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Mandy Jensen's Infertility Story

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Read Mandy's Story here:

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Ours is a story of secondary infertility and loss. We married February of 2005 and because I had been battling health issues for many years, Rheumatoid arthritis in particular, and didn’t know how those health issues might effect our ability to have children, we decided not to wait. To our surprise we found ourselves pregnant just 2 months later and we gave birth to our beautiful son January 2006. With my medications for RA having risks of birth defects we thought it would be best to have two kids close together, get me back on my meds for 3-5 years and then have another set of kids. So when our son was 9 months old we decided to start trying for baby #2 and after getting pregnant so easily the first time, we thought it would be easy to conceive and then get me back on my medications again quickly. We had no idea then what pain and heartache the next 14 years would bring us. After a couple of years of being off my meds for fear of harming our child and not a single pregnancy, we sought help from my OB. She put us on Clomid and we tried again. 
A year later, still no pregnancy and me still unmedicated, my OB then sent us up to the U of U to a specialist where we would try our first IUI. We found out that my husband's numbers were on the low side of normal, but they had no idea why we hadn’t been able to conceive for the past 3 years and they were sure an IUI was all we needed to finally conceive. If only that were the case. In the end we were holding another negative pregnancy test and a medical bill for $5000 (yes for 1 IUI, I still have no idea how it cost so much) so we couldn’t afford any more testing or treatments until we paid that off. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t give my son the sibling he so desperately wanted.
Fast forward 3 more years. Our son was now 7 years old and miraculously we found ourselves expecting a baby. We were over the moon that finally our son would be a big brother!  
At 24 weeks we had a gender scan where we learned that we were having another beautiful baby boy, but we also learned that there were some major health complications the biggest of which being a heart defect. We were then scheduled for a second ultrasound at the hospital and the images were sent remotely to a specialist in SLC. Then we had to wait 4 days to meet with the specialist to find out what could be done for our unborn child. Tragically, at that appointment we learned that our son didn’t develop the cross sections in his heart and that he was already in heart failure. We were told he would be gone within the next 2 weeks and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.
How? How could we wait this long for a miracle just to have him taken away? To say we’re were heartbroken would be an understatement. I cried myself to sleep holding my swollen belly, feeling completely helpless to comfort my dying son. I ached to hold him as he passed, to stroke his sweet head and tell him how loved he was. When I awoke the next morning the kicks that had previously been so strong were now barely strong enough to feel. By afternoon I hadn’t felt any more movements and I feared the worst. I tried everything that had gotten him to kick in the past to no avail. When my husband returned home from work at 4pm, we called our doctor for an ultrasound. They got us in right away and confirm the worst, our precious boy was already gone. We were admitted to the hospital the next morning and gave birth to our sleeping baby the next afternoon. We were allowed as much time as we needed with our Angel and that time was so sacred to us. The hardest thing I have ever done is to leave the hospital with empty arms, numb and heartbroken to have to leave my precious child behind. 
His funeral followed that weekend. It was beautiful but so heartbreaking to say our final goodbyes. 
The next few years were very hard.  Once we decided to try again, every failed cycle not only carried the usual pains of infertility, but now there was a new sting of such a tragic loss that we had to live over and over again, month after month. It ate at me and I was in a dark place for a long time.
In 2017, when our living son was 11 years old and our angel would have been 5 years old, we decided to work toward becoming Foster parents and simultaneously try IUIs again in hopes of a successful pregnancy. One year later, 12 years since we started started this journey. At this point we had tried clomid, Metformin, femara, vitex, coQ10 and Maca, had 8 failed IUIs, 1 hysteroscopy, 2 HSGs, a SCIT sperm test, more sperm counts than can be kept track of, participated in studies and have been told countless times that they don’t know why we can’t seem to fall pregnant. I finally had to let go of trying to have more children of our own. We felt hugely drawn to become Foster parents. We had a lot of love to give and knew that we could love a child through some of the hardest moments in their lives while giving them a safe place to stay until their parents got the help they needed to take good care of them. 
August 2018 we got our first foster placements. 2 brothers, 13 & 9 years old. Let me tell you, the things we learned about the abuse and pain that those sweet children endured led to MANY conversations to my Heavenly Father about which types of people should be inflicted with infertility! Unfortunately that abuse led to the older brother dealing with some heavy things that meant he could not stay with us because we didn’t have enough training to help him with those issues. Little brother stayed with us and made some amazing progress until just after Christmas time. He didn’t handle the holidays and only visitations with his siblings very well. It got to the point that he too was deemed a higher level of care than we were trained for and they wouldn’t let us keep him. We were absolutely heart broken. I literally cried for 2 days straight worried about wether someone would love and care for him the way he so desperately needed. 
3 days after he left our home we got a huge surprise: I was pregnant. This pregnancy, I feel, was Heavenly Father letting me know that everything would be ok with our foster sons, that we did exactly what he needed us to do for the short time we had them, and that this was all part of his plan. I was able to heal and let go of what I had no control over. We couldn’t believe that after over 13 years our son would finally have a living sibling. They would be almost 14 years apart in age, but we knew he would be an amazing big brother. Though we thought we would be fearful the entire pregnancy after our tragic loss years before, thankfully we felt nothing but peace and we knew it would all be ok. 9 months later we brought home a perfect little girl. She is now 10 months old and equal parts sweet and sassy. How strange that none of the treatments to get us pregnant over a 14year span have ever worked, but we were still blessed with 2 beautiful children on earth and one waiting for us in heaven. I have no idea if we will ever have more, but I do know if we do it will be God's plan for us and it will be a miracle. 
If I had any advice to give others dealing with infertility, it would be to never lose hope that God has a plan for you. It may not be what you would choose or what you had planned, but it is still a beautiful plan. When doctors and years without success tell you that it’s not possible to conceive on your own, remember that miracles do happen. We got pregnant once every 7 years. Each one was a miracle, and though it wasn’t what we planned, it is beautiful. 
Would I have chosen to have my children 14 years apart? Of course not. But we have enjoyed 14 years of one on one time with our amazing son, making memories and enjoying each stage. Now we get to see him be the sweetest big brother and enjoy the time we have with both of our kids before he’s off to college and then we will enjoy many of the same one on one moments with our daughter. As horrible as the journey was in the middle of infertility and loss, now that we’ve made it here, I can see the beauty looking back and I’m grateful for what we’ve gained. Hold on to hope, listen to your heart and follow those promptings that will lead you right where you need to be. 

Instagram: Mandy Jensen

☀️ CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BEST SOCKS ON THE PLANET TO HELP WOMEN WITH INFERTILITY! A portion of every single sale will go to an incredible woman experiencing infertility. They make the BEST gifts for women experiencing infertility to remind them they are loved OR to wear to your own appointments while working hard to grow your family to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you. You are incredible, sister!

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

 To read Kiley's infertility journey, click HERE.

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