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It has been over a year since I’ve been diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve(DOR). 13 months, 18 cycles(yep 18), 22 pregnancy/birth announcements. I have had ZERO pregnancies, ZERO babies, and ZERO luck.

I’ve spent the last year finding myself. Learning to love myself and be confident in doing so. In the process, I’ve learned how to fool people into thinking I’m stronger than I am. That I’m over trying so hard to become a mommy. That I don’t think about what it would feel like to have little feet kick me from the inside, or little hiccups making my belly jump everyday.

I pretend that my focus is on other things. But that’s all they are…things. Things can’t replace the love that my heart holds and longs for in growing a family. Things can’t replace watching a piece of myself and husband grow and learn. Things can’t replace wondering what our child would look like. Things. I have things, and they don’t fill the void of what should be my baby.

 

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The bigger the storm…

It has been a crazy few months, and even crazier few weeks! I started working for a direct sales company, that I completely love! My 11 year old dog has been having some issues. And…I’ve been featured in TEN articles, with my infertility photos!

Never in my life did I anticipate my life the way it has turned out. Never did I envision my life without children. I never would have considered myself a spokesperson for anything. When I had to give speeches in school, I would start sweating and shaking so bad that I wouldn’t even be able to talk. My infertility has inspired a passion so strong that I HAD to talk about it. I NEEDED to get it out. I NEEDED to let women know they are not alone. INFERTILITY SUCKS!

Unless you’ve gone through it, you don’t understand. You won’t. You can’t. You can’t imagine life without the children you’ve already birthed, and we can’t imagine life without the children we can’t birth.

Unless you’ve gone through infertility, you could never understand the emotions that we feel each month as menstruation starts. (And yes, I will talk about the evil PERIOD; because that is part of infertility). That moment when we first see that pink smear on the toilet paper. Maybe, just maybe it’s implantation bleeding. We convince ourselves. It’s still possible. As long as it doesn’t get any heavier. But it does. It ALWAYS does. And then so do the emotions. The sadness, and anger, the resentment. It all gets heavier. Heavier and harder. By day 2, we become an emotional wreck. I couldn’t tell you how many times my husband has found me crumbled on the bathroom floor sobbing. WHY ME?! WHAT DID I DO WRONG?!? WHY DOES MY BODY HAVE TO BE BROKEN!?! Every month we curse our broken bodies, questioning what Karma is paying us back for. Questioning why God won’t let us have a baby.

EVERY MONTH!

Every month, we go through the grieving process all over again. Every month feels like another funeral for a child that could have been. Think about this, imagine going to 44 funerals, in the past 3+ years. INFERTILITY SUCKS!

But we deal with it, we go through the grieving process every month, and we still stand up, brush ourselves off and move forward, knowing that the next month will be the same, but hoping it will be different. Hope. That’s all we can do. Because what do we have left without HOPE?

 

The Thing About Chemicals

The thing about chemicals is that not many people know what they are. I’m not talking about household cleaning goods, or the things used to make explosives. I’m talking about chemical pregnancies.

A chemical pregnancy is when the woman’s egg becomes fertilized and may or may not attach to the uterine lining, but for reasons unknown the pregnancy is unviable and she miscarries before 6 weeks. Many people experience this but may not know it occurs if they are not trying to conceive, as it is so early on in the pregnancy that the miscarriage is often times mistaken as a menstrual cycle.

Regardless of how early on in the pregnancy this miscarriage takes place, it is still a tragic loss. I know this, because I have experienced 3 of them. My first was a year ago today. Then the 2 consecutive months. Then…nothing. At first it gave me hope that at least I could get pregnant. Then, as time went on it became hard. When September came I thought about that child I had lost. About how he/she would’ve been born any day. Then, as Christmas came, how I would’ve experienced their first smiles, their first Thanksgiving, and first Christmas.

The first loss was the hardest. I remember being a day late and taking that test. December 28, 2015. That faint pink line appearing after 2 minutes. I thought I was seeing things. I asked my husband cautiously trying not to get too excited. Oh my gosh! After 2 years we got a second pink line! How would we announce to our parents, our friends? This is the day we had been waiting for forever!

Later that day I began spotting. It’s ok, some people spot or get menstrual cycles like normal through their whole pregnancy. But, I was worried. What if my pink line went away?  What if in a matter of hours I lost everything I wanted so badly? And then a couple days later, it happened. I was 3 weeks 6 days. I woke up with the worst cramps. Unable to pull myself out of the fetal position. Crying out in excruciating pain. Then, when I went to the bathroom clots the size of my palm. My usual 6 day period only lasted 2 days. That’s all it took. Two years of trying and then in 2 days everything was gone. Flushed down the toilet.

The physical pain of miscarrying did not even compare to the emotional pain I was experiencing. And other than my husband and mom, I kept it to myself until now. It’s taken a long time for me to open up about this, as so many people won’t understand the pain I’ve endured. The pain of losing not one, but three pregnancies. It’s the hardest thing to lose a child, no matter how young, or how soon. No matter how long you carried them. I carried each of my 3 angel babies less than 4-5 weeks, but they’ve left an impression on my heart forever.

I think about my angel babies often. I wonder who they would have looked like. His nose, my eyes, curly hair? Would it have been red, brown? Whose smile would they have?

These thoughts still swirl thru my mind on the anniversary of my first loss. I wonder will the emotional pain get easier, even if we don’t have children? Will this date always make me sad? If we do have children, will I forget the ones that could have been?

Tonite, as I cry myself to sleep, I will say a prayer for my angel babies, and other women who have experienced the tragedy of losing a child too soon. I encourage you to all hug your littles extra tight and thank your higher power that they are here with you tonite.

 

 

A Penny Saved

As we hustle about today, I keep in mind those less fortunate. Though, I may feel like I’m lacking in some areas, especially the children department, I am rich in so many other areas of my life. I have an amazing husband; who loves every crazy side of me, an amazing family; that taught me how to me crazy, and awe inspiring awesome friends! I am rich in my relationships of people who never stop showing me love and support. I have a dog who is goofy and so loving! I am blessed with a heart that never stops caring for others, and so this holiday season I have a proposition.

A while back, a friend posted a status about how she swept a penny from under her dresser onto the dustpan and discarded it. She stated that after doing so, she felt bad that she felt she was in a position to discard money when there are so many people that have less. She said she was going to start saving the spare change she found and see how much she has in a year. In a year, she should have enough to bless a person/family with Christmas dinner.

Her post touched my heart so much, that I began to do the same. I have spread the word to coworkers and family who have also started saving spare change. Instead of passing that penny on the sidewalk with the common notion of ‘someone needs it more than I do’, pick it up and turn it into something.

“God Bless Us, Everyone!”

Namaste

Breathe in…

I was finally able to experience my first yoga class yesterday.

Breathe out…

It was extremely rewarding. The stretches of mind, body, and soul all within a one hour class. I was a little timid as I didn’t think I’d be able to maneuver half of the stretches that they incorporated, but I did alright.

Breathe in…

Harder than the stretching was the clearing of the mind. “Oh my gosh, I’m starving.” “My stomach is going to grumble so loud and it’s so quiet in here.” “OH MY GOSH! WHAT IF I FART?!”

Breathe out…

After you get past all of the absurd and stressful thoughts swirling thru your mind; it’s  very peaceful. For an entire hour you get to selfishly think only of yourself and your body.

Breathe in…

All in all it was a great experience. I came out of it with a renewed spirit and achy muscles.

Breathe out…

All I Want for Christmas

For the past 2 years, I have asked Santa for a baby. This year my Christmas wish is the same. So, it comes as no surprise that the holidays are centered around children. Buying them gifts, standing in line for over an hour to see Santa, and sharing family traditions with them or creating new ones.

But, for 1 in 8 couples, the holidays are different. Instead, you watch other people celebrate everything that you can’t have but want so badly. The holidays can be sad and lonely for those experiencing infertility. This holiday season, keep the 1 in 8 in mind.

However, PEOPLE CAN BE HAPPY AT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT KIDS!

Some of you know, I’ve been very open about our infertility struggle on Facebook. That is where I have developed and maintained a strong support system…

However, yesterday I had 3 ‘friends’ post that “Christmas is so much better with kids.” Obviously, I don’t disagree, but…my feelings were of hurt, sadness, bitterness and anger. Why would people be so insensitive, knowing my struggle?

Then, I thought for a minute. Even though my Christmas wish hasn’t come true yet, I have loved every Christmas just spending it with my husband. We have developed traditions with just the 2 of us. We watch Polar Express, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas every year on Christmas Eve. We make hot chocolate and go look at Christmas lights. We have more money to spend on each other, that we’re not spending on children right now. I’ve been loving our Christmas traditions. We would love to have our own little to celebrate Christmas with but since we can’t, we make the most of what we have.

So, we may not have children yet, or know that joy, but we’re still happy because we’re us and we’re awesome like that.

 

 

 

 

Moments

Life is made up of moments. It is how you respond to those moments that define who you are.

In the moments following our diagnosis the world seemed to come crashing down around us. All of our hope washed away. Our dreams were put on hold again, and all we had in that moment was each other. And it was enough.

The questions I had prior to the appointment were left unasked. I was afraid if I spoke I would fall apart. My husband seemed to understand and grabbed my hand as if I would crumble right there if he didn’t hold me together.

Time seemed to slow down and I was aching to leave this place that brought such bad news. This place that was suppose to help make dreams come true, was now a place that destroyed hope.

We were shuffled off into a room with a lady who proceeded to give us the financial break down of what lay ahead for us. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t think. I barely had time to process the diagnosis and here we are being given prices that far exceed any possibility for us.

We’re in the car now. Neither of us has spoken yet. As my husband drives thru the parking lot trying to get us out of this sinister place I break down. I completely lose it. He pulls over. I’m sobbing now. We hold each other for a while. Not caring about anything outside of the bubble that is us.

And in this moment I knew everything would be alright.