You’re Not Alone

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We weren’t ‘supposed’ to conceive without help.

All of the tests and all of the signs pointed to  IUI or IVF being our only option.

Let me go ahead and define what those terms mean..

IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a procedure that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is that there will be an increased number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.

Cost Associated with Procedure: starting at $875

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is the process of fertilization done by manually combining sperm with an egg in a lab. Once they’re combined, the embryo will be transferred back into the uterus.

Cost Associated with Procedure: $8,000-10,000

So, imagine our dismay, our devastation, our heartache that we experienced when we heard that news from our fertility doctor.

We were absolutely devastated.

There are absolutely no words that can help minimize the affects that kind of news has on someone. Absolutely none.

For those who have been following my blog, you know that we did end up conceiving…naturally without the help of fertility drugs and doctors.

As you may recall, we had just started treatment when we decided to take a month or two off to let our bodies heal. Fertility drugs and treatment, for those who are unaware, are trying on the body.

Somehow, we got pregnant during the break from treatment.

But…we weren’t supposed to, remember?

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Continue reading “You’re Not Alone”

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Men and Women who Overcame Infertility within the Bible

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The Bible tells us that there were both males and females within the Bible who overcame infertility, so it’s clear that infertility is nothing new. It’s not something that, in the last couple years, just started affecting men and women.  It’s always been here.

I think more women and men are becoming comfortable sharing their stories in hopes of helping others, so there is an awareness that now exists because of those individuals.

The Bible highlights and sheds light on the reality of infertility, so why does society now choose to limit conversation on it? Why is it that when you share your story, there are some who chastise you and give you grief over it? In my case, personally, I started writing about my infertility battle as an escape. It was my coping mechanism. The more I wrote and shared with my readers, the more comments  and prayers I would receive. People would thank me for sharing my stories because they, too, were experiencing infertility. These people didn’t feel comfortable talking about it to just anyone, so hearing my story helped them talk about it. Others would draw hope from my story. Some would ask me questions and ask me for advice.

That, my friends, is why I push through the negativity and continue sharing with you all the journey my husband and I are currently venturing on and had previously ventured in. 

We can all take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. We have never been alone. For as long as we have been here on Earth, infertility has also existed.

Some of the greatest people in the Bible struggled with infertility.With God’s help, they overcame and gave birth to healthy children with many of them growing up to be powerful and influential leaders. This did not come easy to them, nor did it come quickly or without heartache, prayers and pleas, but what it did teach those being affected by infertility, was that they weren’t alone and they had help.

God does not withhold any good from those who walk uprightly. -Psalms 84:11

In the Bible, we are shown that every person who sought God to help them conceive and ultimately birth children eventually had a child. Each couple had their own significant different circumstances and outcomes, but nonetheless, they were given a child or children.

Lets explore some of the couples who experienced infertility within the Bible.

Continue reading “Men and Women who Overcame Infertility within the Bible”

A Letter to My Husband During our Infertility Battle

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It’s not solely your fault that we are suffering from infertility.

I do not care what the results show or what the doctors say.

Our infertility battle is ours. Together we are entwined in this battle.

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Never in my mind or heart has our infertility misfortune deterred me from you. I’m always going to be right here. Standing next to you and holding your hand.

I’m not going anywhere.

I love you. 

Since day one of this journey, I have not resented you. I have never regretted meeting you, falling in love with you or marrying you.

I’ve had people ask me if I’d leave you because of our infertility issues.

Hell to the No. Not a chance.

I realize that you are suffering. You’re feeling inadequate. You’re losing sleep and blaming yourself for all of it. I want you to know I’m right there beside you. Know that when I’m silent, I am grieving. Know that when I have dark circles under my eyes, I also didn’t sleep that night. Know that when I smile, that it can sometimes be so hard. I, too, am suffering.

Whatever guilt, pain, sadness or grief you are experiencing, know that I am also experiencing those feelings.

But, please know that when I say, “I Love You”, know that I mean it. 

Immensely.

This battle, this unfortunate heart-wrenching battle, has made me fall deeper in love with you. It has made me appreciate you so much more. It has given me the most supportive, inspiring, loving and understanding husband and best friend.

Understand that when you’re not yourself, neither am I.

Since we received the devastating news last week, you’ve change.

Changed because of those results. Changed because of what those results meant.

I see it in your eyes. Guilt. Guilt ridden and tired.

It’s clear to me that you stay up at night researching ways to fix it all. Searching for a cure. Praying for a miracle. I see the dark circles under your eyes. I notice the increase of coffee consumption per day as well as the constant yawns. I see you. I feel you.

I wish I could take away your pain. All of it.

I want you to know that I see you. I hear your silent cries. I’m here for you. You don’t have to hide behind it all. Confide in me.

I hope that you know I don’t hold you accountable for our issues.

Do you know this? Do you truly know this?

You acknowledge me and nod  your head when I tell you this as though you understand. But, I’m not so sure you’re actually hearing me. Believing me.

I. Do. Not. Blame. You.

We are in this together. We always have been, and we always will be. Please understand that.

We will overcome. Will will conquer. It won’t be easy, and it may be a long frustrating journey, but as long as we have each other, we will prevail.

I do not know what I would do without you by my side. I wouldn’t want to go through life nor would I want to go through this battle with anyone other than you.

Dear Lord,

I lift up my husband to you right now. I pray that you anoint him with strength. Strength to overcome his fear. I pray that you help him smile and send him encouragement each day. I pray that you use me to affirm him, inspire him and help him through his pain.  Please bless my husband, increase his faith and confidence in you. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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Pictures Source: Oh Snap! Photography by Lia

I have a Voice. I’ll speak out about Infertility.

I hang up the phone trying to hold back the flood of tears wanting to start flowing down my flushed and noticeably red cheeks.

The words I have just heard echo through my head as I repeat them over and over again. I try to comprehend if what I just heard was real.

I’m devastated. It was real.

My heart sinks.

It fucking sinks to the point that I lose my breath for a moment.

Then another moment.

I know that my face is beginning to make that ugly “cry” face but I’m driving, and I don’t want anyone to see my visible devastation when those warm tears start running down my cheeks.

Maybe it’s embarrassment. Maybe it’s my pride. I don’t really know why the hell I even care.

But I do, and that’s a whole other story.

I hold my composure because I know that when I walk into daycare, my happy and bouncy little miracle boy will come running like a freight train for a hug as soon as he lays eyes on me.

I have to be strong. For him. For me. For your husband.

How can this be happening? How can what I just heard be true? Why us? Why now? Why why why.

The tears are there again now knocking at the door so I grab my sunglasses to mask the inevitable.

I cry. I punch the steering wheel. I scream. And cry some more.

“IVF may be your best shot at getting pregnant. I’d recommend having sperm frozen immediately before it’s too late..”

All the hopes we had of this time being different..this time hoping, praying that the numbers would increase.

They decreased by MORE than half. They’re going away. Soon there will be no more.

All gone.

Zero.

Nada.

Gone.

It’s so hard to accept that becoming a parent can be so difficult for some while others go through hell to become a parent to one or more.

It’s also hard understanding why we can suddenly get pregnant after two years of trying, in the midst of fertility treatment only to get pregnant naturally, to try again two years later and receive more devastating news.

News worse than the last deliverance of news. Some may argue that secondary infertilityisn’t as big of a deal.

I fucking beg to differ. It’s harder. Sooooo much harder.

My head is throbbing. Dreading having the conversation that will be sure to crush my husband’s heart. Crush his hopes..his dreams.

He will fight back tears. He will blame himself and push all blame from me. He’ll be devastated and wish he could give me what I so desperately want

It’s not his fault.

I’ll cry because I know he’ll feel terrible. I’ll cry because there’s nothing I can say or do to minimize the blow he’ll take.

There will never be a day that infertility will become bearable.

There will never be a day that passes that the thought of not being able to have a child without help doesn’t crush me.

And don’t think about throwing out there, “but you have one healthy amazing son. Maybe that’s all that was supposed to happen”..BS

That’s not what I want. That’s never what I wanted. What we wanted.

I want more. I need more. We need more.

Is that selfish? How can that be selfish? How can that be too much to ask?

I will never happily accept the idea of having one child. Never.

I’m blessed to have my son, but I know that he deserves a sibling (or two) to grow up with.

To bond with. To fight and argue with. To share in adventures. To share in failure and triumph.

He deserves that.

I cannot give him that now. I may not ever be able to give him that. We may never be able to give him that.

That breaks my fucking heart.

Crushes it into a million little pieces.

There is nothing I can do..nothing we can do but Pray.

Pray that this is not our destiny. Pray that He has bigger plans for us that include another child.

Pray.

Pray without ceasing.

Picture Source: Daria Nepriakhina, Dustin Scarpitti, Milada Vigerova, Anneliese Phillips

Why I’m Speaking Out About My Struggle with Infertility

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I’m the 1/8. One in eight individuals and couples experience infertility.

Over the last few years I have become more candid about my infertility struggle. My husband and I struggled with infertility for over two years before we conceived our first child.

Trying for our second child is turning out to be just as challenging. Just as heart-breaking, frustrating, discouraging and trying as the last time. IF not more challenging.

We’re the lucky ones. Kind of.

I say that only because there are hundreds and thousands of other couples experiencing infertility. Some wait years or decades before finally being to conceive, while others aren’t able to conceive naturally.

My husband and I both are the cause of our infertility. We are both at fault, which makes it more bearable.

That’s a joke. It’s never really bearable. Like ever.

Initially our doctors told us I was to blame. For months, I went through grueling and painful treatments when suddenly a test came back on my husband that also pin-pointed some issues with him.

I cried. I bawled my fucking eyes out.

My heart-broke knowing that we now both bore this burden of infertility.

That’s what it is.

A Burden.

And I’ll be the first to admit that our infertility battle has tested our relationship, it’s tested our marriage and it’s tested each other on an individual level.

Infertility is a nasty nasty thing, and it’s not for the light-hearted.

Fortunately- we aren’t alone in our journey.

We have some friends who struggled with infertility before they were successful in conceiving. We kind of latched onto them. We asked them questions, leaned on them for support and held onto hope because of them.

There were times that we resented others who had no issues conceiving.

I still do. I try not to be resentful, but it’s a challenge. Every single day, it’s a challenge.

I often pray about it. Cry about it. Scream about it.

And pray some more.

I have sought Jesus out more as of late. I find myself asking him WHY? Why US? I find myself getting angry. 

Angry. 

Why am I angry at Him? He didn’t do it..but he isn’t helping (I hear myself whispering). Then there are times that I’m mad at myself.

I know I shouldn’t think like that. I try not too. Lately, I’ve sought Him out even more for added support. I’ve sought Him for guidance. I’ve asked for Him to clothe me in strength, understanding and love especially during that challenging time each month.

I’ve asked Him to look over my husband. I pray for him every night.

My husband puts up a wall.

A really big wall.

Sometimes I think he is ashamed. Ashamed and embarrassed that he has fertility issues. Ashamed to admit it. Ashamed to own it. Ashamed of me and my contribution to our battle. Ashamed to let anyone know of his battle. OUR battle.

I get it. I do.  And it honestly makes me so sad.

Infertility is a disease. Some people judge. Some people act like it’s no big deal. Then there are those that say stupid shit about infertility to those experiencing it.

Stupid Shit.

“Just relax…then it’ll happen..”

“It’ll happen when you least expect it..”

“As soon as you stop ‘trying’ it’ll happen..”

Bullshit.

Unless you’re experiencing infertility, you don’t get it. You can’t get it.

The advice I offer up to those who have friends or family members experiencing infertility is to keep your damn mouth shut.

Just listen. Be supportive. Be understanding.

Don’t offer up advice.

None.

I’m not speaking for all those who have experienced infertility. Some may seek advice.

I’m not one of those people.

I just want people to be educated on infertility. I want people to understand infertility is a disease . I want people to understand how painful it is and how it affects those that are experiencing it.

To all those individuals or couples experiencing infertility, I want you to know that you’re not alone.

You’re not alone. 

I’m sorry that you’re going through this unfortunate battle. I’m sorry that people are going to say things to you that upset or piss you off.

Keep your Faith. Don’t push that aside.

Pull it closer to you.

Pray.

I pray for all those who are experiencing infertility or have in the past.

You are so strong. So loved. So inspiring.

The reason I am candid and open about my infertility battle is because I was that individual who didn’t speak of it. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I acted like everything was fine, but then behind closed doors I was broken. I was defeated.

I put on a smile and went about my day as if it didn’t cause me great pain.I acted as though it didn’t break my heart or keep me up at night.

It did. It still does. All the time.

All the damn time.

I’m not here to tell you that it’s going to get easier. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to be patient and not be upset about the journey you’re on.

You’re allowed to be upset about. It won’t get easier. 

It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be really fucking hard. It’s going to test you. It’s going to test your marriage. Challenge it. Challenge you. It’s going to make you cry, scream and want to hit something.

What I will say..what I will always say to those experiencing infertility.. is that when it happens..when you become a parent (whether through fertility treatment, adoption, or other..) you’ll be so much more appreciative of this shitty journey you had to embark on.

As a mom to an almost 2 year old now, I have a different appreciation of parenthood, as does my husband. Our son is our miracle. He both broke us and made us who we are today. We are stronger because of him. Our marriage is stronger because of him. We have a a greater appreciation for life because of him.

We are who we are because of him.

Hold onto your Faith. Pray. Lean on your partner. Don’t let it break you. Don’t let it define you. 

Choose to have a voice. That’s why I’m choosing to speak out about my infertility battle. I have a voice. I’ll speak for those that won’t.

I want to help others. I want to make people aware of infertility. I want to inspire, encourage and pray with you and for you.

#infertilityawareness

31 Days of Prayer During Infertility is a cool resource to have.

I’d love to hear from you. If you experienced infertility and would like to share your story, let me know!

Stay strong my friends.

 

I’m One of the 1 in 8 Individuals Experiencing Infertility

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I know this picture can be deceiving. Yes, I have a son..but we went through hell to get him. As we try for baby #2, we are experiencing infertility all over again..this time, secondary infertility.

I used to not talk about my infertility battle. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed.

Why the hell was I embarrassed or ashamed?

Now that I think back, I don’t know why I felt that way.

 I didn’t realize how many people were fighting the same fight as myself. So many people were struggling to conceive, and I had no clue.

NO CLUE.

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When my husband and I got married, I immediately started planning out our future as it pertained to starting a family:

  • We’d have 2, maybe 3 children.
  • I wanted them 12-18 months apart.
  • I wanted this to happen before the age of 30.

I knew we had time against us slightly because of my husband’s age, so we started trying a few months after we got married.

We got married in 2011..we didn’t conceive until two years later.

Two years later!

We are 1 of the  8 who are experiencing infertility. While some couples learn what may be contributing to their infertility, some couples infertility goes undiagnosed.
Could you imagine not knowing what was stopping you and standing in your way of becoming a parent?

Fortunately for my husband and I, we figured out the cause of ours with the help of the Fertility Center here in Kalamazoo, MI.

THEY’RE AMAZING.

We went through some treatment when we decided to take a few months off to let us mentally and physically rest.

Going through fertility treatment is both physically and mentally exhausting.

There were so many times I wanted to give up. So many times my husband told me to keep going.

He is my hero.

I hated giving myself shots. I hated taking fertility drugs that had annoying side-affects.

All I wanted was to conceive naturally. Why was this so hard?

Nonetheless, we put ourselves through it all. We did it because we wanted so badly to become parents.

I had gone in for blood work to ensure I wasn’t pregnant, as we were getting ready to do IUI, when I received a call the next day that changed my life.

It changed our life.

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I was told I was PREGNANT.

What. the. Fuck.

Somehow, we got pregnant..

NATURALLY.

Our odds to get pregnant were slim, but somehow we beat the odds.

We were going to be parents.

Now, as I reflect back on that memory, it had given me hope (up until recently)  that we’d conceive again naturally.

Maybe our infertility struggle was all about timing. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe the doctors had it all wrong and our bodies were fine now.

Our beautiful son will be two in March, and we have yet to conceive baby #2.

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We have met with our fertility doctors to discuss options, and were handed devastating news yesterday.

My husbands sperm count is critically low.

Our doctors told us to freeze more sperm immediately, and told us to prepare for IVF.

IVF!

Folks, if you don’t know much about IVF, let me share with you one thing that will may prevent us from going through with it.

The cost.

IVF will cost us around $10,000. That’s a ton of money. Our insurance doesn’t cover infertility.

WHY THE HELL NOT?

I won’t sit here and pretend that my heart didn’t break all over again.

I cried. I cried a lot. I had to deliver that news to my husband.

That was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my almost 30 years of life!!! BY FAR!

I’ve been writing a lot about my, about OUR, infertility battle as of late. I have gotten some great feedback. I’ve helped others. I’ve related to so many people. So many people have thanked me for speaking out.

Because of that, I have decided to create a blog dedicated to infertility.

Together we can embrace this battle. We can help each other through it. We can be a shoulder to cry on for each other. A smile when we need it most. A hug when it gets hard. Encouragement when we want to give up. And the best cheerleaders when we conquer this battle!  Together we can raise awareness of infertility.

Don’t hide behind it. Lets use our voice. Lets speak our about infertility.

We have a Voice, We might as well use it.

#InfertilityAwareness #fuckinfertility

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