I had quite the weekend y’all. It involved traveling to northern Wisconsin to visit family + friends…meeting a newborn, lunch with one of my dearest friends, a hair appointment with one of my besties, and then a surprise 20th birthday party for someone I absolutely adore.
Yesterday was the first time I went to the hospital to visit a newborn since infertility smacked us in the face almost four years ago. I parked my car and started walking to the main entrance of the hospital, all the while thinking, what in the h-e-double hockey sticks am I doing? Could I do this & actually keep my composure? Walking through the corridors until I reached the elevators that would take me to the 3rd floor – the birthing center. I signed in and the nurse opened the doors for me to enter. I turned the corner and a new dad was wheeling out a cart full of flowers, gifts, & a “It’s a BOY!” blue balloon…he looked like he was the happiest man on the planet. It was beautiful. I almost lost it right then and there. I took a couple of deep breaths and proceeded on. Until I hit the nursery. Woah. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Tears welled up in my eyes and I seriously considering bolting and just leaving the hospital. But I couldn’t. I MADE MYSELF keep going. Infertility has taken so much from me. My joy, my happiness, my will to go on sometimes, but it’s given me the greatest gift of all – my strength.
I reached my cousin’s hospital room and entered. I saw one of the most precious, beautiful, touching things I’ve ever seen in my life. A new dad, holding his newborn baby girl, with so much love in his eyes for his new daughter. He just couldn’t stop looking at her and smiling. I saw my cousin, who looked beautiful as ever after just giving birth, and even though she was sore from labor, nothing could take away her happiness because her daughter was now here. Jason & Lauren, I already knew you were going to be amazing parents, but yesterday just confirmed everything. The love you two share for each other and now for baby Lennon is immeasurable. You have a beautiful family; congratulations – she is precious. Thank you so much for letting me visit & helping me face my infertility emotions head on. You give me hope, strength, and faith & I pray that someday, Matt & I are right where you two are today. So for that, I truly thank you.
I left the hospital, a little teary eyed, but now stronger than I was the day before. I’ve seen what infertility can do to people. It makes you lose hope, feel angry, constant hurt, & depressed. It is absolutely heartbreaking. It consumes you, all of you. Heck, I’ve been there and still go there sometimes but I try not to. But, as I said earlier, it’s given me the great gift of strength I never knew I had.
I met one of my dearest friends for sushi afterward. She came with her 6-month old, Adler. He’s the cutest thing and “very handsy” as she would say, haha. We had a wonderful time catching up and talking. The sushi was delicious by the way! She asked me about our next steps in regards to IVF/etc and for that, I couldn’t thank her enough. I’m sure it isn’t always the easiest subject to talk about, I know that. And it might scare some of you to ask. But, honestly, it was so refreshing to hear. I think sometimes people don’t want to ask because either infertility scares them, or they think we don’t want to talk about it. When in reality, we do want to talk about it (most of the time). It shows us that you actually care. That you’re thinking of us & that you’re praying for us. So, thank you Tara so much for being there for me. I’m blessed to have a friend like you – I may not see you as much as I’d like (darn distance!) but I love that we can ALWAYS pick up right where we left off, like we didn’t skip a beat. And thank you for letting me hold Adler, such a cheery boy.
Baby Adler + I
Next up, I had a hair appointment with one of my oldest best friends at her salon. WOOHOO! I was lucky enough to be there on a day that they had a Smashbox make up event going on so I got my make up done by a make up professional. She taught me new tricks & I got some new products. She was sweet and super funny. However, a few times she brought up that she had a kid. Asked me if I had kids. And talked about everyone in the salon that was pregnant or had kids. Normally, I would say something about our struggles, but this time I just smiled, nodded, and kept my composure. I just wasn’t in the mood. I never talk about our infertility to make people feel sorry for us, it’s always to create awareness. I’ve learned so much through this journey, and honestly, I do not blame her for asking or talking about pregnancy/kids. It’s what we do in society, it’s normal. I get that. Heck, I’ve even done it before infertility hit us. But what I’m hoping, with my openness with infertility, is that some people learn some etiquette in regards to the typical questions we get asked. Make sense? Hope so!
Lastly, I was on my way to a surprise 20th birthday party for my dear friend, Hannah. I met Hannah when she was just SIX years old. I was a camp counselor at a YMCA camp and she was a camper. We’ve stayed in contact this entire time and I’ve become very close with her and her family. She is now a sophomore at UW-Oshkosh and I can honestly hardly even believe the woman she has become. It brings tears to my eyes to even think about it. She’s grown into one of the most kind, generous, beautiful, smart woman I know. She NEVER has a bad thing to say about anybody and has the biggest heart. It just blows my mind. Hannah, I love you with all my heart and you give me so much joy — please know I hope that if Matt & I are ever blessed with a daughter, I hope she grows up just like you.
Hannah + I
I also got to catch up with her mom, Sarah. I just love Hannah’s parents. They’re so much fun to be around, easy going, and AMAZING parents. Sarah shared a story with me about one of her friends that is struggling with infertility. My heart sank. It breaks any and every time I hear someone else is struggling with this awful disease. Sarah shared my blog with her friend and she told Sarah that I am a huge inspiration to her. I was speechless. When I started this blog, I wanted people to be able to follow our journey & to raise awareness for infertility…I never really thought it would connect me with so many others that were struggling. But it has and I thank God for that. That’s another great gift infertility has give me – friendship. Friendship of so many other women that are affected by this disease. We are there for each other through the ups, the downs, the BFPs, the BFNs, the WTF moments…all of it. If you ever want to reach out to me, please, please do. I’m always here, always. I can be found on Instagram as journeytothree_ivf
Infertility has changed me. I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but at times, I’m thankful for it. It’s given me more strength than I ever thought I had. It’s given me an appreciation for life. It’s given me some of the best friendships and support systems from the women I’ve met. But, infertility has a very, very, VERY evil side as well, but I can assure you, that infertility will not win this one.
I will beat you, infertility.