There Are Good People in this World

You see, early last winter, I decided I wanted to start a personal blog. Freshly started in graduate school and navigating my second year of marriage and my second pregnancy, I looked forward to the second trimester after Christmas and planned to blog about embarking on my crazy “adult” adventures. I had my second miscarriage before the end of the year, but despite that, I still went live with my blog on January 1st. I befriended random people, people with writing or publishing connections…on occasion, though, I would type “miscarriage” into the topic search bar and look for other bloggers out there who had been through what I’d been through.

And that’s how I met ACalmPersistence.

I followed her blog for a while, super paranoid that I would somehow be “found out” by any family or friends following my blog if I commented personally on her entries, so I tried to be as generic as I could while reading her struggles with medicated cycles and cysts. Finally, though, I decided I wanted to reach out. Desperate for a connection with someone, anyone, that wasn’t a friend that felt bad for me but didn’t understand a bit of the pain I was feeling. It’s funny to think that about six months ago, I was nervous about reaching out to someone about this…knowing what I know now of the RPL/IF community. About how desperate we all are to find that particular empathy that is difficult to find anywhere else. I reread the email over and over and over, wondering if she’d be mad at me for contacting her, wondering if it was inconsiderate of me to mention my own losses as if by comparison, wondering if she would even want to talk about it with me. A complete stranger. An “internet person.”

I was wrong.

What followed was a good string of at least five, if not a few more emails back and forth. I was just starting to navigate my way through the world of RE’s and infertility testing and procedures, and I was terrified and missing my babies. She was in the midst of it and was more than willing to offer advice, and to share her experiences, and just be a generally nice person to me. It was a relief. It was she and another blogger that I became friends with for different reasons (who then suffered her first miscarriage shortly after I started following her) that most likely led to the creation of this blog. I realized that there were others out there like me, suffering in silence and bearing a pain we can’t see or touch. I realized there was a place for me.

And these months, following my second miscarriage and during the seemingly never-ending four months of testing and procedures, held the darkest days I’d had in a while. I was struggling. And getting on Twitter and WordPress, even anonymously, honestly helped me heal. And it all started with her.

And Saturday afternoon, after a few hours looking at houses with my husband, we return home to find a package sitting on our doorstep. What waited for me inside brought me to very literal tears.


“I believe in this for you!” ❤

A little light-up ladybug, a envelope marked “Dear Friend” with a card and heartfelt note written inside, and finally the piece that actually made me catch my breath: a little teething ring/rattle. The very first actual baby gift I’ve received in my life.

I was overwhelmed. I knew something might be coming for me eventually, as she’d obviously asked for my address several weeks earlier, but this…this…I was not expecting! I let out a yelp, as I was sitting on my bed resting when I opened the package, and my husband came in asking what was in it. When I showed him, he just smiled. I told him who it was from and he said, “She didn’t need to do this.” I couldn’t agree more.

But she did.

This, coming not even 24 hours after she announced on Twitter that she’d confirmed her fourth loss. My heart, although happy and thankful, was breaking for her. For someone to be going through her own struggles and yet still take the time to reach out to someone else and root for her the way she has for me…words can’t do my gratitude justice.

I’m sorry, this is an awfully mushy-gushy post. But I feel like I owe it to her. I owe it to her to let you all know how lucky you are to have someone like her as a friend in this community. She truly is a one of a kind person.


Where I am: CD10
Medications: Ovidrel @ 10PM
Symptoms: bloated, headache, all the ovary feelings

Oh man, what an emotional roller coaster of a morning today.

It’s 2:00PM as I start writing this, and I am exhausted already!

As you saw last night, I was falling apart at the seams yesterday. Luckily I was able to fall asleep shortly before midnight and mostly sleep through the night (had one nightmare, don’t remember what it was, but jerked me right out of sleep so hard I sat up). Up early this morning, shower, woke up the hubby because he likes to come with me, and off we went.

The tech recognizes us by name and face now, and asked about my Clomid history as she scanned over my ovaries (exclaiming right off the bat that I definitely “had something going on”). I reminded her about the cancellation, and after that she got really quiet and I got really nervous.

I’m not 100% certain on all of these numbers, not sure I’m remembering correctly…so the ones italicized could be wrong but aren’t off by more than 2mm, and the ones un-italicized are definite numbers I remember:

LO: 11mm, 13mm
RO: 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, 20mm

My heart dropped when she told me these measurements. I thought I knew the call that was coming: “You’re too high risk for multiples…we’re going to have to cancel…”

So of course I took to Twitter and moped, and of course so many of my lovely friends on there reassured me that my RE would let me go forward with it and if he didn’t, that I should do it on my own anyway.

Well, I’m on my way down to lunch a few hours ago and my damn phone rings! I felt like I was going to pass out from sheer terror. Every word out of the nurse’s mouth before “Dr. O says if you’re comfortable with the risk of multiples…” was torture. When she finally explained the risk of twins, and that I had to verbally consent and all that jazz, I let out this huge sigh and said that yes, I was willing to take the risk.

Holy crap.

So, for sure, I have a 20 and a 17…and I think she said 19? Maybe another 17? Honestly, I forget. I know for sure I have a 20 and a 17 and that’s all I need. Perfectly-sized juicy egg-filled follicles.

I trigger tonight, we do timed intercourse tonight, tomorrow night, and Friday night, and then I start my progesterone suppositories on Saturday morning. This puts my OTD at July 2nd, and since I’ll be on vacation I’ll have to stick with an HPT instead of a beta (although should it come up positive, the nurse did say they would probably want me to go to a hospital or clinic in DC or VA to get repeat bloodwork done, since I won’t be back for another week after OTD).

So, it looks like I’m not sleeping the rest of the work week! Since hubby works until midnight, I have to stay up and wait for him to come home. But it’ll be worth it! I can’t believe this cycle is happening! I really, really hope this is the one that sticks and sticks and sticks and brings me a lil’ baby next March!


Long Island, Father’s Day, Whoremones, and Monitoring Week

Where I am: CD8
Medications: none (finished Clomid last night)
Symptoms: whoremones, twinges/pulling in left ovary and maybe right?

First, the obvious: Clomid is over and done. Only two sleeps until my first (hopefully only?) monitoring appointment to see how my follies are coming along. Fingers and toes crossed black and blue that there’s a perfect amount for me to try this cycle. Continue reading

Recognizing NIAW

National Infertility Awareness Week is going on right now, as I type this. Millions, I’m sure, of women around the globe are posting to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, facts and personal stories about infertility. Many have “come out” as infertile to their friends and families as a sign of unity, of recognition, of raising awareness.

While I would love more than anything to be one of those women, I’m not ready. It’s as simple as that. The last year has been harder than any other struggle I’ve had in my life, and I’m not ready to expose that pain yet. I’m not ready for the questions. I’m not ready for the sympathetic looks. I’m just not ready.

One day, though—hopefully one day soon—I will join these brave women. I will be open about my infertility, my pain, and hopefully my success. I will help the rest of us, the 1 in 8’s, raise awareness about infertility. I will join in and make sure that everyone I know learns what it means to have that diagnosis. But until then, I will just have to recognize NIAW in my own way, and show support for those like me the best way I can.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve always known that I would have problems with fertility.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always said the same thing: “I want more than anything to be a mom. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t have children.” Maybe it was my mother’s endometriosis and subsequent hysterectomy, maybe it was the supposed burst ovarian cyst I was diagnosed with at the tender age of 13. Or maybe it was something inside that just knew.

In retrospect, it doesn’t matter, I guess. I went through life, expecting to have children. As I got older, I would say how nervous I was about finding out I couldn’t have kids, acknowledging my endo mother and—though I had not been diagnosed—fearing the worst. But I never really thought I would have trouble. I thought I would be one of those obnoxious people who’d say that they were worried and then magically had no problems conceiving, no problems carrying.

I verbalized my fear all the time, but I don’t think I ever really felt it.

Not until last May, when I had some spotting less than 2 weeks after getting my positive pregnancy test. Not until the nurse on the 24/7 hotline said she was recommending I go to the hospital because it was my first pregnancy and I had yet to have an ultrasound. Not until I called my parents to come pick me up, as my husband was out of the state for military duties.

Not until I was ransacking the mess in my bedroom as I looked for my medical insurance information, getting changed out of my work clothes into something more comfortable. I was sobbing hysterically and repeating, “No, no, no, this can’t be happening, no, no” to no one in particular. That fear of not being able to have a baby was realized in that moment. It became more than words, it became a reality. My reality.

The last year…I don’t know how I made it to 2014. May’s bleeding led to a diagnosis of a blighted ovum, missed miscarriage. I spent the summer trying to drag myself out of a dark, miserable hole of depression and anger. I withdrew from my friends and family. I cried…often. I got pregnant again in the fall, and with each passing week I felt more and more like that first miscarriage was a mistake. It was just a glitch in the system. Something had been wrong with the embryo, not me, and this time would be okay. The ultrasound at the halfway point between eight and nine weeks reassured me of this and I felt like I was in the clear. Everything was fine. I was fine.

Then Christmas Eve’s NT scan revealed that everything was not fine. This sweet little thing that my husband and I had created…this little being that had a heartbeat, and a head, and almost arms and legs, was gone. That little heart stopped beating. And I felt like mine would, too.

I spent the winter worse off than the summer. I didn’t leave the house save for once or twice for an entire two months. I spent my days on the couch, zoning out in front of the TV and eating whatever the hell I felt like eating—when I wasn’t incapacitated by such an intense grief that my sobbing made my throat raw. I went through the motions with my brand new Reproductive Endocrinologist, getting testing done and finding this, that, and the other thing wrong with me. With every test came bad news in one form or another: uterine polyps, a finicky thyroid, a blood clotting issue, an overactive pituitary gland. With each one I felt beat down even more, like life was taking a metal bat to my body, hitting me until I was on the ground and then hitting me some more once I was down. It was relentless.

The worst part was realizing it wasn’t a mistake. There were things wrong. I was wrong. My body was failing me at the one thing I probably would kill for, if it meant my body would do it right. The one thing I wanted more than anything else in my whole life—more than a job, more than some dream house, more than anything.

This one thing I wanted. And my body was betraying me.

But I made it through the winter. I made it out of the darkness, both literally and figuratively, and I’m on the other side of that loss. There isn’t a day that goes by that my stomach and arms don’t feel empty and aching, but I have my eyes trained on the future. And I don’t think I’d be able to do that without the amazing support system I have.

My husband and my parents are amazing. They are nothing but understanding. My husband is always telling me how strong I am, especially when I am feeling my weakest, and how much I’ve amazed him over the last year with my resilience. My parents are there for me for whatever I need. A ride to a procedure, a hand to hold at a doctor’s appointment, you name it. My mother tries not to cry when she tells me she wishes she knew how I felt so she could tell me it gets better, that she knew how to fix it.

And then, there’s you. There’s the women I’ve found on WordPress and Twitter, who’ve had miscarriages or been diagnosed with infertility, who find it in them somehow to keep moving forward, to keep trying, to keep hoping. These amazing, strong ladies who comfort me when I’m feeling lost, who encourage me when I approach a new treatment for the first time (or have to stick myself with a needle for the first time, in a bathroom stall at school), who empathize with my pain and my fear and my anger and my resentment. Women who don’t judge me when I can’t face a friend who’s accidentally pregnant and due within weeks of when my little one would’ve arrived; women who understand that sometimes, the grief and the emptiness overcome you and you just can’t be positive and upbeat that day; women who can tell you “Try to think good thoughts” and other similar phrases without sounding condescending.

It sounds mean when we say to people who aren’t infertile, “You just don’t get it.” But there’s no escaping that truth. In the same way a soldier returning from war tells his friends and family who eagerly want to know what went on over there: “You just don’t get it.” We can’t know what it is like to be overseas, on the front lines, guns blazing and bombs detonating. Just the same way people not diagnosed with infertility can’t understand what it’s like to see a negative pregnancy test over and over and over, or to feel your body changing as a life grows inside of you only to have it taken from you for unknown reasons, or to have to endure countless blood draws and needle sticks and pill schedules and painful procedures, and the waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

It’s why I’m here with my chin up today. It’s why I think I can face another year of more tests, more procedures, more methods—if I have to. I’ve found this group of women who, when my husband or my parents can’t, will understand what I’m going through. The appreciation, the gratitude, the overwhelming emotions associated with knowing I have these women to turn to—there are not enough words in the world to thank them.

I find strength in your strength. I find hope in your hope.

Thank you. ❤