As a labor and delivery nurse, the better half of my twenties were spent bringing babies into the world. I watched as couples became parents. I watched men cry as I handed them their children for the first time. That part always got me. Everyone could be crying, but as soon as the dad cried, I was done for. I held newborn babies and dreamt of the day I would hold my own baby, and watch my husband tear up as he held our child. 

Fast forward a few years, and I met my husband on Tinder. One of my favorite qualities of his Is how much he loves kids. He was a camp counselor in high school and a Big Brother through Big Brother Big Sisters. A year and a half into dating, we got engaged. We always talked about our future kids and decided about a year and a half into our marriage that we were ready to start our family. I was in graduate school to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and I would graduate a few months before our baby would be born if all went according to plan. HA, “plan”, how ironic, am I right?

Working in the medical field, I was paranoid from the get-go. After a few months of trying, I asked my husband’s primary care doctor to order a semen analysis since my periods had been super regular. When we got the results back, we were shocked. They showed abnormal morphology. I sent a copy to my midwife, and she sent him to have a second test, thinking maybe the results were incorrect. The second test showed more of the same, so she referred us to a fertility center in our town.

Once there, they performed blood work on me, and then came the second blow. I had Diminished Ovarian Reserve. With a limited egg supply and my biological ticking about 10 years ahead, we went straight into intrauterine insemination (IUI). We did two rounds, and both failed. Let me tell you what, those periods broke me. I had felt like my body was failing me before, but now it felt like it was mocking me. Here we were pouring thousands of dollars into fertility treatments, and it still wouldn’t do the one thing it was created to do. At this point, we were getting into the holiday season, and my husband and I decide to stop treatment and go straight into IVF in the new year.

I would be lying if I said infertility hadn’t broken me. I would be at work, helping deliver babies, and I would get patients on drugs, pregnant from one-night stands, patients from prison, etc. Sometimes, I would get asked if I had kids. When I would say no, some patients would tell me I was L U C K Y.  I went home countless nights and bawled, selfishly, at how unfair life was. I would ask God why I didn’t get to be a mother when those women did.

I’ll be the first to admit that I know how wrong that is. How cruel that is to ask. But infertility doesn’t care. It isolates you and it twists your thoughts. It speaks lies over you and makes you feel like a failure. To add to my pity party, two of my best friends gave birth to two of the most beautiful humans I’ve ever seen during this time. It’s crazy how happy you can be for someone, but how jealous you can be at the same time.

One thing I have learned through this process is that we are not in control. I know that’s cliché, and rather obvious, but as someone who likes to plan things to a T, this hit close to home for me. I’ve literally dedicated my life to helping women become mothers and learn to be empowered about their bodies, and these are the two things I’ve struggled with the most. I call women weekly to tell them they are pregnant and wish so terribly I would get that call. I teach women to navigate PCOS and endometriosis, and yet have no explanation for my infertility.

I could spend my days crying and wallowing in self-pity, but I’m learning to embrace our story. No, this isn’t the journey I would have chosen for my husband and me, but it’s the hand God gave us. He didn’t give it to us to be cruel, He gave it to us because He knew if we leaned on Him, we would excel. So that’s what we will do.

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So far, we have undergone 3 egg retrievals and an endometrial receptivity analysis (ERA). With our limited numbers, my doctor wanted to make sure my endometrium was in tip-top shape. It was (PRAISE). Each egg retrieval resulted in 3 eggs every time, and we ended up with two genetically normal embryos. We transferred our beautiful baby boy on September 3rd.

We found out on December 1st, at 15 weeks and 4 days, his heart had stopped beating. I gave birth to our son, Wellston Hisey Morton, on December 2nd. He weighed 3oz, was 7 inches long, and was the most beautiful baby we have either seen. We plan to do another egg retrieval and another embryo transfer later this year. We pray that it works, but we know that if things don’t go according to “plan,” we will still be parents someway, somehow.

So it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have selfish and sad thoughts, but it’s not okay to let the doubts and the depression win. We keep fighting, and we keep moving forward. We may not win this battle, but we will win the war, and what a victorious day that will be. 

Alexandra Morton is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner who runs the Instagram account @empowering_you. She originally started it as a page to help cultivate empowerment in regards to female health, but incidentally, it also became a place to share her journey through infertility. She has been married to her husband for 3 years.