Monday, October 24, 2016

Silent Struggle

When I decided to start a blog, I was nervous. I didn’t want to hurt feelings or make people around me uncomfortable; but the truth is, every person is entitled to their journey and how they go about dealing with it. I have found blogging to be an extreme release of emotions when I have become such a broken record in reality. It’s difficult for people to empathize with things they’ve never experienced – Blogging has opened a door to thousands if not millions of people who have experienced infertility or fertility treatments and can relate to the emotions I find myself overwhelmed with.

Even though my wife stands by my side throughout every treatment– it’s lonely. Facing the possibility of never having your own child can make you feel, almost betrayed; betrayed by my own body. The lonely aspect falls hard when you begin to shut out people around you, such as family and friends. I found today was the first day in almost a month that I talked to my family; I found myself avoiding any phone calls or cutting conversations short to avoid the questions I didn’t want to answer – the process I didn’t want to explain, the “advice” that would only frustrate me.

The worst part is worrying, I worry constantly – Have I stressed too much? Should I have not taken my ADHD medicine today? Did I lift too much? Worrying has become an everyday process; especially when things seem completely hopeless. Worrying comes in many shapes and colors; I worry about our finances and the holidays to come – I worry that my hormonal side effects will push myself or my wife past the breaking point.

Regardless of the attempts or amount of debt you may accumulate; there is no guarentee. Going through every month with hopes high and being let down creates a great deal of sadness.

The entire process is invasive – while I appreciate the professionalism of my doctor’s office; it doesn’t make it any easier to lay with multiple people staring at my vagina for either ultrasounds or inseminations. I wouldn’t say it’s painful – but having catheter through my cervix is something that requires a mental calmness and with all the hormones, stress and anxiety – it becomes difficult after a while.
As the days go by, I can’t help but wonder if I will ever become pregnant; if this process will be worth it in the end.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

You're not alone!

Before I write this post; I’d like to point out that these are my emotions and my knowledge based on my personal experience. I’ve read enough to last a lifetime and the biggest part of fertility treatments and infertility is the misunderstanding of it. I use blogging to express myself, my emotions, our journey and anything that happens in between. If you are going through fertility treatments, IUI, IVF, infertility, MC, CP or anything of that nature; you’re not alone, it’s ok to embrace your journey.

Infertility is viewed worldwide by couples as a tragedy which carries social, economic and psychological consequences. It is estimated that 10% of the population globally suffers from infertility, which is generally defined as the inability to conceive after 1 year of unprotected intercourse” (Gupta 2000, p. 339).

Many people don’t talk about it, they don’t want the judgements, comments or suggestions – they bare the unbearable alone. Some people talk about it quietly, feeling shameful through every conversation and beating themselves after. Some people embrace it, explain it, talk about it and do their best to get through it with support and love. It’s not just the emotional aspect that can be overwhelming, it’s the financial responsibility, the physical invasion of your body, the mental invasion of your hope and dreams and the simple reality that you may always feel a part of you is broken.

The process of fertility treatments and infertility takes a significant toll on both a person and their marriage. Fertility is not a talked about topic as much as I believe it should be; it’s a hidden shame many females feel the burden of and can truly turn a beautiful life into the darkest you could imagine. Nikki and I have been dealing with the inability to conceive for two years and while we have only been undergoing fertility treatment for three months; I can feel the toll taking over every aspect of our lives. Fertility treatments cause so much of an unbalance in a person’s mind and body that not only is marital issues a concern, but friends and family relationships as well. You can’t force anyone to feel what you feel or to understand the rollercoaster of emotions you find yourself on and due to that very simple fact, a lot of relationships are lost.

Marriage is hard, we know this; infertility is devastating – the two combined can be flames or fireworks. I am so beyond thankful to have a wife who has stood by my side. Somedays are emotional, some are good and some I simply just make it through. Some nights I sleep and some I don’t. Some days I can eat all day and others I can’t take a bite. I’m sure the fertility medication plays a huge part of this, but to have such an un-judgmental, patient, caring and loving person truly makes a difference. Communication is key, talk about it to one another – you are both going through it. Talk about what ifs, both good and bad. Set up a plan, a way to deal with the outcomes every month. Forgive one another, you will both have days of darkness. Accept and love unconditionally – let go of what you thought should be and accept what is. Beyond it all, be there - fight for each other – fight the fight together.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The struggle of fertility

Monday came as we hoped for the best and prepared for the worst, thankfully; everything turned out positive. As we continue these doctor appointments, scans, shots, ultrasounds and hormones it almost seems we are living in a fog mind state; we both want to begin our family but after another unsuccessful attempt, we are slowly beginning to accept what may never happen.

Dr. Cortez insists we stay positive- therefore we have decided to stay silent, figuring the less chatter about it will result in less pressure. This will also allow for more time to deal with the negatives or positives as they come. There are so many people in this world dealing with fertility issues or attempting artificial inseminations and they all deal with their situation different – While most of our family and a few close friends are aware we have been trying to conceive, it becomes increasingly difficult to talk about it as time goes on.
Some days I hardly allow myself to think about it but other days I feel completely overwhelmed. People don't do well with emotional discomfort, it's simple to explain the procedure; but to explain the shame, guilt, hate, anger or sadness is almost impossible.
Last month when our first IUI failed; I found myself dealing with it almost as I always have, but this time it was different.. this time I felt defeated. We had such high hopes, knowing it was foolish - IUI and fertility treatment takes a toll on a person, I’m exhausted; my face is completely broken out and my body feels invaded, some days I can hardly stand to face people. I am thankful to have a wife who has done her best to be there and continues to be patient with me, especially when there is so much more going on in our lives right now; Doing this with someone you love makes a difference. I may feel alone but I know I'm not and for that I will be forever thankful.

Staying positive is hard, but here’s to the next month of our journey.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

One way, or another.

As the week comes to an end, I can’t help but feel a range of emotions. These past five days have not been as tough as the previous months, however, I could most certainly do without the constant hot flashes, acne and headaches. I’ve spent a great deal of my week listening to my body and mind, I have found a release in stress by staying as far away from google as possible; because searching for reasons last month’s IUI failed wont ensure this IUI will work and searching for ways to feel more confident with this IUI won’t ensure success, either.

Just as last month, Monday has two options; a really good day or a really bad day. At 10:30am, Nikki and I are going to the doctors for her mammogram; the lady ensured we would have results before leaving the office and while the doctors believe there is nothing serious, there is still a chance for bad news. At 12:30, I have an appointment in the office next door with Dr.Cortez to see if the hormones worked this month, so we will be accepting one bit of information as we endure the next bit of information. I know regardless of what Monday brings, we will get through it because that’s what we do in this journey of ours.

While I have enjoyed blogging, I am beginning to look into more in-depth writing and possibly creating a sort of memoir or even a book. I don’t know that I will stick to this hobby, but it has been a great distraction from the hormones, doctors and of course, waiting around. I intend on updating at least once, if not twice a week with Blogger, for the upcoming weekend and the dreadful Monday; I’ll leave that in fates hands.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Everything happens, for a reason.

Sometimes, we get upset at God or the one we believe in for not granting our every prayer. Today, while I would have been more than thankful for a pregnancy this month; I am understanding as to why it did not happen. (Or at least, assuming this allows me to feel somewhat better). Today, my wife and I along with many family members and friends are preparing for Hurricane Mathew. With our house boarded up, canned food for days and a bulk of water stock we await the hurricane’s arrival.

It is funny how life works, God knows it isn’t easy. When you get married, you not only commit yourself to one single person but also to a life of faith, trust, trial, error, good and bad. There’s a lot of stress over life, because when you’re married neither of you can say one has it harder; you learn how to support each other the best you can and hope that it’s enough. When we found out we weren’t pregnant this month, Nikki did exactly that- she held me when I couldn’t deal and because of her strength during my weakness, we’re ok.

Marriage is funny, you see your other half through so much. There are days of madness, sadness, stubbornness and at times, things can become so unbearable – you want to just scream! But, marriage is also beautiful, you are able to see the person you love through their best moments, when it’s the middle of the night and you’re both wide awake while the rest of the world is asleep; you see the side of them no one else does and no, it’s not always pretty but I’ve learned in our journey, marriage is one of the most rewarding jobs outside of parenting there is; because at the end of the day, if you’re lucky; you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest – most annoying, loving, goofy person you know. Marriage isn’t very beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.

Today, I’m beyond thankful for our journey. The doctor has prescribed me a higher dosage of hormones for the upcoming week and while we are still broken hearted we will hold one another up for another try to begin our family.

Many prayers for anyone in Florida during this hurricane, may God protect you, your homes, and the ones you love.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

So close, but still too far.

I went to sleep last night with prayers sent off while holding onto any hope within me. I cuddled up close with my wife and puppy and slowly drifted into sleep. This morning I felt the sun through the window and awoke immediately to find my phone, hoping for an e-mail from the doctor; and just as I expected, it was sitting in my inbox waiting to be opened.

“I’m sorry, your test was negative” and the little hope I was trying so hard to hold onto, I let go. I looked at my wife as she laid there sleeping, still hope in her heart and eventually drifted back to sleep. I knew in my heart there was a good chance this would happen, I suppose I half way expected it but couldn’t help but become overly excited; thinking of ways I wanted to tell the ones closest to me, thinking of names and wandering off with exciting thoughts. I don’t exactly know what happened- I had the positive tests, but negative bloodwork. It seems that it was a chemical pregnancy or maybe the trigger stayed in my system longer than most. I don’t honestly know but I do know that my heart is heavy.

I told myself, regardless of the outcome I would stay strong, I wouldn’t cry and I would go on with the day the best way I could- and that’s what I started to do. I struggled out of bed after a short conversation with my mom and tried to focus on anything but what was on my mind – until we got to work and there was nothing to focus on, no orders to make and nothing to keep off how I felt inside and it all hit me at once. I began thinking about when I had the positive test and saw Nikki’s face I felt like I finally did it, I finally gave her a glimpse of hope that our dreams were really coming true.

And just like clockwork, my period has arrived. I think about everything I’ve done in the past two weeks, things I’ve said or thought quietly to myself; was I not thankful enough? Were my prayers to selfish? Did I stress myself out? Should I have stopped taking my medicine sooner? Did I cause this to happen to us, again?
Tonight, I told Nikki I felt like I was loosing faith. I sat on the couch as I held back the tears I'd been fighting as she leaned in and held me, she told me her faith was strong enough for us both and regardless, we had to keep faith in God's plan. It's much easier said, than done but her faith has been the only thing keeping me ok tonight. When I started this blog, she encouraged my every post. Our journey has been full of obstacles and seems to only become more intense, but I can say - there's nobody else I'd rather run this course with.

I don’t know what our next step is; I can only assume more fertility medicine, scans, hormonal days and waiting, a lot more waiting. However, tonight, I have to feel; I have to get through the emotional rollercoaster I agreed to ride and tomorrow I have to be ok, because life has to go on.