Journey to Baby: Deciding to Start a Family


I feel like there's no better place to start with these posts than sharing a little on what happened before it even began - and really how it all began.

Before we were ever engaged or married Chris and I knew we wanted children and always imagined ourselves with a family. The only place we differ is that Chris sees us with two children and I see us with three, four, or five.

So let's really back it up. We both finished our college careers (and I call them careers because we were both in college for seven years…) in May 2010. A few months later we married, honeymooned, and moved from North Carolina to Alabama. Chris started working before our furniture even arrived and a few months later I started my first job. For the next couple of years we focused on our careers, gaining experience, and becoming successful.

During these couple of years the idea of starting a family wasn't quite on our minds yet. We enjoyed working; we enjoyed having freedom on the weekend to go out or sleep in; we enjoyed having the freedom to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We were just living life as young, professional, newlyweds.

Fast forward to late summer 2012. I was 27. It suddenly hit me that I was a couple short months away from really being in my late twenties and I felt like we needed to start considering a time in the near future to start a family. Not necessarily tomorrow or next month, but in the upcoming future… So we sat down and had a discussion. We voiced our individual concerns and reservations (his were more about actually "being ready" and mine were that I just didn't have that desire yet), but we ultimately agreed that the time was near. However, when the discussion ended, we didn't really come up with a game plan - if you will.

As summer approached its end, I began to slowly pray for a change of heart. I knew I needed a desire I didn't have yet - so I prayed. I prayed for a desire and a confidence (that we both needed) in order to make the decision to start a family.

Fast forward to November 2012. It was the end of the month and it was time for a new cycle to start. When you're cycle is like clockwork for years and all of a sudden you're late - you notice.

So there I was, several days late… I suddenly found myself battling emotions of shock, fear, and concern; I considered the reality of a late period and what that could mean. My thoughts included: NoWas this really our time. Already? How did this happen? I never miss a pill. I haven't been particularly stressed out. I definitely haven't increased my exercises. I haven't done anything that would warrant a late period…

I spent a day or two being consumed with worried and doubtful emotions.

And then all those thoughts faded and slowly started turning into: Wow, I could be pregnant. Carrying life inside me. I didn't realize how lovely this possibility actually felt. I may soon be a mother - and Chris a father. 

As each of these new thoughts entered in, it was like the baby-itch (which I'd honestly never had) slowly began to spread throughout my mind and body. The reality of a late period was no longer worrisome, it was exciting.

And just like that, everything changed. That was the day I received an answer to the prayer I'd been praying. A desire was present and there was no turning back; let's have a baby!

A couple days later my next cycle started. I didn't refill my birth control prescription. And our journey began.


The F Word


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.