Emily and Aaron Blocker, of Jackson, Mississippi, are expecting their first child after experiencing infertility struggles. And the grateful father-to-be is giving an emotional account of the couple’s years-long journey to parenthood.
“As a husband, it’s hard to see your wife have to go through something like that. To see her in pain and hospitalized, it was really hard for me to sit there and there was nothing I could do as a husband in the process. I just tried to be as supportive as I could,” Aaron, 26, tells PEOPLE.
He adds: “I wish it could’ve been me instead of her.”
The Blockers, who first shared their story on Love What Matters, have been married for almost five years, and began trying to have children in 2016, Aaron says. However, Emily, 25, was unable to conceive naturally and was also unable to get pregnant when the couple tried intrauterine insemination (IUI).
“It was hard because you think getting pregnant isn’t supposed to be such a hard process — especially when we had a bunch of friends who got pregnant almost immediately who didn’t really try that long,” Aaron tells PEOPLE. “So it was hard, especially when people asked, ‘Well when are you gonna have kids?’ They didn’t know that we had already been trying and it just wasn’t working.”
The couple eventually turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, doctors implanted two embryos that did not result in a pregnancy. During the process, Emily had an allergic reaction to one of her IVF treatments, resulting in hospitalization, Aaron tells PEOPLE.
“It was really tough to see Emily have to go through that, because her life changed so drastically,” he tells PEOPLE. “I wish it could’ve been me because I’m the one who’s had health issues all my life.”
Aaron has long suffered from Crohn’s disease and hypophosphatasia —a rare progressive disease that can impact the bones, muscles, teeth and more — so, he says, he’s “used” to hospital visits. But for Emily, who Aaron says has always been healthy, trips to the doctor and fertility specialists became a prominent part of her life while the couple struggled to have children.
The couple’s struggles turned to joy earlier this year, though, when Emily became pregnant as a result of her third IVF implantation.
“I was in complete shock and crying at work. I don’t think I had ever been so happy in my life!” Emily tells PEOPLE of the moment she got the good news. “I got in touch with Aaron and we were both in shock.”
At 13 weeks pregnant, Emily says she and Aaron are only now beginning to fully accept the news.
“We were super nervous in the early weeks of the pregnancy, because after all we went though, it would be extremely devastating to be so excited and all that be taken away from us,” she says. “Now that I’m 13 weeks, we have started to relax a bit.”
As for Aaron, he says he’s “super excited” about the pregnancy, but there’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t wish he could have taken away his wife’s pain.
“We’re excited that she gets to carry our child. That’s what she initially wanted to do: be a mom and have a biological child,” he says. “But to get here, it’s been a long process. I wish it could’ve been me versus her.”