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“in loss and grief there comes forms of beautiful redemption, empathy, and grace”

Going through old journals of mine, I came across this one. I wrote this journal when I was pregnant with our first baby, through the loss of that child, and through the darkness and haze of grief that followed. As I read through the pages remembering that time, I stumbled upon a page that brings me so much perspective.
In between the pages of sadness and hopelessness, Adalyn drew a picture. I feel like time and grief are not linear. When I was writing about my hurt and my longing for a child, I never could have imagined that one day, the child that I prayed so hard for would put her mark in between all of that hurt.

To anyone that has lost a child, or that has been praying for one, I know your hurt and I know that pain, but I also know that in loss and grief there comes forms of beautiful redemption, empathy, and grace.

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This beautiful post was shared by my friend Toni. Toni's personal journey to her family led her to become a mother of three, a professional Doula and CEO of Mountain Mama Collective. She devotes herself to encouraging and providing resources and support to moms of all stages. You can follow her at @toni.mmc or visit MMC here

Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing this with us Toni.

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Monthly Resource Recommendation 


Have you seen this documentary on Netflix? I stumbled across it the other day while searching for something to watch. 

It is about a fertility clinic in Las Vagas that hold a contest for a free round of IVF. It follows the finalists and their journey through Infertility and now IVF. 

It’s heartbreaking to see all that these couples are going through physically, emotionally and financially to try and make their dream of having a family come true. 

I’m not sure if this would be to hard for you to watch if you are in the process of IVF. It might be. It’s very informative though on how the process works and what couples go through. I wanted to share it because I found that I now understand the struggle people face with IVF and my heart goes out to them all. It also might help you make your decision on how you plan to move forward from infertility. 

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Monthly Resource Recommendation 

This Month I am recommending “Amateur Nester”, this is a website/blog/resource page by Lisa Newton.


Lisa and her husband suffer with infertility and have gone through multiple rounds of IUI’s and IVF treatments. She shares her story and her timeline. She also has a book called 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility.

Her page is full of Personal stories of Infertilty from her and others. Lots of great resources including a free printable payer calendar (see below) You can download your own copy on her site www.amateurnester.com

You can like Lisa’s page on facebook at Amateur Nester: Christian Encouragement During Infertilty

And follow her on Instagram @amateurnester

Enjoy!

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To Attend or not to Attend? 

…….A baby shower. 

That is the question for a lot of women with infertility. Where are you at with this? I have one friend who says she is happy to go and support her friends at baby showers, baby’s are a happy thing and it has nothing to do with her situation. I also have friends who have infertility that need to avoid them, for many of their own reasons. 

I’m sharing this article which I one woman’s perspective on the issue. Give it a read, tell me your thoughts. 

https://www.facebook.com/HealingInfertility.ca/posts/1280245855428461

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The Cost of Infertility 

Are you considering fertility treatments? This is a great, realistic article about the costs of various treatments. They mention a few families and their financial, as well as emotional struggles with the cost of infertility. 

Click to read 

The Cost of Infertility

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Monthly Resource Recommendation 

Resolve is an amazing resource for anyone facing the challenges of building a family. There is a tonne of information on adoption, fertility treatment, news on infertility stats and tax credits for expenses etc etc etc. 
Resolve is the U.S. National infertility association. Visit Resolve Here

Follow them on Instagram @resolveorg

Check it out, and I hope it helps you! As always if you have a resource to share, please do! 

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Reference Guide to TTC Terms

I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated when I am on a blog or website and I am trying read through comments and people are using all kinds of abbreviations. I have no idea what they are talking about. I just make up in my mind what I think they are saying and try to piece it together! 

Well, we wanted to give you all a reference guide for all TTC (trying to conceive) terms. Feel free to add any in the comments that I have missed. 

Let’s start the year off understanding what we are reading! 

AF – Aunt Flo (periods)

BBT – Basal Body temperature

BC-Birth control

BD – Baby dancing (sex)

BFN – Big fat negative (pregnancy test)

BFP – Big fat positive (pregnancy test)

CD – Cycle day

CM – Cervical mucus

DH, DW, DP, DS, DD, DF, DB, – Dear husband, Dear wife, dear partner, dear son, dear daughter, dear fiancé, dear boyfriend

DSD, DSS – dear step daughter, dear stepson

DPT- Days Pass Transfer 

DTD- Do the Deed

DI – Donor Insemination

DPO – Days past ovulation

EP – Ectopic Pregnancy

ER – Egg Retrieval

ET – Embryo Transfer

EW or EWCM – Egg White or Egg White Cervical Mucus (description of cervical mucus at ovulation time)

FET – Frozen Embryo Transfer (or fertilized egg transfer)

FSH – Follicle Stimulating Hormone

FX- Fingers Cross

FYI – For your information

GIFT – Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer

GD – Gestational Diabetes

HPT – Home pregnancy test

ICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion

IUI – Intrauterine Insemination

IVF – In Vitro Fertilization

MIL, FIL, BIL, SIL – mother in law, father in law, brother in law, sister-in-law

M/C – miscarriage

M/S – morning sickness

O – Ovulation

OB – Obstetrician

OHSS – Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome

OI – Ovulation Induction

OPK – ovulation predictor test kit

OPU – Ovum (Egg) Pick Up

PG – pregnant

PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome

POAS – Pee On A Stick

POF – Premature Ovarian Failure

RE- Reproductive endocrinologist

S/B – Stillbirth

SD – Stepdaughter

SS – Stepson

SO – Significant other

TI- Timed Intercourse

TIA – thanks in advance

TMI – Too much information

TTC – Trying to conceive

U/S – Ultrasound

2WW – 2 week wait (wait after ovulation when TTC)

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Hope for the Holidays: Day 6 #ttcsister

Have you heard of #ttcsisters? No it has nothing to do with the Toronto Transit Committee! But it does have everything to do with A supportive community of women all trying to conceive. It’s a huge community mostly on Instagram. Where the “sisters” share their journeys of infertility, fertility treatment and eventually pregnancy. #TTCSisters is a great way to connect with people who are going through exactly what you’re going through. It’s a community of love and support from people who understand. 

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Did You Know? Pineapple can Boost Fertility!


Why Pineapple? 

Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelian. Bromelian is good for pain relief, blood thinning and it’s also an anti inflammatory or natures aspirin. 

What does that have to do with fertility? 

The benefits of a blood thinner when trying to conceive is that it helps to drive blood to the uterus. This encourages a healthy uterine lining, sticky embryos and reduces the risk of miscarriage. 

If you have inflammatory issues, bromelian can increase implantation potential. 

When to Eat Pineapple

After confirmed ovulation for 5 days. 

Or if no confirmed ovulation, from start of suspected ovulation to a positive pregnancy test (BFP -big fat positive).

Here is what baby centre suggests for when to eat pineapple for different the different approaches to achieving pregnancy. 

  or IVF [in vitro fertilization] cycle: one pineapple, divided into 5 portions – consume one portion each day, over five days, beginning on the day of your embryo transfer.

IUI [intra-uterine insemination] cycle: one pineapple, divided into 5 portions – consume one portion each day, over five days, beginning on the day of your IUI.
Timed intercourse cycle: one pineapple, divided into 5 portions – consume one portion each day, over five days, beginning on the day after ovulation.
How much pineapple do I eat? 

Cut the pineapple, including the core and divide the core and flesh evenly into 5 portions and eat one portion every day for 5 days. 

When not to Eat Pineapple

Do not eat pineapple in the beginning of your cycle before ovulation. The acidity can have negative affects on your cervical mucus. 

Also do not eat pineapple after a positive pregnancy test. The thinning of blood is not good for a growing fetus and large amounts of bromelian can even cause mild contractions. 

Good luck! Let us know if you get your BFP from trying pineapple!! 

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Infertility – Carrie’s Story


I  started dating my ex husband when we were 16. In our early 20’s we couldn’t even fathom having a child. It was so far beyond our priorities. I was close to graduating university when his sister got pregnant. I remember the joy her and I had as we jumped up and down in the bathroom when looking at the positive pregnancy test. Awesome. I’m gonna be an aunt! I went out that afternoon and bought her a baby Disney onesie. I was over the moon. I figured having nieces and nephews would be enough for me. (It was great. I could return them at the end of the day!). I laughed about how I never wanted a family. I even laughed and remember saying to her… Watch I’ll decide one day to want kids and I won’t be able to have them. I never dreamed it would be true.
I got married at 30. Why we waited so long I have no idea. Then we decided we wanted a family. We loved all our nieces and nephews and we wanted to be part of that family life. Our friends were all having children and we decided this was the right time. I wanted to be a hockey mom I wanted to go to parent teacher nights at the school. I started to get that “biological” clock feeling.

We went on a trip to Cuba and I was right in the perfect time of my cycle. I even bought a cute wooden piggy bank from the trip just in case we had planned it perfect. Then that time of the month came as ordinary. And it continued for 6 months. Then a year. Then two years. People in our lives were having children left right and center. People who had only begun trying. All I could think of was why isn’t it happening to me. The more I thought about it the more stressed I became. That can’t be good right?

My family Dr referred us. The referral took forever. It was a 6 month wait. When we saw the fertility specialist she sent us both for wave of intrusive tests. They were shameful, they were embarrassing. I told no one. I did all of mine right away. Anxiously waiting to get started. My husband dreaded his and avoided it. It took him over a year to finally give a sample. It was a huge stress for us. It caused a lot of arguments. I never understood if I wanted this so bad why didn’t he?

Everyone always gave us advice. Ahhhh you need to relax. Stop trying so hard. Go on vacation it will happen then. Ahh everything happens when it’s supposed to. All advice I dreaded.. I hated to hear. Advice that put me in tears. I had done all those things. And at the end of the day if everything happens for a reason why was someone not wanting me to be a mom. People told me it was because I was a teacher. I try to hard to have everything planned just relax. I was trying.
My husband at the time never really seemed to be on board. I did most of my appointments alone. I started the journey alone. Injections pills early morning internal ultrasounds. Even on days that required his help he sent me on my way with a cup in hand that should have been in his and I went through the IUI alone. The IUI was so awkward. It was awkward afterwards. I wanted to stay home and not move. I was afraid to live. I wanted to just give my body the chance to do what it needed to do. The suppositories they gave me for the week after were awful. They were blue. I felt disgusting. But it was gonna be worth it. I had bruises on my stomach from injections, blue underpants but it didn’t matter. Cuz this was gonna work. No one prepared me for the what if it didn’t.
I had finally told my parents and my friends. I was seeing a fertility Doctor and we were going to do our first IUI. What a mistake. On the day I went in for my blood work to see if I was pregnant I waited anxiously for the call to confirm I was finally gonna be a mom! It wasn’t the traditional way I had wanted it to happen but I was okay with it it was worth it! $2000 and lots of appointments and pills and injections but it was worth it. I was going to get pregnant! I got the call at work. I was devastated. It was a no. I went to my office and cried. I felt like a piece of me was gone. After my treatment I had experienced so many different symptoms of what I had positively convinced myself were signs of pregnancy but they were more likely the side effects of the hormones. It was like piece of my heart was gone. The baby I had so desperately wanted was gone yet was never there to begin with. So started the disappointing phone calls. To my husband. To my parents. It was heart wrenching. It was something I wasn’t sure I wanted to do again. It’s amazing how friends just brushed it off. No big deal. It will happen another time. I didn’t feel like anyone got it. It was like a death and no one wanted to grieve with me. I was alone.

So back to the Doctor, her response was well what do you want to do now? Ummmmm get pregnant? Isn’t that the point of going for fertility. She was awful. She would make you wait in the Doctor’s office. She never seemed to respect anyone’s time. She often cancelled appointments when you were already there. The nurses were not very compassionate, always making me feel like they wanted me in and out. The best part was when I went for a second treatment about 6 months later she was about 6 months pregnant! That’s great fun to see when you’re going in to try to conceive, a glowing pregnant doctor. At the time I hated her for it. With no real reasons of why we weren’t getting pregnant we decided to try again. I almost wish we had a reason. Unexplained infertility was an awful term used constantly in my visits. It felt so empty. Like I was broken and we didn’t know why and there was no way to fix it. It was going to have to be luck. Soooo the process began again. My husband even less engaged this time. Another round. Early morning ultrasounds. Needles and pills. Another disappointing phone call. The Doctor told me she would do one more round and that was it. Then we needed to look at more intrusive options like IVF.

I can remember people expressing their opinions. “IVF is wrong. It’s killing unused eggs” (this coming from someone with 3 of their own children) “If it’s meant to be it will happen”. “You should just adopt”, like we’d only tried twice. People have no idea the emotional damage they do to people with infertility with ignorant comments. No one ever said to me this must be so painful. So stressful etc. It was all about what I was doing wrong. No one got it. No one understood. Two colleagues of mine who started treatments the same time as me were now giving birth to their children and that devastated me even more.
So we tried once more. I told not a single soul. It didn’t work. It was just as devastating. My husband said its done. We’ll see what happens on our own. I’m not spending $10000 on getting pregnant. I hated him.
So two years later we separated. I started the process at 30 everyone said I had time on my side. I’m now 39. I don’t anymore. I threw the piggy bank out when I left. I figured that was it. My marriage was over and so were my chances of having a baby.
My heart aches when I see people with new babies. I don’t go to baby showers I can’t. I have cried the entire time I have written this.
I never wanted anything more in my whole life then to be someone’s mom……
I’m an only child. I haven’t been able to give my parents a grandchild. I see the hurt in their eyes when their friends have their grandchildren with them.
It’s hard. Maybe someday. I met someone new. My hope rekindled. Maybe with my new partner who I love and adore. He has four children. He has no idea how I feel. But he tries and I see the heartbreak in his eyes when I talk about it because he knows how amazing it is to have your own children. He told me he would be willing to have one more for me. How amazing. I try not to consume my life with it but it does. It’s all I think about. It’s been a 10 year journey. The good news is that no one has ever said to me you can not get pregnant. So I hold onto hope every month. It’s only the hope that keeps the journey going. A journey I hope will one day have a happy ending. When I look to the future I wonder will I have to start the journey in fertility treatments again and it terrifies me. Only those who share this story will understand. Xo – Carrie

Thank you Carrie from the bottom of our heart for being brave enough to share your story. We hope that it will let others know that they are not alone. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and these are the people we need to remember, support and care for. Take Carrie’s advice and don’t tell them what their doing wrong, just LOVE them! If you have a story like this that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Please send it to mystory@hopeforwaitingarms.com

 

 

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An emotional Journey through Infertility

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A Personal story of success through fertility treatment,

Click here to read Sara’s Story an “emotional journey through infertility”.

originally found on www.fertilitymatters.ca