July 7, 2013
i’m so grateful that i had the opportunity to photograph amberly & taylor’s story.
here’s a snippit of their story they’ve shared with me:
I had some friends who had a hard time getting pregnant and I knew the possibility was always there, but I always expected we would be able to have children right when we wanted to. We had a savings account built up and we were prepared and ready to welcome a child into our home.
However, in a rollercoaster fashion, month after month passed. Each new month would start with excitement that maybe this month would finally be the month that it would happen. Then the month would end with disappointment and heartache as test after test came back negative. We didn’t understand why it wasn’t happening because we had prayed and received confirmation that we needed to move toward having a family.
In October 2011 I went to my first doctor appointment about the issue. The doctor didn’t seem very concerned and told us to wait until we had gone a year without getting pregnant. It was a huge disappointment to be told to wait that long again. We kept moving forward and the next few months just ended with the same disappointment and heartache the rest had ended with.
In December 2011 our focused changed a bit when we purchased our new house. We never stopped trying or hoping for a child but being busy with the house took our minds off of it a little bit. At the end of January 2012 I got back the test that we had been hoping and longing for, for over eight months. The test was positive. I was so excited to show Taylor the test and a celebration followed. We were so excited that our dream of becoming parents was happening.
In February 2013 I started having a feeling that something was wrong. I called the doctor and they said it was probably just because it was the first pregnancy and I was just worrying myself. I let it go for a few days but the feeling persisted so I called back and the doctor got me in for an appointment. I went to the appointment and an ultrasound was done. In the middle of the ultrasound the doctor went quiet and his manner changed. I knew something was wrong. He told me that I was miscarrying our baby. Confusion, frustration, and heartbreak followed as I prepared myself to face what was happening. I had to have blood work done every week to follow the miscarriage.
On my second week for blood work the nurse called me only an hour after the test had been done. Her voice sounded urgent and said I needed to go to the hospital right away and have another ultrasound done. I left work immediately and went to the hospital. The ultrasound technicians were whispering to each other the whole time and I just wanted to know what was going on but they weren’t allowed to tell me. When the ultrasound ended they said they were sending results to my doctor and I was to go to the office right away. There I received the news that I had a second baby but it was growing in my tubes. The pregnancy was ectopic. I could either have surgery to remove the pregnancy (but if they couldn’t see the pregnancy then they would have to remove my whole tube, lowering my chances of ever having children) or I could have a methotrexate (chemotherapy) shot and see if that would terminate the pregnancy for me. I opted to go with the shot. I was given strict instructions that if I had pain to go to the ER because if the tube ruptured I could lose my life. Many long days, an ER visit, and many blood tests later I was finally given clearance to return to my regular daily activities.
Even though the doctors declared me “back to normal”, our life was anything but that. We still had the heartache and grief to deal with. We still felt like there was a big hole in our life that needed to be filled. We still longed for a child to bring home with us. Many around were very helpful but many didn’t understand what we were going through. We would hear ladies all the time in the mall and public places complaining about their pregnancy and how they wished it could be over. We just wanted to take their place! We wanted a child and it seemed like everyone but us was getting our dream.
One thing that I have noticed is that infertility has affected each of us in different ways. The hard part about writing this is that it affects me in different ways depending on the situations that come up and the timing of them. There are even some days that I don’t even understand how it is affecting me, but I can tell that I am struggling to get through the day or a moment I am faced with.
I think the hardest thing for me to see is how this has been affecting my wife and the feelings she has in response to the infertility. There will be days and weeks where I can see in her eyes the pain she is going through which often comes with the terrible realization that there is literally nothing I can do to help her. It is hard to watch your wife smiling and laughing, but knowing full well that there is no happiness or joy behind it. The tears later flow when she feels nobody is watching or the pain becomes too real and strong to hold in any more. Other days, she would curl up on the bed where no blanket, no word, and no affection could penetrate the emotions that she had spent all the energy of the day holding in. It is at these moments that I feel helpless, hopeless and that I have failed to accomplish what everything inside of me desires to give her… happiness.
Even though we still may have a lot to go through in our story, we have found hope and friendship with other couples that are going through similar things. We have also grown closer each other and to the Lord. He has promised us children and we know he will keep his promise. We don’t know how or when it will happen, but it will happen someday.
In all of this, there have been so many blessings that have come through these experiences with infertility. I have felt the Lord pulling us through so many hard times that it is hard for me to doubt His existence and presence in our lives. He has helped us through every financial struggle, through every moment of pain and tears. He has helped us move forward when all we wanted to do was give up and…well… do whatever people are supposed to do when they give up. There have been miracles we have seen in other aspects of our lives not directly related to our infertility. We have also seen God’s hand in how He often uses those around us to bless our lives. People from church have helped bring food and words of kindness. Our families have done many things to show their support and we have learned the value of good friends. We have also seen how good people can be that you would otherwise never have met or known without having gone through this struggle. I just hope that we can be like those around us who have gone through these struggles with infertility and have used their experiences and wisdom in helping others along its often lonely and painful path.