infertility is kicking my ass.

I have been having a rough few days. I feel like when I am making progress in my journey I encounter more set backs. How can I be soooo high one day and so low the next? It is a very helpless feeling.

It all started Friday. Ok, if I am being honest, I haven’t really been feeling great since the bachelorette party when my bff told me she was pregnant. I guess I have been taking the news harder than I wanted to admit. My inner mind has been driving me crazy for a week. I haven’t been sleeping well, I have been analyzing her situation, my situation, the whole nine yards. Anyways it all caught up with me over the weekend.

My period started Friday. Usually this doesn’t effect me anymore, as I assume it is coming and I stopped getting my hopes up a while ago, but for some reason this month I really felt like maybe I could get pregnant on my own. I have been eating healthy, working out, praying, thinking positive, and I even started my Fertilitea.

I had a crazy busy weekend with weddings, which adds extra stress.

My bff is pregnant, along with about 5 other people I know who have announced their pregnancy within the last week. Its weird how it comes in waves and it is one of those times. oh joy.

Did I mention my period started?

So on top of feeling like shit all of Saturday- I literally was holding back tears the whole way to do my wedding and then again on the way home, I come home to a box and a note from my fertility Dr. {Mind you I have not heard from him or the clinic since our last failed IUI in June.} Inside was my camelback water bottle that I had accidently left at the office the day of our IUI and a note that said,Dear Rikki, I hope you’re well and perhaps even successful with a pregnancy… it really doesn’t matter what the rest of the note says because this fucking set me off. REALLYYYY??? You never called to check on me after my last IUI and now you are writing a note hoping I have a successful pregnancy? Remember how YOU didn’t get me pregnant?? You know I have unexplained infertility right? You know you should never assume an infertile is pregnant on their own? I am super thankful to get my camelback back considering they are expensive and my husband has banned me from buying another one until I got this one back, But really? Really?

Obviously I lost my shit. Totally and completely lost it. Hubs was a saint and so was my Mom.

The only saving grace was that I got my Diva Cup in the mail and I couldn’t wait to use it. Gross I know. But super cool. I cannot believe that this was the little shed of light that was carrying me through the day… I can’t wait to get home and see how much blood I have in my little cup!

I feel like my feelings surrounding my friends pregnancies are not validated. Like when I say I wasn’t that upset or I didn’t feel like crying when my bff told me she was pregnant and I get the response back “good. that’s good you didn’t feel that way.” It is like people are saying “good, you shouldn’t feel like crying, because it is not a crying matter.” But what if I said I wasn’t ok and that I wanted to scream and cry? Is that ok or just selfish?

I feel like no one is empathetic or understands what I am going through. Sure people feel sorry for me or have sympathy, but I do not believe anyone truly understands how I am feeling.

I feel so alone.

I feel frustrated.

I feel like I cannot grieve yet. I cannot grieve because I don’t know what I am supposed to be grieving. I cannot grieve yet because we haven’t gotten any answers. I could grieve if someone told me, “Rikki, you will never get pregnant.” Ok I could grieve that and move on with how I am supposed to have a child in another way. I cannot grieve because we are not done trying. We are in this miserable, shithole limbo.

I feel angry. At myself and every pregnant girl out there.

I just want to feel “normal” again. I want my life back pre infertility, when I was naïve and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WOMEN BEWARE!

Since most of us have the issue of not getting pregnant and will probably be using feminine hygiene products for a bit longer, I think it is imperative for all women to read this!! I have always thought something was sketchy with tampons and pads, but this is just scary. Needless to say I have already purchased the Dive Cup off of amazon.com.

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“The issue of what kind of feminine hygiene products you use is rarely if ever discussed. Yet it’s clearly an important topic for every woman out there.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and also the thinnest. Less than 1/10th of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable — especially the skin around your vaginal area, not to mention inside the vagina itself.

This is why attention needs to be paid to the ingredients used in tampons and sanitary pads.

Most items that come in constant contact with your skin will end up in your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body. This is why I’m so fond of saying “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to.”

Putting chemicals on your skin may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body.

However, when chemicals come in contact with your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs. And once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down.

In my opinion, the realm of feminine hygiene can be likened to a “ticking time bomb.” Because when you consider your exposure over the course of a lifetime, it really adds up; the average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime — or as many as 24,360 if she’s on estrogen replacement therapy.

And that’s just tampons… Many women use countless sanitary pads in place of, or in addition to tampons. When this same ‘average’ woman has a baby, she may also use maternity and nursing pads.

What’s Really in Those Sanitary Pads and Tampons?

In the featured article1, Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, reveals just how little we are allowed to know about the ingredients used in feminine hygiene products.

In fact, manufacturers of tampons and sanitary pads are not required to disclose the ingredients used because feminine hygiene products are considered “medical devices.”

When Andrea called Procter & Gamble directly to find out what’s in their Always Infinity pads, the only ingredients the service reps could give her were: foam and a patented ingredient called Infinicel2 — a highly absorbent material that can hold up to 10 times its weight.

In the above video, she demonstrates what happens when you burn an organic versus a conventional sanitary pad. The 100% organic cotton pad, made by Natracare, burns slow and clean, leaving virtually no sooty residue at all.

The Always Infinity pad on the other hand, with its mostly undisclosed ingredients, create lots of black smoke and thick residue — indications that the pad may contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives.

In fact, according to her research, each conventional sanitary pad contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags! With everything we now know about the hazardous nature of plastic chemicals, this alone is cause for concern.

For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates — which give paper tampon applicators that smooth feel and finish — are known to dysregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain a myriad of other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances. Synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area.

The Price You Pay for ‘Clean’ White Tampons and Pads

Furthermore, to give tampons and pads that pristine, “clean” white look, the fibers used must be bleached. Chlorine is commonly used for this, which can create toxic dioxin and other disinfection-by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane. Studies show that dioxin collects in your fatty tissues, and according to a draft report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxin a serious public health threat that has no “safe” level of exposure! Published reports show that even low or trace levels of dioxins may be linked to:

  • Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
  • Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
  • Immune system suppression
  • Hormonal and endocrine system disruption

Meanwhile, the FDA’s official stance regarding trace amounts of dioxins is that there are no expected health risks associated with trace amounts of dioxins in tampons… Naturally Savvy notes that 10 years ago, House Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation that would have required research into the potential health risks of any ingredient used in feminine hygiene products, including endometriosis, cervical, ovary and breast cancers. Unfortunately, the legislation did not pass, and it does not appear that any such research has been done.

Could You Be Absorbing GMO’s Via Your Tampons?

Andrea discovered a number of shocking details about the potential hazards posed by tampons and sanitary pads during her research for the book, Label Lessons, such as3:

  • Conventional tampons contain pesticides… Cotton crops make up just 2.4 percent of the world’s land, but each year a whopping $2 billion is spent on pesticides to spray this one crop.
  • Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances are nothing short of a chemical soup laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.
  • Conventional tampons most probably contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According the USDA, 94 percent of all the cotton planted in the US is genetically engineered.

As Andrea questions, is inserting a GMO tampon into your vagina several times every month any different than ingesting GMO food? For all we know it may be worse, considering the fact that your vaginal wall is highly permeable, allowing toxins direct access into your bloodstream — be it pesticide residue or a GMO protein.

Beware of Toxic Shock Syndrome

It’s important to remember that tampons can create a favorable environment for bacteria growth. Micro tears in the vaginal wall from tampons allow bacteria to enter and accumulate. One recognized risk from tampon use is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which may be caused by poisonous toxins from either Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. TSS can be a life-threatening condition, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Should any of the following symptoms arise while using tampons during your period, make sure you seek medical help:

Sudden high fever Vomiting Diarrhea
Low blood pressure Seizures Rash on palms or soles of feet
Muscle aches Redness of your eyes, mouth and/or throat

 

To minimize your risk of this potentially life-threatening condition:

Avoid super absorbent tampons – choose the lowest absorbency rate to handle your flow Never leave a tampon inserted overnight; use overnight pads instead When inserting a tampon, be extremely careful not to scratch your vaginal lining (avoid plastic applicators)
Alternate the use of tampons with sanitary napkins or mini-pads during your period Change tampons at least every 4-6 hours Do not use a tampon between periods

Many of today’s feminine hygiene products are made primarily from rayon, vicose, and cellulose wood fluff pulp… not cotton — let alone organic cotton. Rayon and viscose present a potential danger in part because of their highly absorbent fibers. When used in tampons, these fibers can stick to your vaginal wall, and when you remove the tampon, the loosened fibers stay behind inside your body, thereby raising your risk of TSS.

Fortunately, there are safer alternatives, and since the FDA regulates tampon absorbency, all tampons on the market must meet the same absorption guidelines. According to Dr. Philip Tierno, a Clinical Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at NYU Medical Centre, 100 percent cotton tampons “consistently test under detectable levels for TSS toxins.” Based on her own research, Andrea recommends the following brands of tampons and sanitary pads listed below. I’ve also created an exclusive line of organic cotton feminine hygiene products, which you can find in my online store.

  • Natracare
  • Diva Cup
  • Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Organic Cotton Tampons
  • Glad Rags Organic Pads
  • Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Tampons

– See more at: http://www.theunknownbutnothidden.com/women-beware-feminine-hygiene-products-contain-toxic-ingredients/#sthash.WzEqrJRG.dpuf”

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ever upwardI am so excited I could spit! In the mail today was Justine Brooks Froelker’s new book, Ever Upward!!! I can’t wait to start reading it tonight. Thank you Justine for the little note, it made my day 🙂 Get your copy now…

 

 

ever upward

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Climbing My Way to Happy.

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I cannot thank my little sis enough for introducing me to rock climbing. She recently moved back home after graduating college from UC Santa Cruz and is an avid rock climber. If you know those banana slugs you know what hippie, liberal, nature, climber, freaks they are. I have to say they are on to something.

Since she has been home I have started climbing and I am IN LOVE OBSESSEDDDDDDDDD. {It happened again tonight. The shear feeling of happiness and joy filled my heart. Filled my whole body. The happy sweet spot.} Climbing is exhilarating, challenging, and just plain awesome. I am facing fears and letting go of them. I am breaking boundaries mentally and physically. Climbing is a powerful tool for self discovery and overcoming self-imposed limitations. It is You vs. You. In life and especially with infertility, I feel like it is a constant game of Me vs. Me. My mind constantly talking. My body letting me down. With climbing I feel like it helps you quite the inner mind games and focus on what is true to be and in the now. I am learning to trust my body again, which I have started to loose faith in because of infertility. My body is a lot stronger and more powerful than I have been giving it credit for. Climbing is also proven to be very therapeutic. Here are some other benefits I have been noticing/what rock climbing will help you with:

Goal setting

Relieves stress

Full body workout

You vs. You

Gives you Confidence

Perseverance

A smokin’ hot bod

I don’t know about you, but some of these sound like things we have to deal with on a daily bases with infertility- goal setting, perseverance… But how about practicing those things in a positive way and gaining some of the things back that infertility has stolen from us like confidence, stress release, a smokin’ hot bod? I know it’s hard sometimes to step outside of the baby making world when you are so deep in it, but I am telling you, once you take some real quality time for yourself mentally and physically, things will start to change. I have said it before and I will say it again, happiness is the one emotional I believe everyone is striving for the most and is the hardest to keep. All I know is that I am happy. And I will keep climbing towards that happiness one hold at a time.

Remember it’s not just about how high you climb, but how high climbing makes you feel!

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The Best of Times. The {semi}Worst of Times.

I feel horrible even writing this post.

This weekend was a combination of amazingness/jealously/sadness/blah. But mostly amazingness.

It all started on Friday morning when my best group of girlies were headed out to Palm Springs for a Bachelorette party. We rented a HUGE house right in the heart downtown of Palm Springs, fully stocked with booze, pool, food, and lady loves! I was excited to be heading out there with my best friend {who was in town from San Fran} and her sister. It would give us time to catch up.

{Side note:: my BFF has an almost 3 year old and has been trying to get pregnant with her second for over a year. She is having issues like myself and just went to the a fertility specialist who told her she is probably having hormonal issues and will need lots of blood work and hormones. She was excited to get answers and start the process of everything next month. I was excited for her too that she had answers and a starting point.}

So its 7:00am and we made a pit stop at 7-11. Her sis gets out of the car and my BFF turns to me and says, “I have some really exciting news…” {you obviously know where this is going}. YUP. She is pregnant. {Way too early to tell your infertile BFF that you are having a baby in 9 months}. She randomly took a test the day before we left just because, and it turned out to be positive. Dumb on her part. I mean who takes a pregnancy test before a bachelorette weekend filled with fun and Beer Olympics?? You wait until you get home people! After all that worry and doctors appointments and having sex maybe only once that month she winds up pregnant. Before me. Without me. We had even talked about being pregnant together at this friends bachelorette party and wedding. How that would suck, but would also be really cool. We had blah blah blahed about it on more than one occasion. Pretty ironic if you ask me. {ps if you know who my BFF is please don’t say anything. she is obviously not telling people yet. and don’t tell her you heard it from me. thanks. ha}

Annyyywhhooo I know I sound like a total bitch. Sorry. I am really so happy for her. And I love her so much. I am happy she doesn’t have to live life as an infertile anymore, but at the same time I am really aggravated with my own situation and it brings back all those negative emotions that I have been working so hard to get over. I know I am wallowing in self pity and its not a good look, but I don’t know how to stop at the moment. It feels again like another ally, another infertile, another empathetic person is now on the other side of the fence. At least she lives in San Fran and I don’t have to see her growing belly or talk baby talk everyday. I know. I’m a bitch.

I was somewhat distant from her the rest of the weekend even though we were sharing a room and a bed. I didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t want to see it. I wanted to pretend that it wasn’t happening. I didn’t bring the subject up again after we exited the 2 1/2 hour car ride. I walked out of the room every time she was making an announcement of why her drink of choice for the weekend was O’Douls. Of course I put on a brave face and acted somewhat excited, but other than that I was mute about the subject. I know this is horrible, but I don’t know how to deal. In my heart I guess I knew she would get pregnant before me, but I didn’t want to believe it. So now I am having to go through my grieving process all over again, like a person who has relapsed in AA. Although I would say I am not back at step 1. Probably only a step 3. In the end I know I will learn to be truly happy for her.

Other than that the weekend was the best girls weekend ever. LIKE EVER. We had such a great time and I wish I could go on about it all day, but you know what they say… what happens in Palm Springs. Stays in Palm Springs. Unless your best friend tells you she is knocked up. Then that goes on the blog.

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Inner Transformations

Yeah! I got my new book in the mail, Inner Transformations Using Essential Oils.

I already skipped to the chapter on Infertility & Sex Hormones and I gotta say it’s pretty interesting stuff. Dr. LeAnne has found that most women who cannot get pregnant have problems with their bowel and liver functions. Stagnant bowels send toxins into the uterus and a malfunctioning liver causes hormonal imbalances. She says by doing a colon and liver cleanse that most of her female patients got pregnant within 3-6 months. Of all the women she worked with, where their husbands had viable sperm, only five did not get pregnant after doing the cleanses and these five women were all sisters who had emotional issues. On top of that, most of the women she works with have unexplained infertility or hormonal imbalances. Encouraging.

Another huge thing is progesterone and estrogen balance in the body. We all know progesterone is a key factor in getting pregnant and maintaining a pregnancy, but I feel like we forget about estrogen. Generally speaking, the majority of women have an excess amount of estrogen and a deficiency of progesterone. It is important to balance the two. I have found that even on progesterone suppositories my number was really low and I would break through bleed while taking it. Not a good sign.

I will be doing the colon cleanse immediately, followed by the Master Cleanse this winter {I hate the master cleanse, but I gotta do what I gotta do}, and then the liver cleanse in spring. We will see what comes from it! I will also be starting Progessence from Young Living Essential Oils.

There is so much great information in this book if you are looking to go the holistic route in dealing with fertility treatments as well as great info on other ways to get your vital organs and inner body in tip top shape using oils and vitamins.

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Essential Oils + Fertility

Yeah. Yeah. You have heard it again and again. Over and over from me. We are “taking a break” for a year to regroup and decide which direction we want to go in when the time comes. Since we will not be doing anything extreme or invasive for a while I have been researching a lot of holistic and natural ways of conceiving. I know what you might be thinking. Skeptical, wooheyy, whatever. I am too, but I feel like I am wasting time just sitting idly by when I can maybe do something positive to help my bod get into amazing baby making shape. I would wayyy rather conceive naturally than blow through my kids entire college fund before I even have one. Or better, blowing up my body with crazy meds and emotions to have it result in nothing other than a waste of time, energy, and money. I haven’t dived into the realm of oils, crystals {ok we do have a moonstone under our bed}, or eating totally crazy yet. I know it seems a little backwards- maybe I should have been doing this all along and in conjunction with. So heck why not? If anything I will smell pretty and maybe I will feel a little better too.

I recently became part of a group on Facebook called Fuller Life- Young Living. They are all about essential oils and natural remedies. I got the guts to post about our infertility “situation” and asked for advice on any oils that can be used to maximize fertility or help or anything. I was amazed at the responses I got back. Here is the advice I received::

“Please get the book Inner Transformation using Essential Oils, the success rate of ladies who struggle with the same infertility become pregnant using the guidelines in this book following the Colon cleanse etc. using the Young Living Supplements. It will be so worth it!”

“I used a similar product to pro plus (didn’t know about yl yet) plant base progesterone ointment……. went from dr saying I was not making any estrogen and therefor could not get pregnant to surprise eight weeks later, I might mention I believe god opens and closes the womb and we were also at Disney world, so there are a lot of variables there for me lol but I would love to pray for you guys and recommend oiling up with male booster like blue spruce and golden rod and maybe some pro plus and any other hormone oils, there are lots if you do some searching and trying what’s best for you. I have grown to love into the future as well and am reminded to pray over our future when I put it on. Best wishes!”

“This is Ken’s wife, Angie. I cannot find my book this evening to look it up, but I think Gary Young’s new book, “Ancient Einkorn” mentions infertility being one of the side-effects of GMO grain. Excellent book….”

“I have Doctor Leanne’s book Taming the Dragon and she mentions in the book that a certain cleanse has seen major results. Worth checking out:)”

“I’m not a dr and every case is different but I suffered myself and learned later & after much heartache, my unexplained infertility was due to a folic acid mutation deficiency.. Make sure your doc puts you on prescription folic acid and eat lots of healthy organic foods with folic acid. I would eat only organic while ttc… Following on what others suggest for YLO… Best of luck to you and your husband.”

“I went to a naturopath…..I had heavy cycles horrible cramps and very moody he told me it’s from too much estrogen and I took 3 supplements for a month and was preggo a month later!!!!!”

Inner Transformations!!! LeAnne Deardeuff spent many woman with that problem!”

“If you are high in estrogen, the try progessence plus to level out. Commit to at least 6 months with the oils. Continue the PP after you conceive until the pregnancy is firmly implanted and producing progesterone. Then start it back up at delivery to prevent post partum depression and mood swings.”

I got this concocktion for bumping up libido! {pun intended}

Orange Wong's photo.
Ranna Seah's photo.
“If you are going to try this, please use a organic tampon. 🙂 {obviously I want to try this one}”

 

WoW. I really loved all these responses and feel like they all have great information. I haven’t quite decided which direction I want to go in yet. I am still drinking Fertilitea twice a day. It tastes good and I didn’t feel my ovulation this month- which is weird I can always feel it and it hurts! So maybe my hormones are balancing out? IDK. I didn’t have a hormone problem to begin with. I don’t think. I really hate doctors. The more I learn about them the more I think they are idiots and too “by the book”. And they are insensitive. And blah. Anywho, sorry about the ADD. Back to oils. I already use some for when I get sick with a cough or cold or I cant sleep, so why not try it for fertility. I am probably going to purchase the Inner Transformations book or Taming the Dragon book or both. And that tampon thing. Why not. Ready go.

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I {love}maegan.com

Ok can we talk about how much I LOVE  lovemaegan.com. Please, please read this blog post she did a while ago. A friend sent it to me a few months back and I re-read it today. I felt different reading it today than I did back then. I wrote something similar recently, but I feel like Maegan hits a lot of points I was blinded to. Lately I have been thinking,  “why, why did I say we are taking a YEAR off??? Can I handle waiting a year to proceed with baby making??” I am already getting antsy to move on to the “next step” and it has only been 4 months! I want it now! I keep seeing others journey with IVF and Adoption being started and completed and I want to be right there with them. But I need to remember that is not my journey right now. I committed to a year off and I am going to stick with it. Thanks Maegan for reminding me to be present and grateful for my own life.

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“My story shouldn’t offend you if you’ve got differing opinions, nor should you take it personally or as a personal attack on the opposite side of the realm. What it is meant to do, besides help clear up some clutter in my own mind, is offer a little calm to those, who like me, are struggling with trying to get pregnant, and who have been trying for years to accept this reality, and who may need a little optimism to see that there is life beyond what we think we’re supposed to do while we’re here on this planet.

Sure I believe that we make our own paths in this life and we create our own opportunities and even our own luck, but when it comes to fertility, even if we do go down the road of hormones and IVF, there is no certainty that we will end up with a baby. And because so much of life IS happenstance, I wasn’t willing to give up my sanity while going through those procedures for a “maybe baby”.

Does that mean I didn’t want to be a mom badly enough? Maybe to some, but all religious beliefs aside, I think if something is meant to happen, it’s going to happen. It’s the nature of things in this life. For me, and for me alone, I’ve learned that when I force things into my own life that weren’t ready to be, they don’t turn out the way I thought they would, and I didn’t want any of this type of thought to be put on a human life. {note: I have no judgment against people who do go the IVF route whatsoever}

But maybe there is something to be learned from it not happening. There is something to be said for this journey, this life that is happening to us right now, even if it’s different from what we thought it was going to be, from what we thought it was supposed to be, and even if it is just my husband and I forever, living with a house full of puppies, there is happiness in this moment in time.

“We have to remind ourselves that the life we are living is worthwhile even though we have not added to the population.”

Some days I wonder if I’m missing out. And yes, I most certainly am. WE most certainly are.

We’re missing out on the smiles and the firsts and all the amazing things people post on Facebook and Instagram without showing the other side… the hard as hell side. The side that everyone knows but seems to forget when another woman gets pregnant for the first time.

It’s usually only when I think of things I’ll miss out on, like experiencing pregnancy, growing a life inside of me, feeling left out around other moms, decorating a nursery, buying baby things, breast feeding, bonding moments, cute baby and kid clothes, play time, teaching the way of life, creating a family and memories I don’t get to make or share with a little being, that I get weepy about what isn’t happening in this life and forget about all the greatness that is happening in this life.

“When I get caught up in “what should have been” or “what could be” is when I forget that in this very moment, everything is just as it is supposed to be and I am happy.”

I think it’s been about a year since I’ve really written here about my struggle with infertility. Now, nearly seven years since we decided to “start trying” to create a family that consists of more humans than dogs, I can almost certainly say that I’m okay most of the time. Most of the time I’m happy with our life. Most of the time I am not sad or wishing or hoping or clinging to the fact that we cannot create children and this may be our family forever.

The truth is, the longer we’ve lived without children running around, the more set in our ways we’ve become and the more we enjoy our lives childless. This is not to say that having children ruin things, or would ruin our life… not in the least, but we’ve seen all of our friends get pregnant and have kids and watched as their lives have gotten harder and not easier. Some days knowing this makes the sadness less palpable, makes me forget that we’ve been trying to get pregnant for so long, and makes me feel free from having to worry about all the things that parents have to worry about constantly.

Obviously, raising kids is difficult, and obviously there are so many wonderful times and moments shared that make it all worth while. But it looks hard. It looks never-ending… it looks like forever.

Through my struggle, I’ve had to reevaluate what I thought my life was going to be like and look like. I’ve had to accept the fact that as much as our parents wanted grandchildren from us, we may just be the biggest disappointments to them forever, and that’s okay. I’ve had to learn to let go of what should have been, what we were brought up to think is the “normal” or the right thing to do because the truth is, even those who follow all the rules and do everything they’re supposed to, don’t always end up happy.

Someone recently asked me how I was doing with it all. How in the past I would get a little weepy hearing pregnancy news or seeing another friend get pregnant again, and slowly spiral into a self-involved anger tornado wondering why I couldn’t get pregnant and “they” could… but this time I responded: Lucky.

I admit, it may have been a slight jab because I was the only one who wasn’t a mom in the entire house, in my own house, where I was hosting, and I thought who in their right mind would ask a person dealing with infertility that question in a time like this? but in that moment, I did feel lucky.

I felt lucky that while I only had to deal with the chaos that comes with children for the weekend, they all had to go home and live with that chaos forever. I felt lucky that I/we get to do whatever we want, whenever we want, and not have the always-worry that comes with children.

I feel lucky because being a parent is taxing all of the time. I feel lucky that I don’t have to think ahead so much that I have to pack a car full of shit every time I go somewhere or lucky for the fact that I can just get in my car and go somewhere whenever I want. I feel lucky that I don’t have all the guilt that comes with being a parent or listen to other people tell me how to parent. I feel lucky that I don’t have to worry about schools and college tuitions. And on a personal/vain level, I feel lucky that I don’t have stretch marks or saggy boobs, and my body is still intact because it hasn’t been stretched out from here to eternity.

“Feeling lucky, grateful for right now, and thinking about the difficult things that come with parenting fade out the misty fantasy of kids and make the reality much more clear, making it easier for me to say to myself, it’s okay, you don’t have to be a mom to be important in this world.”

I feel lucky for so many reasons… Do I think that if we suddenly got pregnant and/or had children and all those things were true for us I would feel lucky too and forget all of this? Yes, absolutely, 100%.

It wasn’t that the question in the moment bothered me. I didn’t get a lump in my throat as I would have in the past. I didn’t feel what I had for all the years prior being asked similar questions. We spent the weekend with a newly pregnant friend and I didn’t think twice about it for the first time in seven years. I wasn’t upset at the thought of our friend being pregnant or seeing her adorable baby bump covered in blue and white stripes for the 4th. I was simply happy for her {and him}.

For me, that was the light at the end of the tunnel… I knew I was okay.

It was only days later when I heard that question on repeat in my mind and I felt myself getting angry quickly at things that normally wouldn’t bother me — a short temper is bound to have deeper meaning — and then I knew I was in the thick of it again. I was upset because I had to ask myself this question yet again… Am I okay? A question/answer I had thought I had come to terms with was here again, in my face, in my head, now a somehow daily reminder to make sure I think about it again. And I was sad. And then I was sad that I was sad about it. I had begun judging myself based on getting emotional about something I thought I had gotten through this past year and here I was, so sad again, longing, missing, feeling empty, left wanting more and clinging to the fact that it’s not going to happen. Again.

And then I had to remind myself that there is more to life, for me, than having children and raising a family. I had to remind myself that my life could be more than I had imagined it to be. I had to remind myself that I already know what being a parent is like and that maybe my life is left open to experiencing things that are unknown and different.

“I know that if I spend one more minute lost in the “what ifs” that I may be stuck in the “what ifs” forever and actually miss out on what I am supposed to learn in this lifetime instead of “what I thought I was supposed to learn” in this lifetime.”

I get a lot of emails from women experiencing sadness on the same journey with infertility and each hits and pierces my heart and spirit in the same way; like a ton of bricks. I know what it feels like, and I am so sorry that you know what it feels like too. For those who don’t understand, it’s more than just not being able to create a family, it somehow feels like a personal failure, like our bodies are not doing what they are “meant to do”. Beyond possibilities of surrogacy and adoption, some of us want to do it ourselves, and accepting that we cannot doesn’t feel like a choice, but rather, a life sentence.

Even if you think that no one understands, we do. We, the women who have yearned to create a family and have wished and hoped and prayed that against all the odds, a healthy life would somehow develop inside of our bodies, only to be left feeling empty each month we can’t make it happen. It’s a lonely struggle. But we are not alone. We are a village of women who are important and worthwhile in this world even though we cannot create life. There is something for us that is different, unexpected, and maybe even spectacular. If we are open to the possibilities, who knows where this amazing life will lead us.”

source: lovemaegan.com

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