11.10.2014

A FIST BUMP TO MY FELLOW FERTILE-CHALLENGED FEMALES

A selfie to start us off, because you get to do stuff like that on posts like these.

I have chemical pregnancies.

It's what I do, and I'm pretty good at them, thank you. When I have one, I have one. I do it up all the way. Flags and trumpets! After 7 years of this Luteal Phase Defect (7 years that I've known of--who knows how long I've actually had it?), I've gotten pretty used to having chemical pregnancies. Because that's what happens when you get pregnant and you have a Luteal Phase Defect. You get pregnant, but only sort of. A little bit pregnant. And then you miscarry, because a chemical pregnancy is, by definition, a miscarriage; one so early on in the pregnancy that it's not really a miscarriage, just like it's not really a pregnancy. It's a vague loss. Infertile gray area. Frustrating, is the actual word for it. Pretty flubbin frustrating. 

For the last week and a half I've been going through my sixth chemical pregnancy. My fourth in the past 18 months alone. 

Hey those are some really impressive numbers!

"Yeahhh, I get pregnant, like, all of the time." ;)

At this stage in the game, I'm okay. I don't need sympathy. Though it feels nice to get sympathy. I mean, really, everybody needs sympathy whether or not they need sympathy, though what I suspect I really need is just a time machine, I think, to speed things up. Because even if my hopes don't hoist themselves high enough to take much of a fall, a chemical pregnancy is still an incredibly painful situation, and still incredibly emotional. Which is to say, incredibly hormonal. Which is to say, totally crazy, pass me the straight jacket. And it always seems to take forever to get through it. It always feels like being a prisoner in your own skin. It always involves a lot of crying.

And not because I'm crushed, necessarily, though I am crushed, somewhere under all these jaded layers of been-there-done-that, I am always crushed. That's infertility, I think, that feeling of being just a little bit crushed, always. Infertility is heavy. And I don't think it ever leaves a person, either. I'll be crushed until the day I conceive again and it sticks, and then I'll just continue to be crushed until the day I stop wanting babies, because once you are crushed by something you're just . . . still crushed. Don't you think? It just gets added to the pile, you know, layered on the top, then buried under some good and then buried under some bad, and that crushed feeling of failing to work right and not being able to do a damn thing about it . . . babies don't get rid of that. They just outshine it. They do a really good job of it, though, that's for sure.

***

I'm lucky to have a great team of doctors that don't hype the process too much, if that makes sense. You know, there are a million natural and not-so-natural things one can try in these situations, short of getting it over with and just taking the drugs already, and I've tried most of them. That process can make a person legit-style insane. None of those tricks have worked for me, and I'm tired. So we all shrug our shoulders at each other and decide to just save time and do it the way of the paper gown. You know, get down to brass tacks. I'm healthy. My short hormones are no fault of my own. There's no better or different diet that will make any impact. No amount of persuasion from my brain is going to make my hormones want to stick around an extra few days, but Clomid, on the other hand. Oh, Clomid! God bless Clomid! Amen!

By now the process of trying to get pregnant is basically the process of trying to find a three-month block of time wherein nobody has to travel so we can make all our appointments and take all our drugs and have plenty of opportunities for, you know. It isn't romance. It's scheduling. Actually it's kind of cool. Aren't our bodies a little bit bizarre?

And yet, every now and then Brandon is hopeful we can work it out on our own. And every now and then I'm hopeful that I'm wrong when I say that we can't. And so, this. And I'd like to thank my eggs for always trying, though. We make a good team, our chromosomes, it's just that my pituitary gland is kind of a jerk.

***

It didn't used to be that every cycle we tried ended in a chemical pregnancy; most of the time the cycles we tried would end with business as usual, which is rude unto itself. But lately, every cycle we've tried has ended in a chemical pregnancy. Which is decidedly ruder? I think? But also kind of wonderful somehow? Someone is up there trying, too, I suspect. Trying to get down here. Can I write that without seeming completely off my rocker? But just before Huck I had two chemical pregnancies, one after the other, and I remember this same distinct feeling, of not being quite as on my own as I used to be, anymore. 

***

At this point I know the process of a chemical pregnancy like I know the back of my hand. First come the early pregnancy symptoms. Those are fun. I am freakishly in tune with my body, so I don't know whether it's common for these symptoms to accompany a chemical pregnancy or if it's just me paying inordinate amounts of attention to myself, and it hasn't ever been the same symptoms twice, which has kept things interesting. Once it was that certain special queasiness. Another time it was an extreme aversion to sugar + carbonation. One time, my boobs leaked. TMI? (Is this entire post TMI?) (This entire blog?! ;) This time it was the clicking jaw. Did you know my jaw clicked the full ten months that Huck was cooking? It did. It also clicked all of last week. 

Next comes the part where it all sort of crumbles in on itself. And did you know strong enough cramps can flip a tampon upside down while you are wearing it!!!??? (This time, yes. Definitely TMI.) (My doc says tampons are a-ok during chemical miscarriages, FYI.)

Other side effects of chemical pregnancies include but are not limited to:

1. Cutting your bangs at 2AM after rearranging all of the furniture.
2. Feeling emotional because the polenta at brunch tasted so so good, and the Pixar short before Big Hero 6 was about a puppy loving pizza, and Baymax was so squishy and kind, and people are so amazing and creative, and all these wonderful things are happening all of the time!! 
3. Having very deep thoughts, such as: If all sandwiches were more like hamburgers, would I eat more sandwiches? What if we all walked around with our various sorrows and struggles written in flashing signs above our heads? Like neon thought bubbles? This one is going through a break up, this one is in a fight with her mom. This one's had a cold for what feels like forever, that one can't make rent this month, and that guy over there hasn't gotten a full night's sleep since his apartment was broken into last week . . . Would we be any kinder to each other? And why do parents say such dorky things? Like the other day I said to Huck about something, "Well, you coulda fooled me!" What even is that??
4. Getting angry. Because of anything.
5. Crying. Crying at commercials. Crying at cute puppies. Crying because the sunset is so pretty. Crying because Huck spilled his craft supplies and after you swept them up there were all these googly eyes looking up at you from the dust pile and it was just such a moment, you know? 
6. Oh my gosh, the pimples.

I really thought this time that I could take it all in stride, not need to slow down, not change any plans. Just power through. But old hat doesn't equal not hard. And so after a few days of that, I called it all off and hauled in the big guns. You know, Meg + Tom, PeanutButter M&Ms + popcorn, and cancelled meetings + taking a step back from situations wherein I might perchance forget that I'm too hormonal to judge things terribly fairly. Any day now I'll be back to normal. ANY DAY NOW. But today Huck's preschool director touched my shoulder and I got all teary-eyed that there are so many wonderful adults in my son's life . . . and so today is obviously not that day yet. 

***

It took us more than two years to get Huck. That time in my life has been on my mind a lot lately--those last few cycles before we started Clomid, especially. Our last unassisted cycle was also my second chemical pregnancy. December of 2009. Christmas Eve. I miscarried late that night. Nothing has ever been quite as terrible as that night when I realized what was happening. My sister Amanda, who was newly married and having her first Christmas with her new husband, was downstairs suffering through a really rotten case of the stomach flu. I remember I crept down the stairs that night through the dark hallway, my abdomen throbbing, and tapped softly on her door. My grandpa had been elbowing my mother all that afternoon every time Amanda's name came up, because he was convinced that "stomach flu" was code for "knocked up," and that day for the first time I realized what it might be like to be the sister of an Interfile Myrtle. You know, that's got to suck, too, just as much. And that's not fair for her, either. So I opened the door a crack and peeked inside and there she was, laying on the bed encircled by plastic bowls at-the-ready, looking just as pathetic as I felt. We were both miserable. 

"It's okay if you're pregnant, Amanda," I told her, trying to whisper so I wouldn't wake Zach. "You can tell me if you are. I won't feel sad, or sorry for myself. I won't make it about me. I promise. I'll be so happy for you." 

I remember Amanda looking at me and rolling her eyes as gently as she could, saying something to the effect of, "I love you, I am not pregnant, but I am probably super contagious right now."

***

Infertility sucks for everybody it touches. But it's also it's own kind of wonderful, I think. Especially once the baby you've fought for is won. Those babies are spectacular; those babies are worth it. And in the meantime, you get to experience a depth of emotion that is pretty rare, and really very valuable. And hard and crappy. But kind of amazing, too. You get to tear up at perfect strangers when they do something kind for you in the middle of a really tough day. You get to sob uncontrollably through Johnson's commercials and the ending of About Time and any time you think about that one scene in Up. You get to ugly-cry while lip-synching Chandelier. You get to get really, really mad when you get even slightly mad--mad enough that you literally see red, over something as dumb as string cheese wrappers--and it's okay, because you're freaking hormonal and you're allowed to flip out, and this is hard, and blowing off that steam, that feels good. This last little bit has been ultimately, really and truly, very good for me. Grief can be cleansing. It can also rip you to shreds.

Sometimes it does both.

And isn't that kind of neat?

92 comments :

  1. 1,000 hugs to you my friend. 1,000 hugs.

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  2. your sense of humor is refreshing... infertility sucks balls. all of them. all the time. but I guess it IS an experience not many "get" to live through. I just realized I may have had a few chemical pregnancies of my own, but no actual one ever. not for the 7 years we've tried. probably not ever. but I've never tried Clomid either, I've been too afraid and now I feel too old. it is what it is, but yes, I will always feel crushed even in the littlest way. I'm sorry for your loss :/

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    1. Over many many years I have followed your story. Through all the leg in the air posts - which by the way I loved and so so miss! I would want to try it, just to know I tried, with a time limit on how many cycles I would do. But that is just me and us, we've got a pact that we are open to clomid however, IVF isn't for us. All of it is just so tough, emotionally, physically, financially. Who ever really truly knows what the 'right' answer is...

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  3. Me and my husband were just talking about this sort of thing, experiencing hard things and how they make us appreciate things better. Did I say "thing" enough in that? Vague, but you know what I mean. Keep on keepin' on, my friend! Your babes will come to you one way or another!
    xoxo
    e
    emmyjake

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  4. Too bad there isn't a way to do a standing ovation on the internet. Maybe there is, and I just don't know how! Earlier this year you did a post on chemical pregnancies, and I had never heard of it. I realized shortly after that I think I had had one. I have suffered from infertility for the past 10 years. My daughter is 5, and was conceived using clomid and IUI. Other than that, I have been unable to get pregnant. I surprisingly found myself pregnant for real without any "help" in June, and am due in February with baby #2. As much as I've wanted to have another baby, I was finally at a point in my life where I was content with just one child. I finally felt like I had overcome my infertility. I am so excited to have another baby, but I am still haunted by the ghost of infertility past. It will never go away.

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  5. Nat you're for real my hero. It may not be as hard anymore because of it happening so many times but I am still praying for you that the next little one pulls through all the way and chooses you and Brandon for parents. And that the next one thinks heck yes I want Huck for a big brother because he's going to be the best stinking brother ever.
    So fist bumps and hug squeezes and hang in there's a million times over for you.
    xoxo

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  6. I loved this. Your take on this whole subject is raw and real, but refreshing. My heart breaks for your struggles, but I have high hopes for clomid. Good luck! Sending good vibes your way!!

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  7. Nat, I have been readjng your blog since you were making baby onesies and selling them on etsy in that cutesy little house where you and Holbsie's story began. I remember being captivated and moved by your ability to explain the depth of your sorrow in such a raw, matter-of-fact way through your struggle to conceive Huck. We know all the things not to say.you know what I will say? You are right. It sucks. It sucks sk bad to be so sad and long for someone to be growing inside of you. It takes an awful lot of strength to get by with that depth of sadness you know? Sadness ain't for sissies. Thank God you use your gift with words to help other women understand their sadness. Love you. Love your blog. Loved those durn etsy onesies, love that little wild Huck. Love you.

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  8. i find it comforting that you are feeling less alone in your struggles. perhaps that's where you needed to reach for things to turn around, as it did before. sometimes i feel amazed at what works itself out once i stop stressing about them. i hope the same happens for you. bravo at your efforts in stepping back and trying to reduce your stress.

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  9. You have such an amazing way of making readers feel like a kindred friend who is sitting next to you, caffeine soda and a b&w cookie in hand talking about life.
    I'm curious, because I've been doing it, if you track your fertility al-la sympto-thermal method? I just started mine and though it's only early on I noticed my LP was only 7 days. Quite a few shy of the 12-16 needed if I ever do want kids.
    I know you will get another baby. They will be amazing and Huck will be one hell of an older brother.

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  10. Thank you. Thank you for this. This raw, unfiltered honesty. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

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  11. Yep, been there done that until I got divorced. I was somehow lucky to get pregnant and stay pregnant after having sex once and with twins at that... then one more amazingly enough two years later then dum dum dum the never ending, so it seemed, cycle of pregnant then not pregnant then not. They wouldn't stick. I know the up and downs and all and it sucks. I was blessed with 3 kids but could only stay pregnant twice. I was crushed and I am still crushed because this is NOT what I planned nor wanted. Some seem to think I should be grateful I have 3 and I am but that doesn't make it any less crushed by the fact that I wanted more. xo April

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  12. And after your "old hat doesn't equal not hard", I am the one crying.

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  13. We've beed trying since more than 6 year to have a baby and next week we have an appoiment on labor. You know lately I changed my lifestyle pretty much: over one year smoke-free, sport and pretty healthy food. I think i'm in the best form ever to get pregnant, but I am so damn scared. About all pills, tests but most of all that it woun't work.
    Then I see Huck and I think : why not?why not you?
    Big hug, Natalie! I am pretty sure it will work!

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  14. i read this while i was listening to taylor swift's out of the woods and it dawned on me that it's kind of like this post.

    are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods?
    are we in the clear yet, are we in the clear yet, are we in the clear yet, in the clear yet, good.

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  15. I just tried to post a comment, but I don't think it went through, so if it did, I apologize for the duplicate : ). I was just diagnosed with LDP this past month and I have to say, receiving the diagnosis was actually a bit of a relief. It validated all the times I swore I was was pregnant only to be dismissed by earlier doctors as if I were crazy. Which in of itself will MAKE you go crazy. : ) For the last three years I feel like my hope has been tethered to a block of concrete, bobbing beneath some dark and inky surface. But it's like you said,..while difficult, this experience of infertiility is something that needs to be felt. While the numbness might be the easier choice (and trust me, I've chosen it many times) I am going to give myself the permisson, the freedom and the grace to let that hope run wild and see where it takes me. My heart has too much to give and I have too much to learn otherwise. And THAT is what I want to define this chapter of the story. Not my inability to carry a child. So thank you for being a voice and putting words to an experience that can be terrible and beautiful all at once. Great post. - Rebekah

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  16. My best ever hug goes to you right now. Thank you for the real, post. 😘

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  17. I had a chemical pregnancy just last month, and I remembered a post of yours way back about chemical pregnancies. That's how I even knew that that's what had happened to me. And it was awful. It really threw me for a loop, and I still get sad about it. So thanks for being honest and open. It's really helped me not feel alone or crazy.

    Also, About Time is literally one of the best movies I've seen. I just love it.

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  18. such a beautiful post, thank you

    xoxo, kiely

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  19. This morning on the train to work, waves of emotion crashed over and through me. 4 years ago I witnessed a fatal road accident. A few weeks later we found out we were pregnant, then a month of doctors trying to decide if we were pregnant or not (blighted ovum) only to decide we weren't and I had surgery. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever forget the pain, the gut wrenching, pit of your stomach, crushing feeling. The fattest tears. We were blessed with our son and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be his Mum. But now I can't bring myself to admit that I would love another child. That I'm not done yet. I keep saying that one is more than enough. Yet really I just feel like maybe it's greedy to want another and stupid to put myself back into the eye of the storm. What if it happens again? What if next time I don't get my happy ending? What if this is it? Thank you for sharing, much love.

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  20. Fist bump right back to you! My son Sebastian is just a few months younger than Huck. We tried for 2 yrs to get pregnant with him and now it's been almost 4 yrs trying to get pregnant again. I've had one chemical pregnancy. I try my hardest not to think about it. I am actually pretty good at not worrying about my fertility anymore. But there are a few times that it will get me and I allow myself 10 minutes to cry and feel the sorrow. I've never minded others being pregnant or having babies around me, their fertility doesn't have anything to do with mine. But, lately there have been several people in my ward that are pregnant and eat one cuts just a little deeper. Maybe it wouldn't cut at all but they say things like, "Sebastian has autism, aren't you so glad you don't have another! I just think that would be too hard for you. Don't you think it's better this way? What a blessing you aren't pregnant!" Then someone asked me if being near their children made me unhappy because she is able to have 4 and I only have one. I pretty much wanted to punch her in the face. I know they're trying to help or say something but actually that hurts WAY more than anything. Just because the one son I have has some special needs does not mean that I am unable to care for another. It doesn't mean that I don't want another. It doesn't mean that I'm grateful that I don't have any more children. People say hurtful things all the time. They give advice where advice isn't wanted and generally make me feel like crap. But, I try to just shake it off and move on. I'm on my own journey. God is in control, I'm sure of it. He has to be. I'm turning 35 in a few months and I always said I would stop trying at 35. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do. But I'm trying not to think about it too much.

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    1. Jeepers! Who are these rude people making these rude comments? Worst! I'm sorry that you have had to hear things like that. Also, after a chemical pregnancy before my first wee one, I just had my second sweet girl at 36, and I may have another. We're not that old yet! Ha! Love from Canada. xo

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  21. Natalie I'm with you - infertility is the worst.
    I think you're amazing, and you writing this is just a small component of that amazingness
    Sending big hugs and lots of fighting spirit x

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  22. Natalie,
    Just sending you and Brandon love and prayers from the Midwest. There are no words.
    M

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  23. I feel ya...big time. You are so right, infertility is heavy but also wonderful. I totally feel like its united my husband and I in ways I never thought possible....and yeah when you are in the muck of infertility you def don't want sympathy - but maybe empathy? and p.s. have you seen this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw, because its wonderful and I've been thinking about it for days.

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  24. You write so beautifully Natalie, I found this post moving beyond words. I hate that you are having to go through this, my heart aches truly aches for you. Much love Xx

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  25. Just one of the hands down most honest, beautiful post I have ever read. I'm always hormonal, so of course I cried- I literally cry at everything, but this was worth it, You are so brave and strong, and I am so glad you can see some amazingness in all of it.

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  26. I found myself clutching my heart and taking a deep breath at the end there. You are so honest and so brave and your writing is just pure and perfect.

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  27. "Someone is up there trying, too, I suspect. Trying to get down here." This. Yes. Thank you.

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  28. Yes. Thank so you much for sharing these details. As a fellow infertile myrtle, it helps me so much to read the struggles and hopes of other women. Eventually we will all have the babies we long for so much.

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  29. Your words are such a blessing. xxxxxoo

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  30. I struggled with infertility for 6 years after my first baby-it was hands down the most difficult thing I have ever gone through! We eventually adopted 3 beautiful kids-one of which is turning 15 today! My biggest heartache is now my greatest joy-funny how life turns out huh? Thanks so much for sharing your story!

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  31. I think you're very brave for writing this. I am sending you tons of great big virtual hugs. And like you, I feel that there's someone else out there ready to come meet you. Good luck, Natalie!

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  32. I've never been as furious with my body as when it doesn't get pregnancy symptoms when I so badly want them. Like, hatred towards my boobs when they just feel as empty and floppy as always! So I totally get that freakishly in tune with your body thing. I go c.r.a.z.y the few weeks following ovulation. And then the disappointment. Oh! Thanks for sharing. Day at a time x

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  33. I had about two weeks of a limbo where I was late, but getting negative pregnancy tests (a while back) and it drove me crazy. I was so hopeful and had never been that late before! It had to be a baby! Then I found out it wasn't. My body just decided to trick me.

    At the same time, one of my dear friends (who had been trying for as long as I had to have a baby) was late too, and she got her positive test. She was so terrified to tell me, and it broke my heart. But, not gonna lie, when she did tell me, I was ecstatic for her, but also bubbling with jealousy and sadness. It's weird to feel such contrasting emotions for someone you love.

    Fist bump to you, my bloggy friend.

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  34. I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum, but sometimes I wish I had had just a touch of infertile-ness... just to understand it better and to help me appreciate my pregnancies and babies. They were both surprises (complete accidents), so I kind of begrudged the pregnancies a bit, and the spacing of my kids (they were a bit closer together than I wanted or thought I could handle). Anyways, it does sound awful... I hope things work out for you soon.

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  35. I love this post and I'm so proud of you for baring your soul to the world. <3

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  36. Hi Natalie,
    I came across your blog a long time ago and was drawn in by your honesty about infertility and desire to have babies. I am sure that you have looked into everything, but in the off chance that this slid by you, I wanted to let you know about Creighton NaPro Technology: http://naprotechnology.com/ I also wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and rooting for you!

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  37. I just want babies for all of the women who are desperate to have babies and are just meant to be mothers and it hurts my heart when it takes so damn long. xxx

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  38. Sending love love love to you. You are one epic mama bear, thank you for always being honest and sharing.

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  39. "And in the meantime, you get to experience a depth of emotion that is pretty rare, and really very valuable. "


    Unforgettable. True. I feel this and I feel for you.

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  40. We tried for 4 years and then we went for the big guns. 1st IVF - chemical pregnancy. I was DEVASTATED! I would hold it together at work, and as I drove out the parking lot, start SOBBING all the way home. Rinse and repeat.....

    2nd IVF = success. High HcG levels so we suspected twins. started bleeding at 6 weeks and at my first scan at 7 weeks, I wondered if anything was still in there. Well, TWINS!

    Surprisingly those two held on throughout THREE proper bleeds, the last one at 26 weeks. They came at 32 weeks and are sleeping in the other room right now, 5 years later.

    Hang in there. It will happen!!!

    PS it feels shallow to say this but you look GORGEOUS in that pic! X

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  41. My gosh. Sending you tons of freaking love right now and always. You have major guts and a huge heart. Damn. And to all the woman above commenting on similiar experiences...may you all find some comfort in each others words. There is a community here.

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  42. Read this post last night in bed and I just had to come back and read it again today. ::sigh:: Sister, friend, I'm praying for that fat gurgly baby to find her/his way to your belly and to STAY PUT. We emailed back and forth a couple years ago as I was going through the waiting season for my own fat gurgly baby - you we encouraging and REAL. I live in Portland and I'm kicking myself now for not reaching out and buying you a cup of coffee....glass of wine....diet coke, while you were in town. Next time. Cannot freaking wait to read your book.

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  43. Sending you love and light. I found out early on that I had Luteal Phase Deficiency, and thankfully was able to conceive after several months of progesterone suppositories and an HSG that cleared a slight tube blockage. I can imagine how hard the past years have been for you - the year I dealt with trying to get pregnant was absolutely crippling at times. You have the right outlook, though - clearly your body is trying, and one of these days the right combination of things will work out.

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  44. I hope we both get a break from this mess. Soon. :'(

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  45. That scene from About Time...all of About Time...I sobbed all the way home and can never watch it again.. ("My son...")

    Sending you well wishes and strength.

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  46. I'm sorry, so very sorry you are going through this. And I think your bangs are beautiful! Cheers to your resilient spirit.

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  47. Thank you for sharing something so personal. Sending you lots of love and strength. *internet hugs*

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  48. You're an inspiring woman Natalie Jean.

    #XOXO

    http://www.coralandcharm.com/

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  50. Infertility is a drag. I remember it made doing the dirty like a business transaction. Like you said, scheduled and also for us just an exchange of goods and then done. Sucked the life out of any romance.

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  51. Big hugs Natalie! And prayers too.

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. Your posts lately have really touched me. I have two children (both c-section, one preemie), and have had two miscarriages with a big fat chance of not having any more. But I am so grateful for the two sweet babies I have. Life is hard, and beautiful, and messy, and complicated. But always for a reason. For greater understanding. Also, your stream of thought writing style makes me LOL. So, thanks for that. ;)

    Prayers of comfort to you, Natalie. And no, you're not off your rocker for thinking there is a sweet spirit trying to make his/her way down here. That's exactly it.

    http://jaquilynshumate.com/

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  54. So... I don't comment on blogs. I read them, but never comment. Here I break my rule. I just have to tell you thank you. I've been married for nearly 11 years with no children by choice. Not the right "timing", deaths in immediate family, job changes, moves and so much more...

    I identify so much with your struggle for the need, pull and want for babies but felt so invalid in that desire as it was my choice to not try.

    In April we got off birth control. I just had a chemical pregnancy 3 weeks ago and it floored me. I didn't even know if it was okay to tell my husband I was pregnant because I knew something was not right. I knew I was "pregnant" but was in the act of no longer being. I felt completely crazy for even calling my doctor and unfortunately the nurse was incredibly rude and told me to speak up ( my voice was quiet when telling her) and regarding your point with the tampon the nurse acted completely rude in telling me "Well Step one is to take out your tampon. It’s not okay to use them and stop using Advil" like I was a child. I didn't want to tell friends even my closest ones because I didn't want sympathy and to make them feel uncomfortable. When I did... it was an awkward "Well at least you didn't know you were pregnant for very long before you miscarried so you didn't have your heart set on it."

    I thought I was dreaming with the pregnancy side effects. I just knew I couldn't be pregnant and waited to test and then knew very quickly something was wrong. I had major mood swings and rushes of heat etc after and still couldn't find anything on line with in depth info on what was happening to me besides the basic info and the repeated term "chemical pregnancy" with the sub title blaring in my head "Not a real pregnancy."

    Thank you for every single word you wrote. This may be weird to write but thank you for being open. Thank you for the TMI. Thank you for your tears and pain. Today I feel a little less alone.

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  55. My "chemical pregnancy" wasn't just a little pregnancy, it was a pregnancy, and it wasn't a vague loss, it was a real one. I really love your blog and writing, and I hate that you are going through this, but today I cannot call my pregnancy, the only one I've ever had, a "not real" one, and I can't call my mourning vague or fake or unwarranted. Praying for more fruit in your family, Natalie. Thanks for always being honest.

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  56. Love love love this post, Natalie. Thank you for writing it.

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  57. This was just beautifully written. I absolutely love your honesty and openness. I'm starting to feel like there might be something 'not quite right' with my body as well, and running across this blog post randomly *thanks bloglovin!* was just meant to be for me tonight.

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  58. Nine years to get our miracle baby. Nine long years. With loss. But she was so worth it. And she came at 25 weeks- she was sick of waiting. :)

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    1. Oh, I love this! Ours is similar... seven years, with loss. Our daughter born at 26 weeks. Long wait, quick baby. :)

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    2. Soul sisters! I hope your little one is doing well. Our daughter is 4 months and still in the NICU.

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  59. Natalie, thank you. Can I give you a hug right now? Please? My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for about a year now too. It's hard. My cycle is off and so I've gone a couple months where I've missed my period and it's the worst because all the excitement builds up and I start planning on how I'm going to tell him but then a big fat negative stares up at me from the ugly test on the counter. It's almost like I don't want to start getting excited because I know if I do I will just be disappointed, and that part is really hard. I think that is where I can understand you the most. The disappointment and trying to push the hope down to lessen the pain. I want to feel like psh, that's fine, I can handle that, and that's what I try to say on the outside, but on the inside I am crushed. My glorious ob just prescribed me some Clomid yesterday though so hopefully things are going to get better. I don't know why I'm telling the world this....but I just want you to know you are not alone. Thank you for helping me not feel so alone in this today. You are loved. Oh and thank the heavens for pb M&M's!

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  60. This was so insightful. Thank you. And the picture is absolute hotness.

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  61. Thanks for this post, Natalie. if I could, I would give you a big hug!
    I think you are a very brave woman to share this with all of us and I have no idea how you do it.

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  62. Awesome post. Thank for sharing your feelings, love how open you are -Hanna Lei

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  63. You're a strong lady and I hope and pray that you get that kid sister that Huck wished for. (I also hope and pray that, when I finally get married, I'll be fertile, since I've been having to wait so long to even start a family, ya know?) Anyway...I really do wish you the very best, and I think you're a gem.

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  64. you are so inspiring and encouraging and uplifting. thank you for letting us into your life a little. it changes ours.

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  65. As someone who went through 5 years of unexplained infertility before we had our daughter (its truly a miracle she is with us) and now going on 2.5 years of unexplained infertility after her birth, I just want to say I GET IT. I see your hurt and the chaos and the messiness and I get it, and I'm sorry. It sucks what you are going through and I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy.

    I think all this processing here in front of everyone is very brave and very bold, but more importantly it sheds light on what can be a very isolating situation. Once I started talking about it, REALLY talking about it, it was freeing for both my husband, me and the people who loved me. The eggshells were gone and we were all in it together.

    I'm wishing you all the best, including another baby. Hugs.

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  66. Thank you for writing this and helping me feel less alone. In the year and a half we've been trying I've had one chemical pregnancy and one miscarriage at 7.5 weeks. The miscarriage was the worst thing I've been through. This fertility thing is really tough isn't it? But at least we aren't alone.

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  67. you're wonderful. this is great. thank you.

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  68. I have some info that I would be happy to share with you; perhaps info that you may butay not know. If you are interested email me @ tanyakeeping@hotmail.com and I will forward it to you. Wishing you all the best! And so excited for you to have another baby; you make adorable babies!!!

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  69. I know you won't publish this comment, but someone has to speak up who has a clue.

    You need to put on some weight and consider therapy to calm the hell down. It is two major strikes against you to try to get pregnant when you are so damned keyed up and underweight. It only exacerbates any underlying medical conditions. Stop drinking that poison known as diet drinks and EAT. My girlfriend is a sexual and reproductive healthcare provider and I hear about what happens when underweight chicks who are so stressed out try to get pregnant and can't figure out why they can't or can't hang on to the pregnancy. Having been pregnant and carried to term myself after miscarriages, I have the cred as well. I couldn't get pregnant for three years I was so keyed up.

    All these miscarriages are absolutely affecting your health. I've been reading your blog for years, why I don't know except that train wrecks are kind of fascinating, and seeing you age so damned quickly in the photos speaks volumes. What is so damned important about getting pregnant again? Appreciate your one treasure, as I do mine, and get over the fact that to try to be a baby factory is not an option. Be present fully for the one that you do have.

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    1. I have no idea why your experience and your feelings have ANY relationship to how Natalie should feel. Or anyone else for that matter. Having carried to term after miscarriage hardly gives you "cred" to weigh in on someone else's reproductive health. You being satisfied and happy with one child in no way means that's how everyone else should feel. Offering medical advice? Please. You are out of line.

      Nat, I am a regular reader, don't think I've commented before. My heart goes out to you and anyone else suffering from infertility, wishing you all a chunky baby.

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    2. Agree that the above comment is mean and overly harsh. I think you are such a wonderful person, and absolutely beautiful inside and out... However, I DO think you would have better success keeping a pregnancy if you allowed yourself to gain an extra 5-10 pounds. Both on a physical and emotional level, it would send the message that "yes, my body has the stores and capacity to care for myself AND a baby".
      Food for thought.... with pure and compassionate intentions.

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  70. hmmmm.. is that supposed to be tough love above?

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    1. No, it's called truth and not cloud cuckoo land.

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  71. Thank you for being so raw and authentic and trusting your readers. You share stuff like this and hope to not get trampled on. You are a talented writer so never stop. It may sound odd but I feel more connected to humanity, more inspired, more uplifted when I read what you write...especially a post like this. We're all in the middle of something, right? Hang in there sister. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. That little one is waiting for you.

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  72. What a wonderfully honest post Natalie. I had a miscarriage a couple of years ago, at 9 weeks, and it shattered me. It was my first pregnancy and I was so desperately afraid that there was something wrong with my body, that I'd be unable to carry out a pregnancy, and I would be left with a huge hole in my soul forever. I did conceive - he is now 1 year old - and I love him with every ounce of my fiber, but I haven't forgotten that first little spark of life. I believe I just went through another miscarriage - a chemical pregnancy - this past cycle. My body felt different, my appetite was enormous, the hormones were raging...and then I had the most terrible cramps equal to my first miscarriage. And the ensuing, ehem... process was ugly and painful. I haven't said a word about it, even to my husband, because somehow I have the mindset we, as women, must power through it. Even during my first miscarriage, I received sympathetic but inconsiderate comments such as "more that 20% of women suffer at least one miscarriage." Or, "it was just nature's way of flushing out an unhealthy circumstance." I know these comments came from a good place, but they actually came across as "hey, it's no biggie." But IT IS. There was a tiny part of me that was struggling to come alive, and if even for a millisecond, my body acknowledged it. When that spark, that energy, disappears, you, me, any woman, has the right to mourn. Thank you for reminding us of this (and sorry for the long rant. you just really struck a chord with me!) Kudos to you.

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  73. Wow. This really bowled me over. I'm in the middle of infertility right now. Trying to conceive for going on 3 years, wondering if it will ever happen for me. All around me, friends are getting pregnant and have babies and babies and babies. And I have a diagnosis: Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Which is apparently not good - far fewer eggs than a person my age should have. So I feel crushed. I have never heard anyone describe it better. "That's infertility, I think, that feeling of being just a little bit crushed, always." Yes, always. I ALWAYS feel it, even just a little bit. Thanks so much for putting that out there and I wish you the absolute very best.

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  74. I much appreciate the rawness of this post. And this is truth: "once you are crushed by something you're just . . . still crushed." <-- thank you for that, because, yes. It reminds me of that part in Penelope when she asks James McAvoy to just please marry her and he says he can't (but only because of the damn curse, not because he doesn't love her her) and then she asks him to get out and she sits on the stares and the next line says, "I felt the rush of a thousand heartbreaks." I think about that line all.the.time. when the same old hurts repeat themself. It's like -- every broken relationship isn't just *that* relationship, it's all the other ones too. Like a pile. A rush of a thousand all at once. It's like you said: you're just *still crushed.* Anyway you made me think of that. You + Penelope.

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    1. Also, stares? her her? Themself? Words/typing/homonyms were real hard for me in this comment.

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  75. I love your blog. You write with such sincerity about things that are so hard, and yet this blog is still a happy and uplifting place to come (I cried lots of happy tears when I read your oh-so-beautiful post about Huck's birth story). Keep it up Natalie!

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  76. <3 that's all... just <3

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  77. I feel like half the comments on here begin with "I never comment on blogs, but..." Well here's one more to add to the list. First, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you for your post. I know so many woman struggling with infertility and it's never an easy topic to approach, let alone with kindness and humor, so thank you. Second, (here's the part where you may tune me out because I'm sure you get a lot of "helpful" suggestions and I recognize I know very little about your individual situation). I struggled to get pregnant with my first because of a luteal phase defect. My luteal phase was always less than 10-days, which was considered borderline. On a friends recommendation I started seeing an acupuncturist and got pregnant within 3-months. I know, I know, everyone has a random success story they want to share or thinks they can suggest the one-size-fits-all solution. But the pregnancy bonus aside, acupuncture was great. It was like having a therapist, general practitioner, and OB/GYN all rolled up into one. We didn't just talk about ovaries, we talked about my diet, my stress level, that weird pinch in my shoulder, everything. The one bummer was she told me to stop drinking caffeine, which was like asking me to spend the day with one hand tied behind my back, but she okay-ed green tea and I found if I drank enough, I felt somewhat normal :)

    Happy Holidays to your lovely family.

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  78. I know it's really obnoxious to offer advice....But, here goes anyway.....we experienced infertility before our first was born. We tried Clomid before finding out (not through the doctor) that it was actually counter indicated for my condition. I got pregnant about one month after reading the book Taking Charge Of Your Fertility (you can find it on Amazon). I am not saying it will be that simple for you, and I am definitely not trying to minimize your struggle. I am also not one of these, "Crunchy," types who doesn't value doctors. BUT.....I did find that really understanding my body was key. Again, I'm not saying you're not....this comment is turning into a train wreck-forgive me.....just that when I ultimately got pregnant it was because of what I had learned and found out. Anyway, give the book a try. The author's last name is Weschler, and if you hate it, you're only out like 16.00. Sending many good thoughts your way!

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  79. You are amazing. Also, how amazing is that Huck child you made?!

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  80. Thank you for sharing so honestly about what you're going through! Sharing that with the world can be scary, but I appreciate hearing a real person's thoughts and struggles. It makes the world not seem so big and cold.

    I'm pregnant right now and due to deliver in about 6 weeks, but my sister has struggled with infertility for years. I felt horrible telling her that I was pregnant, and I still do sometimes. Even just waiting the few months between starting to try and actually getting pregnant were hard enough, which is 1/1000th of what you've gone through.

    Good luck with everything...

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  81. I found your blog tonight and have been reading it for hours now. These post about infertility are sweet and helpful. My fertility status is currently unknown because my husband and I aren't trying. My best friend has been trying for a year and it's so hard for her. Her younger sister is now pregnant and I plan to start trying this summer. I told her this week so that she could let me know how she would want me to proceed if it happens for us before it happens for her. Her response was exactly what you said to her sister (it's what she said to her sister too). Everyone is different but these posts help me guess a little better about what she's going through. Thank you for sharing.

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