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What does being infertile mean to me?

That’s a hard one.

For a time I identified myself as “Infertile” and wore it like a badge of bitterness.  I loathed and envied anyone that had babies or was pregnant and if I found out you didn’t have to TRY to get pregnant, well, you were dead to me for a time until my mind could heal.

I may as well have introduced myself to people as “Hi, I’m Mandy and I’m infertile.”  That’s how I felt.

The bitterness went away and the numb came, it’s still here.  Mostly now when a friend or family member becomes pregnant and then later has their little one if feel nothing.  No happy, no celebration, no smile but also no anger, no bitterness, just, nothing.  There are exeptions though..

On Mothers Day this year was the day my AF was due as was my friend “V”.  We *were* going to test on the same day and hopefully get the best Mother’s Day gift ever.  I ended up Oing a little early thus making AF a day early too so I was out, no testing for me.  I logged onto BBC via my phone and saw a post by V called Happy Mothers Day, I opened the link and BAM! there was a pic of her positive HPT, she had done it, she got that awesome gift. I congratulated her because that’s what you do, right?  As I showed Rob the post I get a text from V telling me to look at her post on BBC, I replied I had already and congrats again.  I don’t remember what else was said except her last text said she loved me.

See, V has had a hard journey too, she KNOWS what I feel.  Her “Love you!” sent me over, I threw the phone and cried in bed, I just want to be a mommy too. How much more do I have to suffer and endure, why am I not worthy?  It took me 2 days to recover. Yes, I was jealous of my friend, mad at her, no, sad that I’m now the last one in our circle of friends to not be pregnant, yes.

My family…

As far as I’m aware, not a single person has suffered infertility, on my moms side I’m the ONLY one that has had to TRY and PLAN having a child, no one gets it.  My uncles partner actually called me BAREN!  Stupid prick. The look of mortification on my uncle though, priceless.  I loved my uncle for that.

Any ways, what does being infertile mean to me?  It means that I’m apart of the 1 in 8 couples in America that go through this.  We are a special kind of sisterhood that suffer in silence mostly. It means I’m having to fight, plead, go broke, breakdown, become stronger and wiser in my journey that so many take for granted.

It means that I’ll never give up.

Do you suppose she’s a Wildflower…

There’s been this reoccurring theme that has come up in super minor things for the last year or so.

Wildflowers

It started with my friend Beth who is always posting or mentioning things about being wild.  Living wild, loving wild, just being wild.  Then one day I stumbled upon this image and showed it to her and let her know I thought of her and her Eve.

I had just figured my association with “wild” and Beth was because of Beth but really I think Beth was just the first of all of MY wild!  For example when I just now had to look up the above image I was lead to another by the same artist, just a whole trail of wild I’ve been on. So what else has come along my path?

This packet of seeds at work

wild

This spray paint called “Wildflower Blue

249062_0213_PTO_12oz_2xUltraCover_Satin_WildflowerBlue

This print from my friend Franchesca

 

One day at work I saw some dirt like stuff on my boss’ desk and she says, “Oh that’s wildflower seeds…”

So now I need to figure out what to do with this knowledge besides get a new tattoo…

I could use some help

It’s finally been done.  We have an online fundraiser.  A dear friend of mine set it up a couple of months ago.  We are trying to raise $5000 to go towards our infertility treatments.  We have 40 more days to try to get $3150.  The fact that we have raised 1850 is so wonderful and heartwarming and I’ll never be able to express my thanks properly.

I have opened an etsy shop where I make custom birds nest jewelry.  The proceeds go towards our fundraiser and an infertility retreat(just need to make $100 more and I’m done with the retreat part of it).

You can find the fundraiser at this link: youcaring fundraiser

And my etsy store here: Bella’s Little Birdies

Now the part I would love your help on.  I realize not everyone can donate monetarily, but everyone has the ability to share our story.  Would you all help share?  You never know who it could reach or who could spare even $5.  Feel free to blog about it, share it on any social media you wish.

Thank you everyone for your continued support through my journey, my connection with you all is what helps keep me sane and keep going.

My new journey

Since it is official I figured I should let everyone know my newest adventure.

This Monday I start classes with StillBirthday to become a Birth and Bereavement Doula.  What is a doula you may be wondering?  It’s someone who is trained on the aspects of birth and assists the family during and after the birth of their baby.  Now you are wondering what in the world a Bereavement Doula, aren’t you?  It is a doula who does the same as above but for women whose babies will not be born alive at any gestation.  So from an early first trimester all the way to a full term still born.

The class is 8 weeks but have 12 weeks to complete 3 projects.  Here is the link to see what we will learn and cover.  I’m excited and nervous and I’m sure a whole slew of other feelings that haven’t surfaced yet.

My story

Hey all!  I’ve finally compiled my story in a coherent article for StillStandingMag!  You can read it here!

Illuminate week 1

I’m late on this but I have lost my letter I wrote to myself.  I wrote it on real paper even and now I can’t find it.  I can’t write it again, I don’t remember what I said to myself, at all.

I do have my photos I made.  They were to be self portraits or things we see as self.

Parts of me.

Parts of me.

As I had previously written I have had a harder time looking at the whole me and only focus on parts when looking in the mirror.  I couldn’t get a full face pic I liked so I did some major editing and created the one you see.  I didn’t like the harshness of the full black and white so I did an editing trick I learned from Beryl months ago using Picmonkeys Warhol effect that uses 2 contrasting colors.  The eye photo is my eye and has very little editing, just a little more sharpness.

You can click on the pic to make it bigger if you wish.

Illuminate Photography class!

I have this online friend Beryl who is also a fellow writer on Still Standing Mag.  Beryl just quit her full time job to pursue her photography business.  In doing so she realized she no longer had the time to offer her Illuminate class so she has decided to put it online for FREE to all loss parents!

I wanted to do this class last year but didn’t have the money but now I’m able to do it!  It’s a 4 week class and you get the assignment, watch video, get some inspiration and GO!  You also get Beryl’s email addy and support from her via email or Facebook.

Since losing Cthaeh in May(I’ve realized I never wrote the post I meant to about Cthaeh in detail, I’ll do that soon) I’ve not done well and I feel the need to DO something, create something, anything.  I can’t draw or paint like my friends Beth Morey or Stephanie of Beyond Words Designs, I don’t make cool subway art like Franchesca of Small Bird Studio, and don’t make amazing memorials in the sand like Carly, but I have a camera and can take some photos, even if I know nothing of photography.

This first week’s assignment is to write a letter to your baby/babies who are not with you anymore.  I made mention that I wasn’t comfortable with that so she came up with a new assignment for me: how about a letter to yourself, telling yourself exactly what you’re so amazing, all the good parts of you even without a baby in your arms. Or a letter to yourself that describes the feelings that come with being an infertile.

^^^That, I can do, it’s still challenging but doesn’t make me want to back into a corner and not leave.

The photo assignment is self portraiture.  This has been hard.  I don’t often take selfies in the first place and lately I barely look in the mirror.  I look at pieces of me and focus on that but not the whole me, my whole face or body.  It’s like I don’t know who that person is looking back at me.  So this is forcing me to look, experiment, edit and change ideas.

Maybe by the end of the 4 weeks I’ll be able to see at least a small part of me again.

Insert awesome title here cuz I got nuthin

I have a couple things to discuss today.  Yes, finally an updated post!  Thanks for hanging in there with me all.

I survived another Mothers Day, but barely.

On the 9th I started to miscarry a baby I wasn’t even fully aware of being pregnant with.  In hindsight though, there were clues, subtle but there.  My April period was really strange but I thought nothing of it as weird periods happen sometimes and it came right on time.  I’ll spare the details but everyone who sees Bella needs to give her big hugs and love since I couldn’t get to Rob to help me she went to get him.

It sucks and I hate it and would rather hole up for a month or so but I can’t, I have a job and bills to pay and people to cook for and do laundry for.  So I’m here and physically ok, mentally is another story.

On the 11th I was a part of a Google Hangout, basically a webcast with multiple people.  We discussed baby loss, infertility and Mothers Day.  It was awesome and heartbreaking all at once.  It lasted an hour and 20 minutes and is now on Youtube if you would like to watch it at your leisure.  I would love for you all to watch it even if it takes a couple days to get through it if time is an issue.  It was a great discussion and I think it can help many people relate.

You can watch it here:

I think that is good for today.  I promise to come back soon as I have more to talk about but just not today.

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