Hi! My name is Niki Martins and I know Janae or The Hungry Runner Girl through her older sister! Sissy and I have been close friends since the eighth grade and well, let’s just say we are a lot older now, so we’ve been close friends for many, many, many years. ;)
I’ve actually known Janae since she was six years old ;) And I consider her to be my favorite little sister. ;)
I’m grateful she has stayed in my life, and I am so proud of all that she has overcome and done in her life!
While I am not a runner, like Janae, I do like to run and stay active. I played sports in high school, mostly basketball and softball. I am 5’11”, so my height drew me to these sports.
However, I am not here to talk about exercise, the reason Janae asked me to write a guest post was, because of my experience with infertility. My husband and I have been married for fifteen years, and we have never conceived a child on our own. We found out that we were infertile about a year into our marriage and that we had less than a 1% chance of ever conceiving on our own.
The news was heart-wrenchingly devastating. I still remember the moment the doctor told us the news—I had never felt so alone or hopeless in my life.
You see, all I had ever wanted was to become a mom. I had had a job since I was sixteen, graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree, and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While I enjoyed the friendships and the knowledge I gained through these wonderful experiences, I knew deep down, that the only job I ever really wanted was to be a mom. And quickly, too quickly, that hope, that dream, was taken from me.
It took me a few weeks to let the news set in, but once I accepted this new reality, we decided we didn’t want to wait to do something about it.
Janae may attest to this; my personality is one that isn’t afraid of a fight. I am good with conflict, and I love to challenge myself. So, when it came to infertility, I was no different.
And a fight it was.
While this doesn’t change the emotional hardship infertility takes, thankfully, so much has been changed and been advanced since we started our infertility treatments in 2004. Costs have come down a bit and you don’t have to travel far to find a fully functional infertility clinic. Also, I do know that some insurances pay for or cover some treatments now, so if you find yourself in the same situation, do some research for financial help.
Infertility is expensive.
Because of the severity of our infertility, both male and female factors, we knew early on that we would have to go straight to IVF (Invitro Fertilization). And because of the severity of the male factor, we had to travel to California to receive even more specialized treatment called ICSI or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This is where they literally inject the sperm into the egg to cause fertilization. They now have the ability to do this in Utah, where I live, and I know it is more common throughout the world.
In the end, we did IVF five different times. Our first two tries were negative, and these were some of my darkest days in our infertility journey. I had done everything, everything to get pregnant. Everything, but the progesterone shot and acupuncture, as we didn’t know about these resources.
I had to take a break after our second negative result. I remember crawling into a fetal position on the floor when the nurse had called to tell me, once again, I wasn’t pregnant. I cried for three days. However, after about three months, and knowing we had some viable frozen embryos, we decided to try again. This time, after my asking, we did the progesterone shot, and I also did acupuncture (and in my opinion, this was a game changer).
Then, after waiting those two incredibly long weeks, our doctor called us with the amazing news. We were pregnant! It felt surreal and amazing!
I continued acupuncture, as it is also shown to help with miscarriage, and I continued the progesterone shot for 10 more weeks. Then, May of the following year, our beautiful Hannah was born!
After Hannah turned 18 months, we tried IVF again, but our frozen embryos weren’t as viable, so we got another negative result. Once again, I was devastated, as we knew there was another little person that needed to come to our family.
I, like Janae, am a religious person. I turn to God for help every day. So, when we felt like we were stuck with what to do next, my husband and I prayed. We prayed many times, for many days for help and for council. Soon, we both felt that adoption was our next step. I felt good going into adoption, knowing that this was what we needed to do, but I was also anxious for the unknown. We ended up having two failed adoptions before we received our precious Lia.
Once Lia was two, we once again felt we needed to try IVF one more time. This time we had two healthy, viable embryos to work with and we were able to have our sweet Eva.
Since then, we adopted our amazing son, Jared, and then after a bitter and difficult failed adoption, we were blessed with our beautiful Rubi just this past year.
Getting our children here was a battle each and every time. We had to work and pray and wait patiently for each child to find us. I had many days where I thought how unfair life was, knowing there were women and girls who were pregnant, but didn’t want to be. I was hurt in knowing that children were being abused by their moms and dads, and yet, knowing I would never do such a thing, was denied the blessing of receiving my own child.
I had to overcome those feelings fast.
As, it is a quick way to darkness and hopelessness. I knew the children that were supposed to be mine would find their way to me. I also knew that if no child ever came into my arms, I would still have a beautiful family with just me and my husband.
Thankfully, we are now at the end of our infertility journey, as our family is complete. But my infertility scars are still there. I still have moments of anger or hurt, especially as I watch two of my adopted children, born with special needs, struggle each day. In the end, though, we feel extremely blessed and thankful for all of our children, no matter how they came to us or what their needs are.
Infertility is a difficult and frightening road. There are so many raw emotions, unknowns, and heartbreaks along the way. It is also really expensive in both medical treatments and in the adoption process. Every story is different, but please know that you are not alone. You have a sisterhood of women who have traveled this devastating path before you. There are many of us who know your broken heart and we are cheering and praying for you.
Infertility is truly a disease, it is no one’s fault. Stay strong, your story is worth living. No matter if you end up with a dozen children or none, know that you are not alone or unworthy of motherhood.
Much love to you all,
I would love to hear your story or if any of you can relate with our experience!