Daily Blessings

Throughout this fertility journey, no matter how much life has thrown at me, I will remember my blessings & affirmations each day.

LOST

I’m feeling a bit uneasy this evening. I just need some relief, mentally & physically. I need my cycle to start so my mind can stop racing & I can move forward. I feel like I’m still walking around in this weird limbo ever since the ectopic. And it’s getting sort of old. It’s been 4 months for goodness sake.

I made a GYN appointment for this week, so fingers crossed something good comes from that.  I’d at least like to get some answers. The thing that pushed me over the edge today was when I was on my fertility support group page.  I decided to update my little blurb about myself, by adding the most recent “baby remembrance ticker” to my sidebar.  And had to write “Baby 4.”  If I can speak candidly – that’s sort of fucked up. And it made me a little sick.

That’s not something anyone should have to type. In the last 2 months or so, I haven’t really let myself think about my latest loss. I wouldn’t say I’ve purposefully avoided thinking about it, but so much other insane shit has been happening that that pain had to be put on the back burner. But when I typed that…it made me feel really sad & numb.

I always go back to a place of “maybe God is telling me…”  Here are some examples of what runs through me head:

Maybe God is telling me I’m not supposed to have a baby. And He keeps showing me over & over, but I’m not listening.

Maybe God is telling me to stop trying, because if He wanted me to have a baby, He wouldn’t let me lose so many.

Maybe God is telling me that this isn’t my lot in life. I am not meant to be a biological mother and bear a child.

I hate feeling so lost.

Ignorance is Bliss

I feel like the more I know, the less I want to know. 

I sometimes wish I could go back in time to the days of childhood, or even the teenage years, when I was pretty much clueless about real life. I would relish those times a little more if given the chance.  The older you get, the more you realize how F*ed up life can be.  You realize all your friends have F*ed up lives too, so that helps. No one is immune to struggle & drama.

That being said, recently some family issues have been brought to my attention that have been occurring over last 7 or so years. I had been kept in the dark for different reasons, including my parents not wanting to add additional burdens to me.  Well, that’s all fine and dandy but having almost a decade of steaming shit dropped onto your shoulders all at once is pretty intense, especially when this coincides with other life struggles (the ectopic, my dh being gone, etc). 

When I think about my fertility journey, I also find myself wishing I could go back in time before I was jaded and suffered so much loss.  I know that I’ll never experience pregnancy in that carefree, joyful way that I would have if my first pregnancy worked out.  I feel a little robbed of that joy, which makes my heart sad.  I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently, due to a forced TTC break, and honestly I know my body needed this break.  I am exhausted in all aspects of life. I cannot imagine being pregnant and enduring the amount of stress I’ve endured the last couple months.

I change my mind daily about how to proceed with trying-to-conceive. One day I want to save for IVF at a clinic in another state. One day I just want to go visit the clinic for testing, but not worry about treatments because I’m not ready. One day I am scared to death to ever get pregnant again, then the next day I consider adoption. The fact that I don’t know what to do tells me I am not ready to make that sort of decision yet. 

I still know I’ll be a mom one day, but I’m not sure how it will all transpire. In the meantime, I continue to build my ever-changing baby hoard and learn as much as I can. When I’m not a sobbing, emotional mess, I spend time with my friends’ babies. But sometimes you just need a flipping break. My brain has been on drama-stress overload for too long, and so has my body. So it’s time to hit the reset button.

At A Loss

It’s been over a month since my last blog and much has gone on. But I really don’t feel like getting into any of that right now. It’s after 1 am and I’m exhausted and half asleep. Today has been a rough day. I feel like in any given day I worry about 100 different things. I don’t know if this is because I’ve always been a worrywart since I was a child, or if its because I’m a woman and this is what “we” do, if I’m a tad OCD, or if my worries are all legitimate.  Most seem pretty legitimate to me. The one random worry that has me rattled tonight (and at least once a week) is my gradual hair loss & thinning.  I think as a female your hair is almost as important as your face.  It symbolizes what femininity embodies. I really wish I didn’t give two shits about my balding head, I REALLY DO.  Some days I couldn’t care less, but other days the reality of it just really hurts. And the worst part is it doesn’t seem like it will get any better anytime soon.  I’m sure those shots of methotrexate didn’t help either.

I just want to feel like the old me again.  Not the “old me” from a year or so ago, but the old me from before I ever got pregnant. The old me who was healthy, had energy, felt good all the time, wasn’t falling apart. Life has just gotten way too real for me lately. Sometimes I find myself pondering, “when did shit get so fucked up?” I look at myself and at times don’t even recognize who I’ve become. My body is so different, my skin is different, I have hair in places I never had hair before, and then I have NO hair in other place (cough…hairline), & my eyes just look jaded and sad.

I know things tend to get worse before they get better. Life is full of hills and valleys. I just feel like I’ve been rolling around in a valley for way too long, and something has got to give.

 

Candid Thoughts About Vulnerability

What is a safe environment? Where is your safe place? What constitutes your safe place?

A safe environment, to me, equates to vulnerability. And a completely safe environment means total vulnerability. Not a false sense of safety, like you may get in a counseling or therapy session. Where you meet a stranger for the first time and automatically you’re supposed to be comfortable divulging your innermost fears with this person, while simultaneously praying they aren’t judging you. That, in fact, they are hearing you. And that they’re there to actually help you. That’s a false sense of safety.

No, true safety is beyond comfort, its beyond friendship. I realized that a safe environment to me is an oxymoron. When it comes to my TTC life, my safe places are where I can be totally brutally honest and candid, yet I still have a place to hide. One thing you need to know about me is I always have an out. I always have a plan B. I like to dip my toe into the waters before I jump all the way in. I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever jumped into anything, ever, in my life. I may dabble, I may wade around, I may swim and I may even drown… but I never full immerse myself into the water and SIT there. I don’t like to sit in my vulnerability.

There’s an online group some of my friends and I just started not too long ago. It’s completely private, amazing, and I let my hair down. I feel safe. But is the reason I feel safe because it’s private & behind a computer screen? Or is it because I trust these girls wholeheartedly? I think it’s both.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to a point where I am totally “out” about my fertility struggle. In essence, on “paper”, I want to be out. I want to help people know that they aren’t alone & I want them to feel empowered. But at what cost to myself? I learned a LONG time ago that you have to look out for #1. And while I’m out there saving the world from infertility, who the hell is going to be saving me? ME. I’ll still be saving myself.

Everyone’s safe zone is different. And that’s ok. Some people’s safe zone is a closet, or under a pile of blankets in bed. MY safe zone has definitely expanded over the years, so I feel there has been progress. But I do not know full freedom yet. I still suffer in silence and behind closed doors. I put on a facade, even to those who love me most. I’d like to live in a world where I can be totally myself and not be judged. Wouldnt everyone?

Scratch That Itch, Baby

I was taking a bath this evening, relaxing & sweating like a whore in church. I guess technically it was a detox bath, but all my baths are detox baths then. Regardless, I usually never sweat. I know it’s from all the crap I’ve been shoving in my mouth lately, but I also hope it’s a sign AF is coming soon, and my body is ready to expel some nastiness. Once my beta reaches zero I cam properly detox and I cannot wait!

Although it’s been great not having a period for over 6 weeks, I’m ready to move past this ectopic. It seems like it ended a long time ago & physically I feel normal, but the weekly blood draws & being forbidden from taking all vitamins & folic acid is a friendly reminder. It’s become like this nagging itch in the middle of my back. You know, when you have to rub yourself on a wall corner like a weirdo to get relief? That’s it.

For those interested, I use a combo of epsom salts, baking soda and sometimes sea salt in my bath. I’ll add lavender essential oil when I have it, also.

She Walks a Fine Line

Knowing that your days of trying to conceive have been officially put on hold the week after Infertility Awareness Week walks a fine between fuc*ed up and ironic.

Technically, my fate was decided after my 2nd shot of methotrexate for this ectopic… that 6 month “waiting period” for your body to rebound from the nasty drug, to detox and to rebuild your folate stores. But on top of that, my husband won’t be around to make any babies for awhile.

It’s a feeling of sadness yet relief. Or should I say, a roller coaster of sadness followed by relief followed by sadness. You get the picture.

I’ve never felt so emotionally unstable & like a crazy person until I got pregnant the first time. I was never one to get PMS or feel moody ever in my life, but my God has that changed over the last 4 or so years. I can’t even imagine what menopause will be like…

So this waiting period will hopefully bring about time for self-healing and reflection, as well as open doors to what my future may hold. I’m still holding onto hope and planning for my one-day-baby, but keeping my heart a little more guarded.

Let’s Support One Another

2013-bloggers-challenge-badge2
As Infertility Awareness Week continues, I wanted to share a bit more helpful information I’ve been seeing with the community here. Resolve has posted links to the first batch of Bloggers Unite entries… And I am happy to see some familiar faces on the list. I think it’s very important that we not only support each other as a community, but learn from each other. Infertility is such a deep, twisted maze and finding answers can seem impossible at times. I know I can attest to the vast amount of knowledge I’ve gained from the blogs of others. I always say, you have to be your own health advocate. No one knows your body better than you.

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/2013-join-the-movement-blog-posts-page-1.html <— Here’s that link.

I challenge you to subscribe / follow just 1 new blogger today. Heck, or go crazy & follow ALL of them!

Dream a Dream

I had a playlist on my iPhone I would listen to nightly when I gave myself my lovenox shot this past cycle. The same “Spirit Baby” playlist from CD 10 and on. About halfway through the month, I added “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Mis to the list. I’ve always loved the song & with the recent release of the box office version, it popped back into my mind. But as soon as I added it, I knew it seemed a bit out of place. 
A week later I added “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge (…and because it happened to be on Glee). Hmm I should have picked up on the changing vibe then, but I didn’t. 
My songs I would sing to my spirit baby went a little dark. It was almost as if my subconscious could sense things were going south long before the storm. 
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, my subconscious was indeed right. And my ectopic adventure began…

I blogged about the night I stopped listening to my playlist. It’s too fresh and painful to listen to it still. But the one song that I catch myself singing constantly is still I Dreamed a Dream. I always saw this baby as a girl, and these words never rang truer than now. 

“And still I dream she’ll come to me
That we will live the years together.
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather.
I had a dream my life would be
So much different from this hell I’m living.
So different now from what it seemed.
Now life has killed the dream…
I dreamed.”

JOIN THE MOVEMENT… Infertility Etiquette

Yesterday I spoke briefly on my own infertility journey & how to bring awareness to the disease.  Just like any other condition or illness, when people find out, they want to help & give advice.  And just like an obese person doesn’t need to be told to lose weight by a friend, an infertile person or couple doesn’t want to be told _____________ .

  • To Just Relax or go on a vacation

Although you mean well, anything along these lines isn’t really helpful. A couple isn’t even diagnosed as infertile until after a year or more of trying to conceive without having a baby. So telling someone that relaxation is the medication they need to conceive is usually offensive and minimizes their condition. 

  • Giving advice when you have no idea what you’re talking about

Ok, this sounds a little harsh. A better way to phrase it would be uneducated advice.  Any infertile woman or man knows that unless you have been through what they have been through, you cannot possibly understand.  Now that doesn’t mean you can’t sympathize or give great advice!  But please, do your homework first and ask us questions before you start delving out “advice.”

  • Don’t say “There are worst things that could happen”

Sure, we could all be hit by a car or drop dead tomorrow. That would be probably be worse. But minimzing the deep feelings & strong emotions of someone who just had a miscarriage or a stillborn baby is cruel. Any mother knows the immediate bond and unconditional love she has for her child. A woman who has had a miscarriage feels the same way, I promise you.  Imagine if all of your children died… you would never tell that mother “things could be worse.”

  • Don’t ask “Why haven’t you tried IVF or adoption or surrogacy”

While these are all amazing ways to grow your family, not every couple is ready for these steps.  Unfortunately many people are unaware of the immense costs for IVF, adoption or surrogacy, let alone that most health insurance does not cover these services.  IVF increases the risk of multiple pregnancies and will cost $15,000 or more on average. Surrogates typically get a flat fee of $20,000 plus the birth parents pay all medical costs.  And adoption varies greatly…but you’re looking at the same costs, plus your baby will not be genetically related to you & the birth parents can always pull out at the last minute causing extreme emotional trauma. 

  • Please, don’t complain about your pregnancy or your baby (or children)

Everyone needs to bitch & moan and we totally get that! But when you are aware your dear friend or family member is struggling to build their family, please watch your words when you complain about your pregnancy. As an infertile woman, I can tell you there is nothing in this world I would rather experience than a big belly, heartburn and morning sickness.  Imagine having a wonderful dream for years and years, and you see everyone around you attain that dream, yet you are left empty handed and hurt. That’s what infertility is.

Infertility is a pain that doesn’t subside. As a woman, It has changed me greatly. So what can you do to help?

  • Be encouraging, supportive, ask questions, take interest, support our decision, remember us on Mother’s Day!
  • And lastly, be a listening ear

 

Please, visit these website for more information:

 

 

 

 

 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT…Unsilence the Silence

Bloggers Unite

Bloggers Unite


If you look at me, I don’t look remarkable. I’m a plain 30-something, healthy & thin college educated married woman.

But I am infertile. I hate the word infertile. I would never label myself as infertile, but I think sometimes you need to use these “labels” to get people’s attentions. I am the face of multiple miscarriage & autoimmune disease. I don’t look sick, but I am.

Infertility isn’t a choice. It’s not an effect of my lifestyle. I was born this way. 1 out of every 8 couples {of reproductive age} suffer with infertility. There’s a very good chance that your close friends have struggled with infertility without you even knowing! That’s because there is such a stigma around the topic. And that needs to change. My husband and I suffer in silence, with only a few close friends being in our inner circle of knowing. People look at you different when you have a hard time conceiving, but they look even more uncomfortable when you tell them you’ve had 4 miscarriages. It’s a look that is a cross between pity and uncomfortable. Society feels these emotions of confusion because they are uneducated.

What everyone needs to understand is, like any other chronic condition or disease, infertility is something you suffer with, take medication for, see specialists for, and cry your eyes out about. My 22 year old brother was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a few days ago… talk about a shock. But he and I are the same – we both have illnesses. The difference in society is his is recognized as legitimate & acceptable but mine is not.

Bearing a child is the greatest gift God can bestow upon you as a woman. For those of us who struggle and work years upon years to attain this joyful gift, and never do… there is no comfort to our hearts. Resolve is working to make our lives a little easier. To bring attention and funding to those couples or single women who need it most. And all we ask is that you listen with an open mind.

Please educate yourself by viewing the links listed below. Small steps lead to big changes.

 

 

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