It was Valentine’s Day 2014 when my husband and I decided that we should start a family.  We were excited and ready for the next chapter that would change our lives forever.  

But after a year of trying, we still weren't pregnant. At that point, we decided to see a doctor and run some tests.  When the test results came back normal, we were given the oh-so-helpful diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility.’  Essentially nothing looked wrong, and the doctor couldn’t give us any answers regarding why we hadn't been able to get pregnant.  This rocked me to my core. Not only were we not getting pregnant, but we didn't even have any answers. Not understanding the reason for it added insult to injury.

Finally, after two years of unsuccessful attempts, we saw a fertility specialist who recommended Clomid and IUI (intrauterine insemination). We were thrilled and truly believed we had found the answer to our infertility! Following our first round of IUI, we went to Target (duh...). I walked the children’s books aisle and picked up the first book I saw, Wish by Matthew Cordell.  This sweet book is about two elephants who desire to have a baby. Along the way, the elephants are faced with unexpected challenges and disappointment. It wasn't long until I bawling on the floor in Target; my husband sat down beside me and wrapped his arms around me. I bought the book as a symbol of our journey. I still occasionally read through it to remind myself just how far we’ve come since that first round.

Illustration from  Wish  by Matthew Cordell

Illustration from Wish by Matthew Cordell

After 4 disappointing rounds of IUI, we gave up. I have never felt so hopeless and desperately alone as I have throughout this journey. Tyler and I decided not to tell anyone, not even our families because we just felt too embarrassed. Infertility just isn't something people talk about openly, so we truly felt like we were the only ones experiencing anything like this. We were ashamed and didn't want anyone else to know what was wrong with us. But despite feeling so alone, we were found that we were alone together. We really learned to rely and lean on each other, and our marriage deepened during this time.

A few months later, we slowly began telling people. As soon as I started to share my experience, it was like the floodgates opened. I wasn't the only one. I had no idea just how many people were experiencing the same or similar issues. It has been so liberating to talk about our struggle and realize we're not alone.

We still haven't reached our happy ending. We still deal with the heartbreak of not having our own children yet, but now I can look back and see what God has done for me. Throughout this season, he has strengthened our marriage in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine. Not long ago, he lovingly brought me back to this community I desperately needed. I have grown stronger in my faith and found an overwhelming network of support from family and friends. He has truly blessed me and shown his faithfulness in the middle of this storm.

My wish is to fill my home with the cries and laughter of my children. And I'm still waiting for the fulfillment of that wish. But it is also my wish that you, whoever you are, would know that you are not alone as you walk through whatever season God has you in.   

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
— Isaiah 41:10