Book Recommendations

Following the advice of my awesome support group leader, I am gathering as much information as I can about all of my options and listening to my gut feelings as I read.  This will hopefully help me to come to some decisions about where to go from here.

Here are some books that were recommended to me by friends or fellow bloggers that you might also find helpful on your journey:

1. Silent Sorority by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos- I just started this yesterday so I can’t really say too much about it but it is a memoir written by a woman who struggled with infertility for years and decided to live childfree.

2. Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos- This was recommended to me by a co-worker/friend of mine and is written by the woman who did My Big Fat Greek Wedding!  This is her journey about going through 13 rounds of IVF (yikes!) and ultimately decided to adopt her daughter through the foster care system.  It is an amazing story and beautifully written…and funny too!  At the end of the book she also has information about different types of adoption.

3. I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home by Lisa Manterfield- This is another memoir written by a woman who struggled for 5 years to have a baby and decided to live childfree.  It is a quick read and really details her struggles not only with infertility but how she overcame her grief over not having a child.  She also has a blog too called Life Without A Baby

4. Sweet Grapes by Jean and Michael Carter- This is a book written by a couple who struggled with infertility and decided to live childfree.  In the book they focus more on the process that they had to go through to really accept and mourn the loss of not having their own child rather than living childfree.  This is a really important step to go through on this journey regardless of what options you choose after that.  For this couple they chose to live childfree but they also include chapters about couples who have gone onto other options such as adoption, donor eggs, etc.

5. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson- This is NOT a book about infertility although the writer does have some struggles that she mentions in the book.  It is a memoir written about her life and it is HILARIOUS!  So I would recommend this book if you are looking for a break from all of the infertility crap and really just want to laugh because we all you could use that every now and then!

One of the reasons I started this blog was not only to get out my own crazy thoughts but to connect with and support others.  If just one person reads my blog and feels less alone or finds some helpful information or advice than one of my goals has been met.  Please feel free to share any books, websites, etc. that you have found to be helpful:)

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Infertility…you are a big bitch!

For the past few days I have been feeling a little cranky…correction a LOT cranky.  I knew Aunt Flo’s visit was coming soon even though there is always that “maybe” she won’t come hope but I knew she was about to arrive with her cramps, bloating and wanting to eat everything that isn’t nailed down.  I tried to tell myself that either way I will be fine.  If she doesn’t come then obviously that’s good but if she does then at least I can go on vacation without worrying about being pregnant.  And I can drink all the wine I want.  Well she finally showed up this morning which then led my emotions to spiral into a variety of different feelings.  I finally settled in on just feeling plain pissed off.

Last week, I posted about the 10 things I have learned by going through infertility.  Well this week, I just want to say F*** You Infertility!  You are a nasty bitch!  Maybe I am finally moving into the second stage of loss and grief: anger.

This is my Top 10 List of What I Hate About Infertility:

1.  All consuming- I hate that infertility consumes my thoughts even when I don’t want to think about it.  One minute you are fine and then the next you feel like you are being swallowed up whole.  I hate that it has consumed the past two and a half years of my life.

2.  Roller Coaster Ride- I NEVER liked roller coasters and now I am on what feels like a never ending ride.  I hate that I can feel 20 different emotions in the span of an hour.  I hate that in one month I go from being hopeful to being disappointed and then it all starts back up again for the next 28 days.

3.  Jealousy- I hate that I feel jealous of other people with children or people who are pregnant.  Sometimes I am even jealous of my husband who already got to experience having his girls.

4.  Isolation- I hate that infertility makes you feel so very alone.

5. Hormones- I hate that I have to inject myself with hormones to try to have a baby when my body should just do that on it’s own.  You feel 10 times worse on them and some of them even mimick pregnancy symptoms!  Just cruel.

6.  Decisions- I hate that I have to make so many decisions just to have a baby.  The really hard decisions like if we do IVF and have more than one embryo, what do we do with the rest?  If we do chromosomal embryo screening and one comes back with Down’s Syndrome what do we do?   If we can’t have a baby of our own then what do we do?

7.  Crying- I hate that I cry so much.  I hate that even if I am not actually crying that I am fighting back tears.

8. No control- I hate that I have absolutely no control over whether or not I will have a baby.

9.  Miscarriages- I hate that I had to experience the joy of pregnancy only to be taken away multiple times.

10.  Broken- I hate that I feel broken into a hundred pieces.  Everyday is a constant struggle to put myself back together and just when I have a few pieces fixed, something else breaks.

So that’s just how I am feeling right now.  It kind of feels good to get it out.  Anyone else have anything else they would like to add to the list?

At my last support group meeting, our leader left us with a final thought: “You won’t be infertile forever.  Eventually you will either have a baby, move on to a different option or you will decide to live childfree. But you won’t be struggling with infertility forever”  I remember feeling such relief when she said that because sometimes it just seems like an endless battle but after hearing that I felt like maybe there is light at then end of the tunnel.  Maybe not today or tomorrow but one day…

 

 

How do you know when enough is ENOUGH?

Recently I have been questioning a lot about whether or not to continue to keep going in this battle to have a baby.  I have struggled a lot with even asking myself this question because for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a mom.  I still do.  So for me to actually consider what a life might look like without that feels very strange.  But I am starting to think about how much this quest is costing me and how much further can I keep going?  I have spent a LOT of time worrying, agonizing, panicking, analyzing, questioning, etc. AND it’s exhausting!  I am tired.  I have let this affect almost all other areas of my life: my relationships, my teaching, my health, and just my general well-being.  That’s the part of infertility that I hate the most is that it consumes you even when you try as hard as you can to not let it consume your life.

I found 2 things this past week that really hit home for me in regards to where I am in my journey.  The first was this quote from fellow blogger at Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen  She posted this on her facebook page:

choiceimage

The 2nd was this post from another blogger at Ever Upward  She writes in her post about Defining Our Enoughs and Everythings:

“As I have written, I’ve taken out my counts; how many rounds of IVF I tried because I have found I included them only out of my own shame. Out of this need to prove to the world, and maybe to myself on some days, that I too have suffered and lost.

Infertility or not, we all must define our own enoughs and everythings.

Have you done everything you can? Have you done everything you need to? 

Have you done enough? Have you lost enough? Have you suffered enough?

Defining our everything and our enoughs in order to let go, embrace and move forward.

I think we can apply these questions to many areas of our lives that we are struggling with.

Infertility. Recovery. Relationships. Dreams. This list goes on and on.

I think what we all must remember is that only we can define what is everything and when enough is enough. When we define these through others’ expectations or society or because it is “what we are supposed to do” it only comes from this place of shame; a place of not honoring ourselves. Our everythings and our enoughs can, and need to, only be defined within ourselves.

If I don’t hold on to this, I can very easily get wrapped up in the shamed silence that surrounds my infertility journey and my recovery. Because, technically, I suppose, we could have kept trying. Technically, science has provided many options for us to keep trying. Technically, there are also other options.

But to not listen to myself, my husband and our light and truth would have been the biggest disservice to me, our marriage and, in reality, to the world. For us to go above and beyond what we know is our enough and our everything would have destroyed us because it simply would not have been our truth.
Only we define our enough and everything.We tried. We tried more than we had planned to. But, we tried again because our losses felt that crushing. We tried again because we knew that our everything wasn’t met yet. Only we could make that decision. We need to explain it only to each other.

And, our ever upward.

To let go of comparison, especially in our sufferings and recovery, is to find our truth.

Because we all suffer. We all lose. Hard is justhard.

And, we all must practice our recovery.

Trust in your truth. Trust in your everything. Trust in your enough.

Because, within that trust you will be found.”

This post really made me realize that I need to stop thinking about what everyone else thinks we should do and think about what do WE really want to do.  Often times we keep hearing people tell us to “keep trying”, “don’t give up”, “you can keep going”, etc. and while I am not trying to take away from anyone else who is at that point in their journey where they need to keep these reminders and need the cheering on, I too was once in that place not too long ago.  But what about those of us who have cheered and kept going but are now saying: wait a minute, haven’t I been through enough and can’t I just be done already??  Or if we do decide that we have had enough will people think that we are giving up?

Many people I have spoken to who have been down this road before and ended up moving onto something else like adoption, donor eggs, childfree living, etc. all have said the same thing: “You just know when you’re done”.  I can’t quite say that I am at that point just yet but definitely closer than I was a few months ago. The thing I am struggling with at the moment is separating out what I really want to do from what I feel like I SHOULD be doing.  I guess only time will tell…

 

Still one of my favorites:

inspiration

 

So What Do You Want to Do Next?

This seems to be the question of the day and quite honestly I have no clue.  Well that’s not entirely true…I have a few clues swirling around in my head but how do you know which one is the right one?  Anyone who is or has gone through infertility knows that this is the most difficult part…what do you want to do next?  Most often you are being asked this after you have just undergone a failed cycle or a failed pregnancy and usually after you have just pumped yourself full of hormones and/or spent a shitload of money…not a good combo!  But yet EVERYONE wants to know “what are you going to do next??”

Usually my approach to decision making is as follows: explore all of my options, see which ones sit better with me than others and usually one will eventually win out over the others and that’s the one I go with.  If I had all of the time in the world to decide this would be fine or if there wasn’t a whole other person in this equation aka my husband than this would be fine.  But time is not on my side and my husband’s feelings and opinions are just as important as mine and sometimes we don’t always agree.

My top three at the moment are as follows and in no particular order or maybe subconsciously they are:

1.  Continue trying either naturally or take the plunge into IVF

2.  Consider other options such as adoption

3.  Live our lives as is with no children of our own together

On any given day I could see myself in any one of these scenarios but that is the problem…it changes EVERY DAY!  My new Asian therapist, who I LOVE but haven’t thought of a nickname for her yet, has suggested that I shelve this decision until I am in a place where I can actually make a decision.  I am still grieving my losses and trying to heal.  My husband and I are trying to get back to just being a couple again and having fun.  I am a girl who likes  correction NEEDS a plan but every time I make a plan the fertility gods seem to laugh at that plan and say I don’t think so sister!  So for now my plan is no plan.

Some “helpful” advice we all just love in ecard format:

Gotta love it when struggling with infertility, people tell you, you can 'just adopt'. 'Cause it's so easy- I always have $30,000-$45,000 laying around, don't you?

I can't tell you how many times I was told this load of bull,,lol

You know what works best for me when I feel bad? When someone has no idea what I'm going through and tells me to get over it.

When you say everything happens for a reason, don't be surprised when I slap you in the face. It happened for a reason.