Moms Who Beat Infertility Share Their Stories

When you struggle with infertility and the months of waiting for a pregnancy turn into years, it can be difficult to imagine ever holding your baby. We spoke with more than a dozen moms who bravely battled infertility and won and we’re honored to share their powerful stories with you.

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Suzanne Rico, pictured with son Griffin

My husband and I started dating when I was 36. Three weeks in, in the middle of a madly sexy moment, I mentioned I wanted a baby… like now. The fun stopped as he contemplated information that would send most men scurrying away thinking, “Lose my number!” But when he finally spoke, it was the sweetest sentence I’d ever heard.

“I’ve never really thought about having kids before,” said the man who would become my husband. “But with you, it seems right.” The fun started back up.

Yeah, well, hahaha. A year later, sex had become all about baby-making. Ovulation timing, IUIs and Clomid were first, then IVF, along with a wheat, dairy, sugar and alcohol-free diet. Life was no longer any fun and with each miscarriage, I began to feel less: less creative, less productive, less womanly, less deserving of happiness. On many nights, curled up in a ball in a dark room, my husband would climb into bed next to me — his own pain stuck in place as he attended to mine — and try to talk me back into the light.

On our third IVF, we got pregnant again, but I wouldn’t celebrate. I was too gun shy of the crash landing that occurred when the last two pregnancies went sideways. Our first ultrasound was the day before Christmas Eve, but despite the proximity of Christ’s birthday, it was indeed devastation once again. Another lifeless pregnancy sac confirmed in black and white that whatever maternal switch we females have that allows us to procreate had indeed been turned off in me. Shame was now mixed in with sadness.

"As the doctor spread ultrasound gel over my flat stomach, his face somber and intense, I looked away, not wanting to see that once again I’d built the house, but no one was home."

We gave it a week and then scheduled a D & C. But first, Ethan drove me back to the fertility clinic at Tarzana Hospital for one last ultrasound — just in case do miracles happen. But I was well aware that for a 39-year-old woman with a history of recurrent miscarriage, my odds of having biological children had slipped precariously close to zero. As the doctor spread ultrasound gel over my flat stomach, his face somber and intense, I looked away, not wanting to see that once again I’d built the house, but no one was home. I focused on my husband’s sweet, sad face — we would get through this, right? — and then, a moment later, when the grainy, gray picture of my womb came into focus, I saw my husband smile.

Seven months later, my son came squalling into the world, a runty creature who looked like E.T. with a black Mohawk. My husband cut the cord and my hands reached out for him, twitching with a desire I had never felt. I cuddled E.T. in my arms, feeling his silky head and the warmth of his 5-pound body radiate through me, like some long missing electric blanket. I was finally whole. I was finally at peace. I was finally free of the morning sickness that had plagued me from the very beginning. And when I finally quit crying, the first thing I said was, “Would someone please get me a pizza and a glass of champagne?”

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Comments on "Birth photos: Motherhood after overcoming infertility"

Tegaryusup August 09, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Hi! I stumbled arcsos your blog by complete accident, but now I am beginning to think was it? An accident? I thought I would chime in with my 2 cents (or lack there-of) on the question you've given... :)As a fellow IF'r, I don't know if I would go as far as to say its taboo, but the world needs more IF'rs like you and I--who aren't afraid to share their experiences in what can be such an isolating experience for some women. It was for me. I felt completely alone and ashamed while going through infertility procedures. So, Thank you for not being ashamed. I think people fail to embrace what they don't understand; unfortunately, this is one of those "you need to be there" to fully understand how emotional IF can be. Secondly, good luck on your IUI! I will say a prayer for it to be successful!

Akwagner36 July 14, 2012 | 9:29 AM

Thank you so very much! This is exactly how I feel. We are still waiting to get pregnant with our second child! You give me hope!

Tonya June 19, 2012 | 10:16 AM

Beautiful is the only word I have after reading these stories. Thank you for compiling this, Nichole. I am overwhelmed.

Laura June 18, 2012 | 8:35 AM

Great, inspiring stories with happy endings. Thank you so much to these moms for sharing their struggles.

Jennifer June 18, 2012 | 5:43 AM

Of all of these stories, including mine, this one made me cry. Miracles really do happen.

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