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Say WHAT!? // Part 2

I have met several wonderful and encouraging ladies through blogging that, like us, are struggling with infertility. This one post was written so perfectly and expressed some of my exact thoughts, that I just had to reblog (with her permission, of course 😊). Hope it brings some insight to those that don’t understand how we feel.

This Blind Mouse

Last week, I wrote a post about some of the craziest, most insensitive comments that infertiles receive as we struggle with trying to get pregnant. In that post, I promised a follow-up that would explain some of the things our fertile friends and family members can do to help us during these difficult times. As I am writing this, I am struggling with the (very tactful and gentle) announcement of a close friend’s pregnancy. She asked about how to go about breaking the news to her other infertile friends, and her question reminded me that I owe this blog a post! My friend’s announcement, although extremely painful for me, was a reminder that there are people within the fertile community who are sensitive to the struggles of infertility. Hopefully, those of you who are not struggling with infertility will discover ways to care for your friends who are.

Don’t Brush…

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13

Not Pregnant….Again

I get my hopes up every time, but this time they were especially high. We did everything right this month. I truly, with all my heart, believed it was going to happen. So when it didn’t, you can imagine the breakdown I had. I got mad…I cried…I asked “Why me?”…I screamed “It’s not fair!”. This deep pain and disappointment and lack of understanding is becoming exceedingly difficult to deal with month after month. It is consuming my life and taking over my every thought and action, and I’m afraid the more negative results we see, the more bitter I am becoming.

I find myself feeling bitter when I scroll past pregnancy announcements on Facebook. It is a challenge to be happy for them. I feel bitter towards people in my life that have kids, even though I love those kiddos like my own. I feel bitter towards members at work that bring their kids with them and treat them poorly, and I just want to tell them to not take them for granted. I even feel bitter towards couples, who I know have been dealing with infertility for awhile, when their dreams come true and they see those two pink lines. I’m also beginning to feel bitter towards God.

And when I feel bitter, I have crazy thoughts like…

Why do other people deserve children and we don’t? That is the one question that repeatedly pops in my head. Some teenagers get pregnant and then give their babies up for adoption. Others put them in a dumpster. Some prostitutes get pregnant and leave their child alone at night to go to “work”. Some crack heads get pregnant and abort their babies. Some couples get pregnant on accident with their third or fourth or whatever number and say, oh I can’t handle another one! And I’m just over here watching and waiting and asking God why He can’t share the love!

Jim and I are at a great place in our marriage and are emotionally ready to have children. We both have good, stable jobs and Jim has awesome health insurance, so we feel we are financially ready to support children (although all our money might be spent on trying to have kids and there won’t be any left to feed them!). Last year we bought a spacious house with four bedrooms, so we have room for a growing family. We recently bought an SUV so we could comfortably travel home with two dogs and a baby. And we have so much love already for this baby that it hurts! So what else are you waiting on, God? What lesson are you trying to teach us? Is it patience? Because I think two years is long enough! (I obviously am not patient anymore.) Or are you getting ready to come back for us soon so there is no point in us having kids? Am I going to be diagnosed with some awful disease that is going to kill me in a few years so you don’t want me to bring a child into this world and then have me die on them? Are you waiting a few months because you know I really want to go to the Taylor Swift concert in September with Kelly, and if I got pregnant now I probably would have to cancel?

I really think I’m going insane here.

So I’ve been asking myself what I can do to make me feel less crazy.

The obvious answer to me is to pray. But to be quite honest, I feel like praying is getting me nowhere. Maybe I’m praying for the wrong thing? I’ve been praying month after month to just be blessed with a baby. Maybe I need to pray for understanding. But then I tell myself, I have no right to understand God. He doesn’t have to explain Himself to me. I work so hard to try to figure out His plan and read “signs”, that I’m probably missing the point. What is the point? I don’t know yet. I do know that God loves me and cares for me and knows what’s best for me. I just have to convince my heart to believe all that when times are tough like this. It’s easy to lose hope and be angry, and I think sometimes it’s ok to just be angry for a bit. But I don’t want to be consumed with bitterness.

So I think what I’m going to work on is being grateful for the blessings I do have in my life, even if I don’t have a child. I am thankful that I have found the one I get to spend the rest of my life with. I’m so glad we have awesome families that we enjoy being around. It’s pretty stinking cool that we live just a few miles from our very best friends and get to hang out with them at least once a week. God has always provided for us financially and we have never really had to worry about money. I’m thankful for our health. I’m grateful for movies and books and my TV shows that temporarily transport me to another world and take my mind off my problems. I’m thankful for having things to look forward to, like my sister’s wedding in Florida!

And most of all, I’m so very thankful that God sent His son Jesus to die on a cross to take away MY sins (like feeling bitter) so that I could live eternally with Him. Jesus, please forgive me for losing hope and faith, and for my bitterness. I need You now more than ever.

2

My Hatred of the Two Week Wait is Strong

The dreaded Two Week Wait (2WW)….you know this all too well if you have ever tried getting pregnant. It’s that time between ovulation and the start of your next cycle, which you hope doesn’t arrive because that means you are knocked up! Despite how many times I’ve had to endure the 2WW (exactly 23 times now, but who’s counting?), I do not think my patience has improved any. God, if you are trying to teach me patience this way, I’m not sure it’s working! But it does wonders for making my anxiety level go through the roof.

I am constantly overanalyzing EVERY. LITTLE. THING. about my body and convincing myself they are all symptoms of being pregnant.

Oh I’m feeling super tired today. I think this must be pregnancy fatigue! Nope, that’s just because I stayed up until 1am reading Paper Towns.

I just cannot catch my breath today! Gosh, just standing up makes me breathe harder. Must be because I have another human growing inside of me (because it would obviously work like that this early on). Oh nope, that’s just because I haven’t exercised in months and am terribly out of shape.

But that twinge! That twinge I just felt. That must be the egg implanting. Oh wait, it’s just gas.

I think I’m feeling nauseous. Could this be morning sickness? But I did accidentally swallow some toothpaste this morning.

I am craving chocolate!! Must be pregnant. But wait, I crave chocolate every day because I have an unsatisfied sweet tooth.

I have had to pee like 20 times today! Only explanation is I’m pregnant (because having to pee frequently starts the moment you conceive). Nope. I only drank 10 glasses of water today.

I am just so emotional right now. I can’t stop crying at the new Budweiser puppy commercial, so it must be my hormones are out of whack due to being pregnant. But no, that’s because I’m a sucker for puppies.

You may laugh at all that, but that is seriously the craziness that goes through my mind on a daily basis.

A new symptom I now have to analyze came from my dentist yesterday. As soon as my dental assistant starting working on my teeth, my gums started bleeding really badly. I consider myself to have above-average dental hygiene. I brush at least twice a day, sometimes three, and I floss every morning and night. My gums have never bled that horribly. So when the dentist came in to check me, she asked if we were still trying to get pregnant (Which by the way, I love that she remembers me and details about my life. Makes me feel special. 🙂 ). I said yes, and she said, “Well, you know that bleeding gums are a symptom of pregnancy because of all the extra blood flow you have. Wouldn’t that be funny if I was the one to tell you you are pregnant because of your gums? Hahahaha!” Well that would be funny, but now I’m thinking too hard about my gums and if that really means that my dreams have come true. Thanks for another symptom to get my hopes up.

AHHHHHHH! I have to stop. I’m going to go crazy with all these “what ifs”. I just need to breathe and relax and be patient. Easier said than done.

I’m going to go try to distract myself with some reading now. Good night!

2

Overwhelmed with Support!

I should have started this blog a long time ago! I was just scared to put such personal information out there for the world to see. And I won’t lie, it sill makes me nervous that our story is available for anyone to read. I guess I feel vulnerable and completely exposed. Also I just feel like society sees and treats infertility as a disease, and I’ve been fooled into believing that it is, and it makes me feel ashamed of my “disease”. I realize this is a crazy idea and am trying to work through that. Bear with me.

Anyways, enough with all the feelings.

God works in amazingly wonderful ways! So many of you have reached out to share your experiences with infertility, whether it was in the past or you are currently going through it. I had no idea most of you could relate to our situation. I truly hate that infertility is a common issue and that others have had to deal with this too, but it makes me feel less alone. That’s exactly why I felt (here we go with the feelings again) I needed to blog about it. God knew I would get the support and encouragement I needed after sharing. I’ve even had some people tell me they had a feeling that we were going through this difficult time and they have been praying for us. Now that is totally a God thing! He’s always looking out for Jim and I and making sure we are covered in prayers. I also love hearing about your success stories! Those give me hope for the future. So don’t be afraid I’m going to lash out and judo chop you if you tell me you are pregnant after struggling with infertility. I want to be able to celebrate with you in your joy! 🙂

In conclusion (I feel like I’m writing a paper for Ms. Hall’s class) thank you so very much for the prayers and support! We love you all!

9

To Catch You Up on Our Story…

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I’ve decided to start a new blog for some selfish and unselfish reasons. Jim and I have been trying to have a baby for 1 year and 10 months. Some people will say that’s not a long time, but when it’s happening to you, it is FOR.EV.ER. Jim’s idea was to start an infertility vlog to document our journey. I liked the document part, but not the vlog part. I extremely dislike seeing and hearing myself on camera; I prefer to type.

So here we are and this is why we are doing this:

  1. I’m super duper tired of people asking me, “When are you going to have kids?”. Surely this should clear that up.
  2. I don’t want to feel ashamed or embarrassed anymore about not being able to get pregnant. Not many people know we have been trying, because I feel like a failure and don’t want to discuss it. My thought process is that blogging about it will help me open up more and not be so uncomfortable speaking about our struggles.
  3. I really hope and pray that this will encourage other couples out there that are experiencing our same pain.
  4. I have no one around me that understands what I am going through, so I want to connect with other women on here and create a kind of support group for each other.
  5. I want this to give some insight to people that don’t know what it’s like to not get pregnant easily. I would never wish this experience on anyone, but I want people to understand how we feel and realize how some things they do and say can make it worse.

See, I told you those were mostly selfish reasons. Don’t judge.

One reason I am NOT doing this: To throw myself a pity party or make people feel sorry for me. Please don’t. The best thing you can do for us is just pray!

What have we done so far, you ask? Well before we finally saw a reproduction specialist, we tried everything you could think of and more. I researched and tried different herbs, I tried charting, we tried “relaxing” (yeah right), trying every night, every other night, ovulation predictor kits, and so on. You get the picture. After a year of trying, my OBGYN referred me to Dr. Reshef at Baptist. She said he is the best in the state, but that is yet to be determined. 🙂

So here is what we have done medical wise:

  • Jim’s sperm count has been tested and is within normal ranges.
  • I had a blood test performed to check my progesterone levels, which indicated that I had ovulated that cycle.
  • I had an HSG test, which, to put in layman’s terms, is where they shoot dye up your tubes to make sure you don’t have any blockages and are all connected right. If you haven’t done this and are thinking about it, just a couple of warnings: It is pretty pricey. It took up the rest of my $1250 deductible so I’m not exactly sure how much it was, but over $1000. Also, it hurts like heck! It feels like cramping but also like you have a porcupine in there. But, it is a great test to do before you try fertility treatments. Mine showed that I was all connected and had no blockages, so we could rule out some treatment options.
  • I had a post-coital test. Excuse me for getting detailed, but this is to make sure that your cervical mucus isn’t killing the sperm. Good news, mine isn’t.
  • I have taken Femara for two cycles now. Femara is like Clomid, but is supposed to have fewer negative side effects. I have honestly not experienced any from taking this. Before Dr. Reshef writes me the prescription, I have to go in and have a vaginal ultrasound performed to make sure I don’t have any ovarian cysts. I guess if you have cysts, they would not want to put you on Femara. I’m not sure why because thankfully both times now I have not had any cysts, so we haven’t had to cross that bridge. Femara is supposed to help stimulate ovulation and make you more regular so you can predict ovulation. This has done just that for us, but yet we are still not pregnant. We took December off of me taking the meds because we just needed a break from everything. Then this week I went back and got my third round prescribed, and that brings us up to date.

That may not seem like much we have tried yet, but God-willing we won’t have to go through much more. I realize some people have gone through many more medical treatments and many more years of struggling. And others are just starting and are disappointed after a few months of negative pregnancy tests. To those that can relate to this, here is what I have recently learned: Don’t think people aren’t going to care or don’t want to hear about your struggles because you’ve been trying for “just” a few months. Don’t think that people are tired of hearing about your issues after you’ve been trying for a few years. No matter what your time frame is, your pain is still just as real and significant. Plus, you never know who is listening that might be going through the same thing and is just afraid to say it out loud. You talking about it could give them some encouragement and strength.

What can you do to help couples dealing with infertility? Here are some things I would love to scream in people’s faces sometimes, but I’m passive-aggressive so I’ll just blog about it:

  • STOP TELLING US TO RELAX. If I had a dollar for every time….That is just the absolute worst thing you can say to someone trying to get pregnant. You can tell yourself to relax, but it doesn’t work. The pressure is always there in the back of your mind. Even if you are on vacation. Even if you aren’t charting. Even if you both say out loud that you aren’t going to “try” this month. It doesn’t matter.
  • Stop saying cliche crap like, “It will happen when it’s supposed to.” or “It’s all in God’s timing!” Yes, I am a Christian, and yes I believe that God has a plan for everyone’s life because the Bible tells me He does. But that doesn’t make the waiting and the anxiety and the pain any better. And maybe it should if I really gave this burden to God and let Him carry it, but you try it when you are in my shoes and let me know how it turns out. I’ve tried to give it up to Him and I do feel I’ve gotten less anxious about it, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.
  • Please please PLEASE don’t complain about your kids on social media. I’m sure parenting is full of challenges, but this is so annoying. I’m tired of seeing people say that they didn’t get any sleep last night, or their kid is in the terrible twos stage, or their baby won’t take a bottle. There are people, like me, that would give anything, and I mean ANYTHING to have children. I would love to not get any sleep at night because I have a baby to care for. So just think about that before you post on Facebook that your kid just had a blow out up his back, because I’m dreaming of dirty diapers and can’t wait for that day to come.
  • To go along with the previous, please don’t complain about being pregnant. Again, I would give anything to experience those pregnancy pains.
  • Don’t tell me you’re tired of your kids and ask me if I want them. My answer will always and forever be, YES. I do actually. Don’t take your precious children for granted.
  • When I tell you about the issues we are having, don’t tell me your fairytale story about how you have never had trouble getting pregnant and the most you’ve had to wait is three months. That’s fantastic. Exactly what I needed to hear.
  • Don’t utter these phrases: “You’re so lucky because you get to sleep in on the weekends.” “You’re so lucky that you don’t have kids because they are expensive.” “You’re so lucky because you get to go poop alone.” Well actually, I’d like to say that you are pretty darn lucky because you have offspring and I don’t. I know this is all in perspective. Some people are going to say, just wait until you have kids and you will be saying these things! But honestly, I don’t think I will. We will have waited and tried for so long, that I really think we will appreciate parenthood more. Feel free to call me out if I do any of these when we have kids one day.
  • DO listen. You don’t have to give me advice or keep telling me you are sorry (like it’s your fault). I just want you to listen to my situation and just be there for me when I’m having a bad day. You don’t have to pretend that you understand, just tell me that it sucks.
  • If I don’t want to attend a function that is full of children or centered around your child, please don’t be offended. Sometimes it can be really painful to be at a kids’ birthday party surrounded by couples that have kids and you are the only adult there without one. All the other adults do are talk about their children and what they did that week that was cute or disgusting while you just listen and smile. Then they ask you which one is yours and it’s awkward when you say none of them.

None of the above was directed at anyone in particular. Just things I constantly see/hear people do. If any of it offended you, I’m not sorry because that is honestly how people struggling with infertility feel.

I have much more I could share, but if I blog it all now, I won’t have any content for future posts. 🙂 So I think this is a good enough introduction. If you made it this far, kudos to you and thanks for reading!