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The Struggle was Real

So I touched on the struggles we had after the ectopic pregnancy. But I feel the need to dedicate a post just to this. Those were tough times. At that point I seriously thought my life would never be the same. I had people tell me “well, at least you know you can get pregnant”… and yes, they were right. But it certainly wasn’t the outcome we had hoped for. I had heard that once you have a pregnancy loss, chances are you go on to have a healthy pregnancy. Yeah, not really the case with ectopic pregnancies. At least not for us.

We had to give it a couple months to let my body heal, and then we were back to “trying” (that really is just as sexy as it sounds). I decided this time I was getting serious. I was going to do what I could to get pregnant again. As scary as that seemed at the time. So I charted my basal body temperature, I tracked my ovulation, I did fertility yoga, I ate the things that I read boost fertility, I tried everything. And month after month we had one negative test after another. The months dragged on as we went to event after event (I think we attended 7 weddings that year) where I had a hard time just being around others and being happy. I had totally lost my spark. I was pessimistic, bitchy (even more so than usual), and started to have a terrible overall attitude towards life. I went from a person who truly believed things happen for a reason, and everything will work out as it should, to someone who got seriously angry at every little challenge life threw our way. People would tell me “just relax and it will happen.” Seriously most unhelpful thing I heard. Have you ever felt more relaxed when someone tells you to relax? Hell no. You get annoyed, and want to punch them in the face. At least that’s how I felt. When you want something as bad as I wanted to be pregnant, it's next to impossible to not let it consume your every thought. I cried every time someone would announce their pregnancy and felt like an absolutely terrible person for it. Getting pregnant and carrying a baby feels like a basic right for a woman. And I was so angry at my body for not allowing me that right.

You know how when you’re on a diet and you’re supposed to avoid certain foods, that’s when those foods seems to be in front of your face all the time? That’s how it felt… everywhere I went, there were pregnant women, every TV show had women with newborn babies or couples who just found out they were pregnant, babies were everywhere and that seemed to be all everyone wanted to talk about. I’m sure that was not actually the case, but that was surely how it felt. Of course, it is kinda the case. At 31, most of my friends are having babies. So my newsfeed was full of pregnancy announcements, and everyone was talking about babies and pregnancies at dinners and parties. And people were asking when we were going to start having kids. If you learn one thing from my struggles, please let it be this: DO NOT ASK WHEN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE CHILDREN. It’s none of your damn business. And you have no idea what feelings you are stirring up in them. And how terrible you may be making them feel by asking. It’s just rude. And I will admit I was totally naive before going through this and I’m sure I asked people, and for that I am SO SORRY. I realize that people don’t mean to be hurtful by asking, or by telling you how they just “look at their wife, and poof they’re pregnant”, or they “weren’t even trying and got pregnant” (yes, I heard both of those), but it is super hurtful.
SIDE NOTE: We now respond to the “when are you having kids?” question with “we’ve lost 3 pregnancies”. We figure if you’ve got the balls to ask, then you deserve the straight answer, no matter how awkward the response makes you feel. Sorry, not sorry!

So I mentioned that two of my really good friends got pregnant during this time. You want to know what it feels like to be a terrible person? Have a friend share exciting news with you and then go have a serious ugly cry because you’re so sad for yourself. I hated that. I have always tried to be such a good friend to those closest to me, and that to me was the definition of a terrible friend. How could I take such a happy time for someone I loved and make it about me? Of course my friends didn’t realize the full extent of how much I hurt, as I tried to hide that from them as much as possible. But it made me want to avoid them. I didn’t want to hear about their pregnancy, I didn’t want to attend any showers (I did, reluctantly), I didn’t want to see their pregnant bellies, I didn’t care to know how they were planning to decorate the nursery. How could I not want to be a part of such a wonderful time for them? Which made me feel even worse. I will say I’m super lucky that my friends understood and gave me the space and spared me the details. I couldn’t imagine having friends who weren’t so understanding. It could have been MUCH worse. (Have I mentioned how wonderful my friends are? They really are.)

Christmas of 2015 was rough. Our first due date was December 25th, so now that’s all I could think about. We should have a newborn baby. For anyone who’s lost a baby, there are a couple dates you tend to remember. The due date is a big one. And even though you think you’ll be okay when that date comes around, that’s never the case. Reid’s sister had a baby, our adorable nephew, in September of 2015. They came to spend Christmas with us, and although I love our nephew so much, I couldn’t help but think that we should have a baby to spoil as well. I spent the day crying, but trying to hide my tears from Reid’s family. It felt so selfish to be crying on Christmas.

So I’m hating my body, I’m bitter at the world, I’m mad at God (don’t even tell me at this point “He has a bigger plan” – I’m definitely NOT hearing that), I’m avoiding my friends, and dodging as many social situations as I possibly can. Also, I'm stressing about how much I'm stressing because I know the stress certainly wasn't helping me get pregnant. I was a pretty fun person to be around. I’m not sure how Reid made it through that period with me, but I’m so glad he did. Some men would have run for the hills, and I can’t say I would have blamed him. But not my husband. He tried over and over again to remind me that things would get better, to which I said “prove it”.

In January of 2016, I realized I was in over my head and I couldn’t continue down the path that I was. I was almost self-destructive at that point. We unexpectedly lost my Mema, and I realized my struggles were more than I could handle. I started seeing a counselor who helped me find ways to deal with our current situation. I started talking to people more about the struggles I was dealing with, and begun to get even more support from those around me. If people don’t realize how much you are truly hurting, it’s impossible for them to fully support you. So I started talking. Not just about what happened, but how it made me feel. I even shared all of those feelings that I felt like a terrible person for having. And in came the support. It made a world of difference. Did it help me get pregnant? No, of course not. But I had realized that I was so far down that getting pregnant wasn’t going to solve my problems. So I started focusing on making myself a whole person again. I started praying again (remember, I was quite mad at God), I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone (less pregnancy announcements if you’re off social media), and I focused on doing things that made me happy. I had to be even more selfish for a little while in order to get back to a point where I could be normal. And my outlook slowly started to improve. 

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