Happy ever after

It has been a beautiful and messy go around here lately. Beautiful because my deepest dreams have come true in the form or my miracle babies and messy because there is a lot that comes with that. Sick little ones, trips, endless needs and tiring all nighters and worries about money. All of that mess is my privilege and my honor but it is still sometimes hard.

It got me thinking about how people measure the good and the bad and the hard. When my baby was sick I just thought ‘all I want is for her to be healthy and I will just be happy no matter what’. But then she got better and something else stressed me out and I ‘just wanted that to be solved and then I will be happy’. You get the cycle. I started to notice it when I had my own scary health scare (I am totally fine) and realized I need to keep it in check. So everyday I reflect on the days where all I wanted was to be a Mom and it seems to shift the lens into focus and make my world feel bright and warm even when it might be a tough day. I remember that feeling of despair and hope. That cycle that takes you on a roller coaster of hell you never wanted to get on. The feeling of having to hide when you see someone ‘p’ or cry to yourself when another person around you becomes a Mom. The irony of not drinking because you want to get pregnant, not because you are. The wrenching pain of seeing a hint of a loss when you go to the bathroom early in a pregnancy. The fear waiting for a beta call, the air going out of your lungs when the Doppler is moving around to find a heartbeat. All of it. I think about it all, take a deep breath and remember that I am here, in this moment that I wanted so badly. It is a beautiful feeling to be in it.

Then I got to thinking about what life would feel like if I just had two kids when I wanted to. If it was just easy. I bet I would be missing some major perspective. I would bet staying up all night with a sick baby would make me so stressed and upset instead of give me that tinge of gratitude when I am holding her and tearfully realizing ‘wow, I have a baby’ (this feeling has never gone away, not even for my miracle 4 year old). I bet the money worries would stress my husband and I out instead of us both heart-fully agreeing having our family is a million times more important than being debt free. I bet some silly drama with friends or family would feel so big. I bet what would feel like a smaller struggle to be now would just feel bigger without the perspective.

I have started following and reading about women who are childfree not by choice. I have a sense of awe for the strength it takes but also like to see them emerge as women on their own right. Not as Moms but as complete beings. I find it inspiring. I bet for them having to totally shift what your life and identity looks like gives them something valuable. It forces them to re-paint how their world and their future looks like. The path may feel so hard at first but then maybe the whole big world opens up. They realize they have so many facets they never explored in the pursuit to a baby.

Anyway. A bit rambling there in the end but it has been a while since I shared my thoughts.

I know I have some fellow DE IVF readers so I find it necessary to once again state that my miracle DE baby is the greatest gift possible. She is all mine, all perfection and worth every last penny and sacrifice and moment. If you are the heart of things or facing a DE or alternative route. It is ok. It will be ok. It will feel so right. All my love.

Xoxo

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Hi there

I don’t write on here very much anymore but wanted to check in. Before reading further, if you are someone who is still in the wait or not in a position to read about a parenting after IF post know I send my love and please skip this. I had another blogger make a pretty harsh comment on an old post and while I know her comment came from a place of hurt and frustration, I also want to be sensitive to not write anything that makes someone as upset as she was. I tried to glean any wisdom from her comment and move on. But it also kept me from writing more. I felt bad that my words made someone upset. I write on here to connect and help others.

Ok- anyway, long disclaimer 🙂

I just wanted to check in and let you know what life after IVF with donor egg is like a year later. Guess what? That specificity of how my baby got here means nothing. I forget about it and have to remember to start saying her origin story when I am putting her to sleep. I do this so her coming from a donor egg is just commonplace for her and just a nice bedtime story that she can do with what she chooses. For now, sharing the story as I slowly put her to sleep just fills me with pride and gratitude. She is perfection and we fought our way to her. She is my dream baby and I will forever be grateful. I marvel at every little bit of her and soak up this time.

So there you have it. My so good, very fortunate life update. Sending my love to all of you.

Different Paths

I know there are many different types of readers with different stories who come here.

I wanted to check in to clarify a few things after a fellow blogger commented on an old post.

One: not everyone gets a ‘happy ending’ in this hell of a road. I get some people have to choose to live again instead of circle around in this purgatory. That takes more strength and grace than I even have. My heart is with those of you who are forced on this path and find a way to cope and even truly thrive.

Two: there is way more to life than being a Mom. You can contribute to society, find happiness and healing and meaning in so many other ways. I get that and I know that. I hope that you are able to feel that even in the darkest of times.

Three: being the Mom of an own egg IVf baby and of a donor egg baby (life’s greatest gift) there is zero difference to me between the two. If you are on the donor egg path or considering it, from this one perspective it is all joy and blessing.

Four: I don’t know you or your story or your pain but I do know you are not deserving of this IF/ RPL road. No one is. I hope you don’t feel alone. Lots of love.

The hardest becomes the gift

***parenting after IVF Donor Egg/ I fertility success post. Please only read if that topic makes you feel good or hopeful. Guard yourself if it doesn’t.

 

I was waiting in a doctors office this morning: my toddler anxious and grumpy and loudly sharing this mood and my baby too hungry and too tired to eat or sleep. I got a number of pitiful ‘good luck lady’ or ‘glad it’s not me’ glances but all I really felt was grateful.

I am so lucky to be in these stressful Mom moments. So beyond lucky I have two miracle kids that need me (at all moments lately). And on top of it all, so lucky that all I feel in the hardest of moments is lucky.

This road to babies was long and awful and sad and expensive(!!) and pure torture but darn it if it didn’t just set me up for a life of joyful moments even when by all accounts I should feel misery.

Oh so eternally grateful that science and third party reproduction worked for me. For us.

My heart and thoughts are with those of you still fighting. Ever minute of the wait and the fight is so so hard. But darn near every moment of the after is so good.

 

xoxo

It is worth it

***this post talks about continuing to try for a baby. If you are childfree/childless by choice or circumstance this is not a post for you. Also it is not in any way a reflection of how I feel that the strength and beauty your own path takes. That is another post for another day

 

To the gal on the other end of this post wondering if yet another injection/ ovulation test/ a ton of money/ more time and more vulnerable hope is worth it. Yes. Yes it is.

I cannot even count the number of moments in a day where I just think ‘I can’t believe this is my life’ and ‘I am so grateful to be their Mom’. It truly happens over ten times a day. I tear up and think about the 10+ failed IVF cycles and many losses that brought me to my successful donor egg cycle. I am grateful for each and every one because it brought me here.

If you have that desire deep inside you, keep fighting. (If you are in a place where the fight causes more harm than good I would never ever call this giving up just taking care of yourself). Each failure is leading you to the joy. Leading you to the million moments of gratitude.

I just felt inspired to share with you that yes, it is indeed worth all that heartache, pain and money.

xo

I lied

That wasn’t my last post. As soon as I hit send I have had a few moments that sent me feeling.

Moment one: I used the restroom and had a flash of all the times I have done this before just praying and pleading I won’t see blood. The intensity of that emotion made me cry. The realization that so many are in the middle of this terrible phase made my heart ache. Ugh. Just ugh. The trauma is apparently still there.

Moment two: playing with my son and he says with his big beautiful eyes so wide and full of pride “your MY Mommy”. This made me tear up full of intense gratitude that Yes, Yes I am. I am a Mom and I fought so.damn.hard for that to be true. It then sent me almost buckling to think of those who don’t have a moment like that or may not have a moment like that. How unbelievably cruel Infertility is.

Anyway. I just wanted to share these two moments to those of you who have not yet unfollowed after my last ‘final post’. I guess thinking that I am ever ‘past infertility’ was a tad jumping the gun. It stays and it emerges in moments I cannot anticipate. Perhaps I do have a few posts left in me.

my love to all of you.

Bitterness

In the deepest depth of IF/RPL hell- you all know what this is way to well- the moments after the call from a clinic saying you are not pregnant, the moment in the hope filled ultrasound room when you see the look on the doctor’s face, the moment when your friend posts a cute pregnancy announcement exactly three months after her wedding, the moment you stare down a new batch of IVF meds and wonder how you can keep doing it. In those moments I had one promise to myself: not to become bitter. I was ok with being sad, really sad. With being mad, really mad. With frustration, jealousy, all of it. Just not bitter.

Bitterness grows deep inside you and makes you a different person. A darker person. It ages you and wears you down and puts a dark veil over everything. Avoiding it was my one big promise to myself. It is not easy. Having to sacrifice body, mind, wallet and sanity to claw your way to something so many easily obtain can suck the life out of you. Reading news articles about really terrible mothers with five kids can make you scream. 

But bitterness eats you up inside. It plants a seed of being the victim. It paints a picture of you vs. the world and can make you even more isolated than this journey makes you feel.

Those that procreate easily did not choose this fate for us. A mean God did not pick us to suffer more. The world did not band against us to make life hard. Similar to how cancer does not discriminate, neither does Infertility. We simply were unlucky in fertility. It is not our fault but it is not anyone else’s fault either. Don’t let the way the world around you seems to move on without you make you feel like it is against you. It isn’t. Even your annoying Aunt who keeps asking about when a baby is coming, or your best friend who knows your struggle yet still harps on about how hard it is to be a Mom to three kids are not against you. They are at worst innocently naive and caught in their own world.

So let yourself feel angry and sad and frustrated and just deflated. But don’t let it make you bitter. You are not battling the fertile world, you are battling the shit that is Infertility. You are making yourself resilient and empathetic and compassionate through this fight. Don’t let it take the core of who you are. 

Instead, let it define you as someone who can weather the worst and resurface better. That part is a choice. It may not feel like one and some moments self defeat and sadness is all we can muster. That is ok. But don’t let yourself down the rabbit hole of being bitter. Fight that. You are not Infertility or RPL. You are a simply an amazing woman who happens to be facing IF/RPL. 

Sending my love to all of you.

Why does it feel right?

This post is for those of you pursuing third party ways to have a baby. It talks about parenting after successful DE IVF so only read if it will add to your well being.

I just want to share with you why I am so at peace, well actually so beyond thrilled and happy, to have gone this route. I know it is daunting to wonder what having a baby is like without a genetic link and I want to share how I feel about it.

My little miracle DE baby girl is almost 5 months. I have had a chance to soak in the beauty that she is, revel in the fact that she is here and hear lots of comments from others about her arrival. You know, the well meaning “she looks like you” (she doesn’t) or the also well meaning but less tactful “is it weird she isn’t ‘yours?” ( she is). 

Literally all I feel about her is gratitude and joy. The comments about her genetic origin don’t actually really register because it is EXTREMELY clear to me she is all mine and my truly meant to be baby. The comments about her looking like me are just amusing.

It is crazy how what we want and need changes. I now cannot fathom why I tried with my own eggs for so many cycles when this precious gift was just patiently waiting for me. It is hard for me to conjure up why I cared about my eggs being used at one point. Truth be told, I never cared that much but the fact that I even delineated between ‘where the egg came from’ seems silly to me.

As I wait for her to wake up each morning, it feels like I am opening up the greatest gift over and over. I have no clue who exactly she will become but I do know she is truly MINE.
Xo

A moment that haunts me

**trigger warning: threatened ‘P’ loss talked about***
Commenting on another blogger’s post got me thinking about a moment that still haunts me. When I stumble upon this memory, I still get flooded with lingering shame and emotion.

Early on in this donor pregnancy, after hearing a heartbeat and suddenly taking a breath, I was getting ready to head out for some Christmas shopping with my sisters and Mom. I felt a small cramp followed my an intense cramp and sat down on the couch to rest for a moment. As I was leaving, I stopped to pee and suddenly saw the toilet fill with blood. Like lots of dark red blood. I just knew it was over.

I called to my husband and when I saw him I slid off the toilet sobbing and fell to the ground. Between desperate wailing sobs I kept saying “This has to be a nightmare. Wake me up. Pinch me. Help. Please help. I won’t be ok. This can’t be happening.” The look of fear and despair on my husband’s face as he tried to console me is etched in my mind. I was not ok. I did not think I would be ok. It was a terrible awful and horrible moment of weakness. It is also one I flash on when I read about other pregnancy loss.

You see, I was for some reason miraculously spared. I have no idea how but that pregnancy was ok and led me to this baby. My miracle. But so many aren’t. Yet so many women have to still be ok. They have to face a loss and still get up and go to work and take care of those around them and watch the world go on like nothing happened. I cannot fathom the strength it takes. 

Yes I have had previous losses. Three of them. But all were so early I really was never allowed to hope. I knew better than to think positive pregnancy means baby. But I did think heartbeat on a genetic tested embryo meant baby. For me it did. But for others it doesn’t.

As we head into this season of triggers and intense family images everywhere, please know if you have had to face this, I am thinking of you. I am honoring the loss you have to live through and grieve daily. I honor that lost dream and life taken too soon. I am so sorry you have to find a way to move thorough it and past it and so often just sit in it. Sending you my love today.

Family matters

This past Thanksgiving I was home with my Mom and many sisters and all our families. It was so great. The way they reacted to our little miracle DE baby was so heartwarming and beautiful. They all just adore her, tear up just talking about her and fight over who gets to hold her. It is healing and lovely and glorious.

It really got me thinking about this whole IF/RPL journey and the importance of extended family support. I have never known anything different than a hugely supportive and amazing family along for the ride. My Mom and sisters are extremely sensitive and loving and took care of me so well along the way. They were so careful not to say anything too triggering, checked on me all the time and my sisters all continually offered to be a surrogate, egg donor, anything I would need. My husband has an Aunt who is a doctor who helps people navigate grief (and also went through IF/RPL) so I could call her when I needed to for free counseling. She is also the only person my husband would talk to about it at the beginning. The rest of my husband’s family did mostly well throughout the process, even though they have little experience with this pain.   Reading about some of your families makes me realize I may have taken this for granted.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have to go through this pain while navigating a family that doesn’t support you, has triggers and land mines everywhere and is judgemental. My goodness that would understandably put someone over the edge. 

I guess my point in writing this was just to say if you are going through this with a less than supportive family, my heart goes out to you and my respect for the strength it must take is endless. I am happy to be a source of support and a place to vent if you need it. Just comment below and I will give you my email address. Would love to be there for someone who needs it.

Xoxo