Browsing the archives for the Infertility category

Infertility Survivor Part 2: What Archie Griffin Said

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We started trying to conceive in January, 2004.  It started to get tough emotionally by the summer of 2004.  It was especially painful whenever I saw a stroller, a diaper bag, or a pregnant belly.  I dreaded trips to Babies R Us to buy gifts for expectant friends.

In 2005, we had two particular disappointments – very early pregnancy losses.  I later figured out that I had been pregnant during my first solo jury trial in January, 2005, which explained the insatiable craving for chocolate I experienced the weekend after the trial ended.  While my client lost the case, we defeated the opposing side’s motion for prejudgment interest … you have to take your victories wherever you can!

In late 2005, we started fertility treatments.  I was on Clomid for a few months, and we became familiar with administering trigger shots and identifying blobs on an ultrasound screen as ovaries. The first couple months of Clomid were not too bad, but by the last round, I fully understood the misery of hot flashes.  The treatments did not work, the doctor recommended against injectibles because he thought they would not increase our chances, and we decided not to pursue in vitro treatment.

Time does not necessarily heal all wounds.  By the end of 2006, it had been three years, and the pain was just as fresh.  In my mind, only having a baby would make me feel better.  But after listening to a televised interview of Archie Griffin, I learned that there was another way to heal.

He spoke about winning two Heisman trophies.  The interviewer asked him how much he wanted that second Heisman trophy.  He said that he did want it, but he adopted the mindset from Psalms 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I had previously interpreted this to mean that if you focus on God, He will answer all of your prayers with a hearty “yes” and grant you access to His cosmic vending machine.

Archie had a different take on it.  I believe that his words were along these lines:  he would focus on serving God, and God would either grant his desire for the second Heisman trophy or God would take his desire away.

It made sense.  If I did not have a desire for children, then being infertile would not hurt as much.  I started to pray that God would remove the desire for children if He was not going to fulfill it.  While I still hoped for children, the pain of not having them lessened.  It became easier to find joy in various activities Ryan and I could do together such as kayaking, biking and traveling.

Archie probably never realized that when he shared that experience about the Heisman, it would impact a woman dealing with infertility.  It goes to show that you never know what kind of an impact you could have when you share your experiences and feelings with others.

Infertility Survivor

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At the first moms’ group meeting I attended at the Elizabeth Blackwell Center in February, a t-shirt worn by one of the other moms caught my eye.  It said something along the lines of “I survived infertility” or “infertility survivor.”

As our friends and family know, it took Ryan and I 5 years to have Katherine.  Having her was a pleasant surprise.  We had just started a domestic adoption process when we found out that I was pregnant.  At this time, we are not pursuing the adoption.

I had always wanted to write about our infertility journey, but it was too painful while we were in the midst of it.  Infertility happens to far too many people, and it is more painful than anyone can possibly know unless they go through it themselves.  So now I want to share my experience.

Have you ever noticed how much our society values people who handle adversity with grace and good cheer?  We love hearing about the people who kept a positive mind-set.  In terms of infertility, picture the long-suffering woman who is genuinely happy for her friends who get pregnant and who goes to baby showers with the beautifully wrapped gift and a smile on the outside and inside.  How inspiring and uplifting would that woman’s infertility story be!

Guess what … there was a long period of time when I was not that woman.

Oh, I may have been smiling on the outside and saying all of the right things.  But I was miserable for a couple of years.  I was the person who continually said, “why me,” “it’s not fair,” “when is it going to be our turn?”  I could not stand going into a Babies R Us.  I braced myself whenever I spoke to one of my girlfriends who I knew was also trying to get pregnant, for fear that she was going to tell me her good news.  I admire people who handle infertility with grace.  I wish I could say that I had always done so as well.

I’ll never forget the time we went to visit a good friend in the hospital a day or two after she had her first child.  We walked into her hospital room and saw her sitting up in bed, glowing in her serene happiness.  The baby lay quietly and calmly in the arms of one of her other friends who had come to visit.  The baby was so tiny and perfect.  The father proudly introduced us, and they told us about their labor and delivery experience.  We expressed congratulations, fawned over the baby, and wished them well during her recovery.  The father accompanied us back to the elevator to say goodbye.  As soon as the elevator doors closed and he was no longer in view, I broke down and sobbed.

I am sharing this now for two reasons.  First, I suspect others out there can relate, and I want them to know that they’re not alone.  Second, I want to share how I started to feel more at peace with our situation, even before we began the adoption process.  Rather than trying to put all of my thoughts in one post, I will post more in the coming days about this topic.  In my next post on this subject, I’ll share how the most meaningful advice I received on how to deal with infertility came from Archie Griffin.