From Cloud Nine to Ground Zero {NIAW}

What I’ve learned on this journey is that it is a roller coaster.  An out-of-control, up-and-down, give-you-whiplash kind of roller coaster.

emotional roller coasters

There are moments that hurt and hope occupy the same space in your heart.

When you first hear the diagnosis – infertile – its shocking.  But what’s more shocking than that are the things they DON’T tell you.

Like how every time you see a pregnant woman, you’ll have to look the other way.  Or how you will take the longest way around the department store to not have to pass the baby section.  Or how your heart will splinter a little with every pregnancy announcement and shatter wide open when that announcement comes from your best friend.  Or how, despite the jealousy towards women that don’t deserve to have babies yet do, you will speak out for children that don’t have a voice – even if it means going against your family.

They don’t tell you that you will feel embarrassed.  And ashamed.  And broken.  And lonely.  And like a disappointment.  Or how you will go through every step of the grieving process – every month.

It’s also shocking how – even month after disappointing month – your heart will still skip a beat at a late cycle.  It’s shocking how – even while fear chisels its way through your heart – hope battles it, if only for a moment.

Every month that we fall apart after a BFN – we wipe our tears, dust ourselves off and try again.  Terrified we won’t be successful, but confident we will be less successful if we don’t try.

Infertility has the potential to destroy so many things.  Self-esteem.  Self-image.  Friendships.  Marriages.

But it also has the potential to make those things stronger through the brokenness.

You can either be beaten.  Or beat it.

My husband and I have had some very real, very raw moments that I remember wondering if we’d even make it through.

He never thought we were fighting about infertility, but I knew that it was always the underlying cause.  The elephant in the room.  Just sitting there.  If it were a person, I’d imagine it wringing its hands with an evil smirk and cackling while saying “Peeerrrrfffeeecct.  They’re fighting.  I’ve got them right where I want them.”  Only we decided that wasn’t where we wanted to be.

There are SO many things that are out of our control in this process.

How we respond to it isn’t.

 “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

Some days, I feel like that ratio is pretty darn skewed!  As if dealing with all these emotions isn’t enough, we also get the pleasure of helping every.  single.  person.  that hears our story make their dream of being a Doctor come true!

Advice, comments, stories, anecdotes, cures, old wives’ tales, sexual positions, relaxation methods.  The list goes on and on.

lucky me

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s SO IMPORTANT for those that hear us tell our story to remember:

  • If you haven’t experienced it personally, you don’t understand
  • When we do open up about it, just listen
  • Don’t give advice unless you’re asked specifically for it
  • The chance of getting pregnant doesn’t go UP with more sex, it actually goes DOWN
  • Our ages DO have a lot to do with it (even though every person in Hollywood can get pregnant at 95)
  • PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE  don’t tell us to relax.

There will be days that we will be walking in the clouds and having a great time and then something triggers us.  Please give us grace as we go from Cloud Nine to Ground Zero.


My Thoughts on Infertility

You know that feeling?  The one where you suddenly feel all alone in a sea of people?  Or that dream?  Where you scream and scream but no one hears you?  That’s KIND of how it feels sometimes…  This is a journey I’d NEVER expected to go on.  I certainly didn’t pack the right things.  You can NEVER find your unbreakable heart when you need it the most!!!

Infertility is a medical condition… much like cancer or heart disease.  A woman is only diagnosed “Infertile” after 1 year (12 months) of actively trying to get pregnant.  I know 4 months or 8 months is hard…  believe me, I know.  And I’m in no way saying you aren’t entitled to the sadness.  I’m just saying…  give it a year.  Then you’ll know if it was truly infertility, or just impatience.  Most Doctors wont do anything until you’ve been having unprotected intercourse with your partner for at least one year, but if you think you might truly, truly have something that will place you on this path I pray you’ll never understand, PLEASE don’t hesitate to tell your Dr.  Once you hit my age, time is no longer your friend.

I’ve met some new friends on this journey and I’ve reconnected with some old friends… A close, recently reconnected childhood friend, Brooke always tells me that it’s a “sacred, unique bond” that we share.  I can’t think of a better way to describe it.  She says it’s the sisterhood of infertility – it’s “not quite as sexy as travelling pants, but what can you do?” Of course, she’s ALWAYS been amazing with words, sometimes regardless of if you want to hear them or not!!  **I love you, friend!**

I’ve not shared this journey with many…  for many reasons.

  1. I’m scared. Plain and Simple.
  2. It’s raw & emotional.
  3. It’s uncomfortable for many.
  4. I don’t want to hear the “I have a friend that did this and then went on to have 2 children naturally” or “Just adopt, people always have kids after they adopt” or (my personal favorite [insert sarcastic tone] “Just relax!”
  5. I don’t want people to try and “Fix It”

So with all that being said….  I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

Those of you that haven’t been there – GOOD. I hope and pray you never have to.  Those of you that are just starting this journey – Reach out.  SERIOUSLY.  It’s lonely enough without actually being lonely.  To those of you that have been travelling wearily – I may have only been on this path for 20 months, but here’s my hand.  Grab it, we’ll walk together a spell.

The best way I can think of to describe infertility (and marriage), as a journey, is like an onion…  I know, bear with me!  You get an onion.  It looks perfect from the outside.  Then you peel off that first layer.  Not quite what you expected, so you keep peeling.  As you peel, it makes you cry.  But you start to get to the good stuff – though not without more crying.  Then you throw it in the fire.  As it heats up, the aroma reaches you.  but it’s changed.  Still makes you cry, but now there a sweetness to it.  As it cooks, it becomes more transparent.  And the longer it cooks, the sweeter it gets.  How does that relate to infertility, you ask?  Let me try and explain how my brain processes that…  I found an onion… my husband.  He looks (almost) perfect from the outside.  The first layer peeled off rather quickly – not as expected.  It made me cry, but I kept peeling.  Then we were thrown in the fire.  It’s heated up and believe you me, it’s changed – I’ve changed.  There is a sweetness to it.  It’s a bitter sweetness.  Jon & I have grown closer.  We’ve been tested on levels I never even imagined exsisted.  Have I wanted to walk away?  ABSOLUTELY.  Would I?  NEVER.  I can’t imagine going through this journey with ANYONE else.  Even though he often doesn’t have the right words and doesn’t even begin to know what to do when I’m crying – once he’s softened – there’s no place I’d rather my tears land than on the soft, welcoming shoulder of my husband’s strong arms.

So there’s that.  The following blogs will be more about my personal journey, and possibly some of other’s journies that they will allow me to share.  If you love it, good.  If you don’t – oh well, start your own blog.  😉