Where has the time gone? (Infertility is a Bitch)

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The past year has been a whirlwind, and my reasons for being away from our wonderful little blog are personal but I feel like I am ready to share them now.

My husband Bryan and I have been trying to have a child for about four years. After so many months of unsuccessful attempts and trying everything under the sun, we finally swallowed our pride and started the fertility testing process early last year. That step was a hard one. This is something that seems to come so easily to so many and we both were putting a lot of blame on ourselves as to why we couldn’t make it happen.

I went through a gauntlet of tests, as did Bryan, and our diagnosis was “unknown infertility” which apparently affects 30% of couples going through infertility. So, we started treatment. Nine months of off and on IUIs resulted in nothing more than an emotional rollercoaster, with no better understanding as to why we are struggling to have a kid.

During that time, I had to think of or do something related to my infertility every single day. I was told to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and to suspend some of the exercises I had been doing. I took some kind of drug almost every day, and I was in the doctor’s office so often that it felt like a second home. Infertility became who I was. It felt like all I was, and it’s the biggest reason that I have been avoiding the blog. I couldn’t think of anything else to say or share because infertility occupied all of my mind space.

After our last failed IUI, the doctor recommended IVF. I decided I needed a break. Before Bryan and I started this process, we discussed how far we would be willing to go. It’s not a one size fits all decision – every couple has to decide what’s best for them. At the time IVF was not something we wanted to do. We are now re-evaluating that decision, but I knew I needed time to just not think about fertility day in, day out and find myself again.

On top of all the emotional baggage you carry as you try to conceive, you start getting advice and opinions from well-meaning people in your life. This makes you feel like you have no clue what you are doing. If you would just RELAX, it would totally happen. Have you tried [insert suggestion of one of the 500 things I’ve already tried]? People insinuate you are being dumb and/or selfish for not considering all the options, but just because it’s an option doesn’t make it the right fit for us. Why wouldn’t you all just adopt? Why aren’t you going to just go forward with IVF?

It’s been a good life lesson for Bryan and I to remember that everyone has their own obstacles and decisions on what’s right for them, and unless they ask for our two cents, it’s not our place to judge what they do.

This year I took time to go on some vacations, got back into an exercise routine (Christina and I are currently training for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge in Disneyland in January 2016), and found myself again.

I have been putting off writing about our experience, because I was hoping to write it in retrospect, after a successful outcome where I was expecting. That’s not the case, and it’s taken months for me to get to a good mental place on this, but that’s ok. We won’t succeed in everything we do in life, and there is no sense in not admitting when there are disappointments (although right now, even though we had no control, it feels more like failure).

Bryan and I aren’t giving up. We are still going to continue to try, but we have (through many tears and hard conversations) accepted the idea that if the rest of our journey together is just the two of us, we will be ok with that.

So, now that this is out there, I am ready to look forward with you. I am excited to share some amazing things over the next few months. I promise to keep writing and sharing. I cannot thank you all enough for reading and supporting us.

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18 Responses to “Where has the time gone? (Infertility is a Bitch)”

  1. Kristin says:

    Beautifully written, very raw and honest. I am quite sure I’ve said the “have you tried this” to friends, well-meaning but probably should have just kept my mouth shut! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • thewildernessgirls says:

      Kristin – And I have to often remind myself that I have said those things too before I went through this. And heaven knows all the things I have said to pregnant friends that I then find out are a little offensive even though I didn’t mean them to be. :) That comment was more for those that were forceful with us. I think it’s hard when you see someone you care about going through something like this, and there is literally no act you can do that will help them, so you turn to advice. It’s natural, and I learned to get over myself (I tend to be a bit defensive anyway) and view it as someone caring. Thanks for reading! xo, Jenny

  2. Christy says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Jenny. It hit home with me. Hang in there & enjoy life

  3. Andy says:

    You are so damned brave for writing this. Thank you so much for sharing it, love.

  4. Jenna says:

    You are brave to share your story. Infertility affects so many people and it is unique to each couple. Your journey is a path for you and Bryan to uncover and find along the way. Keep on doing you! XO

  5. J.C. says:

    Wow! I very much understand your situation from my first marriage. It’s an incredibly difficult thing to deal with, physically, emotionally and psychologically. You guys are in our prayers and no matter what happens, you have our unwavering support.

  6. Lisa says:

    I totally understand, Jenny. Not about the infertility—that is not a bridge I had to cross—but about the inability to write about what you’re going through. That’s why I haven’t touched my own blog in awhile: I’m trying to come to terms with what’s going on in my life. And I’m out of pat answers and don’t really want to hear any more of them! : D

    I can’t give you any helpful advice for what you’re going through. All I can say is, I am so very sorry for your struggle. And I’ve been there, in a quasi-related way (I’m childless, by choice and by chance). Hugs to you, wherever the road takes you, my friend! I am sending warm fuzzies to you both.

    • thewildernessgirls says:

      Thanks, Lisa! And I hope everything is ok with you. It’s amazing sometimes how whatever is happening in our life can be all-consuming and it can be hard to think of (or write about) anything else, but if it’s something we don’t want to necessarily share yet, it puts us at a stand-still. <3

  7. Lee says:

    I love you two. No matter what happens, I’m confident you’ll be happy and make the very best of your life journey with whatever hand you get. Thank you for sharing this post. it falls into that category of “too difficult to deal with publicly, and too important to keep quiet”. I understand that.

  8. Lindsay says:

    Unexplained fertility is the worst. You almost want something to be wrong so you can either fix it or accept that there is a reason you can’t get pregnant. Even after we became pregnant after 2 years of trying, I still find it hard when others easily get pregnant. The struggle is real and I’m grateful that you’ve shared such a personal journey because I think it is very hard for those who haven’t gone through infertility to understand. :)

  9. Becky says:

    Have you looked into the Harvard Mind Body Clinic? I did the weekend program and it changed my life. And yes, people who have not gone through this do not understand.

    http://www.domarcenter.com/mind-body/

  10. Julie says:

    Beautifully written Jenny! I know personally how difficult it was for you during this journey and what it was like to put your life on hold in hopes for a child. It’s not an easy choice to make and I’m so glad that you’ve taken this year to really do some things for yourself and with Bryan. Because I know you certainly wouldn’t have let yourself accomplish all those things while on fertility treatment without being burdened with the fact that you may have jeopardized your chances. Infertility is one of those things that seems to easily consume your life but like you said it shouldn’t define you. I’m glad you guys took some time focus on yourselves and the journey you’ve already been through. It sounds like you have reached a new milestone in this journey and for that I’m so happy for you. And a failure you definitely are not. I’m sure there are many out there that could easily have a child but they would be envious of the wonderful relationship that you and Bryan share.

  11. I can so relate. Infertility is heartbreaking and so misunderstood. And the holidays don’t make it easier.

    I wish you and Bryan peace and joy during this season and beyond. <3

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