National Infertility Awareness Week: A Guest Post – Maria’s Journey

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the IF We Believe! Blog Carnival!
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly IF We Believe! Blog Carnival
hosted by Arpita of Up, Down & Natural.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of other wonderfully brave mama’s
who

participate in this Carnival, and share their stories of infertility!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I started trying to get pregnant for the first time I was convinced that I was infertile. It was completely irrational but after decades of being told that unprotected sex leads to pregnancy, I thought that without any birth control and plenty of sex, I should have been sporting a lovely round baby bump. I was pretty sure that I was timing things well, but after 5 months of trying and no pregnancy it was time to start charting my cycles. Three months later I ended up with the word “pregnant” staring back at me, I laughed at how completely ridiculous it was to think that I was infertile.

After an uneventful and healthy pregnancy, I delivered my first son, Gavin. My husband and I agreed that we were going to try for a second sooner rather than later since I certainly wasn’t getting any younger and he is 8 years my senior. As soon as my cycles returned to normal, I started charting again and a few weeks later I was dancing around my living room with Gavin in my arms and tears of joy filling my eyes. I was so excited to be traveling the road of pregnancy again. Such a thrilling adventure was about to begin.

That adventure came to a grinding halt a few weeks later. I began bleeding. I scoured the internet for every story of hope, misdiagnosis, and bleeding that turned out to be okay. While I certainly found a few, my story ended with a wad of soggy tissues and a tear stained face. I miscarried naturally at what should have been 7 weeks. My doctor said there was no reason that we couldn’t try again right away and a few cycles later we had another pregnancy on our hands. This time I was excited but nervous. I had known the sad truth that not every pregnancy ends with a baby in my arms. I clung to statistics that told me that it was unlikely that I would have another loss. Then, it happened. Again. I started bleeding and my pregnancy tests went back to being negative. It was over and I was heartbroken. I was broken.

Again, a few months later I found myself looking at another positive pregnancy test. This time there was no joy. No real excitement. I causally tossed the two lined test in my husband’s lap and said, “Don’t get too excited.” The fact that pregnancy was no longer something that I celebrated was a defining moment in my journey. Just like the others, this pregnancy didn’t progress and I miscarried. I was getting so tired of the ups and downs but more than that, I felt so unique and alone. I knew people in real life that had a loss, maybe even two but not 3, 4, 5, or 6 in a row.

I again started scouring the internet in search of possible causes, diagnosis, solutions, and mostly hope. I joined communities of women who struggled with their fertility. This has always been a very awkward situation for me. It is like going to a singles bar where everyone is in search of their one true love and I am the woman who has been married 6 times but things “never quite worked out.” I always want to offer a shoulder to cry on but I find myself worrying that they will think, “What can she know about being infertile? That girl is looking at a pregnancy every couple of months.”

Then there is the other issue. I had an adorable son. I never thought of my son as an “issue” before but when it comes to the world of infertility, having a son was like showing up at that same singles bar but this time with my husband. I almost felt ashamed that I didn’t struggle to have Gavin. My heart ached for those still trying for their first child. I knew very well how powerful that desire is for children. I could only imagine having month after month pass with their periods dashing all of their hopes and dreams yet again. Coping with the emotional devastation of watching everyone else around them start and grow their family as their feet are firmly planted on the starting line.

In the end, I think that trying to differentiate the emotions that go along with infertility, secondary infertility, miscarriage, or recurrent losses is the equivalent of trying to say that being a quadriplegic is better or worse than being blind. The situations are all unfortunate but they don’t have to destroy us. To anyone suffering form infertility, regardless of your personal twist, know that you aren’t alone. Even if there doesn’t seem to be anyone who understands your pain, who can give you the right answer, or can make it stop hurting so badly, there is. It may be hard to turn to God when the pain seems like it could all be prevented by Him, but with faith and prayer, he will give us what we need.

In recognition of National Infertility Awareness Week, please say a prayer for all of the moms, present and future, whose lives are affected by infertility.I am Maria, a 34 year old stay at home mother of two boys. My second baby boy followed a string of 6 early miscarriages. I am faithful that despite my losses, God’s plan is perfect. I am now prayerfully trying for baby number 3. Follow my journey at Life, Loss, and Other Things Worth Mentioning. I am also on Facebook and Twitter.

A very special thank you to I Thought I Knew Mama for giving me the opportunity to guest blog.

 

Visit Up, Down & Natural to find out how you can participate in the next IF We Believe! Blog Carnival.  Please take time to read the submissions by the wonderful carnival participants who so bravely write about their paths to motherhood, or how infertility has touched them.

You said WHAT?!

            Arpita @ Up, Down & Natural lists the 10 things you should NEVER say to someone Trying to Conceive – AND what to say if someone says one of these hurtful, inconsiderate and downright rude things to you! 

The Thought of You – My Journey to Motherhood

            Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama shares her journey to motherhood from her very first thoughts of baby through his arrival.   

Like Gets Like

            Arpita @ Up, Down & Natural writes about ancient traditions of different cultures which support the theory that spending time with new borns may increase your own fertility.  Hormones are a funny thing! 

After Rock Bottom

            Kat @ Loving {Almost} Every Moment ~ When you hit rock bottom, you sometimes find the peace and strength you’ve been lacking…

EAV Acupncture and Moxa for Fertility

            Arpita @ Up, Down & Natural writes of and reviews treatments you can add to your acupuncture for fertility to enhance the effectiveness and overall sensations. 

A Skeptic’s Guide to Acupuncture

            Dionna (aka Code Name: Mama) guest posting at Natural Parents Network ~ Curious about acupuncture for fertility, but skeptical of the practice? Read some simple tips from a fellow skeptic – Dionna (of Code Name: Mama) guest posts at Natural Parents Network.

Easter & The Elusive Egg

            Arpita @ Up, Down & Natural shares the story of the origin of Easter!  Fertility is the reason for the season! 

Me and My Infertility

            Team Baby CEO @ Go Team Baby!  Describes how infertility challenges you, but strengthens you by requiring at all times that you be the advocate for making your dreams happen, one treatment at a time.

My Inner Granola

            Granola Girl @ My Inner Granola writes of her journey to natural conception and healthy living.

National Infertility Awareness Week: A Guest Post – Maria’s Journey

            Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama hosts a guest post ~ Maria of Life, Loss, and Other Things Worth Mentioning shares a beautiful post detailing her heartbreaking journey through infertility on I Thought I Knew Mama’s blog.

Be sure to read all the wonderful Guest Posts on Up, Down & Natural on April 30th of the stories of families who have been touched by infertility.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christina Simon April 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

It’s sharing stories like these that help other women get through infertility struggles. Great post!
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2 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama April 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

So true! Thanks, Christina!

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3 Natural Fertility April 29, 2011 at 11:00 am

You have an inspirational story, with your experience you still get to see those people who are not lucky enough as you, because they are still struggling to have their first child. Having known that you are pregnant, the first thing you should do is to take extra care of your self since the first trimester of pregnancy is the most crucial stage you may make it or lose it. There had been many ways now to help you deal with this problems and I found this site that may be helpful. http://www.natural-fertility-prescription.com/
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4 Jessica | Cloth Diapering Mama April 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Thank you for sharing your story on Charise’s blog! I’ve been through loss, also, but feel so blessed to have 2 healthy boys. My heart goes out to those trying to start a family with open and empty arms. Wonderful post.
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5 Maria May 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Thank you. :) I was thrilled for the opportunity.
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