Facing Infertility Head On
As I type this I sit joyfully and faithfully on the other side of this story. Today I am a blessed mother of three healthy, incredible children, but my journey to motherhood was far from easy. In fact, it was the toughest struggle I’ve ever faced. I fought a 3-year battle with infertility that challenged the essence of my existence. It brought into question my identity, my purpose on this planet. It tore open like a raw wound my viability as a woman and as a wife. And it shook my seemingly unwavering optimism in a way I had not previously nor since experienced. But along the way I grew in faith and learned hard-fought life lessons. This is my story.
The Start of My Infertility Story
At 26 years old I was a healthy, fit, happy wife. Fred and I had been together 4 years and married for 1. I was beyond excited for the next phase of life and felt mentally and emotionally ready for children. As a fitness devotee and avid runner my body fat was very low, and my cycle had become increasingly irregular. Always the optimist I was sure I would be fine. Once I decided I was ready to have a child I pursued pregnancy with a single-mindedness which was and is my God-given nature.
Mind Games of Infertility
After 6 months of trying fear began to replace excitement. What was wrong with me? After 12 months of disappointment we decided to see a specialist. If something was indeed wrong I wanted to get to the heart of the matter. The doctor was confident we would succeed. I took his optimism and tried to make it my own. Testing began and continued for many months, but nothing was found. Without a “reason” I felt even more “at fault”.
Well-meaning friends offered what they thought was caring advice, “Just relax and it’ll happen”…words which cut like a knife into my soul. Could my overwhelming desire to become a mother, my sheer focus be the cause of my failure? That is exactly what I felt like: a failure. Standing at the doorway of the most important role of my life I was failing before I had even entered. It was my fault, if only I could relax. Was my enthusiasm for motherhood sabotaging my chances? The mind games were endless and debilitating.
I never had specific career goals growing up. Even with 6 years of college and a Master’s Degree under my belt I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. What I had dreamed of my entire life was becoming a mother. This was my dream which came from deep within my being. The thought of not being a mother was unbearable. I fought on.
Infertility: The Lonliest Fight
Battling infertility I felt incredibly alone, separate from the rest of the world. It was as if life was happening all around me, but I was on the outside observing. I suffered in silence, fighting for courage, strength, and stamina to endure month after disappointing month. Friends welcomed babies and had second babies while I waited to discover my fate. Would I be waiting forever? I was in a holding pattern of life, circling endlessly while the rest of the world continued without me.
This condition, this nameless undiagosed mystery defined me and yet it could not be defined. Friends struggled to ease my worry as they saw my faded joy. Their efforts only magnified their lack of understanding. I sank further into a distant isolation where my pain kept me company.
Letting Go of Control: A Lesson In Faith
For the first time in my life sheer effort on my part was not enough. I realized no matter how much I believed I was master of my own destiny I had reached my limitations. I was not in control. God was. I had grown up in church and had a love for God, but I was in charge. Up until that point in my life I was doing pretty well on my own and had put God into a tidy corner of my life. He was far from center stage. But, all of a sudden, He had my attention.
I knew He was calling me, not so subtly saying, “Julie, I made you, and love you and want you to put me at the center of your life. Julie, nothing happens without my ordainment or my will. You cannot do life without me. I am in charge, and it is my will not yours that decides.” He brought me to the brink of despair and depression in an effort to get my attention. There I was, at His feet…. All things for a reason…. all things for His purpose.
As prayers replaced sleepless worry my confidence grew. Our next step was diagnostic surgery, still looking to find root causes for our infertility. Waking up from the laparoscopy and hysterosalpingogram I’ll never forget the words of my wonderful doctor, “Here’s the girl with the perfect pelvis!” I was at once relieved and dismayed. There was still no diagnosis. Without a reason how could I be “fixed”?
I had been on Clomid for months. This is the least invasive treatment possible and all fingers and toes were crossed that it might work. After 6 months Jodie and Fred came home from work to find me hiding out in a closet…convinced they were plotting against me; that was the end of our Clomid trial.
Next: Financial Obstacles
The next treatment would be much more invasive and very expensive, human hormone therapy. Fred heard the price per month and said no, not unless I could figure out how to get our insurance to cover it. Now in addition to a health battle I didn’t understand I had a new war to wage: against our insurance.
I went to work, absolutely determined to figure out a way. God gave me courage to not give up, to fight through the nagging depression as months turned to years. Two and a half years had passed, 30 months of disappointment, a seemingly endless cycle of failure.
But God sent me an angel in the form of a young woman named Jennifer. She worked in human resources at Fred’s company. I had never met her. She was in the company’s headquarters in California, and I was in Chicago. We talked several times a week for months as she made it her goal to get our insurance to pay for my treatments. I felt like it was a long shot. But nothing is impossible when God is in charge.
I remember the call when Jennifer said we were approved. It was amazing. I was so grateful, and most importantly, hopeful. In a war you take faith in winning your battles one by one. This was a turning-point victory in my war.
The End of My Infertility Battle
Month 35: our first month of therapy: no success. Month 36: our second month of therapy: We were driving to Columbus, OH from Chicago to visit Fred’s family. My nurse called me while we were in terrible rush hour traffic trying to get out of the city. Fred was driving. My nurse asked me if I was sitting down. I was annoyed, just tell me! Get it over with. I can handle disappointment. “You. Are. Pregnant!!!!!!!!”
Waves of relief and pain washed away as tears poured down my face. Overcome with emotion, unable to speak, I could only cry. I cried so hard I scared poor Fred. Fred fought the traffic and silently worried about my state of mind. He didn’t know I was crying tears of joy. He assumed I was distraught from more disappointment. When I finally explained he smiled but cautioned, “OK, but don’t get too happy. We still have to make it through the pregnancy.”
Of course this was true, but God spoke to my heart right then, right there. He told me, “Julie, this has been your struggle. I will bless you now. You will not struggle again.” I knew it to the depth of my soul, and it was true.
I delivered 3 perfect children never experiencing the slightest infertility struggle again, just as God had assured me.
God Was Testing and Preparing Me
During my infertility battle I grew in my relationship with God. I grew in patience and maturity. I had thought I was ready to devote myself to motherhood. God tested my devotion: How badly did I want to become a mother? How much was I willing to commit? Did I know what being a good mother would entail? It would take every ounce I had to give and more. It would take patience I didn’t yet possess. God knew I needed more testing before I was truly ready….ready to be the mother He designed me to be.
20 years later God called me again to Him. Read My Faith Story of how God came to me and my whole family and how He has been powerfully at work ever since.
Also, be sure not to miss one of my favorite posts, Blind Faith in God Leads to Miracles Every Time.
God Bless You On Your Journeys, Friends.
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Kristi Galbraith Gauntlett says
Thank you for sharing your story..I will pass it on to my niece, who has walked the same road.
God’s richest Blessings,
So glad you found my article. Please do share it with your niece. The worst part is feeling like you are suffering alone! I hoped that by sharing my story it would help in this aspect. Blessings, Julie
So true words. You are doing amazing work. First off, this is a well written post. My husband and I had been trying for 2 years. We both were checked out to make sure there were no major issues with either of us regarding why we hadnt gotten pregnant yet. We read that a lot of people have success on the 2nd round of Clomid! I am now 11 weeks pregnant and would definitely recommend Clomid for anyone who hasnt gotten pregnant after at least a year of trying and is unsure why. I am not sure if I just wasnt ovulating or what, but Clomid worked for me!! My insurance didn’t cover it, but I got it. So happy 😊 my friend gave me this code ‘CLO24PRG’ ❤️ and she said ‘just Google it’. Goof luck to all!
Cathy Sanicki says
Your story brings me back to my struggles with infertility. I did have something wrong. I had third state endometriosis. I had a laparoscopy to verify the diagnosis and then a major surgery following. After the major surgery– within 6 months I started experiencing horrific pain. Another laparoscopy confirmed scar tissue.
Long story short and a total of 14 surgeries, my husband and I attempted IVF. I was
relieved that it was covered by insurance thanks to Governor Edgar who put into law that infertility was an illness. I also lived in Chicago, now I am in Naperville.
My Dr. was Dr. Miller. What a great Dr. !! On my initial visit they took a lot of blood to check
everything. I got a call the following Monday asking me also are you sitting down. I was pregnant!! An ultrasound confirmed I was pregnant with twins. Unfortunately, 2 months
later I would miscarry.
I said this was a long story short!!! LOL After three cycles of IVF I became pregnant with my daughter. Two years later another IVF and my second daughter was born.
All my life I always dreamed of becoming a mother one day and Thank God I am. Hope you don’t mind me sharing my story with you as I always feel the need after I hear a infertility story with a happy ending. So glad we both ended up with a very happy outcome.
Oh My goodness, Cathy, Mind?? I would never mind! And what a very small world. I lived in Naperville when I began seeing my dr., of whom I spoke. Ready for this? My doctor was Dr. Miller!!! Can you believe it!? That’s crazy! Well, he’s the best in the Chicagoland area, at lease he certainly was 20+ years ago. I can’t believe we had the same wonderful dr. God is so good, and I owe a lot to Dr. Miller and his staff as well. God bless, Julie
Just read your response. I can’t believe that Dr. Miller was your Dr. as well. It definitely is a small world!! God is good!’ So happy for us both.
God bless you! ❤️
Just read your response. I can’t believe that Dr. Miller was your Dr. as well. It definitely is a small world!! God is good!’ So happy for us both.
God bless you! ❤️
Cathy, Isn’t that crazy?? I couldn’t believe it when I read your message! God is good, indeed indeed! And God gifted our dear Dr. Miller, and gifted him with all the skills and insights necessary, and connected us with him so that our beautiful children would be brought forth. It’s almost more than I can handle…pure joy! That is why I continue to be so grateful and so joyful in this world. May God continue to bless you and your family. Love, Julie
Kelly Capparelli says
My best friend is Cathy Sanicki! I met her through a mutual work associate and she knew the struggles we had been through for 8 years, yes 8. Doc after doc could find nothing wrong. After several visits with Dr. Miller he diagnosed that I had PCOS and my husband had low sperm count/motility issues. Double whammy! I was very successful on my 1st retrieval, 13 embryos. My 1st transfer was my son, Andrew. 2nd transfer no go. 3rd transfer was a twin pregnancy but resulted in one live birth, my son Alec. Dr. Rapasardi (sp) did the transfers that resulted in both pregnancies. Cathy and my first miracles are 2 months apart and 2nd are 5 months apart. They have grown up together plus Cathy and I are still besties even though we live in different states. You certainly put into words what all with infertility have experienced. Each of us could probably write our own book! God bless you for sharing and God bless Cathy for encouraging me to see Dr. Miller!
Wow thank you so much for sharing your story with us, truly incredible to see how many people are affected by this. We are so glad you got a chance to read this post and connect with it on such a personal level! God bless and thank you for the kind words! XO ~ Jodie & Julie
Thank you, Julie for sharing this faith journey with all of us! Some of us may not have had issues with fertility, but your strong faith and perseverance ministers above all of that. Thank you for letting us know that God has not abandoned us in our immense confusion when things aren’t going our way! What a testimony to his love!!! ♥️
Jenn, No matter what our specific struggles the message is that with Him all things are possible. His plan is always a good one, even if it is not our plan. Thank you for your kindness, your support, and sharing your beautiful faith with me. Blessings my dear, Julie
Tracey Hiebert says
Thank you so much for sharing your story from your heart! God is good, all the time! What a testiment to His faithfulness! Bless you Julie! ????????
Thank you for your beautiful reply. He is indeed. Several times a day I have to remind myself and give it back to God! We are all works in progress, only He is perfect. In that knowledge alone there is comfort. Bless you, Julie
Thank you for sharing something so personal… this brought me to tears because it’s obvious how seriously you take being a mother. Your three beautiful children are proof of that.
Isn’t it wonderful how God can use our trials to bring us closer to him????
Yes, that is the overriding message: that there is purpose in our struggles. That no matter what they are, God has a plan and we can find strength and peace in relationship with Him. Blessings to you always, Julie
Thank you for sharing Julie❤️ I know this will help many ❤️❤️ Your strength is contagious and inspiring!
Kristi, Oh my dear friend, this makes my heart smile to hear your generous words. I pray it is true. If I can ease one person’s mental anguish it is worth it. Bless you, Julie
Love reading this about you Julie. Love you even more knowing this about you. Bless you for having the courage to share this with us.
We all have our struggles, every single one of us. This is the human condition. To be open and vulnerable is to let love in. I feel closer to you too my friend, after reading of your challenges you shared on Instagram not long ago. It’s hard to open up. I almost relived the pain in writing this…be this too is healing. It is also a powerful reminder of how God is in charge no matter what I think. And He is so good. Blessings, Julie
Anita Williams says
God is good. I think god needed his child again (you). I struggled with cancer removed 6” from my head just two years ago. Like you i put god last. He woke me up did he ever. My head is still healing but he’s in control and I have great faith and trust in him. You have beautiful children and a wonderful family I’m. so happy god decided to intervene. I had chills when I read your story I felt like you no one understood. Thank you for sharing your story.
Anita, Wow, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. You are a miracle and what a blessing. To hear your testimony is amazing. My infertility struggle ended years ago but the powerful impact on my faith remains. I have not walked a perfect path of faith, far from it. I want to take back control often. But often too I feel His love, listen for His whispers, and know He is guiding me. May God continue to bless you, Anita. Your friends, Julie & Jodie
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to share a personal journey of struggle, especially to people like me who don’t even know you, so Thank You! For me it’s an awareness, an awakening you can find anywhere. In your own home, while traveling, a friends home, church, during your darkest days, your brightest days. It’s a knowing that’s better than the best hug, and it’s free. And we all could use a Free Hug! ????
Gale, Thank you for your beautiful thoughtful reply. Jodie urged me to write this. I knew she was right. I thought to myself that if I can help someone with your similar (or unique) struggles by writing this it would be worth my efforts and vulnerability. God bless, Julie
Omg Julie, the story about clomid and you in the closet just breaks my heart! I am sooo beyond glad that your story has an amazing happy ending!! And your kids ARE beautiful!!
Bette Anderson says
Julie, dear one, what a beautiful, heartfelt story, so much of it I wasn’t even aware of. Your blog is a wonderful format for sharing, healing, helping others who face similar challenges, and “free hugs.” I love that. I hope Bianca, Frederick, and Julian all will read this. They have to know how much they were wanted! I, too, had to
wait about 12 months before I conceived you and Jodie. I remember wondering if it was ever going to happen? I never felt so blessed when I found out I was not only having one child, but I was having two! I felt doubly blessed. The doctor asked me upon delivering you, “Do you want a boy first or a girl?” I replied, “I want a girl first as I know the second one will be a boy!” Well, voila . . . two GIRLS!!!
Aw Mama, How beautiful for me to read your reply. Probably like it was for you to find and read my story 🙂 I’ve read many touching comments on our blog, but this has to be the most special. Thank you for taking the time. God has blessed us too many times to ever count. To God all the glory. Love you more than words, Julie
Heather Olinde says
Oh my goodness, Julie! I can’t tell you how closely this resonates with me. I went through 3 years of infertility and 2 miscarriages before delivering my 1st of 3 healthy boys. Mine was unexplained as well. I tried clomid to no avail. Then went on to the injectables. I had a failed attempt with the injectables and knew I couldn’t afford another round (my insurance didn’t cover). Like you, this struggle drew me into a relationship with God that I never knew before. I laid it all before Him and knew that His plan for my life was perfect and that I’d be okay no matter what the outcome. It “just so happened” that my fertility doc was looking for a nurse (which I am). I applied and was offered the job. As his employee, I was able to continue therapy at no cost. I cannot begin to tell you the number of women I was able to minister to during my time there. I know without a doubt that this wall all a part of God’s plan. There is so much more to my story, but I know my space is limited here. God is soooo good, my sweet Friend! Thank you for sharing your story and God’s faithfulness!
Wow I am so glad to hear that this resonated with you on such a personal level. Thank you for sharing your story with us and yes God is so so good and His plan is greater than all else. It’s amazing to see Him work such miracles in our lives. God Bless dear friend, Jodie & Julie
I love to read your blog and was so touched by your story of infertility! Thank you for sharing. I too have struggled to get pregnant and was blessed through IVF with a little
boy and girl. Life is good! Children are such a gift & I cherish them more because I faught for them!
Rosyln, Thank you for reading and even more, for leaving your kind and heartfelt reply. It’s true that when something doesn’t come easily and we have to fight for it our appreciation naturally grows. God’s plan is always to teach us and help us grow, so I believe that our paths were for His purposes. So wonderful that we are now so blessed. Thank you again for sharing your story with us. Blessings always, Julie & Jodie
Liah @liahlaneblog says
Thanks for sharing your story with me, I have pcos and it has been a struggle. I was blessed with one son (he’s 9). Now we are wanting another child I am soon to start clomid. Your post is another reminder that the Lord is in control and has not left me and has our baby stored up waiting for us when it is time. Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! It means so much to me that my story affected you and resonated with you! Thank you again for the sweet comments and we hope you continue to find inspiration on our blog in the future! XO ~ Jodie & Julie
Hi Julie, thank you for sharing your story! We have been trying to conceive for 2 years, and have had one failed IVF cycle. It was devastating. In Australia where we live, a cycle can cost up to $15k and so not only are we emotionally burdened with the why’s, but we are also very concerned about that financial impact. Recently, I have had this absolute knowledge that our journey is no coincident. Where before I felt overwhelmed with anxiety and worry, I now feel at ease. I don’t know what the future will bring, but concentrating on all of our blessings and the faith that I have found through this journey is softening the once hard edges of infertility.
Your story made me smile, just as your gorgeous Instragram stories do.
Wow, I am so glad this post resonated with you on such a personal level. It means so much to me that you shared your story with us. Thank you for the sweet words, and I know that God certainly has a plan for you and encourage you to stay strong in this difficult time.
Blessings and love,
Jodie & Julie
Hi Julie, Thank you for sharing your story. I related to so much of it myself and am so glad you had a happy ending too!
I appreciate you linking to my post with infertility stories from other women- thank you!
I am so glad you could relate to this post. And yay for happy endings of course! It is my pleasure to share your story and others to create awareness and show people this is a real issue.
Lots of love,
Jodie and Julie
Mary Kate Robertson says
I have been trying for 3 years to get pregnant and needed help! i have Been going to the doctors but still nothing. The doctor said that me and my husband are fine and I don’t know where else to turn. Until one day my friend introduce me to this great fertility specialist who helped her marriage and also made her pregnant, So I decided to contact this doctor micheal casper after interaction with him he did ask me some health question and also instructed me on what to do and apply fertility herbal remedy he recommended, after then i should have sex with the my husband or any man I love in this world, And i did so, within the next one month i went for a check up and my doctor confirmed that i am 2weeks pregnant. I am so happy!! if you also need help to get pregnant you can be able to reach him on contact email email@example.com
Oh I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles with infertility. You are not alone my friend. But we are so happy to hear that you were able to conquer this obstacle and have come out stronger. Thank you for sharing your story, because there are others out there who need to hear this. God bless you.
Lots of love,
The Design Twins