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Archive for April, 2012

12 years ago I was 20 years old.

12 years ago I lived in the tiniest little apartment with the best roommate ever.

12 years ago I had just come off a really bad breakup.

12 years ago it was a Friday night and I had just got done with a long day at the University of WI Stevens Point and a shift working as a customer service rep for Associated Bank.

12 years ago I had plans to go bowling with friends. It was kind of supposed to be a double date I learned after the fact.

12 years ago I was so tired I just wanted to stay home and watch “A League of Their Own” on TV more than anything else.

12 years ago I decided to pull my butt off the couch and go bowling instead.

12 years ago I got myself dressed in my roommates red sweater, a pair of blue jeans and a black belt. I had my friend curl my hair and pull it back with little butterfly clips.

12 years ago I was supposed to be on a date with the other guy, but couldn’t take my eyes off the other guy singing all the lyrics to “Grease” while I bowled a 69.

12 years ago I laughed harder than I had laughed in months and months and months.

12 years ago I realized I didn’t want the night to end with bowling and suckered everyone into renting a movie to prolong the night.

12 years ago I watched the stupidest movie of all time (well close to all time) “Idle Hands”

12 years ago I asked a boy for his number for the first time in my entire life (only got away with that one because the movie was so scary I convinced him I would need it to call to blame him when I had nightmares).

12 years ago I came home with my heart beating wildly.

12 years ago for the first time in my life I asked a guy out on a date.

12 years ago that same guy hesitated for just a moment before saying yes and I still remember the flush of my cheeks while I waited for his answer.

12 years ago I met my husband.

12 years ago I fell in love.

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Fun Photo Friday

On April 16, 2004 I bought this sleeper. My Grandma had died on April 14th and she LOVED giraffes. On April 16, 2004, I was sure that my baby would be wearing this sleeper within in a year at the very most. On March 14, 2009 my daughter wore the sleeper for the 1st time. The magnitude of this has never been lost on me.

Please remember this week and always infertility is a painful disease, be supportive, be a friend, be there for anyone you know who may be struggling to have a family of their own. Trust me on this your kindness may be the thing that gets them through the day.

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July 12th, 2008 was the end of our infertility struggle. That was the day that I found out I was pregnant. It was one of the best days of my life. Every moment of that morning is clear. I don’t believe I will ever forget any moment of that day.

After surviving the 2 week wait (that dreaded time for infertile couples where you know you have done everything possible to get pregnant and then you just have to sit back and wait to find out if anything has actually happened. I spent almost every month of my 2 week wait knowing that this would be the month that I would FINALLY be pregnant just to be devastated to find out that I once again was not) it was finally day 28 and time to take another pregnancy test.

For the first time ever I had broken down and bought a generic brand pregnancy test knowing full well that I was sick of spending the extra money just to get yet another negative result. At 4 am I could wait no longer to see what the result of the test was going to be and got up to take the test. I timed out the two minutes and looked at the purple stick and thought I saw two lines (two lines meaning pregnant).

Since it was 4 am I did not have my contacts in and thought I must have some sort of double vision. I ran to the bedroom crying, woke Scott up and asked him if he saw the same thing I did. He confirmed there were indeed two lines. He sleepily asked if that was good. I was crying and screaming “We’re pregnant”, he smiled and fell back asleep. I still have no idea how he was able to go back to sleep, there was no way I could have ever fell back asleep.

I waited until 6am and then called my Dad. I had promised my mom that if I ever did get pregnant that after Scott she would be the first to know. Since we had struggled with infertility so long everyone basically knew what day I would be taking the test and she was awaiting my call. I was crying when I called my Dad, my mom was at work so I quickly got her work number without telling my Dad a thing.

My mom picked up the phone at work, I was crying and before I could even say anything she said, “Honey, it’s okay we will just keep trying.” I interupted her and told her that I was pregnant but she just kept consoling me until it finally hit her. I was finally pregnant. I am pretty sure she started shopping for the baby that day and hasn’t stopped since.

I called my dad back and told him the good news. I think he was in shock and disbelief too.

After that there were calls to the clinic, there were tests to test my HGC, a long weekend waiting to make sure my HGC levels had at least doubled, a long month waiting to hear the first heartbeat, 20 weeks waiting to have the first ultrasound and find out that we were having a girl and finally the day that our struggle was truly over.

On March 10, 2009 our beautiful daughter, Kahlan Elizabeth was born. As soon as I held her in my arms I knew I would never need to wish for anything again because I had all that I could ever need. The hole in my heart was finally healed.

On January 1st 2004, we started trying to have our baby. On March 10, 2009 I held her for the first time. I know because of all the years of struggle I am a better mom. I know that I do not take things for granted as I know I would have if this would have been easy. I know I am stronger for it. I know that I still believe it wasn’t something I should have had to go through. I know I would never wish this struggle on anyone else.

So this week, I remember the pain. I remember. And if you are still struggling, I am hoping, I am wishing, I am praying with all my heart that your very own miracle comes into your life very very soon.

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Easing the Struggle

Towards the very end of our struggle with infertility, when I was truly beginning to believe that all hope was lost, I sort of tumbled into a deep depression. Not only did I have the pain of not being able to have a baby, but I had the pain of endometriosis that I had to deal with.

One of the things that I will always remember is how I actually avoided two stores where in order to get to the departments that I needed to get to I actually had to walk past the baby section. Seeing all those pink and blue little clothes became too painful, so I avoided going near them at all.

Even though I was struggling my friends were not. It seemed that everyone I knew was getting pregnant and having babies without even giving it a second thought. During this time I was invited to many baby showers and as hard as I tried to be happy for my friends and a part of me was, I was so consumed by my own grief that I was unable to attend these joyful events.

During this time, my mom did something amazing me. She started to pick up baby gifts for me so that I wouldn’t have to. She knew how hard it was for me to look at the tiny sleepers and adorable outfits and not think about how there was a very good chance I would never buy one for my own precious child. She would pick up the baby gift, slip it into a gift bag and give it to me to give to whichever friend seemed to be having a baby that month. I’m not sure if I ever thanked her for that, but it was one of the things that meant so much to me during those last few years of our struggle.

There were other people who were truly amazing too. I was lucky enough to have an aunt who knew exactly when I needed to talk, knew better than to give useless advice, was there to hold my hand through some painful surgeries, and believed some days a pedicure at least for the moment rolled away some of the clouds.

So to all the people who stood by our side as we went through this incredibly difficult time thank you from the very bottom of my heart. All these years later looking back I know you are the ones who got me through. You are part of our story and we will never forget your kindness.

If you know someone who is struggling to have a family of their own, please remember this. If there is anything that you might do to ease their struggle it will not be forgotten. We all need help to get through the rough times, I was so lucky to have people who loved me enough to realize that.

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Scott and I struggled with infertility for years. During those years our struggle went from immensely private to very public. Everyone’s struggle is different and I don’t assume to be an expert, but if I can help make anyone’s struggle with this horrible disease less painful I am all for it.

If you know someone struggling with infertility:

Please do not say:

“Don’t worry you can always adopt” (Dude, we may not want to adopt, we may not be able to adopt, we might not be able to afford to adopt.) Your statement is not helpful.

“Stop stressing about it and it will happen” or “Just Relax” (In my case, I have endometriosis. I could have been the most relaxed person in the world and I still would not have gotten pregnant) Your statement is not helpful

“My sister/aunt/cousin/friend adopted a baby and then she got pregnant. They just had to stop thinking about it” Once again not helpful… see above

Please understand and try not to judge:

There are going to be days when we are not able to look at pictures of your new baby, your new grandchild, your new niece/nephew. There are days when it is too painful to acknowledge someone else’s joy when our own arms are so empty.

Even though there is a part of us trying to be happy when we find out someone we love is pregnant, we are also grieving our own inability to become pregnant. We may have to skip the celebration. Please be supportive as we struggle with our own sense of loss and grief.

There will be days when we can’t be around your beautiful little ones. Seeing your joy is too hard when we are dealing with the unimaginable loss of not knowing if we will ever be in your shoes.

And the best thing you can do:

You don’t have to give us your advice. We have doctors charting every last body temperature for us. We don’t need to hear anything except to know that you care, to know that you are there if we need you, to listen to us when we need to talk, to understand when we don’t have the words to speak, to hold us when we need to let out a good cry. Skip the advise, hold your tongue, and be a friend. Understand that at times the grief will be overwhelming and understand that for now that might have to be okay.

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This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (April 22-28) and this week my blog will be devoted to sharing our struggle with infertility.

Infertility affects about 6 million American couples or roughly 10% of the reproductive age population.  I am one of those 6 Million Americans.

I am infertile.  I am the luckiest woman in the world despite that because I beat all the odds and delivered our little miracle just three short years ago.  However I am infertile because there will be no sibling to keep my daughter company, there will be no hand me downs to be handed down to another baby,  there will be no secrets whispered between sisters, there will be no fighting over who can look out who’s window in the car.  However, I am still the luckiest woman in the world because my arms are no longer empty and as much as I long for another child, I also know that my beautiful daughter will always be enough, I know that because of her my heart has been healed and the sting of infertility is no longer able to penetrate the deepest corners of my heart.

This week I will focus on what you might do or more importantly not do to help and not hurt those around you who may be struggling with this enormously painful disease.

I’m here to remember the pain so that I can fully enjoy our miracle.

And most of all I’m here to wish with, hope with, and pray with those who are still struggling with this very very painful disease.

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