Lost and Found

My friend Lane, from Club MomMe, asked me to stop by today and talk a little bit about why I started this site.  Lane is no stranger to infertility either, and she has even shared her story here.

Here’s a little to get you started…

In the very beginning, I didn’t feel so very alone.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t screaming, “I’m infertile!” from every rooftop, but I didn’t feel like an outcast either.

Truth be told, I didn’t use the word “infertile” for quite some time.  Doctors, books, websites, and family members were fond of reminding me that one miscarriage didn’t mean I was headed toward infertility.  It simply meant that I was unlucky.  I was in the 25%…even if a miscarriage at 13 weeks isn’t actually all that common.

A dear friend of mine experienced two miscarriages before her first child was born, so I knew that I wasn’t alone.  I confided in her, and a couple of other friends, when I needed some consoling.

For a while, it just felt like something I had to get through.  I was sure that once I was able to get pregnant again, the miscarriage would just be a thing of the past.

But then the second miscarriage happened.  Once again, it took me by surprise.  There wasn’t a cramp in my uterus or a spot of blood to be found that might have indicated that things were not actually “progressing on schedule”.  11 ½ weeks.  I was stunned.

Even then, I didn’t call it what it was.  Because one is bad luck, and a second is super bad luck…but you really need a third to earn that title “repeated miscarriages”.

Unless you go months and months and months with no pregnancy.

Then you’re both unlucky and infertile.  Particularly if your eggs are old (read: anything over 30).

One year passed.  The months dragged on.  The anxiety mounted.  Hope quickly dissolved.  It was exhausting.

And then the phone calls came:  Back to back, two of my closest friends announced their second pregnancies.  I was pregnant when they were pregnant with their first children…they just didn’t know it at the time.  We were supposed to do this together.

I struggled to make sense of it.  I didn’t know how to respond.  I was happy for them.  In fact, I was over the moon.  But I was also anxious, jealous, and depressed.  How could they possibly be going on number two when I couldn’t, for the life of me, have a number one?

That’s when the isolation set in.  Even though my friends checked in regularly and hoped against hope that I would get there soon, something felt different.

Life changes when you have one and are expecting another.  Your world shifts.

Suddenly, I felt very alone…

Please stop by Club MomMe to continue reading this post.

Share Your Story: Club MomMe

Allow me to introduce you to Lane, one of the lovely moms behind Club MomMe.  Lane cofounded Club MomMe with her friend and fellow Junior League volunteer, Rachel, during her first pregnancy (they were both pregnant at the same time).  Club MomMe is a supportive an educational site that aims to help ease the transition from me to MomMe…

But it hasn’t always been easy for Lane…Lane is here to share her infertility story.  Please leave her some support here.  Lane is a great support for moms in the blogging world, and also a friend.  

Mother’s Day Reflections

(This post was originally published on Club MomMe on May 16, 2012)

Byline:  Lane Gulotta

Mother’s Day is a celebration. A joyous occasion of bringing life into this world and coming together with family to give thanks to a woman (or women) in our life who have molded us into the person we are today. This is how we celebrated Mother’s Day. As we walked around Chicago together as a family of three I looked the part of the doting parent. What on earth could be wrong on Mother’s Day? What couldn’t be? Thanks to Hallmark, all Moms are supposed to be happy and give thanks on Mother’s Day.

What others couldn’t see this past Sunday was that I was mourning. I mourned the loss of a child just one week before this holiday, the slim prospect of having another and, yet another uphill battle with infertility to conceive again. And, an uphill battle it has been. Although we are only on our third round of treatments for baby number two (the first was eleven rounds) it has been significantly harder emotionally and physically during this second course of treatments. I feel guilty taking time away from a son we worked so hard to conceive to try to have another. Is this fair to him? Is this fair to me? What about my husband? He is an integral part of this and what are these treatments doing to our relationship?

You see, the decision to try to have another child and our failed attempts at it hasaffected us all in different ways. But most importantly it has shown me that mourning the loss of a child and the yearning for a sibling for our son are all natural emotions that women feel. These emotions make us stronger, bolder, more confident and more loving. They make us compassionate and understanding. They make us grandmothers, mothers, wives and sisters. They make us. They make me.

I have not figured out how to manage and balance the grief and yearning that I feel. But, I have come to understand that life is simple. We live and we die. In the process we all become mothers along the way. Some may be later than others and not through the most conventional ways. Do not give up hope. Until that time, celebrate the women in your life. Teach your nieces and daughters compassion and how to love. A special woman in my life did and I am ever thankful for her grace and patience. Without her I could not have celebrated Mother’s Day.

Thank you Lane:  For your beautiful words and positive spirit despite such a big loss.