4.24.2014

The F Word



Fertility.

Infertility, actually.

It's been heavy on my heart for a few months now to take to my blog and get personal. A lot more personal than showing you some pictures of a vacation, my favorite makeup, or an outfit I wore to go out to eat. Although, I do enjoy sharing those things. And will continue to do so.

Before I get going, let me say: this was an extremely hard post to write - and not because what I have to say was difficult to put into words. No, that was the easy part. It's hard because everything you're about to read is personal and honest; I feel I risk being too exposed sharing intimate portions of my life on a public form. That being said, I've benefited greatly by others sharing their stories and I feel as if the benefits of sharing this outweighs keeping it all to myself.

So here it is: Chris and I have been trying to have a baby for 17 months.

This month marks one year since we had our first miscarriage (we've since had another). It's also National Infertility Awareness Week. So I thought this would be a great time to start sharing our journey. We'll label this my introductory post, then I am going to do a series of posts taking you through our journey thus far.

I know this is kind of off the dusty trail of D&T, but if you've noticed, I've been pretty absent for a while (hints the dust). It's been well over a year since I've been consistent with my blog. I just haven't been motivated to post regularly and that's mostly because I've been busy with life (...like trying to make a baby).

And although I'm still busy with life, I want to be back. Writing, posting, sharing. I enjoy it. I do. Sometimes, though, you need a break (or you don't have time). I've had mine. Now it's time to move forward. Hope you're with me.

Now, back to the F word.

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby since December 2012 - 17 months. Which is a long time compared to some who get pregnant immediately after stopping the pill; it's also pretty insignificant compared to women I know who are on year seven, eight, or nine.

Whether it's been one year or nine years, infertility is infertility - and it's tough. There can be a stigma. Your body is not doing what it was designed to do. It consumes your thoughts. You're so happy for others, but there's a heavy feeling (only women who have dealt with infertility know) when your news feed fill with pregnancy announcements. You feel left out. When strangers ask if you have children, it stings. When friends ask when are you ever going to have a baby, it's even worse.

And if all that wasn't enough, infertility isn't life-threatning and getting any type of infertility treatment is considered elective - so insurance companies don't help out. At all. (<rant> This infuriates me. I didn't choose to be infertile. I didn't do anything in my past to cause this. Yet insurance will pay for a chain smoker to be treated for lung cancer despite a quite obvious warning label. And they'll pay for a 30 year old woman who has skin cancer after voluntarily spending every day for the past 15 years laying in a tanning bed. But, me? I haven't done anything to damage myself or cause this - I want a family and I need some medical intervention to do so. Sorry, can't help out. We're busy giving money to a chain smoker. You'll have to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars on your own to have a baby or adopt. </rant>).

It can be a dark hole.

And I promise I'm not as bitter as that previous paragraph may lead you to believe. But I'm not going to tell you that it's easy; it's very frustrating at times.

Moving on.

I wanted to share our journey thus far for a couple reasons.

My testimony. God has been ever-present throughout this entire journey. Before it even started, actually. Through His presence in this segment of our life I have drawn incredibly close to Him. I've learned that He has a plan for me. I may not (and do not) understand it all, but I do trust that He knows what He's doing. That any pain I may have at this time will not compare to the joy I will have in the future. And that if I pray for something and have faith that He'll give it to me - He will. And that knowledge, confidence, and faith gets me through it all.

More women battle infertility than what you might think. Millions. 1 in 8 women/couples trying to conceive. I find it unreal the number of women I personally know who have in the past or are currently suffering from infertility. Has there always been such a large number of couples struggling? Has the number risen over the years? Is is something we eat? Or the lifestyle we live? I don't know, but it's very present. And worse than it being so present - no one likes to talk about it. So I am.

If I can reach out to one person: be a ray of hope, a positive influence, or just someone to talk to - then it's all worth it. As I began to realize having a baby was going to be difficult for us, I wanted to talk about it. So I took to Google and learned a plethora of information. Came across hundreds of women on message boards telling their stories. So many women, so many different stories. As someone who's been online searching for answers - I know how wonderful it feels to read a post or a blog entry that's relatable. That has a success story. That gives hope. And although we don't have a success story yet, I know we will and I want to share it all - front start to finish.

I'm excited to share my story, my thoughts, and my journey as it continues.


11 comments:

Rayna Rahming said...

Linley, I don't know what to say other than that I'm praying for you and Chris. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this pain. I admire your bravery for sharing. Remember that our Savior is so able. Hugs from Florida.

Linley said...

Rayna,

Thank you so much for your kind words and your prayer - it means the world to me! You are absolutely correct - He is able and I love that! Thanks again, so much!

Sugar Butter Baby said...

I just wanted to say I read this post and I support you telling the story of your journey. I don't have any similar experience, I've never even tried to have a baby, but I will follow you along, send my prayers, and celebrate in your successes.

Linley said...

Krystal,

Thank you for your support and more importantly your prayers - it makes my day to hear that! I'm excited for you to follow along as well!

Rachel said...

Beautifully written and thank you for sharing! After experiencing infertility and miscarriage ourselves, my husband and I are expecting our baby at the end of May! After much much prayer (and 3 IUI's!), it worked for us and I will be praying that you will have a happy ending to your story as well!! Have your doctors given you any insight into a diagnosis? We were technically "unexplained infertility" which is so frustrating! They had guesses as to why (endometriosis) but no real diagnosis. Anyway, much love from Ohio! -♥- Rachel (For the Birds)

LSJ said...

Rachel, thanks for sharing - I love hearing that! Congratulations to you two! That's so encouraging to hear! Thank you so much for your prayers!!

(I plan to answer your questions in upcoming posts)

Tyra said...

Sending lots of love, hope, and prayers your way frand! Xo

brie weaver said...

Linley,

Thank you so much for pouring your heart out on a subject that can be so misunderstood sometimes. My husband and I have been trying for 5 years to start a family. We have been to the doctor's and have gone through all kinds of tests. Everything has come back as normal. Through this journey we have learned to trust that God is control. He has a plan for our lives. HIS plan. It's so hard to understand that ,but just keep leaning into Jesus and know that you have a friend from afar praying for your family. Brie

brie weaver said...

Linley,

Thank you so much for pouring your heart out on a subject that can be so misunderstood sometimes. My husband and I have been trying for 5 years to start a family. We have been to the doctor's and have gone through all kinds of tests. Everything has come back as normal. Through this journey we have learned to trust that God is control. He has a plan for our lives. HIS plan. It's so hard to understand that ,but just keep leaning into Jesus and know that you have a friend from afar praying for your family. Brie

RG Mama said...

You will definitely get through this season. There is a baby on the other side of this journey for you.... be it a biological child or adoptive. We tried for 6 years and never got pregnant, despite IUIs and meds. Finally, after financing an IVF, we got pregnant with our miracle twins. They were 8 years old yesterday. It's still mind blowing to me the way God worked in our marriage, in our hearts, in our family, in our friends and made something so incredibly beautiful from all that despair and hurt. Stay open and ask Him for a promise. He keeps His promises.

Bethany said...

Oh my goodness, I'm sitting at my desk at work ready to cry. My husband and I have been trying for over a year and have had two miscarriages. This has been the hardest year of my life. I've never had these kinds of feelings of doubt, insecurity, bitterness, jealousy, anger, the list goes on... pregnancy announcements stab me in the heart, ultrasound pics, newborn pics, it's all torture.

And yep, insurance doesn't cover this. I've had some preliminary tests done, an ultrasound, a consult... no answers as to why this is happening, but yes, it's VERY expensive.

I've only just been prescribed Clomid to try.. I haven't decided yet if I will. I'm comforted to know that if I get pregnant again I'll be getting progesterone to help, hopefully it will.

I keep asking myself, why? What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me? I'll admit I've tried some ridiculous things (ever eat an entire pineapple core?) in the past, but right now I'm just trying to let go and get my mind in a better place.

I find it helps to talk about it. I posted on facebook what I'm going through, during national infertility week, and got a lot of positive comments.

I'm so sorry you are going through this, it's so heartbreaking. I'm praying for all of us couples trying to start our families! I'm glad you are sharing your story. It's very powerful to talk about it, and it makes us not feel so alone.