Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's Get Real. Infertility Sucks.


My fertility (or lack there of) is a topic I have not discussed on my blog at all. It's just so personal and hard for me to talk about such a sore subject so openly. I thought it was time that I opened up a bit and shared. This is not at all a rant, this is my journey.

During the almost 1 1/2 years I've been writing on my blog we've been actively trying to conceive (with the exception of my hernia surgery month of course). Watching from afar as my friends announce their pregnancies and have their babies has been increasing hard to watch, and oh so painful. And then to watch as multiple newlywed couples in my immediate and extended family who got married in 2011 all announce they are expecting? Wow, I find myself incredibly frustrated, saddened, and broken within my journey. Will a second child ever happen for ME? Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy for anyone having their own miracle. Babies, after all, are a precious gift and miracle from God. It's just seems so unfair to ME. Then I feel selfish, but incomplete all over again. It's a vicious cycle each month as the pregnancy tests come back negative each time and I wallow in my broken body that seems to not work right. Some days are good, and some are just plain horrible. And those days when Aunt Flo comes knocking with major cramps, woah, I just need a break from it all so I can curl up in bed to pass the day.

My sister-in-law has been a great encourager and supporter of me in all this. She has also experienced baby losses but after years of waiting was blessed with a precious bundle in October last year. I'm truly blessed to have her and thankful that we've been able to support each other through our similar experiences. She has helped put into perspective my angry/mad/upset/crushed/frustrated feelings when seeing everyone else seem to get pregnant, but not me, by saying this about her own trials..."they weren't reflections of how I felt about them (other pregnant women) as an individual, but of the struggle for me to conceive." I don't think I can portray my feelings any better than how she said it. It's actually not about how I feel about the person or anything against them in any way. It's my own personal frustration with the process of trying to have another little miracle and the sadness it brings when I'm reminded of my journey.

I have a history of miscarriages. I've now lost 4 babies.....4 precious baby beans. Before we had Buddy in 2008, we lost a baby at 6 weeks and another at 11 weeks. With monitoring by my doctor and a little testing, we learned my main issue (and hopefully my only) is very, very low progesterone, causing a variety of issues including a short luteal phase. This was finally tested for after having another early miscarriage last summer. My progesterone levels are so low that I'm like a menopausal woman in regards to how my body feels and side effects I experience. For 6 months last year I took progesterone supplements for the second half of each cycle in hopes of conceiving and holding in a pregnancy. We were so hopeful that there would soon be a light at the end of the tunnel. Another baby to carry for 9 glorious months. Another baby finally in my arms.

The 6th month of progesterone brought on every side effect imaginable so I went in to see my doctor. She prescribed Clomid. Now, try imagining me and my initial thoughts on this. My all-natural preferences and all, struggling with going this route, or possibly even farther to fertility specialists. I'm already taking progesterone which is probably messing with my body in the long run. But, what choice do I have? Diet changes, supplements, getting healthier, and just trying to live normally isn't working. So, I'm on Clomid right now. I'm currently on my 4th (and probably final) cycle. The first month on Clomid I lost another baby very early on because my doctor didn't put me on progesterone early enough after ovulation. Apparently it's normal to wait until blood work comes back positive to go on progesterone for someone like me. Well, I didn't even get that far. My bloodwork was negative but prior to that I took multiple tests for 2 days at different times. For 4 wonderful days I felt alive, and definitely pregnant. I was pregnant. I just wasn't tested early enough. My levels were just so low that now it's very clear that I can't go without progesterone in any cycle while trying to conceive. Each cycle after that I've now been on progesterone along with Clomid, in hopes that the combination will work.

My pride and joy.

As I watch Buddy get older, it pains me to even think that he may never get a sibling, or have what I had growing up with lots of brothers and sisters. I love him dearly and want so much for him. In a way I feel that I am failing him by not being able to give him a brother or sister. I also feel like I'm so focused on having another one that I'm passing by the precious moments I have now with my son. So in that way I feel like I'm failing as a mom too! Oh mommy guilt. It's the worst. So, my journey through infertility is constantly reminding me that he is more than enough and for that I am so grateful. If I never have another baby, my son is all I need, and all I'm supposed to have. So here we are. All caught up on the main details of my journey to have another little baby. And now, we wait patiently since ultimately only God is in control.

I know it's hard for people who haven't been through child losses to understand how this feels. You may not know what to say and I understand that. I'm not asking you to understand or pity me. I'm just hoping that sharing my journey might help another mama out there. Or that it might encourage you to be compassionate about the women and mamas around you, and think about where they might be on their own journey.

Do you have a journey to share? Did you struggle with infertility? Please share your story!

4 comments:

Natural Healthy Concepts said...

Hi Reynolds Mom, glad you were able to open up a bit and share your story. Have you tried any natural fertility support? We have a product called Dr. Colins Ferti-boost distributed by Vibrant Health and it's a complete program developed to support normal reproductive health and assist couples who are finding it difficult to conceive. It is a natural fertility alternative that is part of a 6+ month fertility program. Dr. Colins Ferti-boost distributed by Vibrant Health is a complete program developed to support normal reproductive health and assist couples who are finding it difficult to conceive. It is a natural fertility alternative that is part of a 6+ month fertility program. Or here is the link to our selection of fertility support products too http://www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/fertility-support.html - I hope your little bean gets a sibling! Never stop praying!

LeighSabey said...

Thank you for sharing your story! It's always good to be reminded of what the many women I come across on a daily basis might be going through, silently.

Brittney said...

Ashley,
Thank you for sharing this personal story! My heart breaks for you and your situation! I can imagine the emotional pain you battle with! I was one of those girls that always wanted to be pregnant, and luckily for me it has happened twice and I know I am truly blessed. I will keep you in my prayers and I am so glad to hear that you trust God through it all! I know some people in this situation may blame God, but I know that God is love and that all He does is good! I am so happy that you got to experience being pregnant and had a healthy boy! Your story is such a good reminder to be thankful with all that we have, knowing that we are blessed! My prayer is that you have another baby and that through out this process you will continue to stay positive, happy and content!
~Brittney

Anonymous said...

This topic is close to my heart, though it is not my personal struggle, it is that of my very dear friend. With 12 years of marriage and 0 pregnancies I struggle to know how to encourage her. My own family, which I love very much, is a struggle for her, though she never says so. Sometimes a little part of me wishes that I could say that I knew a little bit of how she felt. Comparison seems unfair as we were married within a month of one another and in 12 years I have birthed 6 healthy babies and she hasn't had even a few short days of holding a baby in her womb. I weep for her, but don't know how to help her or encourage her for fear of hurting her more...
We are close in every other area, but this one thing is almost ignored, not completely - she knows I pray for her and feel her pain as best I can, but this we almost never talk about. She and her husband love our kids as their aunt and uncle, but I know is can be hard for them. I just don't know how to help...