baby toesAt 43 years of age, Paula Lackie thought she was starting menopause when she missed her period. After 22 years of infertility she knew the odds were almost nil that it could mean she was pregnant, but she still held out a small bit of hope somehow after all of the heartache. Seven pregnancy tests later, much to her great surprise, she discovered she was indeed pregnant; and last month she delivered her perfectly healthy baby girl, Isla.

Lackie told the Daily Mail they consider her their "little miracle," and that while they adopted two children along the way, they never stopped trying for a biological child as well. 'Every time I look at this beautiful miracle baby in my arms I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming."

It's an amazing story, and one that may offer to hope to those struggling with infertility. However, as someone who struggled with it for years, it's also one of those stories that can crush you.

It took more than two years of trying and emotional hell before we conceived my son. After his birth we tried and tried and tried for years to no avail. Eventually I had to give up hope because that hope was all consuming for me. I didn't want to buy new jeans, because what if the next month was it. I didn't want to plan a vacation, because a tropical vacation just wouldn't be the same without mojitos. Even buying a new pair of shoes was murky, because of the possibility my feet might grow during pregnancy. Everything in my mind was dependent that little what if.

So I gave up, completely ... and that's when we conceived my daughter. She and my son are five and half years apart in age, and while I feel like she's my own miracle baby, I always cringe a little bit when I tell my story to other women facing infertility. On one hand I want them to know there is hope, but on the other, I know for some there isn't, and how hard it is to cling to that hope. I also know how infuriating it can be to hear those it-happens-when-you-least-expect-it stories when you can't do anything to quell your expectations.

Sometimes giving up that hope is the best thing you can do, and I don't mean that in a "relax and it will happen" way, because I think that was the most infuriating advice I ever heard. But instead so that you can move on with your life and live it instead of always waiting, always wondering. So while I offer Lackie and her family a huge congratulations on what she calls her "fairytale ending," I also remember those who may never receive the same.

If you're going through infertility, do stories like this inspire you? Do you find it difficult or helpful to cling to hope?

 

Image via sabianmaggy/Flickr