Meet today’s Guest Blogger, Kae!
Tell us a little bit about you and your infertility journey:
I’ve bounced around to a lot of different jobs, different states, and for a while I was set on having all of my life “just so” before my husband and I would start a family. My husband is 6 years older than me and has been at the same job for a while so he was ready much sooner. A year and a half into our marriage, I decided that things may never line up exactly as I envisioned (read: I wanted a job with maternity leave AND a free ski pass. I settled on keeping the free ski pass and saved up for unpaid maternity leave). I still had some ambivalence about starting a family, at least the “when” of it, until I thought I knew the “when” of it. I got pregnant just three months in and had a due date. I was suddenly absolutely positively sure I was ready for a baby. And I was ready for it on January 4, 2017, give or take, as babies do.
It may not be an exaggeration to say that the 48 hours between my sister texting me that she was 8 weeks pregnant (a quick google search of “how many weeks pregnant” confirmed I was as well) and finding out I was miscarrying were some of the most exhilarating moments of my life. I was on top of the world. Not only would I be welcoming a baby, but so would my sister.
We had a miscarriage, took a few months off from trying, had some irregular cycles and follow-up visits to make sure things were back on track. We welcomed a niece, got diagnosed with low AMH the day before we met her, and are now reaching the two year mark of “trying.” And let me tell you, trying has been trying. The reassurance medical providers gave us after miscarriage was mostly that it was fairly common and not an indicator of anything wrong; we should have no problem conceiving again afterward. It has been devastating to find that that has not been our experience.
What things helped you cope with infertility? I developed lots of strategies for coping with the stress side of things. Yoga has been a great relaxer for me and I particularly enjoy doing Yoga With Adriene videos and would encourage you to check them out. I know journaling is a common practice for stress relief and I came up with a super relaxing way to write if you are feeling stuck. Take a book, open to a page and copy down a quote with your non-dominant hand. I have a book of inspiration quotes I use for this purpose but you could even copy the phone book and it’d have the same effect. To write with your non-dominant hand takes so much focus that you are bound to let go of all other distractions while focused on this task. I find it wonderfully mind clearly and calming!
Who offered you support during this process that really stood out to you? What did they do? One of my friends who is childfree by choice is equally annoyed when others inquiring about her desire to have kids. We may seem like we have opposite experiences with one of us wanting kids and the other not, but we can bond over our dislike of the small talk chit-chat of “do you want to have kids.” What has stood out to me is that I’ve found support in unexpected places; from those who maybe haven’t been through this themselves but have empathy and want to support me.
Are you going to share your infertility journey with your children? Absolutely. I am not sure how or when, and that is something I’ve already thought about the challenges around. I was diagnosed with low AMH, which is pretty telling that I will hit menopause sooner than average, as my mother did. This is an inherited trait, so particularly if I have daughters I want them to have this knowledge and hope it would be informative.
What would you like couples or women who don’t struggle with infertility to know about infertility? I want them to know that I never imagined I would want something so desperately as I want to have a baby. I didn’t start my journey feeling the way I did now. Prior to being here myself, I had heard stories of infertile women obsessed with getting pregnant. “That won’t be me.” I reasoned, “those women are high strung while I am easy going and open to whatever happens, baby or not!” It turns out, the situation I’ve found myself in has brought on these strong, unexpected feelings toward getting pregnant. I haven’t spent my entire life obsessing over babies, I’m generally pretty easy going. Sometimes I wish I could be easy going about this, too. I wish I could just go with the flow without being upset when Aunt flow shows up. But the reality is I am. This journey is tough. And it’s certainly not one we chose.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? Reach out, and keep reaching out. I’ve found that the internet has made it easy for groups to connect on infertility. But there are so many venues- facebook groups, instagram, message boards, apps. Connecting with others going through similar struggles has been very valuable to me, but it took me a while to find the right crowd, so to speak. There are so many groups out there that I encourage you to keep searching until you find one that fits your personality! Some are more general, others more specific to certain treatments. I’ve joined a couple that have a religious tone. There is a group out there that will welcome you with open arms! You are not alone.
Want to contact Kae?
Instagram @ready4arainbow Twitter: PBandKae Blog: https://sixw2s.wordpress.com/