Monday, April 22, 2013

Can you imagine?

With it being National Infertility Awareness Week, I've stumbled on some AMAZING blogs. Today I was reading Lauren's blog, let me tell you...It hit home! In her post, well....Let me just quote what she says..

"Can you imagine living month after month after month on an emotional roller coaster… hope, expectation, anticipation, and crushed dreams yet again?
Can you imagine wondering if there is something wrong with you?
Can you imagine finally seeing a little plus sign after so many negatives… only to have your child die within your womb?
Can you imagine leaving the maternity ward of the hospital with empty arms and an empty womb?
Can you imagine riding the roller coaster of “trying” again while also riding the tidal wave of grief?
Can you imagine each month taunting you and making you feel like a failure?
Can you imagine another purple plus followed by another loss?
Can you imagine enduring invasive, embarrassing, painful, and intrusive procedures all in an effort to figure out what’s wrong?
Can you imagine having to plan your trips to the store carefully so there’s no chance you have to walk by the baby section?
Can you imagine seeing rounded happy bellies every where you turn and feeling a physical ache inside?
Can you imagine receiving a phone call just two days before Christmas telling you and your husband that you will never bear children?
Can you imagine having to celebrate the holidays that year?
Can you imagine finally packing up your maternity clothes to donate, knowing you’ll never need them, sobbing all the while?
Can you imagine having friends announce their first, second, and third pregnancies all while you still wait?
Can you imagine missing someone you’ve never even met?
Can you imagine your best friend surprising you with her pregnancy announcement, then going to your car and weeping… and feeling guilty because you did?
Can you imagine listening to mothers complain about their duties while you sit with empty arms and a broken heart?
Can you imagine being asked constantly, “why don’t you have kids yet?” and forwarding the question straight to heaven? Yes, why God?
Can you imagine always feeling a little left out, a little on the outside looking in, a little not part of the club?
Can you imagine losing hope, giving up, and almost losing faith?
Can you imagine God piecing your broken heart back together in a way that never quite beats the same way again?
Can you imagine the bravery, the courage, the strength, and the trust that it takes to throw out your plans – to give up your dreams – to turn a new way and write a new story?
Can you imagine always feeling just a little bit broken… and that never really going away?"

Yea, it's tough and it's heartbreaking.... Can YOU imagine?! 

Again, I encourage you to share my blog, get the word out, support us and share our fight...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I am the face of infertility...

Today kicks off Infertility Awareness Week. 
To some it is just another week, to others this is your week to get the word out.. 

Did you know that Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed in 1 out of 8 people? 

Did you know insurance coverage for infertility is only available in 15 out of 50 states in America. Many lawmakers believe that including fertility treatments would raise the cost of insurance for everyone, when in fact, paying for fertility treatments may actually save money. When fertility treatment is not covered by insurance, couples may choose treatments that have a higher risk of triplets and other high-order multiples. IUI for example, is cheaper than IVF, but comes with a higher risk of multiples. 
Also, because IVF is expensive for couples, when insurance does not cover treatment, patients and doctors are more likely to transfer more embryos per cycle than they should. They do so in hopes of having success quickly, despite
 the higher risk of multiples. With single embryo transfer, many IVF patients can get pregnant with one baby at a time. However, because it may take a few cycles to achieve success, families are often unable or unwilling to give it a try when they are paying out of pocket.
I wish our lawmakers could see MY infertility bills and what we paid for 4 IVF cycles, which, by the way, are NOT refundable if IVF works on the 1st try. Oh, and that does NOT include the injections, which are also paid for out of pocket!!! )-:

    Myth: Infertility is a women’s problem.
Fact: This is untrue. It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of cases, and unexplained in 10% of cases. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.

Myth: It’s all in your head! Why don’t you relax or take a vacation. Then you’ll get pregnant! (I HATE HEARING THIS) 
Fact: Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system. While relaxing may help you with your overall quality of life, the stress and deep emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Improved medical techniques have made it easier to diagnose infertility problems.

Myth: Don’t worry so much — it just takes time. You’ll get pregnant if you’re just patient.

Fact: Infertility is a medical problem that may be treated. At least 50% of those who complete an infertility evaluation will respond to treatment with a successful pregnancy. Some infertility problems respond with higher or lower success rates. Those who do not seek help have a “spontaneous cure rate” of about 5% after a year of infertility.

Myth: If you adopt a baby you’ll get pregnant!
Fact: This is one of the most painful myths for couples to hear. First it suggests that adoption is only a means to an end, not an happy and successful end in itself. Second, it is simply not true. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.

Myth: Maybe you two are doing something wrong!
Fact: Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual disorder.
Myth: My partner might leave me because of our infertility.
Fact: The majority of couples do survive the infertility crisis, learning in the process new ways of relating to each other, which deepens their relationship in years to follow.

Myth: Perhaps this is God’s way of telling you that you two aren’t meant to be parents!
Fact: It is particularly difficult to hear this when you are struggling with infertility. You know what loving parents you would be, and it is painful to have to explain to others that you have a medical problem.
Myth: Infertility is nature’s way of controlling population.
Fact: Zero population growth is a goal pursued in a time of world overpopulation, but it still allows for couples to replace themselves with two children. Individuals or couples can certainly elect the option to be childfree or to raise a single child. Infertility, for those who desire children, denies them the opportunity to choose.

Myth: I’ve lost interest in my job, hobbies, and my friends because of infertility. No one understands! My life will never be the same!
Fact: Infertility is a life crisis — it has a rippling effect on all areas of your life. It is normal to feel a sense of failure that can affect your self-esteem and self-image. 

If someone has the courage to share with you their struggle with infertility, they've more than likely been through a long and difficult silence where they were afraid to share. The truth is, 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility so the only thing "different" about us is that we're open about our struggle.  If someone is confiding in you, they aren't looking for advice.  They likely have a team of well-paid MD's (that they're paying out of pocket for) giving them advice. They're seeking support!

So, just incase you didn't read the first part of this blog..

Maybe you do know that there is trouble in conception paradise. That doesn’t mean you have free reign to ask or say anything. Something you may think is a benign comment, might be incredibly hurtful when viewed through the infertility lens. So here’s a list of things you definitely shouldn’t say to a couple dealing with infertility or miscarriage:

  1. “So when are you going to have kids?” In case you skipped over the first paragraph!
  2. “I can’t believe you’re going to skip the holiday party. Even if there are going to be 12 pregnant women and 14 brand new babies. Suck it up! Don’t use guilt. We feel guilty enough already, but sometimes we have to remove ourselves from situations that can be devastatingly painful. Just let us deal with it in our own way and try to understand.
  3. “You’re so lucky that you all this free time! I swear I’m always… (insert complaint about your children here).”
  4. “You’re so lucky to have all this couple time! I swear we never… (insert complaint about your children here).”
  5. “You’re so lucky to still have your figure! I swear my… (insert complaint about your post-partum body here) sags.” Are we seeing a pattern yet?
  6. “If you’re meant to have children, it will happen.” Same goes with invoking God or any higher power. Infertility is a disease. You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer that they were meant to have it, now would you?
  7. “I’m so sorry about your miscarriage. Would you like to hold my adorable baby?” We may hold the baby, but we also may jostle her a lot so that she throws up all over your new boots.  You’ve been warned.
  8. “Just relax and it will happen!” Two things will go through our minds. First, why don’t you try sex on a schedule and conception by petri dish and speculum and see just how relaxed you are. Second, “Seriously? Seriously!?”
  9. “Why don’t you just adopt? Infertility treatments seem like such a waste when there are so many kids that already need good homes.” We may honestly answer you here. Adoption is expensive and not for everyone. Some people may not even meet the rigorous requirements of adoption agencies. So, we’ll probably tell you all this first. If you keep pushing, we may say “Why didn’t you adopt? Having a biological child seems like such a waste when there are so many kids that already need good homes.” I think you get the idea.
  10. “It wasn’t a real baby yet anyway.” Umm…. do I have to say more? No matter how early the miscarriage, a couple is mourning the loss of hopes and dreams. Be sensitive. 
  11.  Last but not least..  "Telling your infertile friend your pregnant.." 
After you've told her let her set the pace. Take your cues from her as to how much you should see each other and talk about anything, especially your pregnancy. She might need a leave of absence from you. Trust that she'll come back to you when she's feeling stronger. Please don't take it personally. Her infertility affects everyone, and that means you, too. You're one of many people whose lives are different because of it. Don't ignore her and don't forget her. Even as you give her space, send her notes or call occasionally to check on how she's doing, or to let her know you're thinking of her. Invite her to your baby shower, because being excluded sucks, but let her know that she doesn't have to come if it's too hard.

What should you say to an infertile couple during the holiday season? “I’m so sorry for what you’re going through and I’ll be hoping (or praying) that your holiday wish comes true.”  We may cry, but I guarantee we will love you for it.

I encourage you to share my blog, get the word out, support us and share our fight...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

13 weeks...2nd TRIMESTER!!!!

Finally! We have arrived! Hello 2nd trimester!! It's hard to believe that we are finally in a much more "safe zone" now. Another check off the ol' list.

Baby bump.....
These pictures make my day! (-:

Speaking of another check off of the list...shots! After 77 days of big ol needles in the booty, Holly finished her progesterone shots on Thursday. At this point the placenta should be fully functioning on its own and keeping the baby healthy. Another big step! Can you tell Holly was pretty excited to be DONE?!

We have 9 more days until our gender scan. Ohhh, we are so excited!! 

The other day I was going through our guest closet and sorting all my photography props and whatnot. I came across this...

A baby blanket my Grandma made me for right after we got married..almost 6 years ago. I've never been a huge fan of crochet/knitted items but my Grandma was AMAZING at crocheting these baby blankets. All the children, Grandchildren and even Great Grandchildren were given them. Shortly before my Grandpa passed away my Grandma had to quit crocheting because of the arthritis in her hands. A few years later she moved in with my parents and I saw her often. The day I found out that one of my good friends was having twin girls I knew I had to attempt to convince my Grams to make matching blankets for the little ladies that were on their way. Sure enough, Grams picked back up her crochet needles and 2 beautiful purple and white blankets were whipped up and ready for new babies to be cuddled in! She swore that those blankets saved her life. From then on she was always sitting in her chair, humming and crocheting away. Although our baby won't get a picture with it's Great Grandma, it will forever have this blanket that was made especially for him/her. 


Monday, April 8, 2013

12 weeks!

I cannot believe that we are 12 whole weeks along!! 12 weeks!! Almost through the 1st trimester! Almost 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy! Obviously I will never forget the day Holly sent me that picture of the first positive pregnancy test. Although it seems like it was just yesterday, some days feel like it was forevvvver ago. I know there is a ways to go but every week is a milestone in my eyes. One step closer to D-day!

 Look at that growing bump!!!

********Special Thanks to my Momma for taking her measuring tape to the store to measure the fruit out(LOL) and getting it to Holly!!

Only 15 more days until our gender ultrasound. Ohhh my fingers are crossed so hard with the hopes that we will be able to see what Baby L is!

We have some pretty awesome people in our life. People that have cheered us on this whole time, been our shoulder to cry on when needed and always lending words of hope and encouragement in times of need. Last week we got the cutest little gift from a friend of ours.

Babies first Christmas outfit! If you know my family, you'll know my parents own a U-cut Christmas tree farm that has been in our family for close to 30 years. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas working the farm on the weekends is all my family and I know. Such a fitting outfit and I can't wait to see it on Baby L! Thanks again, Melissa!

The other day I was having just a crappy day. We came home from being out running around and I noticed a package on our doorstep. Thinking it was the bedding I ordered that I've been waiting for, I noticed the box was a bit small for that. I realized it said it was from Holly. Hmmm, what is she up too? I opened it up and found this...

Oh my! I love it! I may or may not have had a little tear in my eye. Thanks again, Holly!!

Speaking of Holly, she is still doing great. Rarely has nausea and has her energy back. Although, the last few days might have been a bit more tiresome for her. Why you ask? She's a new Auntie to identical twin girls!! Holly stayed with her brother and soon to be sis in law at the hospital all night when they first started the induction and got only about an hour or so worth of sleep. 48 hours later Momma was taken back for a C-section but all is well and the little ladies are so stinking ADORABLE! 
Congrats again to Saray and Garren!!