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Cindy Maudsley's Infertility Story

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

Read Cindy's story here:

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Two IUI babies. One IVF baby. And one pandemic pregnancy during Covid with a set of spontaneous twins.

Our infertility journey is filled with sadness and heartache, but also so much hope and joy. It is a story truly filled with miracles.

We discovered our infertility shortly after we were married in 2007. After several months of trying and not being successful in getting pregnant, both my husband and I underwent numerous tests, ultrasounds, and blood work to see if something was wrong.

We eventually found out we had male factor infertility. 

We quickly moved right into doing an IUI. Our first round was successful and we were pregnant! 

Lyla was born in September 2009, and that’s when my tender heart began to heal.

Our second daughter, Phoebe, was born a little more than two years later. She came to us on the third round of IUI, and we thought we had beat infertility. I figured we would always do IUI a few times and then get pregnant. I didn’t anticipate that it would be another long seven years before we would get pregnant again. 

During those seven years I had many moments of ups and downs. There are so many emotions involved when you are experiencing infertility while also having other children. I knew what a blessing it was to have two children already, especially when so many people were struggling to have even one. So at times I didn’t think I had a right to be sad or to have the feelings I was having.

But what I have learned is that infertility, just like any trauma, deserves to be validated...I have come to believe my hard doesn’t invalidate someone else's.

After Phoebe was born, there were several years that we tried to get pregnant again.

During those years we did 16 rounds of unsuccessful IUIs and two rounds of IVF -- both of which ended in chemical pregnancies. 

After all those years of focusing on fertility treatments, and experiencing loss and disappointment time after time, we decided to take time off from pursuing fertility treatments. It was exactly what we didn’t realize we needed.

For years we tried so hard to add to our family. Our trips, outings, and activities were planned around my ovulation and doctor appointments. Any month where we would be out of town and not able to do an IUI, I would feel so depressed and upset.

For years I was pumped full of hormones, given shots, taking the time to drive across town to our clinic, waiting for emails from nurses and doctors, tracking my ovulation, planning just about anything I did each week around my fertility schedule.

I was an emotional wreck. My hopes were so high and then instantly dashed within moments. It was a cycle that happened every single month.

Our lives revolved around it. But I don’t regret any of it.

Because after all that time and our final round of IVF that ended in a chemical  pregnancy, my husband and I decided to stop. We needed it. Our bank account needed it, our marriage needed it, and our two beautiful daughters needed it.

And it took five years for me to finally admit that I needed it too.

For so long I was constantly looking to the next procedure and option. I couldn’t even imagine not “trying” for a baby. I couldn’t imagine saying “this is it.” But after so many let downs and feelings of hopelessness, I finally felt something else.

I felt the need to change our plans. We both did.

After years of actively pursuing fertility treatments, we could look back and know that we literally did everything we could to try and get pregnant. We did it all. And more. There were no regrets.

Although we didn’t end up with a pregnancy, we did gain perspective, empathy, compassion, and developed growth in areas we never knew we could.

Once I realized that taking a step back and changing our plans didn’t mean we were giving up -- I was able to actually take the break we needed. I never wanted to give up and admit we were done. But changing our plans to better our family was what we needed to do.

In that year off we took our girls to Disneyland (because before I would worry that I might be pregnant if we planned a trip, or what if we had an newborn -- we certainly couldn’t plan a trip in case of that), I planned play dates and luncheons with friends not worrying whether I had an appointment that day or not, we agreed to family trips not worrying about missing out on a month to do an IUI.

But more importantly we could breathe a little more. My body finally felt a little happier and a little more back to normal. My hormones readjusted. I didn’t take one shot or pill or medication. And it was amazing.

My heart healed a little, too. It would break a little here and there, but coming back from that was easier. We still continued to pray for a miracle of our own, and we hoped that we might be able to get pregnant miraculously on our own.

I learned how much I loved my family of four and how entirely grateful I was for our two daughters. I embraced our little family more than I had before and I truly found I could be content with “just” two kids.

I didn’t feel like we were giving up. We simply changed our plans while continuing to have faith in it.

There’s a reason we are called “infertility warriors,” and it’s because we live each day with pieces of our heart broken and scarred.

We live each day missing someone -- a someone who might be able to complete our family -- who we don’t even know yet. 

We live each day moving forward by going to work, to church,  by being a wife, a mom, a sister and a friend, while always feeling a little extra weight on our hearts and minds.

Being an infertility warrior simply means that you are choosing joy every day.  And when you do find that happiness and joy it’s not saying that what you’re going through isn’t important or hard anymore. It simply means you are a warrior because you’ve found out how to live with both. Joy and heartache.

After a couple of years of taking a break, I felt the nudge that maybe we should look into doing more treatments. I felt refreshed and stronger and ready to dip my toes in again. 

My husband felt good about it too, so we went back to our amazing fertility doctor and came up with a plan.

We decided to do a couple more rounds of IUI, and if they didn’t work we would move on to doing IVF again.

I was sure that IUI would work for us after all the time we took off. Unfortunately, after three more failed rounds of IUI, we were facing moving forward with IVF. Although those failed rounds of IUI broke me emotionally and  set me back in my healing process, I felt excited for the possibility of doing IVF again.

We began fundraising and saving -- determined to have enough money by the end of the next year.

But then one of our miracles happened, and that was finding out that during the years we hadn’t been doing fertility treatments, my husband’s employer added a fertility benefit to their health insurance plan.

We would have to pay our deductible, but after that we would be covered by insurance to do a couple rounds of IVF -- including medication.

This turn of events pushed up our plans and within a few months we were in the thick of the IVF process for a third time.

In May 2018 we found out that our one, perfect embryo that we implanted had stuck and I was pregnant after seven years of praying and hoping.

Ivy was born the following January and we felt content. She was our miracle IVF baby and she soon became that missing piece that we hadn’t given up on. 

After she turned one we had to decide whether or not we were done, or if we wanted to go back and implant one of our frozen embryos.We didn’t feel strongly one way or the other. We loved our little family and our little caboose baby, but there was still a feeling that maybe someone was missing.

In March 2020 we made an appointment to move forward with doing a frozen embryo transfer. However, this was during the beginning stages of Covid.

I did a consult over the phone with our doctor instead of going in person, and the next day he called me back and told me that all fertility treatments were going to be on hold due to the pandemic.

And I felt at peace.

I felt like maybe this was our answer. It would give us a few more months to decide if we were going to go trough with IVF again or not. 

But then another miracle happened. Something we had had prayed to happen for our entire marriage but never did.

A few weeks after learning we couldn't move forward with IVF, I  found out that I was pregnant.

After nearly 14 years of marriage and 14 years of not using birth control, I took a home pregnancy test and it was positive.

But that wasn’t all. I went in for an early ultrasound around five weeks. My husband couldn't come with me due to the Covid restrictions, and I remember laying on the bed while my doctor looked around on the ultrasound. He looked at me and asked if I had taken any fertility treatments for this pregnancy.

I laughed and told him “nope!” He then asked me if I was seeing what he was seeing. I told him no, and that’s when he told me that there were two.

I remember laughing and asking him if he was joking with me. Surely, that had to be it!

There was no way that after all of our fertility treatments, this was when we would get pregnant with twins.

But it was true. And it was a miracle. 

Going through a pregnancy during the Covid pandemic was not always easy but it was made completely worth it when our two little miracles were born at 35 weeks on October 29, 2020.

Our first son Jones and our fourth daughter Holland came into this world and completed our family and everything made sense.

Looking at our five beautiful children, you would never suspect that infertility was part of our story.

You wouldn’t know about the dozens and dozens of doctor appointments, 18  failed IUIs, two rounds of  failed IVF, or the three polypectomy surgeries I endured.

You wouldn't know that we paid thousands of dollars in treatments, spent hundreds of hours with doctors, nurses, in the hospital or at the fertility  clinic. 

You couldn’t see the hundreds of ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, shots and pills taken.

You wouldn't know how many times my stomach had been in knots as I’ve waited for important emails and phone calls from medical professionals, as I’ve waited anxiously in nothing but a gown in a cold doctor’s office. 

I’ve felt the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and have felt as if my world was crumbling down around me. I’ve grieved. I’ve wept in my bed for hours. I’ve held in tears at baby showers, dinner with friends or other social gatherings when anything baby or pregnancy related came up.

I’ve bit my tongue when someone told us to just relax, “move on,” questioned our desire to want more kids, or reminded us to be grateful for the children we already had.

I’ve walked around like a zombie due to hormone medication that made me feel like someone I didn’t even recognize. I watched myself become bitter and angry. I know what it feels like to have no control over how many kids we have, when we wanted to be done having babies or trying to come to terms with the fact that I might never be pregnant again.

I've questioned my worth, my faith and whether I was even deserving of having more children.

But I firmly believe we are given trials to help us. We are given them to help others, to gain compassion, empathy and perspective. We are given trials so we can see the good in others and so we can strengthen our faith in God and in ourselves.

Through all the years of heartache and sadness I also experienced tremendous peace and clarity. After hitting rock bottom I was always given the most amazing moments of joy and happiness and I could physically feel the prayers of others given on our behalf.

I was on the receiving end of so much goodness and service that I now understand how much a seemingly small act of kindness can mean the world to someone.

When at times it felt like the world was falling apart I knew that there was still so much good in the world.

And even though it was hard. So hard. I feel blessed to have gone through it.

Even during some of the hardest years I always felt that it was a privilege to experience infertility. 

Walking the halls of our fertility clinic and going through the amazing process of IVF and IUI helped me  gain a greater perspective for the miracle of life. For science. For medical professionals who dedicate their lives to helping others grow their family.

I never felt closer to heaven than when in the thick of a fertility treatment. I believe angels here on earth and in heaven are always close by. I truly feel it is an honor to have been able to experience things only someone going through infertility can.

My journey has had so many ups and downs. I’ve felt at peace and also felt mad and angry. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and to feel when it comes to infertility. I’ve learned to give myself and others grace as we’ve walked this road together.

I still can’t believe that after all the years of struggling to build our family we would end up with five children. And I don’t know why it happens for some and not for others. It’s not because we deserve it more or prayed harder than someone else. I just have to believe that this was how it was meant to be.

These babies were supposed to be in our family.

 It’s easy to be grateful for a trial when you are on the other side of it. But to anyone else waiting for your miracle I would tell them to do what feels right for you. It’s okay to be jealous and mad and hurt and sad.  As long as you don’t stay in that place forever. Find ways to find joy and feel peace. I wish I could take the hurt away from everyone who longs for a child. It’s the noblest desires and it’s not fair that some have to go through so much pain. I hope so much that eventually everyone will end up on the other side of their heartache and get their miracle , too.

InstagramCindy Maudsley

Facebook: Cindy Maudsley

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

To read an anonymous infertility journey, click HERE.

1 comment

  • I came across your site through a lady I follow on Instagram. We too went through infertility and ended up doing IVF three times. Our second time, we had triplets who are now 18 years old. It truly was hard and heartbreaking but so worth it all to have them. Thank you for sharing your story and doing this site to helps others. What a true blessing!!

    Rolyndia on

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