Infertility: You Are Not Alone
I want to first off thank Brittany for asking me to share my story with you. My name is Caitlin and I have known Brittany since we were 8 years old. We have been through it all from emergency room visits to being in each other’s weddings, and everything in between. Enough about that, I want to get to the nitty-gritty, and I do not want you to miss it.
You see, when I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was to be a wife and a mom. I always pictured that “white picket fence American dream. I got the husband, the house, and the dogs. They’re great and all, but I want to tell you something, life doesn’t always go as planned. I had goals and dreams, and I still do, but my dream has been put on hold, for now at least.
I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in September 2019. Much like Baby Mark’s diagnosis with Cerebral Palsy, this did not come as a surprise to me.
What is this diagnosis and what does it mean for me?
What about my future family?
PCOS is an endocrine disorder that in simple terms has a ton of hormonal side effects and can cause infertility. I got married in January 2020 and my husband and I started trying for a baby almost immediately. More than a year has passed, and we still don’t have a child.
I am a planner, everything has to be prepared and each step has to be followed or I become very anxious about what’s going to happen next. I did hours of research, joined support groups, talked to other women with PCOS and infertility, listened to podcasts, the whole nine yards.
I met with countless doctors, who let me tell you, frustrated me to no end. The reality is, not many doctors other than reproductive endocrinologists know much about PCOS. All they know is what the textbooks tell them and that’s Metformin and birth control. I started the Metformin at the time of my diagnosis. For a full 3 months of taking this medicine I was beyond miserable.
If this is what having a baby meant going through, it wasn’t worth it.
When that didn’t work, I tried another medicine, it didn’t work either. I felt defeated.
The control freak in me took things into my own hands. I became my own advocate. I started taking herbal supplements and prenatal vitamins. I went back to the gym and I lost some weight. I focused on my mental health. I was a happier person, just one without a baby.
On January 5, 2021, I sat alone in the waiting room of the doctor’s office (Thank you COVID). I walked to the chair and the medical assistant took my vital signs. I was sent to the back where I sat in the chair, and waited for the doctor, alone. I sat anxiously, you guessed it, alone. The doctor walked in smiled and greeted me.
I wonder if he knew how broken I felt inside as I told him my story.
We laughed some and talked back and forth about a treatment plan to get medicine to help me ovulate. (It is common for PCOS patients to not ovulate)
Instead, I got the word that shattered my heart to its core.
What the heck does that mean? You mean to tell me everything I’d ever dreamed of, being a mom isn’t a possibility? I did everything right. I prayed, I prayed, and I prayed some more. Tears in the middle of those prayers asking, “Why God”? Here’s a secret my friend, come in close. Don’t “Why God”, just trust Him. Whew! Let me speak to myself for a second here. Trust God? I am a control freak, I can’t trust God, He doesn’t do things the way I want Him to.
I’m here to tell you, His plan is far greater than we can ever imagine, even when things don’t go according to our plan.
This last year and a half has been hands down some of the hardest moments of my life. I have felt guilt, I have felt physical and emotional pain, I have felt insecure, I have felt unworthy, I have felt inadequate. I have been grieving, much like Brittany and Travis had to grieve a child who was going to be different. I’ll tell you though, that tiny 1lb 7oz baby they have has changed the hearts of so many, including mine. He has proven to be resilient, joyful, kind, loving, and so many other things. I think we could all learn something from him.
So for now I’ll keep going to my doctors appointments, I’ll take the meds, I’ll keep praying, I’ll keep trusting that my time will come. One day I’ll have that miracle baby here to love. Until then, I’ll continue being Aunt CoCo to the coolest two-year-old I know.
Infertility is hard. Life is hard. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do it alone. Call a friend, call your momma (momma knows best), you can even call me. Hold on tight my friend, joy comes in the morning.
About the Author: Caitlin Wallace
My name is Caitlin and I am 27 years old. I live in the great state of Tennessee, but I call St. Augustine, Florida home. I am a wife to Garrison and a dog mom to my 2-year-old German Shepard Axel and a 3-year-old Black Lab named Daisy. My husband and I are both in Emergency Medical Services. I work on a ground ambulance as a paramedic and he works in a Pediatric Emergency Room as a Critical Care Paramedic. We met in Paramedic school in St. Augustine and started dating a little over a year later.
My husband moved to Tennessee, following his family and I stayed in Florida. Once we got serious, I decided to move to Tennessee to be with him. (Crazy following a guy right?!) I have lived here for 2 years and I’m still finding my place in the world. It has been nothing short of a challenge trying to fit in here. It has taken a while, but we have finally found a home church, joined a life group, and started to feel some sort of normalcy.
In the crazy year of 2020, we were able to get married, buy a house, work a ton (beyond grateful for that), and many other exciting things in our first year of marriage. One thing that has not been exciting is my journey with infertility. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and the last year has been filled with many doctors, many tests(some very painful ones too), and blood work what seems like once a week. As I share my journey with infertility, I want to be nothing but open with you. Infertility is hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve learned to show myself(and others) grace. I pray you enjoy the readings here not only by me but by Brittany. We all have an incredible story to tell!