Seneca Epley

PERSONAL

Our IVF Story

This post is long overdue. I’ve been putting it on the back burner because I didn’t know where to start or the right words to say but done is better than perfect, right?

Jared and I wanted to start a family early in our marriage. I’ve always wanted to be a full-time mama. With my job as a photographer, we knew the transition to motherhood would be a smooth ride. I could make my own schedule and stay-at-home with kids. It all seemed like the perfect plan to us, but God knew we had some growing to do.

It was January 2014 when we started “trying” just six months after our wedding. We were sure we’d be pregnant by June or at least by Christmas – for statistics on the internet told me that most get pregnant within 6 months to a year. I learned statistics are just statistics.

In March of 2015, I decided to see a local doctor to begin running tests. Everything checked out perfectly and I was sent to the University of Iowa Hospital for further evaluation. After more tests there, I was “diagnosed” with Unexplained Infertility. The unknown factor really wore on me. My body was failing me and I didn’t even know why.

We had four IUI’s from November of 2015 – 2016 and I didn’t conceive. From there, the doctor encouraged us to consider IVF. We were unsure if that was the right route. It was very expensive and our insurance wasn’t going to cover it. And I was worried that choosing IVF was turning my back on God and His sovereignty. After a lot of prayers, we decided to proceed.

So in June 2016, I began my first IVF cycle. I won’t bore you with the details of medications I had to administer but it all went according to plan and on July 3rd, I had my eggs retrieved. Fifteen were retrieved, eleven were fertilized, four were cryopreserved, and one transferred.

Egg retrieval day! 

I went back on July 8th to have one embryo transferred. I had to wait 12 long days before finding out if the embryo implanted. As much as I wanted to take a home pregnancy test during that time, I didn’t. Honestly, I was too scared too. I’ve only seen negative signs on the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on them. July 20th came and Jared took the day off work and we drove down to Iowa City for the blood test at 8:00 am. After an agonizing wait, my phone rang at 2:00 pm with the best news of our lives – WE WERE PREGNANT!! Praise God! We celebrated by kayaking and dreaming of all things baby.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” 

 – Phillippians 4:6-7

This is a photo of Thea as an embryo and at 12 weeks. It just goes to show how great of a miracle life is!

Life up until infertility had been easy for me. I was healthy, found love early, no student loans, and had a good job. I basically had been given everything I’d ever desired. The Lord wanted to work in my life and to do so He needed to break me.

The Lord used my battle with infertility to humble me and bring me closer to Him by showing my need for dependence on Him. It confronted my need to trust Him completely, especially for things that were out of my control. I know I would be a different person if pregnancy came easy for me and for that, I am truly thankful for this journey.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”

– James 1:3

I am very aware that many don’t have the success with IVF as we did. I’m incredibly thankful that we received a positive outcome on the first cycle. By sharing our experience, I hope it gives encouragement to those who are in the wait.

One in eight woman struggle with infertility and that’s why I was compelled to share my story. You are not alone.

“I am the Lord God. I am merciful and very patient with my people. I show great love, and I can be trusted.”

– Exodus 34:6 

If any of you reading need someone to talk to, my door is always open. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. My goal is to build a community to support one another, giving each other the grace we need to fight this battle and learn to love and trust God even more than we did before.

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

– Romans 12:12

 

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