Reflections on Our Bumpy Path – Berta’s Story

Hi, my name is Holli, and I’m infertile.

By definition, “infertile” means that I am unable to have children without medical intervention despite “trying” for over a year.

Psst….but Holli, you have twins.

I refer you back to said definition of infertile.  (Hint: There was some intervention.)

Yes, after 3 years of “trying” which included special diets, temperature charts, ovulation sticks, yoga (I once…or twice…actually stood on my head to promote fertile happenings), acupuncture, herbal concoctions, prayers, hundreds of self-inflicted shots, countless pills, doctor visits (the stirrups and I were pretty intimate) and a “few” bills to commemorate our efforts, my husband and I happily and longingly welcomed twin boys into our family.

As the spectrum of infertility goes, we consider ourselves beyond fortunate.  We endured one IVF cycle, transferred two “good” embryos with a spare to freeze, and three weeks later, heard strong heartbeat(s) at our first ultrasound.

Embryo Pics

And today, we have two strong, independent, healthy, bright, and otherwise perfect-in-our-eyes little cherubs.  (I mean, they are two years old…both of them…and dramatic and often completely irrational and oh, you should see how they can fight over a toy, but we mostly love them anyway.)

Now, I find myself whisked away into the land of motherhood with all it’s glory and grit and those memories and the pain of our infertility fade into the background.

Until they don’t.

Until I learn about a friend in the midst of her struggle.  Until I hear a story on the news about a couple undergoing the latest treatment option, hoping that this is the time.  Until we remember about Berta.


Yes.  Berta.

You see, Berta is our frozen embryo who we’ve lovingly named as such since our other children happened to all have monikers originating (by coincidence) from the original cast of Two-and-a-Half Men.  Only Berta was left.

And, she (or more likely he) awaits in a lab half way across the country.

But, most days I don’t think too much about Berta.  Because most days I’m too wrapped up in trying to survive motherhood.

Until the box of medications is delivered to my door step once more and my two-year-olds look at the box asking, “Mommy, mommy, what is it?”

Until I sit in those familiar stirrups while my children play in the waiting room where once only just my husband waited.

Until I feel the sting of the shots and the ups and the downs of that emotional roller coaster.  Again.

And I remember.

I remember how the path to family can be bumpy.  I remember the bills (piles of them), the medications (with their crazy side effects), the shots and the bruises, the road trips to the right doctor in the town 100 miles away, the hope, the heartbreak, the worry, the tears, the wonder, and the constant conversation with God.

Guide our path.  Hold our hearts.

I remember how it is an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy yet I would do again in an instant.

For them.


And so, we do it again.  For the promise we made and for the possibility.

For Berta.

To be continued…



  1. Beautiful sharing. I too have twin boys who are two – they are a bumpy road for sure, regardless of how they got here! Yes, it’s part of your story now and something you carry with you always.

  2. You bring back theses memories. I remember that bumpy road well! The pills, the shots, the disappointment. Then our first adopted joined the mix. Then the pills, the shots, the disappointment. Then our second adopted. We were content with our family. I still longed to know what it was like to have a child that looked like me. What it felt like to be pregnant. Then our surprise many years later. I didn’t listen to the doctors warnings. Although my body rejected fertility early in life, that does change. At 40. Just when you think that all that God gave you was shriveled up and dead, he had other plans. On a day when I don’t think that God could dish out any more chaos in my life, I reflect on the blessings I have been given. Thanks Holli and good luck! :)

  3. You are brave. We all do risky things as mothers. Different things, but risky.


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