Why I'm Openly Sharing Our Story to Parenthood



Injections night No. 2

Today marks day No. 4 of our IVF injections. I've been sharing bits and pieces of our journey to Baby Smith #ourjourneytobabysmith on social media and I've blogged about it several times here. I've always been passionate about taking photos and writing, but not until recently have I felt the freedom of sharing something so very personal. There are several women that I admire that have chosen to share their story of infertility and to them I'm so very grateful. They have given me hope and they've helped me fully embrace this season of struggle as one that is still full of beauty despite the pain. 

Jenica | A Slice of Style | She's pregnant with twins after years of infertility and three rounds of IVF. 

Eleni | Convey the Moment | The video she shared about her infertility struggles on YouTube here is simply beautiful. 

Christy | Christy Tyler Photography | She just had twin baby boys this week, conceived through IVF, and they are adorable. I love following her posts on Instagram. 



A shot full of baby dust. 

Ryan and I were at a birthday party for one of his coworkers on Sunday afternoon. [My first round of IVF injections were the night before. My head was pounding all day Sunday, and not mention I had my first period since my laparoscopy for endometriosis in November, my Reproductive Endocrinologist that did the surgery had me suppressing my cycles since the surgery. I found out from a recent colonoscopy that I have an ulcer on my small intestines from all the NSAIDs I've taken over the years to treat the severe endometriosis pain. They had thought it was endometriosis on the colon but the GI doctor confirmed it was an ulcer - which was very good news because it will heal if I stop taking Advil and Meloxicam. Long story short, with this period, I only took Tylenol and it barely took the edge off the pain. I was feeling pretty crappy at the birthday party.] Back to the birthday party ---- sorry I'm good at going in different directions not only when I'm talking, but when I'm typing too. Ryan and I were talking to one of his friends/coworker and he asked about the IVF. I love when guys feel comfortable talking about it. His question went something like "how soon could you be pregnant or have a baby!" It was funny because I didn't answer his question as much as I tried to explain the process. Then I started to say, well, by the end of April we should know, all the while Ryan is explaining the potential due date. Then somehow we got onto the fact that since I've been openly sharing our story on social media its going to be pretty tough to follow that "12 week rule", that everyone knows! Women aren't supposed to announce they're pregnancies until they've made it to the "safe zone" at the 12 week mark. In the moment, I thought, "hmmmm, crap, I didn't even think about that." And that was pretty much all that I thought about it on Sunday, like I said my head hurt and I think hormones were pumping through my body that kind of affected my ability to think clearly. 



This was before we left for the birthday party on Sunday. 

The next morning the "12 week rule" popped into my head again, except this time I actually sat and pondered the conversation and the rule. Who on earth even made up this rule? I came to the realization that the entire rule is just absurd. I guess a woman is supposed to suffer in silence, like her body is something to be ashamed of, if she has a miscarriage? Wouldn't you think that a woman and man that have suffered loss need love and attention during a time of pain more than ever before? I have many friends that have suffered the tragic pain of miscarriage in silence because of this tradition of waiting to announce the pregnancy, and I think it's time for this social norm to be scratched. I've never been one to live in secrecy about anything, being an open book comes naturally to me. I understand other men and women prefer to live more private lives, and of course, aren't going to announce their pregnancy for all the world to hear, but on the contrary, if they wanted to tell their co-workers, family or closest friends, that rule of waiting should not even pop into their mind. If they were to lose the baby, then they would need time off work, they would need extra phone calls and support from their friends and family. 



My sweet hubby preparing my injections on night No. 1

My sister makes fun of me because she says I live in a world of unicorns and butterflies. And she's not the first one to give me a hard time for living in "la-la land!" And you know what? I hope to always be a person that can find joy in life, even during the hardest of seasons. The fact that I can put a smile on my face, celebrate the simple joys, even when I'm struggling, will probably be who I'll always be. It's my personality. I cry and I worry. I get angry and cuss. I get frustrated and disappointed. We all do! 



The day our nine pound package of medication arrived. Full story on Instagram @wendycorren

My point with all of this is that I've found sharing my struggle with endometriosis, and sharing our story to parenthood, to be freeing and uplifting. It's helping me to focus on the beauty, inspiration, faith and hope instead of being overcome by fear and worry. On the hard days I want to embrace all that I have that brings gratitude to my heart. 



My stomach is so bloated from only 3 rounds of injections. I can only imagine what it'll look like before retrieval next week. 

I've had people reach out to me to say they are praying for us, others that have gone through the same struggles and kept it all a secret, some who are going through their own battles with loss and health challenges. I've had a few girls ask me questions about endometriosis, in fear that they may have it too. Everyone has seasons of joy and pain. It's life. My hope is that with time, people will find more comfort in talking about their lives and their truth, instead of feeling like they must hide the struggles. Feeling connected to others, feeling like someone understands and can relate, having someone simply listen, can bring a richness to life that may just overcome some of the pain. 



From the Instagram post on March 10th. 

I was up bright and early this morning for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. The entire doctor's office smelled like a floral shop. A recent patient sent a floral arrangement to every single person in the office as a gift of gratitude for her pregnancy. I love the smell of lilies! And I just realized our egg retrieval is the week of Easter. Fancy that for a perfect date for #ourjourneytobabysmith Also I'll be doing injections over St. Patrick's day (also my beloved grandma's birthday), so here's to some Irish luck #ttcwithendo#ivfjourney



We think she'll be a good BIG sister someday soon. 

And to end this post with the perfect poem. 

Life can be the sunshine, 
On peaceful days with bright blue skies, 
Or life can be the raindrops, 
That fall like tears squeezed from your eyes, 
Life can be the heaven, 
That you'll only reach through hell, 
Since you won't know that you're happy, 
If you've not been sad as well, 
Life can teach hard lessons, 
But you'll be wiser once you know, 
That even roses need both sunshine, 
And a touch of rain to grow. 
-e.h

Love to you and yours xo 
Wen
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