No News is Not Good News – Fertility Update

I’ve been really hoping I would be able to share with you guys good news this summer regarding my fertility struggles, but it still just hasn’t happened for us. We thought that the surgery I had in April was the answer to our problems, but it’s been five cycles since surgery with no luck.

I told myself that I was going to enjoy the summer and try not to think about getting pregnant too much, but in all honesty I have not done a very good job with that. It’s literally impossible for me to stop thinking about how badly I want another baby and the cloud of infertility is weighing heavier  than ever.

Our official diagnosis is “unexplained secondary infertility” AKA “we have no clue why you can’t get pregnant again.” We’ve been through all the tests and everything comes back normal. The maddening part of this diagnosis is that treatment consists of doing nothing or doing EVERYTHING. There isn’t an effective in-between.

The emotional roller coaster of infertility is exhausting and taxing. Each month starts out with hope (doctor says there’s nothing wrong – this is our month!), then anxiety about whether or not you are timing things “right,” then frustration and worry during the TWW (two wait week) and finally overwhelming sadness, confusion and depression when it doesn’t work. Again.

I want off this roller coaster so desperately.

The hard part about having secondary infertility is that you don’t have the same help open to you if didn’t already have one child. Doctors are very hands off because they just assume you are still fertile because you’ve had one. You don’t get the same emotional support. I tried to join a local infertility support group, but was told it was insensitive for me to be a member since I already had a child. Finally there’s no way to escape the baby scene since you’re already entrenched in the mom life. It seems like all my friends are pregnant or have newborns. I am SO happy for them, but it’s also hard to see pregnant bellies on a daily basis.

I know I shouldn’t complain. Many women have it way worse. I really am so thankful to have Lila. It’s still painful though.

I’m not going to be writing here much about our treatment plan. I have been told by several people that I shouldn’t share that part of this journey because people have very strong opinions about fertility treatment. It makes me sad that there’s still shame and judgement around infertility. This is a medical issue, not a personal failing or a sign of my character. At the end of the day, we need to make decisions based on what’s best for our family and I can’t let myself be swayed by outside opinions.

Speaking of opinions…. If you want to help support me or any other friend/family member going through infertility, the best thing to do is just to check in regularly to see how things are going and offer your love, support and prayers. Let us talk about the details of our cycle or treatment (we don’t have anyone else to talk to usually and our husband’s are tapped out by this point).

Check in on big days (like a doctor’s appointment) to offer support. I have a wonderful friend who brought me flowers last month when I got another negative. She hugged me and cried with me, and she herself is pregnant. That meant the world.

Things NOT to say include:

- Just stop trying and it will happen. (The worst! That’s basically saying because I want a baby so badly I am in fact preventing myself from getting pregnant. Nope.)

- Maybe this is God’s plan for you. You should just pray more. (I pray A LOT about this and I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t want me to just give up and be miserable. I’ve asked him to remove my desire for more children if that’s his plan for me, and that desire is burning stronger than ever.)

- Just be patient and it will happen. (How do you know? Do you read the future? Have I not already been patient? So many questions with this one…)

- Have you tried XYZ? (Yes, I’ve tried it all. There is nothing you could recommend I try that I haven’t already.)

- You want one of mine? My husband literally looks at me and I get pregnant! (Congratulations.)

- Why don’t you just adopt? (There’s no “just” in adopting. It’s a very long and expensive process if you want a healthy infant (avg 2 years and $40k), and it has to be the right thing for each family.)

- Lila really could benefit from having a sibling. There’s going to be so much space between her and a sibling now. (Literally what I cry about at night. Thank you for bringing it up.)

Saying nothing at all. (If you think avoiding the topic with me will protect me, please know that is actually worse. I would rather you say all of the above to me than just pretend it’s not happening. This is consuming for me and it is a huge disconnect when you don’t acknowledge it. And please don’t hide your happy baby news from me. I appreciate you trying to protect me, but it hurts more to realize infertility is now also affecting my relationships.)

If you’ve said one of the above to me, please don’t take this blog as a dig. I know you are just doing your best and it’s hard to know what to say when you haven’t experienced something first hand. See, we’re all growing and learning together! :)

I’m sorry if this post is a bit snarky. It’s not me, it’s the infertility talking, I swear! I’m still holding out hope that soon I will have positive news to share with you and this nightmare will be over.

Until then, I’m doing my best to handle it.

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Dear Lila: You’re Two and a Half!

Dear Lila,

You turned two and a half last month and what a joy you are. A friend asked me yesterday what age I like best so far and I told her “every age gets better and better.” So far 2 1/2 is a lot of fun.

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I love this age because you’re still little enough that you say and do things not because you think we’ll be entertained by it, but just because you want to. This means you say and do a lot of REALLY cute things without even knowing it. Like when we asked you to “put your arm around Reagan for a picture.” lol

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We all have to laugh because for some reason you talk with a southern accent. This little twang you have going is seriously the cutest. Some of your southern sayings include:

– “Mommy can we go bye-bye sumpin’?” (Can we go out somewhere today)
– “Gon do mommy?” (what are you doing mommy)
– “A nudder one please?” (can I have another one)

Since you’re still learning to talk, you say some really cute things that I just don’t have the heart to correct. You call women “he” and men “she,” and anything that happened in the past is “last years.” As in “last years I ate ice cream” even though it was just last night.

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I joke with daddy that you’re similar to an ornery 85 year old man because you are very set in your ways and want everything done a particular way. Your bedtime routine must go in the right order or you’ll be the first to call us out for missing a step. You’re also really into doing things “by myself!!”

Daddy recently took the side off your crib so you can climb in an out on your own. You were so excited by your newfound freedom that we had a bit of a transition period while you learned that you still had to sleep! One night Daddy and I were watching TV at 10pm (you go to bed at 7:30), when you casually came downstairs decked out in your dress up clothes – tutu, bunny ears and jewelry.

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Speaking of dress up, your imagination has gotten very creative lately and you’re doing more and more pretend play. We absolutely love to hear you talk on your fake phone or have breakfast with your “friends.” Sometimes you even set a chair just for me, which melts my heart.

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One of the sweetest developments you’ve gone through these months, is the ability to name your feelings. You tell me when you need space, feel frustrated or are sad. On the flip side, you also tell us frequently and unprompted that you “lub” us very much. You have extended this love to your grandparents and family as well. This text came in from Mimi while she babysat the other night.

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You’ve been having a fun summer so far. I scaled back with work so I can spend more time with you. We go to the park, to 577 gardens, to the grocery store and of course, to the pool. You love showing off your “tricks,” which entails jumping off the edge and going under. As soon as you pop back up (thanks to your puddle jumper), you squeal “again! again! again!”

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Ladybug, you are the light of my life. I say prayers of thanks every day that I have you while I struggle to get pregnant again. My hurt hurts way less when I have you to play with or hug. You tell me often that “Mommy is going to have a baby. Not now, but soon!” and I hope you are right, because I know you’d be a wonderful big sister.

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You teach me new things about life every day and I feel immensely grateful that I get to be your mommy. Thank you for being my little bug.

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Love,

Mommy

Costco Gift Bag Giveaway – $190 Value!

Update: Congrats to MacKenzie who was the lucky random winner of the giveaway!

Since the weather has gotten warmer, I feel like we’re finally able to experience our neighborhood. Our neighbors are outside, the farmer’s market up the street has started for the summer and we’re venturing out to experience more of the local businesses.

One of the things I love about living in Perrysburg, OH is that it is a thriving, family-oriented community that seems to be growing and developing like crazy. A new development that we are especially excited about is the new Costco going in.

We personally have not been Costco members before, but after hearing about all the natural and organic options they offer, we are planning to become members. I was really happy when Costco reached out to me to help get the word out about their grand opening.

Costco Perrysburg Grand Opening

June 11 at 8:00 am

25400 N. Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, OH

Become a member ahead of time at their temporary location: 4130 Levis Commons Blvd. Perrysburg, OH 43551

They graciously sent me some natural products to try like a big bottle of avocado oil, some natural Jenna Hipp nail polish and Kirkland all-natural body wash. Costco also offered up a giveaway for you guys that include a gift bag with some of their best organic, natural products, valued at $190!

Here’s whats included:

Costco Giveaway

  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Variety Snack Nuts
  • Surface Wipes
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Almond Butter
  • Coconut Oil (2pk)
  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Albacore Tuna (8pk)
  • Jelly Belly
  • Macadamia Nut Clusters
  • Paper Towels (12pk)
  • Steak Strips
  • Unsalted Fancy Mixed Nuts
  • Organic Salsa (2pk)
  • Peanut Butter Pretzels
  • Body Lotion
  • Chocolate Covered Almonds
  • Apple Sauce (24pk)
  • Microwave Popcorn (44pk)

Pretty great products if you ask me! To enter to win the Costco gift bag*, just leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite Costco product. The giveaway will end on June 5 when a winner will be chosen at random.

Good luck and see you at Costco this summer!

* You don’t have to live in Perrysburg to win the gift bag – we’ll ship it to you where you live. 

Disclaimer: Costco provided me with product to try and the gift basket to giveaway. I only write about companies and products I enjoy and believe it. 

Mother’s Day 2015

I had a lovely Mother’s Day this year. It started the night before when I was rocking Lila before bed. She said “Daddy and I drew you a picture! It’s for you!” I asked her if it was for Mother’s Day and she said “Yes!” before settling back down.

The moment I woke up, my sweet husband handed me a decaf, breve, latte that he had gotten up early to run out to get. We laid in bed sipping our coffees just enjoying a slow morning. This a rare treat as Luke is an early riser who abhors just “laying” when there are things to get done!

Then Lila woke up and bounded into our room. With a little prompt from her dad, she said “Happy Muders Day, mommy” and gave me a big kiss along with the picture she drew me. We spent the morning playing tea set and dress up until it was time to go to church.

My mom and dad met us for mass, and while a bit roly poly, Lila made it through the whole hour without a hitch. Small victories here people!

After mass we headed over to brunch at Toledo Country Club. I was so impressed by the brunch they put on! Endless amounts of food from smoked salmon and shrimp cocktail, to duck in raspberry sauce and beef tenderloin and eight different types of dessert. I chose cheesecake with ice cream of course.

After brunch we milled around outside at TCC taking in the beautiful view of the river and green grass, while Lila and her cousin Reagan chased each other around, working off their ice cream rushes. We snapped these pictures to remember the day by.

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When we got home I took a short nap until my mom texted to see if I could join her at a movie. We saw Age of Adeline, which we enjoyed. I can’t reiterate how nice it is to be able to see an impromptu movie with my mom on Mother’s Day. This is why we moved home in a nutshell.

Still stuffed from our mid-day brunch feast, I got a night off from cooking dinner. Lila munched on some cheese and lunch meat, and Luke whipped up a giant bowl of coconut oil-popped popcorn for us to enjoy while we watched a documentary.

As I rocked Lila before bed, she lifted her head and said “I had a nice Mother’s Day with you.” My heart melted and I told her “I did too sweetie. You know, I always wanted to be a mommy, and when you were born, my wish came true.” Lila smiled and said “Just like in Cinder-rellie!” :)

During the whole day I felt loved and cherished, which is all I could ask for. I was worried I may feel a bit of sadness this Mother’s Day, by thinking about the pregnancy I lost this year and the subsequent struggles to conceive, but it really didn’t enter my mind.

I thank god often for giving me the gift of Lila before I entered this struggle with infertility. Going through days like Mother’s Day while dealing with infertility before having any children would be devastating, and my heart aches for the women who felt that on Sunday.

Being a wife and mother has always been what I’ve wanted most for my life. I just always knew that motherhood, while inherently challenging, would bring with it the most joy I would ever feel. This Mother’s Day, that joy was present in everything we did.