Wednesday, April 24, 2013

...national infertility awareness week : beginnings...

national infertility awareness week is upon us.  i love this week, especially when it comes to social media.  so many are banding together to raise awareness, to educate, to advocate, and to embrace those suffering with infertility/sterility.  i've spent the past three days wondering what i could possibly post this week.  last year i invited my family and friends to guest post about their experiences with infertility, whether it was something they personally struggled with or something their friends and family struggled with.  it was amazing.  i was moved by the words of those that i love.  i encourage you to check out those posts.  (you can find those posts here)

this week i'm going to share parts of my story that i've never posted before.  starting at the beginning.  it really blows my mind when i realize it's been six plus years of infertility struggle.  i don't know how i've survived.  i have no clue how anyone survives. pardon my lack of a kicking vocabulary, but it really just sucks.  plain and simple.  however, it doesn't have to always suck.  it doesn't have to always feel like there is a brick wall crushing your heart.

today i want to talk about seeking support during the early stages of your infertility journey.  this is, without a doubt, terrifying.  i remember after my last miscarriage i knew something was wrong.  i knew my body wasn't capable of carrying a pregnancy.  i knew i was in for one hell of a storm.  even through the loss of our daughter and the miscarriages, i didn't know how to ask for help.  i didn't know where to turn.  i remember curling up in the bathtub and letting the shower run until it as freezing cold.  my body refused to move.  as cliche and pathetic as it sounds, i was completely numb with pain.  

i felt so alone.  

i felt that there was not a human being on the earth that could possibly understand.

i was destroyed.

from what i can remember, i sunk inside myself.  i bottled the pain, shoved it down, locked it in the cellar.  i am blessed with amazing friends who, even though it was so hard to reach me, never gave up.  they encouraged me to write, which became a door into a community that to this day is dear to my heart.  family.  it took time, though.  how could i possible explain the hurt?  how could they understand?  would they judge me?  would i be shut down if i opened up?  did i want to let others in?  did they want in?

would they accept me...even though i was terribly broken?

in the summer of 2009, i wrote an email to one lindsey r.  i was certain that i wouldn't get a response (who would respond to a random, creeper stranger?!), but i wanted to reach out and let her know that her blog had really helped me.  it was through reading her story (and many others) that i started to feel less alone.  i felt connected to women i'd never met.  we had already received the diagnoses of me never being able to carry a child, or getting pregnant for that matter.  (the pregnancies i had were a medical mystery to my physicians) studly was ready to move forward with the adoption process, but i wasn't sure.  the stories i read of brave women in like situations gave me strength.  

they. made. me. brave.

so i wrote lindsey a simple email that read,

"I have found myself in dark places for the past 2 years and have not been able to derive much hope from anything.  It's been a long road that we aren't even close to being finished with.  As my husband and I prepared to move forward with adoption, I found that I was so unsure, scared, helpless.

Your blog has given me the hope I have prayed so hard for.  At times I wonder if Heavenly Father listens, but i know He realizes what I truly do need"

lindsey responded,

"thank you so much for your email. seriously have no idea how much I needed to hear your words today. you touched my heart.
there isn't much to say other than you are going through THE hardest trial i can think of. it's not fair ...but it can be okay. i know it can.

how can i help you?

much, much love!"


those words are so powerful.  since then, i have made so many connections.  i have become friends with women who i claim as sisters.  my heart has been mended by the strength of others.  my heart continues to be healed by them.  you know, i used to think i was a fool for writing this blog.  the beginnings of my story seemed so trite and pathetic at the time, and i was positive no one was even listening.

i was wrong, and i'm so glad i was.  

we are here to help each other.  we HAVE to help each other or we will not survive this.  if you are reading this and haven't been able to reach out, please, connect with us.  your heart is safe here.  here are some ideas from my amazing friends on how you can reach out and find comfort, peace, and acceptance.  

-connect with individuals via blogs.  bust out a google search and start reading.  don't be afraid to comment or email.  you'll probably make a life long friend.

-get out into the community.  see if there is an infertility awareness group in your area, a conference, anything that you can go to and meet others who are in similar situations.

-if you are in the position to, adopt a pet.  i had a turtle, a bird, and a bunny before boog came into our lives.  of course it's different, but having my little bunny to snuggle with seemed to lessen the pain somewhat.  

-check out the resolve website.  there are message boards and forums you can join.

-try to laugh.  i've been told is a good one.  i'm a fan of myself.  

-search out a recommended therapist.  this is something i did and therapy really helped me.

-research!  we still have those things call libraries.  there are many a good book out there on infertility and how to cope. 

-start writing!  blogs have the ability to bind us together.  it's incredible. 

these are just a few ideas, and there are so many. YOU deserve to have a support network.  do not go through this alone for one more second.  

not one more second, mmk?


amen god bless

(i'll be adding to this post a list of blogs, websites, and books that can be of help to those struggling with infertility.)
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DisabilityDiva said...

Wonderful ideas to cope!! So grateful I have been able to get to know you thanks to the infertility group. Can't wait to see you this summer! Much love!!

the hintons said...

Thank you so much for posting this today....I am 15 months into my struggle with infertility and feeling pretty warms my heart to know that I am not alone. Thank you for being willing to share your story. It means alot to women like me

Kristin said...

I often think that the reason I am infertile is so that I could get to know other women like me. Those relationships are such a blessing in my life and I think I've become more compassionate because of this experience. I don't know why I couldn't give birth to my kids, but I do know I ended up with the children that were always meant to be mine. I know you feel the same. Love ya!

Brianne said...

Um... I want a bunny so bad. I don't know yet if they're allowed in our apartment, I don't think they, but I want one. And now that I know it's a good way to cope, I think I'll try real hard to get one. You're amazing.

elliespen said...

Thanks. I needed this today. Cannot wait to see you when you visit.

Beth said...

Thank you for this post, it's really helped me.
I've just found your blog via Instagram.
I'm sorry for all you've been through xxx

Amy said...

Thank you for this. I needed that reminder today...the reminder that I am not alone and that I need to make more effort to reach out and find those that also have similar struggles. God bless you for your shining light in a world of infertile darkness. ☼

Cynthia Christopherson said...

I am way behind in the blogging world and just saw this post...but it seems fitting.
Today we went to court to terminate parental rights in this long journey that has been adoption, and I feel the need to tell you that you are my Lindsey R! I think I have told you before, but I found your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend and so on. I found it the day you posted about bringing boog home. You gave me strength and courage to admit i was infertile and accept what God gave me and grieve. You have helped me in ways I can't even put into words. You are amazing. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I feel like we live parallel lives and if I would have found your blog before leaving Utah we basically would have become best friends and not just cyber friends. I sometimes like to think you started this blog for me, so that sometime down the road I could find the strength I needed and finally feel like someone understood. :) You are definitely someone I thank Heavenly Father for putting in my life!! Much love to you Kenna

Kelle said...

Though I'm not currently struggling with infertility, those same words are some of the most comforting to hear when I have my endometriosis pains. "How can I help you" is the ultimate. I love this. Thanks for bravely sharing your story, my friend. Take care! <3

Lindsey from The R House said...

I love you.

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