"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it". - C.S. Lewis

This blog entry goes deep...to my innermost thoughts. Thoughts that, at the time, I hadn't shared with anyone, not even Dan. Let me paint the picture for you: it was a gorgeous summer night, the day after the 4th of July. Dan was away on a work trip and Ralphie and I were home alone. I had put him outside and decided to sit on the back porch and take in the evening. I had a lot on my mind and I just wanted to sit in silence for a moment; to just be me. That's when the urge to write came pouring in, so I picked up my phone, opened the notes app and just started typing. I typed for what felt like hours- jotting down all the emotions that I had been holding onto so tightly for months -and what you will soon read below is a glimpse into those thoughts. Writing has truly helped me process this experience and, as you all know, I'm sharing it with you in the hopes that you don't ever feel alone. 

July 5, 2017

Here's my truth: my heart aches every time I see a photo of a mom and her baby, a pregnancy announcement, baby bumps. I'm haunted by these images. The emptiness is the worst pain I've ever felt. I never expected to be so deeply effected, especially because I was never sure that I wanted to be a mom. As much as I love children, I just didn't know if it was the right path for me. But that's changed...and now my heart yearns. I want to be a mom. I have so much love to share with a baby, so much to share with a child. But nothing. Nothing so far, anyway. My mind races with questions...Will I ever be a mom? Will I ever feel my baby kick inside of me? How long will it take? What if it doesn't work naturally? Can I handle fertility treatments? The meds...the multitude of appointments...the stress it can put on me and Dan...the expense?

I've started really tracking my cycles. I've even had my colleagues draw my blood, check my hormones. Everything looks good, they say. I ovulate, they say. I have even started taking my prenatal vitamins. But still, nothing. It's hard not to wonder why this is happening to me. Why, seemingly, can so many women get pregnant so easily? Why not me? What did I do to deserve this? Is a higher power testing me to make sure I really want a child? Is this my punishment for all those years where I swore up and down I never wanted to be a mom? I pray to my God every day saying please just bless me with one baby. One baby. Just one healthy baby. That's it. I'm not asking for much, I plead. I promise to never ask for anything else, I lie.

I watch my friends who are mothers and envy them. I envy every dirty diaper, every stain on their tiny tots clothing, every smile that child gives them. Every hug. Every kiss. And then there's that ache again. There's that pain. It creeps up and takes hold like no other. It's a pain that no amount of Tylenol or Ibuprofen can cure. It's a pain I have to deal with, hold in, fight back the tears because who would understand? The last thing I want to hear is- it's not your time yet. Your time will come. But how do you know? Maybe it won't...

I don't know if I'm infertile and I'm not sure I'm ready to find out... is anyone ever ready to hear news like that? Something that could literally crush a person's soul. I mean, our bodies are made to bear children or at least that's what society instills in us from a young age. But there are all these things that can go wrong and worse, sometimes there's no explanation whatsoever. What if I fall into that category? How would I cope? I would need a reason why... to make sense of it all but what if that's not a possibility? Then what? What do I do?

Today I saw red. Both literally and figuratively and the flood gates just opened up.

Every month that goes by, I hang onto some sort of hope that maybe, just maybe, this month will be THE month. That hope gets me excited, makes me happy. Gets me through. But as the days pass and my cycle inevitably starts, that hope is smashed. Squashed. And my heart breaks all over again. Already, it's an exhausting cycle...so how much more can I take? I guess time will tell. For now, I hang onto that little bit of hope. For just a little while longer.

July 11, 2017

Today I saw red. Both literally and figuratively and the flood gates just opened up. I couldn't stop them. I thought we had a real chance this month. I clearly thought wrong.

August 25, 2017

I had a dream last night that I was pregnant with twins. In my dream, I was being evaluated for...I don't even know what...and I remember that in my dream, the doctor was looking at my lower back and stated my eggs were there. Then the doctor (I can't remember if it was a man or a woman) did a scan and a number- 92- popped on a digital screen. That number supposedly represented my beta HCG & indicated that I was pregnant with twins. I remember thinking "geesh, that number is too low for twins" and texting my friend Rachel who told me it was ok. I remember feeling elated, then, that we were going to have twins! Two babies! And at once! Talk about so much love...so much TO (TWO?!) love! Dan and I were so excited in my dream...beaming, really.

Then I woke up... and was smacked with the bitter reality that nope, that's not my truth; I'm not pregnant. And my heart sank to my toes and probably would've kept going if it was physically possible. I still wonder, month after month, if it will ever happen for us naturally. I mean, it would be the best gift (besides Ralph) that Dan and I could give each other. We'd be great parents, I think. Dan tells me all the time I'm going to make a great mom and I know in my heart he will make the BEST dad. I just hope God grants us with that most amazing blessing. Please God, if you can hear me, please make Dan and me parents to a healthy, happy little baby of our own. I just know we would love that baby so very much and care for that baby the best way we know how. I can picture our life with a child. Talking walks around the neighborhood. Dan walking Ralph and me pushing our happy, giggly, smiley baby in the carriage. I can see it, I can feel it and I want it more than anything. My heart just aches for that love, for that experience with Dan. I hope we get it. I truly hope God honors and blesses us with that most amazing, selfless gift. God, please hear my prayers. Please help us, God. We would make you so very proud. That is my oath to you.

On another note, I'm still being haunted by babies and people expecting their SECOND child. Posts on Facebook- ugh! I just want to hit the delete or unfollow button. It kills me because we don't even have ONE child and all I want is ONE happy, healthy baby. Just ONE. Is that too much to ask? I mean, I've always loved kids. I started babysitting in middle school and worked at a daycare throughout college and beyond. I've always been around kids and I think I've always been good with kids so why can't I have a child of my own? Why? I don't get it. I probably sound repetitive, but this is my pain. I need to get it out so it doesn't eat me alive. Because it can and it will if I let it. I have to maintain a positive, hopeful attitude, but it is SO hard. Each month it gets harder and harder. I hope there comes a day when I don't get a period and I take that pregnancy test and get a positive! I can't even imagine how good that will feel, but I can see it. I can picture it. One day... I just hope that day comes sooner rather than later... here's hoping.

Each month it gets harder and harder. I hope there comes a day when I don't get a period and I take that pregnancy test and get a positive! 

September 9, 2017

So we did it. We pulled the trigger and scheduled an appointment at RMACT.

What made us do it? Well, quite honestly I was tired of my hope getting smashed every month. I know fertility treatment is going to be a roller coaster ride, but I feel empowered. I feel hopeful. I feel like we are finally going to get the guidance we need to have a baby. We are going to get help and help we need because my damn cycles are just all over the place...anywhere from 24-36 days.  And I can't tell you how frustrating it is. How do you even plan to have a baby with cycles like that? How do you even know when to have sex?!

September 20, 2017

Tomorrow is the day. Our first appointment at RMACT. It's funny...I was so excited, even hopeful, when I made the appointment for us. Because it felt like we were taking a little control back in a situation where we don't really have any. But now that it's almost here, I am so incredibly nervous and emotional and I don't know why. Actually, I do know why. I'm afraid.

Afraid of what we'll be told.

Afraid of maybe not having any explanation at all.

Afraid that it might not work for us.

I just don't know what to think and crying really hard sounds really good right now. Overwhelmed....can't focus. I hope we'll be ok...

Topics: Infertility, Fertility Help, Infertility Awareness, First Infertility Visit, Support, Love and Infertility, Fertility Path, infertility courage, Humor

Justine Houle-
Justine Houle loves a great pair of shoes, and her boys Dan (husband) and Ralph (a very handsome pup hailing from Tennessee which must be where he gets his southern charm). She began her career in childcare and then joined the RMA of CT team in 2011 as a Patient Coordinator. She's served several roles in the organization since then but most recently as the Marketing Operations Coordinator. She is well known for her impeccable style - and recently became an independent stylist for Stella and Dot. On the weekends, she can be found tooling around with her boys in Fairfield, CT where she grew up and currently resides.
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