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.

 

why-are-frogs-be-happy-meme

 

Infertility Explained By Ross Geller

When you see the latest pregnancy announcement on Facebook

maxresdefault

 

 

Then your friends/family ask if you’re okay

ross_23

 

 

When someone tells you for the millionth time to “relax and you’ll get pregnant”

ross oh wow

 

When you’ve just been probed at the doctor’s for an hour and have to go to work

929b068f430a312e3b48014b22c81b40

 

 

When all the fertility treatments hit you at the same time

09e3bec1a939f2e0aafd561f643c352d--interesting-stuff-ross-geller

 

When you’re in your fertile window 

3ae21e60be19be66cb9e02bd5c59d5ca

 

 

When another month passes and you’re still not pregnant

karm-drops

 

 

Then you have to deal with the period hormones

Ross-Geller-ross-geller-31146417-500-387

 

 

When you see all the pregnant women at the Doctor’s office

ross i hate that

 

 

Or when everyone at work is talking about their kids and you try to be apart of the convo 

6157f356a9b1b1dad65711b357a9374a

 

 

 

When you’re trying to make it through your friend’s baby shower

large

 

 

When family/friends tell you “once you stop trying it will happen”

ross big eyes

 

 

When someone says “maybe it’s not meant to be”

ross feelings

 

 

When you try the latest thing sworn to make you conceive

Ross-Geller-Unagi

 

 

 

When it’s been a long time, but you realize you’re a badass woman that is still amazing without a baby. 

2c6ad71442424dfece6a98b807268c31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Self-Care

Have you ever found that it’s so easy to take care of other people, but super hard to take care of yourself? Well don’t be because it’s pretty common.  I think that society has taught us that self-care is considered selfish. It’s selfish to think about yourself when there are others that are struggling.

THIS IS FALSE.

Have you ever flown on an airplane? What do the flight attendants tell you about the face mask? Put it on yourself before you help other passengers.

Self-care is especially important when going through infertility and the treatments that come with it.  Infertility is stressful, emotional, and draining in all aspects.  It is CRUCIAL that you practice self-care during this phase of your life.  For me, self-care means doing things that bring my soul happiness and peace. I have put together a list of the things I do to practice self-care.

 

  • Listen to show tunes ALL THE WAY UP
  • Take long baths
  • Practice Yoga
  • Binge Watch FRIENDS or Supernatural (or both)
  • Blog
  • Meditate
  • Go to the beach
  • Put on a full face of makeup (weird I know, but it seriously makes me happy)
  • Bake
  • Drink a glass of wine on the porch with my super hot husband
  • Read a book in bed

 

 

What ways do you practice self-care? Leave a comment below!

 

self-care-quote

Jenny’s Story

The following is a blogpost from my dear friend Jenny about her experience with depression and fertility treatments.

The Day I Yelled at the Worcestershire Sauce

 
Infertility has consumed me. Again. And taken such a heavy toll on all of us emotionally and mentally.

Trying to get your body back into a good groove after a loss is a slow, painful waiting game. Sometimes it just really sucks to be two weeks late and getting negative pregnancy tests. Like a really mean trick. I am positive (pun very intended) that I have spent more money on Dollar Tree pregnancy tests than I have on makeup or cosmetics. They have a term for my kind. POAS Addicts (peeing on a stick). It’s true and kind of gross, but also pretty funny.

After the dreadful wait, I was finally able to start Clomid again. It was exciting and overwhelming all over again. Even though I’ve done this four times before, the fifth seemed to be just as hard if not harder. There is so much hope, wonder, waiting, fear, doubt, and frustration. But a positive test is no guarantee. At least I won’t let myself believe that. Having a history of losses takes the fun out of a pregnancy. But a positive test is much better than a dozen negatives.

Another round of Clomid didn’t work either. And I am sad. We are sad.

At the beginning of October I started feeling extremely exhausted. I blamed it on a teething toddler that was constantly attached to me. His separation anxiety has gotten even worse, so sleeping has become a constant struggle. He has never truly slept through the night and will be 2 this coming March. A tired house is a hard house.

Thomas and I recently bought and expanded into an entire town home. We’d been living in the basement for 2+ years. While it was doable, it was tight quarters. It was exciting to “move” into a house and get everything organized. I thrive on cleaning, organizing, and seeing the finished product. I had a lot of distractions and plenty of things to keep me busy. I was still extremely tired but just kept writing it off as being a toddler mom with a lot going on.

Things were great! The new house was fun. We got to decorate, get new furniture, etc. I was happy, but I just couldn’t shake this weird feeling. My mind was happy, but my body wasn’t. I ignored it and kept myself distracted with the new house. I loved all of the fun, new and exciting changes. But I was still so, so tired.

And then there were days where I felt like I was having an out of body experience. When I was standing in a room with someone having a conversation, it felt like they were on the other end of a football field and I had someone else’s Coke bottle glasses on. There was a scary disconnect. A big, blurry wall surrounding me. Nothing felt real. I didn’t realize what was going on until I spoke up about it on Thanksgiving day.  I finally called my mom to try and explain this dark, gray cloud that was looming. At one point I even told her that I knew I was talking to her, but it didn’t feel like I was actually talking to anyone. I was just simply existing. Everything was very surreal.

Days were blending and time didn’t make any sense. I was confused about the day of the week and shocked when the clock said 3 PM out of nowhere.

I’ve always been aware of depression, but it had creeped up on me so slowly that I didn’t recognize it until it had completely taken over my everything.

I started asking around and looking into meeting with a mental health specialist, but I had no idea where to even begin. This wasn’t just mommy blues, this was real. My logical brain understood that everything was fine, but my emotional brain was so disoriented. It was so frustrating to recognize this but have no control over what was happening. I talked with my sisters about this very feeling and they knew exactly what I was talking about. It made me feel like what I was going through wasn’t completely crazy and confirmed what I was feeling.

Driving was stressful and gave me anxiety. My senses and reaction time seemed to be off and slightly delayed, so I didn’t trust myself on the roads with crazy Denver drivers. Driving felt like a video game, so I refused to leave the house. I didn’t want to talk or see anyone. I even ignored texts and calls. I got so desperate for sunshine that I took Lincoln on a 15 minute walk in windy and 30 degree weather. (I wasn’t aware of the temperature, but I had bundled us up and we were very warm!)

I told Thomas that I was so scared to leave the house, so I just kept cleaning because I knew I couldn’t mess that up. I could focus on a task and feel accomplished without having to worry about screwing everything up. I was on complete auto pilot. I was only able to do my job as a mom because I was so used to doing it. We were safe and fed, so I was content.

I never, ever had thoughts of self harming or hurting my child, so I consider myself very lucky. I kept telling myself how wonderful our life is and that I should be happy, but I just simply couldn’t.

I tried running up and down the stairs for exercise. Jogging in place. Jumping jacks. I was trying anything and everything I could think of to try and get rid of this feeling. I made lists of things like taking vitamins, eating better, etc. Absolutely grasping at straws.

All I’ve ever wanted is to be a wife and mother. During this low time I had zero desire to get pregnant. Even though we were actively going through fertility treatments, I just simply did not care about getting pregnant whatsoever. And I think that was my first clue toward diagnosing the cause of my sadness.

Speaking up, even before I was full aware of the severity, was the biggest step. I just kept talking myself out of these feelings and expecting to wake up one day and feel completely normal. But it lingered or just got worse. So I explained what I was feeling in the best way I could. It really is hard to put into words what you’re going through when you’re not even sure of what it is.

I started back tracking and trying to figure out when it truly started. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason, but a few things made more sense as I tried to diagnose myself:
– Lincoln was sick with a crazy stomach bug in late October, so I kept him quarantined in the house for 5 days straight. Cabin fever.
– My mother in law moved. She was the sweetest roommate and always kept me company when Thomas was working. One of my best friends was gone.
– Lincoln’s sleeping troubles were at their absolute worst (he nursed for 10 hours straight one night. TEN.), so my days were really hard with both of us overtired and cranky.
– We were hosting Christmas this year, so I was in overdrive trying to make sure the house was ready for company.
– Clomid.

The tipping point. I took Clomid to conceive Lincoln a few years ago, but I never had these sort of symptoms. At least I wasn’t aware of them. I think I was already having a bout of sadness before starting treatments, but nothing major. Adding the artificial hormones from infertility treatments was just too much for my body and mind this time.

I reached out to anyone and everyone I could think of that may be able to help. My mom groups and other infertility message boards.

Once I connected the Clomid to these feelings, it started making more sense. And by reaching out I found that others have experienced the same things.

I had no idea hormones could play such a vital part in mental health. I’m glad I know that now, but I wish I’d known that I wasn’t losing my mind and that it wasn’t my fault. The symptoms and side effects of medications are often disregarded or never even mentioned. I know so many women that are going through fertility treatments, so I wanted to put this out there. I wish I’d spoken up sooner, but I wasn’t even aware that I needed to bring anything up. If you ever take Clomid, keep an eye out for any odd changes in behavior or thoughts.

As for the Worcestershire sauce. I knew something was really wrong the day I couldn’t find the Worcestershire sauce and almost completely lost my cool. I remember getting so upset at the sauce. All I wanted to do was make my husband a stupid hamburger, and I was failing. I was slamming cabinets and shoving things out of cupboards. I gave up after a few minutes and just had to laugh at myself. I felt so crazy and it was such an absurd thing to get so upset about. But I did. Just a funny little anecdote on the kind of crazy things hormones can put you through! 😉

What Infertility Has Taught Me

Yesterday was the last day of infertility awareness week. If you follow me on instagram, you have seen my multitude of posts. This year’s theme was “flip the script” which aligns with the purpose of my blog beautifully.  I so badly wanted to post a video to describe my final thoughts on infertility awareness week, but the words escaped me. And honestly, I couldn’t get through it without crying.

Infertility is hell.  It is a pain that has no words to accurately describe it. It is a pain that you feel at a soul level.  However, infertility has taught me beautiful things.

Infertility has taught me compassion. 

Infertility has taught me patience

Infertility has taught me to love myself 

Infertility has taught me humility

Infertility has taught me that I am worthy without a baby

Infertility has taught me how to speak to others

Infertility has taught me to reach higher

Infertility has taught me the true meaning of hope 

 

The past 15 months have really forced me to look deeper. I have been forced to ask myself questions that are difficult and I have been forced to make decisions that are difficult. But I have also found a wonderful community of women that I never would’ve found otherwise.

My intention of starting this blog is still the same now. It’s time to change the conversation about infertility and women’s reproductive health. It’s time to start talking about it. It’s time to bring awareness to the silent struggle that millions of men and women are faced with. It’s time to stop feeling ashamed, lonely and lost. It’s time to flip the script.

 

flip-the-script.png