Infertility: When Your Heart Aches on Mother's Day
Written by: Jenny
I'll never forget that January 1st. I like order. 'Type A' over here. My husband and I were ready to start a family and what better time to make that final decision than the start of a new year! I'd be pregnant by February. I'd deliver just in time for Thanksgiving. Baby's 1st Christmas! I had it all planned out.
God had other plans.
I wasn't getting pregnant. I was only getting frustrated.
About six months later, I finally saw those beautiful 'two pink lines' on the pregnancy test. We called our family members and began sharing the awesome news! And then came the horrible pain.
I was indeed pregnant... but after a visit to the emergency room, it was determined that it was an ectopic pregnancy. The baby was simply in the wrong place. In my fallopian tube. I would have to have surgery to remove it. A loss. Such a painful, sad loss. The first of many.
I made it through the surgery and had high hopes of getting pregnant again because the doctor was able to save my tube. But, months and several more miscarriages later, it was time to see a specialist.
We attempted several IUI's (intrauterine insemination). Each failed. We decided to go for the 'biggie' -- IVF. I was terrified. The medications... the needles... the surgery. But, if it would give us a baby... I was all in.
IVF #1 failed. The FET (frozen embryo transfer) from that cycle failed. A bust. A total bust. A zillion dollars and a shattered heart later, a bust.
IVF #2 -- we welcomed our beautiful, miracle baby girl, Julianne Faith, into the world. I had never felt more blessed in my entire life. My world felt complete. And then she turned one and I so desperately wanted to experience it all again and give her a sibling. There were mixed emotions on that though. I had one baby! A healthy, perfect baby. It took three years to have her! Was I pushing it by wanting another? I had to at least try. So we did.
FET #1 and 2 (frozen embryos from Julianne's IVF cycle) failed... one, I didn't get pregnant at all. The other, I was pregnant... with nothing. A blighted ovum. One of the cruelest of my losses.
IVF #3 -- we welcomed our handsome little miracle baby boy, Miles Parker, into the world.
I felt (and still do feel) like the luckiest woman on the planet to experience motherhood. It is even more amazing than I ever imagined. The love -- it's just so big. And all of it? So worth every ounce of pain, every tear, every day that passed where my heart ached so deeply. Worth. It. All.
I'll never forget any of it. The emotions that go along with infertility never leave the heart.
So, if on this Mother's Day you are hurting and longing for a child... please know this.
You are not alone. There are so many other women feeling the exact same emotions. When I was going through it, I didn't really grasp that. I felt so incredibly alone. All of my girlfriends were getting pregnant so easily. And miscarriage -- I had six total. It seems like no one talks about it. But, trust me, it's more common than you may think and it's not a 'life sentence'. SIX losses and yet I look at my two precious children and can hardly believe it... but there they are. Good things can and do happen.
I have since got involved with an amazing group -- Kansas City Infertility Awareness Foundation. They offer so many wonderful things. But, one in particular I want to recommend is their support groups. Click here to check out their website and to learn more. They're simply amazing and every single person involved with KCIA has 'been there done that' and completely 'gets it'.
Sign up for their newsletter -- good stuff! These tips for 'coping with infertility on Mother's Day' are really good:
- Focus on your mother. Put your focus on celebrating the amazing mother you have. If you have siblings or in-laws you could ask them do the shopping and card selection, let them purchase the flowers or go into the card shop if that is too difficult for you.
- Do something proactive. Make a donation to a local infertility organization, sign up for an event in which proceeds go to an infertility organization, such as a 5k.
- Pamper Yourself. Give yourself a chance to feel special and an opportunity to relax. Make an appointment for a facial, massage, mani/pedi. This will give you something to look forward to in the midst of celebrating others.
- Schedule a special get away with your significant other. Get away for the weekend to your favorite destination or a new destination you have been eyeing. Don't feel guilty about scheduling something you will be excited about. A weekend away with your hunnie is good for everyone's souls.
- Attend a sporting even with your family. Rather than a Mother's Day brunch at home or dinner together your family could go root on your favorite team.
- Jump out of your comfort zone and join a support group.
Hang in there, friend. You can reach out to me anytime if you need to vent, ask questions or just feel the support from someone who understands. Because, I do.
A hug to you this Mother's Day.