My name is Ashley. I am 34 years old. I live in Texas. I met my husband, Ryan when I was 14 years old at a church dance in San Antonio, Texas! We’ve been married for 8 years with 2 daughters via IVF, and we are currently working on baby #3. Ryan and I always remained good friends throughout the years until we FINALLY decided to get married in 2013. When we got married, we knew we immediately wanted to start a family. He was finishing up school. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We also knew we wanted...
Right before I got married, I went to my Dr to start birth control. After explaining my period symptoms (primarily a heavy flow and some strong cramping) she wanted to check and make sure everything was going okay. We ordered an ultrasound and bloodwork to check it all out. My bloodwork came back normal, nothing was out of the ordinary. But in my ultrasound, what they thought was my bladder turned out to be an 18cm cyst (about the size of a very large grapefruit). They couldn't get any good visualization through my ultrasound because of the size so they scheduled me for surgery. I believe this is where all of our struggles started.
When we first started our infertility journey, I was my doctor’s then youngest patient to move forward with IVF. We had unexplained fertility, so everything on paper looked good. When the first round didn’t take, we were devastated. Our doctor was almost certain it would take.
Fast forward quite a few years later, and we have now gone through a total of 12 rounds of IVF, 7 rounds of IUI, and a miscarriage.
I lied about doing IVF for over two years because I was ashamed. Ashamed that my body didn’t work the way others did, that my story didn’t play out as I imagined. I would tell my boss that I had a doctor, dentist, or financial advisor appointment—you name it, I used it! I would get excited when I thought of a new “excuse” that I could use to hide a fertility consultation, IUI treatment, or IVF egg retrieval. During those years of infertility, I lost myself in the emotional roller coaster and became unrecognizable to myself. I felt like I was failing as a woman and constantly felt isolated, anxious and hopeless. After three years, when I finally got pregnant with twins through IVF, I told my friends that I had twins in my family (which I do, so I told myself it wasn’t a lie). A few months after the twins were born, we were pleasantly surprised to find out we were pregnant with our son. Consequently, the news helped us conceal our fertility struggles further. I felt so proud of myself for “getting away” with doing IVF without anyone knowing. No one could judge my decisions or my body for not working.
sunshine in the world