The Hoehn family

The Hoehn family, from left: Elliana, Laura, Emory and Simon.

The battle to overcome infertility can feel impossible. 

“We got into the thick of it when we realized we weren’t getting pregnant in 2013,” said Simon Hoehn.

Simon and his wife, Laura, hung on for three years until ultimately seeing God redeem their dream to have children.

The Hoehns, who are Southeast Christian Church attendees, now have two daughters, 3-year-old Elliana and 9-month-old Emory.

While in the middle of long days raising a newborn and toddler, changing diapers, navigating tantrums and getting little sleep or me time, Laura says she doesn’t take these days for granted.

Many times, the longer the wait, the sweeter the win.

“It definitely has made our family what it is today, and we parent the way that we do because of the struggle we went through,” said Laura, 34. “Even when it’s tough, we’re having a hard time and the kids are going through a hard stage, we’re just so grateful to actually be parents—not more than other people, just more for ourselves. We’re grateful we’re given the opportunity to experience that moment of parenting struggle, whatever it may be.”

Everyone else is expecting

Simon and Laura began trying to have children about a year after they were married in 2012.

Laura remembers how she felt after hearing family members and friends share the exciting news that they were expecting.

“My sister got pregnant and then my friend got pregnant on her honeymoon,” Laura said. “I was asking, ‘Why is it so easy for everyone else? Why wasn’t it happening as easily for us?’”

Laura took tests, tried hormone therapy, saw an acupuncturist and tried traditional Chinese medicine.

“One of the things that doesn’t get enough attention about infertility is how difficult of a process it can be,” said Simon, 34. “You get into such a regimen like where you’re in it for a year, 18 months, two years. You’re doing regular surgeries and injections. The whole process of loving your wife intimately becomes a process, and it becomes a scheduled thing. It can really dehumanize the process, and you forget the intimacy level you have, and it becomes a chore.”

The Hoehns tried anything and everything, but nothing worked.

“I was a mess because all the issues were on my end,” Laura said.

Simon said they tried to get their minds off of the fact that nothing was working.

“We were winery people and went to parties,” he said. “We did things to keep occupied, but our hearts were empty.”

A prayer of desperation

The Hoehns began to look to God for help and began attending services at Southeast.

“I remember Kyle was giving a sermon and said a snippet on infertility,” Laura said. “I don’t remember what he said about it, but I cried and was surprised to see that was discussed from the pulpit.”

“I was praying hard and at my wits’ end,” Simon added.

“My prayer was in desperation, ‘God, anything,’” Laura said. “After two years of seeing the doctor, they still had no reason for why I couldn’t get pregnant.”

As they wrestled in their walk with God, they chose to stop trying to get pregnant for one month.

Shortly after that break, Laura found out she was expecting.

“I remember that day vividly,” Laura said. “I was freaking out and called Simon a bunch because he wasn’t able to answer at first. I broke down to everyone.”

Bundles of joy

Elliana was born in 2016 and Emory was born last November.

The Hoehns now encourage others who are enduring a similar experience.

“As hard as it is to say, I think we were meant to go through that struggle so we could be as grateful for what we have now and be there for people who may be going through the same thing,” Laura said.

The only part of their infertility story they would change is the shame of covering up their struggle.

“For some reason, I made it a point not to tell anybody and not be open about it,” Laura added. “I know that it would have made it a lot easier if we surrounded ourselves with the right community and support for that.”

Since then, they’ve connected at Southeast and surrounded themselves with the right support.

Simon was baptized at Man Challenge in September 2017 and has become a Man Challenge table leader. He and Laura took a “Love & Respect” class and have been involved in a parenting small group called Raising Arrows.