Your journey shouldn’t define you
(even when it feels like it does)...
It is important to note that my dad is an OBGYN and my aunt is a reproductive endocrinologist. I have two, celebrated, well known resources literally at the tip of my fingers, and for that I am so fortunate.
The Thanksgiving after I was married in 2013, my aunt asked me when we were going to try to get pregnant. At this point it was not something my husband and I had even once discussed, but I will never forget that on that day, three years ago, I told my aunt that I felt in my heart that I was going to have a really hard time conceiving. As a good aunt should do, she said there was no reason I would struggle but god forbid I did, I had the best resources readily available (but almost 2 years later - I’m still not pregnant!) My gut told me this (small but large tip: trust your gut).
Fast forward barely a year and a half later to January 2015, I went off birth control and started prenatal vitamins. We had had many discussions and were ready to be parents, and we couldn’t be more excited. After six months of very irregular cycles (60, 72+ days), my dad and his partners decided to put me on Clomid to regulate me. This medication worked in regard to the fact that my cycles were immediately regulated (28-30 days!), and I was feeling so optimistic.
October 2, 2015 was the Friday night of my one of my oldest friend’s wedding weekends, and I was three days late. Cautiously optimistic, we packed a few pregnancy tests and the realistic person in me (ok pessimistic), packed tampons. Friday night after the rehearsal dinner we took a test, and there was a faint line! We obviously immediately freaked out, took pictures of the test and sent to my OBGYN, my dad, and my aunt, all who concurred: THE TEST WAS POSITIVE. I was set to have blood work on Monday upon our return from the weekend. Saturday was incredible not only because my gorgeous friend was finally marrying the man of her dreams, but also because inside I was celebrating this tremendous victory! After hours of dancing with my best friends from childhood, (and no drinking of course!), I started to feel horrible wrenching pains in my stomach, and called it a night at 1am. By Monday I was bleeding and my beta was a big, fat zero. Chemical pregnancy.
To spare you the emotional details, history repeated itself in the month of December. Again, another chemical pregnancy / miscarriage, whatever you want to call it…. it hurts just the same.
Though college was the best four years of my life, I definitely was not always the best version of myself. I spent a lot of days in bed, ditching class because I was feeling unhappy. I took diet pills because I was so unhappy with my appearance compared to my beautiful, confident roommates and friends, and to say I had depressive tendencies is an understatement. Though this is a part of me, I couldn’t let this deeply buried alter ego arise. I had to, and still have to, every day, rise above the pain.
TIP: The fertility journey is a part of who you are, it is most definitely not ALL you are, and you cannot let it consume you. It’s hard not to let these diagnoses, failures, or losses define you, or to awaken or reawaken depressive behaviors. Grieving is natural and should in fact be something that you do for yourself. You can and should feel badly for yourself, and allow yourself a limited amount of time before jumping out of bed, ready to conquer the F beast head on. But what you shouldn’t do, is allow other people to tell you that it’s okay, it will be okay, and that they understand. Because no one really understands the pain you’re feeling, because your pain is unique to you… so by all means, tell them all to STFU.