Thursday, May 15, 2014

On Shutterfly and Infertility

Those of you who know me well know that Blake and I have been trying to start a family for a few years.  Those of you who don't know me're about to.

Not getting pregnant is hard.  It's hard after 6 months.  It's hard after 27 months.  It's just hard.

I guess if there's anything I've learned from this experience it's empathy.  I had never understood what heartache comes with wanting something so badly and then being betrayed by your own body.  I feel like I need to personally apologize to all of my friends who have gone through this before me.  I just didn't understand.  And it kills me that I wasn't more present for them.

And so, here we are.  After a year of poking and prodding.  After a cancer sentence and a reprieve.  After countless medicines and doctors.  After false-positive pregnancy tests and un-endurable Mother's Days.  We are here.  Starting IVF.... And alive.  Which I feel like is a feat in itself.

If there's anything to take the wind out of your sails, it's IVF.  It's a very exciting and interesting process (SCIENCE!), but it has made me feel like I'm underwater.   It's been simultaneously worse and better than I expected.  The injections aren't so bad.  Sure, they're a bit painful and I'm running out of un-pricked space on my stomach, but that's probably the least of my worries.

I spent Monday crying all day.  Why?  I have no idea.  I wasn't even sad...I was just leaking tears all day.  Darn hormones getting the better of me!  I've spent the subsequent days waddling around feeling like two sacks of marbles have been inserted into my lower stomach.  I've developed a small beer belly that's as hard as a rock.  And I feel the need to wear stretchy pants all the time.  Ahh. That's the life.

Early in the week I also received a rather timely (except the opposite of that) email from Shutterfly congratulating me on my new baby and asking if I'd like to buy baby announcements.  Thank you, Corporate America, for that slap in the face.  No wonder I prefer getting my goods through the garbage.

Honestly, I wasn't that upset by it...however, the irony was not lost on me.  I wrote a short email to the Shutterfly team asking that they re-check where they are getting their marketing data because an email like that was in rather poor taste.  i wasn't rude about it, but I just let them know to double check so that it doesn't happen to other people in my situation.

I got an email back directly from the Chief Marketing Officer with his sincere apologies.  So there's that - at least they are reachable.  Guess you haven't lost my business after all,'ll live to send me another inappropriate email.

But lest I come off sounding extremely whiney, I'm actually feeling really lucky.  I fall into that small percentage of women with "unexplained infertility," which has been frustrating at times, but it means that the doctor has no reason to think that this won't work.  And that's comforting.

I've got a husband who has been supportive and kind (even on my non-stop crying days) and who encouraged me to quit my day job to do something I love.  He has held my hair back when I've puked from procedures, bought me ice cream when I need it, listened to more information about women's bodies than he's ever wanted to know, shuttled me back and forth to appointments when I've been too stressed to drive myself, and generally been the best husband and friend a girl could ask for.

I've got family that pick up the phone just to let me cry or talk when I need a listening ear.  And family to send me flowers to brighten the days, or clothes as a fun surprise.  And family to share in our heartache and our excitement, and support us through this process.

I've got friends who have brought me meals, offered to drive me to appointments, sent me texts to check up on me, sent me encouraging emails, and forwarded funny videos to brighten my day.

I've got a home that I love in a city that I adore.  I've got a puppy that starts crying when I cry...that snuggles me when I'm sad and makes me happy with his goofy grins. I have the chance to do what I love from home even if it doesn't make much money.

I've got a team of the kindest doctors and nurses I've ever met working with me to help us start a family.

So even though I've had my fair share of bad days in the past few years, for all these reasons I feel lucky.  And blessed.  And hopeful.


  1. I'm so sorry for all your many pains these past few years. Thank you for sharing your story of bravery and courage.

    1. I would hardly call myself brave :). Thank you for your kind words. I miss you guys!

  2. Thanks so sharing. I, too, think you're brave. And so talented and wonderful in so many ways. I'm always available for an ice cream binge (oh I'm sure I meant to write "ice cream break") any time :)

  3. Oh Rach! I love you so much! How can I be more "there" for you? My heart and thoughts are with you. :) And my fingers crossed that IVF is successful!!