Friday, November 14, 2014

An Anniversary

One year ago today I published the first post on this blog. I'd been reading infertility blogs for awhile before that, since we'd been trying for about a year and a half to get pregnant and it was clearly not happening. Most of my friends were getting pregnant. My doctor and my acupuncturist didn't seem to be taking me seriously since I was only 25 years old. Even my husband was convinced it was just a matter of time before it would magically happen. The only real way to describe how I was feeling is alone. I had moments where I literally felt like I was the only person in the world who couldn't get pregnant on command.

So I started with a Google search. It initially led me to BabyCenter and Bump threads that were catty and scary and, to be honest, a little bit crazy. Those were the kind of women that were like me? Those crazy-obsessive, snarky women who had been trying for all of three months for their fifth child and were PANICKING because it wasn't happening? This was the only place I could find support?

Eventually I found someone's blog. And then another and another. And then I noticed that the same people were commenting on each others' blogs. Wait...do they all know each other in real life? I finally put it together that, no, they did not know each other, but they were a community. And they were supportive and nice. And some were really funny. And some were sweet and kind. And they were all so honest and real. And they were infertile. Just like me.

I will never forget that feeling of realizing I'm not alone.

When I started reading infertility blogs, I didn't know very much about infertility. I knew almost nothing about IVF. I had no idea it required monitoring or medication. I mean, they just make a baby in a test tube and then shove it up your vag, right? Sure it was expensive, but it was pretty easy. And it ALWAYS worked - that's why celebrities did it. I had never even heard of IUI. I didn't know much about cycles or follicles or ovulation or cervical mucous. I had no idea that there was so much to being infertile--it was sort of terrifying. And overwhelming. And oh my gosh I think I need to get a PhD in human biology to have any idea what's happening to me right now. 

But I didn't need a science degree (thank God, I got a C- in Earth Science in COMMUNITY COLLEGE), I had all of these bloggers that had somehow learned all of this stuff. They understood their bodies inside and out. They understood medications and herbs and supplements and protocols. And they were nice enough to share that information in ways that I could (mostly) understand.

I know that I'm different from a lot of people in this community because I did manage to conceive naturally. But I'm going to make a bold statement here: I don't think I would be pregnant right now without all of you. Obviously, I have no way to back that up. Maybe I would be, but I doubt it.

When I started this blog, my cycles were just beginning to regulate themselves from mostly non-existent after being off birth control over a year (70-100+ days) to 40-50 days. With a change to my diet, more exercise, and adding in some red raspberry leaf tea, they finally settled themselves to 30-35 days.

But it wasn't until I started charting my temperatures (at the suggestion of many of you), that I figured out my ovulation. At first I was terrible at charting. It was all over the place. There were no patterns and none of it looked like the internet charts. But I eventually found my rhythm and actually had a normal looking chart for several months in a row. I could see post-ovulation spikes. I could see my temperature drop right before I got my period. It was amazing. My body was doing the right things--sort of.

And then you obsessive POASers got in my head. With your exact knowledge of ovulation, confirmed by digital smiley faces. I had started thinking about trying OPKs before I started blogging, but I wasn't sure I could do it accurately. I figured it was a waste of money. But I had some Amazon points sitting around, so I ordered a stack of the cheap ones. Because of you ladies and your pee stick worship. And that's how I found out that my ovulation was significantly later than I had previously thought, and my luteal phase was significantly shorter--like defect-level short. And I was totally inaccurately timing sex. Which is sort of an issue when you're counting on timed intercourse to get you pregnant.

So, again at the recommendation of many of you and after some lengthy research (that's right, I'm not even in school and I did scientific research), I started taking Vitex and B6. And after two months, it worked. It moved ovulation up by nearly four days, fixing the luteal phase defect, and making timed intercourse actually effective.

And well...you know the rest of the story.

While this is sort of the tale of "How I Managed to Get My Infertile Self Pregnant," what I really want it to be is a huge Thank You. I started this blog, like many of you, when I was at my lowest point. I was stuck. I had no idea what to do. And I was really, really lonely. And you all were there for me. You supported me, you offered kind words and helpful advice. You answered questions, shared your insecurities, and became my friends. Maybe not "friends" in the traditional sense, but you all genuinely cared about my life and my story, and I care about yours. Reading about your failed cycles and miscarriages and low moments were like a punch to the gut. I would read your blogs at work with the biggest, dumbest smile on my face when you finally got your BFPs. You were strangers, but at the same time you were my friends. We all wanted the same thing. I wanted this so bad for all of you. For all of us.

Many of you that read and comment regularly already have your babies or are currently pregnant. Some of you are still fighting--and I'm still cheering. My story is not one of the most inspiring ones out there (I mean, it's really just the story of a girl who finally learns some science), but I'm just so grateful that you all accepted me. You were the first people who took my struggle and my worries and fears seriously.

On this one year anniversary of this silly little blog, THANK YOU. I know I wouldn't be where I am without all of you.

7 comments:

  1. I love this! I too, was thrilled when I finally found this community of bloggers and people who understood. It was such a relief. Sometimes it totally just takes learning a little but more about our bodies and its functions and adjusting our intake, but it doesn't mean it wasn't hard, or frustrating for you! I am so happy you finally achieved what we've all be fighting for and used the resources you could find to make the best of it! That's amazing if you ask me! :) Happy One Year Bloggiversary girl! How exciting! XOXO

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  2. I was so very happy to have found this blog world and have learned so very much from every lady here. It has been a huge blessing!! I am thrilled that you have received what you have been fighting for :) Happy Blogiversary!

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  3. Aww, Lilee, I love this post! I'm a sappy, sentimental person and I love hearing how you came to find this infertility community. I love your blog and I love you. I think you are wrong though. I DO think you are inspiring. There is someone out there that will read your blog and learn from you, just as you have learned from others. You may not have ever needed to go so far as get treatment to get pregnant, but you DID need to make changes which eventually led you to your own bfp. Someone out there in this bloggie world will learn from you as well! Thank YOU for sharing your own story!

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  4. OMG, this is such a sweet post! Lilee, you have become such an asset to the blogging community. Your story is inspirational and your sense of humour is infectious and your honesty is so enlightening. I know you felt comforted when you found my blog, if I couldn't get knocked up, then it wasn't because of your C- in earth science, but can I tell you I feel the same way. I don't think I could have gotten pregnant without my blogger friends. I knew exactly what to expect during a stim cycle, which was great as the nurses really didn't talk me through it. I got the idea to decrease my estrogen by noting that my lining was thicker than others. Mostly, I think about all the friendship, yes not traditional, but friendships have developed, and I would have missed it all if I were one of those women who just realised...'hey my period is late... I wonder if I'm pregnant!'
    Happy Bloggiversary!

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  5. This post brought such a smile to my face. First off, because it captures exactly how I felt about starting my blog, looking to belong to a community that understood what I was going through and offering support. I read it and then I wanted to be a part of it, and it was so cool to be accepted into it! And second, because I think a lot of us hope (and maybe feel a bit cocky in doing so) that maybe our blogs will not just be an outlet for ourselves, but also will possibly help others out too. I know yours will help someone down the line too, even if you may never know it!

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  6. Happy Blogiversary! Amazing what a difference a year can make! I started my blog right around this time last year too! This community is incredible... the way you can truly FEEL for these people you've never met... their hope, their despair, their joy, their fear. So I really mean it when I say I am soooo happy for you!

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  7. Happy belated blogiversary! I'm a newbie to your blog but just wanted to say hi and that I found this to be such a sweet and honest post! I have no idea where I would be today if it wasn't for my online support group. Most of those ladies I met originally on The Bump which transitioned to a Facebook group and now I'm IRL friends with some of them. They have saved me more times than I can count. So glad you've found some support too! IF can feel so isolating.
    Congrats on your pregnancy - looks like we're due right around the same time! Hope you don't mind that I plan to blog stalk you :-)

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