Thursday, December 08, 2016

Pregnancy after Infertility, Holiday Edition...

Well, it only took 6 Christmas’s but this year I finally get to say that I am pregnant during the holidays!  Every single Christmas since 2011 I have wished for that.  I have wished to be pregnant, or to be announcing a pregnancy, or have a bouncing babe on my lap opening up gifts at Christmas time, and finally, after a very long, hard journey, I get to say I am pregnant at Christmas time!  For the last 5 years though, the holiday season was undoubtedly the hardest time of year to be infertile.

The holidays are seriously the WORST when you’re TTC.  Yes, first day of school & Halloween costume photos, things like that can be bothersome, but nothing is as bad as Christmas.  Last year at this very time we were in the midst of our third fresh cycle of IVF with a new clinic.  I was driving 2 hours each way to have my monitoring done and I was certain that cycle would work.  The doctor gave us a 63% success rate of success with 1 PGS tested embryo.  I mean I literally had no doubt in my mind that it would work.  Then it all came crumbling down as quickly as it was built up.  No blasts at all on day 5, no ability to PGS test, and a transfer that was the epitome of stressful!  But I remained hopeful that this cycle would work.  Then the day after Christmas my beta came back a whopping 8, which never did double… Merry f'in Christmas, here is your 1 millionth BFN, Love Santa.

It was downright cruel and depressing & I think most of us who have been affected by infertility can agree that although it’s the most wonderful time of year for many reasons, it’s also one of the hardest.  It’s hard to watch other family members, friends, etc. with their kids, it’s hard to be on social media seeing everyone’s family photos with their babies in cute little Christmas PJ’s, in the back of your mind you’re always wondering if you’ll have a turn.  I am here to tell you that feeling that way is totally normal and OK! Anyone who has experienced infertility has felt that way at some point or another.  Heck, I felt that way even before I realized that we were going to have trouble.

The worst part of all is that it's pretty much impossible to avoid these types of situations; not seeing babies, and kids, and parents, this time of year is practically impossible.  Avoiding a baby shower or child's birthday is one thing, but every scroll through Instagram or Facebook, every shopping trip to the mall, every commercial on TV during the holiday season, it's thrown into your face and it really is downright depressing. I would never discourage anyone from  participating during the holidays because it really is a wonderful time of year being around friends and family and enjoying the Christmas spirit, but I would urge lots of extra self-care this time of year too.  Buy yourself a gift when shopping for others or get yourself pampered! 

Although this year is finally different, although we have our miracle babe on the way, although I finally get to say that I am pregnant, I will never forget how hard these times of year can be when all you want is to grow your family & you can’t.  I never thought it would take us YEARS to get pregnant, I never thought it would take 3 people (4 including the doctor!) to conceive a baby, but I also never knew if I’d be able to say that I am going to be a mom & here I am with a baby on the way.

For all of you that are still struggling, please, please never give up.  Do whatever it takes, we did.  Did it go the way we planned or expected?  No.  But that was one of my first lessons learned from infertility, you will have a plan, a detailed plan full of dates, appointments, medicine schedules, procedures, etc. but it will NEVER go as expected & you have no control of the outcome.  But with lots and lots of determination & the ability to accept everything as it comes to you, you can beat it.  As hard as it was, (probably the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through), I would not change it for the world.

I hope that you're all enjoying this truly magical time of year.  No matter where we are in our journey, remember that there is always something to be grateful for, even those of us who have been handed the infertility card, there are silver linings all around us.  Merriest of Christmases to you all!


  1. All of this is so true!! What a beautiful photo :)

  2. You're so right. It's so hard to see all those pictures of other people enjoying all the firsts with their new babies, but I bet it's an amazing feeling to finally be in their shoes and share that same level of happiness too! I've only recently started following your journey, but just wanted to say congratulations and how happy I am for you and your growing family <3 Merry Christmas!

  3. Beautifully said! Especially the self care part. I could be happier to see you now in this stage of life during the most wonderful time of the year.

  4. You're exactly right. I remember sharing our news after so many bfns with our family, only to have another couple share their pregnancy right after our announcement. They tried one month. Even that was hard. It's so important that we remain a support for one another. Our miracle babies are truly amazing gifts and I long for every heart hoping to have their own Christmas miracle. I'm so glad you got yours.

  5. Like you said, even before you start trying this time of year can be hard. I remember feeling the same way. And, even thought it only took me thirteen months to get pregnant, it felt like so much longer. Your posts got me through some tear-filled nights. Then, finally, I got what I hoped for and not long after I read that you were pregnant too! I've loved following along with your pregnancy and so look forward to hearing about your natural birth story if you still choose to go down that route. Your family is always in my prayers! Merry Christmas!

  6. You are so sweet to continue to think of those waiting! So glad you are on the other side this Christmas <3

  7. What a.m beautiful post. The holidays were very hard emotionally because u are suffering inside but so badly want to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. I'm glad this holiday season you are able to enjoy it in another level.

  8. Elena- Can we talk about this for a moment?- "For all of you that are still struggling, please, please never give up. Do whatever it takes, we did."

    I got a lot of eye rolling, shade and comments about the "never give up" pursuit I had for my daughter. I received comments for fundraising, more about pursuing surrogacy. I did what it took to become a mom. NO regrets No take-backsies. I love that you are lamenting this. For some, never giving up maybe not giving up on happiness what ever that may be and to fight for the resolution that is best for them. I am so happy for you. My dear friend, infertile guilt, is a hard one. You are happy for you really said for the next you. I am afraid those feels are here to stay. But your voice, your story and your inspiration to others is infinite.

  9. Yeah Christmas can be such a hard time when dealing with infertility. So happy that everything is going so well with your pregnancy. Wishing you all the best going forward!

  10. Love this so much. I've talked a lot about this in my own experiences even before infertility and I know it's true, for sure. This is my 3rd Christmas while TTC, my 8th since my original trauma, and our 1st while going through treatments (we started treatments a year ago next month), and it's the first that the loneliness and longing hit hard enough to make me forget about the past's trauma and look at this current moment as the most painful.

    It's hard, you know, to know nothing will go as planned but to still hope for the best. But you're exactly right that gratitude the best way to navigate the trauma that is infertility (along with self care) because if you have nothing to hold onto there's no reason to keep putting one foot in front of the next.

    I hope that every Christmas I'll be able to feel the complicated bits of these juxtaposed emotions and know that life is good and worth it, even when/if things aren't going as I'd prefer. <3

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