Fur Babies and Other Coping Mechanisms

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s! We had a very chill holiday season mostly spent at home with just the two of us. Jason was sick for a lot of it but to be honest we also didn’t really feel like being with a lot of people.  The holidays are (of course) full of family events and as happy as we are to see our friends’ families growing, it’s kinda just…

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Ya….that! So we stayed in a lot.

December 8th was supposed to be our transfer date…obviously, that didn’t happen but it’s been on our minds a lot. I was supposed to be pregnant. Even if the embryo didn’t stick for long and it didn’t turn into a real pregnancy, for a short time there would have been an embryo inside of me. We were supposed to find out if we were pregnant right before Christmas. I’ve been thinking about that all month.  But it is what it is.

A lot of you have asked how we are doing. Thank you for your consideration! We’ve taken time to mourn but we’re trying to stay positive. I’m proud of us though, I think we’ve been handling this hurdle a lot better than I would’ve expected. I’ve only cried a couple of times, which I think is pretty awesome, especially as my hormones readjusted from those crazy shots! 😉

And how have we been overall during our almost 4 years of infertility? I can’t do a lot of speaking for Jason,  but for me personally, the first year or two of our infertility every month was full of heartbreak. I bawled at every negative pregnancy test, every diaper commercial, anything and everything that reminded me that I didn’t have that perfect miracle I so longed for. I gave flakey reasons for why I couldn’t attend baby showers. I unfollowed facebook friends who were eagerly posting every step of their pregnancy or child’s growth because I couldn’t handle yelling at the laptop screen anymore. I couldn’t hold babies because then I would probably start crying and feel stupid.  At this point, no one new about our troubles conceiving except for our two best friends, and even they didn’t know a lot, so of course we couldn’t expect others to be more sensitive or tip toe around us because they didn’t know what was going on. It was rough–very much a private hell.

Generally, I am not at that stage anymore.  I can have conversations with my friends who are moms and focus my energy on my genuine  happiness for them. I might change the topic sooner than later, but I can talk to them now. I can walk past the baby section in stores and dream about the  future again. Some days, I will snatch babies right out of mom’s arms and  squeeze them and snuggle them for as long as mom will let me. It really is an accomplishment for me and I think that I’m lucky to be at this point. I don’t think infertility is something that gets easier over time and I know several people who have been facing infertility longer than I have and the pain is still just as raw for them. I don’t consider myself stronger than them for “handling” this better than them. Quite the contrary! But I am grateful for whatever it is that has gotten me to this level of peace.

I can’t pin-point when or what exactly got me to where I am.  There are little things. Jason gets me flowers. We treat ourselves to a nice meal. We sing or play our instruments (guitar for him, harp for me) and listen to music. Sometimes I need a glam night and just look my best–if you look hot, no one expects that you’re disabled or infertile, and you feel better, right? Works for me at least!  We have game nights with our family, movie nights with our friends, and social retreat nights being hermits at home. Some how along the way, things have gotten easier. There wasn’t a magic fix but I know a big part of where I am today is because I have been very blessed with certain angels in my life.

jase

Of course, I  have to start with this handsome fella! On the 9th my man turned 28! Whoa. So old. 😉 He is my best friend, the love of my life,  optimistic, smart,  spoils me, a hard worker, handsome, funny, sweet, what keeps me sane…I could go on and on about why I love him, but I’ll just summarize by saying he is incredible and I’m so blessed to have him. I thank my lucky stars every day that he’s my hubby!

ish

I have a lot of wonderful, supportive friends in my life that I am so grateful to have, but a special shout-out goes to this gorgeous lady. She  has been my BFF for nearly 14 years now. We’ve been side by side through it all and we are better for it. I didn’t think it was possible for her to be a better friend to me but she constantly does! For my health problems, she  shows her support by researching the issues and remembering them, sometimes better than me. For instance, this year she sent me beautiful flowers and the most amazing note. What was the occasion? My two-year anniversary of being diagnosed with MS. I didn’t even remember that milestone, but she did! That’s best-friend-of-the-year material right there!  She knows when to listen to me pour my heart out. She knows when to take me out to distract me from them.  She is there for me no matter what and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Since we’ve become more open about our infertility, we’ve found others who are going through similar situations. It was a hard transition from keeping everything a secret to sharing all about it, but being able to talk to others who can relate to us personally is just priceless. We’re able to get advise about doctors, information about procedures from a patient’s point of view, and bond over our trials. I especially love our facebook support group. There are so many fabulous people who I’ve never met but feel so close to!  This month alone three women facing terrible odds for conceiving have announced that they are pregnant. If they are finally getting their miracle, then we can too! Here is the link to the group. It is private but if you are in a similar situation, please join!!

Speaking of social media, I’m also grateful for all the blogs and websites that teach about the physical causes of infertility and those that share their personal perspective on it. I’ve done a lot of online reading and it makes all the tests and procedures a lot less scary when you can learn and understand more about them then just what the doctor tells you. We keep a list of sites and blogs that we have appreciated. I love them all! And I hope that our little blog can bring similar hope to others and not as an invitation for a pity party for us. This blog and everything with it comes from the heart and we share to inform, educate, and to help others.  Since we are trying to keep this blog as real as possible, you will hear about our ups and downs and the feelings that come with it. Just know that we are trying to be sincere, not just for attention 🙂 Even when (note the hope!) we are past our infertility and parents to some wonderful children, infertility is always going to be a part of us. We won’t forget the struggle, even when we have moved from it. Hopefully we’ll be able to help others in the same way.

And since we didn’t have a newborn baby to cuddle with, we adopted a fur baby!

whisperfurrbaby

Whisper is our spoiled little cutie pie that we rescued 3 years ago. She’s smart, entertaining, and so so sweet. She is very precious to us and a key part of our family.  I love that she adores us just as much as we do. She loves keeping us company and falling asleep nestled in between us. We’re a little obsessed with her…shh…we’re not crazy cat people! But if we love this kitty this much, I can’t wait to see how much love we’ll have for our child!

These are some of the ways we’ve been able to handle the hardships of infertility. What are some things that have worked for you? Do share!

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