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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Join The Movement...Don't Offer Things You Can't Give.

The title here might sound strange or angry or something negative, but it really isn't. I worry sometimes that people read this blog and think that I'm so negative and so focused on infertility that I don't enjoy my life, which simply isn't true. This just happens to be my "safe" place to discuss the things that infertility has taught me or is teaching me. Oftentimes subjects that come up are from a discussion I have had with another infertile friend or someone who is not, but it brings up an idea. I assure you I am very happy and enjoy my blessings daily, my Facebook, Instagram, and private blog are for that!! I always want this to be a safe place for infertiles to read!

So the subject that I wanted to touch on today is that of offering something that you really cannot give. I cannot tell you, because I did not keep track, how many people offered to be a surrogate for me. While I typically appreciated the somewhat selfless offer, I was also no where near the point of considering that, nor would I have any idea how to approach it. The thing about surrogacy that I've learned recently is that (at least in Louisiana) the egg donor, or biological mother has little to no rights. A surrogate could carry a baby that has no biological connection to her, aside from being baked in her belly (not making light of that its HUGE) and can decide to keep the baby because she has become "attached". This horrified me! Most people who offer to be surrogates have been pregnant before and did not mind the process (some people do not enjoy pregnancy, even ones who fought tooth and nail to be pregnant--I'm one of them), and therefore think they could do this as a gift to someone else. I like to believe that the world is full of wonderful selfless people and that this would never happen in real life. Lets be real people are people and we are all flawed, hence my husband and I being scammed by a crook who acted for six months as if she were going to give us a baby only to swindle money out of us (she had done it before and will probably do it again)! You just do not know how you would respond in such a situation if you nurtured and loved and cared for a baby for 9 months and then had to turn around and give him/her to someone else.

For me personally, having been through two miscarriages, I couldn't imagine if I had put my embryos in someone else and then she miscarried. The level of hurt and blame there is hard to comprehend.

Now before someone thinks I'm dogging surrogacy, please know that I'm not at all, what I am saying is please please please do not offer such a service to a friend who is fighting infertility unless you have honestly and thoroughly considered the full scale of what that means. While you may have just been making a polite gesture, they may be seriously considering needing a surrogate and to come back and request it of you and be denied is another type of pain that no one needs to endure.

What can you do then? What can you say? Say you care, say you do NOT understand (I promise we don't want you to understand), say you will listen even if you don't get it, say you are honestly praying for them, for guidance, for miracles, for peace. Feel free to tell us you don't get it, you don't want to, it makes you uncomfortable, but that you will go to a fun movie and laugh with us or a sad movie and cry with us. Let us take your kids to the park, the book store, the movies, something that lets us pretend for just one minute that we could be great parents! One of the most fun days I had was picking up my friend's daughter from daycare, taking her to the park, and to the book store. I got to spoil her, no I didn't tell people she was mine, but I got to enjoy the things they got to enjoy daily!

If you are honestly up to it (and it would take guts) say you will go to a support group meeting with them. Read infertility blogs so you can understand more. I've had a few sweet sweet friends contact me and say, I don't know what to do but my friend just lost a baby, can you give me some ideas? Or should I tell my infertile friend I'm pregnant and how? Just the idea that you cared enough to ask someone else would warm their hearts more than you know!

I could go on and on about what to do and what not to do, but I will stop here for today! I'm always willing to answer questions though, so post them in comments or email me!

National Infertility Awareness Week--speak up!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Join the Movement with More Honesty

Some honesty...last night the girls in my support group started chatting about the joy and pain of being around new babies. Some of us torment ourselves by reveling in the joy of them while others keep our distance. It's hard to know which is harder.

I typically soak up new babies and most of my friends' kids with all I can, but will say that some days I just didn't have it in me.

In trying to keep this real and honest I will share something that not everyone knows about when I was in the darkest throws of infertility. My birthday falls close to one of my dear friends and we like to have a joint party most years. It's super fun crawfish and beer and once kids came along they were included too, even Easter egg hunting was added for them to enjoy. This was both wonderful and awful for me, as I was childless and heart broken, but loved playing with all the kids. What only my husband and sister were lucky enough to witness was the full on meltdowns that would occur after such occasions. I'm sharing because I know that I'm not the only one who has had this happen, not to make anyone feel bad, but after these fun occasions I would come home and experience full on debilitating crying sessions. Infertiles know the ones where you feel like your heart may cave into your soul and leave you hollow forever. It was almost like a masochistic torture I would do to myself. But I couldn't pass up kid fun!

Sometimes within a couple each one handles it differently, where one soaks up kids and one avoids them as much as humanly possible and often feels like they look like a monster not wanting to hold new babies! Because really?!? Who doesn't love to hold new babies?!? Um, devastated heart-broken people who can't seem to have their own children, who are possibly afraid that given the opportunity they may cry all over your child and or run out the door with them! **I may have tried to steal my godson a few times and a few times his mommy might would've let me, at least for a few days! ;) **

The handling it differently causes division within a relationship too because you don't grieve the same way and then you worry your spouse doesn't care as much or cares entirely too much. It takes a whole lot of staying power to make it through infertility!

Brutal honesty also leads me to this statement...we know we are irrational and we know we snap at random times. Believe me, we would love to be forewarned too, we would avoid ourselves at times! I will share a story (again to make others feel normal). In the year of pregnancy (as I lovingly refer to 2010 when literally everyone I know was pregnant) while we were in the depression of adoption scam dregs and starting IVF, yet another of my friends called to tell me that she was pregnant. **Yes I am aware that everyone dreaded telling me, believe me I dreaded hearing it and trying to keep it together** Bless her heart I think she hit me on a highly hormonal day of a new injection or something because I believe my response was something along these lines..."Seriously!!!! Can none of you wait until the pee dries on the stick to call me?!? I am just trying to get to my IVF an EVERYONE is knocked up. I cannot take anymore! I mean obviously I'm happy for you!". Her response, bless her sweet heart, was something along the lines of, "um, ok, I'm sure you will be pregnant soon too and it will all be ok! I'll call you later!" And she did call me later (maybe a few DAYS later). That is the reality of an infertile heart and the kindness of someone who does not get it, but can take a random outburst and never mention it again! I'm forever grateful to her for that and how she did not insist we talk about pregnancy constantly, she understood that while I was honestly happy for her my pain precluded me from being able to fully share in her joy!

Infertility is misery and it hurts relationships, some beyond repair. Sadly that is a truth we all learn. I'm blessed it has not destroyed my marriage and lucky I'm married to someone who is rather hard headed and thick skinned. Blessings also flow from the online support that I found and the ladies who became my life line when no one else understood, those who listened to me, tied my rope, encouraged me, and kept me afloat when I could not do it on my own.

If you need support ask me about the group here, contact Resolve (, or search online! If there is not a group in your area, start one! No qualifications are necessary, just a heart to help others! Also know that your horrible behaviors, even if only in the privacy of your own home are things plenty of us have done and you are not alone!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Join the Movement

The wonderful people at Resolve (The National Infertility Association) have made a blog challenge to tell what we are doing to increase awareness about infertility. So here's what I've been doing...

I started this blog and put a whole lot of effort into being completely open and honest about my fertility struggles. Regardless of what anyone thinks it is not easy to admit publicly and basically to anyone anywhere that there is something wrong with you. Being able to procreate is supposed to be what being a woman is all about and as trite as it may sound to someone who doesn't sucks to feel broken, unable to do the main duty you were created to do...make healthy babies.

When I was living in Texas I had the blessing of being able to attend a support group for ladies who have experienced loss. If you haven't had that blessing and need it, I pray you can find it! That led me to starting a group when I moved back to Louisiana. I don't say that to pat myself on the back, I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful church and the ladies in the group who constantly encourage me and share their own struggles! We have a weekly "live" meeting at FUMC downtown and also have a Facebook group where we talk, share, and support one another! The collective knowledge within our group astounds me daily and the women there that support each other and lift one another up continually is something that blesses my heart so profoundly that I'm often left speechless.

I'm vocal about my infertility, maybe too vocal in some people's opinions, but to me knowledge is power and knowing you are not alone, or learning ways to be proactive for yourself, those things cannot be replaced. I lost two babies, my heart still aches over those losses, so my prayer is that my losses can help others, if that is the case, then Layla and Michael have made an impact here on earth and that's the most I could hope for my children! I won't stop being vocal about loss or infertility. I don't do it to make others uncomfortable. I do it to help the millions who feel completely lost, completely alone, completely misunderstood!

To learn more about infertility, check the Resolve website, visit their Facebook page, or ask someone you know who is facing it. Those of us who are infertile typically would love for someone to be interested so it doesn't feel so isolating!

You can check out my blog roll as well, there are some amazing women who blog about their infertility struggles also, many have become my friends IRL (in real life) and continue to hold my hand through the trials of infertility!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Four years and more tears

My first baby was due on this day four years ago. Until last year it was always a huge wonder as to if that date would've been anywhere near accurate, but considering C came a day after my due date, I'd venture to guess that Layla would have made her debut today or tomorrow as well. No one really knows obviously, but the truth is that this day hit me much harder this year than it has in the past two years. I attribute that to having a living child now and being acutely more aware of what I missed with the loss of my first two children. I'm always grateful to the friends I have that remember this day with me, you will never know how much that means to me. I started my day with a tough workout of stadiums and track sprints, I run to relieve my frustrations and sadness. I commented to my friend that Boston was happening as we ran and just how exciting that was, runners get giddy about Boston even if we aren't there, or ever think we might be there!

I have shed a plethora of tears today that weren't about me or Layla, but as a runner, my heart is completely broken for the runners and their families, the volunteers, the support personnel, the spectators, the runners turned heros, the lost and injured, and the people who couldn't complete the race in Boston. For me being a part of the baby loss community is one that blankets you in love and support, for those who aren't also runners, just know that the running community is the same way! I've finished two marathons and 11 half-marathons and let me just tell you that the love and support of this community is much like the one we all know here. It warms my heart to know that runners who had just spent all their energy and reserves on this race turned around and offered aid to those who were hurt, it speaks volumes for the character and it offers hope in a world that seems so dark and so tragic at times! People who had just spent hours on foot running 26.2 miles continued on foot to hospitals to donate blood. I could barely put one foot in front of the other after my marathons and can't imagine turning around and donating blood, but that's what we do when faced with tragedy, we as runners, baby loss moms, Americans, human beings, we step up for one another! My heart is broken tonight that my favorite past time/hobby has been tainted like this, that the hard work and glory of so many has been stolen from them as celebration isn't in the air as it should be.

I'm sending all of my love and prayers to Boston, to the victims, their families, to those who saw this horrific event first hand! Tomorrow I'll be wearing a race shirt in honor of those who lived this and those who didn't survive, as a sign of solidarity for the running community, join me please!