It was late 2011, and I was coming down from the most amazing year of my life. It was the year I married my best friend on my family’s farm, surrounded by 300 of our friends and family. Jesse is my complete opposite, and hands down, the coolest person I’ve ever met. The best decision of my life was accepting his marriage proposal.
Having babies was something we knew we wanted, but Jesse, being the careful planner that he is, wasn’t sure we were ready financially. I, on the other hand, wanted to throw caution to the wind and maintained that if we waited until we had enough money in the bank, we’d never be ready. We finally agreed to just give it a shot. We were going to make a baby. Boom. Done. I anticipated that we’d have a baby within a year, or at the very least, I’d be pregnant and nearing that momentous occasion. I secretly wanted to be that newlywed who casually announced our joyful news 12 weeks into pregnancy while surrounded by my girlfriends at our monthly book club. I’d giggle a little, and say, “But we weren’t really even trying!” I didn’t want be the girl obsessed with having a baby. Charting my cycle and peeing on things. Or crying when a dear friend told me she got pregnant the month she went off birth control.
But I got obsessed. After several months of things not happening, I had worked myself into enough of a tizzy to make an appointment with my doctor. Something didn’t feel right, and even though it had been less than a year of us trying to conceive, she thoughtfully listened to me as I unleashed my innermost fears. I was afraid I’d never be a mom. I left the clinic with a list of tests they wanted me to do, along with some instructions for my husband as well. Yep, he had a hot date with the infamous sterile cup. Of course, it’s only natural that my doctor would make sure my other half check out alright. We appreciated how thorough she was with everything. I’ll still never forget her final and reassuring words to me, “Relax. I’m sure you’re both just fine.”
We weren’t fine. After all the tests were done and the results came in, it was determined that one of us was broken, and it wouldn’t be an easy fix. When our one year anniversary rolled around on August 27, 2012, we found ourselves anxiously sitting in the waiting room at the best infertility clinic in the Twin Cities. Exactly a year prior, I was a blushing bride standing next to my handsome groom, both of us dreaming of our blissful future together. And now we were standing next to each other, wondering if becoming parents would ever be our reality. We met our reproductive endocrinologist, learned of our expensive options, and were filled with hope that everything was going to be alright. They’d make us parents in no time. Easy peasy.
That was one year and nine months ago. We’ve done five IUIs with many needles to my belly, several rounds of acupuncture (more needles, but of a different variety), and choked down countless amounts of supplements and vitamins. I can’t believe it’s been almost two years. Pretty sure I have logged enough hours with Dr. Google and Web MD to officially be granted a doctorate. But alas, we’re still not pregnant, have never gotten pregnant, and we likely won’t be getting pregnant without the aid of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). At least that’s according to six different doctors and specialists we’ve seen. We are choosing not to pursue adoption at this time, despite several people reminding us that we could just adopt. We know it’s a beautiful way to grow a family and have seen it done successfully. It’s not something we are opposed to altogether, but it’s also not something we are ready to open ourselves up to quite yet.
There are days where I am at peace, and I trust that our parental dreams will come true someday, somehow. And then there are days where I feel like may lose my ever lovin’ mind if I have to spend one more kid-centered holiday still wondering if Jesse and I will have our own child to celebrate those days with. I am thankfully at a place now where the good, hopeful days outweigh the bad, awful ones. I am so much more thankful for what I do have. My devoted and steadfast husband. Our crazy dogs. A home in the heart of the city that we are currently in the process of buying.
I look at our current situation as an opportunity to bring awareness to the harsh realities of infertility, but to also give people hope. I pride myself in being someone that your friend at church, or co-worker, or sister can talk to in the midst of their own infertility battle. I share about our life through our blog, and I wholeheartedly believe that humor is the best way to get through this madness. I am fighting to remain Lauren, wife of Jesse, great nanny, and thoughtful friend, before being viewed as Lauren, non-mom and bitter infertile. I’ve been bitter about our situation a lot, but then I think of my future child. Would my child be proud of that person? I want to be someone that our kid can proudly say, “See those two people? Those people are my parents. They fought long and hard for me, but they didn’t lose themselves in the process.” Infertility is a huge part of our lives right now, but I don’t want it to define us either.
I have also started being creative again. I sew burp rags and bibs, and sell them in an effort to save up for IVF treatments. An additional silver lining has been that some of my best customers are my girlfriends who are having new babies. I make it no secret that my biggest struggle has been finding common ground with these women who’ve now been promoted to the one job I’ve always wanted. My little business is allowing me to bridge that gap, and have more open and honest dialogue about infertility.
A few of my friendships have been severed because of what we are going through, but the important ones still remain. I am so eternally grateful for the friends who have loved Jesse and I through this, even when they don’t understand it completely. These are the same friends that shoot me a short, “Thinking of you. Love you.” text while everyone around me is posting first day of school pictures on Facebook. And they never stop inviting us to hang out, despite us turning them down several times in the past because being around them and their growing families is too hard for my heart some days.
I’m honored that I’ve been given the opportunity to share our journey. I guess you could call me a mom in the making. The path is long, the obstacles have been aplenty, but I am confident that the bridge to our baby will be completed someday. Jesse and I are building it everyday. And when that day comes we’ll run across it and finally meet the family we’ve longed for. I can’t wait.
Lauren Jerle is a small town girl who snagged herself a city boy through the aid of a popular online dating site. His name is Jesse, and she thinks he’s pretty awesome. Together they live in Woodbury with their precious, perfect pooches, Apple and Bobo. Lauren has been blogging on and off for over ten years, but for the past four years she’s been regaling tales at Crazy Ever After, from a wedding on her family farm, to off-the-wall stories about marriage, and most recently, the unwanted diagnosis of infertility. Even though it’s something that currently dominates a large part of her life, she refuses to let infertility define who she is. When she’s trying hard not to fail at being a wife, you can find her singing the Frozen soundtrack in entirety with several families in the Twin Cities, and considers it a privilege to play the special role of nanny to so many sweet, amazing children. You can connect with Lauren through her J Baby Rags Facebook page and also on Instagram.