When Jordan and I were dating we had the “if we wanted kids” talk. Looking back at that conversation it makes me laugh, because I did NOT want to birth kids of my own at all. I had zero interest in it. All I ever wanted to do was adopt kids. I just didn’t see the point of birthing children into this world when there were so many already here that didn’t have loving families.
Jordan on the other hand, never really thought about adoption being an option, but he was adamant that he wanted to make kids of his own. This is usually where I roll my eyes when I tell this story because, come on, he has the easy/fun part of “making” kids.
Two Years later.
I now agree that I want to make kids, and I want that now. Like, RIGHT. NOW. Isn’t it amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time?
I was 19. We were renting a very small duplex. We weren’t in the greatest place financially. We had only been married for a relatively short time and we were still trying to figure out what a healthy marriage is supposed to looks like. So, obviously it’s the perfect time to add a little human in the mix, right? No? Well 2015 Mallory didn’t want to hear any different.
Here is where I could tell you, in great detail, all the psychological reasons of why I needed a baby and why I needed one ASAP. I’ll just let that stay between me and my therapist…. For now.
As I started to talk to Jordan about this, he kept trying to brush the conversation off. At the time I found it really frustrating, but now I can appreciate that he just wasn’t ready to start having kids. 2015 Mallory did not care though. She was on a mission and she was a little crazy. He did eventually agree to start having kids once we bought our first home. This was great! All I had to do was find us a house to buy and then, my dream of starting a family would be complete.
I was on a mission to make this happen. We started looking for a house immediately. We went to four different banks until one of them said they would loan us money. We looked at absolutely every single house in our price range. Which, side note, was sooo incredibly low I’m shocked we got a house honestly. At first there was nothing we could agree on, until, our house was put on the market. I recall this all happening so so fast. We looked at the house on the fourth day it was up for sale and we had an accepted offer after a whole five days of it being on the market. From starting to look to moving in date, we had to wait a whole three months.
We moved in August 5, 2015.
Now was the fun part… at least I thought…
I had been off hormonal birth control for about a year when, at the end of July 2015, we stopped preventing all together. At first we had the attitude of this whole “baby” thing just being casual but we slowly worked up to actively and purposely trying and then we tried and we tried… and we tried some more with no luck.
I was beyond frustrated. I started to see everyone get pregnant, I swear. I watched people who were together less time then we had been trying to get pregnant become pregnant, I saw people who didn’t want kids get pregnant, and I saw fifteen year olds get pregnant while we were trying. I can’t express how absolutely GUT WRENCHING it was to watch people everywhere get pregnant and find so much happiness in it besides you.
Month after month. Negative test after negative test. It never got easier. On top of feeling like complete and utter failures, everyone knew we were trying to have a family very unsuccessfully. When I say everyone, I mean E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. I don’t know what other peoples experiences are but the minute we got married we were hounded, and I mean HOUNDED with “When are you going to have kids?” as if the only possible reason you married your spouse was to make babies. We’d just reply “We are trying” thinking they would leave us alone if they knew we were at least trying. Yeah, we were wrong, it actually made things much worse. Looking back though I wish I would have had the guts to say “You know what? It’s not your uterus so it doesn’t matter” Hindsight is always 20/20 though, right?
We started getting unprompted comments like “God is in control” “His timing is perfect timing” “It’ll happen when it happens” “I hate(d) being pregnant” “Trying is the fun part” “ArE yOu PrEgNaNt YeT!?” And the one that tops them all. The one that makes my blood boil to this day “At this point your sister is going to get pregnant before you do”
I feel like I need a dramatic mic drop here to efficise how incredibly terrible that comment is.
Incase you are one of those humans that will read this and think “There’s nothing wrong with some of those, and actually some of those are very true.” I would then challenge you by asking, if they’re helpful. Sometimes you telling someone the truth doesn’t make things better. It actually brings more unnecessary pain.
So everyone knew that for three years we had been trying to make human life with absolutely no success. What did we get in return for the mental and emotional pain of not feeling good enough? Horrible. Insensitive. Rude. Inappropriate Comments.
We tried everything we could think of to become pregnant, including losing 40lbs.
At this point we are a few years older (three to be exact), own our home, are financially stable, and have a handle on this whole healthy relationship thing. Do you think that mattered? Nope. For some reason it seemed like everyone else could sneeze on each other and get pregnant but after several years of intentional trying we still had nothing to show for it.
That’s when we decided to go to the doctor.
So in January 2018 we went and had a consult with our local OBGYN who handles infertility problems for our small town. The first appointment was overwhelming. After talking for a bit about weight issues, ages, menstrual cycles and theories of what was going on, I got a PAP and we were sent away with homework. I had to get a list of blood work done and a vaginal ultrasound. Jordan made out easy with only an at home specimen collector kit and that’s it.
We got all the things in, and after I got my period we showed up for the next appointment and we went over the results. Long story short we discover that Jordan literally has super sperm on crack times ten and I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
The day we found out Jordan’s sperm counts. To put it simply, he was very happy.
For those of you who don’t know, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that affects every part of you. From your mental health, to your weight, to your hair, your menstrual cycles, and much, MUCH more. There is no cure and most women unfortunately find out when they have trouble becoming pregnant. I suppose you could say, on the bright side, most infertility problems from this can be resolved with oral medication only, according to my doctor.
So began the interesting journey of fertility medication, the side effects, and the sex schedules. For anyone who is wondering, yes we did receive a quite literal sex schedule from our doctor that we kept hanging on our fridge.
The doctor started me on 50 mg of Clomid at first. This medication has a terrible side effect of making women incredibly emotional, or incredibly crazy as my doc put it. (Remember that for later) She explained that she could give me up to 150 mg but she had to go in increments of 50. We didn’t know how my body would react and it could cause me a heck of a lot of pain if we went to maximum strength right away.
The first month of treatment, I was so unbelievably PUMPED. I just KNEW this was it. I just KNEW that the long three years of crying, pain, heart-break, and isolation were coming to an end, right here and right now. I knew with my doctors help, we would finally make the little person Jordan and I craved so much. It sounds so ridiculous now but, you guys, I was absolutely confident in the fact that it would happen our first round of treatment. It was the only possible outcome in my mind.
Every appointment going forward is in the middle of, what is suppose to be, your ovulation window. They do another vaginal ultrasound to see how your ovaries are reacting to the medication. I remember this all so vividly. I was wearing a teal flowery dress with pretty little sandals. My hair was straight, my makeup was done because THIS was THEE DAY I found out I was going to be a MOM.
So I check in and they eventually called me back. They got my weight and showed me to the room where I had to lay down to be examined. The doctor came in. She was super excited as always and we got started. She was asking me some questions and looking at this ultrasound machine and all of a sudden she stops everything abruptly and goes.
“You are going to be one of those, aren’t you?”
Silence… Complete silence…
I finally said, “What do you mean?”
“Your body didn’t have any reaction to the medication. It is highly unlikely that you will get pregnant this month”
Que heart shattering all over again. I didn’t have any words. I couldn’t do anything. I went into full on survival mode and I freaking kept it all together like a champ.
She sent me out with a highest dosage of Clomid, skipping the gradual steps she previously mentioned, and another appointment was added to the calendar.
I am SO proud of myself. I held it together all the way out to the car. I remember thinking “Okay, I’m going to lose it here soon and I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop once I start. So I need to call into work before I get super emotional and can’t talk.”
PAUSE. Here is where I’m sure some of you are going to stop and say, “What? You missed work because of that? That is terrible!” This is where I say, once you have tried to have a baby for three years, and gotten three years of negative tests. Once you have felt the pain and absolute defeat of not being able to do the one thing all women should be able to do. Once you have had a bajillion different hurtful comments pierce your soul. Once you get your hopes up just once more because, you had a glimmer of hope again, finally, just to be told that it’s not happening again. Once you can go through all that, only then can you judge me for calling in that day.
I called my boss who happened to be in a meeting with my office manager. I started to tell them that it wasn’t great news and I needed to take a personal day.
My boss then asked, “What’s going on? What happened?”
Mind you I did inform her what this appointment was about and that we were seeking medical help in this area prior to this phone call so she at least had some idea of what was going on. I don’t know what it was about that comment, but this is where my emotions came FLOODING in. I lost it. I was a blubbering mess. All the three years of heartache came flooding back in that moment, on the phone with my boss and my manager, on speaker, in a tiny office. I probably sounded crazy and I don’t really remember how the conversation ended but it ended. Then I went home, changed into sweatpants, put my hair up in the messiest bun, grabbed a carton of ice cream and cried and cried and cried.
The next appointment went about the same except we added more medication to my intake and I was far less emotional.
Amongst all this we decided it would be a good idea to plan our first vacation together. We were scheduled to go to Colorado in July 2018.
The day we left for Colorado I had another ultrasound appointment. This time I was with an ultrasound technician rather then my doctor because she was out of the office during my “window.” This tech didn’t give me any information and I wasn’t asking. I really just expected it to be like all the other times and I didn’t want to ruin the trip by getting bad news the day we left.
Fast forward, we’re back from Colorado. I finally got curious enough to call and see what the results were. That’s when I found out that the odds were good for us this go-around, but remember, this was just telling me I had a normal probability of ovulating. It did not tell me if my ovary released an egg or if said egg was fertilized. Man, I make the process sound oh so romantic, don’t I? Anyways, I hung up the phone and made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t take a single pregnancy test until the day the doctor said to.
Spoiler Alert. I didn’t make it.
I did so good with this promise, until I didn’t. I went out on a coffee date with one of my sweetest friends and we were talking about what was going on and the process we were going through.
That’s when she brought up this dream she had. She dreamt that I and two other women we knew were pregnant at the same time.
It might sound silly to some but I just couldn’t get that out of my head. Maybe it was because one of those women had just announced she was pregnant. Maybe I just needed something to hold on to. I don’t know, but it made me curious enough to break the promise to myself and……
My beautiful Colorado baby.
That is the story of my daughter. That is how her sweet life began. I am so blessed.
I am one of the lucky ones out there and I don’t take that for granted. I know people who have to wait so much longer than I, people who had to do way more invasive treatments that I, people who have lost unborn children, and people who eventually came to the realization that maybe birthing children wasn’t in their story. I am so incredibly blessed that I only had to wait 3 years and do 7 months of appointments/treatments.
I told you this today because if you are struggling with infertility, I want you to know I am with you. I am here for you. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility. Use my words to connect with them, don’t make comments, just listen, love and cry with them. When you share in someone else’s pain it lightens the load for them if only for awhile. If you know a woman and you are wondering when she’s going to have kids, keep that crap to yourself. Women were made for more than just making babies.
I hope that through my words, you receive encouragement and that you discover you are not alone in this mess we call adulthood. I’m rooting for you.
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