What You Don’t Know

I’m pro choice.  This might upset some of you.  It might prevent you from reading further into this article, but so be it.

This needs to be said, because I’ve seen one upsetting Facebook post too many today.

Pro Choice does NOT EQUAL Pro Abortion

I am sick to death of people spewing such a disgusting statement around.  I promise you, that NO ONE.  I repeat, NO ONE is “Pro Abortion”.  There is no sane person on this planet that sits around thinking that they’d just love it if people could just abort more babies.

I’m Christian, but I am not going to bring the bible into this at all because in a country where we are free to choose our own religion, MY religion should have absolutely no impact on what you decide to do with your own uterus.

Can I just say that people these days LOVE and I mean loooooove to control people?    (Who can marry who, how many babies you can or can’t have, what you can do with your uterus, who you can and how many sexual partners you can have, etc…)

And can I also say that people these days THRIVE on fear tactics?  While I don’t like either candidate this election, I literally cringed when I saw the fear tactic based article on Facebook stating that “Hillary wants to rip apart babies.”

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Here’s some education on “partial birth” or “late term” abortions that you may not realize through no fault of your own.

FUN FACTS:

  1. While they do happen, these types of abortions are rare. You cannot just go into a Planned Parenthood and say, “You know, I’m not really feeling like having this baby anymore.  I know I’m in the 2nd/3rd trimester but I decided I don’t want it.  Can you kill it please?  K thanks bye.”

NO!  You do not just do this.  No self respecting women’s clinic or even Planned Parenthood is going to sign off on this without a legitimate reason.  They don’t just take the baby out because you don’t want it anymore at that stage.  They are going to tell you to GTFO and probably refer you to some counseling.

In fact, there aren’t a whole lot of physicians in America that are even willing to perform this procedure, and only when it is necessary.  In most states, you can’t find anyone.

Part of my job involves reviewing medical records involving babies who have been born with birth defects.  In the five years that I’ve been reviewing these records, I have come across one case out of over a thousand where a mother sought to have this procedure performed because her baby was severely deformed and it was discovered too late.  No one would do it.  No one!  She desperately went from state to state, hospital to hospital, getting one “no” after another.  Her child was born with life long, debilitating conditions that will follow this mother until she dies.  He will never have a normal life.  He will live in constant pain.  He will never get married, speak, feed himself, walk or go to school.

  1. This type of abortion is traumatizing for the parents.  These women are not monsters.

The few and far between women who seek and are given this type of procedure are as follows

Scenario 1:          The pregnancy is going to kill the mother.  Example.  Mom gets pregnant, and halfway through the pregnancy finds out she has aggressive uterine cancer.  She needs treatment right away or she is going to die.  Removing the uterus will kill the baby, and chemo is poison.  She’s going to have to choose.  Keep the baby and risk the cancer killing her before the delivery, perhaps even killing the both of them.  OR, abort the child and receive a life saving treatment.

Do you think a woman makes that choice lightly?  Do you think she doesn’t live with that decision every day for the rest of her life?  That’s just ONE scenario among many that forces a mother to make that decision, and you’re going to prevent her that option?  You’d rather that both of them die?  Or just her and the child grows up without a mother?  Why is this YOUR choice?  Why isn’t this HER choice?

Scenario 2:          A later ultrasound reveals that the child has a severe or fatal condition.  Either the child is going to be a vegetable for the rest of his/her life, or the child will only live for minutes/days after birth only to suffer.  Could you say that if faced with this decision that you wouldn’t want to prevent your child from needlessly suffering?  I’ve never been in that situation so I’m not sure what I would do, and I hope I never ever have that experience.  But after becoming a mother and I look at my healthy baby girl I can’t say that I wouldn’t have made that choice knowing that she would suffer for the rest of her life.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, then you know what a joy it is to hear that heartbeat for the first time.  To feel that first kick, and know that soon you’ll be holding that tiny bundle.  Women in this position experience that just like you did, except their pregnancies are suddenly DESTROYED by forces beyond their control.  All hopes and dreams of becoming a mother to a healthy happy child are shattered, and meanwhile people all over the country are JUDGING them for the most terrifying and horrible situation they’ve ever been in.

You have no idea.

I have talked to these moms.  The ones that have chosen to keep their children, carry them and care for them for the rest of their lives.  Do they regret it?  Some of them, yes.  They look at their 8 year old who has never and will never be able to have the ability to communicate at all, who will get bedsores if they don’t turn them over several times a day, who are in obvious pain and on a slew of medications that are destroying their kidneys and liver.  Some of them have tearfully admitted in soft whispers over the phone to me that they wish they had known this would happen so that they could have made the choice to prevent their child’s birth, and I don’t judge them for a minute.  Neither should you.

If you haven’t thanked your lucky stars for your healthy child, then you need to and be so happy that you’ve never been faced with such a decision.  That while you had your baby shower, met your baby, gazed wearily at him/her in their crib and felt all that love in your heart expand, they felt a hole of darkness.  A gaping hole where that love should have been filled up.  They sold their brand new baby clothes, packed up the crib and shut down their registries.  I listen to these moms EVERY.  DAY.

Needless to say I was scared shitless when I became pregnant, and I breathed the longest sigh of relief when Lilly was born healthy.

And I know there are women out there who have lost their children to miscarriage, and women who are endlessly trying to conceive to no avail.  Women who are disgusted by abortions, and I understand the feeling.  When I was struggling to conceive my child, I was filled with anger at every abortion story I came across.  I wanted to scream “I’ll take your baby!  Don’t throw it away!”

But then I’d realize that it was not my body carrying that child.  It was not my circumstances pushing that decision.  I am in no place to control any other person, and neither are you.  You don’t have to like abortion.  You can be repulsed by them.  I understand.  Abortion is devastating, and I wish no one felt that they needed one but that’s not the world that we live in.  I am not, and will not ever presume to know what’s best for anyone else.  I would rather a safe option be available to women, than have them conducting these procedures in back alleys, or hotel rooms where they bleed out or die from infection.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about go watch that old movie with Cher in it called “If These Walls Could Talk” and tell me what you think after you watch that mom bleed out on a table.

I am heartbroken to read stories such as this one in Texas where a mother was forced to wait while her baby died, watch it slowly perish in fetal distress and deliver the stillborn baby, all because laws were preventing from them from hurrying the procedure along to prevent further suffering.  There was no saving that baby.  They did everything they could.  What would you have had her do?

But at least educate yourself before you start posting fear tactic filled statements about how Planned Parenthood “loves abortion” or that anyone wants to “rip babies apart”.  It just makes you look ignorant, and it saddens me every time I see it.

You can hate abortion, and despise its obvious necessity as women receive them every day, but don’t you dare try to decide that you know a woman better than she knows herself.

In Texas alone there are over 1,500 unwanted children in the foster care system.  1,500 children with no mother and father.  Who are being bounced between foster homes, feeling unloved, and neglected.  Just let that sink.

I don’t support abortion.  I support a woman’s right to know what is best for her life and her body.

You don’t have to like it.  But you also don’t have to judge.  Don’t you think these women have suffered enough?

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The Mythical Paternal Instinct

I have a bone to pick with society.

We are a society filled with women screaming for gender equality. Women want to be seen as equals to men in all aspects. We want to be seen as more than baby making factories and taken seriously. I understand this. I agree with this. Women want to be able to be a mom, a physician, an attorney or whatever they want to be. I have no problem with this. But it seems like through all of this a double standard has been created when it comes to birth/parenting.

It seems like women have decided that pregnancy/childbirth/infant parenting is for the mother alone. It’s like a right of passage reserved for only women. Yes, only a woman can give birth, but we shut the door in the faces of men who want to be involved. (No, this is not about my husband being banned from the baby shower. I agree he’d be bored out of his skull once he got there.)  This is about the one too many freakish statements I’ve been told over the last 7 or so months regarding my husband.  I’ve been unsettled too many times during my pregnancy by friends who make statements like,

“I mean it’s nice, but I find it unnerving when a husband is so involved in a pregnancy. It makes me wonder if he has some weird motive…”

“There’s something wrong with a man who is that excited about being a dad.”

Or blanket statements reflecting their own marriages like,

“Be prepared to do everything yourself.”

“Sure your husband says he wants to help now, but just wait until it’s 3am and the baby needs a diaper change. You’ll be the one doing it.”

These kind of statements have been usually followed up with a backtracking statement like,
“But no offense to Justin. I’m not talking about him.”

Really?  Then why did you say it? That’s like when you insult someone and follow it up with “No offense.” If you didn’t mean it as it was said, don’t freakin say it.  Let’s keep our insecurities to ourselves shall we?

When I hear these things, I tend to cock my head to one side in confusion. Why wouldn’t my husband be excited to be a dad? Why wouldn’t he be just as over the moon about this as I am? We both wanted this baby right? We both were devastated by every negative pregnancy test while we were trying right? This wasn’t a one sided thing. If it had been, I would have remained on birth control.

Why is it strange that he’s been to every single scheduled appointment, that he gushes over every tiny article of clothing we’ve been given, or that he touches my belly every day without fail to say hello to his unborn daughter?

Yes, I acknowledge that there are plenty of men out there who don’t take an active role in pregnancy/child rearing but there is nothing wrong with a man who does. It doesn’t make them less masculine. It doesn’t make them strange or unnatural. I don’t know if it’s a hormonal or genetic thing, but that is something to be celebrated not condemned.

Let’s look at from this aspect.  When a woman abandons her child (the way my husbands mother did), she’s a monster.  When a mother hurts her child intentionally or neglects her baby, she’s terrible.  I don’t disagree with this.  But when a father barely involves himself in bonding with his child, or leaves the family for the mother to raise the kid, we all tend to shake our heads but shrug as if it were to be expected.  That phenomenon is strange to me.  Those people have problems.

Whatever happened to paternal instinct?  It’s a real thing.  It’s supposed to happen.  Science says it’s normal.  So why do we brow beat men who are trying to let nature take its course into thinking that they’re less masculine, or weird for doing so?

When it comes to pregnancy everyone immediately flocks to the woman. Yes, that’s where the baby is located, and the mother is going through all of the physical/emotional symptoms, but don’t count out the dad! How nerve wracking it must be for the dad during a pregnancy. He’s completely helpless. He has literally no control over the entire situation. He has to rely on the mother to take care of herself, and wait patiently for close to a year hoping that everything will turn out fine. He doesn’t get to feel the baby moving until much later into the pregnancy, and he has to stand by watching during the birth, hoping that the mother’s body does it’s job getting the baby out alive. At least the mother has some form of control. We make the decisions on what to eat, what vitamins to take, and making sure we tell our doctor if something seems amiss.

I really liked hypedad’s blog post about being an expectant father. Why does society always count out the dad?  Why is it weird for a dad to be so involved.

I don’t even want to ask my friend what she meant about fathers having a “weird motive” when they’re excited about being a dad.  I’m glad she didn’t clarify.  What on Earth could she have meant?  I’ll just go out and say it.  If you think a dad who wants to be involved in his daughter’s life has intentions of a sexual nature, then there is something wrong with YOU, not him.  Has society really twisted our minds that much?  How disgusting.  What other possible weird motive could that statement insinuate?  Sure she backed it up with a “Of course I don’t mean that about Justin.” but still.  Just making that statement alone is insulting in itself.

Or to the other statements.  To automatically assume that he’s going to leave me to do all the work in the middle of the night.  Or that I’ll be the only one feeding her, changing her or snuggling her.  Just because you had an absent husband doesn’t mean that I will.  Maybe there’s something wrong with your man.  Not mine.  I know plenty of friends who have very involved husbands.  Their marriages are healthy and happy.  These men are football loving, beer drinking, video game playing, all American dudes.  So where is the problem?

Justin is excited to hold our baby girl.  He’s excited to have tea parties with her and he’s not afraid to admit it.  He wants her to be smart and love legos the way he did growing up so they can build castles or space ships together.  He wants to send her to science camp, watch her paint with mommy, and see her grow right before our eyes.

If you think there’s something wrong with that, then maybe you have problems.

End rant.

Mommy Diaries #2

Okay, so Justin has insisted that I write another mommy diary.

So today’s topic is about symptoms.  I gotta tell ya, what is supposed to be such a natural process seems SO UNNATURAL when you’re in the thick of it.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced a weird symptom only to be told it’s normal and think “Wut?”  “Really???”

Here’s the thing.  Most of your mommy friends are going to lie to you when they’re pregnant.  A lot of pregnant women will smile and say “Great!” when you ask how they’re feeling.  If we’re acquaintances or just friends that will be my automatic response.  For me, great means, my baby is active an healthy, and that I’m grateful not to have any complications.  If we’re close friends my face is going to sag, and I’ll tell you that I’m worn the eff out.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big baby/whiner by nature.  I have a high tolerance for pain, but really hate being uncomfortable.

But bless those mommies for keeping a positive face.  In reality I guarantee you they are at some level of uncomfortable.   My theory is that they really want you to join the mommy club too, and are afraid if you really knew just what your body was about to endure, you might change your mind.

Now we’ve all heard about morning sickness, and how badly it can ravage your body.  I’m extremely fortunate to have missed that awful symptom.  I did get nauseated several times in the beginning, but it passed.  I never threw up.  Thank God.

Other common symptoms that we hear about are the fun ones like moodiness, acne, bad drainage, heart burn, hemorrhoids, giant boobs of doom, breast pain from the giant boobs of doom, fatigue, and feeling like you want to eat an entire pizza all by yourself.  (Don’t do it though.  It’s a trap!)

Now not all women get the same symptoms, and not all women get certain symptoms at the same time.  It’s really tempting to call a formerly pregnant friend and say,

“Did this happen to you?”

But it’s so hit or miss, that you’d be better off just asking your doctor.  Just don’t Google.  Google is not your friend.  It’s your frenemy, pretending to be your friend with it’s plethora of information, but it’s not really.  If you end up Googling a pregnancy symptom, you are likely to think your baby is dying, or you’ve developed some kind of cancer on top of your pregnancy.

So far I’ve experienced two not so common or widely talked about symptoms.

Venous insufficiency.  That’s where your blood vessels become relaxed due the hormone relaxin, (original name right?) preventing your vessels from constricting while you walk the way they’re supposed to so that your blood will push back up your legs.  So when you walk, all this excess fluid and blood begins to pool in your legs.  If left undiagnosed or untreated, you can develop a blood clot.  You don’t even want to go there.  You’re screwed if you get a blood clot.  So what is there to do about it?  Well you get to wear yourself a brand new sexy pair of support hose!  Support hose are so tight that when you pull them away from your skin and let go, they snap.  They come in sexy colors like black and old granny tan so that everyone will know you’re wearing them.  My personal favorite is the old granny tan.  I wear those a lot.

My second symptom that I’m still adjusting to is rib pain.  As the baby gets bigger your rib cage expands much larger than its original size.  Depending on where the baby is sitting, your right sided rib muscles can stretch out as this happens and even tear!  At some point, your abdominal muscles can separate from one another.  Fun right?  For me, this has been awful.  It causes a lot of nerve pain and feels like you scrapped the skin just under your boobs across the concrete.  Anything touching it hurts, and bras are the devil because they touch it.  But you learn to adapt.  When I’m on the couch, I lean to the right so it stretches out that side.  I try to wear loose clothing, and avoid letting anything touch it when I’m at home.  I also put ice on it.  But that’s about all I can do.

Another thing no one tells you.  Middle of second trimester and on it’s like someone is squashing your lungs.  Have fun walking around very far!  It’s like you were running!  You’ll certainly be huffing and puffing.  And sorry, a correction here.  At that point you no longer walk.  You waddle.  Yes, like a penguin.

People also rarely tell you that your hips will separate.  Yes, I said separate.  That fun hormone relaxin?  Yeah it relaxes your ligaments and tendons around your hip bones too, allowing them to come apart to make more room for the baby.  Hence the waddle.

People who have never been pregnant like to tell you just “enjoy your pregnancy”, and not to be in a hurry for it to be over.  Really?  Cause I’m so ready for my little girl to stop putting her feet up into my rib cage (or her whole head maybe).  I’m ready not to have to need help getting up from a low couch.  I’d also like to be able to hold my pee for more than thirty minutes.

Most importantly I’m ready to meet our little girl!

So yeah!  Fun stuff that your body does when it’s growing a baby!  Thank God you get a baby out of it.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world though.  If you really want a baby, these symptoms are just trivial temporary matters.  They won’t last forever!  Even if it feels like it.  I keep reminding myself that.

Mommy Diaries #1

So I’ve been meaning to write a blog post since I learned that I was pregnant, but it just kept getting put off by other things.

Mostly being pregnant and thus being tired at the end of the work day.  Unfortunately, my book editing has also been put off.  But not for long.  A long Christmas weekend gives me no excuse to procrastinate!  My editor and I anticipate the release of The Mages’ Circle to debut before March at the very latest.  Meaning that it needs to be published before the little one is born!

I just wanted to document this crazy pregnancy journey to get a start on what will be my mommy entries in the future.  This is a bit long.  Sit tight.

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am that this journey finally got its start.  From my Endometriosis diaries (which you can read about in earlier posts) to the recovery/trying to get pregnant part, this seemed like it would never happen.

It’s a terrible feeling being told by a physician that without their help, your percentage chance of getting pregnant is 0%.  Not 1% or even 10%, but 0%.  And that his help will cost roughly $2,000 each time you try.  For us that meant a new credit card or a loan for one try since none of this would be covered by health insurance.  What was worse, that even with his help he said our chances only increased to 8-12%.  What small percentages!  It didn’t seem worth it.  I have too many friends who are going through that same struggle, heartache, and financial burden with no end results.  So we decided not to.

We both started eating better, exercising daily and decided to stop thinking about getting pregnant.  A few of my friends (to my surprise) were concerned and even irritated by our decision to hold off on trying the invasive route.  But I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, when it is supposed to.  Instead, I focused on my book, and then out of the blue I got a cycle that shouldn’t have happened on time the way it did.  We’d been working on our lifestyle changes for four months without fail.  I was really proud of us.

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My irregularity is the one thing I can count on if that makes any sense.  (the PCOS books claimed that if I changed my lifestyle habits that my cycles would start to regulate, but I was stunned when it did)  I instantly called my gyno and asked if we could try the Clomid medication (an ovulation stimulation med) just one more time.  She happily obliged, and this time I took a different approach to how I looked at it.  Instead of it being a hormone based fertility drug, it was a vitamin.  A vitamin that I’d only take for a few days, and that I would forget about.  Justin and I decided to stop thinking about it, and we didn’t at all for a long time.  We focused on work and going to the park each morning to exercise.  It wasn’t until weeks later that I was at work with terrible cramps, expecting to start the most horrendous cycle of my life that I thought something might be amiss.  My breasts were hurting so badly that even a thin shirt caused me issues.  I remember telling my older sister that I was so mad that my endo pain was flaring up again.  It was like a slap in the face and a reminder that my endo could also cause us trouble with getting pregnant.

I’d actually gone to see my gyno the week before regarding abdominal pain, but their pregnancy test came up negative.  I am an impatient person.  I was pissed about it of course, so Justin and I were talking about maybe bypassing the whole treatment route and going straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF) or even adoption.  We just didn’t want to be that couple, ten years later, deep into debt with no results.  And what good is getting a baby if your bank account is severely in the red?  You have to pay for that baby somehow!  After research and many phone calls to clinics, we weren’t sure what to do.  Adoption was going to set us back 20-30k, and IVF was going to put us in the hole anywhere from 13-20k.  I could cut the cost in half if I donated some of the eggs they retrieved (and yes we were really considering this despite the outcry of some of our friends and family).

After finding a clinic with good reviews we decided to go do the IVF route.  It was going to be cheaper than adoption, and we were going to start with applying for a bank loan.  That house would just have to wait.  I had decided that I would tell my boss the next day so that he wouldn’t be alarmed when I began to miss work due to the many appointments that would ensue.  Not to mention the potential days I might be missing because of negative side effects from the many drugs I’d be placed on.  I’d heard horror stories that terrified me.

All day my brain was encouraging me to just take a test.  Now this sometimes happens to me.  A lot of sometimes actually.  I’d make jokes to people that First Response and EPT might actually know my first name because of how many tests I’d purchased in the past on a whim.  It became a “this will make me feel better” expense, often like chocolate to some people or fried chicken.  So I gave in, bought the test, and went home.  I even told my older sister that I was going to take one, and she told me not to get my hopes up as I had so many tests before.  I sat on my couch and downed a large cup of water, deciding not to take the test until after the show Black Box was over.

When I took the test, I didn’t even look at it when I set it on the ground.  Normally, I would stare at it, willing the line to change into a plus sign.  I’d wait the full time listed on the box, all the while checking it every few seconds.  I even came up with little unspoken rules in my head.  Maybe if I didn’t look at it until the time was over, it would work.  Or maybe if I stared at it the entire time, not blinking it would work.  This time, I just wasn’t in the mood.  I was tired.  It was my millionth or so test.  I hadn’t even bothered to mention that I was testing to Justin.

So when I glanced down from the book I’d started reading and saw the plus line staring up at me, stunned doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.  I blinked.  I shook my head.  I picked it up and stared.  I screamed.  I laughed, and then I started hyperventilating with joy.  I won’t lie and say that I told Justin first.  Yes, shake your heads at me.  Justin was upset with me for it, but forgave me.  In my defense, I had to wait three hours for him to get home, and I was NOT going to tell him that news over the phone.  So I called my sister, crying and laughing at the same time.  I scared the shit out of her.  She thought something bad had happened.

I couldn’t wait to tell Justin.  He’d been having a terrible day.  A manager at work had quit earlier that week (no notice), leaving them short handed, and he’d had to work the entire day.  Open to close.  Back in September of 2013 I’d bought this mug from Etsy.

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I hid it in the closet, and pretended it wasn’t there so I’d have it when I needed it.  I grabbed the mug, rinsed it out, and got ready to fill it with hot chocolate to surprise Justin.  This video is from that night when he found out.  (in the video he’s trying to take off his shoes and work stuff, while I’m pestering him to drink the damn drink!  I made an excuse in the video that the cup is for his french press, which he knew he would be getting for our fourth wedding anniversary only a few weeks away.

Once Justin knew it was just a long wait for the 12th week to pass.  Each day I prayed to keep the baby safe and sound because our chances of miscarriage with PCOS were 40%.  Many close friends and family told me not to get excited until after then because of that chance.  I was just happy that my body had figured it out.

Finally we were able to tell Justin’s grandmother who had been recently relocated to Florida from Texas due to the loss of his grandfather only months before.  We were so sad that we couldn’t visit in person to tell her, and even sadder that we wouldn’t be able to tell his grandfather.  We bought her a quail egg with a note inside that read “We’re Pregnant!  Estimated March 2015” and watched her open it over Facetime.  It was SO special.  His grandmother had lost the ability to read due to having Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, but she was able to read this note.  It touched us even more.  Here is his grandmother finding out with the aid of his aunt Shannon, who was in on it.

For my parents we told them on their wedding anniversary which matched up perfectly with our 12 weeks date.  We bought them each a mug that said “Grandma – Est. March 2015” or “Grandpa” same thing.  They were both so confused!  Only a week before, my father had asked how long we planned on trying before I would decide to get a hysterectomy since that’s one of the few things you can do for Endometriosis that has some permanent effects. Weren’t they surprised! 🙂 This is the first grandchild in the family on my side.

Since then our little girl has been growing and thriving by leaps and bounds each day.  Sometimes I look down as my stomach and I can’t believe she’s already so big!  Or that she’s going to get bigger!  Check out the cute photos of our Lilly, expected on March 12, 2015.

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We’ll have a more updated one in a few weeks.  Right now we’re at 29 weeks.

Here are some fun photos I’ve uploaded comparing her size to fruits and vegetables.

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This last one was taken on Christmas.  🙂

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We can’t wait to see how the rest of this progresses.  More updates to come!  Thanks for being a part of it with us.

 

 

Tough Decisions

I recently posted about my struggle with infertility and bringing some awareness into infertility as a whole.  I wasn’t going to do a follow up post, but I saw something on Facebook that kind of boiled my blood.

Let’s back up.  On my last post I discussed that I was seeing a fertility doctor and that we would soon learn the results of my blood work.  Well we did.  I still have Endometriosis of course, and I also have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)  Not one, but two fertility disorders.

I was a little crushed.  Actually, I was sobbing in the car because the only way forward is to receive treatments which are about $1,200.  I don’t even have that saved up in my bank account!  I’m still paying off medical bills from my Endometriosis surgery in July, and other medical bills.   It seemed like a slap in the face.  A cruel joke from God or something.

I called my older sister who told me to stop looking at things like this as brick walls, and see them more as speed bumps.  It was hard, but I did.

Originally we were trying to figure out how to afford the treatments.  We thought we’d pay off our credit cards and then use those.  We started selling our books to Half Price Books, and were considering what valuable things we own that we could pawn.  Anything to put some cash into our savings account to be able to maybe afford one or two treatments.

But I’ve been feeling differently since my grandfather -in law died.  Shortly after that, his wife was whisked away to Florida where her daughter lives, and it looks like she will be living there permanently.  Our huge rush reason is gone.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I still want a baby so bad that it hurts.  But after my husband’s grandmother left, I felt this big weight lift off my shoulders.  I no longer have this feeling like I’m racing the clock against her disease.  The chances of her meeting our children have decreased so significantly because of the move.  While I still want her to meet our children, it really doesn’t look like a possibility at this point.

I’m also part of a Facebook group of women who are trying to conceive but are having trouble.  There were some posts about the treatment I was about to undergo that made me a little nervous.  Posts about feeling sick from the medications, and that treatments don’t always work.  I was told that this treatment will put me on roughly the same level playing field as someone without fertility issues.  Want to know what that percentage is?  15-20% per cycle.  And with my Endometriosis he says that I’d really only be at 8-12% without doing an IUI (insemination which is an extra $800)

I’m not in such a big rush to pump my body full of synthetic hormones just yet.  Especially not for that low of a percentage.  My body has never liked synthetic hormones, and they aren’t guaranteed to work.

Here is our big decision.  Wait a year while trying naturally.  I’ve read some books about homeopathic treatments for PCOS and discovered Cinnamon.  Sounds crazy right?  Check this out:

WebMD Article on Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a homeopathic treatment for Diabetes.  PCOS is often treated with Metformin ( a diabetes medication).  PCOS is an insulin insensitivity disorder.  Take cinnamon supplements, and regulate your insulin.  In turn the regulation of insulin will help the body produce the RIGHT hormones to trigger ovulation.  Makes sense to me!

I’m on a slew of vitamins and supplements now (prenatal multi vitamin, biotin, cinnamon, green tea extract, folic acid prescription, fish oil), we’ve started exercising, and we’re both eating healthy now.  I’m going to try this for a least 6 months before I complain about not seeing any results.

In the meantime, I will be saving my money like crazy in the event that this year doesn’t pan out with a positive pregnancy test.  If it does, then I’ll have some cash saved up for the down payment on a house one day to put that baby in!

On to the issue that irritated the crap out of me.  It happened on a Facebook  group I joined called Beg, Barter & Sell.  There are a ton of these, and they’re all region specific.

A woman with what looks like the same story posted a fundraiser there to help them raise money for the exact same treatments.  They aren’t cheap, and like I said, probably won’t always work the first time.  Her request was met with a lot of negativity.  That’s what pissed me off.   People were telling her that if she can’t afford this, she can’t afford kids period.  I’m sorry, but I don’t know what kid costs 1,200 up front all the time.  Yes kids are expensive, but you’re not constantly having to dole out that much to support them all up front.  These fertility treatments don’t operate on a payment plan or a bill.  You pay the whole amount at the time of treatment.

Then there were the people harassing this poor girl about why she wasn’t adopting, and that if she can’t have kids naturally, she should take it as a sign.  What the hell ever!

If God was trying to tell her that she can’t have kids, then he wouldn’t have made the doctors who created these treatments.   Just because you are having trouble conceiving on your own doesn’t mean you should totally give up on it.  While adopting a child is a noble thing, some of us want to have that experience of carrying our own child, and there is NOTHING wrong with that.  It does not make us selfish either.

I know with my own personal experience, that if I can’t get pregnant this year, I will try the treatments at least three times.  If it doesn’t work, then I will go the adoption route.  I will probably end up adopting a kid regardless.

I seriously considered doing one of these fundraiser to help me get the money to do the treatment right away.  But with the decision to wait a year, I changed my mind about it.

 

HOWEVER.  You can help someone else in the same situation.  Chloe Jones wants a baby just as bad as I do, and she doesn’t want to have to wait.  I don’t know her, but I can sympathize with her cause.  If you’ve never wanted a baby, you can’t understand what it feels like.  It’s an ache.  A painful ache that doesn’t go away.  It’s a pain that gets worse every time you see a friend with a child, a commercial depicting happy families, or when you pass by the baby aisle in the store.

Here is her fundraiser, if you want to donate.  I know I will.

Chloe Jones Fertility Treatment Fundraiser

Infertility Awareness

Infertility does not make me a failure.  This is a mantra I’m having to repeat a lot lately.  It’s been a rough week.  A full on struggle.   However, a new week is beginning, and perhaps with that will come a clean slate.

We’ll start off with some soul searching.

I learned that this last week was Infertility Awareness Week.  If anything, I am going to try and help bring awareness to you with some honesty and openness.

infertility_awareness_week

 

This awareness week surprised me, because as someone who is currently struggling with infertility, I had no clue there even was an infertility awareness week.  This made me wonder who else knew about it.  Not just the week of awareness, but about infertility in general.

It’s a sensitive topic for most.  A “hush hush” thing that we don’t talk about.  Something most feel embarrassed about.

I’ve been posting about my Endometriosis for a while now with my “Endometriosis Diaries” series, and after my surgery in July I expected to get pregnant right away.  We’ve done temperature charts, tracking my periods, eating healthy, and we’ve tried the “forget about it” method.  That’s the method that everyone else tells you to do, as if your body will get its crap together if you’ll just simply forget that you’ve been wanting to be a parent for years.  No dice people.  You can’t just forget.

People tell you out of kindness to just “let it happen”, to “relax”, to just “enjoy your time together”, or to “just be married for a while first”.  I know they mean well, but those phrases are so irritating.   We were engaged for three years and have been married for almost four.  I don’t want to have “more married time” with my husband.  We’ve had plenty of time together.  I don’t want to travel.  I don’t want to party.  I don’t want to live it up or experience more life.  I want to be a mother.  My husband wants to be a father.

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And if one more person points out to me how sick I’ll be when I’m pregnant, or how much sleep I’m not going to get as if I didn’t know this already, (or as if this is going to be the life altering sentence that decides me against being a mother), I might just hit someone.

Every negative pregnancy test has felt like a failure.  Every period has been slapping me in the face with a big fat NO.

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My periods have been ridiculously irregular.  I ended up going to see my OBGYN about it who prescribed Clomid.  I thought for sure it had worked, but when I got my period two hours before the follow up appointment, I wanted to scream.  Not a single one of my ovulation tests had confirmed a yes.  Due to the time constraints my Endometriosis has put on me, she sent me off to see a fertility specialist who believes I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome on top of my Endometriosis.  No exactly fair.  He thinks I’m not ovulating at all.  To cover our basis, he ordered a LOT of blood tests run.  Test results will come back on 5/6 to either confirm PCOS, or tell me what is causing the problem.  Check out the damage.  I’ve never had that much blood drawn before.

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My husband had a semen analysis run, and he got a great report back.  So that just leaves me.

Infertility can affect your life in so many different aspects.  Most that you don’t even realize.  It isn’t just a want and desire.

My husband was raised by his grandparents.  His grandmother has had dementia for about four years now, and we’ve felt like we’ve been racing against the clock with her illness so that she could meet our first child.  On Easter we were informed that his grandfather has cancer, and we later learned this week that he only has five months to live.

Crushed can’t even begin to describe how we’re feeling right now.  Personally, I’m not allowing myself to feel anything about it.  When I start to even let my thoughts wander to the subject, or how I feel on it, I start suffocating with grief.  I think of all the things we’ll never do with him again, the regret I feel for moving away my husband from his grandparents, that his grandfather is very unlikely to ever meet our children, and how much I love this man who has been my grandfather for the past eight years.

If I feel this way, how is my husband feeling?  I can’t even fathom that level of sadness.  There’s also turmoil amongst the other family members which is adding to the stress this news is causing.  This is a very hard time.

I’ve had several days this week where I’ve seriously hated myself.  Why couldn’t it just work?  I’d be several months along if it would have just worked.  I have a grudge against my body, and I don’t want to forgive it.  A friend pointed out that forgiveness is what my body needs to move forward.

He’s right.

I need to forgive my body for not being pregnant yet.  I need to forgive it for the pain it’s been causing me both physically and mentally.  I need to forgive it for not looking the way I want it to.  None of this is my fault.  I was made this way through God’s plan, and who am I to question it?  Infertility does not equal failure.  I am not a failure.

This isn’t a matter of IF.  It is a matter of WHEN.

I WILL get pregnant, and I will be a mother one day.  I have to trust in God, I have to trust in my doctor, and now I need to trust in myself.

forgive-yourself

If you’re struggling with infertility like I am.  Forgive yourself.  It’s not your fault.  It’s no one’s fault.

Here’s where the awareness comes in for the rest of you.

If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, the best thing you can do for them is be there, be a shoulder to cry on, and don’t try to talk about it unless they initiate.  Don’t ask them when they’re going to have children.  Don’t suggest In Vitro, or adoption.  It won’t make them feel any better.

In Vitro Fertilization can cost anywhere from 8k – 15k a pop, and it doesn’t always work.

Adoption can cost anywhere from 30k – 45k.

Unless you want to shell out the cash to help them pay for these options, don’t even bring it up.  It doesn’t even feel like an option.

And if you’re like me, having someone suggest that you could just “always adopt” makes me feel like crap.  I want my husband’s child.  I want a child that comes from my DNA.  I want to carry it, and give birth to it myself.

Facebook Mom’s, a request if you please.  You may not realize it, but some of your posts are really frustrating.  If you’re pregnant, don’t complain about your morning sickness over and over.  Keep in mind that those struggling with infertility would give anything to be throwing up for that reason.  Moms with kids, stop complaining about your messy house, or how tired your kids are making you.  I know my husband wishes that our house was covered in children’s toys, and I’d give anything to be exhausted with a hyper kid.

Yes, I know there are tons of moms out there who have been trying much longer than me.  I know there are moms who have given up.  There are moms who have carried their babies for only a short while before miscarrying.

Having the desire to be a parent and being denied that for whatever reason hurts like hell.  We’re getting closer and closer each long month to a year of negative tests.  Each month that passes stifles my chances a little more as the Endometriosis grows back.  It’s getting closer to a year of stressing out, getting excited, and falling on our faces again with defeat as that test reads the negative line.  It feels like forever.

I don’t want any pity, or sympathy, or anything like that.  Just be aware of yourself, and that there may be many more friends than you realize around you that are having the same issue that my husband and I are.

One day I will get that wonderful gift.  Hopefully soon.  But for now, I need to remind myself as do the rest of you struggling with infertility.

You are not a failure.  Your day will come.  Forgive your body, and forgive yourself because you’ve done nothing wrong.

Baby-Dust

 

 

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