Mom Culture

Hi y’all! How is everyone’s new year so far? Anyone feeling completely jaded? I am!

One thing I noticed is that I have a new trigger, woohoo! And by trigger, I mean seeing something that conjures up negative feelings and has the potential to ruin my day. Up until now, my biggest trigger was pregnant women. Trust me- baby pictures, pregnancy/birth announcements, baby showers and gender reveals are no walk in the park, but there is something about seeing a pregnant woman that honestly breaks my heart. Clearly these women are doing nothing wrong or offensive. It’ just that all of the happiness they are feeling, I am feeling the same intensity but in sadness, jealousy, bitterness and frustration. I have never carried a pregnancy to term, I wish I knew what that was like. I wish these women knew how lucky they are. Do they know hoe lucky they are? It’s funny, I know exactly how I feel in my head but I am having trouble articulating it.

Anyway, I realized a new trigger that I have, and it makes sense- MOM CULTURE. I don’t know if that’s an existing term or if I invented it. But when I say mom culture, I mean making EVERYTHING about being a mom, mostly on social media (and in real life too). Here’s an example. An acquaintance of mine recently had her first kid. She posted a picture of herself and some friends out to dinner. She captioned it “mom’s night out.” AND THAT DROVE ME CRAZY. It’ hard enough I had to see her other pregnancy related content. Now that she finally has some “intertiltiy friendly” pictures to share, she has to bring it back to the fact that she is a mom? Of course she is probably over the moon to be a mother, I don’t want to stop her from feeling this way. But for me, someone who doesn’t have any children and would do ANYTHING to be a mom, it just makes me so sad when I see all these moms flaunting their new status. Nothing against them at all, I promise. It’s a trigger. Makes me sad. That’s it.

Another example- someone I follow asked on social media if anyone gets their kids gifts for valentine’s day. An innocent question, but that is assuming that everyone reading that has kids. Clearly I don’t have kids, so just one more thing that doesn’t apply to me. Wonderful.

And then other moms join in. They call each other “mamma.” They talk about their growing families. Label themselsves as proud working moms or stay at home moms- because mom is their new identity. They post mom-related croud-sourcing questions. I hate croud-sourcing in general, but I don’t need to be asked where I can find the most sustainable, organic, chemical free crib.

I’m not singling out moms for being moms. But seeing the strong mom community presence is just a reminder of how badly I want to be included in this mom club, and how, through no fault of my own, I am still excluded.

Infertility, Miscarriage and Grief

I will start this post the same way I ended my last one, by stating that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  My recent miscarriage made me reflect on my fertility journey and I realized that I was grieving throughout the entire process, but in different ways. I’d like to share the different ways I grieved with you. Maybe you have felt the same. Maybe you have felt completely different. But if you are reading this my guess is you have gone through some sort of loss or heartbreak and I hope that sharing my experience can somehow provide you comfort.

1. The first time I grieved was after my first miscarriage. This also happened to be my first pregnancy. I was heartbroken,  I cried a lot, and took off work, but I was able to get “back on my feet” relatively quickly, with the help of rationalization. This was an early first trimester miscarriage. The baby would not have been healthy. This was nature’s way of doing things “for the best.” Also, so many women have miscarriages and go on to have healthy babies– at least that’s what doctors and non-doctors kept telling me. I’ll just keep on trying. I was sad but I had hope.

2.  Over the next 2 years, my hope was completely destroyed. Not a single pregnancy after trying on our own or with the help from our reproductive endocrinology friends. During this period, I grieved much more frequently, but on a smaller scale.  I was able to go to work, but sometimes I would cry on my commute to and from. I could get out of bed and function on a day-to-day basis, but if I checked social media and read about a new pregnancy, I’d be in a bad mood for most of the day. I found myself declining invites to baby showers and other baby related events. I was slowly withdrawing. During this period, I wasn’t grieving over a loss per se, but over the same endpoint- nothingness. I felt hopeless and helpless. The lack of control over my situation tormented me.

3. A second pregnancy, with a heartbeat detected, followed by a miscarriage (actually I’m still waiting for that to happen. That’s another story). This one hit me hard. I still cry daily. I couldn’t go to work for a while. I could barely get out of bed. I could barely eat. I did not want to see anybody or talk to anybody except for my husband. I was sad, devastated and angry. I strongly questioned my faith. I was in a state where absolutely nothing could make me feel better. I am still in this state and I don’t think I will ever fully recover. But one thing that helped a little is the passage of time. It made me realize that there are things I cannot change. I am in the midst of another loss, and I cannot reverse this. It will always be heartbreaking and devastating. I feel what I feel. But I have to move on. See my doctor, come up with new plans, take care of myself, go back to work and get things “back to normal.”

I  will end with this: if you are going through something, ANYTHING, that is getting you down, tell someone. A loved one, a friend, a co-worker, a therapist, a counselor– anyone. You might be surprised how supportive they can be. Support is so important during a time when you are most vulnerable.

Coping with… In-Laws! :)

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post. I wish I had good news to share, but I don’t. Still seeing my reproductive endocrinologist, still not pregnant.  As upset and frustrating as this journey is, I don’t want all of my posts to be negative.  So I decided to vent about my in-laws. Harmless, right?

Disclaimer:  I love my in-laws very much.  I really do.  They raised a wonderful son and they are very good to me.

But… 😉

But sometimes you have to watch your mouth! Okay, that sounds harsh. During my infertility journey,  my in-laws have actually been very patient and understanding through it all. My husband is an only child, which means if his parents want grandchildren, I am their only hope. So I don’t blame them if they are starting to get anxious. But today, I overheard my husband talking to one of his parents on the phone- he put the phone on speaker so this does NOT count as eavesdropping! 😉 Anyway, a certain in-law made a comment about “hurrying up” with the infertility treatment process. I won’t get into details but that was the gist.

I flipped out. Hurry up?!?!!? Does this in-law not know that I have been seeing a reproductive endocrinologist for about a year? That I have tried multiple medical therapies that have not worked? That in the last year I have cried the most I have ever cried in my life?? That I have no control over this situation? Well guess what, I cried today and I cried good.

Here’s the thing.  I know my in-laws have good intentions. We are all frustrated and we all want the same outcome. They just have to understand that as hard as it is for them, it is so much harder for me. They have to understand this is a very sore subject for me and they have to understand how a bit of sensitivity goes a long way.  I’m lucky to have a loving and supportive husband who always has my back (even when it comes to his parents!). But I wish I never had to go through this infertility journey to begin with.

On another note, anyone have any good in-law stories? Vent away! 😉

 

A Not So Happy Mother’s Day

Although every day should be Mother’s Day, I like the idea of having a designated holiday to celebrate the wonderful mothers out there. As a child I enjoyed spending the day with my mother and my grandmothers.

As I continue my infertility journey, each passing Mother’s Day becomes more and more bittersweet. Of course I still celebrate it with my mother and grandmother, but I yearn for the day when I will be celebrated too. Mother’s Day is another painful reminder that I am not a mother. And with all of my mom friends on social media who will be flooding my newsfeeds with pictures of their Mother’s Day celebrations, this just amplifies that feeling of being slapped in the face.

This year, I celebrate mother’s day with a miscarriage under my belt, along with multiple failed ovulation-induction cycles. In fact, I was in the middle of a new cycle and just got my period yesterday. While periods are heartbreaking for any woman trying to conceive, the pain stings harder for me when the period fall out around Mother’s Day.

I walk outside and see strangers, young girls with baby strollers and belly bumps. Women that are probably younger than me.  I hope the realize how blessed they are. I can’t help but think that the world is trying to tell me “EFF YOU.” And I don’t know what I did to deserve this.

This year, I will be returning home from an 8 hour road trip, so I will “miss” Mother’s Day. But while that might numb the pain, it doesn’t eliminate it.

When the Only Gains are in Weight

Confession: I love chocolate. LOVE. I honestly think I have an addiction to it because I must eat it every day. When I was younger, I went shopping with my family and, for whatever the reason, got into a bad mood. I came home, had some M&Ms and I turned into the most pleasant person in the world. My family teases me about that to this day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my body now (well, except for my reproductive system that seems to be on vacation, but I digress). But here’s the thing- given the nature of my schooling and now my job, I had an awful schedule over the past 8 years or so. Working 24 hour shifts, alternating between working during the day and overnight- just horrible timing! I found myself starving and then over-eating as a result. I barely had time to exercise because the second I got home, I would sleep. Yes, I could have “made” time. But I didn’t. My weight began to fluctuate a bit, but whenever I gained a few pounds, I had a very easy time losing them.

Last year, I gained 20 pounds. I started a new job with long work hours including taking calls from home. I would be woken in the middle of the night and was not sleeping well. I still wasn’t eating well either. And I still had no time to go to the gym. But this time, despite my attempt at lifestyle changes, the weight would not come off.

This year my schedule lightened up a bit. Here are some of the lifestyle changes I made:

I practice portion control.

I don’t skip any meals.

At least one of my meals is a salad.

I take a 24oz thermos of water with my to work and drink it by the end of the day.

I limit snacks to 0-1 per day (let’s be real, I can’t cut out chocolate completely)

I go to the gym twice a week (I go with the hubby so there is some schedule coordination involved).

Despite all this, my weight has not budged. In fact, I sometimes gain a couple of pounds, lose them, but nothing more.

I don’t have a negative body image, but I know the importance of a healthy weight when trying to achieve pregnancy. When certain fertility treatments have not worked for me, I sometimes wonder “would they have worked if my weight was more stable?”

I’m not giving up. I’m going to continue to practice healthy lifestyle habits, because ultimately health is what matters most. But if anyone has any healthy and safe weight loss tricks up their sleeve, I’d love to hear them!

Welcome

Hi there~

Thank you for stopping by. If you are here I hope I can be a source of support during what I’m sure is a difficult time. A little about myself and the nature of this blog. I am in my 30s, I ‘ve been married for 5 years and I struggle with infertility. I was pregnant once, which unfortunately ended in miscarriage. I thought that was devastating enough, however I have not been able to conceive since then (years). I am lucky to have an amazing support system, but it’s just not the same when the ones I turn to have not actually gone through the struggles that I have.  I began to realize that simple parts of everyday life were increasingly harder for me to handle secondary to my infertility.

I decided to create this blog to detail those experiences, how infertility got in the way, and how I cope. I will NOT be discussing the medical aspect of my ongoing journey, but I might get a little technical here and there.

My main goal is to hopefully help others while I get to vent a little. I invite you to make of this blog whatever you want- a place for support, a place for encouragement, a place to share your story, or most importantly, a place to know that you are not alone.