Hi there! My name is Erica and I’m new here — new to Seattle that is. My husband and I recently relocated for his job, and I’ve been exploring the Emerald City and preparing for our first baby ever since. Still acclimating to the weather 🙂 I’m a certified personal trainer, yogi, writer/blogger, and mom-to-be whose fertility journey sparked a deep passion for the momma community. My goal in 2019 is to obtain additional training in prenatal & postpartum fitness and wellness so I can provide support to other mommas in every stage of their journey, and teach in the Seattle community. Stay tuned <3
Photo by Kristin Harris Photography
I wanted to share a bit more about our fertility journey with the Om Mama Co. community. Through our struggles to conceive I discovered a strength within myself and our marriage – a strength that has helped power me through the good days and bad. Although there is no one that can fully prepare you for the journey to parenthood, we can lean on one another for support, wisdom, and lots of love.
Our Fertility Journey
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a mom. At the age of ten, I declared I’d be married with a family by the age of twenty-five. Well, sometimes things don’t always turn out according to plan 🙂 I never envisioned having difficulty conceiving and had done zero research on infertility and my own body until my husband and I started trying.
At the end of 2016, my husband and I were excited to start trying for kids. Married for a little over a year and approaching thirty, we were ready. But after five months without a period, I decided it was time to seek additional support from my GYN.
I’ve been irregular for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing competitive soccer. As an athlete, it was normal. But now – no period, no ovulation, no pregnancy. My GYN quickly referred me to a local Reproductive Endocrinologist for support, as my “condition” was beyond her level of expertise. We quickly felt at ease with my RE, but I can’t say I had ever anticipated being there.
My diagnosis was a bit of a mix: PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea.
Trying to Conceive
My husband and I tried naturally for under a year. Although I recognize this isn’t a significant amount of time, I was told I would not be able to conceive without a “bit of help.” So, we went straight to the RE.
We tried timed intercourse for a few cycles, with no luck; then elected for an IUI cycle, but I progressed too quickly with medications. We opted to turn my IUI cycle into an IVF cycle, and through retrieval got twelve fabulous embryos.
Our first transfer was in November 2017. We were ecstatic to learn we were pregnant a few weeks later – a pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage in December.
I felt very alone through our fertility struggles. Every time I got the “when are you two having children?” question my heart sank. Rather than unleashing our history to everyone I simply took a deep breath and respond with “hopefully soon.” I used to ask couples that question all the time without thinking. But now I am very aware. You really just never know.
Our miscarriage in December was devastating. I felt helpless, cheated, and alone. Weeks of pills, injections, appointments, and then – loss. My husband and I attended a holiday party a week later and almost every woman there was pregnant or running after a toddler. After thirty minutes I begged my husband to leave. I was just completely overwhelmed.
I find that most people struggle with infertility privately, as we had. But it’s way more common than most people think. My journey has introduced me to amazing women and I’ve learned that seeking support is crucial.
Advice for others
I would strongly encourage anyone struggling with infertility to find a support system. Whether that’s a friend, a support group, a health coach, or your next door neighbor, find someone you can talk to openly. Although my husband and I talk, it was very helpful to connect with other women going through treatment at the same time. They get it.
Body love: This has been the hardest part for me. Over the course of 18 months, I was on and off hormones, underwent IVF cycle/retrieval, experienced a miscarriage, and felt like every day was an emotional rollercoaster (it still is). I’ve seen my body morph, and as an athlete, this has been mentally taxing. I highly encourage you to do something for yourself every week to find calm: meditation, yoga, a hike. Something just for YOU. And stay focused on what you seek: a beautiful healthy baby <3
Wishing you lots of love on your journey <3
Erica recently welcomed her healthy baby boy into the world! Congratulations to her and her family – Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us, Erica!
The original version of this post appeared on Bumps2Baby.