FEATURE STORY

When my husband and I began dating, we could feel that the energy of this relationship was different and that there was a unique bond between us. We knew this was it for us and felt nothing but excitement for the future. When we married in 2014, like many couples, we decided to start a family right away without so much of a thought as to any roadblocks. I often think back to our complete naivety to the process of having children. We could not have predicted the journey that lay ahead of us; one that would bare our souls, test our faith, force us to lean on each other in ways only that unique bond could uphold - but also a journey that would renew our spirits in a way only God could and create a passion in me to be a light to others walking down the dark road of infertility.   

 

A first year of marriage quickly passed without any pregnancies. After a year and a half with no results, we visited a fertility doctor who went over fertility treatment options. The thought of starting treatment at that time was overwhelming so we decided to take a holistic approach instead.  After six months of acupuncture, I had a HSG done in June 2016 which showed I had a blocked tube (that was able to be cleared). 

 

I changed my diet and started taking Chinese herbs. I also visited a Sobadora (Mexican healer) several times, who was certain that acupuncture would not work for me but I remained hopeful that it would. After another 6 months, my acupuncturist recommended that I move on to IUI. By this time it had been 2 1/2 years without a pregnancy and I started to feel like there was something wrong with me as a woman. This was around the time I felt a break in my spirit.

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There was an aching in my soul, not only from the desire to be a mother and have a child, but also a deep sadness that was comparable to grief. I began to shed layers and be vulnerable. This is when I started writing...my thoughts, feelings, fears and experiences through infertility. I could feel that God was transforming me but it didn't always feel good. 

At the start of 2017, I declared a change in my attitude and in our approach. We entered the complicated world of fertility treatments. Once again, we were naive to the process, the statistics, the expectation and the disappointment attached to fertility treatments. Our first IUI seemed hopeful; however, the results revealed it was unsuccessful.  We decided to do it again right away. This time I had an adverse reaction to the medication, and once again, the IUI was unsuccessful. After yet another attempt, our doctor told me I may never get pregnant. My spirit felt crushed. I decided to take a break at this point. I was in disbelief at the level of pain and sadness infertility created, even in the most optimistic of people, like myself. The isolation was unbearable at times. I decided to go public with our struggle around this time.

 

Holding it in was too painful.

It takes courage to openly share personal and intimate struggles

but to this day it was one of the best decisions I've made with regard to infertility.

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Doing so opened up a world of support through a community I had no idea existed. With newfound support, empowerment and encouragement under my belt, we consulted with a new fertility doctor to discuss IVF (something we never thought we would ever consider). During the ultrasound, it was discovered that I had posterior adenomyosis, making implantation difficult. After yet another setback with our first egg retrieval, fast forward to two rounds of IVF and we finally got a positive pregnancy result for the first time in our marriage after nearly four years and were blessed with a baby boy on July 16, 2018.

In August of 2019, my book Hope Strong was published and it is the second most fulfilling thing I've birthed, after my son of course. This book compiles my writing over the years of the many emotions felt during infertility and how leaning on hope and the promises of God can pull you through. The road that leads us to our destination may look very different than we originally thought. It may require a level of us we do not think we can endure. There is no trial that enters our life void of meaning and purpose. I've learned that there is a beauty in transparency, that sharing pain transforms and heals both parties and can pave a way to navigate through our darkest trials. In 2020, I published my second book, inspired by my miracle baby. My children's book, Embaby Elio, captures the adventures of IVF through the eyes of an embryo and is a beautiful reminder to parents of the miracle that their baby is. 

In 2021, I received an endometriosis diagnosis after experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. It made me think about the fact that even when we "beat infertility," we can find ourselves still battling it. But this time, wiser and stronger, carrying the lessons of years prior.  

 

I hope my story and books touch the hearts of those feeling despair and needing a boost of hope. I can never forget my journey to motherhood or lose the desire to share the lessons learned along the way, offering encouragement to others and a reminder to always hope STRONG.

 

Christina Oberon was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii before moving to Los Angeles. She and her husband went through four years of infertility and multiple rounds of fertility treatments before conceiving their son, Kai, via in vitro fertilization. During the Oberons’ infertility journey, Christina became passionate about encouraging and supporting other women on their journey to motherhood and continues to be active in the infertility community hoping to empower, uplift, and instill hope in those suffering from the heartache that infertility brings. She is the author of Hope Strong - Navigating the Emotions of Your Infertility Journey: Overcome the Pain and Thrive With Hope, as well as children's book, Embaby Elio.

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Beauty in Transparency
by Christina Oberon
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