This is not a recipe, its real life

This blog is something that is very precious to me. It’s a place where I can express myself, the things I love to do (and cook!) and I like to think that people enjoy reading my experiences in life and in the kitchen and that sometimes they read something that makes their next dish or their next restaurant trip a little better. This little project has been going strong for about 6 months and I have no idea how many people actually read it. I’ve seen the stats but they’re just numbers, not names or faces. Some times I read my words back to myself and I think  ”I need more me in the blog, people want details about me, not just cooking.” Personalities make blogs and the human connection is what makes blogs last.

I’ve debated for a long time about this post, waffling back and forth wondering if I should open myself up or not. But today I decided it was time. You know the fun side of me, the side that goes home and cooks to unwind. The person who spends hours in the kitchen every weekend excited to try a new recipe or scours internet recipe sites for inspiration.

Today I will go home from work and probably eat Halloween candy for dinner with a side of a bottle of wine. I will cuddle my puppy dog and hug my husband. I will not cook anything but instead I’ll try to lose myself in some trashy TV or worse a Christmas movie (yes, on Halloween!). You see, today we found out once again that I am not pregnant.

We have been trying to start our family for two and half years now although it feels like its been a lifetime. We started out like most couples who have been married for a few years and want children; excited, hopeful talking about names of our children and things we couldn’t wait to teach them. I began dreaming of nursery colors and maternity clothes.

About 10 months into it, I had a feeling something was wrong. We were both young, both healthy so why was everyone else getting pregnant and we weren’t. After months of floundering and wondering where to turn we started seeing a specialist. We went through horrible tests to find out that I needed surgery for endometriosis. The doctors thought I had scar tissue all over my organs and it was preventing me from getting pregnant, they wanted to remove it.

In June, I had the surgery. The doctors found stage 4 endometriosis. They said it was some of the most they’d ever seen but they had removed everything and my uterus looked good. Immediately, they wanted to start hormone shots and do a round of ultrauterine insemination. We did our first cycle in July and were so excited. We thought this was it, this was the solution. After everything we were finally on our way to a family. But alas it didn’t work and we were left confused, broke and upset.

These are the things they don’t tell you when you sign up for health insurance, most companies cover nothing. Apparently, infertility is not seen as a disease or condition and women who have issues have to pay for them out of pocket.

We decided to try again, round 2 but the doctor found cysts on my ovaries caused by the hormone shots. So we waited and we waited and we waited for the cysts to go away. Three months later, almost, we were cleared to start again. I began shots and we did the procedures. Then I did more shots until my blood test today.

Less hopeful this time, we were more prepared for the phone call but it still rattles you. Negative, again. Another month, gone.

And now here we are. Money has run out and the emotional burden is too heavy to carry. We’re out. We move on to what’s next and that’s the question that is just hanging there. What IS next? Where do you go when the life you wanted isn’t a possibility anymore?

How do you not become bitter and angry when there are pregnant women everywhere you look? And you feel like you’re getting left behind by the friends who have been able to have children?

So why am I telling you this tragic story, for pity? No. I’m tell you all because I need to get it out, I need to move on. And I’m telling you because if you’re out there and you’re wondering why you’re not pregnant yet and you’re secretly hating everyone who is pregnant around you, you’re not alone. Infertility is an attack on the most basic female right, the right to bear children. When you can’t do that, you feel like less of a woman and less of a person. It feels shameful. But don’t let it make you feel that way and don’t go through it alone. If no one else, I’m here email me with any questions or concerns. The best advice I can give is go see a reproductive endocrinilogist, your OB doesn’t know shit. Trust me.

For those of you who don’t or didn’t have any problems getting pregnant, don’t take that for granted and don’t take your children for granted. Think twice before asking someone the personal question “So when are you guys going to have kids?” I hate that question and way too many people think they can ask it.

So for now, Eric and I will be grateful we have each other. We will begin to research adoption (I know you’re going to ask that). But first we’ll take a break. I’ll enjoy exercising again, eating chocolate again, and drinking wine again. I can’t wait to be able to plan things more than a week in advance and not to have internal ultrasounds at 7am 3-4 days a week! And I’ll blog, I truly love cooking and sharing what I learn along the way with all of you and I’m grateful to anyone who gives me a few minutes of their time by reading my words.

Thanks for reading and I promise no sad stories tomorrow but maybe another pumpkin recipe… :)

Comments

  1. Cynthia says:

    xoxoxo!!! cynthia

  2. Karin says:

    I’m so sorry. My husband and I have been on a similar journey for over two years. Recently, we decided that we just couldn’t continue any longer because it was just too physically and emotionally draining. Thank you for being brave enough to share your heartbreak with others because there are many families coping with this same issue. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  3. SR says:

    getting “it out and moving on” is a good thing. Yesterday Pr Aaron said bitterness can not be compartmentalized, it infused (invades) all of our life, and I think he implied that it does it w/o our permission and sometimes w/o our recognizing it. i will pray for you; you are trying to deal with this huge disappointment in a positive way.

  4. Melody says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. It was hard for me when I shared my struggle with getting pregnant on my blog too. I felt sick for days afterwards, but then I felt a weight lift. I hope it’s the same for you. I related with all of the feelings that you talked about. Especially the part about feeling left behind when friend after friend gets pregnant before you do. Will I be left behind for the rest of my life? I also know what you feel about pregnancy being a basic female right. I know it’s not true, but this struggle has made me feel like I’m less of a woman than all the pregnant ladies around me. I am praying for you. I really am.

  5. Katie says:

    I have heard a number of stories about couples who adopt then go on to have biological children. Don’t lose faith. God will bless you with a family.

  6. Vickie Dare says:

    hello, your cousin Mike and I went through the same thing. We did foster children, tried adopting, that didnt work, they took all our money. We found joy, laughter and peace of mind when we started being host parents for Foreign Exchange Students. We actually had two students last year. I feel your pain. There are no words to describe what we feel. It seems that you have a strong marriage, a wonderful family, and a wonderful God, so you will get through this. Sending you and your husband, prayers, hugs, and kisses.

  7. Jen says:

    You are so brave! Your words encourage me and make me proud of women like you. You are more of a woman because of reaction to this heartache. I believe great things are in store for you and yours!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Thank you. Thank for sharing your struggle. My husband and I have been going through a similar struggle – we’ve been trying for a year now with no luck. I’ve spoken to my GYN and it doesn’t seem to get me anywhere – just seems like they want you to keep coming back for your money but can’t give you any information other than “You’re young and healthy, it will happen in time.” I’ve been suspecting I might also have endometriosis but my GYN won’t test me for anything until it’s been a full year of trying (officially this month). Perhaps it’s time I check out the specialist you mention.

    Thank you for putting a voice to the struggle. It’s normally such a silent struggle. Most people don’t know I’m struggling and I also get the “when are you going to have kids question?” all the time. If they only knew.

    But the worst is like you say, seeing everyone around you get pregnant. I hope they know how lucky they are.

  9. Marah says:

    Please go see a reproductive endocrinologist and trust your gut. I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 19 by a GYN but my GYN now didn’t seem to think it was a problem at all when I told her. She couldn’t have been more wrong. I would suggest even the tests to see the RE not your GYN, they are just so much more knowledgeable. If you’re young and healthy and its taken more than 6 months, push to start tests and lie, tell your GYN you’ve been trying for a year if you have to.

    I hate hearing parents complain about no sleep or not doing special things for their children because its too much work. I’d like to shake them and give them an understanding of people who can’t have children feel when they hear things like that.

    Please email me if you want marah@theredvelvetblog.com. I’m here for questions, concerns or just someone who understands; it really helps to know you’re not alone. Thanks for reading my story!

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