Archive for the ‘fertility’ Category

Third Trimester & Moving Forward

pink flower

Another milestone for me–today is the first day of my third trimester!

One year ago, I was preparing for my IVF, full of anxiety, hope, and nerves. A year and a half ago, I was on the precipice of an emotional breakdown after my second loss. Two years ago, I was blissfully pregnant for the first time, but didn’t realize the sorrow and devastation that would await me.

I’ve been thinking of the past lately and am trying to find a way to come to terms with it. I’ve held onto it, yes, because in some ways it feels like the last four years of my life are the only ones I have ever known. Even recently, I’ve still felt the sting of endless celebrity pregnancy announcements and found myself  hitting the rewind button to listen to those voices that haunted me for years.

But, day by day I’ve let joy come into my life. For the first time in a long, long time, I feel at peace.

Obviously, everyone can tell I’m pregnant at 28 weeks. It feels so strange, yet exhilarating to talk about being pregnant to other people. This is no understatement: I am absolutely blown away by how everyone has been so supportive and excited for me. I spent so much time hiding away from people because of infertility that I became an emotional recluse. I couldn’t let others get near me, because I felt like it only made the pain worse. Now, I feel like I can connect with others, have a conversation with them without becoming emotionally exhausted, and most importantly be present in the moment instead of thinking of ways to shut down and run.

Something tells me this is what normal feels like and let me tell you, it is amazing.

This isn’t to say that I’m 100% carefree. I still have quite a lot of anxiety about this pregnancy and things that could go wrong. I still Google every little symptom that seems strange. I’m anxious about the upcoming gestational diabetes test this coming week but I will try to take things as they do or do not come.

In other related news, we’ve spent the last couple of weeks cleaning out the spare bedroom turning it into a nursery. It has been painted a soft shade of pink/violet because I just could not resist. I had promised myself I wouldn’t go overboard with the pink but I just couldn’t resist having it as the wall color. We also added a fairy border in green. It looks especially nice with the new hardwood floors. The room is definitely taking on something of an enchanted theme though I didn’t plan it that way. When I came home the other day and saw it all complete, I couldn’t help but cry because I remembered staring at the room years before wondering if it would ever become a nursery. Now, it has.

It’s been an exhausting couple of weeks/months, but know that I still follow and read everyone’s blog posts. I don’t always comment like I previously did but I am still thinking and praying for you all always.

 

 

 

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Making the Milestone

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Today I am 9 weeks, 1 day pregnant.

This is absolutely phenomenal because I’ve never been this far before.

I had my 8 week ultrasound on Wednesday and all was very good.  I won’t go into detail about how nervous I was, even weeks before, but I will tell you that the baby was measuring 1 day ahead of schedule and I really couldn’t have asked for a better report. Just by looking at the ultrasound, the baby looks like a little frog with tiny limbs. Hearing that heartbeat is the easily the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.

The doctor asked me if I would be comfortable waiting 4 weeks for my 12 week ultrasound and I told her I wish I could be calm for that long but would feel better coming back in 2 weeks for a 10 week scan. It felt very validating to talk about my fears, particularly with the nurse, who made me feel like I was ok for feeling the way that I did. In fact, she told me that most women would probably get weekly scans if they could afford them. Not that I can afford these bi-monthly ones but I know me and I know what it takes to keep me relatively sane.

I’ve been meaning to update this blog but to be honest I haven’t had the energy to do much of anything lately. Things like walking out to the car, showering and taking medications seem like enormous tasks to me.  My idea of paradise is sleeping for 12 plus hours a night only to wake up for a few hours to have a 3 hour nap in the afternoon.  Of course in the real world I can only do this on Saturdays and I only got to do it once so far.

We haven’t really told many people yet of our news and I am comfortable with my decision though I think my husband is ready to tell the world. I am so grateful for this miracle in my life but I want to keep the news to myself at least through the first trimester.  Part of me thinks that if I had my way I wouldn’t tell anyone until I was ready to deliver. I know this is because of my past and my strong desire to self-protect.

Even as I type this, I want to type out all my fears but I can’t.  I feel like that would be giving them power and I have to save my energy.

Yeah, I could use therapy, too.

In other news, tomorrow is May 5th, what would have been the 1 year anniversary of my first baby’s due date. I feel like I should write a blog post about it  but I’m afraid what will happen if I unleash those emotions. I might still do one, maybe a few days after. I know how I felt last year on her due date and it’s amazing how my situation has changed. My heart still grieves but now I have hope. Now, for the first time, I feel like my body has healed. I need to know that, remember that as each day passes.

By the way, I have no idea what has been going on with my blog subscriptions lately. I’ve been noticing for quite some time that there are fewer blog posts in my reader and I figured people just weren’t blogging as much. Then I went to their blogs only to find out that I’ve been missing most of their posts. It turns out that I was no longer following them even though I never unfollowed them in the first place. I don’t know if this happens because I use different devices to access my blog or because I changed blog themes or what.  Regardless, if you haven’t heard from me in a while that is why. I’ve re-followed who I could but I don’t know if the same problem will happen again.  I remember it happening a couple of times with one or two blogs, but didn’t think the issue would continue. Anyone else have anything similar happen?

That’s it for now!  Wish me calm! Good luck to everyone who is starting or completing an IVF cycle.  I am thinking of you.

 

 

 

Can Every Day be Like This One?

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We have a baby that is measuring 6 weeks! The best part? We saw and heard the heartbeat! The most beautiful sound I have ever heard!

It’s been a busy day and I’m exhausted but I had to share my good news. I can’t tell you what it feels like to have a great ultrasound appointment. We got nothing less than the absolute best news.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. You’ll never know how much it means to me.

This is going to be short and sweet. My husband and I are going out of town tomorrow and we will be gone for a week on a cruise. I’ve pretty much spent the better part of the day running errands. Of course when we planned the cruise, we had no idea that we would be pregnant.

That’s it for now. Time to get some well-earned sleep. Thanks again for all the well-wishes!

 

What Tomorrow Brings

 

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No one can be certain of the future.  We can plan to our heart’s content but life has a way of taking over and showing us who is boss. Our best laid-plans often go astray leaving us to plan all over again only to find we must plan yet one more time for something that may or may not happen.  We can only hope that tomorrow brings the thing we so desperately desire.

This month was to be the month that my husband and I officially starting trying again.  Let’s just say that hasn’t happened.

Last Tuesday was a rough one for me.  I spent the better part of the day in bed waiting for my period to arrive while reliving every moment of my reproductive past. When I finally got out of bed, I spent more time reliving but even more time lamenting to God, demanding to know why my life had turned out the way it had.  I was so angry I decided to take a pregnancy test which I thought would somehow speed up the arrival of my period.

Except it didn’t.

The test was positive.

Today I am 5 weeks 5 days pregnant.

Tomorrow brings my first ultrasound

I don’t have to tell you the story of my reproductive past.  Anyone who has read this blog knows that it’s not pretty. I also don’t have to tell you about the fear that I carry in my heart.  Tomorrow means a lot of things.

I would like to tell you that I have spent the week in carefree bliss. Actually, I have spent it nursing one of the worst colds I have ever had, pregnancy-related I’m sure. At least I’ve had the agony of this cold to keep me distracted. My focus has been on breathing–quite literally–and daydreaming about the time I could return home to my bed to collapse in an exhausted heap.

I am trying my best to remain detached and calm, but I can tell you that every day that passes, I want this more. I’ve prayed to God, asked him to heal my body. Actually I prayed this several weeks back. I know my infertility is a sickness and I know he doesn’t want me to have it. I’m trying very hard to cling to my faith that he was healed me. I can’t accept anything less.

So, I try to take day by day and not think about tomorrow, though tomorrow is a big day for me. But for today I am pregnant and that is enough.

 

 

Leap of Faith

 

In just a few days fall will be here. I know many who say fall is their favorite season. These people are crazy.  Some like the excitement of the football season (around here, if you don’t pledge absolute and utter allegiance to Carolina or Clemson  football, you are branded a traitor to your family, your country, and God). Others like the promise of cooler, crisper weather which is a relief from the scorching summers. Many, like myself, simply appreciate the landscape–crimson and amber-colored jewels one minute and something even more breathtaking and brilliant the next.

For me, fall has never been a favorite season. It is more of  a reflective time and I know it is for others as well. I have no clue why this season is so reflective in nature. Maybe it has something to do with the shorter days. Whatever the reason, I spend this time thinking, not necessarily about the previous year, but years gone by. I don’t necessarily think about bad things that have happened.  Rather I am reminded of what still lingers.  Memories I have long since tucked away, and yes, of memories that I still want to make.

For the longest time, I’ve wished that I could be the person I was before infertility.  That person has always lingered within me, even in my darkest times. I’ve clung to her, even romanticized her.  But now I realize that I will never be that person again nor do I want to be.  I want to be a better, different person.

People say that happiness is a choice and I both agree and disagree with this.  When things go badly for a long time, you tend to question the good things when they finally come your way.   You find yourself retreating into that cloud of doubt, not because you prefer it, but simply because it is what you know.  Infertility does that to you and unfortunately the memory of it cannot be erased.

So, how do you find the faith to accept the blessings that are in front of you?  How do you become the person you want to be when the ghosts of infertility haunt you?  Like everything else, there are no easy answers.  For once though, I think I’m ok with that because I want the future that has been planned for me.  I want to create those memories, make those moments count.  It’s not easy, but I think it is possible.

 

Is There a Ghost?

 Have you ever read another post that you felt you could have written yourself?  Have the words ever rang so true that you said aloud, “That is exactly what I am going through.  How did she know?”  Recently, I found two such posts.

Each post talks about how we feel a certain “otherness.”  Ask any infertile and she will tell you she feels “other” when every woman around her conceives and births babies with relative ease.  But, there is another type of otherness that runs on such a deep psychological level that I can scarcely put it into words.

 Mel writes:

“It would be as if Alice went into Wonderland, found another Wonderland, and then found a third Wonderland in that, and then had to go back to the real world and interact with people who don’t know what she has seen, how deeply she went into the otherness.”             

Most people don’t realize the impact infertility has on you socially.  Before infertility, I was never a social butterfly, but I was a “people person”, at least on the inside.   I was part of things.  I had a connection to those around me.   I was a team player and one of the best.

But then I fell down a hole and went to Wonderland and haven’t been the same since.   I have known uncertainty, despair, numbness, transvaginal ultrasounds, RE’s, injectable drugs, and an empty bank account.  How am I supposed to waltz back to the cheery land of fertiles where conceiving a baby is as easy as laying on your back?  Where a fertile’s biggest problem is whether she’ll paint her nursery blue or pink?

MissConception compares the feeling of “otherness” to being a ghost.  She writes:

“The ghost isn’t able to communicate or interact with living people and is also unable to crossover to a place of peace. Ghosts are stuck in limbo, somewhere they don’t belong or want to be.”

As infertiles, we are stuck in limbo land.  We don’t fit in with our friends who have been blessed with babies and babies galore, yet we don’t fit in with our carefree, single buddies either.  We may be lucky enough to know another childless couple, but as we all know, it is just a matter of time before they drop the P-bomb on us.

Until I read this post, I didn’t realize it, but I am also a ghost.  I am not a ghost because I separate myself from others.   I am a ghost because I have been separated from myself.  Like Alice, I fell down a hole and went to some type of Wonderland.  Unlike Alice, I must have had my eyes shut the entire time, because I can’t tell you what the hell happened to me on the inside while I was there.

Every day, I see people.  I hear them.  I think they think they see me too, but they don’t.  What they don’t understand is that it hurts for me to be around them.  They may know uncertainty, but they don’t know my uncertainty.  They may experience despair, but they don’t know my despair.   They have not felt what I have felt; they have not seen what I have seen.

Like a ghost, I am trying to find my way–to somewhere.  I don’t choose to be in the place where I am.  I want to be part of the lives of others but my “otherness” puts a river between us.  I wish I could open myself up, say to others:  “I used to be someone.  I used to be me.  This is not me and this is what happened to me, “–but I cannot.    

All of this ghost talk reminds me of a song that came out a couple of years ago by Band of Horses.  The words are:

I could sleep when I lived alone
Is there a ghost in my house?

Literally.  It kinda just repeats over and over.

The song lacks a complex literary structure and has a completely moronic video where someone goes around stealing people’s pillows, but the song rocks.  It may have been a promo for one of those crime shows at one time.  Here’s the video, just to give you an idea of how the song sounds.

Is there a ghost in your house?

 

Who Will I Be?

One day it’s going to happen.  It’s going to happen for me and it’s going to happen for you.  We will be mothers.

When I started this blog a few months ago, I had no idea what to expect.  Around that time I was in a very low valley, and sought help or any type of inspiring words that would prevent me from taking those last few steps to crazy.  Well, I stumbled on some great blogs that actually made me laugh at a time when nothing was funny.  I was so inspired I started my own blog and here I am.

Throughout these last couple of months, one question has lingered in the back of my mind (as I am sure has lingered in yours):  What happens to this blog when I finally get my miracle? 

I decided to write this post after reading Elphaba’s post a couple of days ago.  She is a new mother who went through her own painful journey before she got her daughter.  She stated that she felt she was in a place of limbo:  she no longer considered herself a person who was struggling with fertility issues, but didn’t feel quite comfortable joining the I’ve-always-been-a-smug-fertile mommy community.  

She is creating a new network called PAIL: Parenting/Pregnancy After Infertility and Loss and I think it is a great idea.  Many women do manage to finally get that BFP but feel guilty or odd to still be active in the ALI community.  Others are simply looking for a way to connect to mothers who can relate to the struggles they went through while they provide support to those who are still hurting and waiting.  That is what PAIL is for.  The best part is that you can be part of the PAIL network and still be active in the ALI network.   It’s simply a place to connect to others who may have triumphed over their losses and hardships. 

I think it’s hard to say for certain what kind of bloggers we’ll be after we become pregnant and have children.  We simply won’t know until we get there.  I ask myself: Would I hurt someone by announcing my pregnancy in this community?  How do I feel when someone else announces theirs?

I can’t answer that first question, but the second one is easy.  I’m actually pretty happy when I hear that one of my fellow bloggers gets a lucky break.  Yeah, it does remind me just a teensy bit of what I still lack, but I feel like we are a team.  I celebrate your victories and mourn your losses.  Though I desperately want to be in a position to join the PAIL community, I don’t think I could ever completely leave the ALI one nor could I join the hyper-fertile community of mothers who just had sex and got pregnant.  I simply cannot relate to the latter. 

Oh, but the day I do get to join PAIL. . .it’s going to be a great day!  The question is:  Who will I be?