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The truth about the hell we are going through

Oh, boy. I knew this post was coming. It may have taken me a year to cool my pride down and realize that I really need to write. I'm going to chuck this out on the table. Because I don't really know another way to put it...especially eloquently. (I wish I was still an eloquent writer...not so much anymore). Trevor and I are struggling. Immensely. With what? Trying to conceive. Infertility. So how's our marriage? It's good. It's great. I mean, really, 99% of the days, we are solid. And I'm so thankful for that. But I have felt the need to sit down and write, and here I am. Infertility is the devil. I feel like we go through the stages of grief over and over and over again. Let's do this treatment. Oh wait, there's something wrong. Let's fix you. K, it's fixed. Let's start again. Oh, it didn't work. Darn. Next step. Oh wait, there's something wrong, we can't do the next step. You can't have expectations. Yet you feel guilty for being pessimistic. It's this cycle of stress, anger, acceptance, sadness, confusion, frustration, excitement, then despair. Repeat. You go through hell to learn there was no reason for you to go through it anyway, because it didn't work. You go through awful treatments that make you feel icky to only throw away your 20th negative pregnancy test that year alone. Your husband feels helpless and you feel bad for being so sick, but so appreciative that he's willing to give you back tickles and cry with you.



Now, if there's something wrong, I want to fix it. If there is confrontation that is needing to be had, I will have it. I found myself putting a list together of all of the things I wish I could tell everyone. And then thought, "Why the hell not? What is stopping me?" My pride has been stopping me all along, but I'm ready to set that pride aside....and let it all out. So, here goes. A handful of things I not only wish I could tell you, but things I wish everyone would understand, take into consideration, and know.


01. I think I'll start off with a quick apology. Throughout the last year or so, every time somebody asked me something that involved children, pregnancy, adoption, IUI, IVF, etc...this was my reaction.


Get out of my uterus. Get out of my business. You're insensitive to ask me that.What I've learned: People mean well. They really do. There isn't any friend or family member that I can think of who just wants information to gossip or to use it against you. My pride got in the way (aaaagain). If you are reading this, and you have gotten blank stares from me or not-so-sweet reactions to a sincere question, I am truly sorry. I am still learning on proper reactions, tact, and kindness.

02. I'm sharing this for two reasons, and two reasons only: to help you, and to help me. You see, nobody talks about this crap. I didn't want to talk about this crap. But there are SO MANY women going through it! And SO MANY that feel alone, including me. When I read posts about people struggling with something similar, it gives me hope. You are not alone. And if you ever want to talk, please email me, text me, call me, or let's go to lunch! This is not something you can handle by yourself. I've been so incredibly grateful for my sweet husband. But on top of that, friends who have dropped everything to be by my side when Trev is out of town and I feel like I can't take another breath. This is not an easy thing to go through.

03. I'm happy for you. I really am. Those beautiful human beings around me that are announcing their pregnancy and giving birth, I am totally happy for you. I've been so blessed to never be a very envious person. I'm a fairly optimistic individual, and if you are pregnant, please don't feel like you have to walk on eggshells around me. I am so happy for you. I want this for you. Seeing you become a mother, or a mother again, makes my heart incredibly happy. Wanting it for myself is another story. Luckily, I haven't felt the tinge of jealousy quite yet.

04. I am always exhausted. I have never known this type of exhaustion before. My hormones are on a roller coaster. Even ask Trev: I cried the other day when he made me chicken noodle soup. It was just SO good. While it's not always funny, it's often mood swingy, and frustrating. It's not only physically debilitating, it's emotionally tiring.

05. I feel really really stupid some days. More times than not, I'm striving to count my blessings. I've only been dealing with fertility troubles for a couple of years. There are couples out there who have tried several rounds of IVF, or been trying with multiple fails, and miscarriages for over a decade. I feel so blessed and know it could be worse. Oftentimes, I want to shake people and say, "It could be SO MUCH WORSE." But it's okay to still feel bad for myself every once in awhile. Or so I think. :) I feel really lame for feeling bad for myself, because I know that I don't have it as bad as many do. On top of this, I feel extremely inadequate. I feel like I came to Earth to do something I cannot. And it hurts.

06. I have moments where I question my faith. It's embarrassing to me and also terrifying. I know everyone struggles, so I'm not afraid to admit it. However, I feel bad that I have let God know that I am struggling with Him. I oftentimes have a hard time understanding the whole plan. 16-year-old girls are getting pregnant, oftentimes aborting them. Drug addicts who don't want a child are giving birth to addicted babies. I'm not perfect, but what I want is a righteous desire. So, why exactly can't God give us what He has promised us? Clearly, after reading this, you will probably think, "Oh, yep. That's why she doesn't have a kid yet." The big man upstairs is trying to teach me much more than patience. I love the gospel. I know we all have a plan. I just have my days.

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07. What hurts me. While I'm not one to tell you how to live your life, there are a handful of things I'd love to express that have hurt me in the past that I wanted to bring to people's attention. Things that aren't true. My rebuttals. My thoughts. My feelings. Perhaps it's just me being sensitive, but in order to raise awareness, some problem and answer type situations should be addressed, right?

Phrases

  • 'Just relax and it'll happen!'
    I completely understand that stress can play a big part into your hormone levels. But there is a medical diagnoses that I have received that has proved to contribute to infertility. The problem isn't that I 'need to relax.' It's that there are medical issues that we are working on clearing up.
  • 'At least you know you can get pregnant.' 
    This one. This. One. Yikes. I had an early miscarriage. This phrase has been said to me from quite a few people. And as I mentioned earlier, they mean well. But, it doesn't help. At all. In fact, I'd rather not ever get pregnant than get pregnant and lose a baby. It's extremely painful.
  • 'Stop thinking about it and it'll just...happen!' 
    Ha. Don't get me started on this one. Just....don't

Pregnancy complaints


  • Pregnancy is hard. It is. And I'm sure it's much harder for others as well. But please don't post on FB about how miserable your week is due to the glucose drink you had to drink when you have a healthy baby growing inside of you that you didn't try very hard for. That may sound extremely heartless of me, but the complaints amaze me. 


08. What you can do for us:  Just pray! I wanted to write this because currently, I'm totally dying inside. Ha!  I'm currently a broken individual that is trying to find the happy 'wins' in each encounter I have. I'm still trying to find that line between not being pessimistic, but not having any expectations. If you ever need to chat, I'm always here. It can be difficult to talk so openly about our struggles, but it's something I'm constantly working on.


*Lastly..if you are a religious individual struggling with infertility, I've put a fabulous resource below that I have found to be incredibly comforting.

(Click here: 31 days of scripture during infertility.)

If you made it this far, I freaking love you. You're a gem and I appreciate you listening to me rant. Today was a rough day. And right when I press that beautiful orange "publish" button, I'm going to sleep so good tonight.

19 comments

  1. So, so sorry you are struggling with this! My heart is hurting for you. Thanks for sharing your insights. Love and prayers coming your way!

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    1. Thanks, Al. I'm grateful to have you as my family. Love you, cuz. XO

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  2. Just because I know what it looks and feels like, I've had a hunch for awhile that this was something you were going through and I have been praying for you. I struggled with multiple miscarriages and years of infertility and know how heart wrenching it can be. My mom had 11 kids...I thought God wanted to pour down children to righteous parents, why not me? I wanted half a dozen kids but my plan wasn't God's plan and I understand that now. I'm grateful for what He's given me but it took a long time to appreciate that. You are still and always in my prayers!!! You're amazing!!! PS: I love your blog!

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    1. Thank you for your prayers! And thanks so much for the sweet compliment. :)

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  3. Sending love and prayers. I'm sorry it hurts so bad. I'm sorry for all the insensitive comments you've heard. I hope you do sleep so good and find a little piece of hope to hold on to so so tight. ❤

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    1. That's okay. :) After posting this and seeing how much support I've had, holy hannah. How can I ever complain again? Thanks, Bethany. Hope you're doing well!

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  4. I really am so sorry you're going through this. I will be keeping you in my prayers!

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  5. I don't even know you, but I found your blog a year or two ago from a recipe on Pinterest. I enjoy reading your posts because they are real and honest. I can't pretend to know what you're going through, but I hope and pray that God will answer your prayers. I also have a blogger friend who is also struggling with infertility, you can check out her blog if you want: http://bumpstobaby.com. Hugs!

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    1. I'm so glad that you have stuck with me while I have a million hiatuses from blogging. THANK YOU! I always strive to be real and honest, even though it's difficult sometimes. I'll definitely check out your friends blog as well. Thanks so much for commenting, Brittany!

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  6. Amanda I think you are SO brave and such an amazing human. I really can't even begin to imagine what you are going through right now. I'm just so sorry and I will keep you and Trevor in my prayers. I know my journey to Charlie wasn't even close to as hard or long as your journey, but I did have a lot of the same thoughts and struggles, including losing my first baby at 8 weeks. It helps sooooo much to talk about it. You can vent to me ANYTIME. Seriously. You have my number (thanks BambooHR). I just admire you so much! Big hugs!!!!

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    1. Hannah, this means the world to me1 Thank you so so much. So sorry to hear about the loss of your first baby. Nothing ever takes the pain away. We need to hang out sometime, for reals!

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  7. Reading your post really hit home with me. My husband and I have suffered infertility as well. We did numerous rounds of IVF treatments (almost 5 years) and spent thousands of dollars. We would get so far in the process and the doctor would say "things don't look just right, let's stop the meds and wait another month". Well we have just spent hundreds of dollars on meds (insurance would not cover anything) and they are now wasted. We were finally able to get pregnant for one round and lost the baby at 4 weeks; we were never able to hear a heartbeat. The baby just did not grow the way it should. We were heartbroken. We waited for a while and after much prayer we decided to try again. After a few more tests and meds that never got me to the "good spot" the doctor called us in to discuss egg donation. After much discussion and lots of prayer I decided (my husband said it was my decision because it was my DNA that would not be used) that I did not care if it was my eggs as long as the baby was healthy and I could be a mom. So we did the whole sorting through files and decided on a couple that was also struggling with infertility. They could not afford the meds (the husband had low sperm count so they needed IVF to get the best chance to fertilize her eggs) and we agreed to pay for meds and treatment in exchange for 12 of her best eggs for 1 cycle. For the first time in a long time I felt hope. We kept this round quiet. As you know people think they are being supportive and they are trying so hard to be helpful with all of their little nuggets of wisdom (these people who have never struggled with getting pregnant and of course friends who were getting pregnant were scared to death to tell you...UGH!!). We just decided that it was better to keep it to ourselves while we did this. And it worked the first time. I was finally pregnant and we finally saw a heartbeat. We were ecstatic! I couldn't believe it finally happened. We still did not tell anyone. We wanted to wait and make sure everything was okay. After we made to the 2nd trimester, we told family and informed that things were going well but we still had to be cautious. About 3 weeks into the 2nd trimester we went in for an ultrasound and there was no longer a heartbeat. I felt it in my gut before we ever got there. Nothing had happened. No bleeding or cramps just something felt off. When the doctor gave us the news, something in me snapped. I knew in that moment that I could not go through this again. We grieved and I felt like I would never be whole again. My husband was so supportive and constantly telling me that we would get through this and do whatever I wanted to do. Later he confessed that he did not want to go through it again but would try again if I wanted to. It has been almost 4 years to the date that we got that devastating news. And you know what, we are okay; I am okay. I have accepted that it is just not in the cards for us to have our own child. I am a social worker and know that there are children in our own state that need parents. We have since taken the classes to become adoptive parents. And if you think IVF is a slow process you haven't seen anything! LOL! But I know that God has a plan and I have to trust that. There are moments when my heart aches, especially at Christmas when you see the pure excitement and joy of the nieces and nephews and I wish we had one there in the mix of it all. But I hold fast to the knowledge that we have done everything we can to have a child in our lives and when it is right it will happen. I pray that you are able to have one of your own. And I pray that you have peace during through process. That was something that was very hard for me. But I have finally found it and wonder if I could have found it back then, removed the worry and guilt (my God the guilt; but that is a whole other ball of wax!!) who knows if it would have been different. But that is where faith comes in and you have to know there is a plan. And no matter what happens I pray that you too will be “okay”. :)

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    1. Wow! I'm so sorry to hear about your experiences and struggles, but thank you for sharing. I've always believed the expression, "Somebody always has it worse." Congratulations on going through the adoptive parents class. I'm rooting for you!! We will be okay and we will have peace, we just got to get over this boulder ;)

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  8. Amanda, I'm so sorry you're having to go through with this. What a heavy burden to carry! But as a longtime blog reader, I absolutely know that you are strong and faithful and that wherever your road leads you, you will be stronger and more faithful as a result.

    About a year and a half ago, during a time when I felt like I had the MOST to give to the church (I was in the stake YW presidency, I was looking for tons of opportunities to give service, I'd just had my first baby), I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease that basically left me unable to do little more than the bare necessities for months. For a long time, I wondered why God would have given me that trial when I was doing so many good things before, when I had the strength to do them.

    Well, not that I can see with any definite surety as to all the WHY's of the situation, I do know that in having this weakness--this part of myself and my body that isn't fully in my control--it has made me humble and it has made me much more empathetic emotionally to others. The truth was, I just didn't understand so much before. And while there's still SO much I don't understand (including the hell of infertility), I can now feel much more empathy with those who do, especially as my medications for my AI disease made it impossible for me to get pregnant for a long time.

    All this is to say is that I'm sorry, that I hear that you're hurting, and that I'll pray for you. May you receive the blessing of peace and assurance this new year.

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  9. Oh, and I meant to leave you this blogger's link, since she talked a lot more openly than most other bloggers about what they were going through with their infertility journey:

    http://www.maryplusvince.com/search/label/OUR%20INFERTILITY%20JOURNEY

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  10. I just stumbled upon your blog tonight and wanted to leave a note to say hi. I've been on this infertility roller coaster for so long! It's a tough place to be and its hard to be vulnerable and tell people what you're going through. Good for you for opening up! I hope you receive an outpouring of love and support! Your words were very familiar and relatable and although I'm sorry that ANYONE has to experience this heartbreaking journey, it's nice to know we aren't alone. Good luck on your path! Cling to each other and to your faith! With much love, a fellow infertile Utahn.

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  11. I have searched for seven years to find someone, anyone like myself. Someone who wasn’t going to tell me that life is all about rainbows and unicorns. Someone who didn’t give me some piece of advice, while they sit there feeding their infant. It’s not rainbows and unicorns! It’s not all positive. Dammit, it is dark and scary and lonely sometimes. And I just want to be mad. Haven’t I earned at least that? My husband and I have been TTC for 7 years and 6 months. We have drained every account in arms reach and I have injected, rubbed, swallowed, and drank every drug you can imagine. My body has been through pure hell, and still has never carried a child. I have been depressed to the extent of needing help and I have been angry to point of self-destruction. But I am still here and I am still standing. I’m not sure what phase of grief I am in right now, but I know I am still grieving the loss of someone I have never met. I hope that you continue to write about this journey and that you never stop being bold and honest. Someone like me, feels what you feel right now! I need to see that I am NOT ALONE.

    Stay strong fellow warrior.

    -Prisoner of Hope-

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  12. While searching for recipes online, I somehow came across your website. Your story is just heartbreaking. I am so very sorry.
    I would like to encourage you to get the book "Life Changing Foods" by Anthony William. He has a chapter on infertility and one thing he suggests for both of you is to start making a tea of raspberry leaf and nettle leaf tea. Drink lots of it daily. He has a whole chapter on infertility. I have been on his protocol of lots of fresh fruit & vegetables since last September and slowly, but surely, it is helping me with the pain of arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other ailments that I have dealt with since the age of 23. Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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