Where to begin?
I’ve wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember.
My sister and I would lay in bed at night, whispering about how many children we’d have some day and what their names would be. My mother was such an amazing example of motherhood. I knew I wanted to be a mommy too.
I had been in a marriage that was full of love…but ultimately, we had different life goals and visions for our future, including children. It took us years to figure it out but in the end, we parted ways amicably.
When I met my husband (Hubs), I knew I had hit the jackpot.
Here was a man who wanted children as much if not more than I did! This was great! Let’s get married and start our family!
If only it were that easy.
We were 35 and 36 when we got married. Not exactly spring chickens but not geriatric either. The word “infertility” had never even entered my mind.
I went to my OBGYN. He recommended we try for 6 months before seeking medical attention, given our “advanced” ages. (Normal recommended time is one year.)
Six months later, we showed up on his doorstep.
We decided to do an IUI–intrauterine insemination.
Because this took place nearly four years ago, I’ve blocked out most of the nitty gritty details. But I will say this–it wasn’t easy! I remember being an emotional mess and that scheduling logistics was a nightmare. As a teacher, I really couldn’t leave work early to get to my appointments–and, of course, my doctor’s office closed promptly at 4:30 p.m. Parking downtown Chicago was expensive and nightmarish. Then there was my poor hubs. He had to rush to one end of downtown to a lab to collect his “sample”…then rush to me at the other end to deliver the goods on time. There was the time I had to give myself a shot on Sunday night…only to realize my pharmacy had closed at 5 p.m. Then there was the anticipation…and the wait…and the disappointment.
We ended up doing 6 IUIs in total over the course of 2 years.
Mamas who are TTC (trying to conceive) know what I mean when I say there’s nothing like the appearance of AF (Aunt Flo) to ruin your day!
Looking back, I wish I could have told myself the following:
- It’s going to be ok! True…but how do you know? I mean, how does anyone know it’s going to be ok? What if it isn’t??? Honestly though, the anxiety, worry, and grief I could’ve saved myself if I had just taken some deep breaths and had more faith is astounding! I truly believe that in the end, things have a way of working out the way they are meant to. Perhaps not on our timeline and not the way we imagined but they work out nonetheless. It’s just hard sometimes to be present in the moment. Try to just BE.
- Make sure you and your SO are on the same page, as far as dissemination of information. COMMUNICATION WITH EACH OTHER IS KEY! Hubs and I were a little fuzzy on the details of whom we would share our information with and when…which led to some hurt feelings and embarrassment. All totally avoidable, had we really talked about it ahead of time. Remember, YOU are in charge of YOUR information! Some folks want and need their support system involved every step of the way. If that’s the case for you, share away! Others (myself included) need time to process and marinate in the moment…quietly…alone…without questions. If that’s your situation, I would recommend sharing only when you are ready. This is your journey and you are in charge of your info.
- Stop obsessing and start living life. Be present. I’d read it and heard it but naturally, did not heed the advice. “When you stop trying, it happens…” TTC had become an obsession. My thoughts were consumed by babies. I bought pregnancy tests from the Dollar Tree by the basket. I pored over websites like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “The Bump”. I watched shows on TLC about large families and families with multiple babies. I was a sad sack. Now that I’m blessed to have my little nugget, I wish I could tell my former self: “Girl, take that long bubble bath in peace! Go to Target at 10 p.m. if you want! ENJOY your vacation with your husband. Savor every bite of your meal. Sleep in. Stay up late. Get out there and DO stuff!” Life is forever altered once your little one arrives. Of course, at the time, all I could do was obsess over her absence. In doing so though, I was missing important bits of my life. Yes, TTC is a huge part of your life…but it’s not all of your life. Keep living.
- It’s ok to be sad sometimes and to take care of your emotional needs. Trying to have a baby is intense. At one point, hubs and I decided that marriage counseling would be beneficial to our relationship. (It was.) It was so helpful to have an impartial person gently steer us in the right direction. We recognized that we could not do it alone and what we were doing was clearly not working. Best decision we ever made. I also made the difficult decision to start turning down invitations to baby showers after I broke down in the middle of one. (I was completely and utterly mortified!) Yes, it’s sad to miss a party and to not be there to celebrate your friend and her baby (you can still send a gift and get together with her privately). No, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself during this difficult time.
- Take time to be grateful. Gratitude is everything. Connect (or reconnect) with your partner. Your family. Your friends. Feel the sunshine on your face and the grass between your toes. Appreciate all the people and things you currently have in your life. Take time out and just be.
Want to read about the next step of my journey? Click here.
Wishing you lots of sticky dust,