Permission Granted

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on May 18, 2010

Yes. No. Yes. No.

I’ve gone back and forth on this way too many times to count lately. Do I share my infertility story? Don’t I? It’s so personal. So emotional. I’ll be so exposed and vulnerable. I’m hesitant to put myself out there like this. And yet, I blogged about lust the other day. You can’t get much more personal than that.

So today, as I sit in the doctors office waiting for my name to be called, I’m giving myself permission. I’m telling myself YES. It’s time to share my story.

Are you ready?

Big breath in. Big breath out.

I’m ready.

Just over three years ago, Dad-oo and I decided it was time to start a family. After nine long years, off the birth control pill I went. We anxiously waited for my cycles to return, so we could officially start trying.

Only they didn’t return. At least not right away.

Those first few months of zero cycles were filled with high hopes and crashing disappointments. Thoughts that I was one of the lucky few to get pregnant right away without really trying floated happily through my head. Only test after test proved that this would not be the case for us. In fact, the next 9-10 months were filled with uncertainty, stress and feelings of failure as I tried to figure out what was going on with my body.

After a round of Provera, my body s…l…o…w…l…y began to get back to normal. By normal I mean sporadic cycles ranging from 60 days to 90 days to 40 days. There was no rhyme or reason to their length. I became a dedicated temperature taker and charter, waking dutifully at 5:30 every morning and analyzing, analyzing, analyzing.

Yes, I was completely and utterly obsessed.

Even though charting caused a lot of stress and headache, it also tuned me in to my body. I learned the signals of when I was getting ready to ovulate, which opened up the small window of opportunity that we needed to conceive our wonderful son. Thankfully after only three tries, he was conceived. I went on to have a perfectly healthy and happy pregnancy and delivery.

Fast forward…

Two years later and we’re back at the beginning. We want another child. Badly. And yet my cycles haven’t returned. Scratch that, they never happened. I haven’t had a normal cycle since I gave birth.

Yes. Over two years ago.

I’ve talked with my doctor and a fertility specialists. I tried birth control for two months, hoping that it would remind my body what to do. I had two successful cycles. Now I’m off the pill again, and I’m on day 84 of my cycle. And counting. Nothing is happening. I’m charting. I’m obsessing. I’m getting crazier by the day.

As anyone with infertility can tell you, you go through a whole range of emotions. The strongest for me is the sense of failure. I’m doing my part, exercising, eating healthy, charting, reading books, scouring the internet. And yet my body isn’t responding like it should. Like I want it to.

Yes, some how I feel responsible for that.

Like I’m doing something to cause it. Like there’s one thing that I’m doing wrong, or not doing all, and once I figure out what that thing is, everything will be fixed. But until I figure it out, I feel like I’m failing. Worse than that, I feel like I’m letting my husband and my family down.

Yes. I’m slowly quickly losing my mind.

I know that many women have much worse infertility stories. In fact, I have a few close friends and family who have struggled more that I have. But that doesn’t make my feelings any less real or any less intense.

My journey hasn’t ended. Not by a long shot. I’m in the middle of more testing to see if we can pin point what is going on. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, even if it does appear to be a long way off.

Yes. It’s there. And it’s getting brighter everyday.

P.S. Infertility is an ugly, ugly word. Let’s call it something else. Any ideas?

P.P.S. I’ll continue sharing my story as it unfolds.


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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine LaRocque May 18, 2010 at 6:10 am

Sharing will help I’m certain. We struggled to conceive with our first and I was in that dark place of charting and planning and praying with you. Like you say, it might not have been as bad as what others experience, but it’s pain nonetheless. You can do this. If it happened once, hold on to hope that it will happen again. I’ll be here reading and encouraging along the way.
.-= Christine LaRocque´s last blog ..Good enough =-.

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2 Allison May 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm

@Christine LaRocque, Thanks Christine, it actually makes it just a little bit better knowing that I’m not the only one who has struggled.

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3 Justine May 18, 2010 at 6:25 am

Oh Alli – I’m sorry you have to go through this. Isn’t it interesting/annoying that what seems so natural for some (popping out babies like it’s going out of style) can be so difficult for others? I’ve had issues with my pregnancy and went through many heartbreaking moments myself but it was all worth it considering the amazing little girl I have in my life now.

But now that I’m ready for another, I’m afraid of going down that same heartbreaking path again. But I guess I will never know unless I tried, so I can just hope it will have a happy ending just like it did the last time.
.-= Justine´s last blog ..It’s not me, it’s you – or is it? =-.

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4 Allison May 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

@Justine, I know what you mean. And of course now that I want to get pregnant, everyone else around me just happens to be getting pregnant without even trying.

Trusting that everything will work out as it should is so important, but so hard to do. I wish I could just let go and let happen happen. I’m just too much of a control freak for that.

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5 Aging Mommy May 18, 2010 at 6:46 am

Thank you for being brave and publishing this post. I have struggled since the birth of my daughter with wanting and not being able to have another baby and it is hard to deal with. I totally agree also, with me the hardest thing to deal with is the sense of failure, of somehow not being “whole” and “normal”. Stick with it, push for all those tests to try and figure out the issue and know you have hope – you had your son, so anything is possible

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6 Allison May 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

@Aging Mommy, I’m so sorry to hear that. Feeling like a failure is the hardest part, like there’s something I did wrong, or that I caused it.

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7 becca May 18, 2010 at 7:14 am

Deep breath…. here I go. First of all I. Am. Here. For. You. I was there. For many many many months. I have not gotten my period since April 2004!!! That’s right, you read that right. The only way I got my period was being on the pill. Without it, nothing.

I did rounds and rounds of fertility treatments. Failure after failure. I started thinking I was the failure. My body was broken. I was devastated. It wore on my marriage. It took over my life.

I was told my second child would be next to impossible to have. But, as you know, my miracle did happen. Yes he did.

IVF was my answer. Even that wasn’t easy but it worked. I went to a top NYC doc and it worked. No one ever figured out what was WRONG… why I wasn’t ovulating on my own but they intervened and made it happen for me.

Have you seen an RE? Considered IVF? I also did acupuncture… I believe that helped too. There are wonderful books out there on the holistic approach to fertility – I’d read them, they really are fascinating and can help.

Again, I’m here. I know how hard this is. I know how nothing anyone says can make you feel better. I know that you just want to curl up in a ball and make it all go away. Find people to talk to though… it gets you through. Yes it does.

xoxox
.-= becca´s last blog ..Yes =-.

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8 Noelle May 18, 2010 at 8:01 am

I’m sorry you have to go through this. We are on year #4 trying for our first child and it is a devastating path to walk on. I wish it gets easier, but it just doesn’t. We’ve been told by 3 different specialists that we won’t conceive, even with the help of IVF. Right now I am just trying to be as healthy as I can and hoping that someday my miracle will come. The road is even harder as we consider alternatives to starting our family. I hate infertility. I wish I had words that were more encouraging, but infertility is anything but.
.-= Noelle´s last blog ..Great article =-.

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9 Kristin May 18, 2010 at 8:11 am

I really admire you for sharing this story. It is a deeply personal thing and I have to admit I’m not brave enough to come out publicly and admit that I’m dealing with a similar issue (though you probably know who I am). We have been trying for number 2 since number 1 was born and still not even one single cycle. Thank you for helping me know I’m not alone and for giving me hope.

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10 Cheryl May 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

Thank you for sharing. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to do. Secondary infertility (when you’ve had one – or more – children but can’t have any more) is very, very tough b/c even though you know there are people who don’t have ONE child, it doesn’t invalidate your feelings to want another. I feel for you and hope you are sharing good news soon.
.-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Yes is the hardest word =-.

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11 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm

@Cheryl, Thank you for your kind words Cheryl. I’ll keep everyone posted on our progress.

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12 amber May 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

Oh, honey. I’m sorry. There’s nothing worse than that endless waiting…we’re about to start trying for number two – and I’m down an ovary. I’m so very, very afraid that we won’t be able to have another…

hugs.
.-= amber´s last blog ..A (So-Called) Date Night Adventure. =-.

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13 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm

@amber, Hang in there Amber. And if you ever need someone to complain/whine/cry to, just send me an email.

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14 Stacia May 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I’m so glad you said “yes” to sharing your story and your emotions. I, too, remember those days “filled with high hopes and crashing disappointments.” Through all the pain, anger, and helplessness, you’ll always have your strength, and your husband’s, even on the toughest days. It’s there. Remember that!
.-= Stacia´s last blog ..Five for Ten: Lust =-.

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15 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:37 pm

@Stacia, Thanks for reminding me that I’m a strong woman. I AM!

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16 Anonymous Mommy May 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Thank you so much for your courage and openness. This is one of the most difficult things a family can go through and yet we almost never talk about it publicly so it’s difficult to find support. I am hoping and waiting for our next child as well. We’ve had some losses and some days when it seems hopeless, but I believe each one of us is born at a certain time in a certain place for a certain reason. Some days it helps me to remember that and some days I just want to scream or cry. But for you guys: May your family experience great joy very soon!
.-= Anonymous Mommy´s last blog ..Vampires Explained or The Stank That Accompanies Us Upon Waking =-.

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17 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

@Anonymous Mommy, I feel the same way, although most days I want to be the one to decide when. I’m working on letting things take the course that they should. But it’s very hard to let go.

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18 Amber May 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm

My heart is breaking for you. I remember when you first told me about your infertility issues (in a comment on your guest post @ Christina’s place). It was one of those moments when my heart stopped. I have been thinking about you ever since then.

Please keep us updated.
.-= Amber´s last blog ..A Simple Walk =-.

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19 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

@Amber, oh Amber, thank you for stopping in again! I will be keeping everyone up-to-date. Thank you for thinking of me!

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20 Kristen @ Motherese May 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Bravo to you for your courage in sharing your story. When I first dealt with infertility, I had no idea at the number of women who shared my struggles. I think that stories like yours are of tremendous value to the community of women trying to get pregnant. I know I felt so alone and so damaged somehow when everything I had always learned was about how NOT to get pregnant. Thank you, Allison, for your strength. I am sending you all my best wishes for peace on your journey.
.-= Kristen @ Motherese´s last blog ..Yes. (And Life After It.) =-.

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21 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

@Kristen @ Motherese, Thank you so much for your kind words Kristen. It really means a lot!

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22 Alisha May 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. But believe it or not, what you are going through is so common. i have a close friend who is also having the same kinds of issues. I wish you much luck on this journey.
.-= Alisha´s last blog ..A note to (our)self(s) =-.

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23 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

@Alisha, It somehow does make me feel better that others are going through a similar experience. Makes me wonder why it’s so common.

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24 Belidna Munoz + The Halfway Point May 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Allison, thank you for sharing your story. I only have one child and have not yet decided to try for another one. I wonder what will happen if/when I do…

Your post reminds me of what a privilege it is to be a mother, a parent. It sounds natural but we quickly find out that it’s not without its challenges getting there.

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25 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

@Belidna Munoz + The Halfway Point, I’m glad that I could remind you of that. It really is a privilege, no matter how our children are brought to us.

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26 char May 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I’m sorry you are having such a hard time. I couldn’t stop having them once I got pregnant with my first. Be thankful you do have the one, you never know when you least expect it, you’ll look up one day and God will surprise you and bless you with the other once you desire so much. My daughter is giving up her 2nd child for adoption in late June and it’s breaking my heart, nothing I can do to stop her. I can only hope and pray that the baby is given good care. I’d love to take him myself buy being over 50 she won’t let me, and perhaps I’m not strong enough with a heart attack last year and stroke, but it will break my heart to not even see this baby. I’ve tried all I can to stop her from giving the baby up, I should feel lucky I have one beauty if a 3 year old grand child she bore, but this is killing me to never hold this baby. I;m trying very hard not to fall apart as the due date gets closer. I’m not allowed in the hospital to see him, thought I will be trying. Probably get arrested but I guess I have to try. I’ve felt him in her belly moving and begged her to give him to me, so I know how you’re feeling in part. Seems the hardest thing I’ll have to go through, but I must find a way to get through it. God bless you and I wish you all the luck in having a new baby.

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27 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm

@char, Char, thank you for sharing your story. That has to be so heartbreaking, I can only imagine. I hope that you find the peace and understanding to help you through such a sad situation. I wish you, your daughter and grandchild the best.

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28 Lindsey May 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Love you! You are a brave woman and a wonderful mother. I am always here to listen. Keep moving forward, put your trust in God, and remember that you cannot let your tempurature control your life :)

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29 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

@Lindsey, OK, now you’re just making me cry. Love you to!

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30 Corinne May 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

You are so brave to share your story. It will help someone, know that. I don’t know why it isn’t more talked about, because it affects so many people.
Hugs to you, on your journey.
(And I totally thought I had already subscribed to your blog… so forgive me if I havne’t been commenting!! my brain… oh my poor brain…)
.-= Corinne´s last blog ..{Five for Ten} Courage =-.

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31 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

@Corinne, I’ve had such great responses from this post, both on comments and IRL friends. I’m so glad that I posted, it’s already been helping people.

Glad you are a subscriber. :-)

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32 Rudri May 19, 2010 at 9:53 am

This took immense courage for you to post. I have several friends that have experienced infertility issues, but now have sweet babies.

Sending you a virtual hug and much luck.

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33 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

@Rudri, Thank you for the virtual hug!

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34 Lenore @ Lather. Write. Repeat May 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

Thank you for sharing. That was very, very brave of you.

XO
Lenore

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35 Kisha Floren May 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Awesome..YES to you for sharing your story! I hope to gain some of your bravery soon.

I had no problems conceiving…it was the getting the babies to term with both of us in one place that was the difficulty. Would I rather have had a sunshiney, easy time? Sure. But I do think the struggle makes the bliss that much greater.

Infertility is a dirty word, and I wish you peace and luck in your journey, friend.
.-= Kisha Floren´s last blog ..Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes. -Eleanor Roosevelt =-.

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36 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:46 pm

@Kisha Floren, One of my sisters went through the same thing, so I can relate (kind of). The struggle really does make it that much better.

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37 Kelly May 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I think so many of us have struggled with infertility or love someone who has. We should all be talking about it and supporting those who are struggling.

I look forward to supporting you as your story unfolds.

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38 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

@Kelly, Thanks Kelly. I’ll be updating everyone as my story unfolds. Hopefully with more positive than negative news.

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39 Jen May 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you shared it under YES. It could have been a Courage post or a Happiness. Or even a Lust. But YES. I always feel a little bit of guilt when I hear about others’ struggles to conceive. It’s something I never had to consider. I am one of those who, in some circles, are hated for their hyper fertility. But I’m glad you shared your story. I know you are not alone and I know that you will find support here. Wishing you LUCK!
.-= Jen´s last blog ..The Top Ten Reasons I’m Done (so stop asking) =-.

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40 Allison May 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

@Jen, Sending just a little bit of hate your way for being hyper fertile. :-) No, I’m only kidding. I’ve found so much support through Five for Ten, thank YOU for helping me find it.

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41 hippie4ever May 27, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Allison,

Hang in there :)
My husband and I tried for 6 LOOOONG yrs, before being blessed with our incredible son! He’s now 14 months and I’d LOVE to have another baby. I had/have very irregular cycles, don’t know if that’s why…and of course there is the Celiac (by the way, I haven’t forgotten about the article, we’ve just been moving his office and I can’t find it…will scan and send when I do), plus apparently …well that may be to much info for the web, but it’s a very painful test!

I think instead of infertility we should call it Not Yet.

Anyway, we were thinking adoption, which I still think is lovely, and then Juicy Boy (that’s my husband’s endearment for our son :) )came.

I think of the story of Hannah in the Bible, or even Sarah. It helped me to see how women throughout the ages have struggled with their desire for children and cried out to God…and God answered their prayer.
I would so LOVE another child, but I am Profoundly grateful for the one God blessed us with. If he is all I ever have, I can’t thank God enough. He is the gift that keeps on giving…that’s what I call him.

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42 Allison May 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

@hippie4ever, I love that you call it Not Yet. I’ve been using that all weekend long whenever I start to get frustrated.

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