Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've been struggling lately. A lot. I've noticed myself becoming closed off emotionally to everything and everyone. I wish I could fix myself, but I'm not sure how. Chase's birthday, Mother's day, my birthday all in the last month in addition to struggling yet again with infertility has taken its toll on me. My birthday was last week and it was hard. Another year gone without being a mom, without even having the hope of being pregnant and knowing I will soon be a mom.

I know I'm a mom to Chase, but he isn't here...I have to wait until I leave this world to parent him and I don't think parenting in Heaven is anything like it is down here. Every month that goes by and I get another negative, I grieve not only for the loss of a future child, but for Chase all over again. Because honestly, I just want him. Yes, I'll be thrilled and over-the-moon excited when I am finally pregnant again, but right now, I only long for him. I have yet to learn how it is a mother's heart grows and expands to love a second child as equally as the first. I hope that someday I get that chance.

This past month I finally broke down and saw an RE (fertility specialist) to get their opinion about trying to get pregnant. I've put off that appointment for over 5 years now. I was always so afraid of going in and being told there was no hope for me, there was nothing they could do. Or even that my only hope was to do IVF and we definitely don't have the funds for that and it would take years to save enough money for it...and then what would happen if we saved for years only for it not to work? Yes, sometimes I have a problem with being a little pessimistic. I like to call it being a realist. So for years, I just hoped and prayed that it would happen naturally, on its own. It didn't.

For 5 years we tried to get pregnant and it didn't happen until I joined the medical study. Then, like magic, it happened on our 3rd cycle. I was so relieved that we had finally found our magic medicine, although technically, we weren't sure which medicine I was on, since it was a double-blind study. But, we knew it was one of two things (Clomid or Femara), and we would figure that out when we were ready to try for baby #2! That would be several years down the road anyways! Or not.

So last September, we started trying again with the medicine I suspected I had taken while in the study. My main problem with fertility (as far as we know anyways) is simply that I don't ovulate on my own due to PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). The Femara I was taking was simply to help me ovulate so that I had a chance of getting pregnant. Well, it worked...for 4 cycles I took it and each and every cycle, I ovulated. But I didn't get pregnant. At the end of the 4th month, my doctor told me she was moving and she suggested it would be a good time for a break anyways. This type of drug typically worked in 3-4 cycles if it was going to work at all. So she suggested I take a break, then to follow up with an RE if I hadn't gotten pregnant on my break, but she suspected I would.

So the beginning of this year, I was on a break. That didn't mean we quit trying. It just meant I wasn't taking any ovulation-inducing drugs. I do believe I ovulated every month though...but still no pregnancy. So I finally made that long-dreaded appointment with the RE in April. Things went very quickly after seeing the RE, hearing his recommendations, and starting the course of treatments. My head was still spinning a little when we started that cycle (since it was the very next day), but I was also excited. We decided to do the Femara again, but to double the dosage I had been taking (hoping for a stronger ovulation and better, more mature egg), taking an HCG "trigger" shot (forces ovulation), and doing an IUI (intra-uterine insemination).

We also finally decided to let our families know that we were officially trying again since the stress of everything gets to be a lot, so at least this way they might understand why we were tense. I told myself and everyone else not to get too excited - there was only about a 20% chance of it working. But I couldn't help but feeling so hopeful and optimistic - things I don't normally feel. So of course, when I kept getting negative test after negative test, I was crushed. I kept hoping maybe it was too early, but eventually I accepted that it wouldn't be happening that month and grieved the loss of yet another month. So we are now on another break, but this time because the cost of doing this treatment every month is expensive and since we had no time to prepare for our first cycle, we definitely need to save before moving on. I'm not sure when we'll be able to resume treatments, but I hope it won't be too long.

So for the past year, I spent a good portion of it just trying to grieve and learn how to feel like myself again. Then we started trying to get pregnant, and while it started casually, we've been trying long enough now that I am losing hope and feeling doubtful that we will ever be blessed again. Even though we've been trying for a shorter time since Chase, it has been much harder emotionally than all the previous years combined. I think it must be because I know what it feels like to be pregnant, to love that child instantly and for my heart to feel like it's bursting with love upon meeting him, yet at the same time, be broken into a million pieces because he is dead. We were so close to finally being parents and bringing home our sweet, precious child. My heart aches now, more than ever, to experience that again.

For the past year, I have refused to commit to anything long-term, like a job, volunteering, getting involved in a church, etc because I keep hoping that I will get pregnant soon. I fully expect to be on bedrest throughout my next (and all future) pregnancy because of my cervical issues, and honestly, even if my doctor won't force it on me, I know I will self-impose it. I have a lot of guilt from having watched my niece and nephew during my entire pregnancy with Chase - holding them both, carrying them up/down stairs, etc and wondering if doing all of that led to what happened. I know that it probably made no difference whatsoever, but I can't help but feeling partially guilty for not taking it easy while I was pregnant. So for that reason, I've refused to commit to anything in hopes that I would be pregnant soon, then I would have to quit anyways so I could be on bedrest.

Unfortunately, I'm still not pregnant and it doesn't look like it will be happening anytime soon. So now I feel like I've pretty much wasted a year. And I don't want to keep wasting my time away waiting for it to happen. I'm just not sure where to go from here. What do I do? Most days I'd rather just stay at home and sleep an insane amount of hours, then just stay at home by myself. It takes an enormous amount of effort for me to go anywhere, especially on my own. It's easier when Greg tells me to get ready cause we're going somewhere. But on my own, what's the point? I guess I feel like I've also lost a part of myself, a part of my identity in my grief. I am Chase's mommy, but Chase isn't here...so where does that leave me?


  1. I'm sorry you are struggling. I'm here, reading along. I think it is natural to struggle with identity even for mom's whose babies live. But it's much harder when we don't have our babies here to "prove" we are mothers. Definitely keep writing, and hopefully you will find out what that "next step" is going to be. I would recommend finding something to take your mind off TTC and babies, but I know that's impossible. EVerything else is just a temporary distraction. Big hugs Stefanie!!!

    1. Thank you for all of your support, Rachel. I've been thinking about you a lot lately and I hope you and Ms Livia are still doing well. I know you're still waiting to be able to breathe a sigh of relief when she's here and I will continue praying that she arrives here healthy! I actually made some tentative plans today to start an infertility sub group that is part of my support group. I think it will help me a lot to have something to do and especially to hopefully be able to help others too! I'm feeling a lot better today! :) Grief is so up and down, I feel crazy sometimes!

  2. I am so very sorry my heart truly hurts for you. I can not imagine the agony you have gone through. I am praying for you now and will continue to pray. I wish I had some wonderful words of wisdom I don't. I will just say prayers and hugs coming your way, YOUR NOT ALONE.

    1. Thank you, Tesha. You are so sweet and you're right - I'm not alone! Thanks for the prayers and hugs - sending them right back to you as well. I know you have to keep moving on for your other children, but that must be hard not feeling like you get a chance to just stop and grieve for Jonathan. Praying for you!

  3. Hi Stefanie,
    I just discovered your blog for the first time. Our stories are quite similar, yours and mine. I too have PCOS and after almost 12 years of TTC, I just lost our first son, Caleb at 22 weeks on April 17th, 2012. I had an incompetent cervix and was on hospital bed rest dilated to 4cm for 6 days before going into preterm labor. It's been awful as you very well understand.

    I pray that you find peace in all of this. It's not easy. It sucks. But as Tesha said above, you are not alone. And that's the one thing that has comforted me.

    Much love to you,

    1. Thank you, Chirleen! Do you know what's amazing? I was JUST reading your blog earlier today too! The entire time thinking wow - our stories are really similar! I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your sweet Caleb. You are so fresh in your grief and I remember how foggy and clouded my mind still felt at this point last year...our boys' birthdays are almost exactly a year apart.

      Thank you for thinking of me and praying for me. I will keep you in my prayers as well. It does suck, but I'm glad you know that you aren't alone, but also know that it does get better. I have been struggling lately, but so much of that is tied into my renewed struggle with infertility. I still miss Chase every single day, but the tears don't fall like they used to and my mind isn't all-consumed by the grief like it used to be. But there is still the pain, even though it's easier to live with I guess. Big hugs!!!

  4. Hi Stefanie!

    I'm back =)

    I was nominated for a little blog award by a friend and was told to pass the award along so I added you to the list! Here's the post with all the info. Something a little different... http://calebs-story.blogspot.com/2012/06/little-something-different.html