Welcome to my blog where I share the good, the bad and the ugly.
I am 33 years old have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years now. I have seen a fertility specialist since September and have gone through all the battery of tests only to be told that everything looks great and there is no reason for my infertility other than good ol fashioned bad luck. In the past 2 years I have had 3 early miscarriages and a roller coaster of emotions, from denial to self-pity and everything inbetween. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always been an ambitious go-getter. I believed I could do anything and be anything that I wanted. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that being a mom would be so elusive.
These thoughts have bubbled up to the surface only recently. I work at a tech start up. The work is intense. The goals are intense. The people are intense. Work takes up all my energy. I come home feeling stressed, anxious, and unable to see the forest from the trees. I find myself talking to myself, haunted by something I may have said wrong, or reliving something that happened at work in my mind. Over and over. The worst part is my dear husband, friends nor family can’t talk me out of my misery! The good thing about being all-consumed with work is that everything else becomes secondary – including my infertility.
That is all about to change. In April, dear hubby and I took a 2 week vacation to Costa Rica. Before leaving, I felt emotionally and physically depleted from the hormonal roller coaster of fertility drugs and trying to balance work and infertility, while keeping to keep things on the DL at work. While on vacation it became clear that what I really needed was to focus on getting healthy so that we could give ourselves the best chance at a viable pregnancy. The decision to leave work was a very hard one, mainly because I felt guilty for abandoning my boss whom I have a great respect and admiration for. Luckily, my boss convinced me to take a leave of absence, which means if I drive myself crazy after a week, I still have a job to go back to.
I work in an office where 95% of them are guys and I struggled with how and what I should say to the office. In the end, I thought I would share everything because I wanted supporters, not skeptics. So this is the email that went out:
Hello dear friends,
Just want to let you know that I will be taking a leave of absence beginning June 28th for an undetermined amount of time to work on some family stuff!
I consider <insert company name> my second family and wanted you to hear it from me. I am not ill, to the contrary, I am going to get insanely healthy so I can begin IVF treatment in the fall.
I am stoked. Please wish me luck. I need all of it!!
P.S. If this was way too much information..SORRY! I know I’ve taken our openness/transparency value to a whole new level here!
After telling the office, a huge burden had lifted. Almost every single person wrote back with positive energy, and it felt great to finally let my secret out. Infertility can be very lonely, and now I was out of the closet!
This weekend was my best friend’s 2 year old son’s birthday party. It was held at a children’s play centre, where there were snacks, cake and toys for the kids to play while adults drank coffee and talked about kid-stuff. I typically avoid these types of events because they remind me how much my life has remained the same while the world still turns, but this is my best friend we’re talking about here. So here I am trying chowing down on a cupcake when a girlfriend whom I hadn’t seen in a while (knows about my infertility struggles) quietly tells me that she is praying for me.
With gratitude, I wept.
Here I was at a 2 year old’s birthday party, surrounded by cupcakes, balloons and happiness and I was crying. Classy. Real classy.
In the afternoon, I decided to keep myself busy at home and watch Ted Talks while doing laundry, and it was really insightful. Shawn Anchor has one called The Happy Secret to Better Work. In summary there are 5 things I could do for 21 days to improve my happiness.
Creating lasting positive change
1. Practice Gratitude – find three things each day to be grateful for
2. Journaling (hence why I started this blog today!)
5. Random Acts of Kindness
These are just some of the things that I will be trying to improve my health and mental wellness during my time off. I hope that this weekend represented the rock bottom, because it means there’s only up from here.