Now Or Never·PERSONAL ESSAY

How we're finding joy during our fight with infertility

The pandemic is just the cherry on top of what has been an already tumultuous time for Morwenna Trevenen and Kyle Collins, who are waging a seven-year battle with infertility.

'My husband and I learned to find the silly through the sadness'

Morwenna Trevenen and her husband Kyle Collins constantly try to make each other laugh while dealing with struggles of infertility. (Kristen Sawatzky)

2020 has become such a flurry of negative feelings, with dread and doom reigning supreme.

We've got social injustices, tragedies, murder hornets, climate change and horrifying storms, and more. And the pandemic is just the cherry on top of what has been an already tumultuous time for my husband Kyle and I. 

We've had a seven-year battle with infertility.

Since our marriage began, we've tried (and failed at) all of the things: acupuncture, special exercises, medications and hormone treatments, invasive tests, painful and expensive procedures, multiple inseminations, and years of working toward adoption.

Kyle and I have spent the last seven years trying to have a child. (Submitted by Morwenna Trevenen)

Fighting to start a family

In 2016, we were lucky enough to be chosen to adopt a beautiful almost seven-month-old boy. We had filled out all of the forms and underwent testing, home studies and medical and background checks. We even had a beautiful 10 days with him before the adoption was reversed after his biological grandparents filed for guardianship.

2016 was a rough, rough year for us. We had thought it was the worst year possible. 

Then 2020 said: "Hold my beer."

We have been struggling — as everyone has, I'm sure many worse than us — with everything happening in the world this year, all while going through the agony of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.

Sometimes it's necessary to search for the good things in the world – because there are still good things in this world. Fight for reasons to smile and be joyous. Every. Dang. Day.- Morwenna Trevenen

Going through a painful, time consuming, emotionally draining and expensive process like IVF during a global pandemic? Zero stars. Do not recommend.

But here we are, waiting to see if our one embryo, our last chance at a family, will work out. (We've decided to get off the infertility crazy train after this, whether it works or not.)

We are in the middle of a global dumpster fire, and I can't even drink or go sit in a hot tub to try to relax. I feel like I've earned a hero biscuit, please!

'We're waiting to see if our last chance at a family will work out.' (Kristen Sawatzky)

Finding the fun

So how do we get through this, you ask? We constantly look for the silly! My husband has always had a fantastic ability to pull me out of my inner spirals of self-pity and make me laugh — even if just for a moment. Over the years, he has taught me to do the same. 

Whether it's building a fort after a long, tough day, simply jumping on the bed to feel like an idiot, listening to the sheer joy of children at the nearby splash pad and allowing ourselves to be infected with it, pulling out an inflatable T-Rex suit at seemingly inappropriate times, or having chicken singalongs.

Yup, you read that right. We sing songs at the top of our lungs, but replace the words with "bock bocks" and chicken clucking. Just try not to smile while doing something so ridiculous! I dare you!

Need a good laugh? Throw on a T-Rex costume and shenanigans will ensue. (Kristen Sawatzky)

Now I'm not suggesting that we should bury our feelings. That just leads to Michael Bay-esque explosions later, resulting in a big old mess.

I feel like we need to acknowledge the sad though, like Billie Holiday said: "Good morning, heartache. Sit down." Sit with it. Feel it all, so that you can move on. It can be so easy to let it swallow you up, but that way lies madness. Sometimes it's necessary to search for the good things in the world — because there are still good things in this world. Fight for reasons to smile and be joyous. Every. Dang. Day.

We (and the world) are going through major growing pains, but serious change is seriously painful. It's part of the human experience. If you can't find the light, reach out and ask! Even if you don't feel like "over-sharing," simply ask your friends to send you silly GIFs, or cat videos if that's your jam.

Fight for joy like your life depends on it — because it just might. At least, your quality of life certainly does.

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