Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My (In)Fertility Journey

I don’t consider myself lucky. I consider myself incredibly blessed.

My (in)fertility story doesn’t have as many pages as some of the friends I’ve met along the way, but still, they are tear stained. The paragraphs of my story contain words like “try” and “loss” and “success”. Their paragraphs contain words like “IVF” and “Beta” and “Clomid” and “Reproductive Endocrinologist {RE}” and "2WW". My story is not the same, and with that, comes incredible guilt.

But also with that, comes incredible friendship.

For years, the idea of taking a pregnancy test was that of overwhelming fear. And yet, when the test was negative, there was still disappointment. It was in me. It is in us, the desire to be a mother, even if we know the timing is wrong. But along the way, the idea of taking a pregnancy test brings excitement and anticipation. One, two, even three negative tests into the journey just meant that the birth control hadn’t left my body yet. But (months) four, five, (and) six negative tests into the journey made me think there might be something wrong. (Months) Seven, eight, nine? Is this a joke?

The doctor said “it’s not infertility unless you’ve tried a year”. So, we kept trying. And there were tears from announcements by girls younger than me, who didn’t have jobs, or even a steady boyfriend. And there were broken toenails from propping legs up on headboards, and there were nights where it just didn’t happen.

And then they were there. Two lines! “Pregnant”! The weekend of Father’s Day, 2009. Joy and more tears and feeling so excited!

And then it was gone. July 27, 2009.

And then we didn’t try anymore. I wasn’t ready, my body wasn’t ready, my heart wasn’t ready to love again.

I wouldn’t call it closure, because I will never have completion in my life due to the loss of my first child. But there was a defining moment in our lives, in our marriage, in our family, when I chose the name Angelina for our first child, and Aaron was there with me, even though not, and we had done this together. This conceiving and losing and grieving and moving forward. Together.

And now we have Tiny Dancer. Our beautiful, sweet, amazing baby. Who is so loved and so desired.

I desire this for my friends who struggle daily with infertility. My story is not the same as theirs, my trying not so long, my longing not so drawn out. I do not boast of this, believe me. I cry tears for them, with them, over BFN’s (big fat negatives) and failed IVF’s and lost dreams. Because in MY darkest hours, they comforted me. They were there for me.

Every woman who desires to be pregnant would be crushed by another’s pregnancy announcement – I know I was. And yet, these women rallied around me and offered “CONGRATULATIONS!” and “SO HAPPY FOR YOU” when I announced my pregnancy, all the while tears probably falling down their faces.

Their grief is deep, but their friendship is deeper.

I am so, so thankful for their friendship.

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I tell my story to bring awareness to the struggle that thousands of couples face to bring children into their families. We are not all "fertile Myrtle's". Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week. There is a campaign to make "infertility" a trending topic on Twitter to bring attention to the awareness. If you or someone you know or love has ever dealt with infertility, please help spread the word by using #infertility in your tweets.

For more information, follow the #infertility tag on Twitter, and visit the blogs of the women and men there. Their stories are inspiring.

6 comments:

Mrs Soup said...

You are so amazing, blessed and beautiful.

Hyacynth said...

Such a beautiful, heartfelt post. I'm so glad you have TD. I cannot wait to see her beautiful little pictures.
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure it brings hope to others.

~Mendie~ said...

You are going to be a wonderful mother Natalie, tiny dancer is a lucky little girl. Angelina will never be far from your heart, I am so sorry that you aren't holding her right now but know that she is holding your heart everyday.

Kristy K said...

I'm visiting from Gather Inspirit. This was such a beautiful post! My husband and I haven't struggled with infertility, but I can't maintain a pregnancy with a lot of medical intervention. So while our story is different from yours, it's also the same because we've lost a precious daughter and we've share something no one else does. Fortunately, with a lot of prayer and help, we have three beautiful kiddos!

Colleen said...

Also stopping by from Gather Inspirit (a few days late.) You have a beautiful way of telling your story. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to meeting you in October!

Kristy said...

This was such a beautiful post. When I lost my first child, I was deeply crushed, it's not something you forget, the pain stays with you for a long time...but almost 3 years later, I have two beautiful children that just melt my heart and I could not imagine my life without them.

I wish you the very best with the rest of your pregnancy. And, look forward to your posts with your new bundle of joy!

P.S. My daughter was born in August too!