Goodbye February

Before we say goodbye to February, I had to share some photos of my sweetie.

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Two years, two months, 17 days

Migration on the Eastern Shore

Migration on the Eastern Shore

Two years, two months, 17 days. This is the amount of time it took to see a positive pregnancy test. Hundreds of negative tests, thousands of tears. Countless hours spent wondering about the future, unsure if I would ever be where I am today. Many people have been in that dark place for much longer, or dealt with much worse. And many are still there.

After everything, it is hard to believe it is real. Have I graduated from this club that no one wants to belong to? Did I sneak out the back door in the nick of time? Now that the reality of being pregnant has really sunk in, I’ve been wondering where my voice fits in. I feel so connected to the emotions of others who are going through what I went through, but does my pregnancy status only cause pain in this community?

What I’ve ultimately decided is that infertility is such a huge part of me and my life experience, and it would feel disingenuous to just leave this all behind. Blogging help me immensely during my darkest times, and the support I’ve found here is amazing. I want to continue telling my story – hopefully a happier chapter. If you find hope from my infertility journey, please continue to follow me and share your story with me. But if reading my pregnancy updates causes you pain or makes your journey more difficult, I will completely understand if you choose to no longer follow.

A Plea for Compassion

Beautiful wildflower

Beautiful wildflower in bloom

A few days before Christmas last year, I got a call from my brother in the middle of the night. I’m thankful every day that I woke up and answered.  He told me that he didn’t trust himself and that he was going to pack some things and check himself into the hospital. I talked to him until he made it to the psychiatric ward, and then called my parents to make a plan. What followed were some very rough months for our family, trying to understand how he got to that point, and how to help him. My brother has dealt with depression for quite some time, but this was a new low — what I hope was rock bottom.

I think about my brother and that phone call every day. When suicide is in the news like it has been recently with Robin Williams’ death, people come out of the woodwork with their opinions. I understand suicide is a charged topic, and everything from religion, to family values, to personal experience helps to shape your feelings. While I don’t kid myself that I’m offering anything new to the conversation, I just want to stand up and be counted on the side of compassion. I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand my brother’s depression, but I know that he is a good person and deserves love and happiness. He is intelligent, loyal, hilarious, creative, spontaneous, full of life, and has so much to offer this world. From the outside, you would never guess he struggles with depression. He deserves to live in a world where mental illness is understood for what it is — an illness — not a personal weakness or shortcoming.

Finding out how alone and desperate my brother was feeling made me realize that you never know what someone else is going through. My family is very close, but he was able to hide these feelings from all of us until it was almost too late. He is feeling better now, thanks to therapy, medicine, support from family and friends, and lifestyle changes, but I know that there is always a risk of him falling back into that dark place.

Instead of seeing people call Robin Williams selfish and blame his suicide on addiction, my wish is for people to have compassion and realize that someone you love may also be in a dark place and feeling like they don’t have any options. Instead of broadcasting your hatred and judgement, offer up your love and support. Your compassion goes a lot further than your hate.

 

IUI Swan Song

Goodnight NYC

Goodnight NYC

I’m writing from my hotel in NYC. Check out my beautiful view! Today we had what will be our last IUI. If we aren’t successful, we’ll take a little break and then start IVF in the fall. We found out yesterday that because of hubby’s low morphology on two semen analyses, our insurance will allow us to move forward with IVF before completing our required six IUIs.

I’m feeling good about the cycle, and know we’re finishing up this phase of treatment on a high note.  I had two mature follicles and hubby’s count was the best yet at 17 million post-wash. My lining was 8.25, by far the thickest yet, meaning the switch to injectables did the trick.

If this doesn’t work, we’ll at least feel like we gave it our best effort and will be ready to move forward. But for now I’m feeling hopeful!