A look back on Infertility (now that I'm a twin mama)
I’ve thought long and hard about why I am choosing to talk about our infertility journey on this blog. I mean, I’m a mama now, and that part of my life is over right?
In every other way that really matters? No.
The simplest way I can explain that is by saying: Infertility reshaped a part of my heart and it was (and still is) one of the biggest events I endured in my adult life that directly influenced who I am today and what kind of human I want to be.
It’s hard to go back to that time and remember all those painful days because it was So. Damn. Difficult. So for this first post about that time in my life, I think we should go back to the woman I was a few years ago and hear her words.
Reading my own words fills me with an abundance of gratefulness - I’M SO THANKFUL - that God blessed us with our babies. I know some of you are still waiting for yours, or you’re waiting for God to soothe your aching heart. I was there. I see you. I feel you.
I was interviewed at the tail end of my infertility journey… though at the time I didn’t know I would be pregnant with my twins when the post you’re about to read was published. The interview was conducted by Lisa and posted on Amateur Nester Jan. 1, 2016. (and as a side note: If you are going through infertility, you should visit this blog. It’s an amazing resource and place of encouragement. )
So here goes… travel back with me a few years and hear my story before I was a mama.
LINDSAY’S UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY STORY
Each week I interview someone who has experienced infertility firsthand. This week I’m chatting with Lindsay. She shares her experience with unexplained infertility, multiple IUI’s, and mutiple IVF’s.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Lindsay. I’m a professional Tax Preparer who loves Art and creating things in and around my home. I live in the country in Texas. I’m married to the most amazing guy (we’re both in our mid-30’s) and we are what you would call “cat people” but with an awesome 120lb. Rhodesian Ridgeback. We love relaxing at home, roasting jalapeno & cheddar weenies on the fire pit, and having go-kart races with our friends & family when they come to visit.
How long have you been trying to conceive and what issues you are facing?
We started trying to conceive in the summer of 2012. Months passed by without a positive pregnancy test, and that grew into a year. Doctors keep telling us “just keep trying and it will happen”. But, what should have happened naturally simply wasn’t happening. We decided to see an RE. Lots of tests and a surgery later, we were diagnosed as unexplained. During that time I just prayed “God, just let them find SOMETHING because then we’d know what is wrong, and we can work towards fixing it.” I certainly don’t say that lightly. I know some of you would do anything to be alleviated from the issues in your body. Being unexplained means there’s nothing to fix, and that left me feeling so helpless.
Which books, quotes, websites, verses, movies, songs, etc. have been an encouragement to you during your journey?
Psalm 147:4-5 fills me with peace. It reads “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to them all. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is indefinite”. I’m kind of a nut when it comes to researching and reading when I want to know more about a subject. And I LOVE workbooks. My two favorites workbooks are: “Surviving Infertility” by Beth Forbus and “The Infertility Workbook: A Mind-body program to Enhance Fertility, Reduce Stress, and Maintain Emotional Balance” by Barbara Blitzer. I also listen to stand-up comedy on Pandora. It’s such a wonderful way to immediately turn my tears into laughter.
Do you and your spouse cope with infertility in the same way or do you handle it differently?
I’d say a little of both. I am often more in the heart, and he is more in the head. My husband is so secure in God’s plan for us and he knows, without a doubt, God will take care of us and He has a plan. So when we get the results of yet another failed treatment, he is sad, of course, but is always quick to say “It’ll be ok. We’ll be ok, God is in control.” He always stays positive. Me? I am not as quick to jump on the “God has a plan” train. I know it’s true in my brain, but my heart is not always so sure. I have to actively search for the positive, remind myself of God’s truths, and stay on track with my emotional health. We both choose to be thankful and positive in our daily life, no matter what life throws at us. Some days are harder than others, for sure, but the hard days have become easier because we have seen that it’s true – God really does has a plan for us.
How have you taken care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually during your struggles?
I take care of myself physically by eating right and exercising, and I stay connected to God. My marriage is never on the side lines. I keep my priorities in check to the best of my ability. One of the decisions we made from the very beginning was not to let our desire to grow our family become our whole life. We kept it private for a very long time, and that meant that we had a break from thinking about the heartbreak of infertility when we were at work and with our family and friends. We were just us, not “the infertile couple” and that was so very refreshing.
What has been your lowest point and how did you survive it?
We tried months and months of Clomid, then Femera, 8 attempts at IUI (5 were cancelled, 3 were completed but unsuccessful), acupuncture, crazy diet changes, and finally IVF. It took us over 3 years to feel like we were ready for IVF and when we finally pulled the trigger, we were excited. 2 perfect embryos were implanted on day #5, and 10 days later on the morning of my BETA, I started my cycle. The only way I can describe it was my heart stopped. It simply stopped beating. The embryos were a part of us. We had their picture, and even saw them on a TV screen in their little dish on the morning of the transfer. They were alive, and now they were gone. It was a very huge loss for us. I didn’t get on my phone or computer for a week. I couldn’t listen to music without crying. I was mad at God and mad at the world. But, ever so slowly, I came out of my grief and realized there are joyous unions AND heartbreaking partings in this life. We were heartbroken by this parting – yes – but this is the way of life, and we were going to be ok. God’s plan was still happening and all we needed to do was keep walking and trusting. One foot in front of the other.
Have you been able to find a "silver lining" in your infertility?
Infertility has a painful (but effective) way of humbling me and reminding me I am not in control, God is. I have noticed positive changes in my life: I have more sympathy towards others. I am really understanding how blessed I am to have so much kindness in my life. I (hope!) I am quicker to shut my mouth and offer a listening ear. My relationship with God is sweeter, and more real. I have come to value my husband and friends in more ways that I thought possible. There is a lot of love in my life, and I will be forever grateful for the amazing gift of being able to recognize it.
Update: A few weeks after this interview was completed I found out we were expecting twins! I just want to let all of you who are still waiting for your baby to arrive to know: There IS a plan. Move forward when it’s time to go, Rest when it’s time to stop. And no matter what, have faith.
If you are still walking down this road, I implore you - have faith.