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Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Fools Pregnancy Announcements are No Joke

Every year there's usually a few people who post gushing pregnancy announcements on April 1st, only to denounce it as a joke later that evening. It used to be a huge trend, but thankfully over the years its dwindled down to just a few here and there. Hopefully its because this "joke" is no longer trendy, but it could also be because I'm no longer friends with people who've done it in the past. I'm sorry but if you create a fake pregnancy announcement for an Aprils fools joke I certainly won't find it funny and I'll probably have a hard time being your friend after. Harsh? Probably, but also understandable given our current circumstances.

For so many of us pregnancy is no joke. In fact its the one thing we want most and we think about it almost every moment of every day. We spend weeks and months {and sometimes years} working through emotional turmoil just trying to achieve the thing that others choose to joke about. Not to mention the thousands of dollars, countless tests and procedures. For many people this is their reality, whether you know about it or not.

I've been relatively candid about our struggle to conceive this time around, but the first time I struggled in silence, for a long time. Lots of people struggle in silence because its too hurtful for them to talk about their experiences. Chances are you know some of these people without even realising it. Please don't add more salt into their wounds by playing a cruel joke. 

In the past I've forgotten that its April fools and fell for these fake announcements. I've been shocked, happy and elated for friends I had no idea were even trying for a baby. I've congratulated them and shared their excitement, only to have that feeling extinguished and replaced with more shock, betrayal and then anger once the joke was revealed. It may have been funny to them, but it wasn't funny to me.

This april fools before you post your pregnancy announcement joke remember all the women who long to be mothers, who have dealt with the loss or death of a baby. To them it is no joke.

I know the hurt that infertility brings. I know what it feels like to struggle for years to try and reach a goal that comes so easily to others. I know what it feels like when achieving a pregnancy is the most important thing in your life. I also know how soul crushing it can be when others treat this with such insignificance. All I ask is that if you've never experienced this please don't turn pregnancy into a joke

Pregnancy announcements on April fools are no joke, they're cruel. 

Please consider other people's feelings..

Toni  x

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What it feels like to be infertile

I've written a lot about being infertile over the years, both when I was experiencing infertility for the first time, and now that we're going through it for a second time. For the first three years I battled infertility with my ex-husband I primarily kept quiet about it, except to a handful of friends who I knew were also going through it. Infertility was, and sometimes still is, seen as an extremely taboo subject to talk about openly with people. It's almost impossible for people to understand unless they've experienced it themselves, which I think leads lots of people to feel uncomfortable talking about it. Unfortunately that's never going to change unless more people talk about it.

Going through infertility is extremely isolating and emotionally arduous. Trying to deal with that behind closed doors while keeping a smile on your face in public is exhausting. Having to act like you're fine when you really want to break down in a corner and cry is challenging, but I did it for years. When T and I started fertility treatment back in 2012 I decided that I wasn't going to keep it hidden anymore. I didn't shout it from the rooftops, but I did start opening up about it here on the blog, and eventually in conversations with friends.

I think its important that we talk about our experiences with infertility. Yes people won't like it and people won't know how to react, but over time {probably a long period of time} people will become more educated and more accepting. Above all that, its important for those of us experiencing infertility to feel like we have a right to express our feelings. So with that in mind I thought I'd try to explain what it feels like to be infertile {for me at least}.

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.
It took me almost 4 years to conceive my daughter {I tried to conceive for 3yrs with my ex-husband and almost a year with T} and we've been trying to conceive again for just under a year now. Unfortunately it's not working again so I have sat with these emotions and feelings again on an almost daily basis for months now. Sometimes I hide them under a smile and other times I let it all out and break down {but only when I'm by myself}. This is what it feels like to be infertile.


I feel like a failure. I'm broken on the inside, but nobody can see it.

I hate my body. My body doesn't do what its supposed to be able to do, I feel like I'm not a real woman, even though I am. I want to love my body, but some days I just can't.

My body is no longer my own. It now also belongs to a team of doctors who are trying to reach the same end goal as me. Unfortunately being a female that means numerous people have had their hands, ultrasound wands and other medical instruments inside my who-ha. There's no time to be embarrassed, I had to get over that years ago.

Trying for a baby is not fun. Everyone thinks we just get to have sex a lot and on the surface I agree that does sound like fun, but its not. There are no spontaneous, romantic liaisons going on around here. There is systematic, meticulously timed and often medically aided baby making. Making a baby is no longer a case of do it and cross your fingers, it becomes a very scientific process. After a while its not fun.

It's like being stuck in a tunnel. I have tunnel vision and it's hard to see anything except the goal at the end of the tunnel. Yet it seems so far away. Infertility sometimes impedes my ability to see the good going on around me. Some days all I can see, feel and think about is what I don't have, but desperately want. It can be emotionally debilitating, but I am dealing with it a lot better the second time around.

Infertility causes jealousy and resentment. Yes it's true, when I see a pregnancy announcement I usually get upset {for a little while}. I'm not angry or annoyed at the person who is pregnant, it just reminds me that others are moving on and achieving the dream that I haven't yet, and that hurts my heart a little. I'm happy for them, but sad for me, but in time that feeling passes and I can celebrate and get excited with them.

I'm obsessed with babies. Despite the initial hurt a pregnancy announcement can cause, babies set my ovaries on fire and light up my world. I adore babies and could cuddle your baby all day long. In fact I would babysit your baby whenever you wanted me to. Seriously.

In the end infertility ruined my pregnancy. When I finally got pregnant the first time I was too scared to get excited and feel happy. I kept thinking something was going to go wrong and I would lose the baby. Infertility, and knowing all the things that could go wrong, robbed me of the joy of pregnancy. However, if we get pregnant again, I'm determined to try and enjoy and celebrate that pregnancy a lot more.

I wouldn't wish it on anybody.

It can be an extremely emotional rollercoaster, and occasionally we may lash out, withdraw or breakdown. Unfortunately that is par for the course with the journey we're on. If someone you know shares with you that they're experiencing infertility problems please don't dismiss it or tell them to relax, it's taken a lot of courage for them to let down their walls and let you in. Please just continue to love them and support them and appreciate the fact that they value your friendship enough to let you into their private world.

Toni x
Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.