Infertility has taken a piece of me...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I am morally and emotionally broken right now and I am missing a piece of myself.

I am not sure that I can really call this a piece of myself anymore. It feels like a piece of my soul that infertility has stolen from me that I cannot get back. I have deep wounds from the horrifying things that I have been through. The dark places that I have gone are not places that I can forget.

People say that motherhood forever changes you and things you experience as a mother leave lasting imprints on you. I wish those were the prints that showed on me, but my prints are painful ones left by really bad times. Emotional wounds with triggers all around me. I truly think that I have post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Over time after becoming pregnant with Foster I worked really hard to try and move past being the extremely hurt person that I truly was and putting on the happy face that a new mother was supposed to wear. Now, I don't want anyone to think that I wasn't completely enchanted with my son because there are not words to describe my pure and unadulterated joy and love. In addition to those feelings I was a person who was so scared and damaged. How did I get so lucky to have this miracle? How am I here looking at this child that I made when I know so many women who aren't yet? It is like a huge serving of survivor's guilt. I felt so incredibly guilty. All of these people where so happy to surround me with their love and support but I didn't really know how to receive it. I fought so hard and but it was a very private fight. Even though we had shared with a few close friends what we were going through no one was privy to all of the raw fear that we lived with day in and day out.

The panic attacks started the day that we left the hospital. We came home and when bedtime arrived I realized that there was no pulse ox (oxygen monitoring machine he was on in the NICU) for him to wear that would alarm and wake us up if he was in respiratory distress. How in the world were we supposed to sleep? We couldn't! I wouldn't! Cue panic attack. Full blown freak out that included me clutching my baby begging my husband to call out moms so someone was awake with him at all times. When he refused that idea I went into full blown hyperventilating, tear streaming pleading for him to take us back to the hospital. I scared him half to death that night I think. I truly believe that he thought I had lost my mind and postpartum psychosis had set in.

The fear of losing my son was completely overwhelming. No child is replaceable but in my case there was no guarantee that I could even ever have another so this thought was absolutely petrifying. Another day later we ended up getting admitted to Children's Hospital for what appeared to be respiratory distress.... can you imagine what this did to me?

Here is where the honesty and part of my 30 under 30 come into play. My survivor's guilt makes it really hard for me to share how hard I still struggle with infertility and my emotions. One of my 30 under 30 goals was to come clean about our whole IF journey so here it goes... We have been through three rounds of IVF (in vitro) trying for our second child. All have been complete failures. This is something that has broken my will and my spirit. After the 3rd IVF in a short span of 6 months (oct '12-March '13) my anxiety and depression set in like something I've never experienced. Panic attacks took over and things had to change. I had to try to move on and stop trying because I was so mentally and emotionally unhealthy. I was broken, alone, fighting silently (we literally told I think ONE person that this was going on).
I have to wake up every day and tell myself that today I will smile, today I will try to laugh, today I will not let infertility win.

Today I lost. I do not have the strength to put into words what I went through today but it has tested my strength far beyond anything I had imagined.  I cannot say more because I will have another panic attack. Please pray for me, I am shaken to my core and unsure of what to do. I leave you with this amazing video that played in my head all day:
  1. Ugh, Lou Poo! I hate what is going on with you right now.. I really do! I'm glad that we got to talk tonight so that you could get a little off of your chest and I'm praying that things start to ease up a bit. I know that you are a strong person and it sucks that you really have no choice other than to be that strong person right now. While I can't say that I know what it's like to fail at treatments, I do know what it's like to try (not as hard as you and Justin) and get pregnant and nothing happen.. and then when I finally did get pregnant, before I could even enjoy it.. just fail and have a miscarriage. It's so hard to experience all of this and not have a concrete reason why this happens to us and not be able to ask God why. Especially when we are deserving people. Just know that even though I'm far away, I'm always here to support you in every way possible. Good things come to those who are deserving and you are-- I pray your time comes soon. XOXO

  2. I am so sorry. It's so unfair. I'm sending lots of good thoughts and hugs your way.

  3. I am so sorry for this struggle you have in your life. I know that talking about it is hard and I admire your courage to share your story with others. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I know this must have been really hard for you to write but I hope it was a weight off your shoulder to tell it. You are so brave for sharing your story and I am sure it will help others. Sending you hugs and prayers.

  5. Writing it off is one way to make you feel a bit better. It's hard but I'm glad you did it. I know it's never easy but things will go your way soon. Don't worry because everything will be okay. Sending you virtual hugs and kisses from me and my family! xx

  6. Oh Lindsey, where do I start? Obviously you've been much further down the IF road than I have, but seriously, do NOT feel any guilt at all for coming out the other end with a child. A gorgeous, healthy, precious little boy. Like I said in the firdst comment I ever left on your blog, your story is inspiring to me and gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, one day I too will have a baby of my own.

    I am so sorry that IVF hasn't helped you to conceive a second baby. There are no words to express how much my heart hurts for you to see this. Please know that if you want to, you can email me about it and rant and rave as much as you like.

    IF in a horrible, cruel thing and it absolutely does leave demons within you that will probably never go away. As I said, I'm still nowhere near as far into the journey as you are but I know I'm not the same person I was 3 years ago. I have fears and thoughts and emotions I would really struggle to put into words, that the average mother to be would probably never in a million years think or feel. IF really creeps into your soul, and destroys parts of you piece by piece. I know you know it's OK not to be OK, you blogged about it and there's absolutely no shame in saying you're having a really tough time and your strength is zapped. Things WILL be OK though - maybe not right now, maybe not tomorrow even, but they will. They have to be.

    Thinking of you, and sending you lots of hugs xxx

  7. And after all that, I forgot to mention I nominated you for a Liebster today, details on my blog. I know in the grand scheme of things it's not much, but I hope it lifts your spirits a little bit my lovely x

  8. There are no words to be said. Because I know nothing will ease any of your thoughts or emotions. Just know I'm thinking of you and praying for you.