A few days ago, THIS article popped up on my Newsfeed on Facebook. It was posted on one of the many infertility groups that I’m a member of (not necessarily active- it’s nice to feel less alone), and intrigued me so I clicked on it. Please- read this article. I know that everyone goes through difficult times in life whether it be an illness, death, divorce, job loss, depression, or just a sudden crisis. However, this post not only greatly illustrates what a hidden subject infertility is, but how couples often mask the roller-coaster emotions of sadness, hope and despair, and heartache.
This post is opening up some [mended] wounds, but it’s something I wanted to share. It’s been two years since our loss, and though we’ve gotten some answers and a plan set in place, our dreams still are not fulfilled. I’ve put together some photos or thoughts of things we have gone though.
El Paso Zoo. August 30, 2013.
The photo above is when I was 12/13 weeks pregnant. Obviously my tata’s liked the pregnancy hormones a lot (I went up an entire cup size in a matter of weeks)…Anyways, Tyler planned a date day and took us to the zoo and then to Babies R Us where we started our registry. He was leaving for the field in a few weeks and wouldn’t be back until mid November, so starting it together was important to us. Looking back, it was such a fun and satisfying day, but after we found out about our loss, I couldn’t look at these photos as I knew we had lost the baby around this time or a couple of days prior.
Tyler LOVES the Chicago Bears. We don’t get all of the games down here in Texas, so Tyler bought me a Bears shirt (Amazon!) and we’d go to Pizza Hut down the road to watch. Two days after this photo was taken, we’d find out that we’d miscarried. Every Sunday after that, I’d order a beer while I did my homework and tried to smile and root for our home team.
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, TJ and I headed over the the Mendoza Clinic on East Bliss to get an ultrasound done (separately- he had to go to work after) . You can read about our story HERE. What I didn’t write about is how I only told my mom (and asked her to tell the family) and my best friend what had happened. That Tyler got off his work day to come home with me, and that I laid in bed next to him for 18 hours going through intervals of crying and sleeping in his arms. That I woke up the next morning pissed off and insisted he went to work as I went to class. I wore a Chicago Cubs baseball hat and my glasses the next couple of weeks to help disguise my puffy eyes.
I took the photo above on my way to class one day a few weeks after. It was a crisp Fall day which isn’t very common in West Texas, but the view was absolutely beautiful. It was then that I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow myself fall into the deep hole of depression that I had one foot wallowing in…and that I might be an old graduate, but I was gonna rock the fuck out of the last semester. And I did… but perhaps it was for the wrong reasons.
The photo above shows me happily cuddling with Wrigley and potentially studying. I posted this five days after we received the news (no one knew publicly yet) and I still had not had a D&C (it would take another week and a half- ridiculous). I’d come home from class, do any homework, essays, or study, then shower and change and lay in bed the rest of the night. Wriggles must’ve sensed my sadness as he laid with me all the time.
My beautiful mom and me :)
December 2013. Tyler and I went home to Indiana for 10 days for Christmas. Based on my OPK’s, I was ovulating a few days before we left (which ended up being a freaking joke as my blood tests showed I had not ovulated but my LH surged enough to cause positive tests). You need to get at it before ovulation because once you drop an egg, you’re dunzo for the month. Long story short, I ended up having a 30 day cycle and starting my period on Christmas Day. With his family. And I just wanted to lay in bed all day, but I had to act strong- like everything was normal. The only thing that brought me comfort was staying at my moms, which isn’t a great thing when you’re married & visiting family. I told Tyler earlier that month that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a baby…
Two weeks later, while blowing out my birthday candles, I made the same wish. Neither came true.
May 2015. Tyler and I went home for 7 days a month after he came back from Afghanistan. I had gone home in October and January for long weekends when he was deployed, but he had not seen his family since Christmas 2013. I mentioned multiple times for him to go home solo, but he wouldn’t budge and insisted on me going with. This was a huge mistake, and the moment we stepped foot onto Midway airport when we were flying back to Texas was when I vowed to myself that I’d go with my gut from that day forth.
My mom’s place and my uncle and aunt’s home are where I find true comfort and belonging.
You see, a few months prior, my dad and his girlfriend planned to throw a little party for him and his safe arrival home. They even contacted my mom to be a part of the planning, and they both worked together to iron out the details of food preparations, decorations, and inviting family and friends from both of their sides. We didn’t have a wedding, so this was BIG for me. Many family members had not met Tyler before, and a few even traveled 3 hours just to attend! However, I was full of anxiety the whole morning while getting ready and going to my dads.
It didn’t help that I was on Femara that month, but I had gotten my period the night before- and it was FULL on. Come to find out, my progesterone was the highest ever recorded thus far, so no wonder why I was a ball of hormones the whole week we were home to visit.
So, I ended up getting pretty drunk. I was stressed and upset and wanted to let go that day. Doing that the night before an early morning flight wasn’t very smart, but lesson learned :( Anyways, I asked Tyler to come back after he visited family again….but this was not well received upon some, and I may be deemed selfish. There aren’t any photos of us together during this trip home which is pretty sad. Things may not be what they used to be, but we pushed through it together.
Second failed round of Femara above. I cried and showered, then got ready. We had the day off together and went to the movies, Blockbuster (get used DVDs and BluRays for cheap!), and lunch, then went home to have wine and make dinner together. I laid in bed that night laughing, joking, and watching movies with my Big, but thoughts of when we’d hold a baby in our arms still entered my mind.
You see, there is more to life than what is shared on a Facebook status, Tweet, or Instagram photo. We post statuses that portray how awesome our lives are or pictures that show happy times or when we think we look good. I’m by no means saying we should all start airing out our dirty laundry. I don’t want to read negative shit all of the time, but I want people to just be freaking real. I’d get sucked into such a failure mode sometimes that I’d ask Tyler if it upsets him that his exes and friends all have a kid(s). His answer is always the same….Never- and I’m his baby mama that he was destined to be with, and he didn’t choose them for a reason ;)
So please, be gentle and kind to people, especially if they have opened up about their struggles. There are always two sides to every story or picture. If you’re reading this and feel lost- message me. One of the many things I’ve learned is how important and comforting it is to have someone to talk to when you’re feeling down. I won’t have all of the answers, but I’ll certainly try to make you smile :)