2015 was a different year for me, a harder year than any I have faced.
I've always strived to be an open book, both in my day to day life and on this blog. If someone asks me something, I answer with the truth, I don't pretend like things are different than the reality.
At the end of April, we lost my Baba. Despite he fact that it is 100% natural to say good bye to your 92 year old grandmother, this was a hard time for our family. But we could deal. Our grief would subside and life would go on. This is the natural way of the world after all.
A little over two weeks after Baba's funeral, I heard Brett answer his cell in the other room and I could tell immediately by his tone that something bad had happened. "Your dad crashed his bike", he reported to me. Five words, each one syllable. Those five words were about to change my life forever. As far as motorcycle crashes go, we couldn't have asked for much better. Dad broke his leg, collar bone, crushed his ankle, dislocated his shoulder. But was alive. What we didn't anticipate was what a toll the recovery would take on a man who is so used to being active. But again, we could deal. We could all rally around him, he would recover (and has recovered), and we were (and are) all so grateful.
Around the same time, Brett and I started trying to get pregnant. We were so hopeful in the beginning. We were both young and healthy (as far as we knew), surely it wouldn't take long.
The negatives didn't crush me in the beginning. June and July were happy months. We celebrated weddings, our 2nd anniversary, and started planning our big trip to Europe.
In August I was late. Two tests later, I had two faint positives and so much hope and excitement. Because they were faint, I decided to test again the next morning before telling Brett. Another faint positive the next morning. I couldn't wait any longer, so I called Brett (who was in the combine... of course). We were so hopeful. Until I started to bleed a little. I made an appointment with my doctor, who fit me in right away. After a blood draw to test my HCG (pregnancy hormone), it was determined that my levels were too low for this to be considered a viable pregnancy. Something had happened in my body to keep that little egg from implanting, and so I had lost our pregnancy at about 4 weeks.
Those were the bad months. August, September, October, November, December all passed in a fog really. Each "failed" cycle led to me sobbing, Brett feeling helpless. Nothing makes you feel more alone than this. Because miscarriage and infertility are things you're supposed to sweep under the rug. Pretend like it isn't happening. They're topics you whisper about to only your closest friends.
Why do we do this to ourselves?? Why do we feel like miscarrying or having various conditions leading to infertility are things to hide, to be ashamed of?
This is the reason for my 9 month absence. I felt I couldn't come back to this space and post about a craft or recipe and pretend like I was fine, pretend like I was happy with how my life was playing out at that moment. Because I wasn't fine and I most definitely wasn't happy. Suddenly, I couldn't deal any more. So I withdrew, both from this space and the people closest to me. I was too scared to be vulnerable, to really lay out what has been on my heart.
Part of me feels silly, writing about this when we've only been trying for nine months. People try for years and get less answers than we have gotten. But in this nine months I've realized, this is something we need to talk about. We need to talk about it for the girl just starting on this journey, for the girl crying on her living room floor at 2AM when period came yet again, for those who are withdrawing from their friends and family because they feel like they can't talk about this.
I don't know what 2016 will bring for us. I don't know what options we will need to use to grow our family, or if we will end up needing any at all. I hope we will receive some answers as we begin to meet with specialists in the coming months. I hope to greet you all with a lot of honesty. I don't want this to become an "infertility blog" or for this to be a regularly occurring topic - because its not all that our life is, but it may be something that comes up from time to time.
Overall, I hope to greet the challenges of 2016 with a lot more grace than those of 2015.
I look to 2016 with both hesitation and excitement. I am nervous that we may get answers that I don't want to hear. But we also may get a miracle.
If you too are struggling with trying to conceive, know that you are prayed for. I hope that you get all that you are dreaming of. But I also hope that you give yourself grace in the interim, and allow yourself to talk about it. There is so much relief and freedom in honesty.
"I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection" Emily Ley.
"'For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" Jeremiah 29:11.
*It is my hope that this post will be taken for what it is: not us asking for advice, but rather a sharing of part of mine and Brett's story, and a way to put the stigma of miscarriage and infertility to bed.