It’s National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24-April 30, 2022). When Jayme reached out to schedule a newborn session for her sweet Rainbow IVF baby, I was so touched by her story. I was also impressed by her courage, hope, and kindness. She has a love that radiates to fill the room, and warm the hearts of those around her. After the session, I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and felt that her infertility journey could help others going through similar difficulties. She has so generously agreed to share her story to uplift others.
National Infertility Awareness Week | Jayme Garcia
1 in 8 couples experience infertility. A waiting filled with sadness, jealousy, anger and despair that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. A pain, emptiness and devastation that changes you to your core.
I am 1 in 8.
I am 1 in 4.
In 2016, my husband and I became parents to our first child, a beautiful boy we named Isaiah. We became pregnant within one year of trying and fell deeply in love with him the moment we learned of his existence. Around his first birthday, we knew that we wanted to expand our family. However, a year soon passed with no pregnancy. I was referred to a fertility clinic but sat in denial for many months. How could this be happening to us? Six more months passed before we made an appointment. We went through many tests and were diagnosed with secondary infertility. The next six months consisted of six medicated cycles and three intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) that all resulted in negative pregnancy tests. Our hearts were broken and we decided to take a break while deciding our next steps.
That’s when the pandemic happened. The world shut down including all of the fertility clinics. Then, in April of 2020 we found out we were pregnant, naturally, after nearly 3 years of trying! The happiness we felt was indescribable. The purest joy you could imagine. Then at seven weeks, I lost the baby. Our hopes, our dreams and our joy were gone in an instant. Miscarriage at any stage breaks your soul. It was the saddest moment of my life as I grieved my baby and every dream and milestone I envisioned for them.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
It took months for my husband and I to heal emotionally and for my body to heal physically from our miscarriage. However, that sweet baby instilled new hope in us when we were feeling ready to give up. We decided later that year that we would pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF). I went through a dozen blood draws, hundreds of injections, two egg retrievals and genetic testing to produce ONE healthy embryo. We transferred her in June 2021 with immense prayer and hope. Our miracle, rainbow baby Isla was born in March 2022 on my birthday of all days! We are in awe of her and the resilience and strength she instilled in us.
The trauma of infertility and pregnancy loss will always live with me. If you are walking through this dark journey, my heart is with you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I share my story because it was the story of others that helped me believe that I too could survive. Nothing about this journey is fair and there is so much shame surrounding it. Infertility is a disease. It is not a reflection of your abilities as a parent or your worthiness. There is healing, hope and relationship within this community. Don’t go through this alone.
If you have never experienced infertility or pregnancy loss, chances are you know someone who has. Family planning and pregnancy is a very sensitive topic for many. Questions and statements surrounding it may bring unintended pain. Instead, provide a listening ear and emotional support to those in need rather than advice.
Thank you Kashele for capturing our beautiful newborn and her story through your photography. May her images and story provide hope to others.
Jayme found comfort through the Instagram Community. Her handle as well as others who helped her in her journey are listed below: