Tuesday, April 24, 2012

NIAW Blogging Challenge - "Don't Ignore...Support"

As I think back on our journey up to this point, I think about all the people who have been with us through this journey and I am not sure I would be here without them.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and the theme is: "Don't Ignore"

I am choosing to write: "Don't Ignore...Support."

When we first started this process in 2009, we had no idea that it would be nearly 3 years later without being any further in the journey.

In the beginning, we were not sure who to tell and how much information to share with them. Aaron and I spent lots of time talking about what to share or not share. It was not easy to decide to be open about what we were going through because we knew it was going to be a process (me having been diagnosed several years earlier).

When we shared with our mothers, they were the first ones we told. We knew we were going to need their support and love because we had no idea what we were going to encounter.

After we talked to them, we told some of our good friends who we saw all the time. Our thought process was to have more people who were immediately available to talk to us if we needed to talk. Even though, they had no experienced infertility, we knew they would be there for us.

As we actually started "trying" and moved out of the "will we, won't we?" phase, I found I wasn't sure what to say to people about what we were going through. I felt lonely and isolated, found myself pulling away from people I cared about because I felt like a failure at the whole thing. I didn't know what to do and I felt I was sinking into a depression.  So many of our friends were not trying to have children and that we were on our own to figure it out.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Then, a friend gave me the suggestion of joining an online chat room for women who "trying to conceive" as a place to talk to other women who were in the same boat. This was my saving grace - I could talk about the things that were in my head that I thought would scare my friends and family. I was able to obsess over the learning of it all without feeling as though I was "talking too much" about it to people who had no idea what I was talking about. I learned so much in those first few months of being on those chat rooms. They gave recommendations for books to read and signs to look for in my body - I moved away from the depression and felt empowered for the first time in all the months (strike that, years) since I found out it was going to be more challenging for me to be a parent.

Those boards probably not only saved my sanity, but gave me strength to step out in a more public way to people in my life.

Once we decided to be public about what we were going through, we knew we were going to have to take the good with the bad.

The people telling us to "just relax" or giving all the suggestions under the sun to get pregnant. All the pregnancy myths, I have heard them more times than I care to think about. All said with love and the idea of support.

What surprised us the most was the amount of love, thoughts, prayers, well wishes, etc that came our way. It seemed as soon as we came out with what we were going through we were flooded with emails, comments, conversations, etc that were so supportive and loving.

Now, here we are nearly 3 years later and we have people all over country who are keeping us in their thoughts, checking our Facebook pages when we are having procedures, sharing their stories of experiences they have gone through.


I don't know where I would be without the support of the people in my life.

So this National Infertility Awareness Week, I am saying to the people out there who are living with infertility to seek out the people in your life you love to help you.

Don't keep it closed down inside of your brain.

Open yourself up to the numerous avenues available to you to get support. Online chat rooms, friends/family, support groups, counselors, etc are just the beginning of what is available.

When you go through all the options people living with infertility face - inseminations, IVF, surrogacy, adoption - you will need people there pulling for you because there will be days when you want to stop because it is so much to deal with at one time. There will be days when you feel terrible from the medications and you do not want to do it again. There will be times when the pain of the procedures leaves you unable to do the things you love. The day that you find out your dream has come true. The day you bring your little one home.

Those are the days you are going to need support.

Believe me, the hugs and kisses on those days are the best on the planet.

They make the journey, at least for me.


For more information about the infertility issues, please go to these websites:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

NIAW: National Infertility Awareness Week Blogging Challenge - "Don't Ignore...Me"

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (April 22-April 28). 

Last year, I participated in their blogging challenge about busting infertility myths. One of the posts was about breaking the silence associated with infertility and the other was about how some people use religious beliefs to "comfort" infertile people.

I feel very strongly that people need to be educated about the troubles that face infertile people - I think this is something that needs more focus and attention. This is why I am participating in the blogging challenge again this year.

The theme this year is “Don’t Ignore…”

My part of this theme is "Don't Ignore...Me"

One part of the problems with infertility is the pity people give you when they find out that you are someone who is struggling to have a baby. I get the "sad eyes" from many strangers when they find out that I am living with infertility - those "oh so sorry, you poor thing" looks that make you want to scream. These come over and over again the more people have learned that this is an important component of my life. 

I don't need nor want your pity about being someone who is living with infertility - I am not ashamed or embarrassed about it and talk about it in a way to help educate other people to prevent the "sad eyes" from being directed at other people.

Another aspect is just being ignored completely by people when they find out that I am living with infertility. Now not ignored as in don't talk to me, but ignored as in being insensitive and not thinking about some of the things people say in conversation that are really hurtful toward people who are struggling to conceive. Many people don't even realize that they are being insensitive to me. They make comments "we weren't even trying," or "we only sex one time." Now while these in and of themselves are not insensitive comments, when you attach them to someone who has been trying for months or even years - it is approximately the equivalent of a knife to the gut. 

If you act as though those comments hurt your feelings, you get the impression people think you are being too sensitive to the subject. 

I have been through many aspects of the infertility process: from months of trying unsuccessfully on our own for months, to using fertility drugs such as Clomid or Femara, to have an HSG (ouch!!), completing 3 IUIs unsuccessfully, completed a failed IVF cycle with drugs such as Lupron, Follistem, Menopur, HCG, and Progesterone, including the egg retrieval (14 follicles collected), 2 embryos transferred, and no embryos surviving to freezing.

As we have moved through all of the process, several of our friends do not talk to us about it and as we have found out it is because they do not know what to say. 

It's ignoring by omission.

When they are not talking to us about what we are going through, they are ignoring our lives and ignoring our journey. It is not done to be mean or spiteful and we hold no ill will toward anyone who has done it (please those who read this - do not think we are saying that at all). We want people to know they can talk to us and ask questions about what we have gone through, it's not offensive or hurtful to talk about. Many people will preface a conversation by saying something like "is it okay to ask you about _____________?" to make sure they are not crossing a line. 

My experience with other people who are living with infertility is that they are more than happy to inform or help others to learn about the different aspects of infertility. 

It's okay to ask questions, it's okay to want to help in anyway you can. 

Please stop ignoring us - we are people who want to be parents and all the support you can give is much appreciated.

For more information about the infertility issues, please go to these websites:

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I forget often how tiring these meds are on me.

I am currently on Provera and it always makes me feel like crud - I get sleepy and have headaches. All because my stupid body won't produce the hormone to release an egg. No egg = no period. No period = no starting of IVF again. It's all connected in a process.

I also forget how this makes me retain water. Here I have worked so hard to lose over 35 pounds since we did IVF last summer - a feat that is incredibly difficult with the PCOS which makes it nearly impossible it seems to lose a pound, let alone over 35 pounds. All those pretty new pants I bought due to the weight loss since my old pants were falling off me without being undone....now are not fitting again. DAMN! Back to the heavy set clothes again - just my luck that I kept them and did not send them to Goodwill which was my original thought process.

No energy to do anything, just feel like all activities suck what little energy I do have right out of me.

A preview of the summertime.

At least then I don't have to get up and go to school everyday even though I feel badly as I do now. I can't imagine when I gain all the water weight and swell up to the point that moving is almost painful, trying to teach and do my job. Those days are terrible and make me hate the process even though it will hopefully have a good outcome.

Today would have been the perfect day to stay in my comfy pjs and do nothing. Maybe that is what I will do tomorrow - allow myself to just rest because it's pretty obvious that is what it needs right now.

I struggle with the idea of putting my body through all this again - I want to do it, I want to have a baby that is mine and Aaron's, but at the same time - all the pain of the IVF process is a little daunting to say the least. When we went through it last summer, I didn't know what to expect, didn't know what the pain was going to be, didn't know the experience as a whole - it was all a surprise and I just had to deal with it as it came. Now, it's different. I feel like I have to gear myself up for going through it all again, this time with the knowledge of what it is going to feel like and what my experience is going to be. I think it almost makes it harder to get ready for knowing exactly how it is going to feel.

I am not sure that makes sense to anyone else but me.

People are understanding and excited for us to start on this adventure again which is one of the major things that keeps me going through it all. I know that when we do have our little one (whenever that is) that people will be genuinely excited for us, especially after all the struggles we have gone through.

But they do not understand what this costs us - emotionally. The price is so high, it affects our relationship, it affects our friendships, it affects our families, and most of all, it affects us each individually.

We each deal with this in different ways. Aaron has a hard time talking about it with other people aside from me. He often doesn't even want to talk to me because he feels like it is adding an extra burden to what I am going through. He does not always like how open I am through this blog because he feels as though some of the information is not for other people. Looking back now, I probably should have used some kind of pseudonym for both of us so it wasn't quite so open to the world, but I am not changing it. He has learned to accept this. Me, I write in this blog and talk to people - even if they do not have much actual understanding of what I am going through, it gives me comfort that they just listen to what I am saying.

We will see how it all goes this time. I am working on being more optimistic with the process - yes, surprise, surprise I am not always a optimistic. I have to work through all the bad before I can come to grips with the positives. Not sure why, just always been that way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back to fertility hoop jumping again

Well here we go again. I am back on provera to kick start the body so we can get going again with the while IVF process. It's been a long journey and a tough one to say the least. We took a huge break from all of it after the failed cycle due to the devastation of it all. But it's time to start again and it's scary as hell. I know the pain I will endure, I know what the physical and emotional costs will be for me and somehow I have to voluntarily put myself through it all again. Ugh. Hoop #1 started...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Parent Should Not Have to Bury Their Child

One of the major things in life that make me sick is the idea of a young person being buried by their parent. What a heart-wrenchingly sad and painful experience that I hope none of my friends and family have to experience.

Here was this beautiful young girl, full of spunk and spirit, full of stubbornness and laughter whose poor heart could not handle the stress that her body had gone through. Eventually, her heart couldn't keep up and just stopped. At 18 years old, she was just starting her life - beginning her adventure in the world. Anorexia and bulimia are difficult diseases under the best of circumstances and fighting for years and years wore down her body.

We went to the visitation today and I just wanted to pay my respect to the family. It never gets any easier no matter how much older I become.

I waited to speak to the mother at the visitation and it was painful. She said to me, "We never thanked you for all you did to help our daughter when you were her teacher so thank you for fighting so hard to help her succeed. Sam always loved you."

Hit me right to the gut with that comment. Here I have been dealing with all my own personal issues and this mother on one of her worst days pays me a compliment - that is remarkable and painful all at once.

I hope she finds the peace she longed for in her life and heaven became a little brighter with the laughter of this beautiful girl who never saw herself that way. RIP Samantha, it was my honor to be your teacher.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sadness for a former student tonight

I found out that a former student I worked with everyday while she was getting treatment for anorexia and bulimia passed away yesterday. Her poor body was so tired and her heart just stopped unexpectedly. She was sweet and kind, just struggling with a terrible illness for so long and her body couldn't keep going anymore. My heart breaks for her family because they fought so hard with her. Her mother found her on the floor lifeless and I am sure this will haunt her forever.

RIP sweet Samantha - you will be missed greatly.