Monday, February 15, 2010

Guest Post by Tammy

Whew, where to begin. I guess at the beginning. I got married at the tender age of 19. By this time all of my siblings had kids (I was the youngest). I couldn’t wait to add more cousins to the mix! I had it planned all along to start our family right away. 4 months into our marriage, I, indeed got pregnant. I was overjoyed! I couldn’t wait to meet this little person growing inside me! All was going according to plan. I did not see the uphill (almost vertical) battle that lay ahead of me. A few weeks later, I started spotting. I called my midwife and she said that spotting for a lot of women is normal and that I shouldn’t be too concerned, and that she’d check me at my next appointment. (where I was to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.).

A few days later, I called her almost in hysterics because I was BLEEDING now and cramping severely. All she said at first was “Oh Tammy, I am so sorry.” I was losing my baby.

This is where my fertility journey started.

From that point on, my menstrual cycles were very erratic. (They were like clockwork before the miscarriage) So, I started taking pills to get a period, then, pills to ovulate and taking my body temp to make sure I ovulated, etc. I hated it. Already, still a teenager, I was having fertility issues!

I eventually learned that I have PCOS.

Fast forward 18, yes 18 years. I have had many more miscarriages, in spite of fertility treatments.

My husband and I were looking at all of our options to expand our family. In-vitro was out, because my body won’t stay pregnant, surrogacy was out because of religious reasons. Adoption was our only option.

We got all our paperwork done and were officially approved in September 2009. We are still waiting.

So, where does the “uplifting part “come in? For me, it has been in the journey itself. I have learned a lot, that I would like to share with those still struggling to become parents, who haven’t gotten their “happily ever after” yet.

· I have learned that people can be cruel in their attempt to be kind. Most people who have not gone through infertility or the loss of a child are not educated with the proper tools to comfort those of us who have.

· I have also learned that I am a strong woman. I have been asked “how do you do it?” “How do you get through the pain and the loss over and over again?” My answer to them is always: “because I have to!” The world doesn’t stop because I am in mourning. I will never get over the loss of my children, but I have to function. I am still a wife, daughter, friend, teacher and so many other things.

· I have learned patience. Even the time it took to pee on a stick and wait for the results month after month, taught me to be patient. Now, as we are searching for our child through adoption, I do not want to be in a rush. I want to know, that when the time comes to meet that child, that we will be sure that he/she belongs in our family.

· I am still learning that I need to “Let Go & Let God”. From the time I was very young, I had my life planned out. All I ever wanted to be was a mother. Well, that is not working out right now. I need to trust that God’s plan is better than mine. I am still working on this one.

· I have learned that life isn’t fair! It just isn’t.

· I have learned that I need to find joy in my life as it is NOW. If I cannot appreciate what I have, acknowledge the blessings that are so abundantly around me, having a child will not change that. If I can find happiness and peace now, having a child will enhance these things.

· I have learned that I can lean on other people when I am feeling overwhelmed and tired on this journey to parenthood. We don’t always have to have our “game face” on and pretend we are happy for everyone else! It is ok to voice that you are hurting and tired and mad or any other feeling you are experiencing. Let those feelings out once in a while. Talk to a friend you trust, or your spouse or a counselor or blog it or journal it. Keeping those feelings locked up all the time isn’t healthy.

· I have learned that if you are going through fertility treatments, it’s ok to take a break from them. Take a step back and reconnect with your spouse, with the things you did before the fertility treatments started. Go away for the weekend and make love to your spouse for the sheer enjoyment of it, rather than for the sole purpose of procreation. You need each other.

· And lastly, I have learned that if you have been running in the “Baby Chase” for a LONG time and decide that you just can’t run any more, it is ok to say “I am done”. You don’t have to apologize to anyone. Everyone has their limits.

I really struggled with what to write, because I still do not have any children. My battle still wages on. These past few months have been particularly difficult. I really didn’t think that I had anything positive to contribute, and some people may not think this is very positive, but it is me, and it is real.

I hope that someone out there can find a little peace in what I have written. If you are one of the many women out there who have been struggling with infertility for years and have still not had any success with becoming parents, please know that you are not alone. I am more than willing to be a friend, I will laugh with you, I will cry with you, I will be there for you.

Becoming a parent is not easy….. No matter what path you take….

And some journeys are harder than others.

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