Blogversary 

Word Press reminded me this week that 1 year ago I started this blog. I can still remember the night I did. I laid in our bed, in the middle of the night, on medical leave from my job, just weeks past our third miscarriage, groggy from all the pain meds I was taking to numb my pain. I was in bad shape to say the least. 

I came across a blog titled “I am 1 in 4” that detailed a womans story through recurrent pregnancy loss.  I read it and it touched me deeply. I almost felt as if I had wrote it myself.  So I thought, hey what the heck, maybe Ill give blogging a try. Never did I imagine it would turn into what it has. With over 400 followers, I am truly humbled and blessed by the support I receive. 

Everyday I log on to read and follow your journeys. I comment as much as I can because I love supporting you. I yearn to blog when I havent in a few days; its like free therapy for me. Writing is in my blood, Ive always enjoyed it. 

Throughout the past year, this blog has taught me many things.

It has taught me patience and perseverance. Good things come will come to those who wait and dont give up. 

It has taught me not to compare my story with others. Everyones path is unique. 

It has taught me to be more empathetic towards others; that you never know what someone is battling on the inside. People can hide a lot through their smiles. 

It has taught me how amazingly resilient women are. Simply amazing!

It has taught me the unwavering strength and love of a mother. Like none other. 

It has taught me what really matters in life and what doesnt. Family is number 1; you cant take your money with you.

It has taught me how to be a more understanding wife. Venting, and seeing Im not alone. 

It has taught me how to cope positively. Writing brings no physical or mental harm. 

It has taught me how you can connect with someone you have never met through a terrible tragedy you share. Sad, but true. 

It has taught me to be myself and not worry if others will judge me for it. Life is too short to dwell on what people say. 

It has taught me that I will be OK, and that I am in charge of writing our happy ending. 

It has taught me many, many things, above all else, that I am not alone. 

Tonight, I am so thankful for all of these things learned, and for you as I reflect on this anniversary. 

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Fears

Tonight, some fears came up between hubby and I in conversation. 

It started when a girl I follow via a FB group posted that she gave birth to a stillborn earlier today.  I was scrolling through, came across it, and a lump immediately formed in my throat. Tears welled up in my eyes. I quickly read it to my hubby. We just stared at each other blankly. 

And then after a few moments, “I dont know if I can handle something like that,” came out of his mouth as he stared at me. 

My hubby never says he cant handle things when its come to all this IVF and pregnancy loss stuff, so I didnt really know what to say.  Usually Im the one saying I cant handle it.

Im not sure how it happened, perhaps it was the fear taking over us, but we ended up getting into a disagreement.  

When we started talking about if that happened to us after all we have already endured, what we would do, what we would not do, how we would cope, move forward, etc. and basically, we were not seeing eye to eye. Im not going to get into all the details, but we ended up deciding it would be better to continue the conversation at another time rather than get more heated. 

Its easy to say we shouldnt be worrying about something that hasnt even happened to us. That its impossible to know how we would react in a situation such as this. To be positive about our future. I get all that. We really try to be.  But when it happens to someone in the community like it did today, it hits home. And the truth is, Ive always been positive about my pregnancies, but that didnt save any of them. Im at the point where I need to be positive, but also realistic.  

Its incredibly frightening to think we could endure another loss. Every loss has been a later loss than the time before. 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 10 weeks. But its also very difficult to think of giving up on our dreams because of our fears. Fear is not from above. 

I guess I just want us to be as united as we can be, no matter what situation, good or bad, comes our way.  

From the Desk of My Significant Other

The post below is directly from my better half…I hope you enjoy his writing for a change!


Warning: I have not written a full paragraph in over a decade so be a kind judge.  I am the lucky husband of a future author & blogger.  She is currently bedridden due to her most recent procedure so she asked if I would like to chime in. Hesitantly, I said yes. I will give you my version of our relationship/experiences.

Beginning

Yes its true. I first got her attention by throwing food at her in the high school lunch room.  A mutual friend introduced us and I knew I had to get to know her.  After the first night of hanging out after school I knew we were going to be together.  We both fell in love hard & fast.  Experiencing the same trials & tribulations most young couples encounter. And after all of our younger years we were still crazy about each other.  The decision to move to Florida was kind of spur of the moment but looking back I’m glad we made the leap of faith together. It was and still is hard to be away from my family but I try to keep in contact with most & talk to them as much as I can. Toledo will always be my home but my wife’s family in Florida does a great job of making me feel welcome and continue to help us greatly to this day.  I’ve always admired their faith as a family.  It has opened my eyes to true love and faithfulness.

Middle

After being in Florida and now living with my wife and getting a dog, I knew it was time to take our relationship to the next level.  In my one moment of good boyfriending I surprised her with a romantic proposal on the top deck of our cruise ship.  I know I surprised her when she repeatedly told me to shut up, shut up, & eventually YES! Through this time I think we both wondered in the back of our minds why we hadn’t had a pregnancy scare.  I remember us not being the most careful at all times.  But after being married and “not-not trying” we both knew for a fact something was going on.  She knew of my Varicocele and knew I was told by a doctor when younger that this would not be a reproductive issue.  So we saw a urologist & he suggested that I have a small operation to stop the flow of blood through the enlarged vein.  No guarantees that this would make any improvements but we tried to remain optimistic.  Knowing it would take years after the surgery for my swimmers to reach normalcy we came to the harsh reality that we were going to need assistance in creating a child.  Not ideal like the rest of our relationship had been.

The Last Few Exhausting Years

As normal middle class citizens we were generally concerned about the costs of assisted pregnancy.  I was greatly concerned about where we would get the money to do something like this.  Then I realized we were never going to be able to pay for it out-of-pocket so with my wife’s investigative skills she found us a great financing program through WIN Fertility. We did the paperwork & found a fertility doctor we both agreed upon & dove into the process head first.  Looking back we must’ve dove into the shallow end because my head & heart HURT! As you know we have had 3 miscarriages, each time more hurtful than the last.  The last the hardest because we saw heartbeats and progression in growth.  RIP.  Let alone all the family we hesitantly told because of the 2 previous losses. We thought for sure that this time was different and it wasn’t just us. Family, friends, and doctors all agreed that this was our time & we truly felt the same.  So when she called me that day & told me no heartbeat I knew it would be different this time for sure. The heartbreak is unexplainable! Everyone around us is pregnant currently (10 couples) all with similar due dates.  I’ll admit I wasn’t as supportive the first 2 miscarriages as I could have been but I knew I had to be there for my wife this time.  So like I recently told her “keep the faith.” I explained how I learned this from her family and the way they were brought up.  It’s in God’s hands. So every morning we read together and try to keep a positive outlook.  But we are currently in another 2WW (got that from her) for results from the last procedure.  Hopefully we get some solid results and we can possibly try to give it another go.  Thank you all for reading.  Blogging has truly helped my wife get her feelings out & hear about others experiences.

Marriage…with or without a Baby Carriage

Is infertility tough on a marriage? Absolutely.  Is there a flip side to that?  Can infertility actually be good for a marriage? Absolutely.  There is no doubt that being infertile has made our marriage stronger.

Before we struggled with infertility, our life together was fairly easy, and by the book for the most part.  We dated, broke up, got back together, relocated, moved in together, got engaged, bought a dog, got married, bought a house. It wasn’t until we started trying to have a baby that we experienced real struggle in our marriage.  Up to that point, we had assumed we would fall pregnant rather easily and quickly.  We thought having a family was just the next step in a series of events that people embark on as they share their lives together.

We were wrong.  God had a different plan for us.  Little did we know, our marriage would be put to the test.  Initially, upon finding out we were “infertile,” we disagreed a lot.  Neither one of us ever wanted to do IVF & in all honesty, I don’t think we really thought we would need to.  We figured that it would just happen regardless of what these crazy doctors told us.  However, after a while, I knew these doctors were not that crazy.  He, on the other hand, tried to fight it.  And so the arguing began.

We bickered about our lifestyles, and changes that needed to be made due to our infertility.  We argued about timing.  We fought about the finances involved in fertility treatments.  We disagreed about the doctors we saw.  We even bumped heads about what we would tell others when they blurted out the dreaded question, “when are you having kids?” or “what are you waiting for?”  We went back and forth about appointment dates and times, and work schedules.  Looking back, all of it seemed so overwhelming to us.

NIAW

Many couples never have to endure these trials.  Making a baby is supposed to be easy and fun isn’t it? But our fate was different.  We did have to endure these trials.  There were many nights we went to bed angry.  There were many nights we both questioned if we were meant to be together since we couldn’t have a child together naturally. I am telling you the raw truth-all the things many infertile couples think and say to one another, but hesitate to tell the rest of the fertile world.

Finally, there came a point when we realized we had to both be completely united in this journey.  That it wasn’t either one of our “faults.”  That there was no easy way to accept this was the path we had to walk.  The choice now became whether or not we would come out of this journey stronger or not.

Gradually, we started appreciating each other more.  We began noticing that we had been taking each other for granted at times, perhaps because we got comfortable being together for so long.  We were suddenly seeing how we were living, and how we could both do better.  We started growing closer than we had been in years. The decisions started to come easier; no pointing the finger, no quarreling anymore over the many steps in the journey. So, the question is, how did this transformation take place?

Nothing short of giving our relationship over to God.  In the darkest times, we began reading our bibles together daily. We did devotionals everyday as well (there is a picture of my favorite one at the bottom…get it!!). We were praying for each other, and with each other, something we had never done.  We understood we were not alone in this journey, we were together.  Everyday, our marriage was getting stronger.  All thanks to infertility, and God, of course.

It is finally clear to us now that God has been preparing us for our future.  What if we hadn’t experienced this ongoing war with infertility? What if it had just been easy for us? Would we be as close as we are today? Would we have made it? Would we be grounded enough to survive what lies ahead 15 or 20 years down the road?

I do not know, and I wouldn’t change things to find out.  That’s right-I wouldn’t trade the infertility, or recurrent miscarriages to see what our life would look like without it.  Why? Because through all of this, we have found that we can handle any obstacle thrown our way. NOTHING can tear us apart.  In fact, these challenges only make us, and our future family, all the stronger.

I love my husband, and I am so blessed that God is allowing us to walk this road with one another.  I am so thankful that he has brought us closer; closer to each other and to him. More than ever before, we are firmly believing that the blessings he has in store for our future are truly immense.

If I could give any advice to couples out there, infertile or not, it would be to spend time really working on your marriage. You and your husband have to be each other’s top priority, so you can withstand all of the trials that may come your way. Having kids is a true blessing, but it will not protect or save your marriage.  Only the two of you, and God can do that.

Our Story-part 1

I will never forget the day my husband & I formally met.  It was October of my senior year.  As I went to lunch, I sat at my usual table with my usual friends.  We attended a fairly small high school and most people knew each other.  All of a sudden, my friend pointed out this unfamiliar guy, stating he was “pretty hot.”  I took a look, and was surprised I never noticed him before! Who was this Casanova? LOL.  Next thing I knew, I was being introduced by his friend, that little did I know, in 7 years would be a future groomsmen in our wedding.  He asked me out that night to Subway (gotta love high school budgets) and though it sounds so cliche, soon after that we were in love and the rest was history.

We shared our first kiss on my 18th birthday that November of 2000.  We went to my prom in May 2001.  And then his homecoming in September and prom in May 2002 (he is a year younger than me).  The first few years seemed to fly by and before we knew it, it was 2003.  We traveled on our Spring Breaks together.  In the summers, we swam all day and stayed out all night, and in the winters he taught me how to sled and build snowmen, things I never did before.  Don’t get me wrong, at times we fought like CRAZY and no one really ever thought we would make it, even though they didn’t say it. But when we were good, nothing could stop us.

One day before my 21st birthday, he picked me up and said, “Do you want to move to Florida?”  I thought I was hearing things (he had never lived anywhere but Ohio his whole life!), but I wasn’t.  I agreed, we told our families & friends (who mostly thought we were insane at the time), and we were gone within 2 weeks. We really had no idea what we were doing, but it was the best move (literally) we could have ever made.

We moved in with my mom, step dad, brother, and the family dog, Autumn. We had never lived together so this was a new adventure. We found jobs, shared a car, saved our money, and within 3 months we found our first place together.  The apartment was a cozy 1 bedroom where we shared some of our best times.  All of our northern friends and family members came and visited us frequently. We beached it on the weekends.  At night, we played cards with our new found neighbor friends who later would cross infertility paths with us.

And it was at this point in my life that I knew I would marry this man. We started to talk about pets, and marriage and babies. We went to the Humane Society & found our first dog, Nacho, a Chihuahua who blessed our lives deeply.  We stayed in the 1 bedroom apartment for about 3 years, until we took the next step, & found a house to rent.

It was now September 2006. My husband had just gotten into his current career in the Heating & Air Conditioning field, and landed a pretty nice job. His employer decided to take us on a cruise at no cost to us. Our first cruise!  We had the opportunity to visit the Keys & Mexico. The first night on the cruise, he took me to the top deck of the ship, got down on one knee (sweating profusely), and popped the question. Of course I said yes…I was thrilled! And so, the wedding planning began.

We set the date for August 4, 2007.  Our plan was to get married in a year, and then within the next year, go off the pill & have a baby.  Before the wedding, our family & friends gave us a wonderful wedding shower and co-bachelor/bachelorette party. Both more than we could have asked for! Our wedding day was perfect and the honeymoon even more perfect. At our wedding, we had about 150 of our friends & family who mean the most to us.  For the honeymoon, we decided to return to where we got engaged in Mexico, and stayed at the most elegant and beautiful resort imaginable. We swam with dolphins & jumped off cliffs. We lived in the gorgeous, crystal clear water for the entire week. 
wedding & honeymoon

After the wedding, we began house hunting and purchased our first home, a roomy 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage with a big, fenced yard. More perfection! By 2008, I had gone off the pill. We started not necessarily trying, but not necessarily not trying either (I know you have heard people say this before).

I stayed pretty busy, I was in school trying to finish my bachelor’s degree while working 2 jobs. When I went to my annual OB appointment in 2009, I told the doctor I had been off the pill for about a year now and she didn’t seem to concerned. She asked me if I had been tracking my ovulation, and I hadn’t, so she informed me to start doing so, and to have sex every 2 days, between days 12-16 (or something close to that).  The doctor seemed confident I would get pregnant within the year, and so did I.

Over the next year, we tracked my periods, and did the deed, and still Aunt Flow came every month.  In the meantime, I graduated and got my degree, and found a teaching job.  In 2010, when I saw my OB again for my annual, she said it was time to do some tests since I was still not pregnant.  That was the day our lives changed.