My husband and I found love later in life. We’re fortunate that the universe brought us together during a time neither of us were looking, as both of us had given up on the idea of finding true love.

I was 38, and while I’ve watched numerous friends struggle with infertility, all of them now have little ones in tow. I was aware that, given my age, we may need a little help. I had spent years dancing, running multiple marathons, boxing, body building, and even training in Muay Thai. I was healthy and ate a well-balanced diet. I felt certain all of this was in my favor.

Fifteen months after we started trying for our family, I got the gut-punch news that my eggs were what I called, “shooting blanks.” I have severe diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). We had a short conversation about trying IVF with my own eggs, quickly realizing that financially we couldn’t afford to try IVF with my own eggs and have enough money to use donor eggs, if that failed. We were forced to grieve the loss of my biology because of finances and lack of infertility insurance coverage.

Two weeks before Mother’s Day, during National Infertility Awareness Week in 2019, we lost our first embryo. When our transfer didn’t work, I advocated strongly for additional testing given we only had one embryo left. My results came back as post receptive from an ERA biopsy.

At the end of the summer of 2019, we went for my third transfer. A little over a year after we started our donor egg journey we heard the words, “you’re pregnant.” My beta numbers were strong, and all seemed great…until it wasn’t.

At seven weeks, I heard the words, “I’m sorry.” I had miscarried and was scheduled for a D&C a few days later. The day I walked to the back room for the doctor to remove our child from my body will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Attempting another frozen embryo transfer (FET) after a miscarriage and D&C brought about an avalanche of emotions I wasn’t prepared for. I found myself crumbled on the floor, tears pouring down my face. Finding a therapist to deal with my anxiety and PTSD has been one of the best decisions I made during my infertility journey.

Unfortunately, our journey has taken yet another detour. We’ve recently lost our third PGS-tested donor embryo, and we’ve now added recurrent miscarriage to my growing list of issues.

One in eight couples endure the pain of infertility. One in four will experience the loss of a child through miscarriage. We all have a story, and it may be unbearably painful at times, yet one thing holds true: our stories matter.

We must bring awareness to the struggles of infertility. My goal is to encourage and inspire couples to find their voice, and to own their story. This is our story!

Stevi & Michael M.