I wanted to go to England. That’s how the conversation began when my husband, Paul, and I started talking about trying to have a baby. A local schoolteacher in our community was putting together a summer trip to England. She invited me to go, and I thought, “Why not?!” This was 2013. Five years earlier, we had experienced a miscarriage. It was early in the pregnancy, but still devastating emotionally.
After that, we had tried all my OB/GYN had to offer. Clomid, being induced and having every test run, only to find out nothing was wrong with me or him. We were down to our final step, IVF, and we really hadn’t talked about it. It is very expensive. We would have to drive three and a half hours away to San Antonio, so there were more costs. Plus, we would still have to continue to run our small weekly newspaper in our remote West Texas town. There were a lot of physical things to think about, on top of the emotional rollercoaster we would be riding.
So, when I called my husband and told him about the trip to England, his words to me were, “I wanted to talk about having a baby.” I almost dropped the phone as I started crying. I mean, how many men want to seriously talk about trying to have a baby? I told my husband I loved him, hung up the phone and called my schoolteacher friend and told her. She started crying too.
Nobody talks about infertility. Nobody talks about miscarriage. Nobody talks about IVF. When we started on the IVF journey, we didn’t know what to expect. I started a blog to keep track of our journey. When I made it public, we had so much support from our small town. I remember the ladies at our courthouse had a prayer lunch for us and then handed us an envelope with $500. I cried.
Easter weekend of 2015 I will never forget. That was the weekend my son was conceived. our final round of IVF. Paul Christian Perner V was born December 24, 2015. Our IVF miracle baby. But our story doesn’t end there. In July 2016, I woke up one morning feeling sick to my stomach. Then, I looked at my calendar and realized I hadn’t had a period in a couple of months.
Surprise! We were pregnant. No IVF, no drugs, no help – just God.
So, Elizabeth Hart Perner was then born on February 16, 2017. Our second miracle baby.
Infertility has impacted my life in showing me there is hope. You can’t quit because you never know what might happen next. #IamChangingTheConversation by talking about our journey. I will talk to anybody about our infertility journey. I will assure them doctors never found anything physically wrong with me or my husband and that is normal for many people.