Amanda’s Story

Amanda's Story

My fertility challenges began when I removed my IUD after graduating from nursing school. At this time I was beginning my career and had married my partner after ten years of being in love. We finally decided that it was time to begin to grow our family. We never expected that it would not be that easy.

We tried for two years; at first fairly casually, not using protection and going with the flow. We then got more serious and started using ovulation predictor kits (OPK) to track ovulation to be more methodical about the process, yet still, we had no success. We decided to self-refer to a fertility clinic where I was diagnosed with anovulation.

We felt some hope at this point that we had a plan, and that plan was going to bring us success! After four months we were pregnant and thrilled. Only to find out that HCG levels were low and fluctuating. I was then faced with the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy at the onset of a global pandemic! Thankfully there were no signs of an EP on ultrasounds and I came out of this with my health intact and we were told it was a chemical pregnancy. We took a two-month hiatus and then got back into the saddle of appointments, pills, injections, and visits from my good friend Wanda. Only to be met with month after month of disappointment, hopelessness, and the emotional rollercoaster of infertility.

Autopilot mode

I felt like a robot; always taking pills, rushing to get out of the house to be on time for appointments and then be on time for work, and staying late at work to make up for late start times to accommodate appointments. All the while having my body play tricks on me because the hormones I am taking are mimicking the signs of early pregnancy. Month, after month. My stress levels intensified; I was moody, grumpy, on the brink of tears most days, and trying to push it all down just to function and get through my days. I got to the point where I was numb and couldn’t feel anything BUT anger. Anger is just a surface emotion but I could NOT get beyond that to actually feel the emotions that I needed to.

Taking control back

I did, however, become AWARE and started to reflect on my behaviours and why I was always feeling so angry. I found a new job where I am finally following my nursing dreams and not in a role that I thought was leveling me up (as per the norms that society molds for us). This, unfortunately, means I am without benefits for a period of time, so I am taking a break from fertility treatments, but with a mindset that this is my opportunity to take what my doctor has said to heart. “You want to be the healthiest you can be”. I’m focused on clean eating, taking my supplements, exercising, and planning to see a naturopath that works alongside the fertility clinic. It has made me realize that the plan is SO MUCH BIGGER than just the medication. And I’m feeling empowered and back in the driver’s seat.

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?- AMEN!” -RuPaul

I think being honest with myself has allowed me to start climbing out of the hole that I was in. By doing this I have followed my dreams, reduced my stress, and forgiven myself.

I have used my experience with infertility to create motivation to keep going and work on making myself the best version I can be. Some days that is going for a spin or a walk with my dog. Others it is tucking into some RuPaul or a sad movie and vegging. I’ve learned to be gentle and kind with myself. Infertility is NOT MY FAULT (and it isn’t yours either). Ultimately… if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else!

Finding strength, hope, and courage

The bad days have been frequent and at times debilitating. I’ve learned that it is okay to feel sad, but it’s not okay to feel sorry for myself. I lean on my support system a lot, and seeing my young nieces and nephews and feeling their love helps… although sometimes when our visits are over I am emotional, and it mimics that crushing feeling that I don’t have a little one of my own.

I cry, a lot! I’m crying right now typing this… I cry about my fears. I cry for others who are experiencing infertility and are scared. I cry because I’m embraced with love and support from my friends, family, and complete strangers who KNOW what I am going through. I cry because others care about me, and I cry because I care about them. So, in short, humanity and kindness give me hope and courage, and strength on my worst days. And at my best, I try to give a little of that to others.

The truth

Infertility can be very challenging on relationships. With my husband, I came to resent him! All he had to do was the fun part, meanwhile here I am waking at dawn and coming home at dusk, completely emotionally exhausted. And then when I’m hopeful that this could be the month… he is a ‘Debbie Downer’. It has been arduous, but our communication has improved so much through this process. Unfortunately, things got loud a few times, but now we are able to talk about our feelings openly and we may be closer than we have been in years, which often happens when you battle through a storm with someone.

I have felt very awkward with some friends and even my sister announcing her pregnancy. People are afraid to tell me because of what I am going through. I often get told via text, which actually hurts my feelings and makes me feel not very important. But I do understand this is the safest and most given piece of advice for those dealing with infertility, and I am touched at the end of the day that my friends and family are considering my feelings and trying to navigate this with me.

I’ve gotten a lot of advice, which is mostly with good intention. I’m not sure that anything has permanently harmed me, but it’s a big challenge when everyone says “It will happen”. How do you know I wonder? I just remind myself to say thank you for your positive wishes and thoughts.

I have always wanted to be a mother; playing house since I was 4, circling baby items I would buy in the Sears catalogue, begging my mom to take me with her to have tea at her friend’s house so I can play with their babies and toddlers, babysitting at 12 (who lets a 12-year-old babysit?!?!).

These days I have come to accept that I may never be a mother to a child of my own. No point in dwelling on it. All I can do is change what I can, and that is myself. I can’t change what the universe has in store for me.

A little about me

I am 35, a libra, married for three and a half years, together for 13.5. Have a chocolate Labrador named Rudy, who shares my birthday; we are kindred spirits and we all make a goofy family.

I am lucky to have a sister, best friend, and cousin who are all like sisters and are the most supportive lovelies that I could ever ask for.

I have a nephew and two nieces whom I adore, with another on the way in June 2021 (gender TBA).

I love to read! Thrillers are my favourite, but Harry Potter reignited my love for reading. I read 30 books last year and my goal this year is 40.

I love crafts of all kinds. I’ve made bath bombs, dog leashes, party decorations (including most of the decorations and all the bouquets for my wedding), Christmas crafts, crocheting, and I want to learn cross-stitching.

I take after my grandmother and love to thrift! Breathing life into old things gives me great joy and sometimes I think I am a borderline hoarder because we are always trying to reuse or recycle things instead of throwing them away.

I am a nurse and a nurturer at heart; back to the bedside in hospice care and loving it.

I love true crime, and true crime podcasts and I am a self-proclaimed down bitch! TCO and ODW family know what I am talking about ?

xo

Amanda

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