So here I am, a year and a half into my marriage, struggling with just about every aspect of my life, and now I’m grieving the loss of my pregnancy, worried that I might never have the chance to have a baby. We moved into a new home at this time, too, that was crazy expensive and equally awesome. It was my dream home. We stopped at nothing to get it (though it added tons of financial stress to our family), because we planned to fill that ginormous home (I call it my castle) with many children! I was never going to give up on this dream: the big, beautiful home or the big family.
We decided after that horrific experience with that hospital, that we would find a different doctor to help us. We went to one that was recommended, only to leave there in tears from her judgment on my weight and my vegan lifestyle. We quickly realized that she was not a good fit and kept searching.
We picked a hospital that was even further away, but after the first few minutes of our first appointment, we knew we were in the right place. They suggested that we try the IUI route – for those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s like artificial insemination- no needles or Petri dishes at this point. They told us they would try this four times, and if that didn’t work, it wasn’t going to, so we would have to go the IVF route next (enter needles and Petri dishes). I can’t remember the exact percentage they gave us for positive results from the IUI, but it wasn’t great. Maybe 18% or so? We had no known health issues, so there wasn’t a medical reason for infertility, which put us in the “unknown” category, reducing the chances of it working.
We went for our first treatment in January 2018. I’ll never forget that month, because an old friend of mine passed away suddenly during our “two week wait”. For those of you fortunate enough not to know what the two week wait is, it’s the two weeks after you ovulate before your period is projected to start. So when you’re trying to conceive, it’s two weeks full of hopeful anticipation that your period doesn’t come. You’re not supposed to drink during this time, rather you’re to act as if you’re already pregnant immediately after the IUI. I fully intended to follow those guidelines, not wanting to ruin any chances for this to work, but I ended up drinking White Russians, my friend’s drink, at a gathering honoring her. I remember feeling so guilty about that, but it turns out that procedure hadn’t worked anyway, and I wasn’t pregnant.
The next month for an early Valentine’s Day celebration, my husband and I decided to get away together, so we went on a short road trip and stayed at a cabin on a wine trail. We had a blast together. I think we both needed that teenage-free, work-free, stress-free time together to just let loose and enjoy ourselves. It was magical. We laughed so hard we cried on that trip. And then I got the smiley face while there. The smiley face is the indicator on a ovulation test that you’re ovulating soon, which means that you have to quite literally rush to the fertility clinic to have your procedure.
So, we skipped home and drove straight there, got our second IUI, and then another two week wait. But this time, it worked! I took several pregnancy tests this time, just to be sure it wasn’t a faulty test and that I wouldn’t be questioned again for any reason. I was so excited, but I was cautious. I checked constantly for signs that something was wrong. I was terrified of losing this pregnancy, too. And I did everything right. I got a good midwife, did prenatal classes, took hyno-birthing classes, did prenatal yoga, read tons of articles and books. I ate right, quit vaping, quit drinking, minimized caffeine, went for walks, rested… I was going to do everything in my power to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. And it worked. My life has never been the same since. I was meant to be a mama, and I have always known it.
This is a continuation of my story, which starts with me leaving my life in San Diego and going home to Rural USA to start completely over in my 30s. (Start here if you want the whole story). I am writing this story in a memoir fashion, and sharing in small segments (usually once a week). I talk about unhealthy relationships, my struggles with defaulting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, marriage, becoming a step-mom, struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss, financial stress, job stress, and more. I hope that by sharing my stories of struggle with these things, that some of the lessons I have learned might offer you comfort if you’re dealing with similar things. I also wanted to note that my life is certainly not full of doom and gloom, and there are loads of fun and good things I could share, as well, even amidst these struggles. I’m simply sharing the hard stuff with this series to be transparent, to find healing for myself by finally talking about this time of my life, and hopefully this will inspire and help change at least one person’s life for the better.
Peace, love, rock and roll,