Thursday, April 25, 2013

finding a place--NIAW


This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and I feel the desperate need to write about it.  Infertility is not a club that I ever thought I would belong to, I was certain that I would follow in the fertile footsteps of the women in my family and pop out babies like it was going out of style.  I vividly remember talking to my mom after we had been TTC for OVER A YEAR and her comparing it to it taking 3 months to conceive me.  To put it in perspective, she was 30 at the time AND had never had to time anything to get pregnant before.  She told me it seemed like it took forever.  I'm surprised I didn't ring her neck ;).  But, that's the thing with suffering from infertility, it's not something a lot of people "get".  I can't tell you how many "just relax" or "it's all a part of God's plan"comments I got.  It was infuriating!!  And then when we decided to go through IVF because we had a MEDICAL issue that prevented us from conceiving, I got more judgment because I was so young (24) and some of our friends/family weren't sure how God would feel about us doing IVF.  It wasn't so much that all of my friends were getting pregnant all around me and so I felt left out or misunderstood by them; I was actually the first of my friends to get pregnant, it was more that I felt so left out from the rest of the world.  No one understood why not getting pregnant was such a big deal.  No one understood the crazy emotions that came along with months of TTC and taking pills and shots and having one too many intimate moments with the transvaginal ultrasound.  The meds made me moody and bloaty and I put on weight and the one thing that I usually did to de-stress was now off the table--running.  So, I got miserable and fat and angry and lonely.

And then I found a whole world of people out there who knew exactly what I was going through.  Even if I didn't have the same diagnosis and even if I didn't pick the same treatment plan, reading IF blogs helped me see that I really wasn't alone.  Sure, I might have still been fat and miserable and angry, but lonely I was not.  I could read the stories of other women and couples that had gone through the same miserable experience of IF.  These people, out there on the internet, knew what it was like to live your life in 2 week increments (2 weeks until ovulation and then 2 weeks to see if the treatment had worked).  It didn't matter that loads of people in my real life didn't understand what I was going through or why I was being a crazy person because there were real people out there in the world who knew exactly how I was feeling.  Even now I face criticism and questions and judgment over the fact that we chose to pursue IVF multiple times to have our family.  I face deeply personal questions about when I think life begins and why did I *need* to be pregnant and shouldn't I have "just" adopted?  Thanks to other IF bloggers out there, who are willing to share their story, I am better equipped to share my story.  Better equipped to help educate the world about the experience of IF and all the choices we are forced to make and the scrutiny we face simply because we have a MEDICAL problem.

I'd be lying if I said that some of the questions/comments I have received didn't bother me.  I have been hurt by well meaning friends and family.  But knowing that I'm not alone in this journey through IF and that I have a place, a community, where I belong has made the world of difference because sometimes a simple "me too" is all we really need.

Why do you share your story of infertility?
What is one of the hardest things you had to face when you were diagnosed?
How did you "find" the world of IF blogs/bloggers?
What do you wish people understood about IF?

Sunday, April 21, 2013


When I was pregnant with Piper, I spent my whole entire pregnancy convinced something would go wrong.  Convinced that TTC/positive pee sticks/9 months of pregnancy wouldn't actually equal a baby at the end.  The only word I can think of to describe how I felt those first few months as a parent is: shock.  This time around things have been a lot different.  Feeling this little guy's feet and knees and bootsie move and scootch all around in my belly reminds me that there IS indeed a baby in there. I am also more aware of the fact that in all likelihood he will come out and join our family and change our lives in the best way possible.

So, how am I still in denial?  Well, despite finding out I was pregnant at 10dpo all the way back in September, I feel like this pregnancy has FLOWN by.  I know I didn't always feel this way, especially when I was worried about my fluid levels, but looking back now I feel like the weeks/months were gone in the blink of an eye.  Life has been busy and I now sit just 3 weeks away from my due date.  THREE WEEKS.  I am full term, which means I can give birth at any time. And seeing that I come from a long line of women who tend to give birth BEFORE their due date, I'm a little worried that I'm looking at less than 3 weeks.  And I know that I'm not looking at much longer than 3 weeks as I'm a VBACer and won't be "allowed" to go any farther than 1 week overdue.

Tomorrow I will be driving down to my parents' house and I won't be leaving until after baby is born.  We're at the point where traveling too far from my delivery hospital just isn't a good idea.  And in my head I KNOW this, but I keep thinking that there is no way we are that close to meeting this little guy.  People keep asking me if I'm ready and I answer honestly with, "No, actually, he's welcome to bake until at least 39 weeks".  What helps is that I'm still feeling fairly comfortable and ever since I got written off of work, I've been better able to manage my migraines. I haven't washed any of his clothes.  Heck, I haven't even gone through the bin of clothes my sister gave me (which is all that I have for him).  I haven't installed the carseat or started packing my hospital bag.  All our 4oz bottles are still in storage.  Unlike the first time around where I was sometimes afraid that doing these things would somehow curse the outcome, this time around I am afraid that doing these things might invite him to make his appearance.  And considering MBL has to be available for travel until I am 38w5d, it would awesome for me to go into labor sometime during my 39th week.

Even writing that, though, I'm in total denial that 39 weeks is just 2 weeks away.  I am super excited to meet our son and see what his little face looks like, but also completely terrified about these 9 months being over.  I guess this means that I better spend the next few days taking care of my to do list :).

Have you ever been in denial over a deadline?
Do you have a tendency to procrastinate or are you a go-getter?
If you've given birth/adopted were you totally prepared or caught off guard?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

it's a beautiful life

Last week I was on spring break.  It meant I had 10 glorious days off with my girl.  It also meant that I was able to spend time with family, MBL, and try to finally break my migraine cycle.  I thoroughly enjoyed all the family time I got, however, I was not able to stop the incessant migraines.  Thankfully being on vacation meant that I could sleep in and get lots of outside time in.  As crazy as it sounds, staying active, especially when I can be outside, actually helps with the headaches.  The fact that I was also to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night also helped! 

We spent Friday through Wednesday morning with my family in Chicago.  We even took Piper to an Easter egg hunt on Saturday.  I actually almost burst into tears as I just couldn't believe I was there with MY child.  It's the small things that get me sometimes.  (Nevermind the fact that there were parents there who were so concerned with their 2-3 year old getting "enough" eggs that Piper nearly got trampled).  On Easter Sunday we had a nice meal with my family and let Piper do another Easter egg hunt in my parents' living room.  It was so fun seeing her get the hang of looking for eggs and putting them in her basket.

On Wednesday, I drove home and met up with MBL who had taken the rest of the week off of work so we could get some work done on the house as well as sneak in some family time.  We actually didn't get a whole lot done as he was feeling under the weather and there's only so much I could get done.  Thursday we decided to take Piper swimming at one of the local family centers and we had a blast!!  Here's my little peanut at the pool:

We went during Toddler Time and it was perfect because there were hardly any people there and we were able to let Piper safely explore the whole pool area.  We had loads of fun letting her swim, going down the kiddie slide, and go "round and round" in the lazy river.  I could have stayed there all day swimming with her!  The only downside was that the pool didn't have towels and I didn't bring any, so we ended up drying off under the hand dryer and using paper towels.  Oops!

 That night I wanted to use a gift card I got from work, so we all went out for a late dinner at Maca.roni Grill (and I actually forgot the gift card at home, so we get to go out again ;).  It's very interesting trying to dine out with an almost 2 year old.  She's VERY busy.  Piper had food off of mom and dad's plates:

To be honest, the whole week I just couldn't get over my feelings of thankfulness.  One night we drove an hour and a half north of my parents to visit my cousin, her daughter, and my aunt.  My cousin is currently pregnant with #2 (also a boy) and due just 3 weeks before me.  When I found out she was pregnant the first time around 4 years ago, it gutted me.  We had just found out that MBL's count had severely declined and we were getting acquainted with the world of IUI/IVF/ART.  And now, 4 years later, we stood there and compared boy bellies.  My aunt pointed out that what MBL and I had was exactly what we were hoping for when we first got married...  A little family of our own.  MBL and I have hit lots and lots of road blocks on our way to "happily ever after", but driving along in my minivan with a sweet little girl singing to me from the backseat and a little boy squirming away in my belly is just simply a dream come true.  I am thankful beyond words.  May is going to be a very bittersweet month for us, but I told MBL that the beautiful thing is that we will be able to look back at the last year and be just so completely in awe with how everything turned out.  We will have a new little baby in our family.  A boy baby.  We will also celebrate Piper's 2nd birthday!  A whole 2 years with the best thing to ever happen to me.  We are so so so lucky.  We've been to the pits of he** and now I can just look at everything with an incredibly grateful heart.

I've been given a very beautiful life and I count my blessings every day.

What are you thankful for today?
Do you get a spring break?
Do you feel you appreciate things more after you've gone through a particularly hard time?