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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Our Path to Parenthood

Dear Lady, 

I will never have words to thank you for the physical and emotional suffering you are enduring for our family. You are the strongest person I have ever known. Always remember how proud I am to call you my wife and how deeply loved you will always be. 

All my love, John 

I don't share too many personal bits here on the blog. I tend to keep the content light, fill it with pretty things and not indulge too much of what is going on in our life outside of travel. However, today that is all about to change. A few weeks ago I read this quote "If you're afraid to write it, thats a good sign. I suppose you know you're writing the truth when you're terrified" and ever since then I have had a strong urge to write and share the incredibly challenging journey me and my husband have been facing for the past year and a half to become parents. The above words from my love might just be my greatest gift I have ever been given...unconditional love and devotion when you literally feel you are at your worst.  It arrived on a day last week where I was falling apart emotionally and physically and was just the lift I needed to power through. Our story is below. 

It all started around late Spring 2015 as we approached four years of marriage and decided that we were ready to start trying for a family. We tried and tried the good old fashioned way for ten months when we found out in April that I was pregnant. It was by far the happiest moment of my life, staring down at several tests of two little pink lines made my heart so full.  I couldn't believe all our dreams were coming true and that I was going to be a mom. Then a very two short weeks later I miscarried and all of that baby happiness was robbed from us. I was completely crushed. There would be no telling our moms on mothers day they were going to have another grand baby, no turning the guest room into a nursery, no gushing to my friends that I soon would be part of the ever exclusive mom tribe. It was all gone and I felt filled with guilt and empty at the same time. After a horrible ordeal of getting the pregnancy completely out of my system we were put on a "trying to conceive" hold by our doctor. We were told to go enjoy our summer and discuss next steps in September. So while we tried to indulge in the simple pleasures of summertime there was always the pain of our loss lingering in the back of our minds. We didn't tell too many people which made for a very isolating experience. I felt alone and sad but unable to talk about it. Would I be judged for being overly sad at an early pregnancy loss. Would expectations be put on me to get back to normal if I had opened up. It felt safer to keep it all in and only share my story with a few close friends and family. I felt angry that my body failed me and my husband. I felt as a woman I was supposed to be able to create life, I was supposed to have control over my body, we are supposed to be able to turn the men we love into father's. Instead I had zero control and felt utterly helpless. It is by the far the hardest thing I have ever faced. 

So there we were again, in a holding pattern. The ultimate waiting game. It kind of feels like you are in a dream where you are running as fast as you can but aren't going anywhere. We started all sorts of infertility testing, making sure I was healthy to proceed with trying for another baby. IVF seemed to be our best option and after everything came back looking good we were off on our first round of hormone shots, numerous doctor appointments and the hopes that we would create a baby. Being a newbie to IVF, I truly believed that if I just did everything the doctor told me that it would work. I lost weight, I worked out several days a week. I gave up drinking, caffeine and anything else they told me that could be harmful to my ability to reproduce. I did everything I was told only to find out round one was a total failure. We retrieved seven eggs, only one fertilized and after genetic testing came back with chromosonal imbalances. That one little embryo baby I already was so fiercely rooting for wasn't going to be a viable pregnancy. So yet again we found ourself in another waiting game. A hold to start the next round where the shots are more often and the meds are stronger. I often find the waiting to be the hardest part, first it was waiting to see if your pregnant, waiting when you are pregnant to get good news from a dr. waiting to heal from your pregnancy loss...waiting, waiting, waiting.  For anyone who knows me it should come as no surprise that I truly need to work on my patience. 

I wanted to share my story as a way to reach out to other woman who may have been also experiencing loss of a pregnancy or fertility issues. While I would never wish this on any woman to ever experience I have found so much comfort in connecting with others about their own journeys to start a family and wish I had known them sooner. I know sharing their story publicly isn't for everyone but I promise to keep your privacy and just want you to know you are not alone. Please feel free to reach out to me if you ever want to talk. If you are interested in following our journey I will be sharing updates on our journey via instagram and occasionally back here on the blog. 

Quotes of comfort and a campaign that I have found friends with similar stories can be found here. If you know of anyone experiencing a pregnancy loss or fertility issues check out these cards or some of the quotes I found below. Offer them your ear. Tell them you are there for them. Reach out once in a while and let them know they are loved. Believe they need all the tenderness they can get.  

passages like the one below can be found in this book 

i woke up thinking the work was done
i would not have to practice today
gone were the moments i'd
split into tears because my past cracked open

how naive. to think it was that easy. 

healing has no end point
no summation
no finish line to cross
healing is everyday work
the act of dedicating the self to 
surviving what happened to me

-rupi kaur 


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