Look, I know I’ve been distant… let me explain.
When we started Gouda Life back in 2016, the goal was cheese. It was – and still is- something I love, something that was always around, something I knew a bit about. Derek and I took turns writing posts and taking pictures of anything cheesy that came our way. The writing– I miss. Not being a student anymore makes me miss writing. I miss using words, stringing them together in punny ways. I miss releasing my brain’s work somewhere. But being- let’s call it what it was- an aspiring Instagram Influencer was exhausting. Every time we went out to eat I felt like we had to take a picture of this appetizer, make note of what’s in that entre. Order a fancy cocktail? Remember it’s name! It was too much. I wasn’t living my life the way I wanted to. I was a slave to what I thought was something fun. So we took a break.
We took a break that turned into a longer break. During the summer of 2018, after almost two and a half years of trying to have a baby, we decided to go through in-vitro fertilization- or IVF. I couldn’t focus on a blog about cheese when I essentially hated my non-cooperating body and had way bigger things on my mind. Infertility is a taboo subject– too sensitive for people to talk about, making others unaware of the struggles and the commonality of it all.
According to the CDC, 7.4 million woman receive some form of fertility assistance in their lifetime. To put that in perspective, one in every eight couples struggle getting or staying pregnant. ONE OUT OF EIGHT. But we don’t talk about it. We isolate ourselves and we isolate other women going through it because it’s too personal, it’s too real. Well I want to talk about it, damnit. Those two and a half years of trying sure took a toll on us- but I’m not going to sit here and voice my struggles and pain to everyone. That’s not why we’re here. I didn’t join Facebook groups, I didn’t participate in forums, I didn’t join support groups. I didn’t want to talk to and hear from people who already knew the struggle. It is everyone else that needed to hear about it.
Things People Trying to Have Babies Don’t Want to Hear/ Things to Never Say to a Woman Ever:
- Why aren’t you pregnant yet?
- When are you going to pop out kids?
- Are you going to start trying soon?
- Married for five years?! It’s time!
- It was easier getting pregnant than we thought!
- What’s the hold up?
For those that did know we struggled a bit…
- You just need to relax!
- You’re worrying too much about it!
- Go on a vacation and don’t think about it!
- It will all work itself out!
Now, these people, for the most part, had no idea that we had been trying for so long and the mental mindfuck (sorry, Mom) we were going through. It isn’t their fault– they didn’t know our situation. Having fertility issues has made me way more aware of how to talk to friends, specifically my female friends, about the topic.
Things People Trying to Have Babies May Like to Hear Instead:
- Any kids in your future?
- Thinking of you.
- Let me know if you want someone to listen.
- I have a friend who went through that, would you like her info?
- How are you?
DON’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE TOPIC AT ALL.
Some people, believe it or not, don’t want kids and other peoples’ reproductive plan is nunya business.
Now, if we’re being honest, nothing about the topic is fun to hear when you are in the middle of it all. Every Instagram post, every Facebook announcement, it feels like daggers in your heart. I’m not really being dramatic when I say that. It somehow physically hurts. One of the strangest, most surreal feelings, is when your best friend tells you she is pregnant when you’ve been trying. You are so unbelievably happy for her and her family, but then so bitterly jealous you can barely handle it. It is a cycle that literally goes on forever. The jealousy is so much different than any other ‘jealous’ I have felt. My friend on a trip to Bora Bora ain’t got nothing on my friend about to push a baby out of her hoo-ha. Isn’t life weird like that?
Our journey in a nutshell: Two rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI), one round of IVF. IVF produced seven embryos, transferred one last July. On August 8 we found out we were pregnant. I was up at school with some students when I got the phone call. I went home and told Derek and we cried, for the first time happy tears. On April 8, exactly eight months later, our little man was born.
Harrison is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Being a mom is something that was slowly becoming just a dream, never a reality. Those first few weeks we both wondered what the hell we were doing. I am already realizing that no one knows what they are doing when it comes to parenting. He’s happy and healthy and, damnit, I think we’re off to a great start.
At the time, there was no way I was going to share my fertility endeavors with the world, let alone keep up with the blog and Instagram. But I have changed, my perspective has changed. I’m here to listen. I’m here to help. Infertile women of the world, I see you and I hear you.
Also, I’m to pulling a Jon Snow and bringing Gouda Life back to life. *Hair flip*