Katy sought peace through IUI but found so much more
Through the crazy highs and devastating lows of her infertility journey, Katy Miller, of Milan, Illinois, relied on the steady, expert care of reproductive endocrinologist Jessica Kresowik, MD, at the University of Iowa Health Care Women’s Health Clinic in Davenport. Here's Katy's story:
I fell madly in love with my husband. High school style. Except that I was in my mid-thirties.
When we decided to start trying I was 37, my husband was 41. Neither of us had any conceptions in our history. I had endometriosis, one working ovary, and very sudden anxiety on a topic that I had been historically calm about: having babies.
I was a crazy lady most of 2016. Each month I would take a pregnancy test wayyy too early, squinting to see any microscopic change in color. Sometimes I would weep at the blank white square, even though I knew it was scientifically impossible to get a reading that early.
Each period would feel like a funeral for our hopes. Can I just get some consensus that a period is the WORST message delivery system?
Our general practitioner told us that if we didn’t conceive on our own after six months we should make an appointment with Dr. Kresowik. As a former high school classmate of Dr. Kresowik I couldn’t trust her more. I watched her study in high school in awe and amazement. She is the real deal.
My cousin Elizabeth also happened to be seeing Dr. Kresowik. As close friends, we made a promise to each other: No matter our own outcome, we would be over the moon for one another. Secretly, both of us worried more about the other one not getting pregnant.
After several rounds of Clomid we tried IUI—intrauterine insemination. When the first one didn't work, I thought, “We’re in a for a long haul.” I had to have an ultrasound with each ovulation to see which side released an egg. We could try 6 out of 12 months.
So many thoughts went through my mind:
- “I waited too long.”
- “The endometriosis is too severe now.”
- “You shouldn't have been so calm all your life BECAUSE NOW YOU TOTALLY WANT TO HAVE A BABY!”
A mentor of mine had also gone through similar fertility challenges and adopted a sweet little boy from Russia. She encouraged me to pray for peace rather than to pray for a baby. Which was more helpful than “You just gotta relax. You’ll never get pregnant if you don’t relax.”
I began to pray for peace, and I stopped talking about fertility ALL the time. We were told that we should try IUI three times and then start in vitro fertilization. We went in for our second IUI, and I went in hoping deeply in my heart for... peace.
Afterward, we traveled to New Mexico to visit my in-laws at their cozy cabin, which is my happy place. I got the flu on the way home. Stranded in an airport the week of Thanksgiving, I got the queasy feeling that there was no little life in my body. But this time I felt the glow of peace wash over that hurt. Anyone who has been through any amount of fertility challenges knows that hurt. It’s a dull, cutting hurt that starts in your throat and spreads through you.
Peace carried us into December. Like a crazy adult kid at Christmas, I heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” the year before and thought, “Next year, all I want for Christmas is you, Little Miller.” I made peace in my heart and even laughed that it was too much to ask Santa for news of a baby. Christmas was coming, a baby probably wasn’t. So what do you do? We decorated our tree. My husband even agreed to listen to Rod Stewart Christmas music. I think he felt sorry for me.
The next morning we found ourselves in a snow globe. I sat and had coffee, staring out into the sweet scene that was our back yard that morning. I looked at my husband and knew that everything I could want was right in this room.
“Did you take the test yet?” he asked.
“Oh, yeah.” I was semi-neutral but a little nervous to disrupt the peace by dashing any lurking hope in my heart. It felt like the millionth time I peed on a Dollar Tree stick that year.
As the line developed into a faint pastel magenta, I was throttled with shock. I worried it was a mirage. Then I felt this intense warmth.
Apparently, life in your body feels more like airport flu than a magic glow.
“I have a Little Miller in my body. This is a miracle. I also want to vomit.”
I ran to my desk and pulled out the adorable "Congrats You Made a Baby" card, actually designed by my cousin Elizabeth. I handed it to my husband.
He wanted more proof, so we drove in a snowstorm to get a $22 digital test. I peed on a stick for the second time that morning. I saw the word “Pregnant” and beamed again.
Then I started looking at how to convert our office into a nursery. My husband was on the computer, looking at a site that calculates how much we need to save for college. Because it turns out I’m not the only crazy in our family.
That Christmas my cousin Jessica changed the baby of the family, Chloe, into a onesie that said, “Not the youngest for long.” All the aunts started scanning the room, looking at everyone's midsections. Someone yelled, “Who’s pregnant?”
Elizabeth raised her hand then looked at me. I raised mine.
You know all the “Beatles come to America” scenes? Insert color and inject that same intensity into a Christmas party in a kitchen in Iowa.
Dr. Kresowik was Santa to our family that year. I know that everyone has a different story, but this is ours. It was a Christmas miracle for our whole family. It all started in her office.
Sadie Kay Miller was born into our grateful arms the next August, shortly after her cousin Leda. She is our only child and my parents’ only grandchild. We have decided to let nature take over from here.
We continue to be over the moon with our wild and gorgeous daughter. What we still pray for, more than ever... is peace.