Guest Blog Post: From Infertility to Hope and Beyond by Michele Talamo (a later mom)
My story begins with the joy and happiness of getting married at 37 year old (my husband was 39). We both wanted a family for so long and now was our chance to start one! Easy right? or so we thought! I was fortunate to get pregnant the second month after trying. This is wonderful I thought, or was it……I ended up having a miscarriage on Christmas Eve of 2007. How could this have happened? It never even crossed my mind but, it was our reality.
In January of the next year, I decided to see a fertility doctor. I figured, better start this process now and see what is going on. So there we went and began our battery of inquisitions, tests, prodding and poking, all to be told I have unexplained Infertility. What?? What is that? Why?? No definitive answers…so we decided the next step was to do fertility treatments. However, to our great surprise before we started treatments I got pregnant on my own again. Can this be, yes of course it can we thought, but, our guard was up and sure enough, I ended up having a miscarriage again at about five weeks along. The loss and sadness was almost too much for us but, our desire to have a baby was even greater. Thus, we went on to do 4 IUI’s with medications and all were unsuccessful. We just could not believe this was happening but, we went on to do an IVF cycle. Great, this will work, I thought and if I have multiples even better. I had hope after so much loss and sadness. We proceeded with doing the IVF…we put back in four embryo’s…four possible chances at a baby for us! Sure we were nervous but, willing to take the chance. In the end, it did not work. I could not even speak to the doctor. My feelings of despair and hopelessness over took me. I could not even talk about it or look at anyone pregnant. I had it, I was done with treatments. I just could not bare the pain anymore.
After some discussion with friends, I decided to try acupuncture, less invasive and one last effort…I proceeded to do this three times a week for two months..I laid in the acupuncture room with needles in me, hoping and praying this could be the answer. Two months later, we went on a vacation, more relaxed, holding out hope. To our great surprise, we came back to find I was pregnant. I must have gotten pregnant the week before we left for vacation. The elation, joy and excitement were palpable but, we were so scared. Would I miscarriage again?! Thankfully, at 39 years old, I again went for an ultrasound to hear the best sound I could hear….our babies heartbeat! As each week progressed, I held my breath. With each milestone, each month brought us closer to our dream of having a baby, becoming a family. I had an uneventful pregnancy and a somewhat uncomplicated delivery of a beautiful, healthy baby girl in February of 2010, four months shy of my 40th birthday! The blessing that was bestowed upon us is not measurable! It has brought us immense joy and love. But, our story did not end there.
At this point, I thought I beat infertility. My body was responding..a second child will be easy. When my daughter was four months old, we began trying again. We decided to forgo treatments and let it happen naturally. After two years of no results, I saw two other doctors, and the tests all came back with Secondary Unexplained Infertility. Really? I thought I was past this…now I am labeled again. I tried acupuncture again but, I was too excited and nervous to have my infant at home, so spending time with needles in my body was not working. I decided to let it go and just leave it to what was meant to be.
Fast forward a few years, and here I am with an almost five year old and me turning 45 in June. No second baby! Many tears have been shed, many prayers said! Even with a beautiful child, infertility leaves a scar….it leaves a woman feeling broken. You never look at a pregnant woman the same; you never lose those pangs of envy when you hear someone is pregnant. The pains is there, but what does happen is you reflect on the joys of motherhood and you marvel in each day it brings at being a mom. You realize you are not the same person you were before this journey started, but you may have come out the other side as a better person, a more caring and compassionate person….realizing you never know what someone is going through until you walk in their shoes. You become a different kind of mother! It’s my story, my journey that I am traveling with my husband and daughter. I still have hope even at almost 45 for another baby. But, I walk with a more peaceful step in our journey. I have learned to live in the now and appreciate where we have been taken and value the lessons shown to us.
Michele is a 44 year old mother to Lucia age 4.5. She was born and raised in the Bronx and lives in Yonkers with her husband Philip and daughter. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, holding a Master’s Degree from Fordham University. She has been in practice for 18 years and has worked in the healthcare field and most recently with the severely mentally ill. She also holds a Law Degree from Pace University. She is in the process of starting a private practice in Lower Westchester with the focus on Infertility Counseling. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.