The Gift of Friendship

i love you

Sharing our feelings and our personal journey through words can be rewarding and healing and can bring us a sense of peace. But it can also be intimidating as we are not always sure how our words will be received. I would like to thank my wonderful girlfriends and close family members for the positive and supportive response to my blog post, “The DNA Decision” that was featured during the Miss. Conception Coach Fertility Conference. Thank you Miss Conception Coach for helping me share my story! And thank you to all who follow my blog that offer support by silently reading my story, commenting or liking my posts.

I received some very kind messages from my closest friends after they read “The DNA Decision” and I wanted a place to save them and remember them, so I’ve gathered them here.

Thank you for warming my heart!

“I’m so proud of you Chrissy!”

“I read your post and I am simply amazed.   Your perspective, attitude and willingness to adjust are admirable.   I can’t wait to read more and share your blog with a few friends here who could learn a profound amount from your insight. Love you sister and I wish you success in your journey.”

“You are an inspiration Chrissy! So proud of you!”

“I’ll always be proud of you too, Chrissy. Thank you for always being willing to be so transparent, selfless, strong and an example to so many. Love you dearly xox you deserve so much, I’ll be praying every day for your continued journey.”

“You blog is truly inspiring. You never stop amazing me. You are an example to so many and I hope your courage and willingness to allow other avenues to be open for you brings light to others. I love you my friend and wish you success on your journey.”

“Thank you for sharing this with me, it is heartfelt and I am so proud of you for sharing your journey so others can be impacted. Hugs and love to you, xoxo”

“Chrissy you are an amazingly courageous wonderful human being!!”

This was written to my Mom and passed along to me:

“Wow, how wonderful the writing it is!! As you said she transmitted her deep emotional feelings in a very articulate way. I’m deeply touched by her beautiful writing. I wish Chrissy a lovely baby soon.”

An unexpected gift and blessing from South Korea, Waujeongsa Temple:

“The Day of Buddha’s coming fell on May 25th in the solar calendar.  I visited the temple a few days ago.  Notes with individuals’ wishes will be hung on the very day of Buddha’s coming.  I asked for an excuse to a monk and got the note beforehand.  So a few days ago, only your wishes were hung in the temple.  I like this better. I am sure that Buddha will show more mercy to you and your family.”

꾸미기_DSC00664

I love you – Photo by CJE – Tunis, Tunisia

Lantern photo – from friend in South Korea

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Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 14 – Guest Post, Meet Ally!

ally

Check out Day 14 (the Final Day) of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Ally at Uncomfortably Optimistic:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 14

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

The long, long wait

Africa October 2007 (3034)

I was first married at the age of 31. I married my high school “sweetheart” after we had been together for about 15 years or so. I remember in those early days of marriage and through most of our married relationship, we’d get a lot of questions about when we would have kids. Sometimes questions were direct, and sometimes they were subtle hints. Sometimes it was not subtle at all. I remember a family camping trip where the in-laws snuck into our tent leaving behind baby shower signs. I thought it was kind of cute and funny at the time, not knowing I would still be childless so many years later. In the beginning, these questions didn’t really bother me. It was definitely on my mind, but following high school, we had both been very driven with our college education and our careers. Once we were ready for marriage, there were travel plans to fulfill before babies. I wasn’t quite yet ready for kids, but I also knew that time was ticking and I didn’t want to end up regretting it later because I had “missed my chance.”   In that dual income, no kids relationship, we were fortunate to travel to South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, New Zealand, Amsterdam, France and Greece. It was truly incredible. I’m thankful for those opportunities and the memories of seeing lions, elephants, zebras and monkeys in the wild, glaciers in New Zealand, and sunsets in Santorini. When I turned 34, the clock was ticking loudly and I thought we better not waste any more time. But here’s where infertility hit without actually being an “infertile couple”. It just takes one person in the relationship to decide that kids were no longer in our future and bam…you can no longer make a baby. And that’s what happened. And during this time, I had my first experiences avoiding the comments…

”When are you going to have a baby?”

“You better not wait too long or you’ll miss your chance”

These questions and comments tore through my heart. I was now facing a decision of staying married with no kids or divorcing with the hope of still having them in the future. It was then, that I started realizing how hurtful these questions can be. I hadn’t even touched the surface of infertility at this point in my life, but this is when I realized, even hinting at parenthood could be a painful topic. I myself had been guilty of asking others these questions without any idea that it could be such a difficult topic.

I went through my 20’s avoiding pregnancy, and there I was in my early 30’s wanting a baby.   But now the person I had married was taking away an irreplaceable dream.   My high school sweetheart turned out not to be so sweet. This was the first time in my life I had to go through the grieving process of not being able to have a baby. By the age of 36, I was going through a divorce. I had no idea if I would marry again, have a baby, or if I would even have issues trying to get pregnant.   I remember thinking, “how could I possibly meet someone, fall in love, get engaged, get married and have a baby while I still actually have good eggs? Who knows how long this could take?”

A year and half went by between my separation, finalized divorce and magical eHarmony wink. And there he was. We went on one date and fell in love. So, that accelerated my imaginary timeline to baby quite a bit. Five months later we were engaged and a year and a half after meeting, we were married.   I was 38 when we got married. Let the baby making commence! Well…not so fast. We determined at the beginning of our relationship that we were one of those 1 in 8 couples. Three months after we were married we had our first round of IVF. In early January of 2013 I found out I was pregnant. Two days before my 39th birthday, I miscarried at 15 weeks. From there our story continued with a second miscarriage of twin girls and now I am moving toward our 8th embryo transfer at the age of 41. I’ve been married twice, yet I’ve never had the chance to try to conceive naturally.

I’m 41 years old and still trying to have a baby. But trying to conceive at 41, brings a lot of blessings in addition to the heartache. At 41, nobody asks anymore, “when are you going to have kids?” Nobody is on our case about having a baby.   Nobody says, “you better hurry up”. Baby showers become a rarity, since all of our friends already had one or two kids years ago. By the time 39 slipped away from me, baby making peer pressure that had previously existed, simply faded away.

Where that’s helpful when faced with infertility, it’s also scary because you start to realize that perhaps there’s no longer a reason for anyone to ask those questions. I worry that people may think we are crazy to try to have a baby so late in life.  Or may not even believe it is possible. While I see other women in their 20’s and 30’s going through the challenges and emotional pain of infertility, I realize in some ways I’m really lucky. When I was in my late 20’s and throughout my 30’s, all of my friends were having babies. But all this was happening at a time when I wasn’t faced with infertility and the pain associated with that journey. I went to a lot of baby showers and played a lot of baby shower games. I bought a lot of baby gifts. I could enjoy walking into a Baby Gap and buying some cute little outfits. I was able to be there with my friends not just for baby #1, but also for baby #2. And I loved all of it. I was able to be emotionally there for them and to watch their joy and feel their joy with them. I was able to be a friend and really care deeply about their move into mommyhood and was able to fall in love with all of their children. I have nieces and nephews that I love dearly, but I’m also an “Auntie” in several other households. I’m known as Aunt Cookie, Crispy, Auntie Chrissykins and Auntie Nasty. My husband even acquired the nickname, Uncle Cupcake this summer. I’ve been able to watch these kids grow up without the cloud of jealousy due to infertility. I didn’t have to back away from being a part of those growing families because I had just had a miscarriage or another failed embryo transfer. Those things didn’t start to happen until after my friends had their babies and for that, I am grateful.

I’m thankful that even though I’m doing this so late, those same friends are there to support me in my struggle. They are there to offer me words of encouragement when I can’t take the emotional pain anymore. They are understanding and allow me to follow my own path. They are compassionate. At this point in life, my good friends have had the life experiences to know what words to say or how to offer sympathy and kindness.  They have the strength to feel my grief with me.

While I never expected to wait so long to have kids of my own, I have had a journey that has changed my life. It has taught me how to survive deep emotional pain and grief and allowed me to support others in their journey as well. Through all the heartache, it has taught me that hope and faith still do exist. I haven’t given up yet. I’m still waiting for my baby…but oh, does it feel like the longest wait ever.

Photo by CJE – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 13 – Guest Post, Meet Sarah!

sarah

Check out Day 13 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Sarah at Ramblings of a Barren Heart:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 13

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 12 – Guest Post, Meet Ryanne!

ryanne

Check out Day 12 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Ryanne at Girl Ryanne:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 12

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 11 – Guest Post, Meet Lindsey!

lindsey2

Check out Day 11 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Lindsey at Energizer 25:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 11

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 10 – Guest Post, Meet Lindsey!

lindsey

Check out Day 10 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Lindsey at Awaiting Autumn:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 10

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 9 – Guest Post, Meet Logan!

Logan

Check out Day 9 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Logan at With Great Expectation:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 9

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 8 – Guest Post, Meet Caroline!

Caroline Day 8

Check out Day 8 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Caroline at In Due Time:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 8

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 7 – Guest Post, Meet Jessi!

Jessi

Check out Day 7 of the Miss.Conception Coach Bloggers Fertility Conference! I am one of the participants in this conference (see Day 6) and I am very excited to get to share a part of my story through such a supportive forum. I hope you will be inspired to follow along as I’m sure you will feel a connection to the stories being shared. This is a journey we do not have to face alone. Check out today’s post by Jessi at Life Abundant:

Miss.Conception Coach Fertility Conference Day 7

For more information about “Miss.Conception Coach” and this inspiring online community, please visit:

www.missconceptioncoach.com