How Infertility Changed Me

This time 5 years ago, I was desperate to become a mother.

At this point we knew that IVF would most likely be our only option for conceiving. I was OK with that, but I don’t think I could’ve anticipated the roller coaster ride that my body, mind and marriage were about to take off on. The injections, the procedures, the tests, the waiting (oohhh the waiting)… it was all rough. There were setbacks and disappointments. There were times that I was convinced I would never get to be a mother. But now… somehow… I’m here. With two healthy, happy kids calling me mommy. A fact that blows me away daily when I step back and think about it.

While I wouldn’t say that I’m thankful for my infertility (by any means), I do know one thing: it changed me for the better. Here’s how.

How Infertility Changed Me

It strengthened my marriage. When your husband sees you ugly-cry for weeks on end and still loves you, you know he’s a keeper. In all seriousness though, it was our journey and we were a team. We leaned on each other and came out stronger than ever.

It made me more faithful. I tried for awhile to carry the load myself. I worried and stressed, then worried and stressed some more. Then one day I handed it over to God and made every effort to replace my worries with prayers. This was most definitely a turning point in my faith and a time that I’ll never forget.

It taught me empathy. Since opening up about my infertility, I’ve been able to connect with so many other women going through the same thing. There’s something freeing about being able to talk to someone who understands your struggle. And for me, sending words of encouragement and providing support to others has been an enormous blessing.

It gave me a deeper appreciation for the gift of motherhood. I’m in no way saying I love my children more than a mom who conceived naturally. I’m just saying that because of my experience, I often have surreal moments of gratitude. Moments where I can’t even believe they’re mine. Moments that make me appreciate the messes, the tantrums and the sleepless nights… sometimes anyway!

It made me realize that I don’t know everyone’s story. When we were in the thick of the IVF process, I remember noticing a woman pushing her two young kids around Target. I couldn’t understand why she had it so easy. There she was with two babies when I couldn’t even have one! Well now here I am, pushing my cart full of kids through Target, wishing I could share my story and hug every woman who looks my way with an aching heart. The moral of the story? You never know what someone is else is going through.

If the place I was at 5 years ago is where you’re at today, I pray this brings you encouragement. I hope you know that the moment you hold your baby in your arms, what you’ve been through will fade to the background. Those struggles of the past will melt away. You’ll no longer be defined by your infertility. Instead you’ll just be mom.

Vanessa lives in Lenexa with her husband of 6 years, Chris, and their two sweet kiddos--Arden, 3, and Nash, 9 months. After 4 fun years in Houston, she is now enjoying being back in KC and getting to know her hometown all over again...this time as a mom. She loves old things, country music, cookie dough ice cream, and French bulldogs--especially the crazy one named Hazel that lives in her house. When she's not doing puzzles, pushing swings, or carrying a chubby baby on her hip, you can find her watching Fixer Upper reruns and trying to channel her inner Joanna Gaines. She thinks being a mom is by far the best job she's ever had--and not just because it allows her to drink extra caffeine and avoid pants with any kind of buttons. You can read more over at Vanessa's blog, Sunflower State of Mind

8 COMMENTS

  1. Sweet words. Motherhood is such an amazing gift, I hope all those that wish for it get to experience it.
    Those kids are so lucky to have you as their Mommy!

  2. I had a similar journey of infertility & IVF to get my two babies, and have thought & felt the exact same way! Moments of surreal happiness & disbelief, yes. Stronger marriage & faith, for sure. And most unexpectedly, connections with women who are encouraged by my story. Thank you for so beautifully sharing yours!

  3. I did not struggle with infertility but had a period of unexplainable miscarriages in between my 2nd and third child. I agree with so much of what you have expressed here, and I actually now (on the other side) would say I am grateful for those three years. In retrospect it was brief but in real time it felt like eternity because I could not see the end. I am now days away from having my fourth and while I am at times overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for that many little souls, I also am overwhelmed at the reality that I get to do this. Thanks for sharing your heart!

    • Thank YOU for sharing this, Marie. I agree that looking back it seems brief, but while you’re living it time seems to move so slowly. So glad to hear your happy ending!

  4. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on becoming a mom! Infertility is such a difficult topic and yet there are so many families burdened by it! It’s good to hear words of hope.

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