, we received a few diagnoses. We were struggling with infertility, and I was dealing with PCOS or insulin resistance. It was a tough day, because our chances of getting pregnant on our own were very low. It felt like I got hit by a truck out of nowhere and it threw me onto a completely path than I thought we would be travelling. You hope it’s a bad nightmare, but you wake up in the morning and are reminded of your reality. It’s somewhere you never pictured yourself, or chose to be, but you have now been thrust into a completely different world.
We had to figure out what to do next, my emotions were everywhere, it felt like the world’s craziest roller coaster ride. You never know what emotion will hit you next, will I be ok today? Will I randomly break into tears?
Each month when it didn’t work, I would hit a low and be down for a few days, having no energy, only doing the necessities for the day. It took some time but with the Lord’s help I was able to pull myself out. Him and my husband are who got me through those tough days. I don’t know where I would be without them.
How has this impacted your faith?
The first two and half to three years were tough but I was doing good emotionally. Of course, I had tough days, but I was ok, but then we hit year three. That was tough, I never thought we would be married for four years and still not have kids. I was often asking God, “Why?” Why is everyone around me able to get pregnant and not me? Have I done something wrong? Is my faith not strong enough? Am I not trusting enough? Why God? I started to get mad at Him for not granting us a child, we would love them and care for them and train them up right. So why didn’t it work? I was so lost and confused.
When things don’t go the way we want, or we just don’t understand, the easy thing is to get angry. That’s the ditch I fell into, it affected many areas of my life. My faith, I still believed but my mind didn’t understand why this was happening to us. I went into survival mode, doing what I could to get through the day, and repeating the same cycle everyday for months.
I kept myself busy, so that I wouldn’t have to think about it, and before I knew it, I had hit a deep depression. You get good at putting on a face, so others don’t see your true feelings, I got so good that I even tricked myself. Pushing away all the feelings, not wanting to admit I was not okay. This is never a good way to deal with something, pushing it down, because eventually you will crack and break.
When you struggle with infertility your focus is almost solely on getting pregnant. If it was up to me, we would have tried IUI, IVF, something. But God said “Wait”, that was a hard pill to swallow. I had been hearing wait and didn’t want to hear it again. But we made the decision to wait, knowing it would be the best option for us in the long run. If we did what we wanted, we would only hurt ourselves.
Depression and Anxiety
To be completely transparent I am still working through my depression and anxiety, but I am doing better. Anxiety asks, “Am I ready to have a child?” “Will I be a good mom one day?” “Will I be able to do it?” It’s exhausting! Sometimes you feel like you are losing yourself, that you are not the same person you were before infertility. Which is the truth, you’re not, you will never be the same person. You are stronger and braver, even if you don’t feel it, you are! I have many days that are difficult, some days it’s hard to get out of bed. It’s tough to find the motivation to keep going. Each day you make yourself get up and put one foot in front of the other.
I really appreciate the quote, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.” Hold onto that truth.
My husband and I are getting close to four years of trying, the journey has been tough. Through this journey we have been able to learn about each other and grow closer together. It is one of those situations where it can break you or grow you, sometimes both. But we do have a choice, it is a hard choice, but we can choose whether it breaks or grows us.
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