Overcoming Infertility {I Am Strong}

I am strong because I experienced things as a child and teenager than no one should ever go through. It took many years for me to be able to forgive those that hurt me.

I am strong because I left for the Peace Corps right after college where I met the most amazing man that completes me. Ironically we were both from the same state and had to go overseas to meet each other!

I am strong because even though my husband and I wanted a family we were unable to conceive. We tried for 8 years with no success. It was difficult watching friends and family become pregnant knowing that I might never be able to.

I am strong because both of us endured countless blood tests, medications, and even surgery throughout these 8 years. We were not comfortable with doing artificial insemination or IVF due to our religious beliefs and decided to pursue alternative fertility treatments to see if that would help. This was a very long process that required lots of time and energy. We didn’t know if anything that we were doing was going to work.

I am strong because after 8 years of trying and coming to terms with the fact that we may never have our own biological children I found out I was pregnant! I stopped charting my cycles for that month because of complacency and we were planning to pay off the house early and go on a trip. What we didn’t know was that the Lord had other plans for us.

I am strong because I exercised every day through my entire pregnancy up until the day I delivered and ate nourishing foods to help my baby grow. I was one of the blessed pregnant mamas that didn’t have any morning sickness or any complications during my pregnancy. I completed several triathlons until I was 5 ½ months pregnant!

I am strong because both of us knew we wanted the least amount of intervention during our prenatal care, labor and birth. We decided to use a CNM and plan a home birth despite resistance from family and friends. We decided to educate them along the way to help them feel more at ease with our choice.

I am strong because my labor started at 9:15 p.m. and continued with no progression for 35 hours. The contractions were so intense that I labored standing up for the entire time because every other position was uncomfortable. One of the lowest points is when my midwife told me the baby was posterior and I was only 2 cm dilated after all that work. We tried everything from the rebozo, position changes, chiropractic adjustments, and taking a bath. Nothing seemed to work.

I am strong because despite not having slept for almost 2 days I continued laboring at home determined to have a home birth. The baby’s heart rate was being monitored and she stayed relaxed and seemed pretty content being inside mama.  Together, the midwives and I decided that I needed something to take the edge off so I could rest and gain some strength. We took a short trip to the hospital to get a morphine shot and come home so I could sleep.  The shot was my saving grace. I slept for 2 hours (that’s how long the meds lasted before they wore off) and ate a big lunch and was ready to continue on with the labor.

I am strong because everyone prayed that the baby would turn and my labor would progress as normal. One of the midwives used a different rebozo technique that helped to turn her into the right position. After almost 40 hours the baby was anterior and I was dilated to a 5!

I am strong because I continued to labor for several hours and finally felt “effective contractions” for the first time.  When I was ready to push I got into the birthing tub and the water seemed to relax me too much. By now it was going on 49 hours and I had no strength left to relax and wait. I got out and pushed in several positions until finally I was able to find the perfect position to bring our baby into the world.

I am strong because I was leaning and squatting against my husband while the doulas supported my knees and pushed the baby out in less than an hour and a half. There were many times that I doubted my ability to go on but the amazing support that I was surrounded by gave me the strength that I needed.

I am strong because 50 hours later Nora was placed in my arms. I couldn’t believe this miracle that I was holding.  My pregnancy journey was finally complete and I was staring right into her beautiful face. Our dream of having a child and a home birth came true.

I am strong because despite the many challenges that I have encountered through my life I chose to accept them and move on.  I would never change anything that I have experienced because they have made me who I am today.

I am strong.

Sue and Matt-1-2 small (2)


  • Brianna

    Thank you for sharing, your story deeply touched me. Some of our biggest challenges in life are the ones that we cannot force a resolution to. Thank you providing such a patient example!

  • Svea Boyda-Vikander

    You didn’t have morning sickness but it’s not like you got off easy — you and your husband definitely went through a lot in the eight years you were TTC.

    This is a beautiful story and so lovingly written. Congratulations on your sweet little Nora!

  • peggy vincent

    Awesome, Momma!
    The ability of your midwife to get you the shot of morphine was such a blessing…it is usually something only a CNM can pull off, with a supportive back-up doctor and a compassionate hospital staff. I was able to do this a few times, once keeping the mom (a CNM herself) in hospital overnight for a full 7 hours of restorative sleep and FHT monitoring. When labor resumed in the morning, I discharged her, and we went on to have a lovely home birth.
    Your story is inspirational! Kudos.

  • Pam

    My daughter and her husband (very low sperm count and slow moving) and have been trying to conceive for two years. They are really having a hard time because they so wanted a large family. I would so love to hear from you and all the things you went through prior to finally conceiving your daughter in the hope that it might encourage our daughter and son-in-law.
    Thank you,

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