I am not the only one in my immediate family to suffer through infertility. In fact, compared to the 5 arduous years my brother and his wife trudged through, I have barely hit the tip of the iceberg.
I’m not sure how much of their journey I want to share, since it’s not my story to tell. But they tried all kinds of various treatments before trying IVF after 4 years of negative pregnancy tests. Their first round of IVF (2 embryos transferred, none made it to freeze) was not successful and they needed to wait a year to try again to save money. In that year, they finally had their first natural pregnancy, which was ectopic. In early 2009 they did their 2nd round of IVF (2 embryos transferred and 5 to freeze) and this time it stuck. Twice. Their twins were born in October 2009, a girl and a boy. They are now 3.5 years old and are full of opinions, hilarious antics and sweet snuggles. They have been a huge blessing in my life, and obviously for my brother and his wife.
Having these charming little ones in my life as a result of IVF had definitely changed the way I think about fertility treatments, even before I needed them myself. While I wish the road my brother and sister in law had to take had been easier and much much shorter, I simply can not imagine any other outcome than this most amazing duo I’m privy to be an aunt to.
Whenever I get down about how long this is taking, or how much this sucks and or how simply terrified I am that we will try IVF one day and even that will fail, I think of my niece and nephew. I think of all the tears and frustration that came before them. I think of the heartache and yearning my amazing sister in law went through. I think of all the failed cycles. I think of how overjoyed we were on the day they were born. I think of how I felt my heart might burst open with love the first time I got to kiss their newborn heads, and examine their tiny fingers. And how now, when they run to the door yelling “my auntie is here my auntie is here!” and throw their little arms around my neck, I am so so thankful my brother and sister in law fought through it. That they didn’t let 5 years and countless failed cycles sink them. They didn’t let a failed IVF sink them or an ectopic pregnancy sink them. They always kept a glimmer of hope.
Their family is my beacon through the storm. Of how happy endings can be possible, even when it feels like they are so far away. I am so lucky to have them all in my life.