Getting pregnant can be easy for some couples and for others, it can be a physical and emotional struggle.
The older a woman gets, the harder it becomes.
In the first part of our series on women's health, we share the story of a couple in their 40s who went through a lot of heartache for their miracle baby.
The pain a couple goes through when they can't have a baby can be hard to put into words.
The road is long, the journey is heartbreaking. Allyson and Jimmy Wilson thought getting pregnant would be easy.
”You journal, you pray harder, you talk to God in a different way,” Allyson Wilson said.
Allyson had two babies very easily in her first marriage.
”Stepping into this it was like maybe it will take three months and we'll be good to go,” Allyson said.
But she was 40 and considered an advanced maternal age.
“Age trumps everything and the reason is since you start out with all these eggs right there when you are born, the eggs are sitting there in suspended animation waiting for their chance to grow,” Dr. John Gordon, a local reproductive endocrinologist, said.
Allyson and Jimmy tried for a year naturally and got nothing so they sought help. Allyson found out she had stage 4 Endometriosis and had to have two surgeries.
Then they started trying again.
“It's frustrating, but it's also emotionally hard because you take a pregnancy test every month and you think this is it and then you get a negative. It's like a loss every month,” Allyson Wilson said.
They took the next step and tried IUI, which stands for Intrauterine Insemination, placing the sperm in a woman's body.
Three times and still no positive pregnancy test.
“I was giving up. This is the way God wants it I guess,” Jimmy Wilson said.
It was time for IVF or In Vitro Fertilization, which is expensive and very involved.
“You do have to prepare your body for two totally different cycles, get your body ready to produce follicles to get the eggs, then you have to get your body ready for retrieval,” Allyson Wilson said.
The embryo transfer was completed in Nashville and then the waiting game.
”You wear fuzzy socks, you eat warm foods, you do all these things that all these girls in the fertility groups tell you to do, you do crazy things,” Allyson Wilson said.
Soon it came, a positive pregnancy test.
”We were both pretty excited. I was crying so hard the dogs were running around crying. They didn't know what was happening,” Allyson Wilson said.
But after bloodwork, the doctors told her the pregnancy wasn't viable and to stop taking her medicine.
“I told my nurse, ‘You have to tell the doctor that I'm not stopping. It's not in my heart to stop these meds, it doesn't feel right’,” Allyson Wilson said.
Her maternal instincts turned out to be right.
”We are the only case out of Nashville that we know of that went from a non-viable pregnancy to a very viable pregnancy,” Allyson Wilson said.
And now 33 weeks along, the nursery is ready and Allyson and Jimmy are so ready!
”I just cannot wait to hold her!” Allyson Wilson said.
But her memories of the struggle are not far from her mind.
”You get to know yourself, you get to know your faith, you get to know your marriage better, more. You get to be a very strong person that sometimes you didn't know you were,” Allyson Wilson said.
Allyson also found support in online groups. She said she wouldn't have been able to get through it without talking to other moms going through the same thing.
She started a support group for local moms.