My husband, Lenny, and I knew we wanted a large family. But seven months after we began trying, I sensed that something was wrong. My doctor prescribed three months of Femara to regulate my cycle and told us I'd be pregnant before he saw us again. I wasn't. The next doctor we saw told us Lenny's sperm count was low and that it had poor motility [ability to swim]. Still, I was hopeful.
We tried fertility drugs first, and Lenny took a vitamin supplement. Then he had a vascular procedure. We tried an IUI. Then it was back to the natural way for seven months.
One night, after yet another round of failed pregnancy tests, we had a long talk about whether we should stop trying. At this point, I was taking three pregnancy tests a month, desperate to see a positive sign. I succumbed to a breakdown of tears and anger, and Lenny decided that we needed a break. I didn't want to stop trying, but I was so exhausted that I surrendered. Lenny saw that it hurt me to stop, though, and he started Googling fertility treatments. He found a clinic near his family's house in New York that was accepting patients for a clinical trial. We were accepted a few weeks after we applied.
I moved in with Lenny's parents while I went through the process; he stayed in Indiana to take care of the house. It was a life upheaval, but I cared about getting pregnant more than anything else. After a month of medications, blood work, ultrasounds, and various other procedures, I got a shot to trigger ovulation. My eggs were fertilized, and I drove home the day after the embryos were transferred. All we could do was wait.
Six days after the transfer, I got my first-ever positive pregnancy test! For more than half of my pregnancy, I wondered about every change my body went through, every sensation, thinking something might be wrong. When I finally laid eyes on Charlie, I was overcome with joy, but also terror. I kept thinking I'd wake up and find out it had never happened. But it did, and every day we love Charlie more. And we still have four frozen embryos -- we hope to use them to expand our family one day!
In the photo: Macara Aloi, 27, with Lenny, 28, and Charlie, 8 months, in Carmel, Indiana
Originally published in the May 2012 issue of American Baby magazine.