Well, we have made it through all of the calendar landmines for 2014. We just cleared Frostie’s due date (our last frozen embryo we transferred last fall) and I feel relieved to be past all 4 of the “I should be in labor right now …” days. I know that I will always carry those due dates on my heart. There will always be days in January, April, June, and September that are carved into my soul with love for my babies that should have been. As I reflect back on so many emotions of the last 5+ years, I realize that infertility is incredibly complex, making me have days and moments where I feel like there are 18 different Chelsea’s crammed into one body.
I am here to let you know that if there are moments you feel like your world is caving in and you just don’t know if you can keep going, you are normal.
If you have moments where you feel like the sun is shining extraordinary bright and your heart has nothing but hope in it, you are normal.
If you have moments where you burst into tears for no reason at all, you are normal.
If you have moments where your heart aches with a physical pain and you are concerned that you actually may be having a heart attack because it hurts that bad, you are normal.
If you have moments where you are so grateful for your spouse and what you have that you can’t wipe the smile off your face, you are normal.
If you have moments where you pat your hormone induced belly bloat and talk to a fake baby bump, you are normal. (Also normal, pushing out your stomach and taking selfies to see what you will look like when you actually are pregnant.)
If you have moments where you contemplate knocking over a smoking pregnant woman and screaming at her about how stupid she is, you are normal.
If you have moments where you find yourself wandering the baby aisles at Target, softly petting the ‘I love Mommy’ onsies, wondering if you will ever be able to buy it for yourself, you are normal.
If you have moments where you enjoy your freedom to go out to a movie on a whim with your husband and are secretly grateful for that flexibility, you are normal.
If you have moments where you go on a ‘you are pregnant, therefore hidden’ binge on Facebook and erase the physical reminders that all 319 friends of yours are pregnant, you are normal.
If you have moments where you cry with happiness because a friend shares with you that she is expecting, you are normal. (Also normal, crying in the bathroom later because you guys were supposed to be pregnant together.)
If you have moments where you feel completely content with your trial and embrace each day with strength and joy, you are normal.
If you have moments where you hear phantom crying in the middle of the night for the infant you wish was beside the bed, you are normal.
If you cringe when a pregnant woman complains about how fat she is getting, you are normal.
If you roll your eyes every time you have to buy ANOTHER bottle of prenatal vitamins, you are normal.
If you get excited about ovulation tests, raised body temps and cervical mucus, you are normal.
If you hate everything about ovulation tests, body temping and analyzing your cervical mucus, you are normal.
If you get anxiety when your angel baby’s “birthday” comes around, you are normal.
If you want to quit this journey and start traveling and living life, you are normal.
If you can’t stop thinking about the “what if’s” all day, you are normal.
If you don’t think about infertility for a clump of time, you are normal.
If you hate that your sex occasionally has to be timed and that you need to lay with your legs in the air for 15 minutes after, you are normal.
If you find yourself getting excited about a new vitamin, supplement, cream, herb, or technique, you are normal.
If you feel like you just can’t turn off your brain, you are normal.
If you are suddenly and overwhelmingly comforted by God’s peace in your darkest moments, you are normal.
If there are days where God seems so far away and you have no idea if He hears your prayers, you are normal.
If you wonder WHY WHY WHY WHY on a regular basis, you are normal.
If you get excited when you think about the opportunity to make this misery into a ministry, you are normal.
If you cling to the reminder that God won’t waste a hurt, you are normal.
If you feel like no one understands you, you are normal.
The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to feel when you are struggling with infertility. Every day is a new day, new emotions surging through you and new triggers that stand in your way. I am doing my best each day to keep things in perspective, reminding myself that it could be worse and be thankful for the opportunity to strength my faith, grow as a woman and with Josh as a couple, and feed on the faithfulness of God. But I also have my moments where I want to pick up the towel and throw it in, declaring myself officially barren and binging on spa trips and new clothes.
So, where does that leave us? Well, our western medicine interventions are still on hold. I have been going back to acupuncture weekly and getting sessions, along with cupping for my back pain. My back pain is thankfully more mild than severe and the sessions seem to be helping, and for that I am grateful. I haven’t been back to the naturopathic doctor in a while and feel peace about that decision. I learned a lot from him though and still regularly take my daily vitamins and supplements. (For those who are interested, I take a prenatal vitamin, Vitamin D3 and C, Magnesium Glycinate, Vitex Fruit, Maca Root, Vessel Care, COQ10 and a baby aspirin daily). My cycles since my April surgery haven’t been awesome. I had a 49 day cycle the month of my laparoscopy, which I know can be normal. This last cycle I didn’t ovulate and I induced a period using natural progesterone cream, resulting in a 45 day cycle. We are adding in herbs this cycle, mixing in 5 teaspoons of this unique mixture into hot water and chugging it twice a day and I am hoping that this brings positive change.
I have been doing castor oil packs on my back and will now start doing abdominal ones leading up to ovulation. I have heard good things about that and have tried it in the past and found it relaxing. I would really like to be more consistent with it though. I aim to improve my health this summer, hoping losing some weight and getting back on track with my low carb/sugar diet. I have no clue what the future holds and just continue to pray that God would make a new path incredibility obvious for us. All in all, I know that this rests in hands much larger than mine. I will be hopping back into the working world soon, covering a maternity leave at the hospital I used to work at and am excited for that change in routine (and am grateful its only 12 weeks). One day at a time right? I will do my best to continue to keep you updated. I have a blog on infertility; I should share my own story more often, right?
Thanks for continuing to coat our journey in your prayers and cares. It means so much to us. As time goes on, I know this trial can start to feel so routine, yet it’s a real hurt on our hearts every day. It never gets easier on our hearts. We learn to cope better, adjusting our perspective or embracing how we are being stretched, but the pain is still raw and real. At the end of the day, we KNOW that God will continue to use this for good and that because of Jesus, there is no worst case scenario for us.
See you Friday for Friday Favorites! :)