Friends, I am so excited to introduce you to Carissa Barzee who is just about the sweetest thing in the world! Her and her husband Brian are well known vloggers (video bloggers) and I am thrilled she’s telling us what it’s like to be sharing her life in this way today! They also will soon be starting their first IVF this summer, so I ask you to stop and say a little prayer for them today … and also, follow along with crossed fingers and toes for their cycle!
Carissa, thank you for being an open book with so many, and in the process, blessing and encouraging us all! XO!
May 23, 2017, Brian and I sat in silence waiting to hear if our baby had a heartbeat at our 8 week ultrasound. Click….click….click…….the silence continued. The sonographer asked me, “Have you had any bleeding, Carissa?” I replied, “I haven’t, nope. I felt some cramping…a little bit…but nothing too bad….” Click…click…..more silence. Brian chimed in, “Zero bleeding.” “There’s a little sac there but no fetus inside…..I’m sorry, dear, I wish I could give you better news,” she said. We were diagnosed with a blighted ovum and had a miscarriage on May 25, 2017, one year ago today. A moment that we were almost certain would be joyful, turned devastating, and we recorded it all for our YouTube channel.
We started ‘vlogging’ or making YouTube videos to document our infertility just over a year ago. From fertility treatment, to pregnancy test reveals, to our miscarriage – we have shared it all. Our main goals with sharing our story were to help those fighting this battle feel less alone and to find hope. This journey is NOT easy and we suffered in silence, feeling ashamed, and left out for long enough. If we were feeling this way then there must be other people feeling this way, too.
There are some really awesome things about sharing our life on YouTube…and there are some not so awesome things about it. Let’s start with the awesome because that makes me happy. :)
- We have our pregnancy test reveal, one of our all time favorite days, captured so we can re-watch it whenever we want. We can remember the overwhelming joy we both felt when we saw our first and only positive pregnancy test.
- Sharing our story is actually helping people! I remember sitting at church and crying because…life is just hard. All I wanted to do was to get into a financial position to help those struggling. Little did I know that I would be helping people in a totally different way then I had planned.
- Breaking the silence on some very taboo and uncomfortable topics. Now I know we are not the first people to open up about infertility or miscarriage but we have added our voices so we can get people talking. We are inspiring others to open up about their own trial.
- Spreading awareness about just how common, heartbreaking, and lonely this trial is. I never knew just how painful infertility or miscarriage were until they became my reality. No one talked about it. There was only two other couples that we knew of that was also struggling and we all kept it a secret. Navigating this trial was foreign and I felt like something was wrong with me. When we started opening up about our trial – I realized that EVERYTHING I was feeling was normal and it was okay to feel that way.
- Social media friends have become real friends. I have an incredible group of TTC sisters on FB, Instagram, and YouTube that love me, check in on me, send me ‘happy mail’, laugh with me, and cry with me. I don’t know what I would do without them.
- People are invested in our story and praying for us on a daily basis. We are so grateful that people care about us, love us, and are praying that we get our rainbow baby.
The Not-So Awesome:
- MEAN PEOPLE. I cannot believe the awful comments and messages that we receive on a regular basis. There have been days where I have cried and lost sleep over some very hurtful things that were said to us and about us. I have realized that these people are just very sad and are hurting in their own way. The best thing I can do is block them and delete the comments. Ain’t nobody got time for that negativity! ;)
- Expectation is high. People are invested and expect you to share everything right away! So…this is awesome and not-so awesome because it adds unnecessary stress. I want to share what is going on in our life but sometimes you need time to process it all. For example: We held off on sharing our miscarriage for a few days because we just needed to deal with it without anyone else. I was accused of trying to get more followers, being fake, setting it all up, and so forth. When in reality – I was an emotional wreck finding out that we were going to lose our pregnancy.
- Vlogging takes a lot of time. It takes hours to record, edit, create a thumbnail, and upload a video. Not just two hours…but usually no less than 5 hours for one video.
- No treatment or pregnancy = no views. This is sad but so true! After our miscarriage and failed pregnancy test it has been hard to find things to vlog about. Why? Because my hobby is infertility…and who really wants to see me and my dog daily vlog?! Lol. But really…if it’s not infertility/miscarriage/or crying – the views take a hit.
- Everyone has an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do to get pregnant. As well as about our marriage, my mental and emotional health, my looks, my job, and so much more! It seriously never ends. One thing I am grateful to know is that EVERYONE is differently and we all cope and deal with life differently – and that is okay!
Sharing our journey, the ups and the downs, has been sooo hard. Knowing we are helping someone else find hope or joy in the heartbreak of infertility and miscarriage makes it all worth it though. To be totally honest, we had no idea how many people we would reach…but we are sooo grateful and humbled to be a voice for the 1 in 8 (infertility) and 1 in 4 (miscarriage). This summer are sharing our IVF journey and hope you follow along!
PPS – If you’re ever looking for a devotional on living life while in a waiting season, check out the devotional I co-authored called ‘In the Wait’!
PPPS – Check out the other contributions from this series, including What It’s Like: to experience multiple IVF cycles, raise a child with special needs, use an egg donor, be a DIY-er and home style blogger , be a NICU nurse, Live fully in singleness while still hoping for marriage, suffer with endometriosis. experience depression, start a company, have a micro preemie, lose a parent, be childless not by choice, have a spouse with a chronic illness, fund raise for fertility treatments, have a traumatic birthing experience and take a natural route to infertility. Stay tuned for many other amazing topics to come every Tuesday and Friday here!