Sunday, February 19, 2017

When Are You Gonna Have a Baby?

I remember one Sunday I was sitting in the back of a room at church.  Peter and I had just moved to New York and we didn't know many people yet.  A woman I recognized sat next to me.  I had seen her a few times in church meetings weeks prior and she was very friendly so I had no problem with her sitting and chatting.  She asked me your typical questions when you are the new person in church.  

"Where are you from?"
"What does your husband do?"
"Are you working?"
"How long have you been in the ward?"
"How long have you been married?"

I told her Peter and I will have been married for six years come July.

Then she got really quiet.

It was kind of an awkward silence.  Not just because she was looking at me for a while (or what felt like a while.  It was probably only about 5 seconds), but because I knew what she was going to say next.

"Usually about now I ask about kids..."

I just smiled and simply said, "No kids.  But we're working on it."

I know Peter and I have been married a while and the only living thing that has come from our married life so far is an old fat dog we bought at a shelter.  And I know a lot of people wonder and assume why we don't have any children yet.  I don't blame you.  I admit I wonder the same thing about other couples sometimes.  And I'm not offended at the woman in church for asking.  I'm use to the question so it doesn't bother me.  The truth is Peter and I would love to have children.  We have been wanting and praying for them for about 3 years now.  It just hasn't happened.

When Peter and I moved to Iowa in 2015, we felt like that was the time to actively try to have children. We were ready and excited to finally grow our family.  Eight months passed and nothing happened. So I went to my gynecologist.  We did an ultrasound and I was officially diagnosed with PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  I wasn't surprised when my doctor told me that.  I knew from a previous exam with a different doctor that I had cysts in my ovaries so I figured that was something I probably had.  I didn't want to let that stop us.  Millions of women are diagnosed with this every year and babies still come so I thought that's just what would happen.  He prescribed me with Clomid and off we were.  

I thought for sure the Clomid would work.  I would take some pills a few days out of the month, they would take my blood, and I would visit the doctor and he would tell me if I needed a higher dosage or not for the next month (I can say that, while I still hate needles more than almost anything, I no longer fight with the nurse or tear up when a needle comes close to my arm.  Any of those close to me know that itself is quite an accomplishment!).  I took Clomid for a few months and, lots of blood tests, an HSG test (so uncomfortable!) and testing Peter, the doctor thought it would be a good time to start IUI- Intrauterine Insemination.  Unfortunately, the doctor recommended the IUI right when we got the news that we were moving to New York.  We were excited about the move but my heart broke a little.  Why now?  We were just getting started!  I almost cried when I told the doctor we probably couldn't do the IUI now.  He looked disappointed as well.  However, I sucked it up, wiped my tears, and focused on our move.  Wallowing in self pity wasn't going to give us a baby.  

We got to New York and I immediately looked up fertility specialists close to us.  I found one an hour away from us in Buffalo that specialized in PCOS.  I made an appointment and was ready to get started again.  Then we found out we were moving back to Iowa.

You have got to be kidding me!

My heart broke a little again as I cancelled my appointment and packed up again to move back.  I was excited to visit friends and be in a familiar town again, and I was hopeful.  Maybe we were meant to have an Iowa baby!  Unfortunately, my doctor isn't available until March and by the time I see him again, we'll only have about two months left before we head back to New York.  So I don't think it's going to happen here.

Infertility is hard.  That is the truth.  I always wonder what life would be like with a baby.  We would've had a two year old by now if things went how they were suppose to.  Babies haven't come to us and probably won't come for a little while longer, and that's a hard pill to swallow sometimes.  I would be lying if I said that it doesn't hurt sometimes.  I would be lying if I said that I don't feel a slight sting when I get on Facebook and see yet some other couple is expecting.  I would be lying if I said there haven't been days where I weep in the shower and nights where I wait for Peter to fall asleep so he doesn't hear my silent sobs.  I want to be a mom and I want Peter to be a dad.  I want to be pregnant, no matter how uncomfortable and unattractive it is.  

But above all that, I don't want people to feel sorry for us.

  We love our friends and families and are so grateful for their love and support and we appreciate them being sensitive about our situation.  But I want to make something very clear.  Yes, there have been sad moments in this process like I have mentioned, but we don't dwell on them too much.  We know that, no matter how, we will be parents. And even though it's been three years, we're still in the early stages of this process so we're still hopeful.   

When I felt that pregnancy was going to be harder for us, I told Peter that I don't want to be that person that make siblings and friends uncomfortable when they call to announce their expecting.    Pregnancy is a very exciting time in a couple's life and it is not my right as a sister, a friend, and a woman to take that excitement away from someone.  Peter and I get so excited when we find out we're having another niece or nephew.  We love all of them so much.  And we get so excited for our close friends when they announce that they are expecting. We love all their children too.

Despite this trial, I am a blessed woman.  I have a husband that loves me so much, that he works long hours so I can live a comfortable life.  People don't understand sometimes that the husband has to deal with the emotional and physical pain that comes with infertility just as much as the wife.  He's going through this too, and yet, he always makes sure I get a hug when I need it. If worse comes to worse and we never bring a child into our home, as long as Peter is there, I'll be okay.  
I have a stubborn, but adorable dog that shows his excitement by wagging his whole body when I walk through the door after work.  
We have parents and siblings that have given their love and support no matter what.  They don't know how much that means to us.  
I have my mom that answers the phone to listen to me cry through my feelings sometimes.  She knows exactly what I'm going through and even though I'm 27, I still feel such comfort when I hear Mom's voice saying, "It'll all work out."
We have friends that are great at just being there.  Sometimes you just need someone to come to your place, sit next you (or text.  We have friends all over the country.), and let you know they're there for you.  Our friends are pros at that.

I hope you all know that, though we've hit a few 'bumps' (get the pun there?), we're going to be okay.  We are happy and we love our life.

And for those reading this that are struggling with infertility, I don't know your situation so I don't know if I can tell you it's going to happen.  But my wish for you is that you don't give up.  Do everything you possibly can to be parents, whether it's through fertility treatments or adoption.  If there is anything I learned from this experience, it's that you're a lot stronger than you think you are, and that Heavenly Father doesn't make mistakes.  You were given this trial for a reason.  He knows you're hurting, but He believes in you.  He loves you.  And you'll come through this stronger, wiser, and better.

Chocolate helps too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Turkey, Festival, Nieces, Christmas, and a Reminder that I Strongly Dislike Delta

Thanksgiving was a quiet one this year so I didn't document it too much.  We spent the morning trying to watch the Macy's day parade and the Purina Dog Show (We don't have cable so we tried the internet.  Wasn't too successful.),  spent the afternoon baking the pies and cooking the bird, and then after everything was prepared, we joked and laughed over a hot meal while we reflected over all the things we were thankful for.  And there's a lot of things we are thankful for.

Murphy's share.

A few days later, we found out the Festival of Lights was happening in Niagara Falls.  It was going to be chilly but I really wanted to go so we packed on the layers, grabbed some hot cocoa and donut holes at the North Eastern favorite- Tim Hortons, and drove an hour and a half to the Falls.

Niagara Falls Squirrel and Peter stare off.

It was freezing.  But the Falls were beautiful.  I think next year we'll go to the Canadian side.  While the American side has an awesome view, we hear that there is more to do in Canada.  We've been to Niagara twice now and I can't wait to go again!

We then took the long, frustrating flight to Utah to spend Christmas with the Visser family (The story is a bit long and I don't feel like going into detail about how Delta Airlines has given us yet another headache.  Just know we still dislike Delta and probably will for a very long time.)

This was my first Christmas I've had with my niece Lucy in a long time (you can tell because of all the pictures I have taken of her.).  I was excited to interact with her and watch how much she's grown since I've last seen her.  But it was great seeing as many of the siblings I could (we missed you Daniel and Cassie!) and doing all of the fun Visser traditions I missed doing.  We loved catching up with Bobby, his wife Lisa, their dog Remi, and the whole Blind family.  We were blessed to be able to spend the whole day with them before Christmas and miss them so much!

We love being with our friends and our family.  It's as simple as that.

When that little voice wants Aunt Jill to make her a fort so JuJu can read her a story in it.
Aunt Jill makes that little voice a fort.  

JuJu and Lucy's relationship is so sweet.  

We had our Christmas eve dinner at Michael and Cambri's place.  It's no secret that Cambri is a natural when it comes to decorating her place.  She is such a good designer and her Parmesan Chicken was perfect.

Lucy sure loves her Daddy!

The look a two year old makes when you tell her there's a dragon coming.

 She just loves Momma!

Don't worry.  We don't practice our throwing skills on toddlers.
 We just couldn't help but laugh at her reaction of having the ball tossed to her.
Though I'm sure the way Grandpa was tossing it wasn't helping.

Lucy's point of view.

Multiple takes of our Visser Family Christmas Picture.

This was taken earlier that week.  I sure miss these mountains!

 At the Christmas Carol play (A Visser family tradition), and the Barnes Family Christmas day with our stash!

            The time came, like it always does, for us to get back to our home.  I was ready to be back in              our own place, but that doesn't mean I was just as sad to say goodbye to my family.  
         Before we left, we had breakfast/early lunch at Market Street Grill in Salt Lake City.  Lucy was                               doing a good job at keeping my spirits up by her silly faces.

We made it to our apartment tired and homesick.  When we got the mail, we saw all our Christmas cards that were sent to us while we were gone.  We loved it and it helped the homesickness a bit.  We are so grateful for such wonderful people in our lives.

Every Christmas I have with my family and with my husband is a great Christmas.  And this one was just as great.  I can't wait to see what this New Year brings to the Barnes family and I can't wait until next Christmas!