Moving on but not out.

The photographer that came to take pictures the first time we were all able to be together sent us the rest of the pictures. When I got to this one, all I could do was cry. Not because I am looking at my baby, but because of what you probably don’t see the first time you look at this picture.

My husband in the background.

***Trigger Warning: Birth, Miscarriage, and pregnancy mentioned in this post. Please protect you heart and skip this entry if needed***

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When we sat in the RE’s office in July of 2008 we never could have imagined the journey that was before us. We never could have foreseen the damage it would do to our faith, our hope, and our marriage. The years of bitterness and resentment that I will never get back. The people I let down because I just couldn’t be what they needed at that time because of the pain in my heart for my own short comings.

There is no sugar coating it. My body failed me. Time and time again. From the fiber of my DNA, my blood, my ovaries, and then my shitty cervix. We lost four babies and almost lost our little girl. The thought takes my breath away completely. There is no rhyme or reason why I went into pre-term labor when I did and every medication they gave me couldn’t have delayed in long enough to save her had it happened just 8 weeks before that when this all started.

The one thing that hasn’t failed though, is my husband’s unconditional love and support. Many nights I spent crying, begging him to leave me so he could have the life he deserved. So many times I couldn’t be the wife he needed because of the depression and anxiety that infertility and loss caused.

When I was admitted at 21 weeks he sat next to the bed and said, “I am ready to get off this roller coaster”. And so was I. We told each other that night that if we got this baby girl here safe that we would never go through this again. Then when I gave birth to our daughter at 28 weeks he told me he had a bad feeling something would have happened to me during child birth had we had her full term. I had been having the same feelings.

In this photo, I see a man who has fought harder that anyone would ever realize for this moment. This was his release. The moment that he knew our pain was finally over.

I will not be one of those people that tells you that having a baby didn’t erase all those years of pain, because in many ways it did. I understand that not all people have the same resolution but for the most part, I have moved on. The moment I heard my baby cry, I wanted to forget all the bad things we endured for her to be here. I don’t want to forget the losses, but those are a different part of my life now. They were necessary for us to get to here. Every loss taught us something different that helped save my little girl’s life. And even without her, each loss taught me something about myself. A piece of me that is irreplaceable. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I want to give myself permission to let go of all that pain, and move on with the pieces of me that remain from that pain.

Now, I want to get to know myself again. Learn about all these new and old pieces and how they fit together. Learn how to love my body again. Forgive it for the years of failure and thank it for holding on just long enough to bring me my miracle. I want to renew my relationship with God, and forgive Him. Yes, forgive HIM, because I have been angry at Him for far too long and forgot many times to trust Him in this journey. I want to move on.

I want to finally be able to help answer the question that I see so many women ask at this point, “Where do I go from here”? I want to figure out how to take all the pain and experience and use it to help others. I want to learn how to remain in the community that has supported me for the last 10 years.

I see so many women with “survivor’s guilt” leave because they don’t know what else to do. I want to find out how to stop that. We all connected because of a common goal and we have to stop acting like when we reach that goal we have to disconnect from all the amazing women who helped us along the way.

Last, but certainly not least. Thank you. Thank you for the years of love and support. Thank you for forgiving me even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for sharing in my joy even when it caused you pain. Thank you for teaching me how to look at the world through another set of eyes.

I hope you will continue down this journey with me moving forward…

 

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MM: NIAW – Listen Up

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. As an infertile for over 8 years, and someone who has suffered trough more tests, needle pokes, ultrasounds, and more I feel like I should be an expert at talking about infertility but I just can never find the words.

If you would like to read a more eloquent post head over to Starbucks, Peace, and the Pursuit of a Baby where she put up a very great post about statistics, resources and more.

I have documented most of our journey on this blog…even though I just recently converted it over to Word Press the posts themselves have been going for quite some time now. This blog has never made me famous, I have never had thousands of followers, and I have never been featured anywhere fancy or had anyone ask me to guest post. The majority of people I meet through this blog go on to have healthy pregnancies, babies, and some even abandon their blog and I don’t talk to them again.

Some of us are put in each other’s life for only a moment, and some of us are blessed to get long term friendships from this community. But this week and every week, I hope that everyone knows that I am here, fighting with you, and you are not alone.

For more about us and our journey feel free to check out our bio here. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

This blog was written for #MicroblogMonday. Find my blog and others that also participate here every Monday.

 

That was the plan.

Married by 21. First kid by 23. Second kid by 25. And done.

That was the plan.

When I was 21 and married I thought I was well on my way to my “dream life”. I had a great job at a publishing company (my dream job), and even though I never saw him, and at one point he actually didn’t live at home, my husband was making a LOT of money at a job he got through my dad (dream scenario), and we were off birth control and actively trying to have a baby.

By the time I was 23 I had lived my own personal nightmare. I had spent many nights in bed asking God, “Why me, why us?” Why do we have to take all these medications, and go to all these appointments to have a baby. As I left the surgery center in 2008 after my first D&C I had convinced myself that this was normal, it would be different next time. In 2009 I begged the anesthesiologist to not let me wake up from my second D&C. A tear rolled down his cheek and he promised me I would be ok. I told my husband to leave me; I told him he would be happier with someone else and that he could have children with someone else.

It’s been over 8 years since I saw my first positive pregnancy test. In that time I have seen my friends and family get married, have children, and then have more children. I have lost a dear friend that I met through the TTC community to cancer and leave her husband and little girl behind. I have watched happy couples turn into different people and get a divorce.

I lost my dream job, and then lost the next one. My husband left his high paying job out of town to come home and be with me. We experienced some dark times in our marriage and there are days I look at him and can’t believe that he is still with me. I pushed HARD, but he says that God gave him broad shoulders for a reason. No matter how hard I pushed, he just held on tighter.

We fostered 9 children. We helped them through hard times, and then said good-bye.

Now I lay in bed, and I tell God, “I’m glad it was me, I’m glad it was us.” I am so thankful to have lived the life I have. To have experienced great success and even more failure. I am thankful that it hasn’t been easy. I am thankful for the circumstances that led us to be able to attempt donor egg IVF, I am thankful for the medicine, the science, and the appointments that we have to endure. I am thankful God believes in us enough to put us through such trials.

Even without a child, without the “happy ending”, I am happy.

#MicroblogMondays (yea I know I’m a little late lol)

 

Microlate Monday – Humbled

*Trigger Warning: Miscarriage mentioned in post. Please come back for another post if you aren’t ready for this one.

Last week was an intense whirlwind. I cried almost every day because of stress at work and I felt out of sorts all week. I am in the middle of a deep spring cleaning of almost everything we own and although it feels good to get things organized it’s stressful for sure.

We are entering a huge audit at work and I was thrown into it at the last minute because things weren’t getting done and have been playing catch up ever since.

Needless to say, by Thursday night I was ready for an alcoholic beverage (and I NEVER drink) and using a personal day on Friday. I battled with whether or not I could really afford (work load wise) to take the day off. After an insightful conversation with my mom I decided I needed to go to work. I couldn’t let the week defeat me.

Friday morning was instant chaos and I was questioning my decision almost immediately. I was in the middle of speaking to an unexpected visitor when one of the supervisors said, “I need to see you in my office”. I instantly almost cried because I could not take one more thing, but as I walked in I noticed the look of worry on her face and she said, “Nothing bad for you, I just need you to take an employee to the hospital, she thinks she is having a miscarriage”.

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. We got a company car and we were on our way. I talked to her on the way there and tried to remember all the things I NEVER wanted to hear and made sure not to say those. I didn’t tell her it would all be ok, and I didn’t dismiss her worry. I knew how she was feeling, I was feeling it too. The rush of it came back like a waterfall over me.

I went back to her room with her (she asked me to) and tried to be as helpful as I could through the IV, and questions. Her boyfriend arrived and I let her know to let me know if she needed anything and then I left. The drive back to work alone was surreal. I have never been on the other side before, not directly anyways. I have never been the one driving to the hospital with a tearful woman next to me, and I have never been the one sitting across from a woman with an IV and gown on.

I said a prayer for her and her baby, and then I thanked God. Thanked Him you asked?? Yes, I thanked Him. For somehow nudging me to not call in to work, for letting me be the one to be there for her. If anyone understands what that feels like, it’s me, and I am thankful I was able to be there as opposed to someone else who may have said all the wrong things in a moment like that.

I have kept her in my prayers and as Sunday came and I remembered it was my angelversary I was humbled. I was a wreck all week at work, ready to throw in the towel and resort to my bed the whole day on Friday, but instead, I received a reminder that things could always be worse, and that I am stronger now for what I’ve been through and that every struggle comes with a lesson.

This week has already been much better (especially since we got election day off on Tuesday) and I am thankful that God has been speaking to me so loudly recently, or for that matter, that I’ve been listening a little better recently.