1 in 8: Our Personal Journey of Infertility.

Hey, friend! We're happy you're here. We are the Booe's and this is our personal story of our journey through infertility. Our hope in sharing this with you is to normalize the conversation that circulates around infertility while also helping others to feel less alone. 
The following section is the story we originally published in 2018 when we chose to share our journey with the public. We hope that pieces of our story resonate with you and if it does, please make sure you check out the blog archive. There are plenty of other resources there just waiting for you!
If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plan.
When we got married, we had no idea of the journey that was ahead. We both thought that once we were on the same page and committed to the process of starting a family that things would just…fall into place & happen. In January of 2017, we talked it through and decided that we were ready to start trying for a baby. We went to the OBGYN and they told us a very general overview of what to do and what to expect. It was an exciting time for us and we were so very ready to have a baby of our own.

Months went by and nothing changed. There were a couple of months where we felt very hopeful, but our negative pregnancy tests didn’t lie. Some months were easy, others were a little harder. We continued to remind each another that it would happen in God’s time and not our own. November of 2017 was the hardest month and a real game changer. It was a month that we were both convinced that we were pregnant. Yet, another negative pregnancy test came along and broke not only our hearts, but our spirits. We decided that it was best to put the process on hold and we made an appointment to visit the doctor in January after the rush of the holidays.
In January of 2018, we met with the doctor and received the hardest news of all. “People usually conceive 3-6 months into the trying process. Since you have been trying for a year, there may be an issue preventing conception and we may need to discuss infertility options.”

We didn’t know what to say. What do you say to that? It’s not exactly the easiest thing to hear. So we said, “Okay, what’s our next step?” Come to find out, the next step meant 5 months of needles, tests, and pain to figure out what was going on.
Within that time, the tests revealed that, unfortunately, we would not be able to conceive a child on our own. We were heartbroken and devastated. We took some time and talked through our options. We could either try a few sessions of IUI’s or we could go straight to IVF, neither option provided over a 60% chance of success.

After much discussion, we decided to try the IUI process and since then, we have had two failed IUI sessions.
1 in 8.
1 in 8 couples go through the journey of infertility. We call it a “journey” because a journey is what happens when the trip is more important than the destination. It has taken a lot of time, prayer, and trust to realize that our situation is not a deficit but an opportunity. We believe that God is taking us on this journey so that we are able to help and relate to other people that endure this journey as well. We are blessed to have one another in this process and we are happy to say that this journey has brought us closer together than anything else ever could. However, we also realize that this is not the case for other people. We have seen how infertility can tear you away from not only your spouse, but more importantly from God. God has given us a heart for His people and we will do all that we can so that others can seek Him fiercely through the storm. God is creating a testimony for us as we speak and we firmly believe that this will be one of the biggest testimonies of our lives. We have decided to share our journey in hopes of helping others and building the Kingdom of God.

From Him:
I had no idea what to expect when things seemed as if they weren’t working in our favor to try and start a family. But when we weren’t having any luck getting pregnant, I began to have this little thought in my mind that something was wrong. I still stayed true to my personality and remained optimistic. We didn’t have any definite answers so maybe we were just being unlucky with timing, or maybe it just wasn’t Gods time for us to be parents. Doubt started to creep in around the holidays of 2017 when we had had enough and said we were going to see a doctor after the first of the year. That doubt continued to fester and eat away at me and take away from the joy that I would find in the little things. I began to have self-doubt that I was not going to be good enough or that I was less of a man because of this. After all a man has a beard, a man can build things with his hands, a man loves God, and a man can produce offspring…or so I thought.
January was the start to several LONG months. A lot of waiting, a lot of hoping, and a lot of unanswered questions. We faced new challenges and learned way more about human reproduction than I’d ever thought I would need to know. The first time that we met with the doctor was overwhelming to the point that I had no idea what to ask or what to think. I remember hearing “it does not look like you will be able to have kids on your own” and then after that I completely zoned out. It was like in the movies where the surroundings fade out and noises are muffled to the point that they aren’t audible. That was a tough pill to swallow. It made for a lot of questions that we would have to conjure up to ask of ourselves as well as to figure out what to ask the right people. These were questions that had never even crossed my mine before. How was I supposed to know anything about infertility? Its never talked about and is never brought up in any conversation I’ve been a part of. Infertility is often swept under the rug and just not discussed; therefore, I didn’t know that it was truly a thing.
I am the type of person where if something is wrong, I want to fix it. I don’t call someone to fix it, I want to fix it myself. I get gratification in knowing I fixed something myself, its super rewarding for me. This was unfortunately not the case in this situation. This was not something where I could read an instruction book and put things back on track. If it was, I would definitely not be writing this and trying to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper. First thing I resorted to was Google. But all that turned up was more questions. It began to be a regular thing to read that ‘Doctors are unsure,' ‘Some tests have shown,' ‘It is inconclusive.’ Blah, blah, blah. But it did bring a sense of gratification…I wasn’t alone. I thought I was the only guy in history who had been through this. Little did I know that 1 in 8 couples go through infertility. But that was still only minimal peace.
The thing that truly gave me peace in all of this was the relationship that Stephanie and I truly began to develop with God. With this new obstacle in our life, we both soon realized we could not do it on our own. Our perspective has shifted to the master instead of to the prize. We truly began to push into God and the promise He has for us. We prayed more, worshipped more, read the Bible more, cried out to God asking for a miracle and truly began to trust in the promise He has for our life. My faith grew more than it had in a long time. It had been stagnant for a while coasting by with the bare minimum. I made it a goal to go through the One Year Bible every day at the start of the year. You'd be amazed at how often it feels like the scripture for the day was written especially for you. I have kept with it and learned a lot in the process. I truly began to see God's character, which is full of love and wanting the best for us.
Keeping faith failed test after failed test is hard. It has seemed, at times, like the new normal. There have been some lonely moments where we feel alone and helpless. Fortunately, we have been surrounded by an incredible group of people who have helped us along the way and we know will continue to be there for us for whatever lies ahead. Through this whole process, Stephanie has been incredibly strong and courageous and the rock that I have needed to lean on quite often. She has been an incredible source of God’s love and compassion.
This experience has opened my eyes to areas and groups of people that I had been blind to. We have a heart to serve and feel the calling to speak out and let people in similar situations know that they are not alone and that we are there for them. I truly believe that this continued test that God is putting us through, is going to turn into quite the testimony for Him and the love He has for us.
From Her:
Infertility isn’t easy. It weighs on you emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually…basically, in every way that you can imagine. It’s not something that I think of once a month when a new cycle starts. It’s something that I think about every single minute of every single day. Whether it’s waiting or worrying for test results, coping with or understanding test results, waiting for my period, taking hormone prescriptions, getting a shot, or getting asked, “When are you going to have kids?”
Bottom line, it’s always on my mind. And I say all of this to say, that without my faith I would be going CRAZY!! There are just too many moving parts to this new journey, but I am so thankful that in this unpredictable situation, I have a constant God that loves me, cares for me, and helps me.
I wish I could say that having faith in God’s plan makes this all instantly easy, but it doesn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, having faith in God’s plan makes this all easier, but it doesn’t wipe away the pain and disappointment. And honestly? I’m glad that it doesn’t. Jesus doesn’t promise that it will be easy, He promises that it will be worth it. This has been the hardest, yet most rewarding journey of my life. I have learned a lot about Alex, myself, and our marriage, but more importantly, I have learned more about God than I ever thought possible. Through every test we have taken, no matter what the results have come to be, God has constantly revealed His glory through it all. Each new step and each new test furthers our understanding of the conception process and honestly, it is a MIRACLE every time a new baby is born. There are so many things that have to fall into the most perfect place just for a successful conception. But I know that as soon as I see that positive pregnancy test, it will all be worth this and the only song my soul will sing is Hallelujah. I’ve seen the light of Jesus, I’ve heard His voice and when you have a promise from God, Himself, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
Genesis 17 tells the story of how God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a baby in their old age. Abraham was 99 years old and had an unwavering faith. He knew that God would provide. Sarah on the other hand, sat in her tent and scoffed at the promise as she doubted it would ever happen. In this journey, we have experienced many different seasons. Some seasons I feel like Sarah. Full of anger, bitterness, and disappointment, I scoff at God and doubt this will ever happen. But just as a rainbow appears after a rough storm, God brings me into a new season of understanding, hope, and expectation. It’s true what they say, God gives you the people in your life when you need them the most. And through this, He has surrounded me with a strong community of women to lift me up. Some of these women send me Bible verses and encouragement throughout the week, some have offered to go to appointments with me, and some of these women have gone through infertility themselves. When I step back and look at how tightly God has woven our paths together, it makes me speechless and in awe of His character. It took me a long time to realize that God is not putting us through this as a punishment, He is not a punishing God. Instead, He is taking this situation and weaving a beautiful masterpiece. He is collecting my tears and He has been for almost two years now. His heart breaks when my heart breaks, for He knows how tough this is, yet through the tears He whispers, “Not yet, my daughter. Just wait.” And so I do.
Over time, God has shown us the bigger picture for this whole journey. Seek the maker, not the miracle. I have turned my worry into worship as He continues to call me to find Him in every situation and to step deeper into my relationship with Him. He has called me to pray big prayers, worship with a passion, volunteer my time, and serve His people every day. Instead of keeping my eyes on the murky waters that sink my boat, He wants me to stay focused on Him so that I have the strength and faith to step out of the boat and walk on the waters alongside of Him. And with that mindset, it’s hard to be mad or bitter about this path we are on. God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers and quite frankly, if God believes we are strong enough to handle this, who am I to argue or think differently.
When we first found out about all of this back in January, we had no idea what to do. We felt so alone and as if we were the only people going through this because it’s just something that’s not talked about. Yet, as this year has continued on, we have found and learned about many other couples who are experiencing the same thing and we want them to know that they are not alone. That there is a God who loves them, has a plan for them, and wants to heal them. We want to join forces with these couples, hold their hand through the muck and the mud, and love them through their journey. The Kingdom of God is too good to abandon in times of trouble, God is too good to walk away from. Therefore we say, we will take all of the pain, tears, and negative pregnancy tests we need to in order to build the Kingdom of God. If this is His plan for us, we will follow. Thy will be done.
Honestly, this stuff is hard. I think the hardest part of all is knowing that, at times, Alex is hurting from a pain that I cannot heal. There is nothing that I can do or say to make him feel better. Sometimes, it’s just easier to sit and say, “I am with you.” The pain that he and I both feel can only be healed by God and His love for us. We have come a long way, yet we still have a ways to go. God’s work is evident, but He is not done. I am thankful for all that He has done thus far and I am ecstatic to see what He still has in store for us. He has challenged us more in this journey than He ever has. We have cried together, laughed together, and hugged each other a little more tightly since this all began. But I step back and look at our marriage and I thank God for what He is bringing us through. For as He brings me closer to Alex, He brings me even closer to Himself.
This is what God has called us to do and this is why we share our testimony with you today. We have found that even in the midst of the darkest night and toughest battle- God is still GOOD. God's goodness is not based on our circumstance, it is based on who God is and his character. We are Alex and Stephanie Booe and this is our testimony.
Photo Credits:
Featured Photo: Laura Moon
Hands:  Photo by Min An from Pexels
Black and White Man:  Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels
Woman on dock: Pexels