If you read my last post on My Quarter Life Crisis you’ll see I gave a not so subtle hint that this past year I have been dealing with a situation that I have had very little control over. Before I dive too deeply here, I want to let whoever may be reading this know that this is hard for me to talk about. I apologize if we are close and you are reading this feeling surprised or even hurt that I haven’t confided in you regarding our struggle. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually a lot easier to post this from the safety behind my iPad then tell you face to face.
I was inspired by two very braves ladies that I went to high school with (shoutouts to Mary and Heidi!) who pioneered posting their personal stories on their own blogs. While reading their stories I felt comforted knowing that I was not alone in my journey towards motherhood. Even though each of our journeys are vastly different, the message was loud and clear: you are not alone. Topics surrounding fertility struggles, miscarriages, infant loss, IVF loss, among others are so stigmatized. And yet so many people struggle or have struggled with these issues. I am sharing our own story in hopes to spread infertility awareness.
So here it is–our story:
My husband and I have been talking about having kids since our first date. We wasted no time getting to know the details: does this person want kids? How many? When do you want to start having kids? We were unanimous. We both wanted lots of kids (3 to 4 is how we defined “lots”) and we wanted them before we were 30 (at least the first couple anyway).
After we got married, we wasted no time trying to start our family. The first few months were fun and exciting! I remember going apple picking in the fall, and Ryan said “isn’t it crazy that this time next year we’ll have a baby with us?” We were super nervous, but oh so excited! The first few months I would calculate our future baby’s due date and brainstorm cute ways to tell our parents the awesome news. “we can surprise them at Thanksgiving!”, “we’ll buy them Christmas gifts ‘from the baby’ they’ll be confused at first but then excited once they realize!”, “Valentines day will be the perfect time to tell them”… and so on. I was optimistic and hopeful. At the end of each month however, I started to feel myself getting more and more disappointed.
And then around the end of February, my mood starts to shift. “It’s been 6 months..” A quick Google search, shows me that 80% of couples conceive by 6 months–and then doubt creeps in. Is there something wrong with me? With us? So I do a bit more Googling and my nerves are calmed–It can take a perfectly healthy couple up to a year to get pregnant! Okie doke, great, so we’re good, no worries. But wanting to speed up the process a bit, I started following all the recommendations I could find. I ate healthier (even gave up sugar for a while–so hard to do!), I was already tracking my cycles, so I became more diligent and educated on the topic, I started exercising regularly, I downloaded a couple fertility apps, and I got in touch with an OT friend who also sells essential oils. She taught me a class, and I learned that tons of beauty & cleaning products contain toxic ingredients that can actually disrupt hormones and even cause infertility. Sayyyy what?! Outraged, I logged hours of research and even started teaching multiple classes a week while using essential oils daily (still use them daily for the record). I became hyper-focused on being healthy and for a short time the essential oils industry was a great way to distract me from our struggle.
A few more months pass and meanwhile it feels like everyone and their sister is announcing their pregnancy. Facebook and Instagram become a dangerous place when you are trying to conceive. I started to get bitter.. “It’s not fair! Soandso got married AFTER us!” I sounded like a whiny child–as if I was waiting in line for ice cream and others cut the line in front of me. But that’s what it feels like sometimes. Sometimes it feels like we are waiting in line, and I have no idea if we are up next or if we should grab a seat and get comfy because we’re going to be here a while. **Please note: to all my pregnant friends or friends with babies– I really am happy for you!** It’s just that watching other people get the only thing you want and having no control makes it So. Damn. Difficult.
Im sure some people will read this and think “get over it lady–it’s only been a year!” But a sweet friend of mine said to me a few months back that “you become a mother the moment your heart has the desire for it.” That resonated with me. So here I am. Just a Morkie Mama (and now mother to 6 baby chicks! 🙂 waiting on our human baby and trying to navigate through my quarter life crisis.
This past year has helped me learn that there are some things I just can’t control. And learn that ultimately the best things in life are worth waiting for. Our story is far from over, and I have 100% faith that my husband and I will be parents one day soon.
Sharing this is story is uncomfortable for me. And probably TMI for you. But I hope it will help chip away some of the stigma of the “taboo” topics that women are “not supposed” to talk about publically. Struggling with fertility can be a very isolating journey, and we don’t need to go it alone.