Infertility: Searching For Answers When There Is No Explanation


From the earliest days of our relationship, my husband Bryan and I knew we wanted to have children and often talked about how excited we were to become a Mom and a Dad. We started trying to get pregnant shortly after we got married. With no real clue what lay ahead, we started planning and dreaming and focusing on growing our family.

Seven months into our journey, I started having a lot of random pain/cramps during the day. Because we’d had no luck for seven months, I went to my doctor. She ran a few tests and, because of the history of endometriosis in my family, sent us to a fertility specialist to look into the situation. I had an HSG test (where they check to see if your tubes are open), which revealed a fully blocked left tube. In fact, my doctor was concerned with “how blocked” it was and scheduled a pretty immediate laparoscopic surgery to remove what he thought would be severe endometriosis.

While my doctor discovered a small amount of endometriosis, the blocked tube was actually a broken tube – that led to no ovary on my left side. I had either been born without it, or it had been damaged and lost when I was a child. The good news was that I still had one functioning ovary, so we could continue trying for a baby.

After a few months of no luck, our doctor prescribed Clomid (which I not-so-fondly like to refer to as the MOST AWFUL DRUG EVER). I gained five pounds every month I was on it. It made me sick. It made me angry. It made me have hot flashes. It was terrible. I stopped taking it after two months, ten pounds, and a lot of tears.

We gave up and forgot about it all, vowing to start again a few months later.

And then I was pregnant.


I was really pregnant.

Tears, high fives, more tears, screams, etc, etc, etc. I’ve never seen my husband so happy. Well, until 9 months later.

My pregnancy with Brady was a story all itself. And so was his birth. In the back of my mind, I felt like we’d CONQUERED IT. I praised the Lord every day that we hadn’t had to go the route of the BIG GUNS – IUI, IVF, and every other crazy amazing thing that we can do now to have babies.

As Brady approached his first birthday, we decided it was time to try for Baby #2.

Sixteen months later, we were diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” (the stupidest, most aggravating term ever).

We finally had a sit-down with our fertility doctor where he told us IVF was our only remaining option – after multiple failed IUIs, years on crazy fertility drugs that made me feel awful, and more procedures/scars on my belly than I ever dreamed of having.

We laughed nervously and told him, But we weren’t supposed to get here. We have a child. We’re capable.”

So we gave up on the whole fertility thing. We stopped it all.

We took a break and enjoyed Christmas. We celebrated Brady’s third birthday. We worked hard at our jobs and found ourselves enjoying being a family of three more than anything in the world.

Still, I cried at the idea that our family may never grow.

There are women out there whose arms are EMPTY. There are women out there who DON’T know the feeling of having a baby placed in their arms. And I did. I had been blessed once. And I felt so selfish asking God for another baby when my prayers had already been graciously answered once.

pregnantThen Bryan and I decided to make the scary decision and give IVF one shot. Just one. If it didn’t work, we would celebrate our family of three and be unendingly grateful that we’d been able to have a child together and move on. The scariest part of the whole process was picking up the phone, calling our nurse, and telling her that we decided to move forward with IVF and that we were ready.


The day before Father’s Day, I started feeling bad. I took the test and shook as I held it under the bedroom light. That little stick determined the rest of our lives. That’s a lot of pressure for one little stick. And just as fast as could be… those two little lines appeared.


A few weeks later, we received the surprise of our lives when the sonographer confirmed two babies with fluttering little heartbeats.

This is my story. You have your story. Unfortunately, 1 in every 8 women has a story.

Infertility is hard. We alienate ourselves. We become unbearably lonely because we think we are the only ones who have to travel these difficult roads. I hope if you are reading this, you can pull this virtual hug out of your computer screen because you are not alone.

Not at all. We all stand with you.

And we pat you on the back for every step forward you make – no matter WHAT road you choose to grow your family.

And the tears are ok. It’s ok to have bad days. Know also that an incredible plan was put into place long ago, and you are in the middle of it.

The ending, whatever it may look like, however your family may grow, will be the perfect completion.

It may not be easy, but it’ll always be worth it.

Guest Contributor: Emily Ley

fertility Emily LeyEmily is the founder of Simplified®, a brand of planners and organizational tools for busy women and creator of The Simplified Podcast. Emily has been featured in Forbes, Glamour, and Good Housekeeping. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product at the National Stationery Show, as well as Small Business of the Year, Female Owned Business of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year by Studer Community Institute. Emily and her team collaborated with AT-A-GLANCE® to create gift and planning collections carried in Office Depot, Staples, Walmart, and Target. Emily is the author of national bestselling books Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy, A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living, and When Less Becomes More: Making Space for Slow, Simple, and Good and Growing Boldly: Dare to Build a Life You Love. Now, as an author, entrepreneur, wife, and mother to three, Emily lives in Pensacola, Florida, with her husband, Bryan, and their son Brady and twins, Tyler and Caroline.



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