This is Me

31chances_Chrissy2About six months ago when I started this blog, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about putting such personal and emotionally painful experiences into words for anyone to read. I wasn’t sure who else was out there that may be writing about miscarriages and infertility and whether or not connections would be created through the blogging world. It was a new realm of social media for me and I didn’t know what to expect. What would my friends and family think? What would my husband think? I had been writing for a couple of weeks before I even told my husband about my blog. With so much uncertainty, I decided to be an anonymous blogger.

When I started writing, I just knew that I needed this place to put my heartbreak and confusion and sadness. I needed a way to honor the babies that I had lost. I needed a way to tell people close to me what I had been through without having to talk through the story over and over again. I hoped that others would understand why I was writing and how much it helped me to share my story. Writing seems to give me a place to put my pain so that I don’t have to carry it with me all the time.

As I began writing, the connections slowly started with one “like” and one comment. I’m not a blogger with a lot of followers, but I have now connected with enough of you to know that in this journey, I am not alone. What I have discovered is that there are so many of us struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss or both. I have discovered that the stories are different but the pain and heartache are the same. I have discovered empathy and support from people that I’ve never met in person. I’ve discovered an online support group that I wish I had found 3 years ago.   I don’t want to be anonymous behind my story. I’m so much more than the words that I share about this one part of my life.

So, here it goes. This is me.

My name is Chrissy and…..

I am 41 years old.

coastal walk  kaylee coast  polka dot headbandsI love to go out walking with my dog and as you’ve seen in previous posts, I love my dog. She is a rescued pitbull and her name is Kaylee. I dress her up for holidays and take funny pictures of her.

Kaylee red boa

I love photography and I enjoy taking pictures of anything that I think is pretty. I have my own Etsy shop where I sell cards of my photographs.

I hate to cook but married someone who loves to cook (thank goodness).

chrissymike-291  chrissymike-765  wedding 1

I met my husband on eHarmony. I never believed in love at first sight until I met him.

We got engaged 5 months later.

When I was a kid, I was a gymnast, a swimmer and a ballet dancer. I quit gymnastics and swimming almost 30 years ago but I can still do a cartwheel and I can still swim butterfly.

I am a stepmom to a teenage boy.

I’ve had an 18 year career in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Until I started this infertility journey I was very career driven. Now I’m very baby driven.

ParisOn our honeymoon, we got to go to many places including Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Cannes, and Monaco. It was a dream come true. I found out that Pierre Hermé macarons are delicious and it was worth our trek through Paris in the pouring rain to find them.

PeruA few years ago I went on a 40 mile hike through Peru. I left within just days of meeting my husband. I came home with a $1,000 cell phone bill.

I have 3 siblings and I love them so much!

Sometimes I accidentally snort when I laugh.

I am a melanoma survivor.

me and dad2I lost my Dad to cancer in 2008. I’ll never forget the sound of his voice when he said, “Hi Sweetie” and I’ll never forget his laugh.

My favorite flowers are Gerbera daisies.

I have a sweet tooth weakness for dark chocolate, chocolate cake and peppermint patties.

My guilty pleasure is watching “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” TV shows. And by the way, if any of you are in Bachelor Nation, you’ve got to check out the blog, www.Ihategreenbeans.com for the Bachelor Recaps. You will not stop laughing.

chrissy little  childhood photoI had a very happy childhood including an awesome teddy bear collection, wonderful grandparents, loving and dedicated parents, lots of pets, and my Dad rocket launching my sister and I into the air in every hotel pool we visited. My mom has been my rock through everything in life.

I think The Muppets are totally awesome.

“Sixteen Candles” is my favorite movie.

I think I have my mom’s eyes and my dad’s smile.

I love giggle fits with my sister.

Thanks for getting to know me.

Love,

Chrissy

Wedding photography:  Mary Bernsen

Other images:  CJE

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The DNA Decision

child book ED storyWhen we dream of having our own children, we wonder how our looks and personality will pass down to our baby. Will they have our nose, our eye color or hair color? Will they laugh like us, look like us, smile like us? Maybe she will be my strawberry-blond mini-me bringing on comments from friends saying, “she’s so cute, she looks just like you!” But how does this all change and how do we accept that this type of dream is gone, when the genetics are not ours? How do we decide to move forward with the journey to baby when we can’t have “our” baby? Surprisingly, the decision turned out to be quite simple. Not that there weren’t fears that came along with it, but as options dwindle, the path becomes clear and now here we are with our donor embryos. When successful IVF with my own eggs became such a remote possibility, our next logical step seemed to be adoption. But then we found out about egg donation. Knowing my first choice is to carry the pregnancy on my own and be in control of the health of the baby from day one, this became our next best option. The process with our agency was so respectful and comforting that it became such an exciting new path for us. We chose a donor that resembled me as closely as possible to my eye, hair and skin color. We were able to review medical history and a thorough profile including photos from various years of her life. And then we had the option to meet her. While all personal information including names are kept confidential, we were able to sit with her for an hour with our conversation guided by a psychologist. I left the meeting feeling so thrilled to now have insight into her personality, her childhood, her family, her hobbies, music interests, travel desires and mannerisms. I left there hoping I would be able to share this with my child someday.

Here are a few things that I wrote about her shortly after meeting her:

…She has a cute smile. I hope we will get to see that smile again. She’s confident, witty, smart, a hard worker and likes reggae, rap, hip-hop and Jimmy Buffet. She has green eyes that sparkle with a daring and adventurous spirit. Blond hair that was dyed a bright orange-red with a short, spunky haircut. When we walked in the office to meet her I went to shake her hand and was surprised and happy to be met by a hug.

…She warned us that she is adventurous and daring, apologizing ahead of time that we could have a child climbing the walls.

After going through two partial pregnancies and experiencing the love for the life growing within me; there was no longer a fear or thought that “this baby isn’t mine.” They all felt like mine from the moment I heard a heart beat. The genetics did not mean a thing when I saw them on the ultrasound. All I saw were my babies and all I felt was love. And isn’t it exciting to think of creating a child where there are no preconceived ideas of what they should be like because you expect them to be like you? How wonderful to let go of that and just let them grow and blossom into who they are meant to be! So, if our miracle comes and someone says, “she’s so cute, she looks just like you!” I will smile and know that it’s because our love and our connected souls are shining through her eyes (or his, I’m not picky). We will belong to each other.

Every beating of my heart

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I REMEMBER YOU

The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn’t bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.

The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
“I Remember You”

-Author unknown