First, let me start by telling you the happy ending of this story - I'm pregnant!!!
But as you may have guessed from the title, our road to conception was no walk in the park. Actually, if it wasn't for the constant nausea, exhaustion, and rapid weight gain around my mid-section, I would still probably be in denial.
This pregnancy did not come easy to us. The last two years have been an emotional marathon that has provoked emotions and feelings I never even knew I had. We even reached a point where we'd given up hope and started to lay our dreams of a sibling for our daughter to rest.
Now, I'm ready to share the journey, that only a few close friends and family know about; I had to finally become pregnant in order to find the strength to do so. I hope this may reach someone who's going through a similar struggle and that it gives you hope, or, perhaps you'll just learn a different side of me. But let me start from the beginning...
A little over four years ago, I met my husband. It was a love-at-first-site situation - yes, they're real! A few months after meeting, we were both aware that we were going to be in it for the long haul. I knew I wanted to have his babies, and the feeling was mutual. The desire to procreate with this person was primal. So, being the impulsive, follow-your-heart people that we are, we decided there was no sense in waiting.
I got pregnant right away - before we even had time to work out the details in the event I did
happen to get pregnant. Now I had to figure out the next steps - I wasn't even living in the same city as my partner, and I’d just bought a condo and was quickly moving up the ladder at my job in the financial industry. Big changes had to be made, and my brain was telling me that this wasn't the "logical" thing to do. Love is a powerful.
Everything changed overnight. I altered my life to come live with him in the small town I live in now. But as drastic as our decision may seem, and trust me, our friends and families thought we were loony, we both agree that it was the best decision we've ever made in our life. We followed our hearts, and everything in our lives just fell into place, naturally, after that. Best of all, we've created an incredible, compassionate, kind and loving little human out of love. Scarlett.
I didn't enjoy being pregnant with Scarlett. As a busy, active and task-oriented person, I just felt like pregnancy slowed me down - like a handicap - and it was frustrating. Looking back now, I recognize that I took my pregnancy for granted.
Labour and delivery went really smoothly - fast and excruciating, but smoothly. Thanks to my incredible husband, who apparently doubles as a doula, I was able to work through the pain and contractions without any drugs, which was my wish. I’m grateful that I was able to give birth without meds of any kind, even though I was begging for them at a certain "near-death" point.
Scarlett was a great baby, an easy toddler, and is now morphing into an incredible child. I could cry thinking about her beautiful little soul. It's easy to want another when your first is like Scarlett.
The Decision to Have Another Baby
When Scarlett was a little over one, and my mind magically began erasing the trauma of childbirth, we started discussing a second child. Of course, we assumed that it would be as easy as getting pregnant the first time. Boy, were we wrong.
Month one went by with no pregnancy, and we experienced, for the first time, that utter disappointment that anyone who's trying to have a baby will understand.
"What did we do wrong? Time to get more serious next month!"
So we took up Getting Pregnant as a part-time job, and with each, heartbreaking month that went by we added more to the job description...
Trying-To-Get -Pregnant Job Description:
- download ovulation apps
- pee on ovulation sticks
- monitor basal body temperature
- "try" a lot... even when you don't want to...even if you're both exhausted...even if you're fighting
- monitor diet
- cut out alcohol
- exercise (just moderately, though!)
- de-stress (try)
- monitor body's Ph (me)
- wear loose boxers (him)
- get blood tests
- get urine tests
- get male "sample" test
- get physicals from family doctor
- see a specialist
We did it all.
To top it off, it seemed that all of my friends and myriad strangers around me had become pregnant and had babies during those two years of what the specialist was now calling "unexplained infertility." I secretly hated them all and cried to my husband about it after hearing about their "great news". Yes, secretly, I turned into an envious, jealous, bitter, bitch. It obviously wasn't a side of myself that I liked.
When Scarlett was around two, things got even worse. Everyone innocently started asking, "So when are you having another one?" I'd reply, depending on my mood, with a flat-out lie:
"Oh, I don't know … we're really busy and just enjoying our time with Scarlett right now."
Or, I told the truth:
"We're workin' on it!"
When in my mind, I'd really be saying:
"I know you don't mean any harm, but I'm infertile, thanks for the f****n' reminder, mind your own business! Oh great, now I want to cry."
Note: if it isn't already obvious, NEVER ask someone if they're trying for a baby - not a newly-married couple or even a mother of three, because you never know what's going on behind closed doors - it's a very personal question. Even couples who aren't trying and just don't want to have a kids should not feel pressured to have to explain their reasoning to a stranger.
Early this year, we decided to see a fertility specialist. "Unexplained infertility" was our diagnosis. How strange, as everything was checking out ideally - I'm twenty seven, in prime-fertility age, in perfect health, and my husband's "sample" was turning out to be "superhuman," according to the doctor. (I'm rolling my eyes as I write this because my husband never let me hear the end of it!)
Unexplained infertility was not the answer I wanted to hear. I'm a fixer, and if there's no problem then I can't fix it! It was a very discouraging time.
This past January we decided to give a certain fertility drug a try. I'd always said that I'd never go against nature like that and intervene with hormone drugs, but I also didn't realize how strong the desire would be to have a baby. Every passing day that I wasn't pregnant meant that Scarlett would be one day older than her sibling. The sibling that I wanted to her to be close in age and best friends with, like I was with my brother.
The pressure was on and I decided to give this expensive, drug a shot. After two months of hormone drugs and two Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI's), my husband and I sat down, had a serious discussion and assessed the reality of the situation: the treatment wasn't working. The drugs were making me crazy, and causing uncontrollable hot-flashes; the treatment was expensive; we were in the process of selling our home, moving into a basement suite and starting to build a house; the company my husband worked for had just declared bankruptcy, which forced us to start our own company; and my blog and Modern Hippie product line was starting to grow too. There was WAY too much on our plate and our marriage was suffering as a result. Something had to go, and the only thing that made sense was the no-pay, high-stress, part-time of trying to get pregnant.
We made the decision was to stop fertility treatments and to stop “trying” for pregnancy altogether. It was definitely a weight off of our shoulders, and one less thing to worry about. I tried my best to bury my disappointment deep inside. With the pressure of "trying" out the door, our marriage was also on the mend, and our love life was, too. It was the right choice.
And then in late May - just like everyone says, "it will happen when you least expect it," - I learned I was pregnant. As I was in such a state of denial that this was again possible, I didn't even take a pregnancy test until I was 5 days late. I mean, we hadn’t even "tried" that month! In fact I was so doubtful that I was pregnant, I actually threw the pregnancy test in the garbage before it even had a chance to finish developing lines. It wasn't until late that night - when I dug it back out of the garbage – that I saw a very faint, second line. Even then, we thought it must be wrong.
I drove to the pharmacy first thing the next morning to buy a test that would show me a definitive "Yes" or "No". And it said Yes! Holy shit. We did it.
It's all been an exciting, whirlwind since then. I think back to the last couple years and, of course, wish that I hadn't put so much stress and pressure on the whole thing. I wish I had listened to those people who would recite me those annoying phrases like, "It will happen when it's meant to happen," and "It will happen when you least expect it." Maybe they were onto something? But man, at the time, comments like that would just make me want to roll my eyes. Being the control-freak that I am, these statements were confusing - there was nothing I could proactively do to "just let it happen."
I could sit around all day and wish this and wish that, but in the end, I know in my heart that it was
meant to happen when it was supposed to. I know that the perfect time is now
and we were meant to have this
baby. I don't have to wish anymore. My dreams are coming true, and in January, 2016, our family will be complete.
For all of you out there trying to have a baby, I want you to know that I get what you're going through. I understand with all my heart and soul. Infertility is heartbreaking, and frustrating, and can show sides of you to yourself that you probably don't like very much. But don't give up, don't stop trying, and try to understand that it will
happen when it's supposed to happen. Sometimes we just need to let go of a little bit of control and just trust
. Our bodies just know...the universe
just knows...and that is something I truly believe. (And sometimes you really do just be need to let the hands of science help out - and that's ok too).
When I stand back and look at the big picture that is our life, this pregnancy couldn't come at a better time. Yes, we could
have made it work if I got pregnant when we first started trying, but life would have been...even crazier. I wouldn't have been able to start this blog or my product line, we would have been living in a small, one-room, basement suite with a two little kids, while
building our house, and the pressure experienced when my husband lost his job would have been amplified. Now, this baby will have a room waiting for him/her when he/she arrives, and (hopefully) stress-free-ish, parents with a stable income. Things just worked out for us. I sincerely hope that they will for you, too.