Dear Angel Baby

Today would’ve been your due date. I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that if you had stayed, you would either be here or I would be about to pop.  I can’t help but wonder what life would be like right now if things had been different.  I always felt like you would’ve been a boy because although your were only inside me for a brief period, I felt your spirit. It was so strong and I 100% believe that it was your little spirit that helped me get through this period of grief.  I never knew that I could hurt so bad over something I never got to physically hold in my arms. I also didn’t know that I could feel so connected to a little bundle of cells.  I didn’t know that the second I saw the second line on the pregnancy test, I instantly felt your energy radiating throughout my entire being. It made me feel the happiest I have in years. I didn’t know how bad I needed that. I didn’t know that those 2 days would change my life forever.

I was angry in the beginning. Hell, I still get angry about it. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that I lost a pregnancy that I wanted so badly.  It’s not fair that people brush off my pain because I was “so early.” But I know what I felt, I know what I still feel.

You, angel baby, have taught me so much. I have learned to be stronger and more resilient than I ever thought possible. When I found out that I was pregnant, all signs pointed to our miracle. I thought this was it. But you were gone before I could even fully process the fact that I was pregnant. For so long I wondered what I did wrong. I blamed myself and lived with shame for a long time.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized it was a miracle. You were a miracle.

The strong little spirit I had inside me has lingered. It has given me strength, resilience, and a new found determination for the future. Where I felt defeated I now feel confident. My soul has grown and molded in the past few months in ways I didn’t know that It could. I don’t know what the future holds but I’m no longer afraid. Dear angel baby, thank you for choosing me to carry you for just a brief moment. You have given me hope.

 

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You’re Allowed to be Happy

We spent this Thanksgiving in New Hampshire with my husband’s family. It was wonderful! It was big and loud and full of laughter; just how Thanksgiving should be. As I sat, surrounded by family and friends my heart felt like it was going to burst! I felt genuinely happy.

After we stuffed ourselves with turkey and wine, I scrolled through my instagram. Post after post was about how sad it was to be  infertile on Thanksgiving or how it was ok to not be happy that day. I get it. I really TRULY do because I’ve been there. I would be almost 8 months pregnant right now if we hadn’t lost our pregnancy. I would be hanging an ornament for our unborn baby or decorating the nursery. If I think too hard about those things, I can spiral into a black hole. But this year, I chose to be happy. I chose to focus on the fact that I have such a strong support system. I chose to focus on the fact that I’m going to have a brand new baby nephew soon. I chose to focus on the things in my life that are going well. It’s easy to focus on what isn’t going well but I promise you will feel 1000% better if you focus on the good.

I was a little offended that my instagram feed was making me feel like I had to be sad on Thanksgiving because I’m infertile. I decided to leave instagram alone for the rest of the night. So here is some positivity on your feed.  You are allowed to be happy on the holidays.  Infertility does not have to equal perpetual sadness.  Remember that although it feels like there is a lot going wrong, there is also a lot going right. Also,

You are a goddess.

xoxo Kat

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The Bitterness of Infertility and Why It’s Dangerous

It isn’t a surprise that with infertility comes bitterness. It’s ugly, it’s dark, but it’s totally normal. It’s also super damaging.

It’s so damn hard not to be bitter, and I think that it’s okay to allow yourself to feel those feeling every once in a while. But I will scream this from the rooftops:

 

DON’T LET THE BITTERNESS OVERSHADOW THE JOY THAT IS LIFE!!!!

 

It’s so easy to focus on what’s going wrong in your life and completely miss everything that’s going right.  If you follow me on instagram, you know that I am calling my break from fertility treatments “project self care.” During this time, I have been trying to practice gratitude. Whenever I feel myself getting angry or bitter, I stop and think of 3 positive things that are happening in my life.

It’s normal to feel upset when someone tells you they’re pregnant, it’s normal to feel angry when you see a pregnant teenager in Target, but letting the darkness take over your life is only hurting you.

I’m going to repeat that. IT’S ONLY HURTING YOU.

When you let bitterness consume you, you isolate yourself and you attract negativity.  I put together a quick list of things to do when you start to feel bitter or angry:

  • Let it out.  Feel the emotions, and then move on.
  • Take a shower or a hot bath
  • Go on a walk
  • Drink some wine – a glass, not the bottle ladies
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Write Write Write! This blog has been the best therapy. **ps…thank you to anyone that still reads and enjoys this. You the real MVP.**
  • Make a list of all the things that you enjoy because you don’t have kids. For example, my Friday naps are a must!

 

Remember, you only have one life to live. Don’t let it pass you by.

 

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On a Break

There is this saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. In the past couple of weeks, that saying has stuck with me. After a year and a half of fertility drugs, one miscarriage, and a failed IUI attempt we decided that we are taking a break.

I had been thinking about this for a while but kept pushing through. I hate quitting and felt like if we took a break, I would somehow be giving up.  I have seen women go through this journey for YEARS, and here I am complaining after 19 months and “calling it quits.” I want to disclaim that Josh and I are not giving up on having children. We definitely want to start trying again, however  I need a break.

Right after my miscarriage, my mental health was not in a good space. And when I say that I mean it took everything for me to get out of bed, shower, go to work, or even answer the phone. Every little task felt exhausting. I was not okay.

In the past 6 months, I have gained 20 lbs. Right?!  I know what you are thinking. But, depression does that. I was already at a scary high weight and then my mental health went to hell and so did my weight.  When we were sitting in the waiting room before our IUI, I felt the intense emotion of the past year all at once. It was like my uterus slapped me in the face and I just started crying. I couldn’t stop. It was like someone turned on the crying switch. One of the nurses came over and asked if I was ok and I couldn’t even answer her. It was then I knew, I needed a break. If it had been a regular appointment, I would’ve told my doctor that day that I was going to take some time off. However, Josh and I were sitting there with our “specimen” so it was too late to turn back.

When we didn’t end up pregnant, I was upset obviously, but felt relief when I decided to take a break. Don’t get me wrong it’s still hard and it took me a couple of weeks to come to terms with it.  I have been so busy trying to get pregnant for the past 19 months that I have completely forgotten how to live normally. Now that I don’t have the fog of fertility drugs clouding every aspect of my day, I feel human. For the first time in over a year, I feel like myself again.

I decided that treatments would be on hold until I could get in a good space physically and mentally. I want to be able to tackle infertility with more strength the next time around. I don’t want it to take over my life the way it did. I know that infertility will always be a apart of my life and it will be hard. But I have to do this. For me, for my husband, and for our future family. I feel good about my decision to put everything on hold for awhile. As hard as it is, I feel in my soul it’s for the best.

I’m still going to blog, vlog, and talk about reproductive health and infertility. I’m not going to go on birth control or decide to live a child free life. I’m simply shifting my perspective and focus to myself and my health. Whatever happens happens and when we decide to jump back on the horse, I will be in a much better place.

 

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You’re Allowed to be Sad

I have found that in the infertility community, people can be NASTY. Not nasty in a gross way, but nasty in a mean and hateful way. There is this unspoken bar that is set that the longer someone else is infertile, the less validated you are in your sadness. I found this out when I joined a PCOS support group. One sweet woman shared that she had been trying for 6 months and recently was diagnosed with PCOS. Obviously she was sad and wanted support to prepare herself for the journey in front of her. Unfortunately, someone took this opportunity to shame her. The woman that was shaming stated that she hadn’t been trying long enough to experience real pain. “I’ve been trying for 3 years. You have no idea how it feels.”

Ok…..

I had a lot of feelings towards this post and eventually just left the group. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time I had seen something like that in an infertility forum/group. I have seen this on facebook pages, instagram pages, blogs, etc. I was so upset that someone took this opportunity to have, what my father would call, a “pissing contest.”At least that’s how it seemed.

Here’s the thing. Infertility SUCKS. It just does. It doesn’t matter how long you have been trying. It doesn’t matter if you just found out 5 minutes ago. When you hear those words, it’s devastating. Something inside you breaks. Something you didn’t know existed shatters. When I was diagnosed, my doctor acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt like I was having an out of body experience. My world seemed to slow.

“It will be difficult for you to get pregnant.” Who wants to hear that at 25?! No one.

I’m going to tell you something that you won’t see on your facebook “support groups.”

You’re allowed to be sad.

You’re allowed to grieve

You’re allowed to be angry

In fact, you should feel these emotions. Really feel them. Let yourself feel so that you can begin the healing process. I’m still feeling these myself, but I’m not sorry about it and you shouldn’t either. It took me awhile to get rid of what I call “infertility guilt.” Infertility is hard. It’s like having another full time job. But you don’t have to cut off your emotions because of it. I highly recommend talking to a therapist when you are diagnosed with any kind of reproductive issue. In the long run, it will improve your mental health and overall mood.  And as always, I’m here if you need a friend. 🙂

xo Kat

 

 

18 Months Later

I decided to post my first YouTube Video for this post.  Here I talk about Josh and I meeting the 18 month mark of our infertility journey and the most important thing that has happened to me since the beginning. I debated on what I could talk about and the one thing that stuck out to me the most was the community of women I have found on this journey.  Tap the link below and enjoy!!!

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When to Ask For Help

In the beginning, I was positive. Well, for the most part I was positive. Obviously, when I was diagnosed with PCOS I was sad. I cried a lot, but for the most part I felt positive. I started this blog and began talking about it. Talking about it helped. It validated my feelings.

Then a year passed and we still weren’t pregnant.

I felt the depression slowly creeping in. I stopped wanting to hang out with friends. I would come home from work and go straight to bed.  After my miscarriage, it got even worse. I felt numb. I didn’t care about anything. I hardly picked up my phone and never called or texted friends and family back. Thankfully, I started to see a counselor strictly for my infertility. It has changed my life.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for women to suffer from depression when going through infertility.  In fact, one study equated the depression to the type of depression one feels when they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. When I read that I was skeptical. However, after reading article after article and blog after blog, it became more believable. It’s a pain and sadness that can’t be described in words. It’s an emptiness that feels like it will never be healed. It’s something I’ve described as feeling on the soul level. It goes past mental and physical pain. It’s a pain you feel in your soul.

Not only does the pain of what is happening make one feel depressed, but the side effects of all the medications can do it. If you think about it, you’re pumping tons of hormones into your body that you don’t naturally have. Of course it will take a toll! I remember the first time I took my fertility medication. I felt so detached from myself. I remember crying to Josh and telling him I didn’t even recognize myself. It scared me and for a while I questioned if this journey was worth it.

Then I found a fertility podcast. It’s called “The Fertility Podcast” by Natalie Silverman. Look it up! Natalie is amazing! She interviews women from all around the world about reproductive health and infertility. She is an IVF mom and I hope and pray I can meet her one day.  She encouraged her listeners to seek a counselor as soon as they are diagnosed with infertility. I took that to heart and sought out a counselor the next day.

I uncovered so much emotional damage that was gripping my infertility with an iron fist. I found my triggers, and I found tools to help ease the mental and physical stress.

For those of you reading this blog, ASK. FOR. HELP. Do not be afraid to see someone. Infertility is sad and depressing. It ruins lives, marriages, and confidence in yourself. When do you ask for help? As soon as you feel the sadness and the heartache. It’s ok to be sad, but it’s also ok to be happy and feel joy. Even when life hands you a crappy hand.

 

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