"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What to say...

So, my last post was kinda don't do this, don't do that.  And I'm not the least bit sorry for that, I think that when you know how your words hurt someone it helps you to use them in a better way.  I hope that for myself.  I've caught myself saying things that I realized afterward were hurtful and have also found myself apologizing for those things that I said.

Anyhow, on Pinterest the other day I found this and thought it perfect...
People think that you bringing up someone's dead baby is going to bring them down, but the truth is a recognition that we lost something means more than anything else you can do.  Just because you don't mention it doesn't mean it didn't happen and it doesn't mean that we don't think about it.  I'm a few years out now from having lost two pregnancies and then suffering a fraud situation with adoption, it does not hurt me for anyone to mention that.  It's ok to say, so  do you still think about your babies?  Is it different now than it was a few years ago?  What can I say to a friend who is going through what you went through?  Do you still get sad about your losses?

I promise you mentioning this to someone if you are genuinely curious or care won't hurt at all and will most likely make the person smile inside because they feel remembered.  You're not bringing up something that they forgot about.  When I worked in nursing homes the old ladies would tell me about losses and things that happened years ago.  One of my IRL friends still works in a nursing home and there are women there who have opened up to her about their losses that they never discussed with anyone.  Loss is loss and not talking about it doesn't change or take it away!

I will say that if you feel the need in any loss situation to start with "At least..." please stop there and know that what you're going to say will probably offend them on some level.  When you don't know what to say, simply say that you care, that you're thinking of them, that you are praying for the, that you are sorry for what has happened.  And if you don't understand, say that you don't understand, don't try to pretend that you do, just say that you care.  Today I found myself saying something to a friend and had to clarify that I wanted them to know I don't understand their situation, but that I hope they are at peace with the outcome.  

Knowing what to say is almost always impossible, so less is best, but anything is probably better than nothing.  

***It is always sad to me for a new person to be added to this Baby Loss community and I ask some really special prayers for one of Sean's classmates, who lost his daughter this week.  There are no words that can express my heartbreak for them, but I pray they can reach out to this community and find the love and support that I have and that as a couple God will work with them together to heal their broken hearts!***

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Infertility is Forever

I'm sorry I've been so quiet I have tons to say still, but know that I will mention my child and never want to hurt anyone. That being said, I still have to write, so sometimes she will fall in here, but not regularly. 

I'd like to poll the number of people who have suffered infertility and been told one of these things...

1. Adopt, then you'll have a baby.
2. Oh now you've done IVF you'll get pregnant on your own soon!
3. Why don't you just do IVF? 

For some of us infertility is forever for one reason or another, OR a new reason to add to the old ones! 

Yes, some people get pregnant on their own after adopting or using ART. These people are in the vast minority, I'd love to give a stat, but I don't know one! I can only think of one adoptive mom off the top of my head who "just got pregnant" and she says how rare that is, in fact! It also discounts the truths of how hard and taxing and emotional and EXPENSIVE adoption is, that actually suggests that an adoptive parent is "settling", which isn't the case. Adoption is a calling, a choice, and certainly not one for the faint of heart!!! It's not a solution to infertility. 

More often you learn of IF women who do multiple cycles of IVF or FET (frozen embryo transfer, from a previous IVF cycle) with no baby to show for it. You hear of moms who previously had a baby with no problems via ART then losing a subsequent baby. 

The truth is, in some cases like mine, I may be able to get pregnant again on my own, but the likelihood is that without my Killer Bee medicine (what I prefer to call the Intralipids used to treat my Natural Killer Cell hyperactivity) any pregnancy I had on my own would end in miscarriage. For me (I'm not speaking for anyone else) that is not something I can chance! 

And why not "just do IVF?"? This is an ignorant statement, not stupid, but a statement made out of lack of knowledge (no blame here, I prefer you not know any better). I'll tell you why though, just to give some education. 

IVF costs at minimum $12,000. Sometimes up into $40,000. The vast majority of insurances do NOT cover it, mine included. It is HARD on your body. Have you ever given yourself a shot in the stomach? How about in your butt muscle? Did you know you can hit a nerve and cause permanent damage? Many of the shots cause hives, whelps, bruises, etc. 

During a typical IVF cycle a woman gives herself (or someone else does it) something like 80 shots throughout a cycle. **The picture on this post is the meds for an FET, which we IFers say is waaaaay easier! It's still approx 45-55 shots during a cycle.**

When I did IVF (and different clinics do it differently) I was on a low dose steroid for 63 days. I gained 15 pounds in those 63 days, almost half a pound a day. Yes, it came off during my pregnancy, but just consider that in 63 days I gained 15 pounds, then I lost that over the next 10 weeks, then gained 23.5 pounds over the rest of my pregnancy. That's a lot of weight gain/loss in less than a year. Not to mention you're pumping your body full of hormones. Some people do ok with this, some (like me) do NOT. I had OHSS (Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome). That is where since you've been pumped with hormones to make your body produce more follicles (they become eggs) your body gets confused and just keeps doing it and keeps doing it. It basically feels like someone stuck a water hose in your belly and turned it on and forgot to turn it off. It was more painful than contractions I had for 7.5hrs without epidural. To treat it the doctor sticks a catheter/needle up you and drains out the fluid, no sedation, no pain meds. It feels like someone is stabbing you from the inside, because that's EXACTLY what they do. 

All of this happens and if all the stars align and all the meds work correctly and all the doctor's judgements are right, you get lucky and get pregnant. That does not mean that you will not miscarry. Plenty of IVF patients miscarry, just like a typical pregnancy. 

I've told Foxy that the hormones alone make me feel not like myself, which is so hard. It's something that most people don't understand and it's a choice. Is it worth it? Absolutely!!! If it works, and I've not been on the side where it doesn't (so anyone feel free to comment), but I've been told it does make you feel like you tried everything. 

So, that's Why. Is that helpful?!? I don't mean to sound condescending or rude. I honestly want to educate and help people understand what it's like to deal with infertility. How those comments that you say with a genuine heart are like a nail in a coffin and usually quite painful. 

I'll try to post soon on things that are helpful to say.