Written by: Angie Shemwell
Hi! My name is Angie and I have what is called PCOS - Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.
My husband, Nick, and I began our journey like the typical American couple. We were married July 29, 2006 and of course I wanted a baby right away. I’m a planner and I had EVERYTHING lined up, ready to go!
Little did I know God was going to laugh at my plans.
My husband was a little hesitant about starting a family so quickly. He wanted to wait until we were financially stable. I laughed and told him that children are expensive, but as long as we had love to give to them, we'd be okay! So after we came home from our honeymoon, we started trying.
After five months with no luck, I went to see our family doctor.
We talked. She ran some tests. She referred me to my OB-GYN to see what more we could find out. We had no idea what was ahead of us.
We tried Clomid, Clomid with Trigger shots, seven IUI’s, one fresh IVF, had one miscarriage, three failed frozen IVF's and one more final fresh IVF. All of Nick’s tests came back completely normal. I tried everything and anything natural I could get my hands on, including Chiropractic and Acupuncture.
In November 2012 we went to see Dr. Celeste Brabec. She was simply amazing. She discovered some things about me that no one else had ever diagnosed. She felt IVF would be our best route for success.
We began the process, and in January 2013, we transferred two embryos and we were successful. REALLY successful. We were pregnant with twins! I ended up with one of the worst cases, according to Dr. Brabec, of OHSS - Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome. I was hospitalized for a week and we lost our twins at seven weeks along.
My heart was so broken. After some time, I picked myself back up again. We had frozen embryos and I needed to keep pushing on.
We tried three more times with our frozen embryos and all failed. We found out October 11, 2013 that our final cycle had failed.
I was done. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. D-O-N-E.
We had spent every dime possible and them some. I was starting to accept the fact that either we were going to be childless or we were going to have to look into adoption.
We received a call from two angels that had been following our story (I have a blog that tells our story in detail from start to finish). They said they did not feel like our journey was done. They wanted to pay for another Fresh IVF cycle.
In one breath I about fell over, in another I wasn’t sure my heart could handle much more disappointment if it didn’t work.
We decided to talk to our fertility doctor and our pastor. After a lot of talking and praying, we decided to go for it. I went with a different approach though, I decided since God was sending us this blessing, I was going to 'let go' and take care of me and let Dr. Brabec and God do the rest.
November 19, 2013, we transferred two embryos. July 12, 2014, four weeks early and four weeks prior to eight years of trying, we delivered a beautiful, healthy baby boy named Ian, which means 'gift from God'. And that he is.
Infertility is the most heart wrenching, expensive journey. Ever. And while, yes, it’s not life threatening, it is one of the toughest times a couple will endure. No one will understand unless they’ve walked a day in those shoes.
While your friends and loved ones mean well, they try to comfort with words that can at times come across as very hurtful. That’s why years ago, I started a blog and explained our journey as we went along and shared it with our family and friends. That way, they could read if they wanted and maybe get a better grasp of what we were going through. It was also somewhat therapeutic for me.
When Jenny asked me to write about our journey, I immediately jumped on it. WHY? Infertility is my passion, I wish I could help others through their journey for a living. I want to give back to all of those who helped us through our journey. I want to inspire people and pray that because of me they didn’t give up.
There is light at the end of what may seem like a LONG dark tunnel. I can’t tell you how long that tunnel is, nor the outcome, because if you’ve traveled the road of infertility, you know there is no exact science. But, I can promise that some way, some how, you will become a parent and it is so worth the wait.
Don’t get me wrong there are days that are very trying, and I’m not saying the other side of the tunnel will be any easier! Parenting brings its own set of challenges. Ian will be two soon. Anyone with a two-year-old knows what that means. 'Meltdown City' for no reason, hitting, and smacking Mommy in the face in the middle of Target as hard as possible for no reason at all. (Yes that happened.)
I’m a parent just like everyone else, it took me a lot longer to get there and A LOT more money and heartache, but please don’t tell me when I want to vent about a bad day -- well, you wanted a child! Yes I did want a child and I wouldn’t trade him for the world, and I would go through all my infertility all over again, knowing the outcome.
Jenny and I have had lots of conversations about this, we feel like we tried for so long to have our miracles -- we feel guilty when we have a bad day. I’m here to tell you, It’s okay to have a bad day even though you went through hell and back to have a child.
I continue to help as much as I can with the infertility world, I’m a working mom and my husband travels a lot for his job, so it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time, unfortunately. But I would give every minute if I could to help others through this journey. No one should travel this road alone.
Will we have any more children? That's the common question these days. No, I will not get pregnant on my own. We have frozen embryos. If you’ve been through infertility, you will understand when I say I’m not sure if my heart is ready for another round. While everything could go perfectly and we could have another child, it could also go the other way, which would mean the end of the road for us.
A part of me feels I should be thankful and blessed for the one child we have, and another part of me wants a sibling for him. So for now we will enjoy our sweet little miracle and continue to help others through this journey.
I'm an open book on the subject so if you are going through it and need a friend, I'm here. I've been there. I get it.
Connect with Angie here.