Personal Journies

We had a baby it's a boy!

From being Frozen -- to 9 months in my belly -- to days in my arms...

Honestly, I have been working on this post for weeks and weeks.I just didn't know what to say and how to find the words.

November of last year I wrote a post about the struggles of infertility and how being open about them made a world of difference for me. One month after that post and my many failed cycles, Dr. Levine at the Fertility Institute of New Jersey and New Yor implanted two more embryos in hopes of creating a baby. After my post, I took on the ideology to just ride the wave. There was NOTHING in my control and whatever happened, happened.

The worst part about the whole "trying to get pregnant" process, is time. The time waiting to see if it worked. The time waiting to try again. The time waiting for your emotions, your anger, your hopelessness to pass. The time waiting for your bank account to just get enough to pay for the next treatment. Time...it works for us and against us.

It was the worst week possible when they implanted my 2nd two frozen embryos. I got very little sleep, everything seemed to be going wrong, I was stressed, I thought there was no way it could work. But okay, I could do it again if I had too, giving up was not an option. 

But somehow it worked! I sat crying in disbelief. The numbers were good. I was technically pregnant...

For the next few weeks I came in to check my levels and see how the lil' embryo was progressing. I was pregnant but things could still go wrong. I was okay with that, it happens. I was taking endless amounts of medications and Ach gave me shots night after night. With a sore tush and hopeful heart I woke up each day and just prayed for the next week in pregnancy to come. Week 4..5..6..how was I to make it all the way to 40? Would it really happen?

At 6 weeks I heard the heart beat.

Still, something could happen. I didn't post anything or make an announcement. I didn't want to make anyone jealous, I didn't want to jinx this miracle. It wasn't anyone on social media's business however I knew you were all praying. But now I feel it's most important to share.

Every time my pregnancy was discussed I would explain that this baby was IVF. I am so proud. It wasn't a big deal it was just my normal!

Looking back, I wouldn't change my experience for the world. All the failures -- all the heartache.. I wouldn't have gotten this soul otherwise. The amount of money paid for this miracle baby was a tremendous toll, but we got through it somehow and he was worth it. Every. single. penny.

I could be angry that I had to pay for a baby and go through months of medical procedures, early mornings, TONS OF SHOTS, while other people sneeze and get pregnant. But why is that fair? We all have our own struggles. Without this one, what would my life be?

It's cliche to say that everything happens for a reason. But sometimes it's true.

With this photo of my belly, which I adored, and my shots, I wanted to show how beautiful the journey can be. Just because it's different doesn't change the fact that it's special.

Every baby is a miracle. Every voyage has a purpose. Infertility is not a sentence, it's a challenge that hopefully can be met with amazing Doctors like Dr. Levine and my amazing PA Alyson Butle. Medicine is there for us, and has many (although not all) the answers.

I encourage you to embrace it. If you are experiencing troubles getting pregnant, it may be hard to talk about. That's okay you don't have to be so open like me, not at all. 

But I want you to know it doesn't make you any less capable, less important, less beautiful, or any less of a woman. It makes your journey to meeting your child even more your own. More unique. More special.

Remember every failure brings you one step closer to success. 

I am thinking of all of you Mommies and Daddies to be out there. And anyone going through something hard. I know it seems endless. The unknown is pure torture. It seems unfair of me to say it will all be okay -- who knows what will happen. When you're in it, it's the worst. But as much as those shots and medical visits suck, your journey is beautiful. And I believe ❤

Thank you to Zahava Polloc for the belly pic!

My secret.. not so secret

I have a secret. Well, it's a not so secret, secret. I am doing IVF.  I am not sure how I got to be so open about my most personal struggle but here we are. In the beginning, we were shy and only told our closest friends. It was nerve wracking always having to keep a secret but it was also scary to open up. But then we got a very large bill for thousands of dollars and we just couldn’t stay silent anymore. It was too stressful. It just spilled out. And it feels so good to let it out, speak to people about it, and not hide. And you know what? Many of these people have helped us. Many had been there too but I would have never known. So now, when people, out of curiosity, ask me when I’m having kids, I always answer, much to their shock and surprise...“I don't know but actually I am undergoing infertility treatment.” 

ur diagnosis is unexplained infertility.  First we tried IUIs (intrauterine inseminations – as glorious as it sounds) -- but all of those failed. Really awesome, right? I’d go into the office each time and say “okay, this one will work” and then I’d wait two weeks, get my period, and cry.  I was bruised, swollen, fat, and tired. And before that we tried -- you know -- the regular way of trying to make babies. Alas, nothing…period. (pun intended).

So now I’m tired. It’s hard work, exhausting, and the money I spent can never be returned. Morning after morning, I wake up at 6am to get my blood taken and get an ultrasound and take drugs to see what is going on. In the past few months, my husband has shot me up with more drugs than I could have ever imagined. I feel like a human balloon. Or a chicken. – so many eggs are being made to complete the process.

So there. My new normal is IVF. Injections, blood draws, medication, side effects. Waiting, wishing, hoping. It’s all a part of the process. And I am very open about it all. Because well—why not? But what about the superstitions? What if it doesn’t work? Okay, then it doesn’t work. It didn’t work for the first time. I cried. It was devastating. But I’m so grateful because I had all these people around me who knew what was going on. They were praying and rooting for me and checking in. And then when it failed, they were there to offer a shoulder to cry on. The pain remains but I had the support to help me get through. 

Why are people so afraid to speak about it? Maybe because it has to do with sex? Because it implies that something is wrong in the bedroom? Because maybe it's embarrassing because well, babies are made from having sex...

Who knows what will happen next time. As long as the resources are there, I’ll try again. And again. And again. Sure, in reality, I would have liked to not tell people if I got pregnant until I got out of the red zone, but that’s not my reality – this is: I am going to maybe, hopefully, one day, get pregnant and it may be in an unconventional way but maybe I will have a beautiful life to hold at the end of all this unknown. It’s not a club I ever thought I would be in. I never thought “hey, one day I will grow up and make a baby in a lab!”  But when life hands you lemons….you have to do something with them.

For me and my husband, speaking up has been so helpful. We go through life trying to numb the hard stuff that we sometimes, can end up numbing everything else in our lives. We have our secrets which push us apart from our loved ones. I found that if we can try to be open and honest, with ourselves and others, we can foster connections to help us during trying times. You may disagree. You may not want to share. But there shouldn’t be a stigma or feeling like you can’t because no one else does it. It’s okay to want to speak about it. I am.  In the beginning, I blamed myself and I was ashamed. But the more I made it normal, a part of everyday life, the pain changed. It is still there but it was made tolerable by the support I had of others to help me through.  And I am so thankful that I made this decision. I took a chance and opened up. And as a result, I have all the support I could ever ask for. It's not easy. It never is. But I'm grateful because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive. 

This photo below is just a normal dose of what you may endure on your own fertility journey. Delish, right?