Tag Archive | baby

Miscarriage —The Day We Learned the News

The morning of our second ultrasound was almost like any other.  To begin, I was a bit nervous because we had been told our baby’s date of conception had been miscalculated by 11 days.  Our first ultrasound appointment didn’t go as we expected.

Instead of learning our baby’s heart rate, and leaving with a picture, we left knowing that our baby was in the right spot and that the baby was just “small” in comparison to the size of a typical 8 week old baby in the womb.  We didn’t know there was a heartbeat.  I had two choices:  fixate and worry myself sick for ten days; or try to take my mind off the situation.

distraught

There was no way I was going to let myself fixate and worry, I’d never forgive myself if something happened to the baby.  I’d always wonder if my intense worry had in some way caused it. So, I tried to keep busy.  I applied for jobs, interviewed, cleaned the house, and spent time with our furbabies.  The time passed with as little worry as possible.

On the morning of our second ultrasound, I took care of our dogs and played with them for a bit.  I couldn’t focus enough to work on a craft, so I watched TV and spent time playing and letting them in and out numerous times.  The last time I let them in, something was different.  My oldest furbaby, the princess of our house, came through the door with something in her mouth.  I thought perhaps she had gotten into the trash and had found something disgusting like a chicken bone.  I wish it had been something so banal.

dog with tail hanging out of its mouth

As I approached Princess, I noticed something was sticking out of her mouth, and it wasn’t a chicken bone.  It was a thin black tail!  At that point I turned into a 7 year old girl, and screamed!  She didn’t quite understand this, because mommy screaming is something that doesn’t happen in our house.  She misinterpreted my screams of terror as signs of joy.  Her response was to jump up at me with the tail still hanging out of her mouth, providing me with an even closer look at the disgusting, vile, thing!

There was a lot of commotion, more of mommy’s screaming, and finally she spit it out.  At that point I really lost it, because laying there on the floor in front of me was a dead black wet rodent!  I am not someone who stays quiet in the presence of rodents.  Simply put, I do not like them nor do I tolerate them.  When I was a teenager and the child I was babysitting brought his hamster out, I suggested he put it away before I taught it to swim.  I do not do rodents.  And there was one…dead…in my house!

I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to scoop up the rodent using our long handled dustpan and carry it out to the trash.  It took almost an hour before I could calm down.  On the bright side, I wasn’t freaking out about the ultrasound during that hour.  Just about the time I stopped freaking out, my husband came home from work, and we got ready to make the trip up to Dr. C’s office.

couple in car

We made small talk on the way up.  We talked about whether the baby would be a boy or a girl, and how relieved we’d be to hear our baby’s heartbeat.  We agreed that we had each been on edge a bit over the last ten days, so hearing the heartbeat would bring us both much needed relief.  I didn’t mention the rodent, I couldn’t bear to relive those moments.  Besides my husband wouldn’t have been able to drive with all the laughing he would have done.

After arriving at the hospital, we checked in at the radiology department and waited our turn.  The technician showed us to the ultrasound room and we got ready for the procedure.  We were so excited, and couldn’t help but ask about our baby.  She told us that before she looked for a heartbeat, she had to measure my uterus and ovaries.  After time had passed, we asked about the heartbeat again.  She explained that she wasn’t allowed to say anything.  Out of desperation, I asked for a picture, okay I didn’t ask, I begged in between the tears I was trying to hold back.    I needed to have a picture of our baby.  I needed to feel like a normal mom, I needed to leave with a picture of our baby.

woman having an ultrasound

We took our picture and headed up to Dr. C’s office with a copy of the radiologist’s notes.  We waited for our appointment and held hands hoping that the ultrasound would show signs that our baby was healthy.

After a few minutes we were led to the exam room and waited to meet with Dr. C.  The nurse who checked my chart and asked how I was feeling inquired about the baby’s heartbeat.  She reacted neutrally when we told her that we didn’t yet know.  The nurse excused herself and took the radiologist’s notes to Dr. C.

Male doctor talking to couple in waiting room

When Dr. C. entered the room, he told us he had just gotten off the phone with radiology, and that things were not as we had hoped.  Instead of getting bigger, the baby had gotten smaller.  The radiologist was unable to detect a heartbeat.  We should have seen a fetal pole, the beginning of the spinal column, but that had not developed.  At some point over the last ten days, our baby passed away.

I listened politely and felt my body go numb.  I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, this couldn’t be happening to us.  I felt so numb that it didn’t hit me at first, but after a few minutes, I started to cry.  These were the most painful tears I had ever cried in my life.  Our baby, the one we had dreamed of, the one we had charted for, planned for, and spent almost three years longing for, our miracle baby, had passed away.

doctor and couple

Words cannot describe the pain I felt at that moment, or the pain that would hit me during the coming week.

Always the patient caring practitioner, Dr. C explained what would happen over the next few weeks.  He explained that I needed to stop taking the progesterone suppositories, and that in a few days I would begin to bleed.  It would be like a double period, and should end within a few weeks.  He excused himself, so that we could have some time alone to process all this.

I don’t remember much about that time, I remember being delirious with tears, I remember Frank holding me and expressing his sadness.  I remember us trying to compose ourselves for Dr. C’s return.  We didn’t know what to say or do and we really needed to know what would happen over the coming days.

Dr. C was amazing.  He spent over an hour with us, sharing in our sorrow, sharing a story of his loss of a child, and confirming that our baby was already with God so that we didn’t have to worry.

After spending more than an hour with Dr. C, reviewing the options that were available to us, and making an appointment with a local surgeon in case I needed a D&C if the bleeding got too bad, we composed ourselves enough to go home.

supportive husband

I don’t remember much about that night.  I know we cried more than we ever had in our lives, I know that we called our parents to share the sad news with them.  They took the news as hard as we did.  They expected we’d call to give them the heartbeat and tell them everything would be okay.   None of them had ever been through a loss like this before and other than “let us know if there’s anything we can do” there really wasn’t much to say.

All I could do was ask for their prayers as we went through the process of losing our baby.  There wasn’t anything we or anyone else could do, we just had to let the miscarriage happen, and make sure that I stayed as healthy as possible during the process.

Miscarriage, Honnoring the Child We Lost-Part III

Here I am, a month after hearing the news that our baby had passed away.  There is no way to describe what has transpired, except to say it has been an unpredictable rollercoaster filled with ups, downs, and moments that I do not care to ever repeat again.  This is without a doubt the hardest most draining experience of my life.  In addition to the physical experience that is still occurring inside my body, there’s the loss of our child, the loss of the joy we had experienced, the loss of all we had hoped for this child, and the loss of all we had dreamed for us as a family.  We always knew that there was a risk that we’d lose the baby; but with Christmas coming right around our six week mark, we decided that would be the time we’d share the news with our immediate family.  This is the story of the most joyous Christmas I have ever had; thank you for allowing me to share this beautiful memory with you.  Love, Catherine

After learning we were pregnant, there was nothing in the world that could compare with the joy we felt!  Not only had my leave of absence been successful, but we’d be able to tell our families that we were expecting on Christmas, what could possibly be better than that?

We wanted everything to be so special for our families.  If they could only feel 10% of the joy we felt then it would surely be the most spectacular gift we could ever give them.  This would be the first grandchild for my in-laws, and my mom.  My dad has other grandchildren, but he’s a sucker for kids, so it’d be pretty special for him as well.  We decided that we’d surprise everyone and tell them on Christmas by presenting them with special gifts.

snow flake ornament

I spent almost two weeks pouring and painting plaster ornaments in the shape of snowflakes.  I painted them pink and blue and added some glitter for a great “pop” of sparkle.  On the back I wrote, “Miracles happen at Christmas, and 8 months after.  Awaiting baby Sterling, August 2014”.   I also put together a paper magnet with a poetic pregnancy announcement that read:

Good things to come as we await

Baby Sterling’s arrival date

Two little hands and two little feet, one sweet baby we are waiting to meet

With hearts full of love and heads full of dreams,

We patiently await August 2014.

 

Our families were beyond thrilled when we shared the news.  To say that jaws hit the floor would be an understatement.  There were tears of joy, screams of surprise, and so many hugs.  We knew how special this would be, and  made sure to arrive long before the other guests.   We made sure they understood how early in the pregnancy this was and despite wanting to share their joy with everyone on Christmas, they agreed to keep our secret.  As excited as we all were, we knew that there existed the possibility of losing the baby, and that if it happened it was something we would not want to discuss repeatedly with the extended family.

christmas presents

 

Everyone wanted to know when they could share the news, with all that we had been through we wouldn’t be waiting until the 3 month mark.   We did ask that they wait until January 6th,  the day of our first ultrasound; when we expected to hear our baby’s heartbeat and see our very first baby picture.

 

It was our best Christmas ever!  We had given our families a gift like they had never received before!  I had one of the ornaments on our tree and a magnet on our fridge, and was filled with hope and expectation each time I laid eyes on them.  Just watching the HCG levels climb week by week, watching my body change, and feel the ever growing pressure in my belly was truly amazing.  We waited with anticipation and excitement to share our news with the world!

 

We dreamed of how we’d tell our extended family and how excited they’d be for us.  We dreamed of next Christmas, when we’d have a 3 month old baby.  There was no limit to what we dreamed for the future of our baby and our family.  Of course, we prayed daily for our baby’s health.  Since I was on leave of absence at the time, I prayed hourly for our child.  Every time I felt pressure, or got unusually tired, I’d pray that these were good signs that our baby was growing and developing properly.

couple in car

On January 6th, we made the long drive up to Dr C’s office.  My husband, Frank, is known for his work ethic: for him, taking time off work is no small deed.  Despite his commitment to his job, there was no way he’d miss the ultrasound.  Together, we checked in to the radiology department at the hospital and were so excited to see the first picture of our baby, hear the heartbeat, and make that first guess as to whether our baby would be a boy or a girl.  We didn’t want to get our hopes up, but we couldn’t help it!

 

When it was finally our turn to have the ultrasound, the technician led us into room where the procedure would take place.  I undressed from the waist down and got ready for the procedure.  Having had transvaginal ultrasounds before, I was familiar with the routine.

woman having an ultrasound

The probe went in. The technician took measurements of the uterus, ovaries, and everything.  When we asked if we could see pictures, the technician told us that she “couldn’t say anything.”  When we asked about the heartbeat, her response was the same.

We were worried about an ectopic, or some other complication.  We remembered that Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor,  requested that she print out her notes so that he could interpret the results of the ultrasound at our appointment which followed the ultrasound.

 

While we waited to meet with Dr. C, we poured over those notes trying to find some meaning in them which we could understand.  Neither of us have any medical background, but we were able to decipher that it was not an ectopic pregnancy.

Male doctor talking to couple in waiting room

We waited patiently to meet with Dr. C.  Thankfully, he read the technician’s notes and contacted her at the hospital before he met with us.  When he sat with us he explained that the baby was smaller than expected.  Instead of being the size that a baby is expected to be at 8 weeks, it was the size that a healthy baby was expected to be at 6 weeks, 6 days.   Everything else was fine.  By his understanding, all that had happened was that we had miss-dated the time of conception and so our due date would be a little later.  The baby was in the right spot and everything else looked normal.  We made an appointment for another ultrasound two weeks after that, when the baby would be developed enough to hear a heartbeat and we would get our first baby picture!

8 week ultrasound expect image

We were thankful that the baby was okay.  Although we were disappointed that we didn’t get to hear the heartbeat, we didn’t get bad news.  As far as anyone knew the baby was just conceived later than expected.  My family is known for a propensity towards tardiness, so on the ride home we joked that this was an indication that our baby was taking after my side of the family.

Our parents were on pins and needles over the news when we shared it with them at Christmas.  They had barely been able to hold their tongues over Christmas and New Year’s.  That night we made calls and notified them that they’d have to wait another two weeks before sharing the news.  They were surprised to hear this, but like us they took it as a sign that things were developing normally.  They said they’d continue to keep us and our baby in their prayers and that they wanted to be informed the moment we knew what the heartbeat was!

Miscarriage, Honoring the Child We Lost-Part II

It has been more than a week from the day we were supposed to hear our baby’s heartbeat.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.  Instead of hearing the number of beats and guessing whether our baby would be a boy or a girl, we were told that our baby passed away.  This is the most devastating loss I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.  In this series of blog posts, I’ll be sharing some of the stories which I hoped to share with our child one day.  Thank you for walking this journey of healing with me…

weeping woman

My First Pregnancy Appointment…

After I learned I was pregnant, I had to vist Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor.  It was a Wednesday, which meant his office closed at noon.  Although he agreed to see me regardless of the time I arrived, I wanted to get there as soon as possible.  Oh, and I was on cloud 9– because after two and a half years of trying to conceive, surgery, months of vitamins, and charting every little detail day by day, I had become a mommy!

 

I packed my charts, pre-natal vitamins, fed the fur babies, and made it out the door as quickly as I could.  Needless to say, there were a few details that escaped me on the way up.  I thought I was being careful.  I used the Google Maps App to get to Dr. C’s office.  No matter how many times I go there, I can’t seem to remember which exit to take, so having Siri give me directions makes life easier.

mobile phone

Anyway, there I was 60 minutes into the 90 minute ride to Dr. C, driving from the primary highway on to the secondary highway, when bam! I got pulled over.  I was exceeding the speed limit and so was everyone else on the road.   I’m not so familiar with the area, so as far as I was concerned I was just keeping up with the flow of traffic.  The cop however did not see it that way.

I waited until he came to my passenger window and asked me if I knew how fast I was going.  Then I lost it, seriously lost it.  If you’ve ever had a five year old try to tell you something he or she is excited about, that’s pretty much what happened.  Instead of telling the officer how fast I thought I was going, I shrieked, “I’m sorry officer, I just found out I’m pregnant this morning I have to go to the doctor to get a progesterone shot so I don’t lose my baby!  See, here’s my chart, there’s my prenatal vitamins, I didn’t realize I was speeding!”  The poor cop had no clue what to do.  Apparently the response I gave is not one he gets very often.  He was silent for a moment, then asked who my doctor was and where he’s located.  Apparently he was satisfied with my answers, because he didn’t ask any more probing questions.  He did ask if it was an emergency.  I couldn’t lie, so I responded: “It’s not something that has to happen this minute, but I need the progesterone shot because I’m high risk for miscarriage, I don’t want to lose my baby!”   I was totally ready to show him the pic of my positive pregnancy test complete with time stamp, but it didn’t come to that.

progesterone shot

Thankfully, the cop let me go with a warning, and I got to Dr. C’s where I got the low down what was going on inside my body and the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy.  I learned that my immune system would fight the baby, as it recognized it as a foreign protein, but that the baby would be producing calming countdowns to counteract my immune system.  In addition to the typical no alcohol, no second hand smoke, and no caffeine, I was also told that I could not consume cold cuts or soft cheeses because of listeria, a bacteria which could be harmful to both my body and the baby.  I was told that fish was a must, but due to contaminants, fresh water fish were prohibited, as were shark, mackerel, and swordfish,  tuna was limited to only one can per week.

We talked a lot about the possibility of miscarriage, not because Dr. C thought it would happen but because being aware of possible causes would help to prevent it.  I was told that both caffeine and alcohol would not only harm the baby, but also increase the risk of miscarriage, as would not getting enough sleep.  It was also important that I continue my regular exercise routine of walking 3x per week for an hour at a 3.5 mile per hour pace. I could totally do all these things, because it was worth it, I would do anything on the planet if it meant I could be a mommy!

coffee

Bring on the restrictions and the decaffeinated coffee!  I was pregnant, my leave of absence had done its job, and I was going to be a mommy!   I was on cloud nine!  I knew it would be a while before we could officially announce that we were expecting to the world, but there were a few people who we just had to tell right away.

That night, I called Jordan and told her the good news.  It was because of her and the courage she had more than a year ago that pregnancy was even possible for us.  We both cried tears of joy as we talked about the coming nine months and how our children would forever be the best of friends.  We dreamed such amazing dreams as we talked,  and I told her how excited I was about being a mom.  “Catherine” she said, “You’re already a mom!”  That thought filled me with such love, joy,  and hope!  I was already a mom, loving my baby with every breath I took, nourishing it with every bite I took, and protecting it with every possible danger I avoided.  I was doing everything possible to take care of our baby; I was truly blessed!

Listening to God changes what you pray for…

For two years, I have prayed that we would conceive.   I prayed that this treatment or that would take.  I’ve had doctors show me mature ovarian follicles on ultrasound and then not be able to explain why we didn’t get pregnant.  The answer is that there is no Earthly explanation.  These things are beyond our control.  All the technology in the world is not as powerful as what God wants for us.

ovarian follicle

I prayed to God for guidance and asked that he lead us down a path to pregnancy.  Almost immediately a friend introduced me to NaProTechnology.  My endometriosis and grain allergy were discovered.  I was on the path to better health and what seemed like pregnancy.  Again, more than once, my doctor was puzzled about why conception wasn’t happening.

TTC

I know with absolute certainty that I am being called to motherhood.  Who else could have an amazing husband, 4 dogs, a full time teaching career, and still desperately feel an emptiness in her life that only a child can fill?  Why would I have been steered on to NaProTechnology if I weren’t meant to be a mother?  Even if we haven’t conceived after almost a year of working with NaPro, I am certainly healthier than I have ever been because of NaPro.  Looking back on my health a year ago, I don’t think that I would have been healthy enough to become a mom just a year ago.

I know that finding NaPro was part of God’s plan for me.  I’m just not sure that pregnancy is.  I’m not giving up on pregnancy, I’m just finally ready to recognize that it may not be part of God’s plan for me.  I don’t know if God is calling me to adopt, I know that I need to honor the fact that he may be doing so.

adoption

Like many women, I’ve been so desperate to conceive that I’ve looked for signs of pregnancy around every corner.  Each month as it becomes time to try again, I keep looking for signs and changes.  I couldn’t see any.  What I did see was a hidden support network for adoption that was quietly waiting for me to recognize it.  There’s a woman at my church who is both a foster mom and an adoptive mom, another friend of mine was adopted by relatives, a co-worker of mine is an adoptive mom who swears that her children are her biggest blessings.  It seems that God has given us a support system to guide us on this next phase of our journey.

Adoption is not something we pulled out of the sky, rather it’s something that we believed we would do later on in our lives.  We’re both young and don’t envision ourselves having an “empty nest” in our 50’s.  Since we’re in our 30’s at the moment, and I see children who are in need every day, adopting a child in need is something that we decided to do long ago.   And now, we find ourselves needing that child as much as he or she needs us.

baby steps to big dreams

This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop pursuing pregnancy, it just means that we have signed up as a foster to adopt family.  We are recognizing that there is more than one way to answer God’s call to parenthood.

So, I’ve changed what I’m praying for.  I used to pray that God would help us to get pregnant.  Now I pray that God will bless us with a child.

Spotlight illuminates what’s missing for this infertile girl…

Sometimes infertility makes me feel like a starving person sitting in front of a rotating dessert case!  It seems that everywhere I turn I’m surrounded by the babies others are blessed with, and while I am nothing but happy for them, I can’t help but feel this mix of heartache, jealousy, envy, and fear.  What am I afraid of?  Secretly, I’m afraid that I’m doing all this and nothing is going to come of it. dessert case

It seems that everywhere I turn I hear the word baby! People going on vacation with their children, baby showers, cousins “So and So” are coming to the party with their new baby, television reporters calling this year “the year of the baby”.  Princess Kate and her baby boy…Millions of grown human beings with jobs, lives, bills, etc. await the naming of one baby…Seriously? I feel as if I’m in the middle of an SNL sketch.

Earlier this week, while at the gym, I was chatting with a friend of mine who is also a fellow NaProTechnology patient.  Having friends who understand this experience makes it so much more bearable.  We commiserated over not having answers and needing to know that we are doing everything that is humanly possible to make motherhood happen.  To quote her, “At least if it doesn’t happen, I’ll know it’s not because I didn’t do something, it’s because God wants something else for me.”

Being around people who don’t or can’t understand is what is hardest for me.  They are kind enough to ask about improvements in my health but don’t understand why I won’t share all the details with them.  The answer is simple, because it’s my business and if they knew what they were asking for cluelessthey’d probably stop asking.  Although, I would love to see the look on someone’s face if I ripped out my Creighton Model Fertility Monitoring Chart and started to explain every little detail!  Can you imagine the look on someone’s face as I explained the stretch of my CM and how it’s related to the hormones reported from that day’s blood draw?

Sarcasm and humor aside it was a heck of a day for me. I spent the day with a relative.  We had lunch, we did some shopping, and over both, there were times where I wanted to hide, scream, and burst into tears.  At first I didn’t want to be rude, so when she asked how things were going since my surgery, I replied that I am in deed healthier than before.  She mentioned a relative of hers who is trying to lose weight but can’t.  I suggested that she go for allergy testing because my inability to lose weight was due to an allergy to grains.  She asked if she could refer her to my doctor.  I explained that Dr. C. doesn’t take everyone, so unless she’s trying to conceive and can’t, she’ll need another doctor.  And we were right back on the subject of my uterus again.

After much prodding, I explained that I have endometriosis and ovarian dysfunction and these things take time to treat!  I wish they could make me good as new again because I’d be pregnant by now if that were possible.  I wish I could have excused myself and gone home.  However, we rode there together, in my car, and despite my need to hide, I was stuck.

Despite trying to divert the conversation to things other than babies, children, and anything related to family, I endured questions and suggestions about possible maternity leave should I get pregnant.  There were back handed compliments saying that I’ll be a good mother someday, if I can get pregnant. She wishes she could have had more than one child… but didn’t before her first marriage ended.  How will Prince Will and Princess Kate do with their new baby?…What will they name the baby. ….

Finally I had enough.  I listened politely throughout all the Will & Kate stuff, but when the conversation came back around to me, I needed to express myself.  I was polite, respectful, but I stood my ground when I said:oh no you didn't

“I don’t think you understand.  For me it’s not a question of when I get pregnant.  It’s if I can get pregnant.  My odds of getting pregnant are only 60%.  That’s good but there’s still a fair chance that I’m doing all this to be left without a baby at the end.  No amount of stories about a friend who got pregnant after so many years of trying make a bit of difference for me.  This is the reality I’m living with, and for anyone who hasn’t been in my shoes it’s impossible to understand.  When people constantly bring up babies and starting families, it’s very hurtful to me.   I know you mean well, but all you can do is pray. ”

I wish people would understand.  I wish they knew that talking to me about other people’s babies is like talking about bathing suits to someone who has had a mastectomy.  It does nothing but remind me about what I cannot and may never be able to have.  Would they ever point out someone’s beautiful hairdo to someone who is going through chemo and wears a wig?  Not at all.  But somehow when someone is living with infertility some people think they are being supportive by continually raising the issue but what they are really doing is rubbing salt in wound that will not heal.

The Infertility Poker Face

As I mentioned in an earlier post, infertility is pretty taboo.  I don’t like to talk about my journey for fear of judgment from strangers.  I realize it’s rather ironic that I can share my story with strangers but the anonymity of my pseudonym makes it possible for me to share my story without the risk of being judged.

When my husband, Frank, and I meet someone new, after the introductions, pleasantries, and small talk,kids there’s always that question: “Do you have any kids?”  My usual answer to this question is “Our kids have four legs and tails.”  We laugh, I redirect the conversation and it’s usually no big deal.

Every once in a while I’m engaged in conversation with someone who is dumb as a stump  and doesn’t observe my need to change the subject.  At that point, what can I do?  I’m not going to discuss my infertility with a complete stranger.  I try and keep the poker face up till I can get the heck out of the situation.

Once out of the situation, I’m fine.  Life goes on and I forget about it.  Every once in a while there’s an occasion where I just can’t escape the questions.  Wedding receptions seem to be the most common place because usually I don’t know half the guests and since I can’t seem to shut my mouth, I usually mingle quite a bit.

The last two weddings I’ve attended have hit me pretty hard.  At one the bride was pregnant and asked us when we were going to have a child so her baby would have someone to play with.  It was the first time I had been asked that question so directly.  I had no answer.  I was a deer in headlights.  After what seemed like an eternity of silence, I feigned a laugh and said “Only God can answer that question.”divine light

I booked it out of there as fast as I possibly could.  It didn’t help that this happened after our second failed IUI cycle.  I cried the whole way home.  Nothing that my husband Frank, or any of our dear friends said could help.

Recently, I ended up sitting next to a couple with an infant who was conceived through IVF.  Understandably, they were exuding joy over their child’s birth.  They flashed pictures, and gushed over how wonderful the kid is.  I listened politely and agreed that he is quite adorable.  Once I had enough, I excused myself.

When I returned to the table it started again.  This time the grandparents talked about his cute little clothes and how mom and dad really needed this day out at the wedding reception.  I got my courage up, a couple of glasses of wine may have contributed to this courageousness, and explained that I understood their joy as we are working to reverse our infertility through NaPro Technology.

I thought they’d back off and remember how sensitive they were at one point.  I was wrong.  They started to tell me how IVF was wonderful and they actually got pregnant by “accident” with IVF.  Seriously?  I’m not so sure if you call harvesting eggs, growing embryos, and insemination accidental.  But perhaps I missed something.

I couldn’t stand the IVF talk.  I wasn’t going to be so bold as to say that there’s a higher incidence of special needs children conceived by IVF than by other methods; but I was unwilling to nod politely and let them think I’d consider it.  I went NaPRo.

I explained that because of endometriosis, I’m not healthy enough to conceive at the moment; even after surgery it will take between nine and twelve months for my body to become healthy.  I went into the NaPro stats about 80% success with anovulatory women, 60% success with Endometriosis, etc.   I talked about how my health has improved since surgery, less fatigue, minimal pain during menstruation, more energy, and better mood overall.   Mom then told me she got healthier too; she lost a few pounds and quit drinking coffee.  That is clearly the same as surgery and 12 months of intense doctor’s care based on your own individual bio-chemistry.

I did all this with a stoic poker face that didn’t convey a single emotion.  This time, I didn’t cry on the way home.  I spoke up for myself.   I don’t know why it was easier to do this with strangers than it is to tell my own family the details.  But I know that I’m getting better at living with infertility and spreading the word about NaPro.