A Note To My Infertility Warriors

I cannot let yesterday’s announcement of my pregnancy pass without a note to my infertility warriors.

Back in January, when I underwent my first egg retrieval and embryo transfer, I had fears. Not just fears that the process wouldn’t work (and how real those fears were), but fears that the process would work. That it would be “too easy” and that I would not be “legit” enough to be an “infertility warrior.” I discussed these feelings a few months back. 

This time around, there was no doubt in my mind that I was an infertility warrior: the possibility was very very real that the Frozen Embryo Transfer would not work. In fact, 30 of the 45 minutes prior to us finding out that my beta hCG test was positive was spent by Alex and myself on our balcony, discussing the fact that I didn’t think the transfer had worked, coming to terms with this “fact,” and deciding how quickly to start the adoption agency vetting and application process. When I got out my computer to email the doctors to ask them to please call us (a story I will go into more detail with later), I might as well have been starting to look up agencies. 

My point is this: yes, I am (currently) pregnant. But I am still one of you. 

I know the fear that you feel. Because I still feel it. That is why we kept this pregnancy so quiet for so long. I was too afraid of jinxing it, or something going wrong. I knew that you all would be supportive as ever, and I also knew that certain things were beyond my control, but when you have nothing to do to change an outcome, you latch on to anything.

But even though I spent the majority of the months of May and June as pregnant and relatively mum on the subject, as I look back, I do not think I have ever quite so much lived the life of an infertility warrior as then. 

Those were the months of the deepest personal growth for me. The months where I realized that no matter what happened, I and we (as a family) would be alright. The months where I came to terms with my infertility and just as quickly with my fertility, and very much so with the tenuous nature of my fertility. 

The months where I felt the exhilaration as well as the stress and heartbreak of thinking that you had lost the baby. Of knowing you had lost the baby.

Then getting that one chance and making the decision in that moment that, whatever they asked of you, you would do it.

And being petrified that it wouldn’t work out.

Please know that I do not take one single moment of this blessing for granted. I am so thankful for every heartbeat that makes a weird squishy noise in my abdomen. I can honestly tell you that NEVER in my life have I wanted to feel nauseated or to have to vomit every morning (more on this later as well).

A brief aside: I am also not stupid enough to really have wanted to feel nauseated–I know enough horrible stories from women such as Brittany who were put through the ringer there, and that was very much a cherished pregnancy. 

To my infertility warriors: 

I am still one of you. Yes, I am pregnant, but I still feel and understand your fears. Just like with my Crohn’s Disease, I would never ever wish this plight on anyone, and I never would choose it for my life path, but I am also thankful that these chronic conditions (because infertility is very much chronic!) have given me a perspective that helps me cherish what I am going through. That helps me understand what a gift my condition is. How lucky I am.

I want you all to know that I am here for you. That I stand beside you. If you want to talk, let’s talk. If you don’t want to talk, that is fine, too. I will be here if you ever want to do so. If you can’t stand to read my posts that talk about my pregnancy, I understand. 

But I am sending you love and hope, whether you want it or not.

A note from Suz to her infertility warriors: I am still one of you. #infertilitywarrior #infertility Click To Tweet

New Blogging Schedule

My plan, for the near future, is to post Pregnancy Updates on Tuesday, and to keep to my usual programming of Monday as my Weekend Recap, Wednesday as Running Coaches Corner, and Friday as the Friday Catch up and maybe a recipe or whatever. 

So if you want to skip those days? You do you. But I would love to have you here.

All of my love, all of my hope, all of my strength.

And a few licks from Ridley and a headbutt from Zoe (hey, they do what they can).

All Alex has to offer are colonoscopies, and I don’t think you want that….

Please share anything you feel comfortable sharing?

Infertility warriors with children–did you feel that your pregnancy(ies) made your fellow infertility warriors step away?

Sharing with Thinking Out Loud.

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  1. Is this a thing? I guess it’s a type of survivor’s guilt–but you should bask in your success and look forward to the future as a mama. How sad that you felt the need to comment on this, that you might not be a legit infertility warrior. Anyone who struggles with being pregnant is an infertility warrior. It’s a title that none of us want. We had to try harder to make a family. Feel blessed, Suz. And grateful. And let go of the guilt.

    • We are very happy, very grateful, and, dare I say, rather guilt free. But we had a lot to process. These past 6 months of IVF have been incredible in terms of growth. But I know how much it can hurt when someone else gets the present you always wanted.

  2. Susie,
    I’m so glad you that you’ve put into words and in cyberspace THIS morning’s post.
    You are an infertility warrior, and you always will be.
    When you called me after the first two beta tests with that BFN, I was so very sad for you, for Alex, and frankly for all of us who’d been supporting you both in this journey.
    That second BFN just about ripped me to shreds. You were devastated and when your child hurts and you can’t fix it, it’s awful.
    When you called with the 3rd beta results, your words were incredibly wonderful and terribly scary. A positive test could turn into a negative one and then it would be worse.
    I didn’t jump up and down and applaud and cheer. Eric and I were quietly thrilled, and delighted, but that thrill was tempered because there was a very different fear. The positive could turn into a negative. So we just lived each day and I hoped you’d feel nauseous every morning!

    For those of us who have been down the infertility road, we know that elation and fear accompany you all the way through a pregnancy.
    I miscarried at 14 weeks, and when we finally did get and stay pregnant, I wouldn’t let the items we’d bought for the nursery be delivered until 2 days before we left the hospital with your brother.

    Your words that you will post in your blog about this pregnancy will be very hard for some of your readers–you, we, know that. But perhaps those words will also encourage those readers to continue their own trip down this thorny road.
    We take another deep breath every day on this journey that you and Alex are on.
    For those readers who are still struggling down your own road, you have my/our continuous support, every day.

    • I was pretty defeated the day we got our BFP, actually. Alex and I were already discussing adoption. I barely could let myself really celebrate it until recently.

  3. I love everything about this. You are a compassionate warrior…the best kind, really. The thing I’ve always loved about you is that you use the hard stuff to bring about good. This is what will make you a wonderful mom.

  4. <3 You have enough love and compassion to feed a nation. Your readers and fellow infertility warriors will still be family. This doesn't cast you out. And I know that wherever they are in their own journey, they will still be here cheering you on along yours. Because that's what warriors do. Stick by each other.

  5. It really IS a thing (to answer Wendy) … and it can be exceedingly difficult. Suddenly you are different from a crowd that had a singular shared characteristic that initially brought you together. We were in an infertility support group, and when we became pregnant, everything changed (we were first, about half the 8 couples got pregnant eventually). Two couples were angry at us, one felt bad and the other was unapologetic and would never look at us or speak to us again. One couple (who have twins and got pregnant through ICSI soon after us) we remain friends with to this day, another (IVF triplets) we are connected with on Facebook, but drifted apart after first birthdays and so on. The other four … nothing since well before Danny was born.

    • It is so, so hard. For so, so many reasons. Kudos to the families that have kept touch, and the others… I hope that they found peace at some point.

  6. Hey, it’s okay if you lose some readers that might find it difficult to read about your pregnancy. Life is hard, and we all gotta just hang in there and do what we can to be happy. Like, if I were completely honest with myself, I’d have to admit that I know there are people who read my writing for the pure enjoyment of criticizing me and my family. Ha! Right!?!?! They take screen shots, draw horns on my forehead and send it to their friends. But what’s important is that whatever path we may find ourselves on, pregnant, not pregnant, a shit show of a life or smooth sailing, we walk that path well in a way that is true, and honest, and compassionate. That’s you, Susie, you big ol’ softie! I love to you to bits, and support you no matter what path you find yourself treading.

  7. Thankful for all the gratefulness you share here and the compassion for those who are walking this infertility journey. My heart is so encouraged that there is always hope, hope that God can do amazing things in the womb of a woman.

  8. i havent checked your blog in a while. Something today made me say “hey i wonder if SuzLyfe is preggo yet” and here i am now. Congrats!!! Cant wait to hear more about your little nugget!

  9. I love you for posting this…. for knowing how hard your pregnancy news will be for some of your readers, but that you want them to know that you’re there for them. <3

  10. I genuinely can’t imagine anyone being upset at you for being pregnant. Struggling with something like infertility shouldn’t cause envy or contempt for those who can achieve it – pregnancy is happy thing that should be celebrated! Like Wendy said, let go of guilt – this is SUCH an exciting time for you! If someone doesn’t want to read, I hope they find the peace they need with their struggles with infertility.
    I don’t get normal periods and haven’t for years, and it sucks – but I can’t begrudge women who have healthy periods or don’t have awful cramps or don’t have to rely on medication. Nor could I ever feel hurt by someone else’s pregnancy – it’s a happy time for them! Everyone has their own struggles and everyone has their own joys.

    • You are so mature about it. I don’t think that they are mad at me, but I know how much it can hurt, and even feel like you are getting passed over for something. It is a hard situation.

  11. The journey you’ve taken will forever color your experience, both as a pregnant woman and as a mom. Whether pregnancy comes naturally, but after lots of time and/or loss(es) or whether you go straight to assistance, pregnancy after infertility feels much more fragile. You will always be an infertility warrior and it’s lovely that you are concerned about the others who aren’t where you are yet. Almost 16 years later, I still remember the feeling of finding out someone else was pregnant, when I wasn’t. It wasn’t a lack of happiness for them, it was a sadness for me. I’m sure you’ll have some readers who occasionally need to take breaks from reading the updates, but I know that for the most part, you’ll find support. Enjoy this pregnancy. You’ve been through a lot to get here. I, for one, can’t wait to follow along on your journey. Congratulations and may the rest of the time go smoothly.

  12. When your dad and I were going through our own infertility journey (long ago in that galaxy far away) my miscarriage was very hard on us–in part because people didn’t speak of pregnancy failure (stillbirth, miscarriage.) There were no support groups or blogs to offer a place to grieve. We were just supposed to carry on as if nothing bad had happened.
    Those comments that we did hear were “When are you two going to have a baby?” “isn’t it time you (y’all) got pregnant?” “what are you waiting for?” and the ever-popular “how can you miss someTHING you never even saw?”
    Sara, my closest friend (who still is my closest friend) discovered that she was pregnant–the week of our miscarriage. She did not tell me that she was pregnant until she couldnt hide her changing shape any longer. We saw each other every week and she had not wanted to upset ME.
    Her pregnancy wasnt planned, it was a wonderful surprise, but an unexpected one. She had watched me go through the temperature charting, pills, appointments, etc and knew how much we wanted a baby and how disappointed we were when the pregnancy failed.
    She finally told me and then I surprised her and told her that we had gotten pregnant again!!!
    We had a wonderful celebratory lunch and laughed about throwing up, drinking ginger ale and eating saltines at our desks at work!
    It has always saddened me that she kept her happy news quiet because she didnt want to cause me pain.

    Such good news should be shared and enjoyed, but it is very hard to celebrate someone else’s good news when yours is not. With the idea of the infertility warriors, good news ought to be celebrated, just as bad news can be supported and love and concern provided.

    And as you know, Sara’s son and your brother are 3 months apart in age and have been close friends all of their lives.