Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I am 1 in 8.


I've gone back and forth, and then back and forth again about posting this. This is something that is very personal to me and I am extremely sensitive about. Putting it on the internet opens my husband and me up for comments and questions. I will be honest, I was and still am worried about potential rude comments. So many things can be said behind the mask of internet anonymity. But this weekend, my husband shared this video with me. It took me a day before I was even able to watch it and even then I broke down in tears. But at the end of the video, one woman's advice was to, "Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring." In the face of it, I am trying to be strong and hopefully inspire others.




You see, it's something that starts with an incredible sense of hope and excitement. Then a few months pass and nothing. Maybe you start to use ovulation tests and take your basal body temperature. Maybe you start to chart when your cycles are. As the months go by it seems like everyone you know starts to celebrate their joy of becoming pregnant. And there is still the single line staring back at you each month on your pregnancy test. It's a horrible, emotional roller coaster each month. You are happy for them. A growing life is an absolute miracle. It's an amazing experience and you want to celebrate it with them. But a small part of you asks, Why? Why does it seem like the universe is choosing, or at least not choosing you? Why can't we all be blessed with a little miracle growing inside us? It's hard to keep all the hurt inside. But you also feel like you can't share it. It seems to be right up there with religion, politics, and salary. Talking about struggles makes people uncomfortable. And once they know it, it seems to flavor your whole relationship.

It makes me feel broken. Why are some people able to get pregnant when they aren't even trying and then there are those who try for years and cannot? Species reproduce to survive. Survival of the fittest and all that. Am I not even good enough to pass on my genes? I battle feeling like a failure on a daily basis, culminating in one day a month. It's such a cruel joke. Some days I've lost all hope. Other days when I get another negative result I realize how much hope I still had because of how absolutely crushed I feel.

I can only speak to secondary infertility. I can only speak to an 'unspecified' diagnosis. Currently we have no idea why we had no issues becoming pregnant with our little girl almost 4 years ago and now we are struggling so much with a second child. I have learned many things during this process. I have learned what is difficult. It's difficult to balance appointments with spending time with the child you have. It's difficult to choose whether to pursue costly treatment not covered by insurance or to make memories with a family vacation. It's difficult to live life in the moment with your firstborn while dreaming of a future with two. It's difficult to feel the guilt. It's difficult to deal with the stress it puts on your marriage. It's difficult to ask yourself if you are being greedy because you have a beautiful, healthy girl at home and you want another. It's difficult to deal with the questions about adoption, why I'm not pregnant yet, or the stereotypes of only children. It's very difficult to deal with insurance companies and impersonal doctors who place no emphasis on patient care.
But I have also learned what to be grateful for. Every moment I have with my daughter I treasure. I am grateful that infertility reminded me how special each moment with your child is. I am so very grateful for a supportive husband who has worked together with me to figure out how I can go part-time next year. I am grateful for a husband who holds me when I break down in tears at random times and tries his best to understand what I am going through. I am grateful for a district that allows me to drop down to 3 days a week so I can spend more time enjoying my daughter. I am grateful for learning better advocacy skills. I am grateful for the dual perspective I have gained from becoming pregnant easily the first time and working so hard for it the second. I am grateful for the true understanding of what a miracle pregnancy and giving birth are (don't complain to me about your backaches or swollen ankles! I will gladly remind you of the miracle you are carrying and how not everyone gets that chance). I am grateful for the means to pursue treatments and alternative medicine not available with our insurance. In honor of the video, I have chosen to share answer the questions throughout the post.

I decided to share this with you because this week is National Infertility Awareness Week. If you are interested to read some facts about infertility you can find them here. And don't forget, 1 in 8 couples have difficulty getting pregnant. Odds are you know at least one. Don't stick your foot in your mouth. It makes a hard situation that much harder when people aren't sensitive to what others are going through. Eventually I want to share more details of what we have been going through and tips and things I have learned, but right now it's still too raw. I hope that sharing this has made some of you feel less alone and helped you feel stronger as you go through this. For all those out there who have dealt with this in the past or are dealing with it now, my heart goes out to you!

1 Samuel 1:27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.

32 comments:

  1. What a beautifully written piece. Hugs to you

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  2. Beautifully written post and so inspiring!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  3. Beautiful post and lovely message. Thank you for sharing your journey and your struggles.
    Eileen
    5feetofstyle.com | Instagram | Facebook

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  4. This is such an important message not only for those who don't understand, but for those who need to know they are not alone. Thank you for sharing something so personal in such a beautiful way. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story, I think there is far more good that comes with the opening up, you are giving someone strength right now, but I hear ya on the fears. Neither children came easily for us too and I feel for you. Big hugs.

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  6. What an inspiring post Laura! I feel for you. Thank you for being brave and sharing. Many women will find renewed strength from reading this. Saying a prayer for you and your family.

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  7. Beautiful post. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your struggle. My heart goes out to you and your family and I will keep you in my prayers.
    ~Lili
    www.thefashionsalt.com

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  8. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your story.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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  9. I did not know you were going through this... It is so incredibly hard. I am going to send you an email. Hugs!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  10. Oh Laura- I had no idea. I can't imagine the toll it can take on you and your family. Sending a big hug to you! I so appreciate you sharing this post-- takes a lot of strength. Keeping you all in my prayers!

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  11. Laura--your pain is so evident in your writing, yet you present it with such strength and emotion. Emotions we have all experienced ourselves if we're being honest.
    With much love & understanding, jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  12. This was such a touching post and so well written. I am sure many other women will be inspired by this post! I am so sorry you are going through this and I pray for you and your family.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this Laura, I know there are SO many women out there who can relate. I think it's so brave of you to put yourself out there. I think this touches everyone, really. I have a close friend who struggled with secondary infertility and multiple miscarriages, and I felt I never had the right words. While I didn't struggle with this the second time around, it took us about a year and a half to get pregnant with my son Jona. That's a short time in the grand scheme of things, but at the time, every month felt so long. Anyway, thank you for sharing, and I'm keeping you in my prayers!

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  14. Oh Laura, I am so sorry. As you know, my husband and I have been dealing with infertility too. My heart breaks when I hear anyone else is going through it because I know just how painful it is. Thank you for your bravery in sharing. I definitely felt better when I started opening up and sharing. I was so blown away by how God showed me his grace through others love and care. I hope you can experience that too. He has taught me so much in this season despite the pain. Praying that He is near for you.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Also, if you ever need to talk, I'm here!

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  15. Thinking of you guys, it was much harder for us the second time around than the first. And yes, I never ask anyone if they are trying or wanting a/another child. You never know someone's journey and it is not my business, I wish more people "got" that.

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  16. Sending you hugs, this is s tough post to share but I think there are so many others like you and if they are reading this, you've helped them.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  17. I've never been through this myself so I wouldn't even dream of saying I know how you feel, Laura, even remotely. I don't but I do know I feel for you. I am very sorry this is something you, your husband, your little girl, are going through right now, please know that I have you all in my prayers xoxo

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  18. Wow Laura, what a brave and honest post. It is so difficult to be dealing with this, and I am so sorry that you and your family are going through it. Nobody knows the struggles people face on a daily basis and thank you for reminding people to be more mindful of this particular issue. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

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  19. This is so well-written, lady- and BRAVE. Thank you for sharing this- I hope it was cathartic and will demonstrate how we're all here for you + in your corner! :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  20. Hi Laura! Thanks for sharing something so personal and heartfelt with us. I think it's always a challenge with blogging to decide how much of ourselves to share with the internet. I'm so sorry that you are struggling with infertility. I don't personally know what that feels like. At the same time, though, I'm getting older and am still unmarried. I try not to think about having kids too much since it's clearly not the right time for me but I do worry about the getting older part. What I guess I'm trying to say is that fears about infertility can come in different forms so I really feel for you!

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  21. Wonderfully written. Your post is so heartfelt. I never ask someone who is trying to conceive if they are pregnant or not because it is so hard on them already. And you just don't know what someone is going through. My thoughts are with you stay strong.

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  22. Such a powerful post and one I'm glad you shared. This will help someone else more than you know :)

    Brooke
    pumps and push-ups

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  23. Thank you for sharing your story, Laura. You have opened my eyes about something I know little about (as someone with no children or plans for them at the moment), and I'm sure your story is a great comfort to those who are living it too. Take care. xo

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  24. I'm so sorry to hear this, Laura. I can't even imagine what you and your family are going through right now. I imagine that sharing it has had an incredibly positive impact on those who are going through similar situation. Thinking about you!

    https://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com

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  25. So brave to share this. I always thought of people as being fertile or not, but you offered such an interesting perspective because you were able to conceive easily the first time but are having trouble the second time around. I can't even imagine choosing between seeking treatment or family vacations as you said. Maybe it is a little greedy to want a second child, but there is nothing better than being a mother so in this case, it seems that being greedy is ok and no one can't fault you for wanting more children. I feel so honored for having the opportunity to read your story. Thank you for sharing.

    makingrestorations.blogspot.com

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  26. So sorry to hear that you are going through this. Infertility is something that no one will understand unless they go through it. The frustration is hard enough, but the emotional aspect takes it to another level. Not to mention the jealously you experience, when all you really want to be is happy for your friends or the others around you getting pregnant. I'm glad you shared this, because being open and talking about it helped me get through my infertility. I'll be sending a prayers your way!
    Rachael
    http://www.threadsforthomasblog.com

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  27. Thank you for sharing your story, I know it's such a personal one and it's scary opening up. Infertility in all its forms affects many people and often it feels like such a lonely thing to battle through as it's not widely talked about. It's good to have that conversation and to make people aware of it and to help people who suffer feel less alone.

    I have no magical words that can make you feel better, but I do want to repeat what you said in your post. The stress, the time, the money, know that it is worth it in the end. God has a plan for us all and waiting for His timing is insanely frustrating when we don't know how long we need to wait for, but I'm hoping that the answers to your prayers become 'yes' instead of 'not right now'.

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  28. i've had this sitting on my desk for quite a while, because it breaks my heart! i don't have the right words, other than you are wonderful and that you will get through it!

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  29. I am so sorry you are experiencing this. I want you to know that I suffered through 10 years of unexplained secondary infertility, along with all of the treatments, as well as a failed adoption. I totally get it. I am not saying your outcome will be the same as mine. I pray you are blessed with another baby(: But I will tell you that God gave me peace with our one daughter. She is a pure delight - happy, healthy, smart, kind, and an amazing talent on the dance stage. She is perfectly happy being an only child (Even though I never wanted that for her). And God has filled her beautiful life with so many people who love her. She has traveled to so many places and is a perfectly adjusted, amazing young lady. Only children are super cool. So, while I do hope you have another child if that is what you want - my advice to you is to enjoy this ride. Keep trying for that second baby. But don't lose sight of the amazing gift you have (: It is so easy to lose site of that. I know. I did sometimes. I don't anymore. Take trips, go places, live your life. This is the life you have been given and it is a perfect one(: Love, Susan

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  30. Laura, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. One of the beauties of blogging is being able to help someone else who might be going through the same thing. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers!

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