Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Struggle to Get Pregnant Part One

This post has been sitting in my "drafts" folder for about eight months. In fact, nine months ago I wrote, but never published, a post detailing my experience with infertility. It was one of the most emotionally taxing posts I'd ever written (I actually shed many tears while typing). Days after it was completed, I discovered I was pregnant (spoiler alert!). This post details my struggle to get pregnant. Unlike some women, it didn't take me years of trying and costly procedures. But, it did take a lot of faith and prayers. I share it not only to have documentation of how difficult it was to create little Juniper, but also to share the sort of positive and hopeful story that got me through my thirteen month journey to get pregnant. Also, because this is a longer than average post, I've broken it into two parts. Watch for Part Two to be shared next week!

In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted children. Yes, I went through that brief period of "I don't want kids. I want to be free," but I could never shake those dreams of a big family piled on the couch with a bunch of kids settling down for movie night, or sending them all off to school with a brown bag lunch (I've seen a Jif commercial or two), or dressing them up as little pumpkins for Halloween. For some odd reason though, I'd always known it would be difficult for me to become pregnant. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy or woman's intuition, but this suspicion rang true January 2015 when Erik and I decided to "let whatever happens happen" and start a family.

I'm a planner and a researcher. It's how I pretend to have control over things I have zero control of. I gathered nursery ideas, baby names, articles on breastfeeding-you name it. I was ready, whether God was or not. Sure, we were living eight hours away from our families, finishing up college, and working for minimum wage, but we'd known people with less start a family and they seemed fine...ish. We were eight months married and ready for the next step.

Isn't that the truth? January passed without our hoped for outcome, but we kind of expected that. February was no different. Nor were March, then April and May. By July I was a growing a bit anxious...and a little more serious. I prayed extra hard that month and downloaded a few fertility tracking apps. I knew July would be "our month"; after all, it couldn't possibly take more than six months for two young, healthy people to get the job done, right?

By August, little had changed, but that was okay. Erik and I were both officially starting our careers that fall-him opening his own practice, and me starting my first year as a teacher. September would be one busy month, so I put a pause on the stress and even ignored my tracking apps. But, by October we were serious again about this whole "starting a family" business. The two months off were good for me mentally. I figured God had given us that time off to focus on getting our careers off the ground. Surely He was preparing us for some good news in the coming months.

But as fate would have it, October ended with another big fat negative. November did too. I started losing hope. I thought, I don't deserve a baby. I'm being punished for this, that, and the other thing (good ol' Christian guilt, eh?). I started thinking about my marriage and how the inability to have children would affect us. I thought,

This will crush him. 
He deserves to have children. 
He would be an amazing father. 
It would be selfish of me to rob him of that.

He wouldn't leave me if we couldn't have children-he's not that kind of guy...I would have to leave him. Staying would be selfish. Funny, never once did I think he could be the cause of our struggles; it was always my body, my problem.

That November I started reading up on the dreaded topic of infertility. I even created a secret Pin board on the topic. I read every discussion board I could find, began taking prenatal pills, and cutting back on the coffee and booze (not that there was a lot to cut back on). I did it all. The one thing I never considered though: talking to somebody about my struggles. I'm a feminist. By no means do I equate the ability or desire to have kids with being a "real woman." But, I did fear that sharing my issues with another woman would lead them to judge me, or worse, pity me. 
So, I kept it all in.

Soon enough though, people began asking the inevitable question all newlyweds are asked. "So, when are you two having kids?" We responded in one of two ways: a.) "Hahaha, oh trust us, two dogs are plenty!," or b.) "We don't want children. Not even sure we like kids." Or something along those lines.

Worse than people asking when we would have kids were people telling us to a.) wait to have kids, or b.) never have kids. It would be an understatement to say this made my blood boil. Don't tell a woman what to do with her body. I know you mean well, but kindly f*ck off and worry about your own procreation-thanks. Second, we were already being forced to wait, so thanks for the reminder ass.

By December I felt like I'd tried everything! The one thing I hadn't tried yet were those ovulation tracker kits. I'd heard both positive and negative things about them, but figured it couldn't hurt to try, right? Even if they were thirty bucks a kit. "Maybe, just maybe," I thought, "I'm one of those women with an irregular ovulation cycle. Maybe this whole time I've been trying too early or too late!" Either way, I was excited to find out-this would give me the answers!

Sadly, day after day a frowny face indicating a lack of ovulation stared back at me. I left the bathroom crying more than a few times, especially when it came down to the final test and I was faced with more of the same. No ovulation detected...

1 comment:

  1. I think it's so brave for you to put this out there! It's always therapeutic to get these things off our chest and you never know who is reading and this will totally speak to them. So glad you ended up with your sweet babe - can't wait to hear the rest of the story!