Melissa and RickMelissa and her husband Rick started dating back in 2003, and were married in 2008. They went into their wedding with one mindset. They wanted to plan for their marriage, not a wedding. That’s why it was an easy decision to get married in Vegas.

They didn’t want to spend a year planning for an elaborate wedding. They wanted to plan for a marriage and a life together. On that day on 8/8/8, in Vegas, they vowed to love each other in sickness and in health. Through the ups and downs. They had no idea at that time how many hurdles they’d go through in the coming years. Hurdles that could break a marriage. Hurdles that test your faith, test how you feel about yourself, test how you feel about pretty much everything.

We knew our love was deep, but we have learned to develop a respect and love for each other that we didn’t even know existed. A love and admiration that only a couple that has been through what those who have struggled with infertility understand.

Their journey starts like many other couples; they got married and made the decision to wait a year to start a family so that they could enjoy being newlyweds. As many people before them, they thought when the time came to start it would just happen. Why wouldn’t it?

You hear all of these stories from friends and family members how it was so easy. So, the couple went into it thinking it would be the same for their family. They accomplished a lot at that point and thought it would be easy to accomplish the start of a family. In 2009, reality hit them. It wasn’t going to be that easy.

At that time, Melissa was diagnosed with endometriosis after surgery. She and her husband were devastated, but they weren’t discouraged. They started the process to try. Many people told them to enjoy “trying” because that’s the fun part. Melissa learned very quickly that those people never struggled to have a child. For them, it is—and still continues to be—a lot of “work” and heartbreak.

Melissa spends her days at work and her evenings or days off at doctor appointments. Since the day in 2009, when they made that decision that they were officially ready to start their family, she have had four surgeries for endometriosis, a diagnosis of a pituitary tumor (prolactinoma), MTHFR gene mutation, hypothyroidism, luteal phase defect, pelvic floor dysfunctional, interstitial cystitis, and ovulation problems.

Many treatments, injections, IUIs, doctors’/specialists’ appointments, procedures, surgeries, recovery, blood work, monthly disappointments—with a little hope sprinkled in between tears and complete and utter desperation, change of diet, meditation, prayers, acupuncture, weird baby cocktails, strength and unbearable (pregnancy) losses later, they are still fighting to have their first child.

Throughout this entire journey, Melissa’s husband has been her #1 source of support. He was tested and is perfectly fine. Stellar, in fact. So, there are moments where Melissa wondered wondered to herself if it’s fair to her husband to hold him back from having a child just because she felt she was the source of the problem. Will Melissa be enough, she questioned.

Questions about alternatives plagued their minds, and others. People asked them about surrogacy and adoption. Although these individuals meant well and have been very supportive to them during this seven-plus year journey, they don’t understand that it isn’t that easy. It’s also a decision they have to make as a couple.

Melissa has have never been told “you can’t have a child” so she’s not ready to give up. Yes, she has been told it will be hard, but since she has never been told it isn’t possible…yet…they continue to fight on.

When that time comes, if it does, then they will make the decision on what to do next. However, until that time they will continue to fight for the baby they don’t know yet. The baby they may never meet, yet they already love so much. The baby they dream will finally make them parents. However, when it’s all said and done they know that they—the two of them—are a family. Until that day comes, they already make a family. They love and adore each other and they hope that they will be able to share that love with a child.

Melissa M.