The Struggle is Very Real


About a year and a half ago, I wrote this post about why we were waiting to expand our family and have baby number two. This seems ridiculous now because here we are, one year into trying to conceive our second child. Had I known that this journey was going to be a difficult one, I don’t think I would have written that post.

At the time I wrote that blog post, our son (who is now nearing 3 ½) was not even two years old yet. We were enjoying our time together as a family just the three of us, my husband and I had a trip to the Dominican Republic planned, and we were perfectly content waiting to have another child. Since the Dominican is a Zika positive environment, our doctor advised us to wait at least 6 months before trying to get pregnant after our trip. So, that is what we did.

With our first, getting pregnant was easy. I stopped taking birth control pills in February and was pregnant in April. Our second pregnancy should be the same right? Wrong. So very wrong. I stopped taking my birth control last May, thinking I would be pregnant by mid-summer at the latest. Fast forward to today, one year later, and still no pregnancy.

We’re doing all the right things. I eat well and exercise (fairly) regularly. My menstrual cycles are always regular and on time every month. When we first started trying, I didn’t use an ovulation app and we were going with the “it’ll happen when it happens” approach. But after a few months of trying unsuccessfully, I started tracking everything and using ovulation strips. Month after month went by and no pregnancy. I anxiously dreaded my period every month, getting my hopes up if it was a day or two late, only to be left in tears when it started.

After six months of trying, we did meet with an OB/GYN just to make sure there weren’t any significant red flags standing in our way. I have a history of uterine fibroids so we wanted to rule that out in case I would need another surgery to remove one. Everything was clear. The doctor basically told us the only reason we were not conceiving, was due to lack of sleep and stress. Easy fixes, right? Winter is a very stressful time for my husband’s job, which brings additional stress to our family. At the time, I was at a stressful job as well. I also have a long history of insomnia. Not so easy fixes for us.

This past March, I silently suffered a very early miscarriage. My husband and I got so excited finally seeing a positive pregnancy test. I was only a few weeks along and we hadn’t even told anyone we were pregnant yet, and only told very few people about what happened. It was devastating.

We are still struggling to conceive. Our three year old constantly asks us for a brother or sister. If it only were that easy to grant him his wish. We’ve made some changes to our everyday lives to reduce our stress levels in hopes that this will help us conceive. As we are nearing the one year mark of unsuccessfully trying, I’m sure infertility appointments and/or treatments are in our near future. My husband and I both agree that we would be willing to try IUI and/or IVF treatments to get pregnant. However, we are also in agreeance that if it gets to the point where adoption and/or surrogacy are on the table and I would not get to carry the baby myself, then we will count our blessings with what we have. Although surrogacy and adoption are incredible options and I applaud families who go that route, it’s just not something that we feel open to doing.

Statistics show 1 in 8 couples or about 10% of women struggle with infertility. It stings to be a part of that statistic. I do not know where our struggle will take us from here. But I do know our journey isn’t finished yet. Hopefully soon I will have a positive update to our story.

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Rachel grew up in the small town of LeSueur, about 30 minutes from Mankato. She spent some time living in Mankato while going to school for Accounting and Business Management. After living in LeSueur for a few years, she has since moved back to Mankato with her hubby, James. Rachel and James bought an older home in downtown Mankato where they live with their 18-month-old son, Jameson, and their 3 cats, Nala, Biscuits & Gravy. Rachel works for Ridley Inc., an agricultural feed company also in downtown Mankato as an Accounting Assistant. She is new to blogging and has no idea what she's doing but is very excited for this awesome opportunity to speak her mind and connect with other moms in the area!


  1. Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing your story! I love following your blog posts.
    March of Dimes just launched an incredible platform. #UnspokenStories is described on its website like this: “Honest stories of pregnancy, parenthood and loss are too often unshared. Let’s tell the real story. Let’s build a supportive community that gives voice to your experience, from the joys of parenting to the heartbreak of loss.”

    Stories can be submitted via text, audio or video – you can see examples of people that have already shared on the website –

    Let me know if you have any questions – I would love for you to share your story there too! 💜

    Thinking you you,
    Angie Deegan

  2. Thank you for sharing Rachel.

    I can so relate after 8 full years of marriage and monthly heartbreak. We married young and were so extremely excited to start a family. That was our focus, not money or careers but children. I felt very alone and helpless in this situation. My immediate family of 6 siblings and 20 plus nieces and nephews was of no help. They could not understand. Words spoken with no intent to harm struck my heart to the core. With each new family or friend pregnancy the wound grew deeper. I wanted desparately to be in control of my life. I soon realized I didn’t control a damn thing. I was fortunate to have a long term relationship with God to confide in and carry me.
    It took prayers and enormous soul searching along with inner strength to form our family in a non traditional way through adoption. Education was key. Communication as a couple was mandatory.
    Every bit of our inner being marriage and love had been tested. Infertility is an emotional drain. God was definitely calling for us to seek him.

    With Mothers day upon us, I will be forever grateful for both our daughtets and their birthmothers decisions to choose LIFE.
    We have shared many of lifes milestones by our own choosing! The triad of adoption and level of openess is an educated personal decision. We have created timeless memories.

    Life can present many unknown situations which we do not understand yet through them may come miraculous unexpected joys miracles and blessings.

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