The Journey Begins

“Whether or not you are at the beginning, going through it, or recovering after infertility treatments, trust that owning your story is the way through it and back to you”
This is our story, our beginning.

March 2018

Not really sure where to begin. This is my first ever blog.  I have been through a lot in my life, and I am a person that does not like to keep things in. I express my emotions. I let them out. Everybody is different. Everybody’s Journey is different. I came here mostly for a vent to express all my feelings, to not boil them up inside. I started reading infertility stories and blogs, and realized a few things. Some helped, some made me cry more, but it didn’t make me feel so alone. Me and my husband are the unlucky 15% of couples that struggle with infertility. So this is our quest and journey to parenthood.

Today I had my appointment at my OBGYN and my lifelong fear on infertility became a fact when the doctor slid me the brochures for IVF clinics. We have only been trying together as a couple for 7months, and yes this is early compared to most couples I realize this. But I have known from day 1 this would be a challenge. I just felt it in my gut, I knew something was wrong, and we would need additional help. Rather than waiting 1-2+ years like other couples, I seeked help sooner rather than later. A little background on us- I have had heavy, irregular periods all my life. I originally went on the pill due to my periods. The doctors had warned me at that time that my periods may be an issue in the future with fertility “we will cross that bridge when we get there” My mom had infertility struggles as well.  I have been estranged from my mother for many years, and have always longed to become a mom. I always wanted to give a child that love that I always craved and seeked for. I could be a great mom, I know I have so much love to give. Flash forward to my time off the pill, I had some concerning symptoms. Tried the IUD, no such luck; my symptoms persisted (pain with intercourse, heavy irregular >35 day cycles, and continuous negative pregnancy tests despite tracking my cycle and fertile window and ovulation kits). My husband has a history of infertility with a previous partner (>1yr of trying with not conceiving- which is the standard for a diagnosis), and he was sent to Urology to determine if he is a factor. He got some results that made natural conceiving more challenging. So with all of that, here we are today. My doctor felt we had enough to get referred to IVF and we didnt need to wait 12months, and I got slid those pamphlets which sunk deep into my heart.

I mean I knew this day was coming, I could feel it; I had a deep feeling in my gut, that knew we would need additional help.  But still; its hard to have your fear become a reality. I managed to hold it together while at the doctors, it took everything inside of me, I made my follow up, and then went out to my car and balled my eyes out. I felt like less of a women, I couldn’t provide a family for me and my husband. Why couldn’t this come natural to me like so many other women. I see women out there that don’t want children or are pissed that they are pregnant. I hear so many women complain about there pregnancy. I understand it’s not always great being pregnant, but it is a gift, it is a living growing miracle inside of you that not every female is capable of having. I know I am not alone, and that helps. Don’t get me wrong, I have many close friends around me with young children, and I genuinely am happy for them, and love their children dearly. I am in no way jealous of them, just with every pregnancy announcement is devastating. Not because I am not happy for them, but because I am sad for us. I see that look on my husband’s face that boyish grin when he thinks we may be pregnant, and he sees that one line of the stick, or the doctor comes out and says “you’re not pregnant”– I see that boyish grin disappear. It breaks my heart every time.

There is a large part of me that is ANGRY. Why me, why us? D would be such a caring, compassionate Daddy. He has so much love to give. In his past relationship they had tried, and when that relationship ended, he came to terms with “always being an uncle. I came to terms with I may not find a partner to share a life and family with.” He was ecstatic when we met and fell in love so quickly, his chance of being a dad was so close. Another part of me is SAD. For what if our day to biologically have our own children will never come. We are actually both on board with adoption. Prior to our infertility journey, we were pretty open early on, for it was something we both wanted. My husbands best friend growing up is adopted, and I have always had a special place for children in the system, and wanting to love them all. I think it comes back to my challenging relationship with my mother. While I did have a good upbringing when I was young, I know the feeling of being unwanted and unloved by a parent. Therefore I would love to show a child that blood doesn’t always make a family. We will adopt, we will be parents, but we both do long for our biological children, not that our adopted children would be any less of our children. I just selfishly want to have that special bond with my husband. I want to give him babies. I want to see that ‘so in love, boyish grin’ on his face the day our miracle baby comes into the world.  Another part of me is FEARFUL this will be the thing that breaks us. Infertility has been known to destroy relationships, it can be very waying on a couple. I know how badly we both want this, and we will conquer this together just like we always do. “Going through years-long infertility struggles is not for the faint of heart. It can either make or break your marital relationship. Make the determined commitment that no matter what happens, you and your husband were…and are a couple first.” The other part of me feels HOPEFUL and STRONG. Hopeful. We are in the best area in the country for infertility. I’m hopeful we will find the perfect doctor for us who will help us along this emotional rollercoaster that is infertility. We will be victorious, and we will get our miracle with 10 little fingers and 10 little toes. Strong. I have conquered many things in my life; the good, the bad, and the painfully ugly. It has made me the woman I am today. I have battled 2 parents with mental illness and addiction. I graduated from nursing school (first in my family to go to college- couch surfed for a portion of it; left everything and everybody I knew to move across the country to start my own journey- met my husband and moved back to where I came from to be closer to a network for us, a support system for raising children. If it weren’t for my incredible friends along the way, I may not have made it to where I am today.  Most of my life has been a battle. The only thing that came easy to me was from the moment I met my husband I knew he was my forever. He is my soulmate, we will make it through this journey. I will remain strong and get through another battle in my life. I came out of all my battles as a warrior. This is my next battle. This will not defeat me– or us. I will be open about it and continue to talk to others. Allow women, and men, to express their feelings. The world is so hush hush about fetus/infant loss and the struggles of infertility. We are not alone. You don’t realize how many people struggle until you talk and open up. This is our journey– our baby battle. Our quest for our miracle of 10 little fingers and 10 little toes and an adorable “Dr.Jones” nose.

Let it begin…

 

Letter to Momma’s Struggling with Infertility on Mothers Day

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“I’ll never forget the heat that rose to my face that Sunday at church when the pastor asked the mothers to come to the front for a collection of roses to be handed out. I watched as practically every woman in attendance stood and moved forward, some with little ones attached to their hips. They all wore genuine smiles, enjoying their day, seeming to exude a glow I was sure I’d lost over the course of two failed IVF treatments and being told I would likely never be pregnant at all.

I wasn’t one of the lucky women being celebrated on this day.

Motherhood was the thing I had wanted more than anything else. The thing I had always been sure would one day be mine.

But that Sunday at church, that Mother’s Day, it had finally become painfully clear to me that my dream of motherhood might be woefully out of reach. And being forced to sit in my place as other mothers rose for the praise they had obviously earned… it was soul-crushing.

A visceral reminder of the emptiness in my own womb.

Mother’s Day was easily one of the most painful days of the year for me. Which is maybe why I can’t help but think of those mothers who aren’t mothers yet as another Mother’s Day rolls around, even though I now get to wear the title of Mother proudly myself.

If I could say one thing to those of you who are struggling, it wouldn’t be to hold out hope for your own miracle. I know when I was in the middle of it, those promises of some future magic only made me feel more defeated and alone as if no one understood what I was truly feeling

No, I wouldn’t tell you to hold out hope, because I don’t want to diminish your feelings on this day. Instead, I’d tell you to take care of yourselves—to do whatever you need to do to make it through this Mother’s Day.”

Mother’s Day has always been especially hard on me having a toxic mother, I had looked forward to and hoped for the day somebody would look at me and call me “momma.” The day I would be able to stand up in church and be proud. Instead I am here with my empty womb. This month we let our hopes get ahead of us, It was like it was our 1st cycle all over again. I had all the symptoms, we were crushed when we got that BFN. I already had the cutest way to tell my husband all set up. I was so sure, I basically started acting like I was pregnant. It sucked, I was crushed, him too. Especially on the eve of Mother’s Day. I thought to myself what if Im pregnant, how perfect and beautiful would that be.

Instead I avoided the day like the plague, didnt leave the house, didnt go in public. I relaxed with hubs on the couch. The people who reached out; it meant the world to me as I was barely keeping it together, barely making it thru the day, feeling so alone and defeated.

But I will pick myself up, do another cycle, and we are 1 cycle closer to IVF. Last IUI THANK THE LORD BABY JESUS. Then we can finally move onto IVF, and hope that will get us our miracle baby with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable “Dr Jones” nose.

Am I just getting my hopes up?

           Could this be the month? I am so much a realist its not even funny, but I am also very much a dreamer type. In past cycles I have had my hopes high, and just been let down for obvious reason. Last cycle I had my hopes up because I thought, new donor, new med; ie. better chance it’ll work. This month going into this cycle I went thru the motions, but thought ok cycle 5; 2 more cycles of this BS and then I can move onto IVF with little faith and hope that we would actually be successful in IUI. I had recently purchased a new book called “making babies.”

 I highly recommend this book to anybody trying to and thinking about  trying to conceive. This is a “3 month proven program.” Written by 2 people basically a combo of eastern and western medicine– which I have always been a strong believer in because of my autoimmune diseases. So I’ve learned a lot about my “type of fertility” and ways in which I can help myself be healthier for my future offspring. I learned quite a bit. I have increased my supplement use (the amount of pills I take a day is AWFUL- I look like I’m 85; which my husband likes to tell me on the regular). I have made it a point to do meditation and/or yoga everyday- not realizing how much stress can affect on your hormones. 

                   Having PCOS my hormones are already out of wack, so want to decrease the effect on my body. Even having a child put aside, this book was helpful in showing me ways to help my body more naturally. I also have MTHFR (a disorder when you do not absorb vital vitamins in your body – folic acid being a big one; predisposing you to vitamin deficiencies. Also some medications we take and autoimmune diseases can already predispose you to vitamin deficiencies. Ie I take Metformin and have celiac disease (both predisposing to Vitamin B12 deificiencies) Vitamins are so vital to fetal development and general health. So MTHFR is important in trying to conceive because you do not hold onto folic acid, making you much higher risk for miscarriage and neural defects, so I take a folate pill (ive been on for a while). But what I didn’t know about MTHFR (future post to follow about MTHFR) is it is considered a clotting disorder, and the recommendation is to be on a baby aspirin daily. There is already a high family history of stroke and heart attack in my family, so I used to take one everyday, but came off when starting my TTC journey. “Taking a baby Aspirin everyday can increase your chances of TTC by 37% for certain people (people with clotting disorders, ie MTHFR)”– this astonishes me, and makes me a little angry wishing I started earlier. 

           So anyway end rant– back to my hopes being up. Went in for my IUI, had some cramping all day (normal considering they mildly dilate your cervix during procedure- ouch) Cramping went away the following day, but came back again the next day (this time on my right side). This was pretty sharp in nature, making hard to sit and stand for some parts of the day. Knowing this was most likely a sign of ovulation this made me happy. My large follicle was on my R ovary per the ultrasound tech, so this made sense. Also since I have PCOS I overproduce follicles, so tend to be more painful due to fertility meds. This is the most cramping/pain I’ve had- again happy thinking OK I’m ovulating. Not convinced I ovulate every month, this makes me happy. Pain was much duller/barely noticed the next day. But again the next day pain came back, not nearly as severe as before (4 days post IUI, still on the R side). The pain/cramping/uncomfortable feeling has persisted. Today is now 6 days post IUI, and today I have developed some lower back tenderness- more noticable. But now that I think back my back has been sore last couple days as well, today more prominent. And I have been quite bloated last 3 days as well (that I usually dont think anything of because of my stomach issues, but quite persistent – not my usual). The pain is not severe it is mild in nature, but it has been making me tilt my head a bit more this month. It’s making me think, could this actually be my month. I am usually 100% asymptomatic minus the 1 month I had food aversion (that was weird).  Trying to be the realist that I am, but also pretty intuitive with my body, and something feels different. I am a little nervous if I am it could be ectopic, as It does seem to persist on that one side. I don’t believe the incidence rate for ectopic with IUI is any higher than natural pregnancy, but like I said- realist. We shall see, until then I continue to fill up on pineapple. Talk to ya soon folks. 

This is our journey to you with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable ‘Dr. Jones’ nose. 

I believe most people are good…

April 2019

“I believe most people are good
And most mama’s oughta qualify for sainthood
I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights
I believe you love who you love
Ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of
I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks
I believe most people are good“- luke bryan

These lyrics come to mind. Love this song. 💕 So I just started a new position at my work recently. So orientation all over again yanno how that is 🙄… I am currently training in the ICU. And last night was only my 2nd night. I am training with this wonderful lady B. After only knowing B for one mere night. We bonded and chatted a lot. She told me about how she had 4 boys and 2 of them being twin boys. I told her I was going thru fertility treatments, and without hesitation she was so supportive. She proceeded to tell me about this medal she had St Gerard the saint for momma’s and infants. She wore it when she got pregnant with her twins. Then she gave it to a friend who struggled and she got pregnant with twins. She then gave it to her cousin and she got pregnant with TWINS. 🤣 And after one day of knowing her she brought it in for me last night. She simply said it’s yours now. Wear it thru your pregnancy 💕 The compassion the support, words cannot explain what this meant to me. And she brought another medal in that she told my husband to put in his wallet. In this world where there is such loss and sadness and human kind hurting human kind there is still human kindness 💕🙏 I am so thankful to learn under this amazing lady. And I hope we get our miracle, I joke that I would love twins since it’s taking so long to get pregnant, twins and be done. We shall see…

Happy infertility awareness week ♥️💙💜💚 and I’m wearing my pineapples 👍

While St. Gerard watches over us, this is our journey to you with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable ‘Dr. Jones’ nose.

Faith. Family. Forever 💕

April 2019

Yesterday was a wonderful day. It was in the high 60s had some errands to do, so took my pups with me. She’s always the happiest when shes in the car!!! Went out to eat with my stepmom whom I haven’t seen in a while, and then we went Christmas tree shopping together. I know this may not sound like much to most, but growing up with such a rocky relationship with my mom, I rarely had these moments. My stepmom is getting older (my dad had me late in life), so I don’t see her as often as I used to. So I cherish these little moments. It was her idea to go shopping yet I was the one with the full carriage 🤷 and she bought maybe 3 things. Gotta love it. This photo was among the things I purchased I couldn’t help it. It spoke to me. It will hang in our spare room hoping someday will be our nursery.

So today I go in for my 5th IUI. Unfortunately D has to work so I have to go at it alone which is never fun. I just want him there. I have made it a point to meditate every day and I’ve been doing yoga everyday. It’s been great. I switched to starting my days with hot water and lemon rather than coffee, and I feel sooooo much better. Rome wasn’t built in a day however, it will be a slow transition away from coffee. 😆

So now we wait again. The two week wait…

And if this isn’t our month 1 more cycle until IVF. 🙏🙏💕💚💙💜♥️💗

We continue to wait on our journey to you with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable Dr. Jones nose.

Dear Easter Bunny

April 2019

Today is just one of those days. As I sat at my computer and did some bills I just started uncontrollably sobbing thinking, will I ever get that day of hugging and holding a child that looks up and calls me Momma. Then I picked myself up and went to my girlfriend’s, mom of 2, 3weeks postpartum. We decorated eggs for Easter with her adorable 5yr old daughter. From my previous Easter post last year; Easter is a holiday that I struggle with, with no child. It is very much a kid centered holiday. Makes infertility and having no child that much harder. I’m sure they all noticed how sad I seemed- but I tried to appear happy under my extreme sadness and defeat in the day. It was fun, I will admit. I am a very determined person so once you got those eggs in my hand they had to be the most vibrant beautiful eggs you had ever seen. Some beautiful blues and greens and reds and pinks 💙💜💚💗♥️ We of course had to make them sparkly and put stickers on them. Naturally, that’s what you do when your five. Her brand new baby girl was so precious also, of course I held her a ton. She fell asleep in my arms, while her sister was also sitting on my lap, and melted my heart. I long for the day, the day I get to hold you and look deep into your sweet precious eyes with your adorable Dr. Jones nose. The day you look up at me for me and daddy will be your whole world. So today under my smile and laughter I cried inside and ached so Deeply for a child of my very own. So this weekend I will be thankful it is my weekend on. Work will be a good distraction. A distraction from this holiday I long to be a part of so Deeply, for this is not my year. For hopefully my eggs will continue to grow and next year the hunt will be over. 😉

This is our baby battle. Our journey to you with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable Dr. Jones nose.

waiting on our tiny love..

1n8

April 2019

This one hit me a little harder than previously. I was due to get my beta last Saturday. I chose to test a day early because hubs had the day off. I have said from the beginning I didn’t want him to find out we were pregnant thru our doctors office calling us on the phone. I secretly still want that special moment just me and him when we finally get our miracle baby. Welp this month was not that month. I tested on Friday, stumbled out of bed, went pee and then immediately went “ugh… i was suppose to save that pee.” So it was my second pee of the day =/ … but it was 100% absolutely negative. I knew it was the truth, I could feel it in my gut. My immediate response honestly was nothing. Numbness. I went about my day, errands, went for a run. Hubs got home, didnt even mention it. Chose to have a glass … or 3… of wine. He didnt say anything but knew after my 1st glass that I must of tested early. Later that night I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. He shed a few tears as well. I was so sad I didnt wanna go in the next day for my beta (since its a weekend I would have to drive an hr to the only office open on weekends). “I dont wanna drive an hr each way for someone to tell me Im not pregnant when I already know Im not.” So I boycotted it. He was wonderful he called the clinic, and said I wasnt coming in. Just that one phone call meant the world. Its hard for him, he feels like he cant do anything to help the process. So instead, we had a great Saturday, we rented bikes in Providence and rode around the city. Got ice cream, had some great food and some great drinks. The office called and said I needed to come in, I wasnt allowed to start another cycle until they had a negative test …ARG. I hate this process. So I went in on Monday afternoon to have my bloodwork drawn (while I had AF). Nothing like taking a pregnancy test when you have your period. 

I honestly had a high optimism about this one, I let myself be hopeful despite being an extreme realist. 6 days after our IUI procedure (around the time implantation would have been) there were a few signs, spiritually speaking. Hubs had a dream that our office called him rather than me said “we were pregnant, and he welped up and balled his eyes out in pure joy.” He was so excited to tell me of his dream; interesting since he hasnt had any dreams since this whole process started a year ago. A couple hours later a girlfriend from work messaged me “I had a dream last night, and you had a little nuggy in your belly.” We aren’t super close, so again strange she had a dream. Also one of my besties then messaged me about an hr later …”how are you feeling today?” A little peculiar I was intrigued told her about these dreams.. she said she woke up in the AM and all she could think was that I was pregnant and continued to think that way all day, but didnt wanna tell me just in case. Very strange that all these happened in the same day. Again Im a realist, but this gave me a bit more optimism. After all this month I did switch meds, switch donors, did acupuncture, massage, chiropractor and reiki therapy. Thought what the hell Ill be hopeful. Welp here I am, upon another failed cycle. 

So Ive been running with my doggy and spending some time focusing on me. There is a small park just a couple blocks from where we live that has swings. Im such a little kid at heart, and love swings. Whenever, I had a bad day growing up I would go and swing on the swings. Swings calm me down, and allow me to forget even for a couple minutes. So Ive been making a point to hang out there a lot; its helped. I started meds again last night for our 5th IUI cycle (we need 6, then we can move forward with IVF). I pray this process isnt too much longer for us.

Hubs calls me baby love or little love a lot; its one of his cute names for me. Our doggy is fluffy love (shes very fluffy). He was joking one day saying what the babys nickname would be he brought up baby love and little love; selfishly I didnt want to lose my nicknames they have grown on me so much now. I thought how about tiny love. He loved it. So we continue to wait while our hearts ache for our little tiny love. This is our baby battle. This is our journey to you with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable “Dr. Jones” nose. 

Trying to be a better me…

March 2019

I grew up with abuse and a highly toxic mother. We haven’t spoken in over 2 years, and I’ve never been happier and at ease emotionally. In those 2 years though I have had to step up to take care of my fathers worsening health, and newly diagnosed dementia. I am his healthcare proxy, and nothing happens to him physically or mentally without going through me first. So needless to say I have ALOT on my plate when you add the world of Infertility into it, which we dove into 1 year ago. My whole life once adolescence hit I had to take care of my mother mentally as she struggled with everyday life and society. It made being a kid and teenager extremely difficult. I had to grow up very young, and it brings me to the fact of always wanting to be a mom. I was always that 17yr old mother hen in the group. I still am in my circle of friends even though most of them are moms themselves. For years, I knew therapy would help, but never wanted to admit to going for the mere of it would make me feel like “her.” I managed things well believe it or not, so I thought I would be fine. Then I hit the wall of infertility. The dream I always had of being a mom, what I thought would come easy to me, just didn’t. I now had another uphill battle. Long and windy. It made me hurt, it made me cry. I think even a little different because I didn’t have my own mother in my life. The  struggles I thought I had gotten past had suddenly been more in the foreground now that I was trying to become a mom. I didn’t want to be sad when I became a mom, I didn’t want to have unfinished baggage that carried over. I didn’t want to be broken through this struggle. I want to be a warrior and be strong because that it what my husband and future children deserve. It is also WHAT I DESERVE, to be the best version of myself. 

As seen in my previous posts. I have gotten back into yoga and running. I also started going to therapy about 6 months ago for the first time ever. I had gone with my mother before, but it was always for her and her struggles, and what I could do to help. This time its an unbiased person for me. Am I struggles normal? Am I normal to feel the way I feel? Am I choosing the right path? Is this going to break me? Am I going to turn out like “her” – “emotionally unstable”. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I have learned I am handling life the very best I can, and I am very stable. I actually have extremely accurate and great insight– maybe that stems from being a nurse, and growing up with such difficult circumstances and a very unstable mother. I am able to pick up on things quicker, read people easier. My therapist is wonderful, and said she wants to give me a gold star like when your little because of how well I am doing. We talk about the future, me and D becoming parents often, it gives me hope. Therapy has been the best thing for me. Just some reassurance I am doing just fine. Its ok to have days where you don’t want to get out of bed–but you can’t lay down and live there. You have to chose to get up and keep living. Its OK to be sad/mad with certain circumstances and outcomes, but you have to chose to continue to move past it. It gets better. I honestly feel that way.

This month we had to pick a new sperm donor, and I started new hormone medication. I am pulling out all the stops for this IUI cycle. Tomorrow will be my 4th IUI, I triggered yesterday with Ovidrel. Today I am blogging (this helps). I am gonna to do yoga, go for a run, relieve the stress. Tomorrow I will do accupunture before and after our IUI, and my girlfriend is going to do Reiki Therapy on me, and I have a scheduled massage. I am going to allow my body extreme relaxation and pampering, and allow my body to work on me for a while. Be the best me for its what myself and my family deserve. I am no longer thinking I can control things, I am leaving it up to faith and whats meant to be. I just want to be the very best me when we get there. Till then we pray for our little miracle…..

This is our baby battle. Our journey to you with 10 little fingers 10 little toes and an adorable “Dr. Jones” nose.