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Archive for the ‘Infertility’ Category

I think one of the hardest parts about infertility is having to tell people about it.

When other people get sick people sympathize with them. If you get cancer people ask if they can bring you a meal. Have knee surgery? Other people are kind enough to ask to walk your dog. Tell someone you are infertile and they think they can solve your problem by telling you to relax or by diminishing your disease by making you feel selfish because why wouldn’t you just adopt if you can’t have a child naturally. They somehow think by trivializing infertility you will no longer be infertile. Infertility is treated more like a state of mind than an actual medical condition making it even more painful for those already battling this terrible disease.

Personally, for the first few years of our battle with infertility the only people who knew what was going on were my parents and my husband’s aunt. They were the only people I could handle knowing the whole truth and to this day I know I would not have gotten through this without them.

But I do remember when we started being honest about my infertility. And I remember the cruel things people asked and said to us. People actually asked us or told us:

So who has the problem you or him? Seriously like I didn’t already feel guilty enough that endometriosis was ruining my life now I was the sole source of our childless existence.

Someone (while explaining to me what a great father my husband would be) suggested it might be better if my husband leave me because he would be such a great dad and it was unfair for me to force him to stay childless.

A lot of people told us that God must just not want us to have children. As if suffering from infertility was a punishment sent down from heaven itself.

But I also remember the kind things that people did:

My mom was there every step of the way. She cried with me. She held me. And she knew sometimes I just needed to get away from it all and laugh. She bought baby gifts and wrapped them for me to take to friend’s showers so I wouldn’t have to endure the baby department.

My husband’s aunt was amazing. She held my hand through painful surgeries. She brought me flowers, made sure I had pedicures and just loved me even on my most difficult days.

Other people sent cards saying they were thinking about us.

My point is it is incredibly hard to admit to being infertile. It is a very personal disease. In some ways it feels like you are inviting people right into your bedroom. So when and if someone is brave enough to trust you with knowing about their infertility please be kind. Make them a meal, offer to walk their dog, be a shoulder to cry on. Most importantly acknowledge that infertility is a disease. Relaxation will not cure it. Adoption will not cure it. Trivializing it will not make it any less painful for someone going through it. And by acknowledging the disease and by being supportive hopefully someday they will look back at the dark times and say “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

To learn more about infertility:

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

Http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

I am writing this post in honor of National Infertility Week April 21st – 27th. Resolve has issued all bloggers a challenge to: Join the Movement a chance to educate others about infertility.

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This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and this week I will be writing about our struggle to get pregnant with our miracle baby and what those who are struggling with infertility wish you knew.

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

We decided in January of 2004 that we were ready to start our family. In October of 2006 I decided to see a doctor as it was apparent that something was wrong. We finally gave birth to our miracle baby on March 10, 2009. Since Kahlan’s birth we have been unable to get pregnant again. Infertility has affected so much of my life. Infertility hurts and the stigma of infertility at times can be the most painful thing.

Today I want to focus on things you may not want to say or do if someone in your life is struggling with infertility.

1. Trust me we have already heard about your sister’s cousin’s best friend’s aunt who also couldn’t get pregnant and as soon as she was able to relax and stop thinking about it… BAM!! Now she’s pregnant. Please don’t tell us to relax. Do you really believe we could relax with the constant charting, drug therapy, painful surgeries and the worrying that if we just relaxed enough it would happen. This statement as well intentioned as I suppose it is is not at all helpful.

2. We also don’t care about your sister’s uncle’s cousin who just adopted a baby and now they are pregnant. First off adoption is off limits to a lot of us because of the cost, some of us can’t imagine or face the fear of having finally found a child only to have the birth mother change her mind. Once again this is not very helpful especially when you open the phrase with there are so many children out there who need parents. When you are struggling with infertility unfortunately it does not feel like there is an abundance of available children.

3. While you are standing there with your four adorable children please do not ask me if I think it’s selfish to only have one child and wonder aloud if she will grow up to be horribly spoiled and basically scarred for life by not having a sibling to share her life with. You seriously could never understand the pain I go through everyday and the way my heart longs for another child while trying to make sure my one and only miracle child knows she will always be enough.

4. I personally struggle and have to bite my tongue when people tell me how hard they “tried” to get pregnant. As in “Cooper and I tried for two months to get pregnant”. Trust me if sex is still fun you are not trying you are just not “not trying” to get pregnant. I tried for 4 and a half years. That’s 54 months. I peed on a stick at least half of those months. That is trying. Don’t be offended when we laugh at your definition of “trying”.

5. There are going to be a lot of times that we may not be able to look at pictures of your brand new grand baby. We know she is adorable and we know how proud you are and a part of us is so very happy for you but a part of our own heart is breaking with the thought that this might never come true for us. Please please please do not shove pictures of beautiful newborns in our faces.

6. There may be days that we can’t face another pregnancy announcement or baby shower. Once again even though a part of us is so happy for you a big part of us is grieving with the not knowing if we will ever be in your shoes. And frankly we are so jealous of you. We are green with jealousy. Selfish? Probably. True? Hell yes.

So now that I have vented about what not to do let me tell you what you can do.

1. Shut Up! Please just shut up and listen. When we have a bad day when our whole world is crumbling, we just need you to listen. We need you to hold us when we need to let out a good cry. Laugh with us when we need a break from the pain. And understand that we are going to have bad days in fact we are going to have a lot of bad days. So just be there. Be our friend. We need you. Just you. Nothing you can say will help but just being there that my friend will be more than enough.

To learn more about infertility:

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

Http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

I am writing this post in honor of National Infertility Week April 21st – 27th. Resolve has issued all bloggers a challenge to: Join the Movement a chance to educate others about infertility.

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It’s Just Hard

It seems like lately every time I feel like I am moving towards the road that leads to accepting my infertility life throws some roadblock at me that makes me have to confront my feelings head on and those feelings do not always jive with being the mom of any only child.

About 6 months ago I realized that four or five of my friends from high school all only had one child all about the same age as Kahlan. I started to feel really good like maybe having just one kid was a new kind of normal… Then reality set in this month when it was announced three or four of them are all having their second babies. And even though I am so happy for them I am so very very jealous.

Then we just found out Kahlan’s godmother is pregnant with her first baby. We are so excited for her. She is going to be such a great mom. Every part of my heart is happy for her.

Her and her husband are young and just starting out and so Scotty and I decided to ask them if they wanted some of Kahlan’s old baby things: the carseat, the stroller, the swing… all things that have been accumulating dust is the basement for years. And I was so happy to help her, but as she drove away with a car packed with baby stuff my heart was breaking.

It was just another glimpse that this is reality. There is not going to be another baby in this house. And sometimes on nights like last night when Kahlan is having the temper tantrum from hell I am ok with that and then on other days well… It’s just really hard.

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March is endometriosis awareness month.

I along with millions of other women have endometriosis. Endometriosis is the reason I am infertile. Endometriosis is a a painful medical condition. It is not a bad period. It is not bad cramps. I live with the pain of endometriosis everyday.

When we were trying to get pregnant the pain of endometriosis consumed me. I had surgery to try and relieve some of the pain. Because of where the lesions were they were not able to remove it all. Anything left will just continue to grow and cause pain.

Since having Kahlan I try not to talk much about having endometriosis. I feel guilty complaining when I am so very lucky to have not let this horrible disease steal my chance of being her mommy. I never want to appear ungrateful when I am so very blessed. I tell myself how much worse it could be after all it’s just chronic pain. I can power through this it’s not like I have cancer. I feel guilty complaining when things could be so much worse.

But on days like today when the pain is so bad that I can barely raise my right arm because my organs are all bound together by the scar tissue and so inflamed that lifting my arm any more than a couple of inches causes searing pain down my whole right side I hate endometriosis. I hate that it is never going away. I hate that there is no cure. I hate that people don’t understand it. I hate that because of it I am infertile and will never have another baby to hold.

On days like today it is easy to throw myself a little pity party. It is so easy to let the pain consume me. It would be so easy to just curl up in a little ball and cry. But I promised myself I would be strong. I promised myself I would be strong for myself and for my daughter. So I am going to stop complaining. Remembering that you don’t truly know how strong you are until you don’t have a choice. Holding my daughter close and smiling because I won the battle to be her mom and reminding myself never to let the pain define me. I am strong. I will continue to be strong for her. My illness will not define me. My strength and courage to keep fighting it will.

March is endometriosis awareness month. Endometriosis is part of my story…

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So needless to say I get a little attached to things. Giving up the Pontiac this weekend was a little hard as I began to think about all the places that car has taken us:

It was the first car I ever bought all by myself.

It was the first big purchase decision that Scott and I made together.

It was what we packed up with my wedding dress and drove all the way across the country to get married in Las Vegas. Side note it got a flat tire on our wedding day.

It was the car we packed up and moved to Arizona in. For no other reason than we really needed a change a break to get away from everything else and truly establish ourself as a couple.

It was the car that drove us to the Pacific Ocean for weekend getaways, to DisneyLand and to SeaWorld.

It was the car I walked out of a doctor’s office and cried in for nearly a half hour after an appointment where I was told I was infertile.

It was the car we drove to the Mall of America and to Chicago for many couple get aways. The last few years it was the car that the toll attendants in IL laughed at because only the back seat drivers side window would unroll so I could pay the tolls. Yep a little redneck!

It was the car that Scott drove gingerly home from the hospital after my first surgery where I got the official endometriosis diagnosis and was in pain and I winced over every bump in the road.

It was the car that I finally brought my brand new baby home from the hospital in.

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It was the car we took lots of naps in on the way to and from Grandma and Poppy’s house.

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It was the car that we discovered that the trip to Grandma’s house goes much faster if we stop for McDonalds and watch lots of Dora movies on the way.

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It was a great car to us with a lot of good memories.

I can’t wait to see where the next 11 years take us. I hope it is full of as many great times as the last 11 years.

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Life is a highway I wanna ride it all night long…

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The last time I bought a car I was 22 years old. It was the year before I got married. Scott and I hit the car lot looking for the perfect family car because I was sure that long before the car was paid off we would be filling that backseat with car seats. I chose a 4 door sedan because I wanted easy access to all those kids I was going to fill that car with in the next few years. I passed up sporty looking coupes because it would be too hard to maneuver the doors with kids in the backseat.

In 2002 I could have never imagined the uphill battle with infertility we were about to embark on. I certainly didn’t realize that the car would be paid off for more than a year before we even got pregnant. Or the fact that by the time Kahlan was born I was already ready to replace it. In fact I specifically remember sitting in the financing office and dreaming of the road trips we were going to take with our little babies in this wonderful 2001 Pontiac Grand Am.

Today we said goodbye to our wonderful 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. Chester served us very well over the last 11 years but with 197,736 miles on him and an engine that was about to blow up we decided it was time to let poor Chester go.

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Today I sat in a financing office once again signing the paperwork on a very cute 2011 Hyundai Sonata. I looked at the little girl patiently sitting on my lap and realized that even though we will never need a mini van or large SUV to seat all our kids that I am okay with the fact that a 4 door sedan is going to fit our little family of three perfectly.

I’m looking forward to the memories we are going to create while driving this car. Although to be honest at this point I am a little more excited about windows that actually roll down, an engine that doesn’t jump every time I stop at a stop light and that there is enough legroom that Kahlan can no longer kick the back of my seat!

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Kahlan and I decided to name her Mitzi, cute right?

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Warp Speed

Tonight I have to go and register my baby for 4k.

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I know everyone says this but I honestly don’t know where the time has gone.

When we were trying to get pregnant the 28 days of my cycle took forever. Every month was a new chance to have our own family and every month ended in bitter disappointment. Those years were the longest years of my life, time literally slowed down as my life began to unravel with the disappointments and the depression of infertility.

But now that our miracle is here, time is moving at warp speed and try as I might I can’t get it to slow down, I can’t get her to stop growing. She is growing up so very fast.

She is getting to be so smart. The things she comes up with just make us laugh and love her all the more.

Today I am sad about how fast this time is going. I am excited about how much she is learning and the new experiences right around the corner for her although that also makes me nervous. But most of all I am just proud that I get to call this little ball of sunshine my daughter.

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