You Are Not Alone, Please Speak Your Way Out of the Darkness

Awaiting Autumn:

A beautiful post by Justine which highlights that by using your voice and telling your story, you will never be alone. <3

Originally posted on Ever Upward™:

To feel alone when surrounded by many is quite possibly the worst kind of lonely.

There are millions of us who struggle to make our families. The statistics are enough to take our breath away:

  • 1 in 8 couples will struggle to conceive.
  • 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in loss.
  • 1 in 160 babies will be born still.

We are never alone in this journey, the numbers simply prove otherwise.

And, yet most of us fight all by ourselves, with our voices silenced and shame stealing our light.

This can be the darkness of infertility.

I entered into the infertility world never trying to get pregnant myself due to medical issues of my own. I entered into the infertility world as a mental health therapist who was already pretty open about my own struggles in life. And it is with these two differences, that I entered the infertility world as…

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The truth about being sick during pregnancy

I know every infertile who has yet to conceive HATES those who have crossed over to become annoying, complaining pregos.

Well, the truth is: I am one of them.

I am feeling broken down. I worked so hard for years while trying to conceive to eat healthy, get my insides working properly and balance my system.

Now, I feel like a pile of shit.

No one tells you that during pregnancy:

  • Morning sickness really means all day sickness and often lasts beyond 1st trimester
  • You will pee yourself
  • Pulling poop chunks out of your bum is nothing to be ashamed of
  • Food is your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time
  • Heartburn is uncontrollable
  • You will never sleep through the night again

At 14.5 weeks pregnant, my sickness has yet to subside. A full dose of Zofran does curb the all day nausea, but I still puke. Don’t even get me started on how well I do with flying (which unfortunately I seem to be doing a lot of lately due to my job). I stole a puke bag from my flight on Friday night and hurled my guts out on the drive home from the airport… which also lead to peeing myself. My body lost control with the consistent heaving. Needless to say, I’m glad to have leather seats and my husband deserves an award for wiping up my piss.

I am taking 2 stool softeners daily to combat the constipation from Zofran, yet I still find myself struggling to push hard marbles out of my ass. I long for the day when it easily slides out again.

My definition of a meal has completely transformed. I used to enjoy food, but now I have to choke down 1 piece of pizza – my former favourite treat. I eat probably 1/4 of what I used to eat per meal. I try to load up on fresh fruits and cold vegetables as much as possible. Fortunately, I’m still craving fruit.

I have immense heartburn that Tums and Gaviscon barely touches (I plan to ask my OB for another remedy). I toss and turn all night long from a mixture of heartburn and the need to pee. I guess this is preparing me for being up with baby, but I haven’t slept through the night since I found out I am pregnant. My shoulders and lower back ache from trying to sleep on my left side – a pregnancy recommendation, but also a good step to combat the heartburn.

I’ve decided to toss the Snoogle aside for a few nights of cuddling. I miss my husband. Having a huge body pillow in between us does not do much for intimacy.

I’m lucky in the sense that I do have glowing skin, but morning nausea means no drive to “get ready”. Curly hair or a pony-tail, no make-up and sweats is my usual style these days when I’m not travelling for work.

I can’t do as much as I used to. Visiting 3 stores yesterday resulted in a puking episode. My husband insisted we had done enough and I come home to rest.

Most days I just want to curl up in a ball and pray that my symptoms subside. I’ve gone from a slightly crunchy all natural person to someone who medicates because, without it, there is no relief. No matter what, I still have a job to do, a house to maintain, and a life to live.

As much as I know “it will all be worth it”, that statement really did not sink in for me until recently. Another IVF friend, who had her baby 1 month ago and was equally as sick as me, stressed the importance of how she would do it all over again in a second. I just need to keep reminding myself that I will forget all about the pains of pregnancy once my baby is in my arms.

Our road to baby has been far from straight and narrow. So, I’m sending it out to the universe that I desire a quick, natural birth. And I damn well think I deserve it.

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Join the #1in6 campaign

The Canadian Infertility Awareness week is May 19-28, 2015. As Canadians, we need to be vocal about our struggles with infertility. Awareness promotes understanding, builds community, and hopefully will help shape the future of fertility funding in Canada.

When we first started trying to conceive, I found it difficult to find Canadian-specific infertility resources. Then, I discovered the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) and reached out to volunteer with them.

I recently had a call with Carolynn Dube, the new Executive Director of IAAC. I’m super excited about the upcoming changes and new initiatives they are rolling out.

To build awareness, IAAC is hosting the #1in6campaign.

IAAC is looking for Canadian’s affected by infertility to share their stories. They will feature 1 story each day in May leading up to the 2015 Canadian Infertility Awareness Week.

If you are interested, submit your write-up along with 1-2 high resolution photos to info@iaac.com. Submissions are being accepted from April 3 to April 30.

If you aren’t interested in submitting your story, help build awareness by using the hastags #1in6 and #IVFCanada on your social media channels.

Together, we are not alone.

Together, we can give a voice and a face to infertility.

Together, we can build a positive future for those facing infertility in Canada. <3

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13 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 13 weeks and 5 days

Meds: All taken daily – Prenatal, Omega + DHA, Vitamin D 2000mg, Vitamin B12, Probiotic, Zofran (3 pills daily)

Honestly, I can barely get my prenatals down these days. They are making me nauseous but it isn’t so bad if I take them with food. I had to increase my Zofran from 1 pill a day to 2 pills a day to the max 3 pills a day. :(

Baby is the size of: a kiwi

Best Moment This Week: Meeting my 7 week old nephew, smelling that newborn smell and knowing that I get “one of my own” in 6 months.

Total Weight Gain: +5 lbs – did not weight myself this week.

Maternity Clothes: Maxi skirts, leggings and sweat pants are my best friends. I have ANOTHER business trip this week. Will be a challenge to find semi-dressy outfits that I can fit into from my own closet (my goal is to NOT buy a bunch of maternity clothes I won’t wear on a regular basis).

Symptoms:  NAUSEA! Ughhhhhhhhh. Flying did me in. On Friday, I puked on my one layover and then again once I arrived at my sister’s house. I’ve also realized that I can’t handle the smell of meat cooking or coffee (cue major puking episode). I don’t puke excessively, but I do puke at least 1-2 times a day. I also puked after I landed yesterday and remained nauseous for the rest of the day. I upped my Zofran to 3x a day, but I’m still struggling. It always seems like the “miracle drugs” work perfectly for a few days. Then, my system gets too used to them and the nausea comes back.

Sleep: Oh I missed my snoogle! Still having crazy dreams and getting up to pee throughout the night.

Food Cravings: Kraft dinner, bagels and cream cheese, strawberries

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Brushing my teeth, driving, flying, smell of meat cooking, smell of coffee,

Movement: Too early.

Stretch Marks: Nothing new.

Baby Bump: I’ve decided to call my bump “THE BLUMP” until this B belly decides to round out.

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Gender Prediction: BOY!

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie to start!

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Combo of both.

Purchases for baby: Nothing this week, but I did start on a baby registry (which is more my own personal shopping list).

Miss Anything?: Enjoying a meal, sleeping in my own bed (I only get 2 nights home out of 7 this week), salad, having nicely done hair – I’m just too damn lazy/nauseous to blow dry it these days.

Looking forward to: IF Whenever this dreaded nausea subsides! Our anatomy/gender scan on May 28. <3

I’m leaving on a jet plane… but I KNOW when I’ll be back again!

Baby + me are taking a trip this weekend.

Shockingly, my sister reach out to me soon after she received my gift. We’ve been chatting back and forth since then.

She’s shared lots of stories with me about her pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood. We’ve never really had an opportunity to bond like this – especially since I’m the older sister and was typically “doing everything first”.

I am still protective of my heart and aware of the limitations of our relationship, but it’s nice to feel connected again.

During one of our calls, my sister invited me to come visit her while my Mom is there. My husband agreed that this would be a good opportunity for me to see my sister (as it’s been 1 year), see my Mom (as it’s almost been 2 years) and meet my nephew. I probably won’t get another opportunity to visit before the baby comes. So, I used my Aeroplan points and booked myself a trip.

Tomorrow, I fly out to Alberta for the weekend. I am really excited to meet my adorable nephew. I’m also beyond excited to see my Mom. I am anticipating being an emotional mess in the airport – thanks to pregnancy hormones combined with my uber sensitive heart.

My goal is to relax and enjoy myself. If things go array, I will take a deep breath and remind myself that I’m flying back home first thing Monday morning. Sometimes short trips are the best as my family can be dysfunctional and chaotic. 

Wish me luck and no up chucks on the plane! :)

Sweet, sweet relief!

I woke up this morning with NO NAUSEA!

I have a new friend. His name is Zofran.

When I told my OB that Diclectin wasn’t working, he said, “No messing around. I’m giving you the good stuff“.

So far, I’ve only taken one pill before bed. My OB said I could take up to 3 pills a day. I’m going to try to play with my dosage to get myself on the least amount with the most amount of relief.

It’s crazy how much prego nausea/sickness affects you. Most mornings, I dreaded getting out of bed as that’s when the nausea would hit. I’d struggle to get ready for work, attempt to eat something without puking (which recently was a daily fail) and prepare my package of anti-nausea remedies to battle through the day (soda crackers, ginger ale, preggie pops). I carried a puke bucket with me – especially in the vehicle. Nausea was controlling my life.

This morning, I feel like myself. I ate breakfast without up-chucking it. I have a clear mind. I’m ready for the day.

My one piece of advice to other soon-to-be Momma’s experiencing horrible nausea: Don’t attempt to fight it! Allow yourself the relief. Growing a baby is hard work. When you feel constantly nauseous (because let’s get real – who really only has MORNING sickness?), it’s a major bummer. I was super grumpy. My social life has been majorly lacking. My husband was getting annoyed with my constant sickness. Take back your life and take the damn pill!

The rest of our OB appointment went well. I’m convinced my little one does not like ultrasounds. He did a major flip and curled into a ball when he first tried to scan me. Due to a shitty office layout, I missed seeing the whole thing, but my husband excitedly relayed what he saw to me. The doctor wasn’t concerned with last week’s bleed. I got my requisition to complete the blood portion of the NT testing and hopefully my anatomy scan will be scheduled soon. Yes, the new receptionist is doing a better job now. Kindness and patience paid off.

Tomorrow I’m 13 weeks. It’s hard to believe the first trimester is almost over. <3

12 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 12 weeks and 4 days

Meds: All taken daily – Prenatal, Omega + DHA, Vitamin D 2000mg, Vitamin B12, Probiotic, Diclectin (4 pills daily)

Baby is the size of: an apricot or a plum

Best Moment This Week: Seeing our baby bounce on the screen during our 12 week ultrasound

Total Weight Gain: +5 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Still in between sizes. I’ve been living in sweat pants, leggings and maxi skirts.

Symptoms:  NAUSEA! Ughhhhhhhhh. I’m hope that I’m in that transitional “worse before it gets better” phase because the past 4 days have been horrible. I struggled with puking all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I wasn’t able to keep anything down yesterday. Easter supper does not taste as good coming back up as it did going down. I manage the nausea better if I eat more frequent, yet smaller meals. Driving = especially in my husband’s truck – does me in. I’ve started carrying a puke bowl with me.

The persistent sickness has made me not so worried about my bleed from Thursday night. I am still going to try to get in to see my OB before my scheduled appointment on Thursday if possible.

My rant of the week would be non-prego/non-infertile advice about pregnancy nausea. I really don’t want to hear “did you try this or this?” from people who have never experienced it. I also don’t like people telling me “oh well it will all be worth it in the end“. I get that. I know it will all be worth it, but it’s hard not to be grumpy when you can barely stomach soda crackers. /endrant

That being said: I welcome all advice from anyone who has experienced this before me! Rumour has it, you can increase your Diclectin dosage with Doctor permission? Is this true?

Sleep: I have more energy since stopping my progesterone. I can still sleep for 10-12 hours a night though. Still having the crazy dreams. I’ve also been using the Snoogle pillow consistently this week.

Food Cravings: Strawberries, pumpkin pie, plain chips, ice water, Mini Wheats,

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Chicken, vegetables, brushing my teeth, driving,

Movement: Too early.

Stretch Marks: Nothing new.

Baby Bump: Still barely there but continuously getting harder.  

Gender Prediction: BOY!

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie to start!

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Moody. Being sick does not equal a happy Lindsey.

Purchases for baby: Nothing this week.

Miss Anything?: Enjoying a meal, cuddling (as the Snoogle gets in the way)

Looking forward to: My doctor’s appointment on Thursday and whenever this dreaded nausea subsides!