Trying to conceive is challenging any time of the year, but during the holidays, it’s especially hard. Here’s encouragement from someone’s who’s been there.
This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.
The Holidays and TTC
When you’ve struggled with infertility and trying to conceive, you never forget it. Not when you’re on the other side. Not when you have kids. Not ever.
In my day to day, I don’t always think about my past with TTC, miscarriage and infertility, but the holidays always bring it right back to my memory. Maybe because my 2 miscarriages both happened right before Christmas. Maybe because I have 2 snowflake ornaments on my Christmas tree for my 2 angel babies. Maybe because I still hear about women’s heartaches and how they hoped this Christmas
would be different – and it still gets me right in the heart. Every. Time. I haven’t forgotten.
Our Miscarriage/Infertility Story
Everyone’s TTC story is so different but ours included both miscarriage along with infertility. I was pretty naïve when we started TTC, thinking that when you stopped preventing, a pregnancy would just happen. Seriously. That’s what I thought.
Well, after a year of that crazy thinking, I started using ovulation predictor kits, and we got pregnant a few months later. I saw those 2 beautiful double lines the morning that Super Storm Sandy hit Long Island. Within weeks, the storm became personal, and I lost our first baby. Right at the Thanksgiving Dinner table.
While I wasn’t TTC that first Christmas, I was in the throes of that whole grueling process, mourning my little one that I would never know.
When we got the OK from our doctor that we could try again, I thought if we just timed things right, it would just happen.
After 8 months of trying, it didn’t just happen, and I was devastated. So afraid that we had lost our one chance at being parents and having a baby. Unintentionally, I started blogging around the same time and quickly found that we weren’t alone. So many women were struggling with TTC and infertility. SO many women. So many sad stories. It was both staggering and heartbreaking.
Some had struggled with infertility for YEARS. Some had used all of their savings on IVF and infertility treatments and it hadn’t worked. Some had one more frozen embryo left and this was their last chance. Some had PCOS. And some were just like me: diagnosis N97.9 – Female Infertility, unspecified.
We were in the fortunate position where our insurance covered infertility treatments, but that wasn’t the case for every woman I had met. Back then, there weren’t at-home, over-the- counter fertility products like The Stork OTC, a cervical cap home insemination system. You had to rely on timing, luck, miracles or a really good fertility doctor.
Our story is probably a combination of all of those, but it didn’t happen for us overnight. I got pregnant for a second time after one round of Clomid, and for the second time, at 9 weeks, I lost another baby. Just before Christmas.
After our second loss, we didn’t waste time trying on our own. We tried IUI (intra-uterine- insemination) four times, and all four of them failed. Our insurance would cover one more, but our doctor recommended moving right to the big guns: IVF.
Our Baby Story
So, in July 2014, I started the meds, the injections, the treatments to get ready for my egg retrieval, and Lord-willing, the embryo transfer.
He was willing.
On August 1 st , 2014, my little embryos came to life, and on August 5, 2 of them were transferred to my uterus. One didn’t make it. One did. And the one became two – who are now my identical twin sons, going on their 3rd birthday in April.
Christmas now looks TOTALLY different with twin toddlers running amuck: only the top half of my tree decorated, stockings hung so high as to be out of the reach of little hands, no presents under the tree til Christmas morning. Sprinkles all over the floor from baking Christmas cookies. All day marathons of ‘Christmas George’ and ‘Christmas Charlie Brown’ and ‘Thomas the Train Christmas.’ For years, I
dreamed of a Christmas like this one.
The Ache of Childlessness and TTC during Christmas
But it wasn’t always this way. I know the ache, the sadness, the frustration of TTC. The holidays seem bursting with family and children and babies, and your arms are empty. It truly is an emptiness and a sadness like no other. Mourning the loss of something you never had.
If that’s you, you aren’t alone. At least 1 in 8 women are struggling to conceive. And thanks to so many means: fertility doctors, IVF, ovulation kits, The Stork OTC, luck, miracles, and prayers – so many women are crossing to the other side with babies in their arms.
My prayer is that you would be next. The next baby would be yours. By whatever means it takes to happen. There are some wonderful options out there, even if your insurance doesn’t cover or you can’t afford a fertility doctor and treatments (The Stork OTC is only $59.99 currently. The Stork OTC uses cervical cap insemination which has a 62.5% success rate after 6 months and 82.4% success rate after 8
Help for Coping with TTC during the Holidays
The beauty of Christmas is that it shows that miracles are possible. That there is always hope for the impossible to happen. And that God seems to have an affinity for miracles that come into the world as little babies.
Hang in there, sister. I know how all-consuming TTC can be and how the struggle is magnified during the holidays.
As hard as it is, try not to let TTC overtake your life and your holiday season. In the meantime, bake those Christmas cookies. Go for a drive and see those lights. Watch those Christmas movies. Enjoy life. Enjoy the holidays. Enjoy the blessings that are around you. There really is so much to be thankful for. Don’t let your struggles with TTC dim your vision to what is still beautiful and miraculous. (Hint: A lot more than we think!)
Whatever it is that brings you joy this season, do that. Don’t do more. Don’t do less. After my first miscarriage, I just wanted to lay low and have a quiet holiday season, without a lot of social activities. My heart was hurting and I needed time to heal. After my second miscarriage, I was tired of being sad, and I just wanted to enjoy life again. So whatever will help your heart, do it.
And as much as you can, share your heartache with some trusted friends or family. Likely, they have so much love and sympathy to share and can help ease some of your burden. It is so much better to not go the TTC journey alone, without support, if you don’t have to.
And, don’t lose hope for a miracle. It happened 2,000 years ago. It can still happen today.
***If you are looking for more support, join me and other women TTC for a Twitter party on Thursday, December 21 at 8pm EST. Find us by using #gettingpregnant and #storkotc
online at www.storkotc.com