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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Why We Won’t “Just Adopt.”

I first want to disclaim that I think adoption is one of the most beautiful things ever. EVER. I have friends and family that have been blessed with adoption and it truly is remarkable. However, I cannot stand the phrase “just adopt.” It makes my blood boil.  First, if you think about asking the question “why don’t you just adopt?” Please know that I have been asked that questions 100000000000000000000000000000 times and frankly, it doesn’t need to be asked.

When someone asks “why don’t you just adopt?” It makes the adoption process seem like a last resort. It makes it seem not special. It also makes it seem like it’s the end all be all cure for our struggle.

Wrong.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Adoption doesn’t cure infertility. SHOCKER! It doesn’t cure the pain, the struggle, the heartache, or the grief.  Adoption is not a band-aid that you can just put over your life to make it better. It’s honestly insulting that people think that way. Adoption is a serious decision. It’s also not any of your business. Chances are, the couple you are asking has thought about it a million times. They probably think about it 24/7.

I want to make it very clear that adoption has NEVER been off the table for Josh and I. I also want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have your own biological child. There is nothing wrong with wanting to experience the feeling of a baby growing inside you. NOTHING WRONG. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to adopt your entire family. How you choose to create your family is between you and your partner. So no, we won’t “just adopt.” We will create our family the way we want. If we decide to adopt, it will not be “just because.” It will not be to mask our struggle. It will be because we decide to take that leap. Infertility sucks no matter which way you slice it and starting a family will be difficult. Whether we decide to continue with treatments or adopt a child into our home, it’s a struggle that we have been given and will not be void of pain or heartache.  Period. There is no cure. It’s going to be hard. But it’s something we are willing to do because we want to be parents. However we decide to be.

 

Future parents right here 🙂

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Feelings

I’ve been pretty silent on my blog and infertility instagram account. Honestly, I haven’t wanted to talk about infertility. As weird as that sounds, because I’m so passionate about it,  I felt like I needed some space to heal.  Completely. Without the noise.

When Josh and I decided to take a break from treatment, I decided I would still blog and post on social media. I didn’t want to stop the momentum. However, I was quickly reminded by the universe that I was taking this break to heal and I needed to do it fully.  I stopped researching, reading, or even looking at infertility accounts. Whenever I would open an article, I felt angry and bitter. This is not what I envisioned my life being. I often get the comment “but you’re so young” like it’s an excuse. Like it should make me feel better. It’s not and it doesn’t.  My body doesn’t work properly. Period. It doesn’t matter how young or old I am. My body doesn’t care that I’m still considered “a baby” or “in my prime”. It still betrayed me. It still failed to carry my pregnancy. And it still fails to do what it’s supposed to everyday leaving me with the aftermath. It sucks. Plain and simple it just sucks.

Yes, I am young. And for that I am grateful that time is on my side. However, it doesn’t change the fact that for a year and a half I felt cheated. I felt like life was purposefully screwing me over.  Sitting in the waiting room before our IUI, I broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore and my emotions overflowed. Josh thought something was wrong with me, the nurses rushed to me and offered water, coffee, tea, whatever they could. I wanted to run out of the clinic and leave the world behind. But I went to the bathroom and pulled myself together. I wiped my tears, took a deep breath, and shoved my feelings and emotions down. And that my friends is the problem.

You see, it’s easy to plaster on a smile and tell yourself it’s going to be okay.  Fake it till you make it right? What’s hard is letting yourself feel the grief. Letting your heart break wide open and feel the pain. It’s ugly and raw and so damn uncomfortable. For the past month, I have reflected a lot on the past year and half. Has it really been that hard? Did we start too soon? What are we doing wrong? Why am I so traumatized? These are the questions that keep me up at night. My heart was already weak, and infertility made it weaker. The dam finally broke after my miscarriage. The pieces of my heart that I had left, were ruined. And this is why I am taking a break.

There are women that go through this for years. I can’t even explain how much I admire those women and how I envy their strength. For me, I felt too traumatized to continue. I knew that I needed to really look deep into my soul and begin to heal. Not just from infertility, but from my past. There is so much damage inside that I feel like my soul is stuck together with tape. I don’t want to give my child, or my husband, a heart that is barely holding it together. My family deserves my whole heart.  They deserve my best self. I’m so grateful for my amazing husband who has been nothing but 100% supportive of my journey to healing. He’s going to be the best dad.

I know that when I pick up treatments again it won’t be easy. Believe me I know that. But I want to be more prepared. I don’t want the bitterness to consume me. And honestly, I want to be okay if we can’t have our own biological children. I just want to be okay. Thank you to those that have reached out. Your love and support mean the world to me. I am healing. I am learning to love myself again. It’s going to be a wild ride, but I’m looking forward to the future.

 

 

 

Plus Size and Trying To Conceive (TTC)

As someone that is not ignorant to the fact that they are plus size, my weight doesn’t usually bother me. I don’t obsess about the fact that I’m “fat” or “thick.” In my mind if you don’t like the way I look, that’s your problem. I could care less what anyone thinks about me or my body. They don’t know my journey or my struggles so I just put my middle fingers in the air and go about my day.

I’m not saying I promote an unhealthy lifestyle. I’m not saying that at all. I’m also aware of the fact that I need to be healthier, and I have recently put in more effort to achieve that goal. However, I do want to talk to all my thick ladies out there that are worried about their weight.

Fat people get pregnant.

Yep. It happens every day. And guess what? Most of them have healthy pregnancies and healthy deliveries. Actually, you may even have a HEALTHIER pregnancy then someone of a “normal” (is there such thing?) size.  Your doctor will most likely be monitoring your weight very closely. Usually when you are plus size, the doctors don’t want you to gain more than 15 lbs. However, every body and pregnancy is different. And I have an empty uterus so what do I know? (Sarcasm guys..)

But I didn’t write this blog about being plus size and pregnant. There are many books and articles out there to give you the information you need. I’m writing about what it’s like to be plus size and trying to conceive. (TTC) Honestly,  it’s not that different. What’s different is the comments, looks, etc that are unwanted.

“Do you think if you lost weight you would get pregnant?”

“Have you tried losing weight?”

“Aren’t you worried about getting bigger?”

 

Here’s the thing, the perception society has placed on the female body is a load of BS. It’s true, you SHOULD be healthy and you should try your best to be the healthiest you can be. However, you should also learn to love yourself as you are.  If you continue to hate yourself, shame yourself, and put conditions on yourself you are never going to be happy. Period.

Josh and I decided to take a break from fertility treatments to focus on my health. Losing weight is a personal choice, but I’m not doing it to get pregnant. I’m doing it for my mental health.  I am perfectly content getting pregnant at the weight I currently am. I’m learning that loving myself is the most important thing about the infertility journey. It’s not about your weight, because a number doesn’t define who you are.  Learn to love yourself because there is only one of you.

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XOXO Kat

 

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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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!

 

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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