The truth about building a family is that #WeCanAll create “family” to be what it needs to be for us. When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant, we dreamed about what our family would look like one day – two kids, whose lives would be enriched with travel and the arts. After one year of unsuccessfully trying to conceive, my doctor discovered a massive fibroid growing outside of my uterus. Apparently, this wasn’t preventing me from getting pregnant, but would certainly have caused complications if I had. In preparation for the removal, I doubled down on my health and wellness, aiming for a quick recovery so we could increase the chance of conceiving quickly when I recovered.

Three months after my fibroid removal and still no pregnancy, my doctor started me on Clomid. My husband and I committed to healthy diets and lifestyles to improve every chance we had. Four months on Clomid and still no positive test meant a fertility clinic referral.

Every diagnostic test we took told us that we should be able to conceive naturally, but we elected to try IUI to help our chances. Our first round of IUI was in March of 2020. The day that I had my negative test was the same day that the governor of my state extended a stay-home order until June. Anyone who has been through something similar knows that this feeling gives “gutted” a whole new meaning. We locked down and cried for days, unable to find any distraction from our pain because of the pandemic. We couldn’t spend Easter with our families, we couldn’t get together with friends to find comfort or laughter. We were all we had.

As we moved through the pandemic and found comfort in one another, we decided to commit to rediscovering ourselves as a couple, not just as the couple who were TTC. During this hard time, we came to the somehow forgotten realization that we, the two of us, were already a family, with or without children.

When the fertility clinic opened back up that summer, we went through one more round of IUI, which was unsuccessful again. As I crumbled to the ground in the most overwhelming grief I’ve ever felt, I sobbed and said, “I can’t go through this again.

As the weeks, months, and eventually years have passed, we have worked together through the ups and downs of grief but continued to come out with the same outlook: we can’t go through this again. You see, we found something in ourselves when we were forced to work through the pain together: that we are a family. With or without children, we are enough. Our love is more than enough. Now we start a new journey of planning a whole new life that we never envisioned. Some days are still worse than others, but our family is our story, and we are taking ownership over it.

#WeCanAll rewrite our own narrative around family and find peace while we navigate infertility.

Kelsea W., VA

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