• The “I” Word

    Date: 2013.02.25 | Category: Baby, Health, Me | Tags:

    I’ve been a bit stymied in my blogging lately, mostly because there were major life events going on that I couldn’t share. But I’ve come to the point where I’m ready to share them. I’m going to break this up into a few posts, so bear with me.

    I wrote this post several months ago. Only a handful of people knew we were dealing with this over the past year, and I wanted it that way. But then I thought writing all this out might help someone else who is struggling with similar issues.

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    I can’t tell you how many times I almost wrote about this topic for nearly 13 months. It’s something that’s hard to talk about and something I wasn’t sure my husband wanted me to share publicly. And then all the questions and guilt I carried – it was never the right time.

    But now that I’ve seen it through, I think it is.

    You see, for 13 months I struggled with being unable to conceive another child.

    In my perfectly planned mind, I knew I wanted my children to be two years apart. It took a little while to conceive Sarah, so we started trying for another one when she was 10 months old. Honestly, I didn’t think it would take too long. I’ve heard stories from so many mothers about how they couldn’t believe how easy it was to get pregnant with their second babies.

    But the months stretched on and on and no baby.

    I can’t tell you how much I cried over those months. I cried because it just wasn’t happening. I cried because I felt like there was this person in our lives who was missing. I cried over the guilt because I had one healthy child and knew so many women who can’t even have that. I ached with jealousy as women I knew got pregnant with their second, third and fourth children, or friends talked about trying for their next one. And when people would ask us when we were going to have another baby, I would take a deep breath, murmur, “I don’t know” and try to push it from my mind.

    And through it all, I felt like no one understood this well of sadness I was carrying in my chest. And when I shared what I was feeling, I often got the response, “well at least you have Sarah!” And believe me, I am a million times over thankful for my daughter. She is the constant light in my life that brightens even the grayest of my days. But that response would make me feel so terribly guilty that I just buried all that pain deeper.

    The other response I got was, “it will happen when you relax and stop worrying about it.” Not worrying about it was simply impossible. Try telling your brain not to worry about finances or a fight or a looming work deadline. You can tell yourself that, but it’s not going to happen.

    And then I started talking to Noel via e-mail. She and I had our babies within the same week of each other, and we were both experiencing secondary infertility.  I can’t tell you how many anguished conversations I shared with her, and I never felt judged or hurt, but comforted, especially when discussing what the “next steps” were.

    At 11 months of trying with no baby, I set up an appointment with my doctor. When I saw her, she couldn’t believe we were struggling so much. I do have some physical factors that make conceiving more difficult, but nothing that should prevent it completely. We talked about options.

    I knew before going in that there were things I was unwilling to do. Personally, IVF was not an option for us, neither was artificial insemination. Mark was against hormone pills even, but he ultimately left that decision up to me. My doctor was against me jumping into Clomid, not because it’s bad, but because I have a history of cysts and that medication could create serious problems for me.

    So we did some hormone tests and after talking to the nurse about natural options, I became acquainted with Basal Body Temperature tracking. (For those who don’t know, a woman’s body is different temperatures at different points in the month, and a jump in temperature indicates a fertile time period). We decided I’d track my BBT for two months, then meet back with the doctor to discuss Clomid in more detail and whether or not it was a good option for me.

    About that time, Christmas was rolling around and I had a lot to do. My friend Katie wrote a really great post on “Be Still and Know That I am God” and I really took that on as my mantra. Anytime I would start to get wound up, I’d repeat, “Be still. Be still,” and slowly, it started to work and calm my nerves. Over Christmas, I was able to completely enjoy myself, have wine and truly rejoice in both the season and my family. I began my temperature charting shortly after Christmas and marveled at how amazing the female body is as I plotted my points along the graph and became more in tune with my own body. I got caught up in how interesting and amazing it all is.

    I tried not to obsess, but to learn, and so I did.

    To be continued.