Infertility. No one thinks it will happen to them. In reality, fertility – something we take for granted – is a miraculously coordinated orchestra of hormones and timing. In couples suffering from infertility (IF) a part (or parts) of the orchestra are not playing in key. Just one wrong note makes the seemingly simple task of procreation extremely difficult.
I can’t believe I’ve been at this for six years or how much I and my blog have changed in that time. I started as a heart broken, angry infertile and many of you have followed my journey to the now – 3 kiddos, a SAHM, and a wonderful network of gently parenting blogger friends. I struggle sometimes with blogging. I can’t always write everything I want. I struggle with finding balance and with being a perfectionist. But, honestly, I can’t imagine my life with out this space of mine called Baby Dust Diaries. Thank you for traveling along with me on this road less traveled.
Highlights by year:
In 2006 I turned 31:
At midnight tonight I turn 31 years old. I have never hated my birthday before. I’m not the type to get upset at getting old. I wouldn’t be 21 again if you paid me (unless, of course, you paid me enough for IVF! ). However, this birthday just makes me want to cry. I don’t want a birthday or a birthday cake or any festivities. I want a BABY!
In 2007 I hit rock bottom. I have hidden the few posts I wrote because it wasn’t me. You can read a synopsis here. I think that rock bottom was a necessary part of my infertility journey. By 2008 my husband and I had survived the hardest times in our lives and our marriage and decided that we weren’t going to let infertility take away each other. I had overcome the darkness,
I feel so blessed now by my rock-bottom landing and bounce back. Not only has it given me back my long-lost and much needed faith in God but it has had many other blessings.
One is a wonderfully renewed marriage. More about that later.
I am amazed to find I feel no jealousy toward mothers or pregnant women! I am free from that oppressive, dark emotion. I feel overjoyed for them – they are being given (or have been giving) a wonderful gift! I have several pregnant friends and I truly feel joy for them – not forced joy.
I wonder if I’m ready to be around or hold a small child? That one still scares me very much. Just thinking about holding an infant makes me feel this deep, dark, hole of pain in my chest.
But my hole of pain was about to be filled! In February of 2008 and I sent off my application for the IVF grant Partnership for Families in my essay The Big Beg (still my favorite post of all time), found a support group in Still Waters. Of course the darkness still tried to invade in my dreams.
Of course I didn’t know that until June 1 when I had my first positive HPT
(those damn things *do* turn pink!)
The rest of 2008 was one of the best times of my life. Being pregnant when you thought it was something that only happened to other people is like wining the lottery. Every day I talked to Aellyn and we danced together in the shower. I loved her so much long before she was born.
In 2009 I finally became a mother. It was so worth the years of waiting and all the tests and all the shots. My baby girl was so precious and perfect. I kept waiting to hate the first few months as many of my friends had but with Aellyn nursing like a pro and sleeping cuddled right next to me my “babymoon” was bliss not stress (not that I didn’t have my moments). Is was in early motherhood that I found I had a passion for parenting issues like gentle discipline, breastfeeding advocacy, andvaccine choice.
Not one to rest on my laurels I did my frozen embryo transfer in July of 2010 while alsocontinuing to talk about breastfeeding rights. This time I found out I was blessed with TWINS!! It was not an easy pregnancy but in February 2011 my beautiful baby boys, Asher and Boston, were born at 32 weeks.
Later in 2011 I made the very difficult decision to quit my job after months of discrimination and harassment at work. It was a horrible circumstance that ended in the best blessing of being a SAHM. My life is so full now with this,
2012 is going to be a beautiful year. Follow me while I explore un/homeschooling, gentle discipline, fat acceptance, and healthful natural eating and living like my Oil Cleansing Method, Lavender Rosemary Shampoo Recipe, Make Your Own Toothpaste, Make Your Own “Vicks” Chest Rub, and healthy, REAL food recipes like Sweet & Salty Cherry Almond Bars (Chewy too!), Make Your Own Mayo and Never Look Back!, or Cinnamon Flax Banana Bread.
Thank you for being an important part of my life. If you are reading this please know you are a part of my village and I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you and here’s to 6 more years!
What is Baby Dust?
Baby Dust is a wish of good luck for a woman who is trying to conceive. It is like saying break a leg for an actor or merde for a dancer. You say “baby dust” as a good luck wish. I named my blog that in part to make fun of the concept but also secretly to bring some good luck my way! I would have done anything to get pregnant and almost planted a sprouted potato under a full moon!
How to support a friend with IF
You are not an expert in conception. Having a viable pregnancy does not make you an expert in this. Trust me, your IF friend has read more books and knows more about conception than you could ever hope to know.
RELAXING is not a medical treatment for IF.
IF is a medical condition treated with a wide array of treatments none of which include a pillow under the hips!
Don’t offer us your eggs/sperm/uterus. This is like me wanting a porsche and you offering to let me drive yours. If I ever want to drive your porsche I’ll ask.
Don’t assume I will fall apart if you tell me our mutual friend is pregnant. I might fall apart but you will only make it worse by going on and on about how “I didn’t want to tell you but…” Just tell us like ripping a band aid off.
Forgive me for making excuses to get out of baby showers and other events featuring pregnant women or babies. Sometimes it hurts too bad and a well planned excuse is just an act of self preservation.
IF treatments are intensive, sometimes painful, always emotionally taxing procedures. This isn’t like getting a splinter removed. If your friend has a procedure – CALL and ask how she is doing at least. Flowers and chocolate are also appreciated.
Fertility drugs can make you crazy. Erratic behavior is expected, please understand. Imagine your worst PMS then multiply it by 1000 then imagine it is happening during a devistating time in your life like the loss of a loved one – this may get you 1/2 way to grasping the roller coaster her emotions are on.
The failure of an IF cycle is like dying a little inside. Flippant remarks like “you can have my kid” or “don’t worry it will happen” is demeaning.
How many pregnancy tests have you taken? We’ve peed on hundreds of home pregnancy test sticks. We have prayed over the stick for 3 minutes for 2 pink lines. We have held the stick in the light and looked for even the phantom of a line. We have cried over many sticks and taken another (and another) to be sure. Our relationship with pregnancy tests are not the same as yours.
Our IF is NOT at all like the “agonizing 4 months” it took you to get pregnant. We are not being impatient we are suffering from an illness (or illnesses).
Don’t say “you can always adopt.” While adoption is a beautiful option and we may get there one day – don’t assume we are there now. Giving up on our biology is a difficult process of loss. Saying this to a couple who is not ready to move on is paramount to saying “you can always remarry” to a woman who’s husband has just died.
Don’t ask us “are you pregnant?” every time we call. For goodness sake we will let you know! Your prayers are so so welcome but don’t ask stupid questions.
Don’t say things like “I wish my house was as clean as yours, but we have 2 kids.” OR “Must be nice to sleep in on Saturdays, our kids get us up.” OR “You’re lucky you can afford manicures/pedicures/theatre tickets/other luxuries; but you don’t have kids to take all your money.” Seriously, saying things like this is like punching us in the stomach. We would gladly have a messy house, no sleep, and ratty finger nails to not feel the empty hole of childlessness in our lives.
Do you want to support me? Tell me that you can’t imagine what we are going through. Tell me you don’t know what to say but that you are always there for me if I need you.