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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Don't Ignore the Pain of Infertility

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Don’t Ignore the Pain of Infertility

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I had a bad dream last night. It wasn’t a nightmare, but it’s still a bad dream. I dreamt I had a baby. This wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time. I’m lucky that I don’t have dreams like this too often, not even once a month, because I feel pretty bad the next day. Like usual I dreamed about the birth and it went smoothly, and I’m left holding a beautiful baby and I am so happy. In the dream I am overjoyed. I feel so good that when I wake up I feel the pain of infertility so much more than usual.

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Infertility hurts. It can hurt physically (like with endometriosis), but worse than the physical pain, it hurts emotionally. Don’t ignore the pain in yourself. If you are suffering from infertility don’t try to squash the pain. Don’t wallow in the pain, but ignoring it won’t make it go away.
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If you have a friend who is suffering, don’t ignore their pain. We aren’t asking that you coddle us, or pity us, just be aware. If your best friend’s husband just left her, you wouldn’t necessarily run up to her with news of your engagement, or how awesome your honeymoon was. The same is true about infertility. The difference is that with infertility, as time goes on the pain doesn’t fade. Each month we are reminded how empty our arms are until we finally have the baby we already love so much. For people that have been trying for 10 or more years, like the wonderful woman who runs Infertility Awareness, they are still reminded month after month, that while their body goes through the motions their dreams may never be realized.

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We hate that pregnancy news brings us down. We feel guilty that your good news makes us feel bad. We know we should be happy when a close friend is pregnant, and we are, but we are also reminded of what we don’t have. Please try to be patient if your best friend doesn’t feel up to coming to your baby shower, or doesn’t comment on your baby pictures on Facebook. She isn’t trying to hurt you; she is just trying to get through her day without bursting into tears. Some days nothing bothers us, and some days we can’t handle just seeing a baby picture. Remember that infertility is real, it is painful, and it is not something we brought on to ourselves, nor something that we can fix.  

The links below have more information about infertility and NIAW.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't Ignore the Signs of Infertility

Don’t ignore the signs of infertility in yourself. The World Health Organization defines infertility as a disease, and when we used the definition of disease to dissect infertility we came to the conclusion that infertility qualifies as a disease. So educate yourself and then don’t ignore the signs of infertility. If you had severe pain in your arm and it was all swollen and red you’d go to the doctor and get it checked out. We tend to want to ignore the signs that point to the undesirable fact that something might be wrong, especially if you aren’t physically in pain.

But infertility IS a disease. As you age your chances of getting pregnant decreases (even if you never had any fertility issues) so it’s better to do something about it now. Even if you don’t want to have kids right now, if you see the signs of infertility in yourself still get checked out. Some things that can cause infertility often have other side effects that affect your health and general wellbeing. For example, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can have emotional side effects (like depression), weight gain, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and more.

If you are trying to have kids and it’s been 6 months, go get checked out. if you are in your early 20’s you can wait a year, but sometimes it just takes a couple of visits to find out what’s wrong, start treatment and get pregnant. For many women PCOS can be treated with a simple medication called Metformin, which can start you ovulating again and get you pregnant. While we all wish it was so easy for us, why not find out if it is that easy for you? It may be desirable to push it under the rug and pretend that you aren’t having any problems, but with fertility time is of the essence, and wouldn't you rather have your bundle of joy sooner than later?

Don’t ignore the signs of infertility. Treatment for what is causing your infertility can make your days more pleasant, and even extend your time here on this beautiful earth. If nothing else maybe it will give you peace of mind knowing that nothing is wrong or that you are facing what is wrong head on and dealing with it.

The links below have more information about infertility and NIAW.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Ignore Infertility - National Infertility Awareness Week

Don’t ignore infertility. April 22-28 is National Infertility Awareness Week. This year we are trying to raise awareness by talking about not ignoring the disease infertility. I don’t know how many people read this blog that haven’t had to battle infertility, but I think a lot of the world doesn’t know that infertility is a disease. My husband doesn’t even think it is a disease.

Is infertility really a disease? How do you define disease? When I think of disease I think of sickness. I think of being unable to perform daily activities. I think of diabetes, cancer, measles, strep throat, the flu, heart disease. You think of things that can kill you or are painful or make your life physically miserable.

A disease is defined as any deviation from or interruption of the normal function of any body part, organ, or system that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms. So diabetes is a disease because the pancreas does not function as it should, and it is manifested by symptoms like rising blood sugar, fatigue and irritability. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a disease, in which the pancreas puts out too much insulin, and the ovaries take in that insulin and a result make cysts and fail to produce eggs. You can take this definition and apply it to any known illness or disease and it will fit those criteria. So is infertility a disease? The World Health Organization defines infertility asa disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”  

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. The reproductive system is one of the systems of the body. When it does not function properly the symptoms can be lack of ovulation, lack of sperm production, production of sperm that is not viable, or failure to produce the correct hormones to carry a pregnancy to term. Does infertility cause physical pain? Endometriosis, which can cause infertility, is painful, but infertility by itself doesn’t cause physical pain. Is infertility likely to kill you? The reproductive system is the only body system that you can live without. But infertility is still a disease even though it won’t kill you and doesn’t cause physical pain. 

We don’t ignore diabetes or heart disease, should we ignore infertility? Infertility is an earth shattering diagnosis to receive for a couple that wants a baby. It hurts emotionally and there is no cure for it. Do you have children? Think about how much you love your children. Imagine not having those beautiful babies… can you? Infertility needs to be recognized and should no longer be ignored, pushed under the carpet or stigmatized. One of the first steps for that is bringing it out into the open, and accepting that it is a real disease. Can you accept that it is a disease?
The links below have more information about infertility and NIAW.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Photo a Day April - How You Feel Today

See more of my photos from my photo a day challenge!
Photo a Day April
Day 14
How You Feel Today

I saw this unique flower at Walmart today, and since I was keeping my eyes open for something to define how I felt, I had to jump on it. I feel wonderful!! I feel beautiful, flowery, colorful and weird. Lately this is how I feel every day, and I thank God that He has blessed me with such good spirits! Even when things were rocky at work this week I kept my mood up. Normally I wouldn’t have been able to weather the storm without crying, but with God’s help I handled it wonderfully. I also found out that I was not pregnant this week, but I’ve been asking for prayers that I could handle the letdown if I wasn’t pregnant, and it didn’t even bring me down. This has been a terrific week.

Somebody asked me a question a couple of weeks ago that really opened my eyes. He quoted Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Then he asked me if I was diligently seeking Him. I could not answer that question honestly and be satisfied with my answer. That one question turned my life around in an instant. I realized that I was not diligently seeking God. I wasn’t even reading my bible regularly. How can you know somebody if you don’t try? How can somebody comfort you if you don’t let them talk to you? God has given us the bible so that we can know Him, so that we can read His words. I can’t believe I have had this comfort tool sitting around my house (even staring at me from my phone) and I have been ignoring it.

I realized I have been separating my infertility from my faith, because I don’t know how to reconcile a loving God with the unending pain of infertility. I still don’t know how to do that, but I realize that compartmentalizing like that was not healthy for my relationship with God. Instead of dealing with my infertility outside of my faith I should be always looking for encouragement in the scriptures. Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” –Matthew 5:4. The bible is full of comforting passages like this one. It is also filled with uplifting, inspirational verses: Matthew 21:21 ‘So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive"’ Sometimes it feels like the bible was written just for me! 
See more of my photos from April's Photo a Day Challenge