Selfless Love

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I’m not sure if I will have the chance to become a parent but if I do I have had the absolute best examples of how to parent lovingly and selflessly from my own parents.

Flashback to my post Dogs are NOT babies, they are however wonderful companions and my urge to get one has been growing steadily as time as gone on. I found a dog rescue near my home and have been visiting it weekly for about a month feeling more comfortable every time I went in, I was gaining confidence and sure I would be able to properly train a dog. My husband was aware that I was visiting the rescue but had no desire to come with me and still maintained we would be a pet free home.

A few days ago the rescue received a new shipment from another state of dogs and in the shipment were Chihuahua mix puppies. Teeny tiny little babies, I was a goner. I fell head over heels with this little bitty puppy and immediately filled out my application to adopt her. I would deal with my husband later. The next day after my references were checked and I was approved I brought my mom and went back to the rescue and held her and spent some time with her. The only thing keeping them from letting me bring her home was that my husband had to come and meet her and sign the papers too. Stupid me I told them on the application I was married.

I called my husband to see if he would meet me there after work, they would reserve her for us until he could come. To my surprise and huge disappointment he REFUSED to come meet her. He cited his allergies to pet dander and said that we had already talked about it and his mind hadn’t changed about getting a dog. I begged, pleaded, cried and tried to make him understand how much I needed this how much I need SOMETHING. I even enlisted the help of my mother in law and nothing helped. As you can imagine this caused a gigantic epic fight between he and I, my heart was broken that he was unwilling to even try to meet her or bring her home on a trial basis to see how his allergies were. She is so tiny and projected to stay under 15lbs that I doubted she put off much dander but he wouldn’t budge. It was the most pain I and disappointment I have felt from him in our whole marriage. It brought up all kinds of issues between us such as sacrifices and decision making issues and if our partner ship is equal or if he just thinks he is the boss. Anyways that whole night was a huge shit show of tears and fighting but overall constructive communication about issues that apparently had been under the surface and this dog decision brought to a head.

The biggest shocker in this story is that after fighting and crying and talking the real decision that was came to is to TRY IVF AGAIN. I know I know I didn’t want to try again but apparently my heart isn’t as closed off to it as I thought it was and we are going to try a different doctor and hospital that we actually know a few people that went to and had great results but not the first time. The fact that this is what came out of me trying to adopt a dog has been really surprising to me, my husband doesn’t think a dog will fill the emptiness I feel and he shared that he still desparately wants a baby of our own which he hasn’t expressed in the past two years he has been acting totally content with the way things have been but this pushed him to make his wants and needs known too. I guess falling in love with her showed me that I’m willing to risk opening my heart again and if i’m willing to be brave enough for that then I feel ready to try for a baby again. So here goes nothing !

PLOT TWIST
My mom has been thinking about getting a dog for about six months, she recently lost her little sister to cancer and my Aunt always had dogs. My mom witnessed how much love and comfort her dog brought her towards the end of her life. She thought she could use some of that love and comfort as she deals with her sadness over losing her sister. HOWEVER my Dad, who is very much like my husband said NO. He always joked that if my mom ever brought home a dog that’s how he would know she wanted a divorce. My mom had gone to the rescue with me on that fated day that my husband refused to show up and meet the puppy. She told my Dad how heartbroken I was over the whole situation and low and behold THEY decided to adopt that same puppy so that I could come and visit her ( we live 5 minutes apart). I have always felt grateful to my parents, they have given me anything and everything I have ever needed or wanted even as a married woman not living in there home and I don’t mean in a spoiled brat way just an unconditional love and support that is the most incredible thing in the world. The fact that my Dad went against his word that he would never have another dog (our last one passed away like 15 years ago) and let my mom adopt this puppy so that we could both love her and snuggle her and that maybe she could help both of us heal our hearts has been the greatest most selfless gift ever given to me. I am truly grateful for my parent’s and I sincerely hope that I get to become a parent so I can show a child this kind of unconditional love.

The puppy in the picture above is my parent’s new puppy, isn’t she cute?!

FAIL

I sit here writing from a sticky bun induced sugar high, my WHOLE 30 was a FAIL. More like I failed at it, I lasted a week and caved at a family party where I was presented with smoked brisket soaked in sugar laced bbq sauce and expensive red wine. I sincerely hate being the kind of person who says they are going to do something and then does not have the will power to complete the task.

I want this to be a space where I can be truthful and real and so here it is, I failed at something I really wanted to do and I’m disappointed in myself but the world didn’t end. I had the best intentions to resume the program after my little food vacation but my Aunt Flow showed her ugly face the very next morning and for the sake of my marriage I continued to indulge in complex carbs and sugar. Now my birthday is coming up and I don’t want to be on a super strict diet because I’m planning on going out to a decadent dinner and eating and drinking too much. Perhaps I will try again in the Fall.

Until I’m ready to try again I keep consoling myself with cliche sayings like, Life is too short to deprive yourself of simple pleasures. So far it’s working for me, I’m glad I can learn from these failures, they humble me and show me that I still have lot’s of work to do in becoming stronger mentally and just becoming the woman I want to be. Until next time!

Infertility PTSD

I think I might have this. PTSD stemming from infertility and trauma such as, high risk pregnancy and miscarriage is a fairly new concept. A concept that I found myself googling tonight after something completely unrelated to babies and fertility sent me on a crying jag while in the car with my husband. In all fairness I have been diligently sticking to my WHOLE 30 and perhaps the lack of sugar has me feeling emotional coupled with being premenstrual but this was definitely MORE than that.

Without going into too much detail as to the what of it all that sent me spiraling let’s just say hubby told someone something that we had agreed to keep between the two of us until it was a sure thing. Totally unrelated to babies or pregnancy. In the car while driving he told me that he shared our private something with his father. The first feelings I felt were anger, why couldn’t he just stick to our plan and keep his mouth shut! That anger very quickly turned into extreme sadness mixed with anxiety, I was immediately thrown back to the countless times we had told his father that we were expecting only to have to then later tell him that we lost the baby. The feelings came over me like a gigantic tidal wave and I broke into tears, uncontrollably sobbing while my husband sat next to me confused as to why this had turned into such a big deal. I wanted to be the person with REAL good news for once, good news that actually came to fruition. The fact that we are still in limbo made me feel like telling people was premature, I didn’t want to have to go back and tell them, never mind things didn’t work out for us again.

I’m lucky, my husband is very sensitive and gentle with me. I explained to him to correlation of my feelings and he understood and consoled me. I am equally surprised and scared by how easy it was for these past emotions to sneak up on me and make me feel so overwhelmed.I feel like it’s a weakness to be able to be taken over by my emotion like I was tonight. How could something that seemed completely unrelated to our past struggle set me off so much?

Day to day I don’t really think about having a baby or fertility anymore. Apparently, I cannot escape the damage that has already been done by our past experiences with it. I realize now after what happened today that what I have been through is going to continue to color my future. It is not something that can simply be put in the rear view mirror and waved goodbye to, it’s baggage in the trunk, along for the duration of my ride through this life.

When going gluten free isn’t enough

I’ve struggled with digestive issues since I was a teenager. Specifically the issue that seems most embarrassing and people don’t like to talk about diarrhea. I would have it daily, often multiple times a day. It was my normal and I managed to work my life around it, without giving it too much thought. It was often an embarrassing inconvenience, for example my husband and I would go out to dinner and plan to go to a movie after but we wouldn’t make it to the movie because immediately after dinner I would have to use the bathroom. About four years ago in the midst of all the infertility stuff, on one of my symptom googling binges I came across information about celiacs and infertility. A lot of my symptoms matched up so I went to be tested.

I didn’t have celiacs, at that time I would have been happy to have a name and reason for my symptoms. The tests said no but I decided to “go gluten free” to see if it helped anything. I found that initially my diarrhea went away and it was such a relief. I felt normal for the first time in a long time. I have diligently kept my diet gluten free for the past four years. I don’t cheat or go off it, it doesn’t feel like a choice to make anymore, it’s simply become a way of life. With that being said I have been accidentally “gluten-ed” during that time and one brave time I decided to try some pasta and it only proved to me that going without gluten was the only way for me to stay symptom free.

This diet has been successful for me over the past few years. I have noticed more recently that I am still getting bouts of diarrhea, despite keeping gluten free. I’m starting to feel like being gluten free is simply not enough, my body is still negatively reacting to some part of my diet.

After some more internet symptom searching, I discovered something called FODMAP’s. It’s a slightly confusing concept that has to do with carbohydrates and how they digest in the body. Carbohydrate’s are not just in items containing gluten like bread and pasta or even gluten free versions of these items, they are in VEGETABLES too! This is probably a big DUH to most of you. I am obviously surprised to find that trying to eat healthy, aka lot’s of veggies in my diet could potentially be the culprit causing my ongoing diarrhea. There are LOW FODMAP foods and HIGH FODMAP foods. What do you know? My diet has been heavily saturated with foods such as dairy, beans, garlic, onions, honey. Those are all foods they say to avoid completely when dealing with FODMAPS.  Foods they say to limit include broccoli, brussel sprouts, avocado, and sweet potatoes! Those are my go to healthy meal side dishes! This whole FODMAP concept has totally rocked my world to say the least. Now I have to avoid gluten and most of my favorite vegetables, what the heck am I going to eat?!

This has brought me to finding a program called WHOLE 30. This is not a new diet fad or concept, a lot of bloggers have tried it and talked about it. That’s actually how I heard about it! The program looks like it might be a great reset button for me and my husbands diets. The variation I’m planning on making to the program is only including LOW FODMAP fruits and vegetables for myself. From the initial research I’ve done and the approved food lists I have made this is going to be a VERY limited diet. My husband is on board to give it a try so that will be a wonderful support system to have because I have a feeling it is going to be rough.

This weekend we will eat all our dairy, drink all our (my) wine (alcohol isn’t allowed in the program) and then food shop and prep Sunday to start our WHOLE 30 on Monday. Has anyone else tried to do a WHOLE 30? Any suggestions or tips? Also has anyone else heard of FODMAPS and had success switching to LOW FODMAP foods? I kind of feel like the whole concept is kind of new, like gluten was a few years ago. I’m super excited and hopeful that the next 30 days will help my body get back to normal digestion and if I happen to drop a few pounds along the way I won’t be mad!

 

Dogs are NOT babies

 

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I will start this post by saying my husband and I both have pet allergies. He is severely allergic to cats and I’m mildly allergic to pet dander, whatever that is. We talked very early on even before marriage about pet’s and if they would have a place in our family. Our decision was that we would not be pet owners , due to the allergies and just general dislike of animal fur around the house, and how they can be fairly restrictive to your lifestyle as far as traveling, even short weekends away.

It had been suggested to me a year or two into our fertility journey that maybe we should get a puppy. I quickly explained that a puppy is NOT a baby. I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a baby and a dog was not going to replace that want. I am well aware that dogs bring many people lots of joy and love.

My husband grew up with out door dogs and I grew up with a small in door dog. My dog caused a lot of stress on my parent’s marriage. He was quite naughty and towards the end of our time with him he was diagnosed as mentally unstable due to his behaviors and had to be put down. My experience with dogs so far has not lead me to identify as a “dog person.”  

I had accepted being pet less as we focused on our fertility treatments because at that point I was still going to get my baby, or so I thought. Lately however I do feel myself being drawn towards and craving the companionship and love that a dog might be able to offer us now that our baby plans have changed. I work from home and it can be quite lonely to be home alone all day without any other living thing to talk to or snuggle with or just be around.

My husband is still completely against bringing a pet into our home. His argument is that we already decided years ago never to have pets. My counter to that is that we also decided years ago to have children. Those plans have changed and therefore I think we need to grow and adapt and not pigeon hold ourselves to a decision we made almost ten years ago when our reality since then has completely changed.

I do have fears that I wouldn’t be a good pet owner because I don’t always like other peoples dogs even when they are well behaved. I have always said I didn’t want a dog because essentially they never grow up. You will always have to feed them, give them water, walk them, and clean up there poop. I do not envy the dog walkers I see carrying big plastic bags of feces on what looks like an otherwise nice walk around the neighborhood. Eventually babies grow up and become independent people, dog’s never do. That is why I have never seen them as a logical replacement for one another. It’s not like, can’t have a baby , get a dog, easy fix, they are two completely different and unrelated life choices.

I guess what has changed for me is that I would like to have some companionship around the house during the day so I’m not so lonely. I don’t think hubby really gets how isolating it is and I really think a small furry friend could be the cure. I also don’t want to rock the boat by pushing and pushing the issue and them him finally caving and then we get a dog and it’s a total nightmare barking, pooping and peeing all over the house and smelling it up and he is really unhappy. I do tend to put his happiness and comfort before my own as a habit. Perhaps this is important enough that I need to advocate for my own happiness.

I have done a little research and I think the best fit of a dog for my situation and our small home would be a french bull dog. We really need the least shedding option and a breed that is small to medium but not hyper. I really just want a buddy to love and hang out with all day and keep me company. Any dog owners out there have suggestions of other breeds that might be a good fit for our family? Also anyone have thought’s on dogs vs. babies? Have other people with infertility had people suggest a puppy as a quick fix? I can’t wait to hear your responses this topic has been on my mind a lot lately and I’m interested to hear what other’s think!

 

Control

Infertility has a way of stripping you down to bare bones. You can give everything you have to the process of trying to create a baby and still end up with empty arms. The problem is,  you think you have control over certain things in your life, and when you are forced to realize you don’t and you never actually did it can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I wasted the last five years of my life focusing my energy on something that I had no control over.

I tried really really hard to control my fertility from day one. I took the ovulation tests, I read every possibly tip or wives tale about how to get pregnant faster. At that point, early on, I was even naive enough to think that by doing certain things we could increase the chances of what gender the baby would be. Early on I envisioned us with two boys, as our journey progressed and years went by I hoped and prayed for one little girl. 

When we moved on to reproductive specialists, instead of feeling a loss of control, I felt like I was actually gaining even more. I was actively doing things that would lead us to creating our family. Every shot I did and every pill I took made me feel like I was in control of the whole process. I had a problem and I was fixing it. I could even choose how many embryos to put back in my uterus during IVF, how lucky! The dream now included potentially having twins, of course we always put back at least two embryos during our transfers. The last IVF we put back three, I was so delusional at that point that I really thought we would end up with triplets and I was ready for it! Like I said, delusional, triplets would have of course been a huge blessing after everything we had been through but to actively try for them?! Well, let’s just say looking back, I can see that I was so desperate by that point that I was ever so slightly out of my mind.

The desperation to have some kind of control over our situation had us crossing major lines and pursuing treatments that we had previously said we wouldn’t try. The more out of control I felt as treatment’s failed and medications didn’t work the harder I searched for the next big thing. Something we could try, anything we could try, so that I could feel like I was actively doing something to get us to our goal of a baby. I’m just now coming to terms with that fact that I put myself and my husband through all of that. 

Here’s the truth of it, I don’t feel like infertility was something that happened to me. It’s not my fault that we have fertility issues BUT it is my fault that I tried to control them. My need for control was what sent us hours from home to meet with expensive world class specialists. It had me taking medication that they use for breast cancer patients. It had us entertaining nurses in our home once a week for four months while they administered my IVIG infusions (other people’s blood products!). Those sometimes took up to five hours to complete.

After all the failures and the miscarriages we finally had enough. I felt like something really needed to change so I could start to move forward. That change ended up being letting go of my “control” over trying to conceive. Today I’m so enlightened (kidding) that I realize I never actually had any real control to begin with. It was all an illusion. I see now that you cannot force anything in your life to happen if it’s not supposed to or if it’s not the right time. There are some things in life that you cannot control, no matter how hard you try.  Not just understanding this concept, but also accepting, and embracing it, are what have lifted the heaviest weights off of my shoulders. 

Admitting to myself that it was the choices I made that got me to where I am now, good or bad, has been really important for me. I think it’s a big step to take responsibility for leading my husband and myself down the path that I did. By doing so I have been able to free myself of the guilt and shame I harbored from knowing that, yes I am on this journey but it didn’t happen to me, I chose it.

Going forward I am focusing my energy on things in my life that I can assert real control over. Letting go of trying to control my fertility has opened up space in my life for me to pursue passions that I didn’t even know I had! I can’t wait to continue to share my journey of moving forward with you in future posts. As always thanks for reading. Until next time!

Choosing Joy

 

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Once I pulled myself out of the complete fog of five years of focusing completely on the singular goal of getting pregnant and starting our family I realized I had let everything else in my life go. 

My body was a mess, I had stretchmarks from gaining weight from all the fertility drugs, I had acne and my hormones were a mess. Once I stopped pulling on my sweat pants everyday and tried to put on a pair of jeans I realized nothing without elastic would fit anymore. It was a hard realization,  I had justified the weight gain and damage I knew I was doing to my body by convincing myself it would be worth it if it meant being able to have a baby. 

It was like opening my eyes after a five year nap when I didn’t even know I had been asleep.  I finally woke up and realized that despite not having a baby there were many wonderful things that I DID have. I decided to focus on the positives in my life instead of the negatives. I decided to focus on my marriage and my husband. I decided to focus on my body and my health, and I decided to focus on making my house a home. I have seen nothing but growth and improvement in all these areas since rededicating myself to them.

I decided to live my life intentionally. My husband and I have set some new long term and short term goals, we are working towards them together as partners. It feels really good to find a new purpose and path to happiness especially when I thought my life would look very different at this point. It’s such a simple thing to say but such a powerful thing to do. I choose joy everyday, I choose it over regret, bitterness, jealously, sadness, selfishness. I’m certainly not perfect and we all have off days where it’s hard to muster that positive attitude but I have seen a shift in my life since I started to intentionally choose to be happy. I noticed that I have far fewer off days where I am feeling down than I did before. 

Who knew you could still be happy even if things don’t go as you planned?

I didn’t, but I’m beginning to see that I can be happy if I simply choose to be.

Dr. Meany

I recently changed OBGYN offices, over the past five years this is my third OBGYN. I really disliked my first one, she thought I was young and stupid and would get pregnant on my own and keep it no problem it would just take some time. I stayed with her a year and it was a difficult one filled with several losses one including a D&C and her continued cavalier attitude towards my fertility despite my gut feelings and doubts. 

My second OBGYN was wonderful, I couldn’t say enough good things about him. He was very sweet and caring and he really listened to my concerns about my ability to carry a pregnancy to term. He admitted that fertility wasn’t his specialty and suggest that we go to the local fertility clinic for treatment moving forward. We followed his advice and that snowballed into about two years worth of EXPENSIVE treatment with no real results. That led us to Dr. Braverman who I spoke about in my post Journey to Today. All the while I was still checking in with my OBGYN. He was very supportive of all the treatments we endured even the more extreme measures we took such as IVIG. He almost coddled me too much, I think he was just a gentle soul but it felt like false hope towards the end of our time together.

This brings me to my new OBGYN, Dr. Meany. She is REAL, that is about the only way to describe how my first appointment with her went. She was recommended to me by family and a friend who suffered with infertility for TEN YEARS before she switched to this particular Doc and finally was able to have her miracle baby. Needless to say I went into my initial appointment with high hopes. I thought if she can help someone who has suffered through infertility for twice as long as me then surely she will be my saving grace as well. I was sorely mistaken going into the appointment with that mindset. Pretty much right off the bat she assured me that after all my IVFs and all the treatments and doctors I had already consulted and gone to that it was HIGHLY unlikely that anything she could do would make a difference for me. She said if I wanted to pursue aggressive treatment again she would support me and help me through it but she didn’t think she could do anything for me that would be a game changer. 

I left my appointment with her completely deflated. After all of the false hopes I had been spoon fed by various doctors during our journey this felt like the first time someone had been REAL with me. She explained I had already taken all the drastic measures that she would have suggested to someone like me and none of them have worked thus far so it’s unlikely they will work if we tried again under her guidance. She was honest about that fact that if all these other specialists couldn’t get me pregnant or get me to stay pregnant than she probably couldn’t either so don’t expect a MIRACLE. 

I went home and cried the rest of the day knowing that she was right, we had already pulled out the big guns and nothing has worked and she isn’t a specialist so I can’t expect anything new or different from her. I call her Dr. Meany which I think is fair because she was mean but she was also real and honest about my chances of conceiving naturally under her care. It was almost refreshing to not have someone giving me the run around after years of hearing that a lot of expensive interventions certain would make the difference for us.

I think after having Dr. Meany be honest with me I was finally able to be real with myself about our chances of conceiving without intervention which we aren’t willing to pursue again at this time. I am happy that I’m not living in la la land anymore. and by coming to terms with the path we are currently on as a married couple without children it is allowing us to make intentional choices about how we want to live our lives. It has been refreshing to embrace where we are together as a childless couple and further examine our life goals and make plans to reach them. We are grabbing a hold of thing’s that we have control over. such as home renovations, money, and budgeting and it feels good to be able to make positives changes to our situation after years of feeling out of control because we were unable to make our biggest goal of creating a family come to fruition.It has been a truly amazing feeling to come to terms with the fact that I am in charge of my own personal happiness regardless of my circumstances.  I am grateful for Dr. Meany being truthful with me about my situation so that I was able to really come to terms with my new reality. I am working on moving forward with grace and a positive view of life and a little sprinkle of hope that things could still turn out the way I wish they would, even if Dr. Meany says they probably won’t. I guess that makes me an eternal optimist. 

Why don’t you adopt?

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My husband and I have been fielding this question from people since our very first miscarriage. The truth is I have felt like I could adopt or be happy with an unconventional family since before I met my husband. Turns out once your married these types of life choices are not singular they are something you have to agree on with your partner. My hubby is not on board. He is either happy having biological children if it happens or not, either we have biological children by the grace of God or we continue to live happily ever after without kids. When you actually start to look into the process of adoption or fostering more roadblocks come up than you can imagine and it becomes a scary road to go down. At least for us it did and that is why we decided it would not be a good fit for us to try and pursue.

I feel selfish saying that we are too sensitive to agree to bring a child into our home that we might have to let leave or we might have to share with birth parents. It sounds like an easy option to people to don’t have to consider it as a serious option but for us it’s not something we think would be a good fit for us. Even five years into this journey we are still not ready to endure the possible heartbreak that could come along with fostering or adopting. How do you feel about fostering and adopting as an option when you have been dealing with infertility for several years?

Journey to Today

My journey to this point has been a winding road filled with ups and downs. I’ll start at the beginning and get you up to date. I married my wonderful hubby six years ago when I was a very young idealistic twenty something and he was a grounded mid to late twenty something. I had just graduated college with my bachelors degree the month before our wedding. I wanted to start a family ASAP, I figured we are married we have a house we have jobs babies just come next in the natural order of things. Hubby was not on board for babies year one of our marriage. I distinctly remember the majority of our first year of marriage fights being about me wanting to start trying for a baby and him not being ready. I’m not sure I knew what to do next without having a baby being the next thing on the list to check off, you see I love lists and checking things off, I also love planning and making plans, long term and short term. I had checked all the prerequisites off the list. 

  1. Find Mr. Right
  2. Buy a house
  3. Graduate College
  4. Have a full time job
  5. Get Married

Number 6 was HAVE A BABY!

Hubby had supported me through every other thing on the list and all of a sudden he was stone walling me, he wasn’t ready and I didn’t understand. We really had a pretty seamless first year of marriage besides that one large looming issue. Finally about a month after our first anniversary I had worn him down enough, I mean, he was ready to try. I was super ready and dove in head first to looking online and typing in your cycle days to see when you were ovulating. That lasted about three months and nothing came from it. We were over it and decided to just go with the flow. I hate that advice and of course after ignoring”trying” we finally got our two lines after just four months of trying. We were ecstatic and told everyone immediately, parents, brothers, and sisters, coworkers, only for me to start cramping and bleeding two days later. It was HELL, I’ve never felt anger or sadness so deeply in my life. One of the worst parts was having to tell everyone the sad news only days after telling them the good news, I was embarrassed. I recovered and was comforted by many stories of women conceiving easily following a miscarriage.

Two months later I saw another faint line that never darkened and I got my period only a day late. This was my first experience with a chemical pregnancy. After that I needed a break, I had a feeling this whole process wasn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought it was. I had the opportunity to go away for work for a few months and I took it. It was a much needed recharge and hubby visited when he could. About a week after I came home I found out I was pregnant again,this time my Dr. agreed to start me on progesterone to help support the pregnancy, we were cautiously optimistic. The tests kept getting darker, I went to the OBGYN and my bloodwork was good my numbers doubled. I went to the doctor at  6 weeks hoping to see a heartbeat and the doctor said it looked like I was only 4 weeks pregnant , maybe I had ,my dates wrong. I knew I didn’t but I continued to go to the doctor for an ultra sound once a week until I should have been 10 weeks pregnant but there was no heartbeat, only a gestational sac and yolk sac. It was the worst few months of my life, my doctor kept saying just wait it out that she had seen things turn around for people and seen rapid growth spurts but it never happened and the hormonal roller coaster was too much to ride. I ended up having a D&C and afterwards I fell into what was truly a deep depression. I have been on anti-anxiety and depression medication since my late teens, I have a genetic history of it and circumstances proved that the anxiety was clearly passed along to me. When I began the pregnancy my doctor was against me staying on my low dose anti-anxiety/depression meds so I quickly weaned off not wanting to negatively effect my supposedly growing baby. This left me at loose ends after my D&C, I restarted my meds but they weren’t working anymore and they definitely were not working fast enough. I had never felt depression before this and it was a very scary time, I was uncontrollably crying at work, I felt numb but also extremely sad I would say looking back it was the lowest I have ever felt even my Dad drove me to the Dr. for an appointment and said you have to pull yourself out of this. I sat on my husbands lap like a child and cried and cried and when he asked why I had no explanation besides a deep sadness that I couldn’t even explain.

With the help of good doctors , new meds, and the support of my husband and family I was able to start feeling more like myself again after a few months. After my recurrent losses over that first year of trying I really felt like something was wrong with me and I needed professional intervention. We went to the local fertility clinic and had all the tests. The only thing they found wrong was that I have MTHFR which is a genetic issue of processing B vitamins so I have to take vitamins with the already active forms of the vitamin or my body can’t break it down. It also predisposes you to clotting issues so Lovenox shots were added to my future pregnancy protocol. A short fast forward because it felt like a blur but we ended up doing two fresh IVFs and one frozen transfer at our local clinic, one the result was a low non doubling beta and the second and frozen were complete fails. I was so down I was still in my EARLY twenties what was wrong with me! Most of my friend were still terrified of accidentally getting pregnant and I was struggling with infertility, it almost didn’t feel real.There was no real explanation from the doctor either. I was desperate by this point I had three of my sister in laws and several cousins pass by me with pregnancies of there own and it was a struggle to celebrate with our families. I decided to pull out the big guns I searched high and low, blogs and medical websites, Dr. Braverman was our answer I was sure of it. He is a reproductive immunologist working out of Long Island, nowhere near us but like I said I was desperate. I had read success stories and I was sure I could be one too. We ended up doing a million more tests and he decided that I had endometriosis and I should have laparoscopic surgery with his then most recommended doctor , Dr. Pillitierri, also out of Long Island, also nowhere near me, Dr. B didn’t recommend moving forward with any IVF until after I completed this surgery to remove my endo. I ended up traveling back and forth several times for appointment, eventually flying there for my surgery with my husband and staying in a hotel to recover. A few months after that we tried an IVF with our local clinic but with Dr. B managing it and prescribing all meds. It was another fail.  He then suggested that perhaps a change of labs would be beneficial, so off to NYC we went. I had an egg retrieval freeze all with my hubby’s frozen sperm because in case I forgot to mention he was going through thyroid cancer at that time and had to have two surgeries six weeks apart and then radiation where he had to be isolated for a full week. Yeah we were in over our heads but I was determined and we kept pressing on. In preparation for my frozen transfer I was on steroids to calm my immune system for several months, I ended up gaining about 40lbs and felt completely crazy and out of control not to mention I had full on moon face and even my own father and brothers said they were worried about my because I didn’t even look like myself anymore. My mom was terrified I had high blood pressure because I was so puffy It was like I didn’t even see the change in the mirror because it happened gradually over several months. I was willing to give up anything and everything for a baby, my body, all our money, whatever it took. We did our frozen transfer in the city and I had gone so far that I had home health nurses coming to our house giving me IVIG infusions that took up to five hours,all in preparation for this transfer. Looking back it feels crazy and excessive but when I was in the middle of it , it felt necessary and essential. We transferred 3 grade A perfect embryos and even the embryologist was asking are you sure you want to put all three , you will surely end up with at least twins, we didn’t care we were hoping all three settled in for the long haul! I had a good first beta number and then two days later it had gone down. Dr. B said don’t be discouraged maybe all three took and one is now stopping growing or maybe two took and now it’s only going to be one. Two days later then beta dropped again and we knew it was all over for us. All our prep and we had the same out come as every other time, this time I was most devastated to tell our parents because they had been so happy with news of a good first beta. They had been our number one biggest cheerleaders over those three years writing checks for obscene amounts for doctor bills and handing us wads of cash in hopes that the next time would be it for us. Disappointing them has been one of the worst parts of this whole infertility experience, from the very beginning until now it has effected them to see there own children struggle to become parents themselves.

After our big Dr. B fail we decided we needed a break from everything BABY. We have taken the last two years to get back to being a married couple loving each other , not having sex for the purpose of procreation but just out of love. We have had to ask ourselves some hard questions and come to so tough realizations about our future but no matter what we are in it together. We have had a few miscarriages the past two years on our own without trying but always going to the doctor after a positive pregnancy test. Like I said it’s been a long winding road with lot’s of up’s and down’s but now that you are up to date we can go forward from here together. I’ve planned and failed, so from here on out we will just see what happens! Thanks for reading,it was a cathartic post I have never written out our journey before and I rarely talk about it so here is to opening up to the strangers of the internet!