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Baby Steps: Starting our family hits a snag

Meet Christine Bowley, who will write about her experience as she and her husband struggle with infertility.

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Christine Bowley wedding photo
Christine Bowley

This past 12 months was a whirlwind!

I married the guy of my dreams on a hilltop in Maryland (my home state) last June. Since then, we've been living the newlywed life. Here and there a few ups and downs but, overall, I feel like I found my best friend. We knew, even before the ceremony, we wanted a family and we were ready to get started right away.

We're both the kind of people that decide on something and want to immediately make it happen. So, we started doing what we had to do to become parents. Things took a sudden turn right about the time I went to get a check up with my lady doctor.

I told her my husband and I had been trying for a baby for about a year but hadn't been successful. She asked how far I wanted to go right now and I thought - let's just start the evaluation process.

We each went for our first round of assessments. My husband called me soon afterwards to let me know we could expect his results by email later that afternoon. "No problem," I thought - that's pretty convenient!

I remember so clearly sitting down at the coffee table hours later and opening the laptop we keep there inside the living room coffee table. I clicked open an Internet Explorer tab and signed in to check our emails. Right away, I saw an email address with the doc's office name in it and [No Subject] listed. I opened it up and double clicked the attachment. What I saw couldn't have been more clear, but I was still confused. It was a table full of zeros.

Don't get me wrong - there were some numbers higher than that. But most of them fell on the far right side of the table titled: Normal Value. Next to that were the results that belonged to my husband. Those were named: Actual Value.

My eyes jerked back and forth from right to left, left to right. Under Actual Value I saw big fat zeros in seven out of 10 categories. Just underneath read the kicker: "Evaluation: Abnormal." That's where I stopped and just stared for a few minutes. The confusion faded away and that's when my stomach dropped. This was real. In a matter of one email attachment, I saw my dream of becoming a mother slipping through my fingers as if I was holding an ice cube on a scorching hot day (we all know what that feels like lately!).

So that's where our story and our journey begins. I find myself a part of the 6.1 million Americans affected by infertility. It still hurts my heart a little when I think about it.

Over the next months, and maybe even years, I plan to share our story - piece by piece - until we reach our happy ending. That may include welcoming a baby of our own.or not.

Anything can happen. For now, we wait and we pray.

Christine is an associate producer at WRAL-TV, which includes research for 5 On Your Side and producing the 10 p.m. weekend newscasts on Fox50. She, her husband and two dogs moved to the Triangle in 2006.

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