Thursday, March 12, 2015

staying hopeful through infertility

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This may well be the most challenging blog post I've ever written. No, scratch that. It was fairly easy to write, but it took some time to gain the courage to hit the publish button. Thankfully, I'm braver today than I was a few years ago when infertility entered our lives like an unwanted house guest not willing to leave. It's important for me to share my story and help others learn that they aren't alone. By speaking out, I'm also hoping to lessen the stigma and shame associated with infertility.

The picture above is of me being my usual goofy self holding a model of a uterus with my feet up in stirrups in a waiting room at the Regional Fertility and Women's Endocrinology Clinic this past weekend. Scott and I were there to find out if, after trying for three years on our own, we were getting the green light to begin in vitro fertilization (IVF).  To pass the time, because there is a lot of waiting with infertility appointments, we took silly pictures. This is the only one you're allowed to see. I mean it (;

We did end up getting the go ahead from our doctor and I'm now the proud owner of more than a dozen needle marks on my stomach. That's the first part of the process: self administering hormones to stimulate the ovaries. I'm deathly afraid of needles so Scott, who I'm calling my hunky Florence Nightingale these days, has the job of jabbing me. I joke with him that his EMR training is finally paying off.  Secretly, my heart gushes with love for this man who supports and loves me and is so careful not to hurt me.

I'm not going to get into the entire process of IVF here, just know it's involved, invasive and expensive. It was a decision we took a lot of time to make and I'm glad we did. I don't feel like we're in limbo any more. When you're struggling with unexplained infertility, every month is an emotional roller coaster of hope and anticipation, followed by heartbreaking disappointment and frustration. With IVF, I'm trusting in my doctor and my body and letting the rest go. I haven't always been so zen about it but I've come to a place in my life where I've chosen to move forward with hope and positivity. I'm also using this breathing method to help me through my anxiousness during ultrasounds (which I now call dildo cam time, haha!).

Now more than ever, I'm grateful for the good people in my life. It means so much to get a phone call or text from a friend or family member simply asking, "How are you doing today D?" It makes me and Scott feel supported, loved and not so alone in all of this.

If you have a friend who is going through infertility issues, acknowledge how much it sucks and then hug, love and support them. They need you more than you know.

As for me, I have five more days of injections left until the egg retrieval process. Please send your positive thoughts and prayers. It's the one time in my life I'm asking for support. Not pity or sympathy, just love <3

31 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Dajana! You are a special, beautiful, strong woman and I am so excited for you. When I think of you, I'll pray for you! Xoxo

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    1. Thank you Christina! I'm excited too. Pray lots for me, will ya (:

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  2. Wow!! How brave you are to do this post!!! Infertility is tough and you feel so alone. When Marlin and I started on the journey we never thought it would be so difficult but through the good and bad days we made it through. Now we have June!!! IVF was the answer to our prayers. Sending you lots of love and baby dust. Will keep you and Scott in my prayers. Also, massage your injection site with coconut oil. It just makes it all better. :)

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    1. Knowing that your beautiful June came into your life with the help of IVF gives me so much hope, J! Thank you for sharing that with me, for the love & for keeping us in your prayers. So glad to know you! xo

      P.S. I love coconut oil so I'll definitely try massaging the site with it.

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  3. Thank you for sharing ! I m sure you'll have beautiful eggs and that we'll read a beautiful birth story here in some months.

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    1. I'd love some beautiful eggs! Thank you for your support. xo

      P.S. Even with my seven years of French language education, I had to look up what 'papilles' meant. Love it!

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  4. Sending you a million positive vibe arrows! I know you will hold a little baby soon soon! x

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    1. I sure hope so! Thank you for taking the time to send me your positive thoughts (:

      P.S. I wish I knew your name so I could properly thank you.

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  5. I went through IVF myself, and learned something about those shots: ICE the bejeepers out of the injection site beforehand. Then you can't feel a thing when the needle goes in, and it becomes No Big Deal. Good luck with the whole process!

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    1. I iced the injection site tonight and felt nothing, nada, zilch. Fantastic advice, thank you so much!

      P.S. I hope the process went well for you.

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  6. Go Dajana go!!! Lots of success stories with IVF, I can't wait to see you and Scott be one of them. Happy thoughts and hugs!! xo

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    1. Aw, Heather! Thank you. Keep sending those happy thoughts dude! Can't wait to get those hugs the next time we see each other. xo

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    1. And I'm accepting every bit of it, Nicole! Thank you! xo

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  8. Good luck, good luck, good luck!!!!! And thanks for sharing this. My helpmeet and I are hoping to start our family soon and I have been thinking and worrying a lot lately about it. I'm 35 and the women in family have a long history of fertility concerns and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little (okay, a lot) worried about my ability to conceive. Just hearing about others going through the journey and finding ways to negotiate and navigate it makes me feel like we're all a part of various shifting communities throughout our lives and the power of those communities is indomitable. I'lll be thinking of you and sending all my positive vibes!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

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    1. Thank you, Courtney! This is going to stay with me for some time: "...we're all a part of various shifting communities throughout our lives and the power of those communities is indomitable." Beautifully said. It feels good knowing we have such kick arse people cheering us on in the crazy journey. Wishing you & your helpmeet all the best as you start baby making too! xo

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  9. You are definitely not alone in this Dajana - I know I join many of your friends in wishing you and Scott love and support on this journey. I've been down this road myself and last year, decided to step off that road. But every pill, every needle, every 8am morning probe (ha!) was worth it, because in the end it brought peace to my heart and mind. You have the most powerful tools you need: a positive attitude and a supportive partner. Best of luck to you. Now go grow some eggs! :) xo

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    1. Thank you for sharing your own story Jen and for your love & support! I had no idea you've been down this same (ever so windy) road. We have more in common than I thought, although in this case I wish we didn't (from now on let's stick to our love of blogging & floral Anthro dresses, ha!). I hope you know how much I admire and respect you and I'm so glad you've found peace. xo

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  10. I am crossing all my body parts for you!! I have a lot of friends who have dealt with infertility so I have seen how friggin shitty it is. I will say that so far, all of them have had successful IVF pregnancies so I hope that you have the same experience. Thank goodness for modern medicine, eh? haha to the dildo cam. I'm not sure if anyone has suggested it, but it is easier if you put it in yourself. If you haven't tried that technique, giver a go!

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    1. Thank you Janice! Hearing about successful IVF pregnancies gives me so much hope.

      As for the probe (I hate that word but I use it to freak people out, along with dildo cam, haha), I didn't even think to ask to put it in myself. I like that suggestion! Can just imagine the nurses at the clinic saying, "Watch out for the sassy lady in ultrasound room #1!" Haha (;

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  11. How brave of you to finally hit publish! It's that same energy that will carry you through your treatments. Letting go is so important, I felt the same way with our own story... The more truthful to myself, and open to those supporting us, the more things seemed to fall into place, just as they needed to be. Lean on your loved ones when you need them! ^^ Looks like you've got a lot of support here too! (And, I'm happy to be in that club). Warm thoughts are coming your way! You got this.

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    1. Thank you Jen! I'm happy you're in that supportive club too (: It took a long while for me to finally hit the publish button, but I felt compelled to do so and I'm happy that I did. I remember saying to Scott, "If I can give just one woman some comfort in knowing they aren't alone in this crazy journey, the post will be worth it." And it has been. xo

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  12. Sending you all the positive thoughts in the world, D!! (Hahaha my phone just autocorrected positive to potstickers. If potstickers would help, I would send those to you too!). Good things come to those who wait, right? I hate cliches, but I just know 2015 is going to be yours and Scott's year. You're the nicest person I've never met and I'll definitely be thinking and rooting for you during this time :)

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    1. So happy to have you in our corner rooting us on! Thank you Brie! And I'd love some potstickers, haha. Maybe when we finally meet up for the Duchess cookbook exchange (:

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  13. I have cried with a few friends about infertility and after their own individual journeys have held their beautiful babes. You'll find the path to your new family member(s) and it will all make sense when you do.
    That will be one lucky baby to join such a fun and loving (not to mention stylish) home!
    I'm adding mine to all the love that is pouring in.
    Cheryl

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    1. You're lovely, inside and out Cheryl. Thank you for the kind words. It feels good to have so many people's love and support. Makes me feel not so alone in all of this. xo

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  14. Thinking of you Dajana. Having a friend go through the IVF process right now as well. Know that you are supported and wishing you all the luck in the world!

    -Jen

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    1. Thank you so much Jen! Appreciate the support and the comment. I know the nicest peeps. xo

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  15. Hi, I don't know you, you don't know me at all but wanted to tell you I'm sending lots and lots and lots of love and I wish I could give you a big hug. (Did I mention you don't know me? Haha) I wish all the very best to you and your husband :) xo Yoko

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  16. I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner. I'm sending a whole heap of love from all the way down in Texas. ❤️

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