Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sharing Infertility

I am 1 in 8 women that struggle with infertility, and when I began my infertility journey I never would have admitted to the struggle.

As a young kid you're asked what you want to be when you grow up.  I heard from my classmates and friends things like rock star, millionaire, newscaster, pro football player, and teacher.  But when the question was returned to me my answer was always,"I want to be a mother." Plain and simple, my soul purpose and goal in life was to become a mom.  In fact, when my husband and I started talking marriage I really pressured him to know that once we had kids I was going to stay at home with the kids and he was going to have to make that possible.  Pushy much?  Maybe.  But the point was, my whole life that's all I ever wanted.  I would take my pillow and roll it up into a ball and shove it under my shirt and pretend it was my pregnant belly.  I'd carry around my dolls in blankets and rock them back and forth pretending I was rocking my own little baby to sleep.  It's easy to dream but my dream of becoming a mother was a whole lot harder than I ever expected.

After many months of trying to conceive, we finally decided it was time to talk to my doctor. And to be completely honest, all through our years of waiting to start our family I had this feeling deep down that it was going to be difficult.  My cycles were weird and had been since I was like 14, so when the doctor told me I'd need some blood work done and most likely be put on medication I wasn't shocked.  I was put on Clomid for three months with no success and then on our fourth month...that glorious pee stick read 'PREGNANT'!  I was so excited.  I fell into a million tears and laughter and happiness just spewed out of me.  Three days later I miscarried and once again fell into a million tears.  Since I was on fertility medication I was asked to keep my doctor in the loop whenever something happened.  I don't think there are any words that have ever been so hard to expel from my mouth than,"I think I'm having a miscarriage." All my hopes and dreams came crashing down around me.  I felt alone and broken and my heart ached to know that baby.  Was it a boy or a girl?  What would it have looked like?  A visit to the doctor was necessary and after a few more blood draws I was told that the reason I miscarried was that my progesterone levels were far too low.  Your body needs progesterone while pregnant.  It's the hormone that, during the first trimester, helps your baby to grow and helps to form your placenta.  Take progesterone away and your body just thinks it's another period and goes along with your cycle like always.

I knew I couldn't give up trying.  We took a few months to heal emotionally and then it was back to the medications, only this time was with the help of progesterone and a Hysterosalpingogram...which is just a fancy word for uterus car wash.  A radiologist injects contrast solution into the uterus and fallopian tubes and examines on an live time x-ray to make sure there are no blockages.  I never thought I'd enjoy this procedure, and don't get me wrong it was uncomfortable and weird, but it was fascinating seeing the inside on my body on big screen.

Back to the story...my first month back on the meds was a no go.  BUT that second month of those precious meds worked like a charm and I was PREGNANT! Nine months later, Remee was born almost one year to the day of my miscarriage.  Her presence filled a void that was empty and ached to be completed.

When we wanted to have another baby we knew the drill.  Getting prevent with Jade proved to be even more difficult.  My hormones were all over the board.  I was put on so many different meds to try and combat the hysteria to only have another issue come up so I came to the realization that my body just needed a break.  After a few months of just letting things be I went back on Clomid, progesterone, and the Hysterosalpingogram. The next month I got pregnant with Jade.  After we had Jade we were done.  When I thought about having another child my mind immediately went to my infertility.  From all the info I just told you I'm sure it sounds exhausting...and that's because it was.  It was exhausting to keep track of my cycle, take medication when needed, take my temperature every morning, schedule sex, get blood work done, cry every month from a negative pee stick, bleed, and then start all over again the next month. No thank you. Never again.  So we were done.

I was always asked if we would have more kids or I'd hear,"your girls are so cute, you should have more." My reply was always no way and the only way we would ever have another kid is if a miracle happened. WELL, a miracle happened.  All it took was one time...ONE TIME of unprotected getting' it on and we made a baby.  No medication, no scheduling, no doctor visits. BOOM, just like that and there's a healthy baby in my belly.  So many emotions came from getting pregnant with Daisy.  I was scared out of my mind.  I felt unprepared and clueless.  And sadly I felt unconnected to her in some way.  I remember laying in the bath one night holding my belly and praying to feel close to her.  Praying to feel some kind of joyous excitement and sure enough when we found out we were having another girl I was hooked on her.  I look back at those feelings of hesitation and like to think that maybe they were there because we didn't spend months and months trying to get her here.  We didn't make trip after trip to a doctor or the lab or the pharmacy. She was just there, completely out of the blue and held on tight.  Daisy has been such a blessing in our lives.  She truly is a miracle in every sense of the word.  She brightens our days and comforts our hearts.

Infertility.  It's a word I hate and yet a word I feel so close to.  It's taught me to grow in ways I never thought I would have to.  It's taught me to have faith in my Heavenly Father and in science.  It's taught me to appreciate my body. But most of all it's taught me about miracles.  I have three beautiful miracles in my life all because I struggle with infertility.

Maybe your struggle with infertility looks different than mine, or your miracles aren't here yet. Infertility doesn't have to be a lonely road.  I am 1 in 8. I have many friends who have struggled with trying to conceive, and I have loved ones who still ache to hold a baby of their own in their arms.  We are all in this together.  The most powerful words to hear when we are struggling are,"me too".

No comments: