At 29 years old with unexplained infertility, I couldn’t believe we needed IVF.

My husband and I are “high school sweethearts”. We were married at 27 after 11 years of dating,6 of which were long distance. We decided to wait to have children until we left NYC. Two years ago we said goodbye to great jobs, friends and community to move to Philly. Philadelphia is a place where we could still live in a cool city, have more space for our children and be closer to family as we built one of our own.

Our plan was to get pregnant soon after. As we quickly learned, not everything works out as you plan! After 5 months of trying to conceive (TTC) I insisted on seeking help and making significant lifestyle changes on my end. These changes included weekly acupuncture, minimal alcohol intake and switching to low intensity exercising.

My fertility clinic started me on a plan of 6 IUIs which was required by my insurance prior to IVF. Those consecutive failed IUIs brought despair, helplessness and depression. At 29 years old with unexplained infertility, I couldn’t believe we needed IVF. We are so fortunate that my insurance covered it though, and on our second transfer, we ended up pregnant.

I write this with my 2-week-old in my arms during another blissful yet sleepless night at home. We are aware that a year of trying may not seem long. Had I not advocated for myself early and often, and pushed through month-after-month, our path to parenthood would have been significantly longer. Though I do understand now that a break would have been healthy for both of us.

Around our 4th failed IUI, I started to write, which was both therapeutic for me and put me in touch with an amazing community of women that I still talk to regularly. Ps- the “artwork” behind me is a poster I starting coloring during our second round of IVF. I finished it a few weeks before our son was born!