my instagram account got hacked this morning. it was such a bummer because i’ve worked really hard to create content that would let my instagram be a good resource for those enduring infertility, but also so that those who aren’t experiencing it could know how to help their friends. i worked so hard to create captions that were enjoyable to read but also gave good information. i was having so much fun creating fun photos.
and then within a matter of minutes all of that work was gone.
and i was SO frustrated and felt so defeated. THANKFULLY (huge tender mercy here) i was able to get the content from my facebook page. but i’ve learned my lesson and will be posting the BULK of my content here on my blog from this point forward. don’t get me wrong, i’ll still post to instagram, but i’m definitely going to be spending a lot more time over here on my blog.
as a precaution, i’m going to be taking the next few weeks to backup everything i have access to as of right now. starting with FUN FEBRUARY.
FUN FEBRUARY IS STARTING EARLY BECAUSE I’M 572957827% READY FOR JANUARY TO BE OVVVVVERRRRR.
let’s talk about PUDDIN up with insensitive comments + questions.
whether it’s “when are you going to have babies,” “it’s about time” (when you do have babies), “just adopt,” “trying is the fun part!” “you have nothing to worry about, you’re so young!” or anything similar, the insensitive comments come and they hurt. you can only laugh things off for so long, because deep down, even your own jokes hurt.
the number of insensitive comments has gone down drastically since we began telling people that we’re trying to have babies but are having a hard time.
but i remember a time in church a few months ago, a woman sat next to me & began getting to know me. she asked if i was married. i said yes. she asked how long we had been married. she asked if we had kids. i told her no (but didn’t say why). she asked if we were going to school. i told her that my husband & i were working full-time. & then she said, “well, you’re still young.”
i remember texting parker after that conversation asking him to tell me to not be offended. i knew that she was just trying to make conversation and get to know us better. but that didn’t change the fact that it still hurt. i wanted to tell her that we’ve been trying to have children for 3 years. i wanted to tell her that i have PCOS. & in the same breath, i didn’t want to tell her at all. it wasn’t her business. even if she was trying to get to know me, our infertility journey isn’t something i just share on a whim. (i know, i know. i share about my infertility journey on my instagram BUT, i don’t just tell everyone that i’m infertile when i first meet them.) not everyone feels comfortable sharing their story and their journey and honestly, it’s nobody’s business and that is OK.
to be able to put up with the insensitive comments & the days that i’m just feeling senstive, write in my @goodgriefjournals. i write how the comment made me feel and then i close the book, i talk to parker, i go work, or i watch a movie. i find that distracting myself helps me to move forward.
JELLO from the other siiiiiiiiiide. i must’ve called a thousand times. to tell you, i’m sorry…
so remember how we talked about insensitive comments yesterday? well, i have something to tell you...
i’ve been on the other side of infertility. the side that just doesn’t get it. the side that is constantly saying the wrong things or asking the wrong questions. the side that WISHES they could do more. the side that prays thrice daily for 5+ years for their friend to have babies. the side that doesn’t know what to say. & i’m here to tell you that THAT side is hard too.
your friends aren’t trying to be insensitive, nosy, or rude when they ask you about babies or treatments. they’re trying to be a part of your life. they’re trying to understand all of the medical mumbo jumbo that you throw around (because it’s part of your everyday conversation & life, but they only hear it from you). they want to cheer you on. they want to help make your life less sad. they want to help you in whatever way they can.
i totally get how frustrating it can be to be asked soooo many questions about the intimate parts of your life, but i would be remiss if i didn’t mention the fact that i’ve been on the other side & i know how that side feels too. i PROMISE they are asking because they care. there might be curiosity too, but for the most part, they care. give them the benefit of the doubt. give them grace. and if you’d rather not talk about it, let them know or change the subject.
this journey is hard enough & lonely enough. don’t push away the friends who are trying to be sensitive and trying to learn more because they’re asking questions.
tag a friend below below who you know cares & let them know you’re grateful for the support they have to offer.
i’ve got a few TWIX up my sleeve for dodging personal questions.
ya’ll. i am so good at dodging personal questions. (should i be proud of that?) at first, the personal questions i was dodging just had to do when we were going to have babies. once people found out we were having a hard time, the questions turned from when to how are you going to have babies? then when we started doing fertility treatments, the questions turned from how to what are you doing to have babies? all of these are valid questions. but still personal in nature. plus, we still want to be able to have a fun announcement just like other people when the day finally comes!
my tips for dodging personal questions:
1. redirect or change the subject.
you don’t have to answer any questions. you don’t owe people any information about your treatments, trying methods, diet, etc. to redirect, ask them a question about themselves or change the subject completely. you don’t have to be rude or abrupt when doing this. i typically ask a question about their kids or profession. it’s simple and easy.
2. answer vaguely. you don’t have to give any details you don’t want to give. i like to explain the science of what is happening— not the personal details like who my doctor is, what happens at appointments, what exactly is happening to my body.
3. tell the person you’re talking to you don’t want to discuss it. if you don’t feel comfortable discussing your infertility journey with someone, that is okay. just be gently frank and say something like, i’d rather not talk about this right now, but thank you for your care and concern.
“My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you--each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.” - Thomas S. Monson; We Never Walk Alone, October 2013
fun february will resume tomorrow, but today, i just felt the need to share this quote. i hope with all my heart that you know you are loved, needed and noticed. you are important and have so much worth—ALWAYS.
🥤 infertility can make it SODA hard to be happy sometimes! 🥤
been there, cried about that. infertility can cause grief, pain, depression, anxiety, you name it! it can be so hard to feel happy & then on good days when you feel happy, your brain reminds you that you don’t have a baby & suddenly you’re spiraling down the path of sadness. it’s a slippery slope & is so easy to fall into.
i honestly have a hard time differentiating between years 1 & 2 of trying to have a baby because it was all just one big sad blur. i’m SURE happy things happened, but i have a really hard time remembering them without help from my journal, parker or facebook memories. i always felt like i was in this fog that i would never get out of.
and then one day, i woke up and i was tired of being sad. i wanted to change how i felt but i just didn’t know what to do. so i started trying all sorts of different things & i found a routine that works for me but can also be tweaked to fit other personalities. i’m so excited about it because i want YOU to be happy in your journey too.
in april, i’m doing a six week challenge: 6 WEEKS TO A HAPPIER INFERTILITY JOURNEY
friends, it IS possible for happiness & sadness to coexist (we’ll chat more about that tomorrow). it IS possible to continue LIVING during your infertility journey (or honestly whatever hardship you’re currently facing) i WANT you to be happy despite your trials. and if that sounds so overwhelming, then take this as me talking straight to you: sign up for the 6 week challenge. i made it just for YOU. i SODA can’t wait for you to feel happy again.
a balanced life is a donut (or two) in each hand.
a balanced life is also letting happiness & sadness coexist. it’s knowing that happiness & sadness CAN coexist.
early on in my journey, when another person would talk about being joyful or happy, i would scoff and think about how easy their life must be. i would cry when people talked about gratitude and happiness because i simply wasn’t grateful nor was i anything close to happy. some days, i didn’t even want to be happy; i just wanted to be sad. any time i felt happy, i would soon after remind myself that something sad & hard was happening in my life & then i would push away all of the happy thoughts.
honestly, looking back, i feel pretty bad for that girl because she didn’t know that it was OKAY to be happy through her journey of infertility. she didn’t know that it was possible for sadness & happiness to coexist, let alone how to allow them to both have a space in her life.
i’m also really proud of that girl because she’s learned to allow happiness and sadness to both exist in her life.
i’ve been working on a more in-depth program for YOU that begins in april, (6 weeks to a happier infertility journey - sign up in the link in my bio) but i wanted to share some quick tips on how you can begin today to allow happiness & sadness to coexist in your life.
tip 1: instead of pushing out the happiness when sadness enters, allow the happiness to stay. even for just a minute. pause in the moment & soak it up. remind yourself what it feels like to BE happy.
tip 2: sing & dance. and then sing & dance some more. now, friends, i am NOT a good dancer. but belting out a fun song and moving my body helps me to FEEL STOKED. i literally only dance in my kitchen or bedroom, but i legit dance like no one is watching & it. feels. GOOD. and be sure to sing because a girl who sings is a happy girl!
tip 3: pray. take two minutes or 5 seconds to say a quick prayer. i’m still not good at this. i’ve been pretty angry with God over the last few years, but i’m coming around. i know that beginning a conversation with your Heavenly Father will help you to be happier longer.
i hope you have a happy day.
infertility treatments are kind of a big dill!
while it may seem that your infertile friend is over dramatic, highly sensitive & cranky, the truth is that infertility treatments (and infertility itself) are HARD to deal with. there are more hormones raging than during a middle school dance. your body thinks you’re pregnant so cue pregnancy symptoms (but kicker— there’s no baby to make it worth it). doctors and curious people are always up in your business. you or your significant other are giving you frequent shots (and not to mention the blood draws 🤢🤢 that are always needed for one reason or another)
basically, what i’m getting at here is that your infertile friend isn’t TRYING to be dramatic, cranky or sensitive. infertility is just a lot to handle on your own. so the next time your friend mentions something about infertility, give them some grace and tell them you love them.
ROMAINE CALM! IVF GOT THIS.
IVF is In Vitro Fertilization. and basically that means that the egg is fertilized by the sperm in a test tube or somewhere else outside of the body.
IVF is kind of intense & involves stimulating the ovaries via shots or other medication, the extraction of the eggs (also known as retrieval), the fertilization of the eggs, embryo development, putting the embryos back into the woman’s body (aka embryo transfer) and then the final blood test to check for pregnancy.
the egg retrieval and transfer can involve surgeries under local or general anesthesia.
there are two different types of IVF cycle— a natural cycle and a programmed cycle. the natural cycle follows the woman’s natural menstrual cycle and is done with less medication. the programmed cycle involves more medication and allows the doctors to have more control over the timetable. programmed cycles also often produce more mature eggs because the woman is given medications to stimulate follicle growth in the ovaries.
the chances of getting pregnant with IVF are about between 20-40%.
do you have any questions about IVF that i may have missed? if you’ve done IVF before, what tips or advice would you give to someone who hasn’t done it before?
just letting you know that anything is POPSICLE if you work hard & believe in yourself!
but it also helps to know that you have people behind you & supporting you in your goals + dreams.
we have been so lucky to have such an incredible support system through our journey. but i know that isn’t the case for everyone. that’s one reason i started talking about my journey so that other people enduring infertility would know that they aren’t alone in their journey.
i have found so much healing in sharing my journey, but i also know that sharing your infertility journey may not be something you’re comfortable with or even want to do. which is totally OKAY. if you don’t want to share your journey, i hope you know that i’m cheering you on & that my DMs are always open if you need someone to talk to.
you’ve got this friend!
fun fact: i could eat 10 popsicles every single day & be completely satisfied!
if at first you don’t succeed, FRY, FRY again!
it’s hard sometimes to keep trying, but i know with everything in me that it will be worth it! keep your chin up & keep trying. you’re incredible!
good luck & baby dust to all of my #ttcsisters!
faith in God includes trust in His timing.
but sometimes that timing seems so incredibly unfair. in fact, sometimes it IS so unfair.
during the unfair times, i hope with my whole heart that you will hold onto hope. i hope you’ll trust in God’s timing & plans & know that He has so many blessings in store for you.
i hope that when peace isn’t present in your life that you’ll keep walking & keep going. when grief is a constant, i hope you’ll remember that your Savior was also acquainted with grief & knows your pain & suffering. He is mourning alongside you. He loves you.
i hope you know you are loved.
To the guy who has been there through THICK & THIN.
I just want you to know that I’m so grateful for you. I’m grateful that you are strong when I’m not. I’m grateful that you hold my hand through all of the doctor appointments, shots, blood draws, ultrasounds, and test result phone calls. I’m grateful that you are willing to administer shots because you know I just can’t do it myself.
Thank you for being there when I cry. Thanks for holding my hair when my medications make me nauseous and sick. Thank you for taking time off work to come to my doctor appointments.
I’m grateful that you don’t let me wallow in self pity for too long. I’m so, so grateful that you stick by me through it all.
Thank you for being my dream guy & for being exactly what I need all of the time.
I love you,
donut give up. there are ways to cope with stress & anxiety!
i’ve found that during my infertility journey, i have become a lot more aware of how my mind + stress affect my body. long story short, my body does NOT respond well to stress. i get nauseous, i have migraines, i throw up sometimes & my cycle gets thrown out of whack.
so i’ve had to learn how to respond & cope with my stress in different & more positive ways. today, i want to share 3 ways i’ve learned to respond to stress.
1. affirmations. i know. they sound woo-woo & make ya feel weird at first. but the more you say nice things to your body & mind, the better it works! think about that thing with plants— if you are nice to them, they grow & develop well! if you’re mean, they wither away and die.
2. writing. i write a LOT about my fertility journey. obviously, i share about it on my blog + instagram BUT if you don’t want to share all of the details with the world, you don’t have to! (you’d be surprised by how much i don’t share here & how much i write in my journal ) @goodgriefjournals are perfect for writing out your feelings and emotions! i love using my @goodgriefjournal to help me navigate the negative emotions that are pent up inside my body.
3. movement! sometimes we feel STUCK inside our own bodies. i love following The Alison Show because she just moves it and grooves it. well, it turns out her moves are contagious because over the last few months i’ve found myself dancing out my feelings (in the comfort of my own home/kitchen/bedroom… with all of the blinds closed) and i feel SO MUCH BETTER after punch dancing out all of my rage. (name that movie) so when you feel stuck, turn on some tunes that just make you wanna BOOGIE. & get down with yo bad self.
you’ve got this. you CAN make it through your infertility journey! you are so dang strong & incredible! don’t give up!
Negativity. Whether it’s in facebook groups or from family members, at some point in your fertility journey (and life in general) you’re going to experience some negativity. So let’s talk about how to combat the negativity, respond with grace and not dwell on the person/people putting a damper on your mood.
When it comes to responding to the negativity (if it is an insensitive comment), i bite my tongue. Like literally bite my tongue. Responding with something snarky isn’t going to make anything better. If the situation is right & I’m not overly emotional, I will take the opportunity to educate the commenter on anything that may help them understand infertility better. But I’ll only take the opportunity to educate if I’m not angry. I repeat, I only take the opportunity to educate if I’m not angry.
If it’s my mind that’s causing the negativity, then I try to remind myself that this moment won’t last forever. My mind is really good at going from 0-5000. If I allow myself to think negatively, then i find myself spiraling. I make sure that I stay around people-- even when i want to be alone. I find that when I let myself dwell on my negative feelings by myself then that’s when i spiral fast and to the darkest places.
Now, I’m not perfect at this, but I’ve learned a few things over the last few years. A few things that I’ve tried to do when the negativity hits (whether it’s an insensitive comment, in my own brain or negative test results) are:
- remind myself that this hard moment won’t last forever.
- play my happy music playlist (from june-december that’s christmas music)
- clean something; vacuuming is my favorite
- bite my tongue
- educate on the subject of infertility
- surround myself with people
hey @parkerbanks92, you’ve stolen a PIZZA my heart & i’m so glad that you are mine! i couldn’t do this life thing without you & honestly don’t know what i did for the 22 years before i started dating you. lucky for me, i’ve got you for eternity. i love you more than everything!
no pun today because my heart is heavy. i made a quick weekend trip home to attend one of my very best friend’s mom’s funeral.
as i drove down yesterday, i thought a lot about the phrase “mourn with those that mourn” and what that means.
it means sometimes you just cry with them.
it means holding someone in a hug for a long time.
it means sending a text message not expecting a response.
it means feeling empathy and sympathy.
it means showing up & loving someone even when it is hard or uncomfortable.
it is saying SOMETHING to let the person know you love them.
today, as you come in contact with those you love, hug them a little tighter. tell them you love them. & honestly, cherish every minute.
still waiting on your lil nugget?
after 3 years of waiting & knowing that we are going to have to continue to wait makes me antsy + anxious for the future. a positive pregnancy test isn’t my final goal— a baby in my arms, then a squirmy toddler, then a nervous kindergartener, then a strong-willed teenager, then an adult who still needs their mama sometimes, then a bride or groom, then a parent...
what i’m getting at here is that there is so much in life to wait for. there’s always a next step and new phase that may seem more appealing and more exciting. but there are so many appealing things and exciting things that are happening NOW. i don’t want to rush through them only to look back & think, “man, i wish i would have enjoyed that more.” i can promise you that as you endure your journey, as you laugh along the way you will NEVER look back & think, “i wish i was sadder then.” waiting is hard. it is so hard. but it doesn’t have to be a white knuckle, hanging on for dear life experience all of the time. sometimes it will be, but it doesn’t have to be all of the time.
i want to challenge you to try something NEW and FUN (to you) this week. see if it changes your mood or (pardon my marie kondo here) sparks joy. if it sparks a LITTLE flicker of something happy, keep trying it until you’ve got a flame of happiness going.
the challenge isn’t just to try something new, it is also to not put out or damper your own spark of happiness. you’re going to have to make a conscious effort to feel happy & it might be uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. i promise it is worth it.
hey, i’m here for the ROCKY ROAD you’re on & i hope that you know you CONE do this.
if i could go back to 3 years ago & give myself advice for this journey i’d say:
hey. you’re capable. you’re strong. you have the endurance to make it through & when you feel like you don’t, God will carry you through. you have purpose. you have worth. you’re needed. even though you may never know why this is your path, it will make you a better version of yourself. rely on parker. show him love because he needs it too. let this strengthen your marriage because it can. let this strengthen your life because it can. keep going. the road won’t always be rocky. i love you!
sprinkle some happiness on your day!
today, my interview with @asyouarepodcast went live. i listened to it this morning (is that weird? If so, whatevs.) & it was honestly exactly the reminder i needed. in the interview we talked a lot about how we can turn our grief into good grief. i shared more of my story during the podcast & the choices i made to be happier during my infertility journey. the more i thought about it this morning, i realized that our journey + story is different than most simply because we don’t have a baby, yet we are happy. if we can find happiness through our journey, you can too!
you don’t have to wait to have a baby to be happy. happiness is part of the journey, it’s not the destination. it is so important to feel all of the feelings that come-- even the hard ones. it is so, so important to feel those feelings. but you can’t dwell on them for forever.
i want to help you be happier. that’s why i’ve created resources for YOU to help you be happier. (even if they’re out of stock…) while we wait for good grief to restock & the 6 weeks to a happier infertility journey to start, tide yourself over with today’s episode of @asyouarepodcast & then sprinkle some happiness on your day by taking the time to do something that makes YOU happy.
FRANKS FOR BEING MY FRIEND. i know it’s kinda corny, but i’m really relishing in the fact that we are friends. while we’re trying to ketchup in the baby department, i mustard let you know that i’m grateful we are friends!
okay. but really, a HUGE shout out to the future baby banks’ fanclub because you all have been the very best friends a girl could ask for. i already know how loved our babies will be simply because of the love i’ve felt from our support system! you all have carried us through this experience & helped us in so many different ways. there seriously aren’t enough words to be able to say thank you.
i hope we can return the favor in some way someday.
happiness is not im-paws-ible! life with infertility can be ruff. but don’t drive yourself mutts by being sad all the time!
two years ago... heck, LAST year i was not happy with my life’s situation. i wanted a baby SO badly & just truly struggled with being happy. about anything. i just wanted a baby. that thought consumed my life.
we got a puppy & he gave us something to live for & something to take care of. i loved him so much. when he passed away i REALLY struggled. i was nervous that i wouldn’t be a good mom because my puppy passed. i was so sad because he made me feel so loved & needed.
a few months later, parker talked me into getting another puppy. moz has been a life saver for us. he’s grouchy, spastic & our little best friend but we wouldn’t change him for the world.
i also started working full-time last year. it gave me purpose & something to look forward to each day (even if i absolutely dreaded being on the phone with clients #anxiety) i met new friends and filled my time & mind with ideas, thoughts & emotions that WEREN’T tied to the fact that we didn’t have a baby. i felt fulfilled, successful and passionate about what i was doing.
i’ve been thinking a LOT about our situation and story. we didn’t become happy because we had a baby. we became happy because we decided to change our story. we decided to take control of our lives instead of letting infertility control our lives.
our story doesn’t have to be different or unique. you can be happy in your journey too. i promise it is possible, even if it doesn’t feel possible right now, if you want to change your life, you can. you’ve got this friend.
the crankiest pup you’ve ever met. mozzie banks.
fun february started a day early & is ending a few days early. not because i don’t have more to share but because i’m tired. sharing my heart every day was more exhausting than i could have imagined. it was SO good, but i’m a firm believer in taking breaks & so i’m taking a little break from sharing what’s on my heart & mind. don’t worry, it’ll be back in a little bit! but for the next few days i’m just going to be sharing things that i love!