Tag Archives: health

About the Missing Years (plus bonus PSA)

I have been missing writing lately, but the couple of times I have opened up my blog to add a post after a 3.5 year absence it hasn’t felt quite right, so perhaps I should clear the air. With April Fools approaching it seems a good time.

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I have always strived to inject a humorous undertone in my writing, even when I’m actually quite worked up about an issue. Even the serious posts have been sprinkled with sarcasm for some comic relief. Over the last few years life has just seemed a bit too heavy to find the bright side, and try as I might I could not find my voice. Circumstances plus postpartum depression (and lets face it, the circumstances probably fuelled the PPD) did not make for a happy time. Some of this I will keep private (2014, you’re dead to me), but I feel it is important to share the struggles that J & I have faced these last two years because maybe somebody will read my posts and feel less alone. God knows how often I searched the Internet late into the night, looking for others who were sharing their similar stories.

Today, this image showed up on my Facebook newsfeed:

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I cried because it reminded me that last April 1st was not a good social media day for me. In February 2016 J & I, after a year of trying to conceive without success, received a general diagnosis of Secondary Male Factor Infertility and the prognosis only got worse from there after each embarrassing and painful test. Although we did eventually beat the odds late last year (much to the shock of our medical team), pregnancy after infertility or pregnancy loss is not experienced the same as a pregnancy achieved by a couple who have never experienced either. I know because I have now experienced both. I’m grateful for people that are spreading the message that fake pregnancy announcements are not funny. Not. Remotely. Funny.

Did you know that in Canada 1 in 6 couples experience some form of infertility? In the United States that number is 1 in 8. Worldwide, the figure jumps to 1 in 4. I can tell you right now that before February 2016 I was unaware of these stats, and at that point I had been on this earth for 32 years. Male factor infertility? Literally didn’t know it existed. Secondary infertility? Nope. Wasn’t aware that was a thing either. Pregnancy loss is more visible, but no less painful. In fact, couples experiencing pregnancy loss are often expected to return to life as usual within an incredibly short period of time even by those who were privy to the loss. Their pain is minimized by society at large, which must only bring on a whole other level of pain, guilt and shame.

Infertility carries a lot of guilt and shame too. Infertility takes over. It destroys marriages. It destroys happiness. I’m not saying that it always does, or that everyone copes (or fails to cope) in the same manner, but what I am saying is I just didn’t know it could, and if you haven’t experienced it you probably didn’t know either. People say a lot of dumb stuff to infertile couples, and they just don’t know how painful it can be to have to hear them. I do hope to share more about different aspects of our infertility journey with you in the coming weeks and in typing this I hope it serves to hold me accountable to my intentions. For now I will leave you with this PSA from us Womb Warriors:

Don’t be a social media fool this April 1st. Fake pregnancy announcements haven’t ever been and won’t ever be funny. I assure you that someone you love has suffered in silence with infertility or pregnancy loss. Guilt, shame and/or embarrassment keep many people from speaking their struggles aloud. These posts are heartbreaking to a woman who may never feel life quicken in her womb, a woman who has lost a life that once grew there, or a man who may never know the joy of holding his precious newborn.

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Besides, just turn on the news. You can find plenty of April Fools fodder to share there, like this one that the Washington Post published hilariously prematurely:
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Oh…

Update: Go Big or Go Home

Go big or go home, right? Ever the overachiever, I’m going big.

Everything about me is big right now. Well, except my boobs, but even those have got me kicked off the Itty Bitty Titty Committee recently. Big feet, big knees, big hair. Most of all, big baby. With big baby comes big decisions. To C (section) or not to C (section), that is the question.

I have never wanted a cesarean. Some women do. They don’t want to go through the ordeal of labour and don’t want their lady parts to be stretched out. They like the idea of being able to schedule their child’s birthday. No muss, no fuss, no surprises. I can sort of get it, but that’s not for me. I want the experience of labour. I want to know that I can do it. I want to look at my child and feel that I brought him into this world, quite literally. The thought of having him lifted out of my abdomen in a sterile operating room with that bright light shining in his fresh little face is not a pleasant one. The thought of him not being placed directly on my breast actually brings tears to my eyes. I’ll still be lying there geting stitched up, across the room from where my brand new baby will be getting wiped down and weighed and placed into his daddy’s arms. I’m teary eyed as I’m writing this, because unless I go into labour right now, this is likely what’s in store for us.

Yes, I have a choice. I have an amazing team of midwives and a great OB looking out for what’s best for me and the little one. I was given my options, told the risks of each path, and allowed to make the choice myself. I chose the route I never thought I’d take. After receiving the results of yesterday’s ultrasound I think it would be irresponsible to stick to my birth plan. Baby H, at 37 weeks plus 5 days, weighed in at a whopping 10lbs. Even with a +/- 1lb margin of error, 9lbs is still huge at this point. Maybe if I were about to deliver I’d go for it, but I’m still 2 weeks from my due date with no signs that labour is on its way.

My midwife says to try to relax and who knows, I could end up labouring over the weekend. Wouldn’t that be marvellous. So, I’m dutifully sipping my raspberry leaf tea, and on tonight’s menu is lots of yummy Thai dishes with extra spice. Maybe that’s the stuff of old wives’ tales, but I don’t care. I’m willing to try it because at the very least it will be delicious.

Pretty please send some positive labour vibes my way peeps!

Due to the serious nature of this post, please enjoy some comic relief in the form of this goofy photo of my dog