This is the most raw and emotional post for me yet. I’m just sharing my journey, heartbreaks and all. I’m just sharing my journey so far 10+ years in the making . I wanted this to be a happy, upbeat post, but it is not. I am having to face with the realization that as much as I want to be a mother, that may not happen…
Infertility has become such a dirty word in our society, it makes one feel isolated and alone. But in fact about 10% of women in the US aged 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant, or staying pregnant according to the CDC. (https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/infertility) The definition of infertility is a not being able to conceive after a year of trying. While that is not the case for me, we have not been actively been trying for a year, we stopped preventing in the beginning of this year and just recently started paying attention to “predicted ovulation”. Cue the Blue “wondow” below
As you may recall in some previous blog posts I have endometriosis which can affect fertility in a big way, and I’m also 31 which is getting closer to that “geriatric age”. I’m not sure why I expected getting pregnant would be so easy for us and it would happen fast. But it’s not. I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to be a mother, I’ve based every career choice on that, or I could work part time, so I could be there when the kids get home from school, or my ultimate career choice a stay at home mom. For me personally it is something that I would want for my children, I want to be there when they get home from school, going on fun trips when they are not in school, and always being there for every practice and game like my mother was for my brother and I. So at the age of 20 when I found out I had endometriosis and was told that it was now or never to get pregnant, I had a lot of decisions to make. I knew getting pregnant at that age and where I was in life was not the best decision for me and my baby. That was not how I wanted things to happen. If I could control the situation I wanted to be in love with the father, married, have a home, let just throw in a white picket fence too. That was my vision. Now there is nothing wrong if you have a different vision of what your family looks like this was my “dream”. I have friends and families who have different situations and it works for them, and I support that 100%! With the knowledge of knowing what a struggle it may in the future, and the possibility of it never happening I decided I would just the universe take control. The universe brought me my dog, Bentley, who really is my first child. I adopted him after my endometriosis surgery when I was depressed and thinking I may never have a baby on my own. He has always been treated as my baby, and really thinks that I am his birth mother. He got me through some dark times, and is my mini me. He loves everything that I love, running, tanning, wine, yup even wine, I told you he is my child. This may be making a lot of sense to people who have been following me for a while on instagram of why he thinks he is a human child and is baby obsessed. And yes, he is ready for a sibling of his own, preferably a human hahah. This is when the universe then lead me to meeting my future husband, who is an amazing fur dad and hopefully one day my baby daddy.
I’ve been on what I consider “pregnancy prep” for almost 10 years, detoxing my body from birth control and other hormones I was prescribed for endometriosis, my endometriosis is dormant, eating organic, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising daily, and researching the crap out of pregnancy. I know all the do’s and don’ts, I can feel when I ovulate so what is the deal! Why am I not getting pregnant?!
Well for one thing did you know that there are only 6 days during your cycle each month, 5 days leading up to ovulation and the 24 hours after. This is because sperm can live up to 5 days in a woman’s body, but the egg can only be fertilized 12-24 hours post ovulation. (https://www.yourfertility.org.au/everyone/timing) Ok so there is the science behind it, sounds easy enough, well you don’t always ovulate on the same day every month. In a perfect world in a perfect cycle of 28 days, day one starts the first day of your period btw, then you would ovulate on day 14. Some women’s cycles fluctuate monthly, due to multiple things, stress tends to be the number one reason. My cycle used to be 28 days, on track, could feel my ovulation on day 14, but since moving to a new state, starting school, and now adding on the pressure of trying to conceive after getting the all clear from my OBGYN my cycles have ranged from 28 days to 34+ days. Which just makes this process even more difficult.
After speaking to some friends over the past few weeks who are in the same boat as me, We are ready for children, we are trying. We are doing all the things. I’m talking peeing on ovulation sticks, tracking our temperatures, checking our cervical mucous, jumping our husbands when we ovulate (I mean what can be sexier than a woman telling her husband now its sexy time), laying on the bed with our hips propped up. ALL THE THINGS! But what is not talked about is how emotional this journey to mother hood can be. We feel isolated and failures as women, women are meant to procreate, so when it is not happening we feel that our bodies are failing us, that we are lesser than. Even with having a supportive husband or partners our bodies are really in charge of this thing happening, I mean my hubby would love to carry our child, but we are not seahorses. So yeah I am the one crying when I get my period. I am the one trying not to break down when people ask us why we don’t have kids yet. I get the questions, and ultimately my body is the reason. Every time we see a new pregnancy post we cry a little inside, now don’t get me wrong I am happy as hell for everyone getting pregnant, I know the struggle, but it still hurts my heart. It just reminds me of the journey I am going through. Especially for someone who knows the obstacles they are up against. And believe me I’m the first one there with the baby gift, my friends know that! I’m ready for the big baby bump that will make me feel like a whale, boobs so big they don’t fit into my shirts, peeing every 5 mins and let’s not forget the gas that baby brings. I mean isn’t pregnancy isn’t glamorous or what! I’m cool with all that so come on body let’s get this shit together!
What is hard too is when people find out we are trying to conceive and give us advice or “pep talk”, honestly we don’t need to hear that it took your friend years to conceive, and I don’t need to know the position that worked for you, I just need you to smile and give me a hug. I know I need to be patient and yes yoga and meditation should be on my baby planning schedule. But right now, I’m in the thick of it, I don’t see the end of the tunnel, I’m heartbroken that it hasn’t happened yet. It’s all I’ve ever wanted, just like you wanted that promotion, or that perfect wedding. I’ve wanted to be a mother, I’ve adjusted everything for this, all will continue to, because this is my goal, I can’t control it, but I will do what I can for it. Every month I get my period my heart sinks a little bit, and the voice in the back of my head that is saying infertile gets louder and louder. It just SUCKS. Right now we are just taking one month at a time, doing what we can to increase our chances, I’m considering the Ava Bracelet, because that could help a lot. I’m cutting back on HIIT and focusing more on my relaxing runs, weight training, and yes yoga and meditation (but let’s be real I have ADD and that shit is hard). Cutting out alcohol for both of us, cutting back on caffeine. Walking more, enjoying life more, and remembering why we are on this journey. And why I picked this man to be my baby’s daddy!
I’m not sure if we will look into fertility options if we are unable to conceive naturally. I do know I will not do IVF, my poor body and ovaries can’t handle that after all my painful years of endometriosis. I have done some research into IUI and that will be a conversation with my doctor when the time comes. I am open to adoption, but I know that journey can be just as heartbreaking since it can be even harder to adopt when you are infertile. That’s another story on it’s own.
But right now I look down at my wedding ring I am reminded of our vows, to have and to hold, to love through sickness and in health, and be by each others side as a best friend and confidant as long as we live. As much as I’ve always wanted to be a mother and days I feel like I won’t be complete without a child of my own I know that my marriage and the man standing next to me is enough for me. I am reminded that I married a man who loves me for me, and wants to create a family with me.