I really, really didn’t think I’d be writing this sort of update four months into 2022, but I think I’ve (hopefully) finally learned you can’t set a timeline for having a baby.
If you’ve been following along on our journey, you might have seen this post from December about our 2021 journey to get pregnant, the excitement we experienced in November when found out we were expecting, followed by the pain of loss in December.
While Keith and I had spent all of 2021 trying to conceive, I didn’t share our story until December after the loss- when I suddenly found myself needing to talk about it, to get it off my chest. I realized later this was a big part of processing and healing for me.
Something I didn’t expect was how many of you would reach out and share your experience back. So many of you have gone through it also and wanted to share your story with me. It seemed there was a desire, a need even, to talk about the topic. I knew the statistic was 1 in 4, but until the conversations started it felt like it was only me. I think many of you also found it was reassuring to connect with someone else who had gone through it. Part of the reason I am sharing our story now is to normalize the conversation around infertility and miscarriage, which is largely still hush-hush in today’s society.
If you have experienced infertility or loss, you don’t have to go through it silently. It’s up to you and your partner what you feel comfortable with sharing, and what level of openness will best help you process and feel supported.
Today I want to share an update of our journey thus far in 2022, the ups and downs I’ve gone through, and where my mind is today. I’ll also share in more detail the fertility treatments we’ve been doing.
Looking back to January, I realize I fell in the same trap as I did in 2021 with having a set of expectations about how things would go. When we first started trying for a baby, I thought it would happen quickly like it did with Juliana. Then, since we conceived so quickly after starting the treatments, I expected we would be able to do that again. I didn’t think we would be in mid-April and no closer to our baby. But I’m learning that just because something went one way one time, doesn’t mean it’ll go that way the next time too.
After the miscarriage, I had a series of appointments in January and early February to make sure everything was back to normal. I had the final follow-up on February 10th, when I was cleared to get off birth control (prescribed for testing) and we were able to start trying again.
The doctor wanted to follow the same course as we did in November, which was 50mg clomid + IUI. But February was supposed to be a ‘double IUI’ (two IUI’s on back to back days, one the day before and one the day of), however we were forced to cancel the second, more important IUI, due to something that came up. That was frustrating but I was still hopeful, so it was hard to get the negative test in early March. But then within two weeks I started becoming hopeful again for the next try.
We’ve learned my body responds well to clomid and does exactly what the doctor wants to see for optimizing our chances. When I had my next follow-up March 22nd, everything looked great, but then the doctor presented us with a dilemma. The IUI needed to be scheduled for March 25th, but the office would be closed for a local state holiday. The doctor explained that we would need to do the IUI one day earlier for this reason. I was so disappointed, it felt like such a waste of time and money to have done the treatment and copay when chances were slim. But once again I was still hopeful. If you’ve been on this journey, you know it’s a roller coaster of emotions, full of highs and lows. When we got the negative test in early April, it hit me hard – harder than any of the past negatives we’ve gotten. I was so frustrated and even angry that the process had to be so hard. The end-of-cycle hormone crash was also much stronger. Part of this was the clomid which augments things for me, as well as just plain bitter, heartbroken disappointment. I was frustrated too because I knew the next cycle was out due to upcoming travel for a friend’s wedding.
And that brings us to today. Our next round will be in late May, but we have no idea when it will happen or how much longer it will take. But in a way having to pause for a month was just what we needed. I’ve been so caught up in the process I haven’t had a chance until now to stop and reflect on everything.
The past few months have been hard, partly because Keith and I want this baby so much and have invested ourselves so fully in the process. It’s hard when you put in 110% and things still don’t pan out. But I’m remembering once more what I realized last Fall, that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. I believe God will bless us with this beautiful child but I don’t know how soon or long it will be.
As much as I don’t like to think about it, it could be another 6 months or more. That’s where a positive mindset, faith, and focusing on controlling what I can control comes in. I’d be lying if I said I’ve been able to stay positive every day. Many days I’ve felt lost and overwhelmed with negative thoughts. I’ve felt so frustrated and angry. But the last week I have made a big effort to reframe my mind and choose to be in a state of hopeful expectation instead of negative frustration. It’s a balance, staying positive but also recognizing this is a hard thing to go through. It’s important to admit that, and not just tell myself life is great. Because this is a challenging season.
When we started trying in early 2021, I decided to stay in my current job role longer. I wanted to get promoted, but I didn’t want to do it in the middle of expecting a baby or caring for a newborn. I wanted the time to soak everything in as a family of four. But now that it’s been over a year, I get frustrated with myself for not pursuing that next career step. I think it’s time to start after my next goal and just trust everything will work out.
Keith has been a huge support through everything, even though it has been hard for him too. He’s always there for me to talk, cry or vent. One thing I’m realizing though is when you are going through infertility it can be a lot to unload everything on your other half and that can end up stressing both of you out even more. Recently I started talking to a therapist about everything and that has been helpful as well as taken a lot of stress off both of us. It has helped us refocus on each other and our time together.
Going through this journey has made me even more thankful for Juliana. I look at her all the time and think what a miracle she is. I’ve never been so thankful to be a mom as I have this past year. I know there are a lot of women going through infertility who dream of having one child and of becoming a mom at all. Being Juliana’s mom is the biggest blessing of my life alongside meeting Keith. And when I think of that, I remember there’s already so much to be thankful for.
Some of you have reached out on Instagram to check on me because I haven’t shared an update in a while, and I just wanted to say thank you. It means so much and I feel bad I haven’t been sharing updates the last few weeks after promising in January I would share our journey this year.
Part of the reason I didn’t share the disappointing news this month was because it really got me down. The other part was how social media works when it comes to pregnancies and babies. Every pregnancy announcement and gender reveal gets pushed to the top of my feed to where, when I go on Instagram for even a few minutes to share an update, I’m reminded that everyone around me seems to be having a baby. I am truly happy for everyone, it’s just that seeing it somehow makes this journey even more painful.
Anyway, that is why I’ve taken some time off Instagram. But I will continue to share updates with you along the way, even if there are times when I need to take a little mental health break.
Going into May and beyond, I am choosing to stay in that mindset of hopeful expectation and reground myself in God. I have faith He will bring us the desire of our hearts and make our family complete.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading and supporting me along this journey. Several of you have reached out on Instagram sharing your infertility journey past or present, and it has been really wonderful to connect. You’ve offered me helpful suggestions (I keep hearing acupuncture is worth it and will be doing that next month) and your support means more than I can say.
And on that note, Happy Easter weekend! Let’s give our loved ones a big hug and remember what a miracle each of us is that we even got conceived in the first place. 😊