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

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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

Remnants

It is so interesting how this Infertility road leaves random remnants. Emotionally I am so great on the other side. I feel like the horrible lows dug deep ditches for joy and gratitude to fill over. It is truly a gift.

But there are still unexpected consequences. Having to pursue such dramatic methods to have children meant incredible expense and lingering deep debt. We are ok with this. My husband and I have no regrets and feel like it is a million times worth it. But– it means no vacations or added luxuries. Once again- fine with us but it can add a tough dynamic with friends. When our friends plan outings or trips that cost money we have to opt out. We haven’t wanted to share that money is the reason because we felt like keeping that burden to ourself. But I think we may need to share it. I am afraid our friends are going to think we just don’t want to join them for the weekend in Napa. Or we aren’t prioritizing time with them out on the town. I would hate to lose good friends over our current financial situation. My husband is pretty private and has preferred we not make our financial matters other people’s business so to speak.

Welcome thoughts on this lingering financial situation. As always- I have such gratitude that this is a ‘problem’ I am facing when so many are facing the real problem of finding a way to a baby. That is never lost on me.

Quick Check In

Hi there. Just wanted to check in for those readers that are pursuing donor eggs or considering donor eggs and that is why you follow me. **trigger warning** this is about parenting after a successful donor eggs cycle.
My miracle girl is now 3 months and absolutely everything about her feels perfect. Like she was just patiently waiting to be born to us while I had all those failures and losses. Like she was absolutely meant to be in my arms. The donor part of the process matters absolutely zero bit. Except it makes her that much more miraculous. 

She looks nothing like me and everything like herself. Her beautiful, happy, adorable miracle self. 

So for those of you headed down this path. Rest-assured that it is a beautiful one❤️❤️. Any bumps up ahead seem hard to imagine but the joy she brings will outweigh any potential questions or concerns. My goodness she is my heart.

Xo

Milestones 

As I approach another birthday I am oddly having major flashes of my previous three birthdays. One where I was stimming during yet another IVF cycle- feeling bloated and yucky and unable to eat or drink or be fun. One where I had just gotten the call that yet another beta was dropping and I would soon miscarry. One where I was on my tenth round of BCPs suppressing my ovaries and trying so hard to feel hopeful but instead just feeling defeated and silly.

It is tough to relive. Even tougher to go through. Milestones like birthdays and holidays are just rough when you are still in the trenches. Still waking up with dreams unfulfilled and longings deepened. It is a reminder you are still stuck and still left behind. You feel like you need to celebrate the milestone or holiday but in reality you just want time to pass, unmarked until this is all over. You know you should live in the moment. And you try to. Even occasionally able to. But then the weight of it comes down again. Another announcement, a big belly passing you in the grocery store, a comment at a party. And it is all just so exhausting. 

As I approach this birthday my focus is on sending love and light to those still facing milestones with a heavy heart. I know how it feels and I will never forget. Can never forget. Xo