I’m bleeding out. InFertility & Mental Health

Fertility and mental health: Female Hormones Can Make a Bloody Mess of Your Mental Health

“*Women with infertility felt as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack”. (Harvard Review). 

I’ve realized that I’ve been writing a bit about mental health. I think it’s a topic that is close to my heart, professionally and personally. No one is immune. There are two times in this process where I had a mental breakdown, first time at The Clinic in November of 2016,  and the second time just recently. The first time, I walked out of the waiting room and cried like a wild animal in the middle of the hallway heaving in pain. The second time was for a full week right before we found the results after the two week wait which the last two posts have been about. The first time was only a day, the humpty-dumptysecond time I couldn’t pull myself together for over a full week. The unravelling started here. I still feel like Humpty Dumpty (and so does husband) who fell off the wall and now all the kings horses and all kings men, are trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Mental Health Check-up

At the The Clinic, no one checks in on your mental health even though its well-known how much this process will take a toll on you mentally. Just the hormones should come with a <<beware of side effects>> label. Even if we think about a woman who is going through regular PMS, how those hormones affect her, imagine being pumped with MORE hormones than usual would affect a woman. Being a mental health professional, even I didn’t recognize the early signs of things unravelling. Yet, it was so evident that my mental health was bleeding out onto every aspect of my life. Bleeding out is a term that is used when a person’s ability to perform daily functions are affected and there is no separation between the physical and mental. Just think of your brain spilling out and having a hard time distinguishing and separating what is actually real and what is perceived to be real.  When you are in so deep, fertility takes over every part of your life. Think of blood bleeding out and splattering. It gets into the cracks and leaves a stain.

No none of this is healthy, far from it, but what I’m trying to say, this happens so slowly, I didn’t notice it and I’m freaking trained. I’m my worst doctor.

Intuitively I knew something was wrong.

I knew I needed help.

On the second week of the “Two week wait”, I fell apart and crashed mentally and hit a wall. I liken it to a car accident. I’m driving along to my destination and all of a sudden I’m driving through a winter storm. I’m so focused on making it safely to my destination that I don’t notice the truck swerving to the right of me and that threw me through my windshield. That is how it felt. My mental health was out of control. I was anxious, crying at any moment, didn’t want to get out of bed and my energy was so low, I had to take naps during the day. In Chinese medicine they would say, my Qi was off-balance. I was scared to eat anything because I thought I was doing something wrong. I felt so drained, I was getting up, eating and sleeping because of anxiety and stress of waiting if THIS TIME the treatment would work. That week, I went to see a mental health professional and I realized: every aspect of my everyday was now consumed by fertility. Needless to say not exactly the right mindset to have, right?!

I knew there was a problem, when I picked up a pastry in my favourite coffee shop, and my thought process was this:

“Should eat it this because it had gluten in it. Gluten could be a cause of infertility. Maybe I have gluten intolerance and I don’t know it. That is why I am infertile. Why else would a healthy person like me have issues? Maybe I was harming myself by having this pastry. Since I also have PCSO the sugar could be harming me . Ugh, why am I eating this pastry when I should just go Gluten free! Dairy free! Sugar free! 

I had fought this so hard to not have it happen, but it seeped in through the cracks so quietly and so slowly, like water seeping through the cracks.”The Judge”, the voice in my head,  screaming at me, “you of all people should know better”. Before I knew what had happened, my everyday was fertility. Before I knew what had happened, my mental health was affected and I had trouble finding joy in anything. How did this happen?

While the causes of infertility are overwhelmingly physiological, the resulting heartache — often exacerbated by the physical and emotional rigors of infertility treatment — may exact a huge psychological toll. One study of 200 couples seen consecutively at a fertility clinic, for example, found that half of the women and 15% of the men said that infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives. Another study of 488 American women who filled out a standard psychological questionnaire before undergoing a stress reduction program concluded that *women with infertility felt as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The-psychological-impact-of-infertility-and-its-treatment

I had read about this on different blogs and read about it in different the books.  I heard about this happening, but I swore I was going to be different. I swore I won’t have this problem, until it was there…and from what I have seen anyone who has done treatments at one point hits a wall and falls hard.

Asking for help

I went to see someone. She showed me how my thoughts were chaotic and one thought bleed over and over rode all the other thoughts. I walked away after an hour with three practical things.

ONE: Compartmentalize 

I have compartmentalized and really watched my thoughts.

After I walked away from Dr. Julia, I was shocked to realize how much my whole body was and is in flight/fight mode. I did a ten minutes of meditation and my body just slumped into hibernation. So many thoughts circled back to fertility. I’m really not great at this yet, but at least there is an awareness. Right after the appointment, husband and went for lunch and listening about my appointment he discovered that he has unconsciously sought out coping mechanisms too. His was playing the online game  of World of Warcraft, something he had not done years! 

Prescription

I was to assign one hour a day, just like I did with an appointment to obsess over fertility. I was to watch my thoughts and if any thought or something that had to do with fertility I was to tell my mind, not now, that will be doing that at the assigned appointment time.

The work

Its funny, in many ways while this blog was helpful, it also required me to designate a time in the day for it. I would poke and write something at all hours of the day. I realized how our conversations with friends and my husband were all about this freak’n subject. How freak’n annoying not just to me but to those around me.

Spiritual work

The attachment to an outcome.  I had thought I had let go of this attachment, I had not, because it was attached to the fear of letting go of control over the situation.

I had fear that my plan would not work. I had a timeline. I had 6 months for the medical leave and it had to work in the 6 months otherwise I would need to go back.

The plan has not worked out. I was so attached to an outcome. I still am, but working through it. There is no surrender in that. I think it’s also the idea that this family thing is supposed to look a particular way and what if it doesn’t turn out looking that way and I actually don’t get a chance was nature has said to me is so natural? What if I’m still punishing myself for all those years of looking down at moms and pregnant women and my views on family 10 years ago.

If I don’t have my head straight and if I don’t have a sense of peace and serenity, then I can still be misaligned with the opportunity to create.

When I change my mind about my experiences, then my experiences change. It doesn’t mean that the outcome I was expecting will happen, it means how I experience the outcome will change. It’s the attachment piece and an expectation of the outcome.

Gabrielle Bernstein.

This is really hard to process, as how hard it is to not be attached and hoping for an outcome during the two week wait? 

What is my intuition telling me? Its been saying since last year that I should switch clinics, and maybe I should finally listen to that but then there is fear around this switch.

         Fear is such a bitch. It messes with your mind so much.

TWO: Watching cat videos

Prescription:

After my one hour appointment with myself and once I was done obsessing over fertility during the day, I was to watch cat videos or anything funny. This engages a totally different part of your brain that has nothing to do with logical thinking brain. Its like dancing or singing or anything creative.Squirrel

Result….Squirrel!

Have you ever watched that movie, “Up”, where the dog is talking and all of sudden his attention is distracted for a second because there is a squirrel. That is what I’m doing now. Anytime my mind trails off to this topic (you can see it in my eyes) people around me know to simply tell me, “squirrel”. Its funny and it works.

Three: Permission to feel

The work:

I think because I had so much judgement going on in my head and because I was punishing myself for NOT “knowing better”, I didn’t allow myself to feel the true extent of my feelings. Having done lots of personal development there is also a personal development judge that comes up and was punishing me because I wasn’t using the tools that I had learned to use in such situations. In many ways, my training took a knife and decided to hurt me.

Prescription:

In Chinese medicine, “we have an infinate amount of energy and the more we are consumed with negative thoughts and judments then there is less energy to go towards the spark of life.

I don’t think my brain would have accepted permission to relax if it were not a mental health professonal telling to relax and that its totally normal to feel this way. My prescription was to really allow myself to feel the full extent of my feelings where ever they may be in my body.

Final thoughts: so what about all this?

I’ve been writing this post for almost two weeks now, weaving my way in and out of this hitting the wall. I’ve learned how elusive this topic is. Its one thing to talk about infertility which is not as much of a taboo subject anymore, but the mental health piece is. I can truely say, I had a mental breakdown. There really is no way of describing it.

What I’ve learned yet again is that I need to learn to ask for help, allow myself to really feel my feelings and use my voice. This seems to be a theme for me.

As I pick myself up from hitting the wall. I know that this time around it took me almost two weeks to get past this, it just doesn’t go away. I know the next time it could hit me even harder. I just need the tools and compassion for myself to not critise myself so much as I did this time.

The anticipation and anxiety around if our transfer will work, already has my body in tight knots. Before I walk into that process, I need to prepare my mind and body.

In preparation, I decided to do a Mindfulness course on myself again and be more gentle with myself. To really actually do the mediation that I know work but I have not done. To recognize my judge and see him as a protector and someone who wants me to not get hurt. This is the path forward of again holding my heart and saying in the mirror: I love you.

In the book, “Pathways to Pregnancy“, Mary says, “its not that pregancy won’t work, your body is just telling you not now, and most certainly not now when your head and heart are not aligned. You need to sow the soil before you plant the seed. Take care of youself first, before you take care of another being”.

Wisdom of Irene:
“You try, then no expect, then you no sad.”


Continue reading “I’m bleeding out. InFertility & Mental Health”

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Jackie the movie: The meaning of life

Jackie: What is your criteria for a magnificent life?

Priest: Take control of your mind. We are the only creature on the planet that we can make ourselves miserable or make ourselves euphoric simply by the state of our thoughts.

PRIEST

There comes a time in man’s search for meaning, when one realizes — there are no answers. (beat) When you come to that horrible, unavoidable realization — you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you simply stop searching.

I have lived a blessed life. And yet every night when I climb into bed, turn off the lights, and stare into the dark, I wonder…is this all there is? Every soul on this planet does.

And then, when morning comes, we all wake up and make a pot of coffee.

JACKIE (O.S.) Why do we bother?

Jackie catches up to John Jr and picks him up. Twirls him.

PRIEST (O.S.) Because we do. You did this morning, and you will again tomorrow.

Jackie stops to watch her laughing children.

PRIEST (O.S.) God, in his infinite wisdom, has made sure…it is just enough for us.

Quote taken from “Jackie the movie”, script and link located below. 

Jackie Movie


I posted this script quote from the script, as its right in line what I’ve been writing about with mental health and fertility. I love the subtle little things (about kids) that are written into the script. I know that we are on the only ones that can change our reality by choosing how we look at situation. There are many angles that can be taken. Its choosing which angle I look at it. Having moved through a “mini” breakdown in past two weeks, (more in next post) I can see how hard it also it can be to move and change my point of view. Its taken great effort and following my intuition.

Some More Inspiration that helped me move forward:

Tony Robbins and Oprah

http://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=64700

 

 

The two week wait is our Hotel California

The whole thing about infertility that is crazy making boils down to uncertainty and lack of predictability. Every two-week wait (exactly as described in this link) is riding high on what your life will or will not look like after these two weeks. Since I am so overly aware of what is going on, its hard not to have multiple moments in the day where my thoughts trail off into LaLa land of what could be and have rose coloured glasses of parenting. A lot rides on these two weeks, but the part that is crazy making is that the medications they give me mimic signs of pregnancy. Did a man invent these drugs?

What is the two-week wait, you ask? It’s that seemingly interminable time period after you ovulate and before you can take a pregnancy test. Its exactly two weeks where you have zero control and its up to God. Yes, it’s an insane time because you are also wondering what else you can do or not do to have a positive outcome….its *crazy making. I googled, “Crazy making” and google told me it’s a form of emotional abuse involving things such as mind games, intended to make you question yourself. OMG. I’m rolling over in laugher, that’s exactly what I’m experiencing, except I’m doing it to myself. ROLFLOL….and then all of sudden I got a flash of clarity in my head after I read that definition. It’s like Hotel California, once you are in, you may never leave. Seriously, check out the lyrics I put together…..

Welcome to our Hotel California, its such a lovely place. There is plenty of room at the Hotel California (because of the constant flow of patients)…..We are all just prisoners patients here of our own device….Last thing I remember, I was running for the door to find the passage back to where I was before, relax said the man doctor, you can check out anytime you like, but you may never leave…..

This is not the first time  I’ve done the two-week wait. When you search google “two-week wait”, the resources are endless. I find that the first week is a week of hope, the second week so far usually been a week of sadness and why you’ve seen posts like, “No more needles! No more ultra sounds! No more 8am clinic visits! No more of this! Please make this STOP. and “Five lessons : Finding your voice and speaking up for yourself.

Because when you are going through the process of infertility, you are hyper aware of all your body functions all…..the…..time…… I’m going to assume, that most fertiles simply go on with their life after you’ve had, um, sex, and don’t think much about a ‘two week wait’. I actually don’t really know how that feels likes. But I don’t think you are sitting counting down days till you go in for a pregnancy test. Are you?

Usually, the first week is filled with tons of stuff I do and I actually don’t think about it. The second week draaaaaaags on. This is where the anxiety, the mental health and all of this crash together like a water hitting rocks. Physically, my body starts to shut down and I need to sleep it off. Mentally, the drag of one more day till the test, wears me down. As well, the knowledge that my body feels like it felt like the other ten times during the two-week wait where the results came back negative. But you sit there, hoping and waiting.

The actual results are a simple blood test (that I’m sure some of you have done) and then God Calls,  with a yes or no answer and says, “come at the start of your period” and do the whole thing all over again, for shits and giggles.

team_crazy_train

My fantasy has been to book a trip in the two-week wait to totally get away. Didn’t manage that this time around. It’s amazing how even now booking a trip, I take into account the Zika Virus. That limits travel to the USA and Europe. What do you think, should we go to Portugal? Uruguay, the backpackers heaven? Tell me which one I should go to in the comments.

This two-week wait period ends without me being able to bring myself to go and test, because I know its negative. My body has starting to shed and menstruate. This time around, the natural cycle we tried, with some additional hormonal help, it didn’t work.

I think what Husband identified, is that there is no stopping this wheel once it’s started. NO one told me that once you step in this crazy train you can’t get off. It keeps spinning because as soon as we find out that the test is negative, its the start of a new cycle because its period time. On day three of the period, I need to go in with a full bladder, do my full blood work and declare what of treatment I am doing this time around all within a matter of a day of finding out you’re not pregnant….all while grieving the loss of what just happened.

Crazying making

This is why people in fertility clinics go bat shit crazy. It’s like Hotel California. Once you enter you may never leave, because even if you leave, it’s still on your mind.

Because God keeps calling, leaving a message, saying, “We’re, sorry, please dail the number and try again”.

IVF, a game of numbers

IVF is a game numbers. The goal is to have the highest amount of eggs as possible because the statistics are against you. You never know if and how many eggs will survive and be fertilized.

  • 23 follicles were grown at the time of the IVF retrieval
  • 13 eggs removed
  • 60% (9 eggs) were fertilized through the method of ICSI
  • 40% (4 eggs) were fertilized through the petr-idish
  • Once the eggs are retrieved and fertilized they grown for five days before they are cryo-frozen
  • 7 fertilized on the first day
  • 7 made it to day 3 and were still fertilized and growing
  • 5 days of waiting till we found how many embryos survived and made it to day 5 to be cryogenically frozen.
  • 4 fertilized eggs out of the original seven made it to day five (out of the 23 collected)
  • 4 eggs were tested through the method of PGS to test for genetic abnormalities

Out of the 4 eggs that were fertilized that made it to day 5 and were frozen…..

2 had genetic abnormalities

Out of the two with genetic abnormalities….

one of them had trisomy 22, which causes still births and miscarriages

one of them had multiple chromosomal anomalies


The FINAL TALLY…..

We have TWO eggs left out of the 23 follicles grown and 13 eggs retrieved.

The strongest fertilized egg was the one from IVF . See picture below:

 

The second was fertilized from ICSI. See picture below to see how its done

icsi
This is ICSI. A embryologist selects a sperm and injects it into an egg to cause fertilization

 

Final number

It only takes one egg to make a baby.

I keep reminding myself it only takes one.

It only take one embryo to create life and make a baby. This doesn’t take into account of any miscarriages or the fact that an IVF transfer might not take at all.

In the second part of IVF there is science but there is the space ____________ between, and then your (my body).

As Husband said, IVF is an enhancer of the probability and increases your chances of getting pregnant, but there is the magical space __________ between science and the human.

In fertility we try to play God, but only He can decide if its time yet.

 

Five lessons : Finding your voice and speaking up for yourself, part one

Its been three months after the IVF retrieval. I’ve been in Lionness mode over the last three months where I decided to take the whole process in my hands and take control of the uncertainty and lack of predictability. This is where its crazy making, as the process of fertility is a stop….start….stop….start….and wait…..and then go…..It is the constant unknowns that I’ve found to be the hardest part. Here I try to attempt to take back some of the unknown for my sanity and mental health.  

Sometimes you need to take LIFE by the balls and into your own hands

LESSON ONE: Have confidence

Don't take the first test results as fact, test and then test again.

Incident One:

Post IVF and when we got the results from the genetic testing  we were all set to do the transfer cycle but….

In January, when I went to the post IVF follow-up appointment with Dr. B. To discuss next steps, we mapped out when the transfer would happen and it looked like mid-February. The same day, I went and got blood work done. In the afternoon, I got a message from ‘The Clinic’ that my thyroid was high. I was asked to come back after two weeks and re-test.

This test result of a high thyroid set me into a tail spin. This was actually the first time I actually got upset about a result and decided to take this result into my own hands as I didn’t agree with it. I have been told all my life that with the thyroid you don’t mess around. It sounded like, The Clinic just wanted me to take pills. I was not about to take pills to mask a thyroid issue especially since reading the book and going to White Lotus Naturopaths I realized that a high thyroid is actually part of the PCOS diagnosis.

Dr. B referred me to another doctor within the clinic (Dr. S.) to treat me for thyroid the clinic’s answer was: medicate.

LESSON TWO: Stop viewing yourself as a victim

Investigate all possible avenues. You are your own best friend and advocate

I book an appointment with White Lotus Naturopaths to get more information about thyroid and figure out a natural way of treating a thyroid problem, still convinced at the time that there is a problem.

White Lotus spends almost three hours with me going over everything part of my health. Turns out, if I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, nobody would have blinked about a thyroid level of 5. A women trying to get pregnant should have a thyroid of 2.5-3, but a thyroid of 5 is actually normal. Cause of increase of thyroid could be stress and illness.

LESSON THREE: Be assertive

Find your voice. Speak up for yourself.

A month and half later (mid February). The thyroid problem was resolved and it showed that I actually don’t have a thyroid issue. I insisted that I’m shown 100% proof that there is a problem. If in doubt, test and then test again.

The problem revolved around The Clinic and the other doctor, Dr. S, who when I went to see didn’t look at my results from my  blood work because if she had, then it would have shown that there was no problem. Read that again, she didn’t look at my results and continued to tell me I have a thyroid issue. I spoke up for my body and said that I’m not taking any medication for my thyroid unless proven otherwise. I also said they need to test all possible avenues and take into account that when the thyroid was tested a) I had just finished taking a shit load of hormones b) I was sick when my blood was drawn and c) perhaps it was just a blip in my body and it was trying to self regulate.

I needed to advocate for myself and FIND MY VOICE letting them know what I wanted and what I need. I needed to get off the hamster wheel and have someone think outside of the protocol box.

The negative result of this delay was we lost the funding from the government for the transfer because The Clinic had used up all the funds on other patients (due to delays). The next time the funds were going to available were going to be in two months, and there was uncertainty about if we were going to get it. I also lost trust in the system of The Clinic.

The positive result was my medical leave got extended.

LESSON FOUR: bring in positive people into your life

Create meaningful relationships with people who can help your cause

Instead of waiting around for the funds we decide to do a natural cycle without any drugs or interventions during the monitoring part where they draw your blood and do an ultra sound telling you your hormone levels and how your eggs are growing. The problem was that I was taking myself outside of the “natural cycle” protocol box which dictates that when someone is doing a natural cycle, the get no medications. I wanted to get drugs (a trigger shot) to make sure I ovulate and as well use internal progesterone supplementation.

Once you are on spinning on the wheel and protocol box of “Natural Cycle”, then its expected that you keep in that box. There are numerous implications because of this, including how differently The Clinic needs to bill the health care system for an Ultra Sound and a blood test.

After being monitored for three weeks, on Feb. 24 while at The Clinic it was looking like we had *ONE follicle that was mature enough and I may ovulate. Nobody knows for sure if I ovulate on my own.

Head Nurse T calls us into the room for next steps. I only really want to see her at The Clinic because from all the nurses she is the only one that has some pull and can actually make decisions on her own without simply following doctors orders.

Husband is with me. Nurse T asks us what we want to do. I asked if we could do an IUI, (wash the sperm and insert) she says no, because “the ultrasound and blood tests would have had to been billed differently to the government”. I say, “I want to do the trigger shot”, but Nurse T. shakes her head and says that the doctor doesn’t agree BECAUSE we are doing a natural cycle and its doesn’t follow protocol.

WHAT?

Exasberated, we look at Nurse T. and I say to her, “can we think about what is best for us? Can we think outside of the protocol box? Can we increase the chances of this working this time around. Honestly would like to graduate from this process”.

Nurse T nods, looks at me and says, “OK, let’s do the trigger shot, but I’m going to get into trouble”. Come back in three days from now and over the next four days have “lots of sex”. She walks out of the room and gets me the trigger shot.

She is a beautiful positive person. She has been at this for years. She has seen so many people and I’m so grateful that she was willing to stick her neck out and do what was best for us.

Thanks to her, we are now waiting the two-week waiting period to see if I am pregnant.

LESSON FIVE: Be grateful

Instead of getting stuck in your story, find out the other perspective

At one point, I was angry at another nurse for just following instructions and not thinking about what is best for me. What one nurse told me…..

I have to follow what the doctor says otherwise I get in trouble. I am glad that you stood up and said exactly what you wanted the day you didn’t take those pills.  

I’m grateful that the nurses really do try their best. That all that they can really do. They really are the ones that run the whole process. They are the ones that make the biggest impact and make the biggest connections with patients.

They are also the ones with the least say.

Written Feb. 26, 2017.


*My follicle size was 2.1 – if its >2.6 its considered too big and then the cycle is over. A follicle (egg) grows about 0.2 size in a day.

 

No more needles! No more ultra sounds! No more 8am clinic visits! No more of this! Please make this STOP.

I know its hard to understand but I experience the full emotions of grief every 6 weeks of so. I experience the complete sense of loss of hope and need to grieve. I grieve my hope. I get angry at myself for allowing myself to hope. I declare, I am infertile. Then I say, no, there is nothing wrong with me. Its a see-saw, up and down. I don’t want to get attached to an outcome, but how I not be excited and be hopeful?

Crap. I think I’m finally feeling it today. The baby pictures are getting to me. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those people but today I feel like I’m crumbling. I’m sorry. I don’t want to take away anyone’s joy and happiness in this moment, but this push of pushing through everything just got to me today. I don’t want to push, I really want to take your advice of “just relax”…..why can’t I just relax? No, really, I love your baby photos I just want one of my own. I know you are tired and have not slept in days, but honestly, I would like to be part of your club. Please don’t tell me how lucky I am to not have kids. You know how hard that is to hear? It breaks me. It shatters me. Then I get mad at you that you are not appreciating what you have.

Shit, today I’ve become one of the ladies from the support group. A complete victim.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this…..I can get myself out of this hole.

Every baby announcement. Every baby shower. Every baby that cries. Every baby that smiles. Every baby… reminds of what we are doing. I really don’t want it, but today, it does. Today I feel the struggle.

ecards-fertility

I’m at such a loss of what else I could be doing.

  • I’ve seen the specialized naturopath
  • I’ve taken the thousand pills as prescribed by the naturopath
  • I’m going to acupuncture
  • I’m creating a bedroom of fertility and love with symbols of creation as sent by a friend of mine as a suggestion
  • I’m doing functional medicine
  • Every night now we are talking to the ovaries and said reproductive organs to just aim and fire

I’m at my wits end….what have you done that I have not? Why can people who don’t want to get pregnant get pregant. 

There are millions of sperm, for heavens sakes it only takes one. Lets go fellas! We just need one of you. Just one!!!! Keep on swimming!!

Today has been a day of feeling low and all my fears coming up. Am I ready to do this. Am I supposed to do this. This is the day of darkness. What else am I NOT doing? Is my soul aligned? Am I breathing right? Maybe should be going to those yoga classes. Maybe I should be doing more acupuncture. WHAT THE HELL!!!

Now I’m getting the comments of:

  • “just relax”, you’ll be fine.
  • Just feel optimistic and have a positive mind-set.
  • Just meditate, this will help
  • Just surrender to the journey it’s not yours to decide
  • Just be patient
  • You want kids, are you sure about that, take mine.
  • You are not using the right positions

At least I have not got the “Maybe you should think about adopting”, thanks, do you have another $35,000 dollars?

I’m puking out positive mind-set and relaxing. Today is feel like shit day.

My ego is saying to me, “what if this doesn’t work”, “you need a back up plan”, “what if you run out of time on your leave”, what if….what if…..what if……Just shut up in there.

I’ve gone through the hardest treatments I never imagined having to go through. Things that I don’t wish upon ANYONE. Through hundreds of tests, procedures, surgeries, needles, shots and prayers.

The voice of doubt is terrible.

Last minute I text Saviour Stephanie for acupuncture. For a spiritual connection that I’m missing from the clinic. In the hour session which I’m usually able to sink into and just relax, it took 45 minutes for my mind to let go of all the monkey thoughts.

But I feel like I’ve now done everything I could possibly could do and I’m tired.

Its been over three years on this full journey and now an intense 7 months of full-out commitment to The Clinic. We are talking YEARS  if you count the first time I went to The Clinic. It has taken a lot from to surrender to The Clinic and be OK with all of this poking and prodding. I’m so done now. Can something be easy, just a little bit? I know you are teaching me patience. I know it will be hard with kids and this will seem easy once I’m over this hump.

Please Universe. I beg you. Show some mercy and let something be easy. Please just work with me here. Lets aim and work together for Spring 2017.

I know, it’s not up to me, but I’m setting up the intention. I’m doing what I was taught. So fucking frustrating.

Why do I have to be a statistic?!

Universe, Power of all dimensions, all beings that we see and not see, please help. Work with me. I think I’m balanced about all this and I don’t wake with “children” being my first thought. I’m so sorry for putting all those women down. Please just embrace me in your love.

I know, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON: Even if you don’t see the reason for a long…long… long time.

But today I just fall to my knees with tears in my eyes, please let this come naturally and easily. Please…..

No more needles. No more ultra sounds. No more 8am clinic visits. No more of this.

Just good news.

 

IVF Part two – day of procedure

There are a few dates in during this fertility process I wont forget. I connect time with these dates, as everything else feels like a blur. 
  1. December 2014
    First monitored cycle by the clinic that was without any drugs
  2. August 2015
    The British Colombia canoe trip that changed my life and my job
  3. September 2015
    The new job and me falling apart and crying for three days
  4. Spring 2016
    Declaring and surrending to the fact that I want to ask for help from the clinic
  5. Aug. 2016
    First IUI that got cancelled and a full committment to the clinic
  6. October 25 2016
    I get granted a medical leave from work and I’m free from the constraints of asking for time off. I feel elated and so eternally grateful to Mrs. M for seeing that I needed this leave to just focus completely on my health
  7. December 19, 2016
    The day of the IVF
  8. January 9th, the day of the follow up after IVF

This date I won’t forget, December 19.

It’s a Monday and right before Christmas. I wake up and I’m in pain because the amount of fluid and large follicles in my ovaries is immense. This morning I have 25 follicles. That means TWENTY-FIVE eggs when usually women have just one mature egg. The majority of these eggs are mature.

Husband gets up before me and is buzzing around making coffee and tea. I’m feeling nervous but fully centred as well as I can’t believe this day has come. The morning in the house seems like a blur. I pet and hug the dog leaving her snuggled in the wraps of the duvet. I ask her soul to send her unconditional love towards her expanding family.

At 6am we I get into the car. I have hard time getting and walking.

As we drive towards the clinic…..

Every.

Single.

Bump.

Hurts. 

Agonizing pain

Husband is in full take care mode.

As we walk into the building, I see one of the ladies from the clinic in the foyer. She looks at me and I excitedly tell her its time for IVF. She was one of the ones that saw me when I cracked and was sobbing uncontrollably in the clinic in November after the failed IUI.

Instead of turning left as we get out of the elevator, we turn right, to the state of the art IVF centre. One of the only clinics in Toronto to have the IVF operating rooms and embryology lab in the same building.

I am feeling just fine and see Mama Doula  Acupuncture-ist *Saya. I’m so happy to see her because she knows her way around the operating room and space. I had met with her a few days before as I wanted to get acupuncture before the procedure, because its said to have a good outcome and relaxes the person. I get changed into the infamous blue gown and sit/lie down on my chair. Saya puts in the acupuncture needles in and I’m feeling relaxed.

Warning a bit graphic….
The nurses buzz in and out. One of them tries to put in the IV into one arm. Nothing. She tries again. Nothing. Still can’t get it in. At this point I can feel a bit of panic coming up as she tries to manoeuver the needle and find the vein. She walks over to the other arm, and I’m starting to get dizzy and feel like I’m about to black out. The nurse calls another nurse in and they both try. By this point, I’m like, please stop, this isn’t working. I have stars in front of my eyes and I feel a wash of coldness run through my body and I descend to panic attack mode.

Seeing me like this the nurses stop and Saya buzzes around me trying to comfort me. I’m shaking like a leaf from the experience. Digging into your vein with a needle is a disconcerting experience.

Finally I see my saviour. One of the vampire ladies. The Blood ladies. The one that take my blood every time I come to the clinic and do an ultrasound. She looks at me and the nurses explain what she is supposed to do. Finally with some pushing and prodding she finds the vein. My blood vessels collapsed after so much blood had been taken out of them over the last few weeks.

I was clearly shaken up and was so grateful again to have someone who is like a Doula be the in between person for us, the nurses and doctor. Mama Doula Saya not only takes care of me but Husband too who I can sense is a little lost as this too is all new for him.

I’m given  pain medication and sedatives into the IV.

I was then walked to the washroom and then the operating room where Dr. B. was waiting with the nurses. I lied down on the table, feet up in the stools and got ready. There was a monitor and Husband said he watched everything with fascination. I was supposed to be awake for the procedure but because of my trauma I just couldn’t do it and I was in a lot of pain with the over stuffed ovaries. Dr. B decided it was better to give me more medication and I no recollection of the procedure.

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Post IVF procedure.

That is not a bloody "PROCEDURE" its an OPERATION. Who ever called it a 
procedure lied!

When I woke up one hour later, I felt like a truck had run over me. I have no other way of describing it. I felt like I had been in some kind of car crash and hurt all over. I was also shaking. Mama Doula quickly found more blankets for me and gave me more acupunture needles.

I felt like I was in some kind of shock and quickly told Husband to take a picture because I need to remember this moment and show everyone what IVF actually looks like.

In the past, when I had heard someone say that they are doing IVF, I would turn to them and say, “good luck with that”. Fuck no. Its more than good luck. Its more holy moly you are brave. I may not have felt brave that morning, but after it was all done I was feeling damn brave. All of THIS for a child. The sacrificing starts now.

This is why it took me so long to have gotten to that space be able to do this. My soul knew I had to be ready to take this on as this procedure to so invasive.

After we went home, I just slept and then put castor oil on my stomach which had inflated and bloated. I was bloated for the next three days but had booked an acupuncture with my saviour Stephanie for two days after the procedure. Again, she saved me. What also saved me was the day after the IVF I went in to a friends retail store to do a work. This caused me to walk the whole day and be on my feet. At first I had thought this was crazy, but it actually turned out to be better to be moving than lying and sleeping.

The nurses orders were to eat lots of salt which included salty chips to take down the bloating which is why I sent Husband to the grocery store to get some chips and Cheetos.

That same day we got a phone call from The Clinic that said out of the 13 eggs removed, 7 had fertalized.

Funny moment

I don’t eat chips, my preference is chocolate. 

I sent Husband to the grocery store and ask him to get me Kettle chips, the regular ones. Husband calls from the store and says, “there are no regular chips in Kettle chips and proceeds to read all of the type they have.
At one point he says “Sea Salt”.
I say, “those are the regular ones”.
Husband says, “but it doesn’t say regular on the package!”. 


Sources:
*Saya is not her real name
1. http://www.advancedfertility.com/aspiration.htm

Lead up to IVF part 1

MY FACE BOOK POST ON DEC. 19, 2016. 

img_1709-2
My husband giving me an injection in a washroom of a restaurant
img_1702
A few minutes post retrieval and me waking up

“One of the reasons I have  chosen to be open about IVF and the whole fertility process is because we don’t know…..We just don’t know what someone has gone through to start their family. Whether you are on the side that kids are not for everyone or that’s what you’ve always wanted. For me, it’s something that I’ve grown up into. The beautiful pics of bouncing kiddos – there is more to it than just the picture. I OWN this process. I know that for whatever reason I’m supposed to be going through all of this. One in six couples have trouble conceiving and that’s troubling. I question, why is that number so high?

I’ve seen really young early twenties to the mid thirties to older. It’s not just case of women just delaying their career. Don’t blame women. There can be no judgement how or why someone has decided to go through the fertility process. I’ve seen comments made that couples who do IVF are vain and just can’t accept their reality. Quite obvisouly this is such a ridiculous thing. This is not a “get a kid” quick scheme. Right now I’ve FULLY committed to this for the last 7 months and still nothing. 

Let me not lie. It’s not a walk in the park. Holy moly far from it. Once you go past the beginning stages of the fertility clinic, still invasive but nothing pales to IVF. It’s needles, ultrasounds (that a vaginal ultra sound every three days or less), more needles to take more blood almost everyday – Let me repeat, it’s a complete commitment.

The day of egg retrieval, the nurses couldn’t get an IV in me because my veins had collapsed because I’ve had blood taken out of me so many times. Anyone who is doing this isn’t vain or narsassistic they are brave and committed. Saying to someone like me “why don’t you adopt” or “maybe you were not supposed to have kids” isn’t the answer. You could be the one in six. I choose this or the process could have also chosen me.

If you meet that couple who has gone through all of this (and you will) empathy is required and an acknowledgement of their commitment. Tell them they are brave.


Continue reading “Lead up to IVF part 1”

My diagnosis of PCOS is bullshit

pcosWhat is PCOS?

PCOS is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Its one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women. PCOS has been recognized and diagnosed for seventy-five years. There are many signs and symptoms that a woman may experience. Since PCOS cannot be diagnosed with one test alone and symptoms vary from woman to woman. Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up. Over time, this increases your chance of getting diabetes

Here is a video: What is PCOS Video – the PCOS foundation

I’m a super responder.

I was told by the clinic I have “PCOS”, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. The only thing about this syndrome is that it’s a spectrum.

In early 2000’s, the medical community got together and put together three criteria and in order to be diagnosed with PCOS you needed two out of three criteria to qualify.

roterdam-diagnosis

My symptoms:

  1. My cycles are anywhere from 30-50 days and totally random. I can kind of predict but not really. So the idea of aim and fire doesn’t apply to me, as I don’t know when to “aim and fire”.
  2. Cystic Acne (but who doesn’t have acne?!)
  3. Difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate) We actually have not been able to fully determine if a ovulate all the time on my own.
  4. When I’m given hormones for fertility I respond by making LOTS of eggs. I’m called a “super responder” to the medications because I produce a mass amount of follicles. This is typical in cystic ovaries.

I’ve been called PCOS, the skinny type.  Often women are overweight and have weight around their belly. I don’t have this.

pcosgraphic

How is PCOS treated?

In reality, it’s not really “treated” by the medical community, it needs help from other forms of alternative holistic medicine. For me, the clinic has never treated the diagnosis. Meaning, the underlying factors have not looked into. The diagnosis has been taken into account for the fertility medical/medication protocol. It’s not that they clinic doesn’t or can’t treat it, but they have one job, that is to get you pregnant, that is what the health care system pays for. Our health-care is about treating the ‘disease’ and not about prevention. This is obvious for anyone dealing with the Ontario/Canada system. As my doctor put it, she is a complete believer of FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE but within the clinic right now the facilities are not there to treat PCOS and infertility from this angle. This is why it’s important to be your own patient advocate.

What is supposed to help is:

“Regular exercise, healthy foods (low sugar, gluten & dairy) and weight control are said to be the key treatments for PCOS. Treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and help prevent long-term health problems” along with alternative therapy treatments, such as naturopath and acupuncture.

My own self-diagnosis?

While its nice that I was officially given a diagnosis of PCOS, but my unofficial self-diagnosis is that my body just forgot how fertility works and is now having trouble remembering. I also believe there are more underlying issues that have never been looked into. According to the symptoms, I have PCOS, but my question has always been, what are the REASONS for these symptoms? This is something that the medical community has not been able to answer which is another reason why I don’t believe in the diagnosis. From what I have found, PCOS is an umbrella diagnosis. Often used as a blanket diagnosis for a lot of women and over diagnosed.

Since this a syndrome, the actual symptoms are wide-ranging, but typically fall into four different types.

Four types of PCOS 

  1. Insulin Resistant PCOS
  2. Pill-Induced PCOS or Post-Pill PCOS
  3. Inflammatory PCOS
  4. Hidden-Cause PCOS

For me, I fall into category number four. The most annoying one, because it’s not really evident as to why I have the syndrome. As Doctor Fiona outlines in her book, “8 steps to reverse your PCOS”, sometimes there may be a genetic cause that mimics PCOS symptoms that are the actual underlying issue of infertility.

It would require the professional to dig deeper and take more time at treating those actual symptoms. The medical clinic doesn’t have time to dig deeper. With the constant stream of new patients, their goal is to get you pregnant and move on. It’s neither right nor, wrong, it’s just the way their protocol is handled. The Clinic is really good at integrating other practitioners into their clinic. They actually refer and support a patient who wants to work with a naturopath or other practitioners.

Mind -body connection

The fertility journey has been a total mind-soul connection.

I was talking to the hypnotherapist and she was telling me about a couple where the husband was adopted. He never really dealt this hurt he felt as a child. Through hypnosis, he realized he has made a deal with himself that he would never father children because he didn’t want any child to go through what he went through. Before therapy he had a terrible sperm count, after the healing process his sperm count went up. I know this may sound over simplistic, but I truly believe that our minds are that powerful. We do make deals with ourselves like that.

We all have limiting beliefs that go back to childhood imprints, I have them, you have them, we all have them. We move through life matching our childhood beliefs with our self-worth. Such as, “I don’t deserve attention”, “It’s not safe to be here”, “I don’t deserve to be loved”. They all come from what I understood and translated as a child from the situations and experiences that I faced.

Some of the things I’m working through the past four years along this journey of fertility are working through my limiting beliefs.

“It may be important to do some inner investigation into the invisible answers you may be carrying to basic questions about how fertility, pregnancy, birth and children were perceived in your family of origin, so that you can journey ahead into those realms fully free, right down to your biochemistry, and make the healthiest choices. (As a bonus, engaging in the creative process of mastering your own inner life is the best preparation not just for conceiving a baby, but for parenting in general!)
Marcy Axness, PhD

Once we realize how we carry on a continual dialogue with our biology—consciously and unconsciously—we can aspire to cultivate an inner ecology that is truly fit for life.

This is why I still am comfortable to state, that while on the physical plane I have been diagnosed as having PCOS, on the spiritual and EGO side, there is another whole world there that I’m still working through.

I call bullshit on the diagnosis of PCOS.

Acupuncture

According to the Journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, “acupuncture therapy may have a role in PCOS by increasing blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels.” 

I am going to acupuncture once to twice a week. Once to Irene and another time to Tanya at Alive Holistic Health. I decided to go to both because each has their own way of approaching acupuncture. Irene approaches acupuncture the true Chinese way, on the physical level. She sees your body but doesn’t touch the spirit part. Tanya on the other hand approaches acupuncture from of the spirit side. A beautiful and gentle soul. Each treatment is different. When I go to Alive Holistic clinic to Tanya, my body and soul just sinks into the table. Our soul needs the love and care just as much as our physical body does.

It interests me that both of them approach PCOS from a completely different angle. They don’t even focus on it, rather they focus on what is going on with your body that day. Irene can tell me exactly what is going on with my body by how my tongue looks. Tanya also looks at my tongue, and bases the treatment and how many needles she puts in by checking my pulse. There are 29 different pulses according to Chinese medicine.

I respond so well to the needles. They were both shocked at how fast my body changed.

I’m a super responder

Anova Fertility

While Dr. Dickson was the one that diagnosed me with PCOS when I first started seeing her, nothing more was done with the diagnosis.

  • No one at the clinic asked about my nutrition patterns.
  • No one at the clinic looked into inflammation or my insulin intake.
  • It wasn’t looked into or asked why have my cycles become shorter since the time I was a teenager.
  • I wasn’t asked or looked into if I have any allergies that I I am not aware of, such as gluten sensitive or dairy sensitive.

There was not functional medicine, just straight to the point – fix the physical.

This is neither right nor wrong, it’s just the way western medicine is structured: Fix the physical body, the rest doesn’t matter.

I’m calling the “diagnosis” of PCOS as bullshit.

Instead of just calling it PCOS, why don’t we peel away the layers of the onion and see what else is there. The diagnosis of PCOS is just a big blanket statement that so many women have been diagnosed with. Instead of throwing medication at it, lets dig deeper.

Unfortunately, as a society are not willing to do that because we just want the fertility clinic to “fix the problem” and don’t have time to dig deeper.

I also have the challenge, that my time on my medical leave is up in April. I hear the clock ticking all the time.

Naturopath: White Lotus integrative Health (with Dr. Erica)

When I finally went to see this clinic, I realized how much I had ignored and not done my homework about my diagnosis. I realize now it’s because I didn’t want to be another one of “those”people. One of “those” women who search the internet for hours on end, reading all the forums possible and spinning in all the information about PCOS and infertility.

I didn’t want to be more stressed or have more anxiety about this situation. I just wanted to be calm, cool and collected. Most of all, I didn’t want to have someone to again tell me to change my diet: drop gluten, drop dairy and sugar. I didn’t want to be responsible for this, I just wanted the drugs.

What I learned from this two-hour initial appointment is how much I have just wanted to go with it and how much I didn’t want to get to the bottom of PCOS. I also realized how much I ignored my diagnosis because it wasn’t something that was even discussed with the clinic at any point during treatment.

I’m pretty aware of the mind-spiritual connection but I have ignored my physical body and just gave it drugs. It’s ironic, I didn’t want to deal with taking charge of my diet and digging deeper.

From the appointment at the clinic which happened on Feb. 1, 2017 – I learned that I potentially could have an insulin issue. When the Dr. Erica tested my insulin five hours after I had eaten a really good breakfast and was feeling hungry, it was unusually high.

After four years of starting this, I started to accept that I actually may have a diagnosis and there is something I can do about it.

Now it’s getting through the muck and deciding how much this I want to do right now and if this is now the long-term plan after Anova Clinic or if I want to implement the program now.

I came to Lotus clinic because there was a thyroid scare and Anova just wanted to give me medication. I don’t want to mess with my thyroid with medication. I don’t want to make it worse in the long-term. I don’t want to just give my body drugs, again.

I call bullshit on my diagnosis. 

But I’m calling bullshit on myself.

I just didn’t want to take responsibility and do anything more about my diagnosis. I didn’t take my own health into my own hands. It was good enough that I just showed up and went to the clinic. I offered my body into the science experiment and went off on my own hippie ultra-spiritual meditative lotus leaf pretending that nothing else mattered. I didn’t connect with my body and honour it. If something was to go wrong, it would be so easy to blame the clinic. Blame someone else. Blame the drugs. Blame, blame, blame…..

 

Even in this journey, the Universe has shown me, that I need SPEAK UP and whether I like it or not, authentically take responsibility for E V E R Y T H I N G.

Kicking and screaming, another slap in the face about taking responsibility for my thoughts, actions and words.


Reference PDF: genetics of PCOS

Its one thing to make it, its another to keep it.

This post from Facebook really moved me.

As I go through this journey, one thing I actually didn’t want to acknowledge is the possibility  of a miscarriage or a still birth. This is something thankfully I have not gone through. I don’t know, after all of this, I just can’t even imagine how it would be like. I know someone who when through a still birth, and someone who had to end a pregnancy early because the baby was not developing nor was the heart.

My accupuncturist, Irene, who learned acupuncture in China and has been doing it for 30 years, keeps telling me in her english-chinese accent:

“Its one thing to make it, its another thing to keep it. You need to keep it and make it successful”.

I’m sitting in this thought this week, feeling a bit paralyzed by this. How many things can still go wrong?

Jesus, how the fuck do any of you actually have children? How the heck am I even here?

In the world right now, the only thing I can think of that makes it better, is really just going back to the miracle of birth. Its a miracle. Honestly, it really….really……is!

This post below really moved me, as she describes how she found out she was having a miscarriage. I feel for her so much more deeply than I could have ever in the past.

This is another thing we just don’t talk about.

I recently went to a retreat called, “Family constellation”, where the purpose was to recreate your family dynamics and have a chance to really see how its shaped you from childhood to an adult.

The most fascinating thing about the retreat/workshop, was that the facilitator, Michael Schiesser was asking the participants if there were any miscarriages in the family. At the end of each person’s session, we would go around acknowledging all the miscarriages and still births had that occurred, in accordance to the birth order of all the siblings. One person who thought they had two siblings, all of a sudden had four. He was the youngest in the family. He didn’t realize why there was such a gap between him and his sisters. He had resented his parents that that there such a gap between him and siblings. What he saw was that he was wanted so much that through all the heartbreak of miscarriage, his parents kept going till they had him. He was filled with so much love at that moment his resentment burst.

It really had a profound impact on me, as I saw how much we don’t acknowledge a life that was there but didn’t make it all the way through. All those angels who thought they wanted to take shape, but decided against it.

Miscarriage is also something like fertility that is hush hush. Why?

Is it because its hard to deal with death?

Is it because we don’t know what to say if someone was to tell you, “I have two kids but one I lost to miscarriage so really I have three children”. I’m not sure we are taught to process that. Even I don’t know what I would say because “I’m sorry”, is so lame.

This is why this post moved me so much. She tells it how it is and let us remember the angels who came but left us too soon.


This Post:
Love What Matters (copied from a post from Facebook)

“I had to pee so badly but they wouldn’t let me go. They said I needed a full bladder because it’s easier to see the baby during the ultrasound. I remember feeling so frustrated not only because of my full bladder, but because I had to fill out what seemed like 50 pages of paperwork before I could empty my bladder and see the baby I’d been waiting to see for 8 weeks.

I finally was walked to the back room where I was greeted with a smile from everyone because the happiness from carrying a baby was contagious. The ultrasound began and I saw the images right in front of me. My heart was beating out of my chest. This was exciting!

This was a day my husband and I had been waiting for, for over a year.

But these images were different from the ones I’ve seen on Facebook that all my girlfriends had posted, something was wrong.

I saw nothing because my body was just hours away from miscarriage.

My ultrasound tech was quiet and I just knew. She left the room and my husband quickly assured me that “everything is fine.” But don’t tell that to a girl who has seen hundreds of ultrasound photos, who has searched Instagram for the hashtag “8weeks” to see what her baby now looked like.

I knew it wasn't right and it wasn't.

I remember being afraid to cry. I didn’t feel as if I deserved to cry because “I wasn’t that far along,” and “this happens all the time.”

I remember holding back the tears with every ounce of my being and not being able to look my husband in the face because I knew his pain would break me.

I was sent home to let my body naturally run its course and it did. I felt everything but had nothing to show for it.

My doctor didn’t let me leave without warning and she was right about everything. But what she didn’t warn me about was everything that would happen after the initial heartbreak and pain.

  • She didn’t tell me I was going to be reminded for weeks to come because my body was going to take that long to “clean out.”
  • She didn’t tell me I was going to have to watch my husband weep.
  • She didn’t tell me how hard it was going to be to tell my mom what had happened.
  • She didn’t tell me that my body was going to continue thinking it was pregnant for weeks to come.
  • She didn’t tell me how hard it was going be to tell people I was fine when I wasn’t. She didn’t tell me that this was going to make me a jealous person over-night.
  • She didn’t tell me how much harder the question “when are you having kids?” was going to be. And she didn’t tell me that it was going to be so hard losing someone I had never met.

But she did tell me it was okay to cry and she did tell me that I wasn’t alone.

Miscarriages are SO real and so common, in fact, one out of four women experience a miscarriage; but don’t let that confuse you into thinking it hurts any less. As large as this statistic is, I still felt alone and I have finally figured out why: because no one talks about it.

It wasn’t until I started talking about it to my friends and family that I slowly realized I wasn’t alone. That my mom, my aunt, my sister, my sisters best friend all have experienced this heartbreak and pain, a heartbreak and pain I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

People may wonder why I choose to talk about this after months have passed, but it’s the harsh reality that time really doesn’t heal all wounds so I am hoping sharing my story will help with the healing process. I am not looking for pity and I am not looking for answers. I am sharing this so that maybe one less woman will feel alone and use this as a reminder or message that there is hope after this heartbreak.

This is my hope for you…

I hope that you won’t feel alone.
I hope that you let yourself cry.
I hope that you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope that though your faith will be tested, you will be strong.
I hope you find peace.
I hope you won’t be afraid to try again.
I hope that you don’t blame yourself.
I hope that your friends hug you a little tighter.
I hope that you give someone else hope through your hardship
I hope that you are a light in the darkest of time.
…and I hope that you celebrate that baby’s life as much as you celebrate the next because no matter how short a life, all life deserves to be celebrated and all loss should be mourned.

Feel free to share if this spoke to you or you feel as if it might speak to someone you know.”
{Matthew 7:7}

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Credit: Emily Christine