Infertility Awareness: Beckie’s Story

April is Infertility Awareness month. I chose four amazing women to share their infertility story each Friday on the blog this month. This is for all of you who know what it’s like to struggle for something that comes so naturally to most. We wish, we hope, and we power through for the dream of creating a family. Sometimes the world seems so against us. But one thing I know for sure is… you are not alone. 

Meet Beckie & Eric

Beckie-Eric3

Beckie is 31 years old with the diagnosis of… unexplained infertility and pregnancy loss. Her story is unique because she actually spent a few years in her 20’s donating her eggs. She donated her eggs the max FDA allowed amount… 6 times. #HolyCrap Just out of the goodness of her beautiful soul.

Beckie’s interview:

Mallory: Where are you from?
Beckie: Currently living in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI

Mallory: How and when did you meet your spouse?
Beckie: I like to say we have a modern love story because we met on Match.com. The best $120 I’ve ever spent!

Mallory: What do you and your spouse do for a living?
Beckie: I’m a Care Coordinator for a Fetal Center at a Children’s Hospital and Eric is a third shift Police Officer.

Mallory: What is one thing we should know about you?
Beckie: Since I was young I knew I wanted to be two things in life, a wife and a mother. I’ve never really felt so strongly about anything else.

Mallory: Let’s start from the beginning  when you donated your egg. What made you want to donate?
Becky: I was single when I first started donating and didn’t plan on having children any time soon. I remember thinking “If I didn’t have the means to have my own children, I pray someone could help me like this.” 

Mallory: Did you have any idea you’d struggle with infertility in the future?
Beckie: I felt really positive about what I was doing each cycle. I didn’t think about the risks in depth at the time because I was so happy to please the recipient couple. They were counting on me. In retrospect, I feel like egg donation gave me a false sense of confidence in my fertility, so when I got married and started trying to conceive, I was absolutely devastated when it wasn’t happening.
Mallory: How old were you?
Beckie: I was 27 when I donated. I was actually in my first donor cycle when I met my husband. He continued to support me donating while we dated, were engaged and I had my last cycle just months before our wedding.
Mallory: Is there any resentment/frustration/anger toward your decision to donate your eggs?
Beckie: I’ll never regret donating my eggs. I’m on the other side of the fence now and am close to so many women who use donor eggs. During this journey our goals change and in the end we all just want to be parents. I was an anonymous donor so I will never know the outcomes of my donations, but I pray I was able to give someone else the opportunity to get the family I now know how badly they must have wanted. I’ll always wonder deep down inside if egg donation impacted my ability to have children somehow.
Mallory: How/when did you first decide you were ready to start trying for a baby?
Beckie: Eric and I were always on the same page when we were dating and it was always our plan that we’d start trying as soon as we were married.

Mallory: When did you first notice there was a problem?
Beckie: We got pregnant the first month we tried, but miscarried early on. A fluke, we thought. But as we tried again and again, we were having either a chemical pregnancy or weren’t getting pregnant at all. I knew after a few losses in a row that something was definitely not right.
Mallory: How/when did you get diagnosed with infertility?
Beckie: Most couples get diagnosed with infertility after 12 months of trying and not conceiving, but we were diagnosed fairly early on. Having recurrent losses, then not getting pregnant at all for many months, we knew something was not right.
Mallory: How did you come to the decision to finally see a RE? How did you feel about this decision? Was Eric on board?
Beckie: I had been seeing an OB who was willing to help in any way he could, but one day his nurse called me and basically said he was breaking up with me, he could no longer help me and I needed to be referred to a RE.
Mallory: Tell me about your RE… what did you guys try first? And how did it go?
Beckie: When we were referred to an RE I went to the same provider I had seen years prior when I was an egg donor. We had history. He has great bedside manner and takes the time to engage and answer all your questions. We had high hopes. We started with lots of testing which all came back normal.
Mallory: How many medicated cycles, IUI cycles, and/or IVF cycles have you endured?
Beckie: We did 5 medicated cycles with Letrozole or Clomid, 1 IUI and we’re currently doing our second IVF.
Mallory: Did you take any breaks between cycles? Why or why not?
Beckie: We’ve never truly stopped trying to conceive since we started 2.5 years ago. The months we were in between treatment and doing tests we were also trying naturally. 
Mallory: When did you decide to pursue more advanced treatments like IVF? Was this a difficult decision?
Beckie: Our decision to do IVF happened very abruptly. We were impatient after over a year of trying with the same results and wanted to give having a baby our best chance.
Mallory: What was the hardest part about IVF?
Beckie: The hardest part of IVF has definitely been staying positive and regaining hope after each disappointment. I always pray that my husband can be strong when I’m weak and for strength when I can tell he is struggling. This journey is not just about one devastating event, it’s grieving a loss each cycle that doesn’t work.

3 Tile Infertility Pic
Mallory: Urg, that’s so true! What was the most surprising thing you learned after going through IVF?
Beckie: I never expected to find an incredible community of women to go through this journey with. I connected with an online community back when we first saw our RE and they’ve been by my side rooting for me ever since. I truly believe I could not have gotten through some really dark moments without all their support. One of my favorite quotes has come to be “Surround yourself with people who get it.” 
Mallory: I couldn’t agree more! What is the hardest part about your fertility journey?
Beckie: I think the hardest part about this journey has been feeling like my life is on hold while everyone else’s life around me continues on. It’s difficult to watch this process be so easy for the people around us while we’re struggling so much.
Mallory: Did you decide to tell anyone outside of your spouse about your struggle? If so, who? Has this been helpful for you?
Beckie: We’ve been fairly private about our journey until more recently. We told our families, a few select friends and coworkers early on because we had been so vocal about trying for a baby after we got married that people started to inquire when we weren’t sharing any news. I’ve learned that not everyone has to understand your journey and the choices you make because it’s not theirs to make sense of. I’ve endured a few too many insensitive and hurtful comments, sometimes from people who have the best of intentions and sometimes from people that don’t. I’ve been a lot more open about our journey recently because I’ve been so inspired by others that have shared their stories and the strength it has given me.
Mallory: Let’s talk about your hubby! How has your relationship with Eric been during this difficult journey? What were the hardest parts on the relationship? Was there anything that made your relationship stronger or better?
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Beckie
: I praise God that I have been given the best partner in life to go through this hard journey with. Our entire marriage has revolved around this struggle for 2.5 years and I have to continually remind myself how many blessings we have in life and not focus on the one thing we want and don’t have.
Mallory: Tell me one or two things that have been the most helpful to you during this journey.
Beckie: Make the time to take care of yourself. Whether it be a pedicure, a massage or an evening with a book, it’s so important to work at being in a good state of mind because infertility and loss can consume you. Make quality time with your spouse a priority and make a point to take talk about infertility off the table for your dates. Sometimes the journey consumes so much of our lives I know we need to take a step back and focus on just having fun together.
Mallory: What is one thing you wish you knew before you went through this journey?
Beckie: It’s hard to say as I’ve make an effort to not look back. There will always be so many what ifs that could consume my thoughts and I think at a certain point you just have to let those thoughts go and simply be present.
Mallory: What advice would you give someone about to make their first RE appointment?
Beckie: This process is all about patience and waiting. Try to keep yourself as busy as possible, stay as positive as you can and be your own advocate.
Mallory: How has this journey changed you? Your spouse? Your relationships with others?
Beckie: Our infertility and losses have changed us and the relationships we have in so many different ways. This has made us so strong, as individuals and in our relationship. In the first 2.5 years of marriage we have already gone through so much, I know we can take on whatever life throws at us the rest of our lives if we’ve gotten through this. ♦

You can connect with Beckie and follow her story on her instagram @Ttcbabyhen
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4 thoughts on “Infertility Awareness: Beckie’s Story

  1. Thank you so much for asking me to share our story, Mallory. I’m so honored! I’m always afraid talking about our infertility and recurrent losses will leave me feeling vulnerable, but it’s been so empowering the more I share.

    xo Beck

    Like

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