About Me

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I'm a 29 year old self identifying hippie and amateur photographer. I've been married since Summer 2006, and we started trying to get pregnant the summer of 2007, I have 2 cats and a dog, and I work as a secretary in a prison. This blog is about my battle with infertility and life, love, faith and happiness in the face of infertility. All pictures in the collage and those that I post in my entries were taken by me, unless otherwise stated (or if they are of me of course). Come visit my photography page to see more of my work here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hannah-Love-Chandlers-Photography/282550090053

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


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So it doesn't appear that my mood is improving with the absence of my period. Usually I have to suffer through a little bit of depression, sometimes mild sometimes severe for at least a week with pms and the arrival of my dreaded monthly companion, but then it goes away and I tend to feel better for a few weeks until the next onslaught of mood swings. Sometimes I have a week and a half of bad moods, but some months I don't have any more than a day or two or a moment or two on a couple of days that I feel very bad.

Lately however my depression has been worse and lasted longer, I want to sleep more as well as having a harder time waking up in the morning and I've been having more aches and pains than usual, along with the usual sadness and the anger that is new with this bout of depression, and all those are signs of worsening depression. So with dismay I think it's finally time to turn to the medical community for some help out of my slump. Hopefully if I go back on anti-depressants I can get back to a place where I don't bite my husband's head off every time he looks at me funny.

It's hard for me to go back on anti-depressants because I hate doctors and medicine. Not because I have any fear of needles or anything, but because many times doctors want to prescribe medicine for every single ailment as a first resort, sometimes without looking for the root cause of the problem, and so much as preventative medicine which is often unnecessary. The last time I had to go to the doctor it was for a bad respiratory infection he prescribed me an antibiotic and tried to give me a steroid shot for the symptoms, which I refused. He also prescribed me a GIANT bottle of prescription cough medicine with codeine, which is one reason the entire country is starting to get dependant on pain killers. The time before that I went to him for a Staph infection on my arm that I picked up (twice) from my job at the prison and he prescribed an antibiotic for the staph, and tried to prescribe something for a yeast infection "just in case" I got a yeast infection from the antibiotics which is a common side effect for some women. I said no thanks, and told him if I suffered from that particular side effect I would treat it naturally.

It's also hard for me to go back on anti-depressants because it's like admitting defeat. I feel I'm giving up and I hate that feeling. It's hard for people to admit they need help, and it's hard for me to relinquish control, which it feels like I am if I can't even control my own emotions without medicinal help. I know that it is a medical problem and not something I can control at will, no more than I can choose to ovulate or decide not to have a period this month. But having the head knowledge of these facts doesn't change what I feel, and what I feel is that I'm failing at being an adult. Grown-ups are supposed to be able to handle everything thrown at them with ease, work 40 hours a week, pay all the bills on time, cook dinner every night, keep the house clean, and still maintain happy marriages and raise well-adjusted children. I can't even handle working 40 hours a week without wanting to just curl up in a ball and stay there. I barely get any housework done even on the weekends because I am so physically and emotionally worn out from my work week. I'm always snapping at my husband and yelling at my cats, or crying for no reason. And, again, though my head knowledge that tells me that everyone needs some kind of help and even those who make all that work look easy don't always have an easy time at it doesn't change how I feel.

Friday, December 16, 2011


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Today is one of those very rare days where I wake up so fantastically cranky that I sit around all day stewing and feeling like I want to punch someone. On days like this it feels like my only options are to either be angry or cry. In fact I think the reason I am angry is because I am more depressed than usual and just want to lie down and curl up in a ball –but I have to go to work and pretend everything is fine and do my job without interruption.

I am angry because I had to get up this morning when I was still ridiculously tired from hardly being able to sleep due to coughing so much because of this upper respiratory infection that I supposedly should be over by now. I am angry because I woke up a few minutes late and had to rush when packing my lunch and letting the dog out and then drive to work in the rain. I am irritated because I have to walk down more than 90 outside steps to get to my office, and the knowledge of having to take those same steps back up in the inclement weather with an umbrella that keeps turning inside out in the slightest win just ticks me off even more. I am bothered because my boss is so busy all the time and has so many meetings that we usually don't have enough time to go over her mail and the other things we need to discuss. I am cranky because I am hungry, but there is no food being served here today that I will eat, and the tomato soup I brought as my lunch does not appeal to me at all.

But I am thankful that I woke up at all this morning and that I was not late to work. I am thankful that I was able to afford to see the doctor and start the antibiotics I need to kick this cough, even though it seems to be taking too long. I am thankful that I am physically able to walk up and down 90 steps each day, and that I don't need to be on crutches even temporarily. I am thankful that I have a job, a state job that I cannot get laid off from or fired from for no good reason, one that I get 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. I am thankful that I have food in the house that I can bring to work with me, and that at my job I can eat for free, even though it's prison food and not great, it's still food and it's still free.

I am also cranky because my arms are aching for the baby I wish to hold in them. My heart sighs when I think about the Christmas games we could play, and the traditions we could form. And my eyes glisten with tears when I think about the good times our family may never have. But I am thankful that God gave me the heart to want to love a baby so much, and the ability to feel emotions even when they are sad emotions. Most of all I am thankful for my terrific husband, my beautiful dog, and my cool stepson who is coming tonight for the week, because I would be so much more miserable without these forces of love in my life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Infertility and depression

I need to clear up a little confusion here. I have become aware that it may appear that my entire life revolves around infertility. If you know me only through my blog, or determine who I am and what I am like according to my blog, you may have the same misconception about me. My entire life does not revolve around infertility. Every blog I write is about infertility in one way or another and every topic I choose to write about I find a way to tie it in to infertility, but that is because it is an infertility blog. If I were to write a blog about photography nearly every blog post would be about photography in some way, but that wouldn't mean that every aspect of my life was infected by photography.

Infertility is not first and foremost on my mind every minute of every day. Yes, there are things that come up that bring it into focus, but I don't have the energy to obsess about it all the time. If I spend a lot of time thinking about it, then I will get a little sad. Sometimes I will get more than a little sad, or fall into a depression for a couple of days. However, not every bout of depression I suffer is infertility related. A fight with my husband can cause a short bout of depression, as could money problems, severe stress from work, or anything else that goes wrong. There are also times when there is no specific cause for a bout with depression, because depression is a lifelong battle that isn't yet well understood by doctors, and does not always have to have a specific cause other than a hormonal imbalance.

I have been suffering from depression for my entire life, from when I was a small kid, through my teens, and as an adult. So infertility is not the sole cause of my depression. Because depression is a lifelong battle I will not take antidepressants every time I have a bout with depression. Until my depression becomes so severe as to regularly limit my daily function I intend to stay away from anti-depressants. I have taken them in the past and they greatly benefited me, but I don't think it is necessary to be on anti-depressants for the rest of your life as long as you go off them under a doctor's supervision. I will go back on them if I decide it's necessary. I have also asked my husband to let me know if he thinks I need them again; if I don't recognize the need myself. However, if and when I go back on antidepressants I intend to take them only for a few months, and then attempt to go off of them (under a doctor's care) and see if I can once again handle life without the need to be on daily antidepressants. Most of my bouts with depression last a day or two, though I do sometimes have especially severe PMS at which point it can last for several days at a time.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the causes of my infertility; and, I have learned, can also be a cause of depression and/or mood swings. Many times a woman with PCOS suffers from more severe PMS, depression, and mood swings, than women who do not have PCOS. This can be caused by the imbalance of hormones that causes PCOS. So, chances are, even if I find out that I can never have a baby of my own and I somehow come to completely accept it so that I am never once bothered by it, I will still suffer from depression and mood swings. Of course, infertility isn't something that most people just 'get over'. I think I am pretty well adjusted to the idea of maybe not having a baby of my own, but that does not mean that I am happy for it or that I'm never going to be bothered by the thought ever again.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My Christmas decorating is done! I love Christmas so much; it is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about Christmas, the Christmas music, the lights, the general merriment and the gift giving. I love receiving gifts, but I am the kind that just loves to give gifts, and I would do so much more than I should if I had any money. When I was a teenager I used to wrap the gifts I was giving my friends over and over again so that when they got through with one layer (after fighting with the massive amounts of tape I put on it) there would be another layer to go through. And another, and another. I still do that sometimes. And with my darling husband being such a snoop and liking to shake presents and feel them and try to guess what they are by their shape I have taken to disguising them by putting them all in boxes or other containers. One year I wrapped a few things separately and then put them into a popcorn container and wrapped that. So when he unwrapped it he thinks its popcorn, then he opened it up and has more unwrapping to do.

I put up a tree, garland around the doors, mistletoe, a wreath, and best of all, my Christmas Village. This village has been passed down from my grandma to my mom, and then I received it from my mom. When I was a kid I loved the village and I always helped put it up, and later on my mom would let me put it up on my own. There are so many buildings in this village it would cost quite a bit to replicate. It also has a skating pond that plugs in and has moving magnets moving skaters around the lake. Unfortunately I don’t quit have the room to set it all up. Last year I had to spread it around the living room, putting most in the main spot next to the tree and then putting down snow blankets on the end tables next to the couch and putting some there. This year I am short some snow blankets (must have tossed them last year) so I put them all in the main spot and just skipped the skating pond.Of course the instant I put up the village the cats invaded, and when I booted my Romeo off the sewing table so that I could set up the village he decided he was a Christmas gift and placed himself under the tree.

As much as I love Christmas if I think about it too much I get a little sad. While seeing my beautiful tree lit up and my village all beautifully arranged brings a smile to my face, sometimes it’s a sad smile when I think of how there are no kids around to share my love of Christmas with. No kids around to enjoy the magic and mystery of the moving skating pond, or the twinkling tree, or the angel topper whose wings fluidly change color minute by minute. No Christmas stories to tell, stockings to fill, or waking early Christmas morning in anticipation of the gifts and the fun and love the day will hold.