Friday, August 11, 2017

Apparently God Hates Me

Apparently God hates me! This is the only thing I hear when you tell me I can't get pregnant because "It's God's Will'. Those three little words, It's God's Will, turns into these three big words, GOD HATES YOU! So stop it! For the love of all things holy, just stop.

Yes, I'm a Christian. Yes, I know God loves me. Yes I pray every day for a baby (or peace, or just an answer) so I don't need you adding to my stress and telling me how I'm not worthy and God hates me. I also know that sometimes God's answer is no, which doesn't mean he hates me.

'It's God's Will' and 'In God's Time' are two of the worst phrases you can say to me.  Are you saying that the crackhead neglecting her children deserves her kids?  Or the child molester who has children is a better Christian than me because he has children?  How about the mother who has 14 children, can't pay for any of them, & pimps them out on the street...oh yeah, it MUST be God's will! It sounds ridiculous right?  Well it's the exact same thing in reverse. If you wouldn't tell the children living in this hell that 'It's God's Will' for them to live this way, then why the hell would you tell the childless woman trying everything under the sun to have a baby, that things happen in God's time and it must be God's will?!

I have enough on my plate and enough stress in my life trying to figure out how we are going to pay for the next treatment (if we're even going to do another treatment!) and I don't need you adding to this stress by making me question why God has blessed certain people with children and not me.

Instead of saying "It must be God's Will", say "I'm praying for you!"
Instead of "It's God's plan", say "I'm praying for you!"
Instead of "In God's time", say "You're in my thoughts"
Instead of "God has a plan for you", say "You are in my thoughts and prayers"

See where I'm going with this?! Please, just stop. Think before you speak....or don't say anything at all. That works too!

Pray for me. Pray for us. Pray for all of us. Yes, I know there is a plan. Yes, I know sometimes the plan is not what I envisioned.  Yes, I know it takes time. Yes, I may not like the plan or the outcome or the results, but just know that I do pray. I need your prayers. I need your good thoughts. I need some peace.

God doesn't hate me!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Listen Up, I Can't "Just Relax!"

I've heard it. You've heard it. Everyone in the infertility community has heard it at least a million times on their journey...the dreaded phrase, "Just Relax!"

Fertile people think this is the magical saying. The phrase that will somehow instantly make a baby appear in our wombs. My womb? The same angry womb that has denied me a baby. The womb that has suffered through years and years of infertility medications, shots, embryo transfers, and surgeries. The very womb that has ignored my every plea, every tear and every demand to work. If I would only 'just relax' then the 13 years of pain and suffering I have endured would simply just...go away!

I wish it were that easy.  If so, then all the years of my yoga and meditation classes would have worked.  I would have been pregnant many times over.  I would have a baby in my arms and a toddler (or two) on my hip by now.  Don't you think I've tried to relax and stay calm?  Don't you think I know that stress isn't good for my body.  Do you really think that me being stress-free is the answer?  Do you think my stress is causing my infertility? Do you think infertility treatments are an easy walk in the park? I wish there was a magic pill I could take to relax during this utmost stressful time. I wish I could relax and make it all go away. I wish I had an answer. Most of all, I wish I could get pregnant as easily as almost every other woman around me, but I can't. That in itself, is extremely stressful.

Infertility is not hoped for, wanted, or even a choice. It's a disease.  A disease that affects 1 in 8 couples. Yes, 1 in 8! Infertility isn't something you can wish away. You can't "just relax" and it will disappear. That's not how infertility works. You wouldn't dare tell a cancer patient to 'just relax' thinking that would instantly cure their cancer...would you? How about someone with epilepsy, or diabetes or even dementia? Of course not! So please stop telling me to relax, hoping that it will miraculously cure my infertility and make me pregnant. Infertility is stressful enough. It can destroy marriages and people. I've seen it.

In my last post, I wrote:
"I will not let infertility define me or destroy me, but instead, I will let it remind me of how far I have come. I am more than my infertility. I am strong."

Yes, I am strong and I won't let infertility beat me, but I still cry. I still wonder why. I still ache and long for the baby I will never have. However, I also know that I have tried. I have given my all. I never gave up. I can hold my head up high. I am proud of myself. I am going to be okay.

I am enough.

So listen up, please stop telling me and other infertile couples to 'just relax'. Instead of giving unwanted advice like: 'just relax', 'just adopt', 'just foster',' just use a surrogate' etc., how about you just listen.  Listen to us. Listen to our story. Listen to our pain, our journey, our triumphs, our decisions. Listen to all the things we have overcome, accomplished, and persevered through. All the steps we have taken on Capitol Hill, and all the congressmen and senators we have talked to, while advocating for infertility rights. Listen to the decisions that we have made pertaining to our family building, especially if that decision (whether made by us or if we are forced to choose this) is to be childfree. Listen without judgement. Listen without advice. Listen without persecution or feeling sorry for us.
Just listen.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I'm Stuck in a Life I Didn't Plan

Today I am dedicating my blog to National Infertility Awareness Week and to the launch of Justine Brooks Froelker's latest book The Mother of Second Chances, based on her blog Ever Upward releasing on April 17th. For five weeks 25 amazing women will share their stories of infertility and loss as part of this incredible blog tour, because together we can shatter the stigma. 

Friday, Erica shared her story, and tomorrow we will hear from my amazing and dear friend Candace from Our Misconception

We would love for you to participate by sharing these posts far and wide. We’d especially love to see your own broken silence by sharing your own infertility story using the hastags: #NIAW, #infertility and #EverUpward. 

I love living by the ocean!  There's just something about breathing in the salty air, with your toes in the sand and looking out at the waves rolling in that will bring a sense of peace and calming over your whole body. I find myself sitting in the sand and staring out at the ocean a lot more lately, needing that calming feeling I'm so desperately trying to hold on to. During my latest TWW (two week wait), a little over a month ago, I found myself here often just thinking about everything and focusing on staying calm.  I sat there trying to read my book but found my mind wandering. Thinking about my life and how it didn't go according to my plan. I always knew I wanted to have kids one day, but I kept changing my mind on exactly how many. Never in a million years did it ever cross my mind that I wouldn't be able to have any.  You see, unfortunately, infertility treatments never worked on me.

In the infertility world (and in my own math-geek mind) everything is about numbers. How many follicles? How many embryos? What is your LH? What is your FSH? How many ml of each injectible medicine will I take?  How many times a day will I need to inject myself? So many numbers. Here are some of my important numbers:
40, 14, 13, 9, 5, 3, 3, 2, 1 and 0.

40: How old I will be this year.
14: The number of wonderful years I have been married to my amazing and loving husband.
13: The number of years we have been trying to conceive.
9: The number of years we were silent about our infertility.
5: The number of failed medicated IUIs we have tried.
3: The number of cancelled cycles.
3: The total number of beautiful embryos we transferred.
2: The number of failed IVFs.
1: The number of lines I see on every pregnancy test.
0: The number of babies I have in my arms.

I could also add the numbers 10 million (the number of tears I have cried throughout the 13 years) and one thousand (the number of pregnancy tests I have peed on).

When I look back at these important numbers, I can't help but focus on the number 9.  We were silent for nine whole years.  NINE!  I try not to play the whole "what if" game, but I can't help it.  What if I wasn't silent?  What if I found my wonderful Resolve support group sooner; would we have had the time to try more treatments?  What if I talked about infertility during those nine years; would that change my outcome?  Would I have a child in my arms now if I talked about it?  The honest answer is: I don't know. I don't know if talking about infertility openly would have changed my outcome, but I do know that if I would have talked about it instead of being ashamed of it, I could have been empowered so much sooner.

The numerous infertility treatments we endured may not have ended the way we hoped for, but I am glad we tried (even if it meant we drained all of our savings because insurance didn't cover anything). We decided together that we are not going to pursue adoption, or foster or even surrogacy, not at this point in our lives and no matter how many people try to guilt us into it.  I may try another IUI again, but I don't know how much more I can take...physically and emotionally (not to mention financially!).  I know deep down that I have to face the facts, but I also don't know if I'm ready to take that step. I still have a little hope left, but I also must be realistic.

I know I have to be thankful for what I have in my life right now, and I am. I have an amazing husband, 2 crazy and wild labs, a house, a career and so much more.  So many wonderful things. I know I should just try and focus on all the good, but part of me can't help thinking about that missing piece and the plan I had for my life. The plan that included children and grandchildren. The plan that did not include infertility. This isn't the life I planned, but it is the one I was dealt. I just need time to grieve. Time to mourn the life I wanted, the life I planned and for the child I will never have.

Talking about our infertility is helping me move on. So I will continue to talk about infertility, advocating for infertility rights and supporting others going through it.  Not just during National Infertility Awareness Week, but all year long. I want to help other women and couples feel empowered and not feel ashamed. I want them to know that they are not alone.

I don't know what the future has planned for me, so for now I will spend a lot of my free time soaking up the sun, breathing in the salty ocean air, feeling the sand in-between my toes and watching the waves roll in. I will stare out into the ocean and be thankful for the life I have and the people in it.  I will take time to grieve, but I will also make sure I take time to focus on the future and what lies ahead.  I will not live in my grief, but instead soar above it.  I will be okay, and I will live a full life even if it isn't the life I hoped for or planned. I will not let infertility define me or destroy me, but instead, I will let it remind me of how far I have come. I am more than my infertility. I am strong.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The TWW....What It's Really Like!

So for all of my non-infertile friends, TWW stands for Two Week Wait.  This is the two week time span in-between when your infertility procedure (IUI, or IVF transfer) happened and the day you officially take a pregnancy test or blood BETA test.  So in other words, TWW really stands for mind fuck!

Here's how my latest TWW mind fuck went...

videoDave and I have been preparing for a back to back IUI for the last couple of months now and it seemed like all the stars have finally aligned!  I started my oral stimulation meds and had my last pill on Valentine's Day (good sign #1).  As long as my body would follow my verbal demands and nagging and not ovulate over the weekend (since my clinic doesn't perform IUIs on Sundays, because heaven forbid a woman ovulate on a Sunday *insert eye roll here!*) - Check out the video of me doing an ovulation test while camping! Yes I had to pee in a cup, and then bring back said cup to our campsite....longest walk ever!

As luck would have it, I was actually late ovulating this month and was able to do my trigger shot Sunday morning (while still camping!), so this would be good sign #2!
We went in Monday morning (President's Day - good sign #3) and had our first IUI (thanks for the awesome shirt and IUI socks!!!) Today's theme: Fuck Infertility! I will beat you!
Then back in Tuesday morning for IUI #2!  Today's theme: Wonder Woman!

Now here is where the real fun begins..... the TWW mind fuck

Day 1 - Doctor tells you to act like you are pregnant (so now I'm PUPO-Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise), and to take it easy.  Bed rest, meditation, visualizing, praying, begging and pleading have now begun! This is also day one of my progesterone the ass! Right butt cheek is up for duty.

Day 2 - I feel a twinge and some cramping!  YES!  That must be implantation right??!?  No it can't be...too early.  Should I take a pregnancy test just in case?  NO!  Just relax!  2nd ass shot (left ass cheek)

Day 3 - Go back to work. Can people tell I may be pregnant? Am I glowing?  C'mon people, say wait, don't! I don't want to tell anyone.  More cramping. This must be implantation, even though it's way too early! Right ass cheek back up for duty.

Day 4 - More cramping.  I just want to stay home and caress my fat roll/possible baby growing area.  More visualizing of the process (sperm meeting egg, doing the dirty deed, creating embryo, traveling down Fallopian tubes, implanting into uterus, bells and whistles going off, party happening in my gut etc.).  Lots of praying, begging & pleading.  Was that a twinge?   Maybe I should still too early.  Resist testing, Kristy. Resist!  Left ass cheek ready!

Days 5-7 First week down.  Resisted temptations to take a pregnancy test. Tried to stay off Dr. Google with all of my symptoms and non symptoms....failed miserably! Right, Left and then back to right ass cheek for more shots.

Days 8-9 Enough of this shit already!  I just want to know.  I go to take a test, and resist again.  Too early! Pat myself on the back for resisting temptation.  More shots, more ass bruising, more time sitting on a heating pad! My end table is starting to look like a drug dealers haven!

Day 10 - I can't take it any longer!  Time to test.  BFN (Big Fat Negative!)  That's ok was too early. Mind Fuck! Mind Fuck! Mind Fuck!  I should just have a glass of wine and relax...nope can't do that, I'm PUPO!  Another day, another ass cheek, another shot. Check out that needle!!!  Yep that goes in my ass every night!  I feel like a human pin cushion, but I'm not complaining because it will all be worth it in the end...dammit! It's just getting harder and harder to walk each day but trust me, I'd rather do the shots than the suppositories any day of the week!!

Day 11 & 12- Maybe today I should test?  No, give it another day or two.  Resisted testing.  Try to stay focused at work (in an elementary school)  More Dr. Google at home before my next shot.  More time on my heating pad.  More praying, begging, and pleading.  Maybe I should look for a church so God knows I'm serious about my bargains and pleads.  Was that a twinge?  Did I just feel implantation this time? Do my boobs hurt (grab boobs to check...nope.  Have Dave grab my boobs to see if there's any soreness....nope.) Dammit!

Day 13 - I can't take it.....I test again.  BFN.  That's ok.  The test was broken.  I've heard of that happening before. You hear of people (you know, the one in a million) where they get the false negative.  That must be me!  Then I start contemplating what great odd that is, and think about going for a lottery ticket, but my ass hurts too much and I don't want to move off my heating pad.

Day 14 - official test day!  BFN on the first test.  Take another test because that bastard must be old and past expiration.  2nd test, negative. 4 tests later, same negative results.

Dammit, fuck, no!!!!!  Pull myself up off the bathroom floor, dry my tears, start breathing normal again and decide that I'm changing religions and joining a polygamist cult....those bitches NEVER have infertility issues!  Then I remember that I am WAY too sassy to be stifled with boring dresses and neutral colors!  So instead I put my big girl pants on , raise two middle fingers and scream, Fuck You Infertility!  Fuck You!