It’s not a given: One woman’s journey to get pregnant

It’s not a given: One woman’s journey to get pregnant


Ashley Simpson wanted to give her son, James, a sibling, but her journey to making his dream their reality wasn’t easy. She and her husband thought adding to their family would be as simple as her first pregnancy. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Like millions of other couples, Ashely and her husband found out they were infertile.

As a Labor & Delivery nurse at Providence Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, Washington, this news was difficult for Ashley to process, but she never lost hope.

She shared: “At first, we thought our timing was off, but then a year went by, and I really started to worry. After two years passed, we sought opinions from reproductive specialists, and learned we had a one percent chance of conceiving naturally.”

Ashely felt scared and uncertain, but never alone.

Infertility impacts many couples

Infertility and miscarriage are often perceived as taboo topics. Ashley said, “No one wants to talk about it, but at the same time it’s important to talk about it because people experience it.”

Infertility isn’t just a female condition, it’s a human condition that can impact any person, often without explanation. Below are some statistics from the CDC regarding infertility:

  • About 12% of women in the U.S. between the ages of 15−44 have difficulty getting or staying pregnant
  • In nearly 35% of couples with infertility, a male factor is identified alongside a female factor
  • In 8% of couples classified as infertile, the male factor is the sole identifiable cause

While it’s a common issue among both women and men, women typically carry the biggest burden due to combined medical obstacles and societal pressures. Ashely certainly carried a burden, but she had an amazing support system to help her on her journey.

Hope for those struggling with infertility

As Ashely was trying to process the fact that the chances of expanding her family were fleeting, 14 other nurses on the maternity unit where she worked at Holy Family Hospital were pregnant. These other nurses, in tandem with her husband, were her family − her support system.

“I know many of us were praying for her and wanting her to have a baby,” shared Heidi Mohn, a Labor & Delivery nurse who works with Ashley. “As people got pregnant…as I was expecting my second…she was very gracious to all of us and shared in our joy.”

This is a story of hope, perseverance and faith. You can watch Ashely’s full story (7 minutes) below. Hopefully, she will inspire you and give you hope if ever you find yourself in a similar situation.

Related resources

Breaking down the barriers of the hysterectomy conversation

Midwives and doulas working together to create your birth dream team

Pregnancy: Everything you need to know for your journey


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