National Infertility Awareness Week 2017

Time heals all wounds, right?

Wrong.

Wounds might be easier to deal with. The pain slightly easier to bear.

But they are never truly healed.

Some days it just hits you and today was one of those days.

Our fertility struggle started more than 5 years ago. Our loss 1202 days ago. I’ve had two beautiful, healthy, happy children since then.

But that doesn’t change the loss and pain we endured to get here.

While the sadness and grief no longer consume me, there is a piece of my heart that still mourns that lost little love, each negative pregnancy test, each time I was told no or maybe next time.

Today was a normal day, as I loaded up the kids and left for our MOPs meeting (Moms of Preschoolers).

Today’s speaker spoke about her journey through infertility and loss. Her story was tragic and heartbreaking, something no one should have to go through. I sat there and cried with her.

After our speaker finished, we were provided discussion questions to use at our table.

Today, I heard several very brave women, share their stories of fertility struggles and losses. It humbled me to watch their bravery unfold. They shared their pain. Their battle.

When it was my turn to share, I was surprised when I had to stop and try (not very successfully) to regain some composure.

I’ve been quite open about what we’ve been through. It’s been awhile since I really talked about that blazing, joyous moment of finding out we were pregnant to that heart-wrenching, life altering moment when we weren’t.

I remember thinking to myself how weird it was that I was crying, I feel like I don’t usually cry when I talk about our journey anymore.

As I’ve shared our struggled throughout the last few years, I’ve spoken with quite a few people who struggled too, with infertility, secondary infertility or miscarriages. But being in a room with so many wonderful people, many of whom had this shared experience was empowering. Even through all of the accompanying sadness, it proved, again, I was not alone.

I’m not.

And you are not alone.

 

Listen up.

Don’t suffer in silence.

Check out Resolve to learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week and more available resources.

You Are Not Alone – Pregnancy PTSD

My husband and I have been saying for months maybe a year…that we have PTSD when it comes pregnancy and trying to get pregnant.

I came across this article and it definitely struck home with me.

That why at almost 37 weeks pregnant I’m still advocating for those with infertility and working with the Bloggers Unite Challenge to spread awareness.

For me, infertility and a miscarriage are something that will never leave me. For awhile I felt it was all that I was. Now I’ve been able to step back a little and move forward with my life. I realized it is a major part of who I am and has definitely changed me, but it is not all that I am.

I am not defined by infertility.

There were so many days during this pregnancy where I’d ask my husband….is this real? But what if…? And he would remind me that thinking like that wouldn’t get me anywhere.

Someone once told me that no matter what happened in this past, today I was pregnant and I loved my baby very much. I couldn’t change what tomorrow would or would not bring.

That has really stayed with me.

I made every possible attempt to enjoy each second of this pregnancy, pleasant or not exactly. The first few kicks, even the queasiness that the first trimester brought. Yes I’ve been exhausted for the last 37 weeks but it is the happiest exhaustion I have ever known.

But so much fear happened in those first few weeks. It’s like we held our breath to make it to the first ultrasound and hear a heartbeat…we’d never done that before. And then we held our breath to make it to six weeks. Then we would wait for each appointment, holding our breath until the heartbeat was again confirmed.

At our 12 week appointment I cried when we saw him pop up on the screen moving and wiggling and heard that nice strong heartbeat. It was the first time my husband had gotten to see him and I will never forget that huge smile on his face.

That day was the first time I thought…maybe this really work.

I cried the entire time at our 17 week appointment as my heart overflowed with love at this little human growing healthy and strong.

But even so, I would still have those moments of panic where I would realize I haven’t felt him move in awhile…is he OK?

I was too terrified to exercise early on because I was afraid of hurting him. There are some food restrictions they give you during pregnancy and even when I craved something that was quite “OK” I was terrified. What if I was the idiot who did something wrong?

And even now I wish I could just check on him and make sure he’s OK in there. I had hoped as things progressed I’d eventually feel relief…but I don’t think I will until my husband is by my side holding our baby for the very first time.

I never realized how infertility and miscarriage could completely change your life but it can.

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