Friday, September 13, 2013

What Child Free Means to Me

I wrote a blog post for We're {Not} Having A Baby earlier this week. That is a child free website. The people who run it, Lance and Amy, are fantastic and supportive people. You can read my post here.

I got some VERY negative comments on that post from some members of the child free community. Some were downright nasty and cruel. It was so bad that Lance and Amy wrote this follow-up post. Their follow-up post was wonderful. I think it raises some great points.

I would like to thank all of the people who commented who were kind and those who disagreed with me in a civil manner.

I got a really sweet message from my hardcore child free sister-in-law after she read the post. She said something that I absolutely love -

"I tend to think of being child free as living life for me, not for my progeny. It means making yourself a Limited Edition Model vs. an assembly line item." 

This is the best definition I've ever seen of what child free living is. And this is exactly what I am doing - living my life for me and for my husband. To me, child free doesn't mean you hate kids. It doesn't mean that you think "breeders" are awful. It doesn't mean that you never, ever, ever wanted to have children. To me, child free means that you are choosing to live an amazing life without children.

It's funny, since we decided to stop fertility treatments I have started really appreciating my childless life. I have a job that I absolutely love and I work hours that wouldn't work if I had a kid. My husband and I are planning trips to go on because we love to travel. (Soon we are going to Niagara Falls!) Travel is just not as fun with littles in tow. 

Right now I honestly don't want to be pregnant. I don't want a child. (I never thought I would utter those words!) That could change in five years, I don't know. I'm leaving my options open because I find it confining and overwhelming to lock myself into a permanent decision right now. I'm only 26 for heavens sake. But for now I am so happy with the family that I have.

Writing that post and reading the responses did teach me something. I do not need the approval of anyone when it comes to how I self-identify. Right now I self-identify as child free. I am not childless or child preferred. Childless implies that I am missing something - I'm not. Child preferred implies that I want to have a baby right now - I don't.

I made a choice and I am happy with it. I am living a life that makes me happy. No negativity can take that away from me.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Little Fall Of Rain

I wrote this post in December describing my love of the musical Les Miserables and telling how it has related to my journey through infertility. My husband and I are watching it again tonight in the coziness of our home which means that we get to sing along (I was so bummed I couldn't belt out the lyrics in the movie theater).

This movie still means so much to me now that we've decided to live childfree. In my original post I said that if I ever had a daughter I wanted to name her Eponine because out of the rain of this hard time in our life something beautiful would grow - our child.

Well, we now know that a child will not be the flower that comes from this pain. But that doesn't mean that nothing beautiful can come from it. When I hear 'A Little Fall of Rain' now I think of my husband and I clinging to one another, me barely holding on, saying that a little rain can hardly hurt me after all we've gone through. He is comforting me giving me strength to hold on. I see great beauty in this. It is a beautiful love story - Two people clinging to each other during a storm and a war.

Rain still makes flowers grow, even if they were different flowers from what we expected. And they are beautiful.

"A Little Fall of Rain"

Don't you fret, M'sieur Marius
I don't feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You're here, that's all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow.

But you will live, 'Ponine - dear God above,
If I could heal your wounds with words of love.

Just hold me now, and let it be.
Shelter me, comfort me

You would live a hundred years
If I could show you how
I won't desert you now...

The rain can't hurt me now
This rain will wash away what's past
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
I'll sleep in your embrace at last.

The rain that brings you here
Is Heaven-blessed!
The skies begin to clear
And I'm at rest
A breath away from where you are
I've come home from so far
So don't you fret, M'sieur Marius

I don't feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now

That's all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close

Hush-a-bye, dear Eponine,
You won't feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt you now
I'm here

I will stay with you
Till you are sleeping

And rain...

And rain... 

Will make the flowers...

Will make the flowers... grow... 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It Isn't Easy

Since I revealed that we have stopped trying to get pregnant I have gotten some wonderful support and feedback. I really appreciate all of the love and support that I have received. One of the comments I keep getting is people telling me that I'm brave. This one baffles me. I certainly do not feel brave right now.

I am trying to accept that I will most likely never have children. This isn't easy. It hurts. I am dealing with such a wide range of emotions.

The things that bothered me while we were going through treatments seem even harder now. Pregnancy announcements hurt so much. My heart actually aches when I see one. Hearing people talk about their kids nonstop feels very isolating. I cannot relate to them. I never will be able to. That is a very lonely feeling. Not fitting in with the mommy crowd makes me feel like less of a woman. Knowing I'll never fit in with them in terrifying. I don't want to feel this lonely forever.

I live in a smallish, conservative community in the south. There are not many women around here that don't have kids or at least plan on having them. I spent my entire life just knowing that I would be a mother. Yet here I am. And where I am right now feels very weird and foreign. I have no clue how to navigate my future. I'm just kind of winging it. And I'm doing it without many other women around me that have been where I am. I'm scared.

I am dealing with a major crisis of faith right now too. I don't want to go into detail because I'd probably just come off sounding like a heretic to some people but trust me, I'm really confused about everything I've ever believed about God right now.

I keep telling myself that it will get easier. It has to get easier. I just wish the easy part would hurry up and get here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Barrenness Has Its Perks

Every night my husband and I talk about the many benefits of not having children. At first I could only think of the negatives but I’ve really gotten into this nightly game of ours. I thought I’d share some of our musings with you all.

We get to use as much foul language as we want in our house (and trust me, we use a lot of it). The dogs certainly aren’t going to go repeat anything we say to their grandma and grandpa.

We get to watch Dexter, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story without worrying about emotionally scarring someone for life.

I won’t need a boob-lift. Seriously, breast feeding does all kinds of horrible to your boobs. Mine will remain firm and perky for quite some time.

We can go on vacations that we will actually enjoy. No Disney Land for us! We can stay at those couples-only resorts and drink as many adult beverages as we want to.

Piper and Kabuki won’t have to compete with a small human for our attention. It would have been a very hard adjustment for them. We are pretty sure that they think they are human children.

The only cartoons in this house are South Park and Bob’s Burgers. Dora the Explorer will never be singing her annoying songs on our television.

The liquor cabinet will never require a lock.

We get to sleep in on the weekends. And naps. We get to take naps whenever we feel like it.

We will get to spend our money on things that are actually fun instead of paying for diapers and private schools.

It’s all about the silver linings. #Winning

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dreaming a New Dream

Image courtesy of
Once again I have to apologize for my absence on my blog. I have been VERY busy. I got a new job! I really like it and I am excited to be working outside of the home.

A lot has happened in infertility-land since I last blogged. My husband and I have come to yet another decision. We are not doing an IVF cycle this year. We are officially on hiatus from trying to get pregnant. We are going to re-evaluate how we feel and what we want to do in Spring of 2014. There is a very real possibility that we will decide not to pursue IVF. We will also not be pursuing adoption at this time (possibly never). Right now I am considering us childfree.

After nearly three years of hell I finally feel free. I feel like a ton of bricks has been taken off of my shoulders. My husband does too. Infertility has taken a major toll on my mental and emotional well-being. I see many women in the infertility community that go through treatments for years or who are going through the adoption process and they are still able find joy in their lives. I haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been stuck and massively unhappy. Please understand that this is the perspective I am coming from. I am still 100% supportive of those of you that are continuing your path to parenthood. It just became less of a path for me and more of a mud-bog of misery that I have been stuck in.

All that said, I am excited about the future now because my future isn't being held hostage by something that may never happen. I now feel like I have some control over my future.

My husband and I are learning to dream new dreams and we are working towards new adventures. We want to travel. We want to go on a cruise and to Las Vegas. I want to build a career. We want to do some home renovations. You know that room that was set aside to be a nursery? That is now my room to do whatever I want with.

We may decide in the Spring or even in a few years that we want to try again. Right now we are living our lives and learning to be happy again.

I hope you stay with me as I continue to blog. While I may not be trying to conceive right now I do know that struggle, the pain is still there and I will always fight like hell for the rights of every person to build their family. I will also be blogging from the ‘childfree after infertility’ perspective for the time being. I think this is an underrepresented group in the infertility community.

I still have a lot of emotions to work through. Some days are hard (for example, hearing about the royal baby non-stop for days has been really hard) and some days are great. I don’t expect to be 100% okay with not having kids anytime soon. I know it will take some time. I still cannot stand hearing about pregnancies or babies. If anything, knowing that I’ll probably never have those things makes hearing about them even more grating. Hopefully I will eventually get to a point where being around children and hearing about pregnancies won’t make me want to gag.

I realize that many people will think that I have simply “given up.” But you know what? It took more strength, tears and bravery than I can adequately express to come to the decision that we have.

I have not given up. I have chosen to live again.

Friday, June 28, 2013

An End In Sight

My husband and I had a long talk about the future and about infertility and we have come to a decision.

We are doing our one round of IVF sometime this fall, but that's it. If that cycle results in a pregnancy we will be thrilled. If it does not we will be devestated. We will mourn the loss of what we though our lives would look like. Then we will try to move on.

We need there to be an end in sight. These two and a half years have been full of anguish, disappointment, and sadness. We want our life back. We want to learn to enjoy life again.

This was a hard decision to come to. It's really hard knowing that I may not have the happy ending that I expected. It's hard knowing that my childhood dream of being a mother may never come true.

But that is life. Not all dreams come true.

Maybe I will have new dreams. Maybe chasing those new dreams will bring me happiness. I hope so.

Then again, maybe our lone IVF cycle will work and we will get a miracle. I want to believe that this is what will happen. But I'm starting to feel like I'm waiting for something that is never going to happen. So please, have some hope for me. My supply is running on empty.

Regardless of what happens, the blog will still be here. It might change a bit but I'm not going anywhere.

Much Love,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

In Which I Realize That I Have Value

I took a blogging and Twitter break for a month. I needed some time to think about things other than infertility and having babies. I needed it for my sanity. The break was helpful. I finally feel that I am truly okay and valuable without children. That may sound so basic to some of you. It's a big deal for me.

I spent most of my life working towards two goals- getting married and having children. Needless to say, infertility left me feeling lost and incomplete.

All this time I knew on an intellectual level that I was important even if I was never a mother but I didn't feel that way. During my break I finally started feeling that I am important and of value, and that having or not having kids will ever change that. Nothing will ever change the fact that I have value. I still have a long way to go in valuing myself as an individual, as just Rachel. But I'm getting there.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nope, Still Not a Mother(s) Day

I hate Mother's Day with a passion. I love my mom. I appreciate her more than words could ever express. I'm happy for women who are mothers. But I hate this day because of what it represents for me and many women like me - childlessness.

Despite all of the progress that women have made in our society there is still a stigma concerning women who aren't moms. We ARE looked at as less of a woman than a mother. We constantly get comments like:

"You don't know what real love is until you're a mom." 
"You wouldn't understand, you're not a parent." 
"Just wait until you're a mom. You don't know what tired is!" 

These types of comments are demeaning. They imply that our life experiences are less valid just because we don't have children. I have definitely been treated like less of an adult because I'm not a mom. It's like some people think that I can never attain true maturity unless I pop out a baby.

Maybe I'll feel differently about Mother's Day someday. But for now the only part of this day that I look forward to is the card that my husband makes for me from our dogs.

For those who have lost their mother, for those who have crappy moms, for those who have lost children, for those who live childfree and for those still waiting - I am thinking of you today.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures in Alternative Medicine - Take 2

The only thing that I personally have ever dealt with that even comes close to being as frustrating as infertility is Crohn's disease. Like with infertility, there are SO MANY unknowns and most treatment options have really awful side effects. It isn't uncommon to deal with a lot of Crohn's symptoms even if the disease isn't active in your body. A lot of times you don't know when the disease is active. Other than unreliable blood tests the only way to confirm a flare is with a colonoscopy or an MRI.

For the past month my symptoms have been showing their ugly head. I don't feel like I am dying or anything but having to run to the bathroom constantly certainly isn't convenient or pleasant. I went to my gastroenterologist and told her about my symptoms. She ordered those lovly blood tests and told me yet again that I need a colonoscopy or MRI. I, once again, said no to the tests. When I had my gallbladder removed in the Fall and subsequently had a bile leak and post-op infection I had several MRIs and a colonosopy. I am not eager to expose my body to more radiation or to have another colonoscopy quite yet (the prep is EXTREMELY unpleasant).

The blood test came back showing that I have some inflammation in my body but of course, this blood test does not tell you where the inflammation is or what is causing it. It could just be from a passing cold for all I know. It could also just be stress. Haha. Not like I have any stress, right? The blood test made my doctor really push for me to have one of these tests done. I get where she is coming from, I really do. But I'm tired of it. I am tired of tests and new medications and doctor's visits. I am not doing another MRI or colonoscopy right now.

So, I am trying to take control of things on my own. This may fail miserably and I may be going back to my doctor begging for one of those tests in a month, but I have to try. I came up with a plan of attack of things that I can do to improve my health. I generally find homeopathic and alternative medicine to be kinda cooky. I have not had great experiences with natural remedies before but I am willing to give some well-researched stuff a try.

No more gluten! I do not have Celiac's disease but I do believe that our society eats a lot more gluten than we were ever intended to. Most of that gluten is in highly refined and processed foods. All that processing is really bad for an already angry tummy. When I was eating gluten free I did notice a difference in how I felt. So I am going back to gluten free!

Kava every evening. A few months ago I discovered a really amazing herbal supplement for stress- kava! I started out using a kava tincture and after a bit I ordered the powdered root so that I could make kava-kava in the traditional way (in a drink form). The traditional preparation of kava did wonders for my stomach. It almosts acts as an anti-spasmodic for my stomach. I did not have the same result with the tincture because it contained alcohol and alcohol is very irritating to the stomach. Less stress is also important when it comes to getting healthy. Stress makes Crohn's worse. So, I am going back to drinking a cup of kava every night.

Iodine tablets. Iodine is a natural anti-inflammatory and there is a lot of science behind its benefit. (FYI- I have also read that it is great for women with endometriosis.) The majority of Americans are iodine deficient, so it certainly can't hurt. If it does what I am hoping it will lessen the inflammation in my stomach and I will have less symptoms.

Hopefully this stuff will do the trick and I will be back to a normal bathroom schedule shortly. I'm just so sick of depending on medications and doctors. I need to try this to empower myself and to at least know that I tried some lifestyle changes and natural options. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Advocacy Day

Today is Resolve's Advocacy Day. It's our advocacy day.

Why does advocacy for the infertility community matter? 

Because there are so many people in our own communities and in Washington that do not know what it is like to only have expensive options like A.R.T. or adoption to build their families.

What are the issues?

  • The Family Act is a bill to create a tax credit for the out-of-pocket expenses associated with IVF and fertility preservation for cancer or other diseases. This act died in the 112th Congress and must be re-introduced in the 113th. Read all about the Family Act here
  • The Women Veterans and Other Healthcare Improvements Act is a bill to improve the reproductive assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to severely wounded, ill, or injured veterans and their spouses. This bill will provide access to fertility treatment for seriously injured veterans and their spouses, adoption assistance, permanent authority for VA to provide child care, and other elements. Read all about the Women Veterans and Other Healthcare Improvements Act here. 
  • A continuing issue - Personhood legislation. Most personhood resolutions and amendments are worded in a way so as to make it sound like they are anti-abortion. That is SO FAR from what they really are. Personhood legislation aims to define every single fertilized human embryo as a living person, regardless of if it is in the human body or not. Personhood legislation, if passed, makes IVF next to impossible. Learn all about personhood legislation, what it is, and what it is not here. 

How can you advocate for the infertility community?

Call or email your senator or representative and ask them to co-sponsor S 131/ H. R. 958 (Women Veterans and Other Healthcare Improvements Act)! Find your senators here. Find your representatives here.

Educate yourself on current and future personhood legislation so that you can make the best decision in the voting booth and so that you can inform others of what this kind of legislation truly is. Keep up-to-date with personhood legislation here.

For more about Advocacy Day, visit this link:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blogger Beware

A couple of days ago I posted this article on Twitter. It is a long article, but I highly recommend reading it. It is about a woman who was diagnosed with cancer and started a blog about it. Like us in the infertility community, she found a lot of wonderful support online. The only thing is, not all of that support was 100% genuine. Not one, but THREE of the women she met online claiming to have cancer were FAKING the whole thing.

You are probbaly thinking to yourself,"What the heck?" Well, there is a name for this. Munchausen by Internet syndrome. I don't really know how I feel about it being called a syndrome. It seems more like just being a really lousy human being to me, but I am no doctor. It is mostly women, usually starts in the teens or early 20s and is frequently accompanied by another psychological or personality disorder.

When I posted this article, it really struck a chord with my Twitter followers. My friend, Jenny, wrote a post  about after we talked about on Twitter. Be sure to check out her post too!

It is awful to think that someone you have gone to for support during an incredibly difficult time is lying to you. It is a total breach of trust. The scary part? Our community is ripe for the picking to people like this. Infertility isn't something that shows on the outside. It is easy to fake. It is easy to lie about pregnancy loss, and there are plenty of women that do it. I know of three women off the top of my head who have lied to our community about infertility or miscarriages. Can I prove they are lying? No. Therefore I will not name them, but trust me, they exist. I have one friend who has been a direct victim of one of these people.

I might be a great target for someone with Munchausen by Internet due to how vocal I am about my struggles, but it is worth the risk. I have met so many wonderful people through sharing my experience with infertility. I've had people tell me my story helped them. That makes this worth it.

When you put your life and your struggles on the Internet you run the risk of encountering people like this. Does that mean you shouldn't reach out for support? Absolutely not. It is highly possible that one or more of the women I have become so close to are liars, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to start grilling all of my friends on the details of their struggles. Maybe the support you give will help one of the people who do this. They need help. They are obviously very, very troubled individuals.

There are things that you can look out for to avoid being emotionally defrauded on the Internet.
  • Notice inconsistencies. It's hard to keep up a lie, especially a big one. If there are a ot of inconsistencies in what someone is telling you they might be lying.
  • People with Munchausen by Internet will act almost excited or giddy about a serious downturn in their health. They will be excited about near death experiences, tragedies or hospital visits. This is a universal characteristic in all types of Munchausen disorders.
  • Their "conditions" will take many grave or tragic turns to be followed by miraculous recoveries.
  • They will avoid meeting you in real life, often making up bizarre reasons why they cannot.
  • Does the language they use and the symptoms they give sound like it is being read from a textbook? It might be.
  • They may have multiple online accounts and might be pretending to be multiple people.
  • Go with your gut. If your gut reaction is that something doesn't seem right, go with that and back away from the person you feel uncomfortable about.
It is important to be informed about this sort of thing so that you can protect yourself and your emotions but it is no reason to not seek support. The vast majority of the people in online support communities are wonderful people who will make your journey a lot less lonely.

To learn more about Munchausen by Internet syndrome read these helpful articles:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Birthday Hell

My friends, it is coming. Dah, dah, duuuh! Birthday Hell.

What is Birthday Hell, you ask? Well, my mother is the one who coined the phrase. Birthday Hell is the period from about mid-May to the middle of June. In this short, one month period almost all of our family birthdays are celebrated along with Mother's Day, Father's Day and my parents' wedding anniversary.

The only people in my immediate family that do not have birthdays during this time is my husband and my nephew. Me, my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law and my niece ALL have birthdays within this four week period. It is INSANITY. For most families, December is the most expensive month because of Christmas. Not in my family!

We have even taken to just doing one big celebration instead of individual birthday parties, the exception to that rule being my very young niece (She is little. She needs fun birthday parties!). Even with our giant celebration we end up having plans every single weekend during this time because of Mother's and Father's Day.

The big joke in the family is that if anyone has a baby from here on out they need to make sure that their birth does not fall in the middle of Birthday Hell. Funny thing about that? If our IVF cycle in August is successful our baby/babies will be born smack-dab in the middle of the chaos. Hahaha! Just imagine how much fun Birthday Hell will be if we get pregnant with twins!!

So, my dear family. I apologize in advance. Sorry - Well, not really sorry. I'd do anything to make this IVF cycle work and have a baby in the middle of Birthday Hell.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Welcome To My Brain

Having an anxiety problem (OCD in my case) is really hard. It's exhausting and self-defeating and it makes me want to scream.

Some days I feel trapped in my own head with my thoughts, and none of those thoughts are positive. Just worries.

Today is one of those days. And it sucks.

It is impossible to adequately explain what it really feels like in my brain right now. My thoughts are all jumbled. I'm irritable and I don't really feel like talking to anyone. Even innocuous things that people say can trigger another set of things to worry about. 

Of course the things I worry about when I'm like this never really make sense. They are things that I cannot change. I wish it was as simple as saying to myself, "Oh, that's an irrational thing to worry about. Stop it." and then going on with my day. It isn't. The more I tell myself NOT to worry about something the worse it seems to get. This is a pretty common characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Anxiety disorders are pretty misunderstood by the majority of people, and honestly, I'm glad that most people don't get it. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But it feels very alone at times. And it just sucks.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Twittergate 2013

***This post is referring to a dialogue that has been going on over on Twitter concerning how hard it seeing constant baby/pregnancy updates when women are still in the infertility trenches. Likewise, the women who are pregnant/parenting after infertility have a hard time because they want to share their lives with Twitter and the infertility community but they worry about hurting the women who still don't have children.***

***I am not coming down on either side of the arguments. I see both sides.***

Love can be a battlefield, but we are not one another's enemy. Infertility is our enemy. We have that in common.

I feel bad, but I really understand how the people who are sick of the baby posts feel. I get it. It does hurt. I get sick of it too. If you ever went through infertility you understand how much those things hurt and because you know how much it hurts it makes it harder to share your joy when you have a child. You don't want to hurt others but it is inevitable that the people in the trenches will be a bit hurt by such things, even though they are thrilled for you. It's an awful cycle. And honestly, I don't know the answer to it. 

I will continue to follow my pregnant and parenting after infertility friends. I will support you when you are nervous about your pregnancy, scared about giving birth and when you are terrified that you aren't a good mom. I will love  and support you and offer what encouraging words I can. I am not a mom, so my ability to understand is limited. But I will still try and offer what comfort and support I can in those things just like I know you'll support me and offer me kind words every time I find out that yet another friend is pregnant, another test is negative, another treatment didn't work, and when I need to vent.

I think that all anyone on either side of the argument has been trying to say is this- We need to be mutually supportive. 

We can be thoughtful of each other's struggles and still be happy in our own joy. We can be happy when we see our friends get their dream and still be sad that we haven't gotten ours. Let's do that. Let's just support one another. 

Love shouldn't always be such a damn battlefield. Let's save the battlefield for fighting infertility.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Join The Movement

***I had a hard time deciding what to write about for National Infertility Awareness Week. What have written here is me pouring out my heart. I hope that it will touch you in some way.***

I've been blogging about infertility since 2011. I have wonderful readers. I have made amazing friends and found an amazing support group on Twitter (@RachHasHope). But if I'm honest, I still feel completely alone a lot of the time.

While I have a wonderful community of support online, I still have my daily reality and I have to live in the community that is physically around me. That has become hard. I don't feel "normal." I don't feel like I "fit in." I just feel alone.

I do not have the ability to put on the act that everything is fine anymore. Does this mean I'm never happy or that I don't have joy? No. My family, my husband, my pups and my friends bring me SO MUCH joy. But the struggle is still here. It doesn't leave. And this struggle brings so much sadness, anger, stress and shame.

I've been very vocal with the people in my life about my struggle with infertility. I've gotten a wide range of responses to it. Some have been very negative and others have blown me away with their kindness and compassion. I'm sure that many of the people I know are sick to death of hearing about infertility. I'm sure many of the people I'm friends with on Facebook are sick of the infertility posts.

But I won't be quiet about it. I have two major reasons for that.

One reason is that EVERYONE needs to be educated about infertility and the infertility legislation that is out there.

We need to tell the people who don't struggle with infertility about it anyway. Why do "fertiles" need to know about infertility? Well, knowledge is power.
  • Sensitivity to the pain of others is always a good thing. I know that I would never want to unknowingly hurt someone with my words or actions. I like to be informed about things so that I can avoid that. Most (good) people want to help people who feel alone in a struggle.
  • The majority of people voting on infertility legislation are people who have never had fertility problems. Many of them have no clue what those proposed bills mean for people like us. Please make the people you know aware of this legislation and what it means for people like you. Please call you representatives about these things. Every voice matters. Learn all about infertility legislation here. The Center for Infertility Justice
The second reason is this: Even with the amazing infertility community that exists, people feel alone. 

People who do not know about the community feel alone because they don't have people like themselves to talk to.

People IN the infertility community feel alone for a wide range of reasons too.
  • People who have been trying to conceive for a very long time and still don't have a child feel alone because many of their infertile friends have had a child and now they don't feel like they have anything in common with them.
  • People who are pregnant or parenting after infertility feel alone and sometimes even guilty because they have found resolution. They want to share their joy but often feel guilty for doing so. They also don't feel like they fit in with the moms/dads that conceived easily.
  • People with secondary infertility feel alone because they are often told be grateful that they already have a child, even though the pain of not being able to have another is just as agonizing as if they had no children.
  • People who have stopped trying to conceive and are living child-free feel VERY alone. They don't feel like they can relate to the people still trying to conceive or the people who are parents. They are frequently made to feel that the decision to live child-free is a bad one. It's not. It's a very valid and healthy decision for many, many people.
  • People who choose adoption without trying treatments first are judged for that and people who do not want to adopt are judged for that decision too.
There is a whole hell of a lot there to make people feel alone. But we have more in common than we do different. We've got to support each other first if we ever want the rest of the world to be supportive.

I urge you, infertile or not, to join the movement.

Learn more here: Infertility 101 About NIAW

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter 2013

This is the first Easter since we learned that we were infertile that I have not been sad. Holidays are typically very hard for people going through infertility. They usually are for me. I'm really okay. I hope that feeling lasts through tomorrow.

Right now I believe that God is giving me a dose of what Easter is really all about: Hope.

Christ gave the world hope when He sacrificed Himself as payment for our imperfections. I am so grateful for that sacrifice and for love that He shows me daily. Even when I am angry at God, life and the universe He still doesn't give up on me. He sees every tear and mourns with me. That is love.

I hope and pray that this Easter brings you hope, peace and joy. Happy Easter.

Now a quick update- After looking over the finances and considering how long my body would need to fully recover from my gallbladder surgery and Crohn's fiasco, we are looking at doing our IVF cycle in August. Of course, I'll need the approval of my gastroenterologist first but hopefully I'll be well enough to get it. I'm very, very excited.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I know I'm a bit behind on this post. Most people in America have already forgotten about Steubenville and Jane Doe. I haven't. I wish I could've written a post sooner about this, but I was sick with a nasty cold. I think it turned out better this way, doing the post once most have forgotten.

I was sickened by the news coverage on the day that the rapists were convicted and sentenced.

"They had such promising futures."

"They are amazing athletes."

"This happened during an alcohol-fueled party."

"The girl was very drunk."

The above statements DO NOT MATTER. Those young men are rapists. They got off with a slap of the wrist. They'll be out probably before they see their 21st birthdays. This is appalling.

And we wonder why so many rape victims don't report the attack to the police? I didn't report my rapist because I knew it would be my word against his and that he would never be convicted.

I do not care how much a person has had to drink, what they were wearing or how many sexual partners they've had. Rape is NEVER okay. Someone who is passed out cannot consent to sex. No means no. This isn't rocket science.

At least, it shouldn't be.

I never imagined until now that I'd have to teach my future children that they shouldn't rape. I assumed that "don't rape" would just be a given. Society has shown me otherwise with their blaming of rape victims and sympathy for criminals. So I will teach my children not to rape. What scares me is this question- Who will teach the people that my children will come into contact with that they shouldn't rape?

Will my son or daughter go through the same pain and shame that I did? Will they be afraid to tell anyone because they think no one will believe them, just like I was? If someone hurts them like that will they be fortunate enough to live through it, like I was? These questions scare me.

I have a message for Jane Doe. It's for all the Jane Does of the world, really:

You are not alone. It is not your fault. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Your attacker(s) are the ones who are damaged, not you. You are a survivor. On behalf of every person who has or ever will be sexually assaulted, thank you for your bravery. Thank you, on behalf of women everywhere.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


For the entirety of my journey through infertility-land I have heard the word bitter. I've been called bitter by quite a few people. I've been told not to become bitter. I've heard about the 'bitter infertile' stereotype. It has become very apparent to me that people will think you are and call you bitter if you go through something difficult for a long period of time unless you act like it is just all roses while you're going through it.
This has prompted me to explore a little more what the word 'bitter' really means.

This is the definition of 'bitter' as given by Merriam-Webster:

a : being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is peculiarly acrid, astringent, or disagreeable and suggestive of an infusion of hops — compare salt, sour, sweet
b : distasteful or distressing to the mind : galling <a bitter sense of shame>


: marked by intensity or severity:
a : accompanied by severe pain or suffering <a bitter death>
b : being relentlessly determined : vehement <a bitter partisan>
c : exhibiting intense animosity <bitter enemies>
d (1) : harshly reproachful <bitter complaints> (2) : marked by cynicism and rancor <bitter contempt>
e : intensely unpleasant especially in coldness or rawness <a bitter wind>


: expressive of severe pain, grief, or regret <bitter tears>
— bit·ter·ish  adjective
— bit·ter·ly adverb
— bit·ter·ness noun

Lets go through this.

Regarding #1- (a) I am not a taste. So, no. I'm not bitter in that sense. (b) You bet! I find infertility extremely distasteful and distressing of the mind.

Regarding #2- (a) Yes. I am experiencing a bitter pain. I suffer. Infertility is horrible. (b) Yes. I am determined. I will be a parent. To will fight to become one until the bitter end. (c) This is the one I think people keep referencing when they talk about infertility and bitterness. Yes. I bitterly complain to God about my inability to get pregnant. Yes. Infertility has given me a lot of cynicism towards life. Most difficulties in life do. This doesn't mean I wish bad upon others. I don't wish my pain on others. I just wish others would try to understand and acknowledge my pain.

Regarding #3- Yes. I express my emotions. Right now, those emotions include severe pain and grief.

Based on this definition of 'bitter' I'd say it has a lot more to do with pain and grief than with the hatred and resentment that so many people seem to be confusing it for. Based of this definition I am most certainly experiencing bitterness. It is more of an emotion than an adjective. Hateful is an adjective, and I don't think I'm hateful. If anyone or anything is bitter, I'd say it's infertility. Infertility is bitterly painful.

I'm not in the habit of hiding my emotions. In my experience, that leads to feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and depression. I'm not going to put on a fake happy smile when I feel like I'm dying inside. You wouldn't ask a person going through cancer, a divorce or the death of a loved one to just slap on a smile. My grief is just as real, so please don't ask me to do that either.

Most importantly, the next time you start to call someone bitter, maybe you should think about what bitter really means and recognize the pain and grief that person must be experiencing. Maybe instead of calling them bitter you should love them through the hard times. That is what we do for the people we love, right? Love them even when life isn't all roses?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Learning to Breathe

Sorry I haven't posted anything new in a while! I have been very busy and very tired.

My health is definitely better than it was, but I'm now trying to get a minor Crohn's flare under control. I'm on a new medicine that should help and won't be harmful to a baby if I get pregnant.

I've been working a lot and trying to focus on getting my health back on track. I have my moments of sadness but, all in all, I'm doing pretty well emotionally.

I'm really proud of the business that I have built. I am finally feeling like I've succeeded at something in my life. Everyone needs to feel like they have succeeded, especially those of us who have trouble doing the one thing we never imagined would be a struggle - having a child. Find what you love and do it. Work hard at it. Trust me, it helps.

I feel like I'm learning how to live a more normal life, like before. As long as we are trying to build our family things won't be completely normal (whatever normal is), but I'm trying not to let the sadness consume me. I feel like I'm learning to breathe again.

I don't have much more to say. So I'll leave you with an adorable picture of my two sweet girls.