Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lemons and Lemonade

So life has handed me a few lemons. Those of you who know me well know that I've been making "lemonade" since I was a kid. Luckily I've been surrounded by women in my life who have good recipes for lemonade because they have made a few batches themselves. So I'm here to discuss my most recent and unusually sour lemon.

Who would've thought coming from a woman who had five children with no problems that I would have to deal with infertility. On my mom's side I have two tios and two tias. On my dad's side I have seven uncles and one aunt, and my only sister is pregnant with her fifth. Yes, her fifth.

When we were married only five months I got pregnant. We were shocked to say the least. I assumed that I was as fertile as can be, so we were very surprised when it took us a year and a half to get pregnant the second time. Realizing things were difficult the second time we were prepared for it to take awhile the third time around. Well we are three years into the third time around. Aric has endured "The Test" and I have gone through exams, blood tests, hormone tests and surgery. Just to be told that we have "unexplained infertility". I am a "mystery" as my doctor put it. So here we are.

Any of you who have experienced the pain and frustration of infertility know where I am coming from. I am a member of the "Infertile Mertyl Club". My Tia Ines (my mom's sister) was the first person I knew to ever experience infertility. I was a teenager and didn't have a clue as to what she was going through. For one I was totally self absorbed, as most teenagers are, and second I just didn't realize that there was such a thing as infertility. So to my Tia Ines...we finally have something in common. I'm so sorry you had to go through this and I realize what a gift Manuel is to our family considering what it took to bring him into this world. And to my Tio Marco and his wife Dani, you have handled your infertility with such faith, you have been a great example to me. I am so grateful for the other members of this club and wish I had more members around who I could talk to.

Having two children without any "help" truly was a gift. My heart goes out to those women who have had this trial/lemon and never got to experience carrying a child. I will always be grateful that I got to experience pregnancy and birth.
At the moment I have seven dear friends who are at various stages of their pregnancies (including my sister). I am so happy for them. My lemon in no way takes away my excitement or joy for them. I would be lying if I said it didn't sting a little bit to watch their bellies grow. But I realize that just as it is Heavenly Father's plan for each of them to have their babies right now, it is His plan that I am not supposed to have a baby right now. At least the "normal" way.

So this is for my dear, sweet pregnant ladies:

If I knew that Edee would have been my last pregancy,
I would have...

...Been just as excited the day the double line showed up on the stick.

...Not cursed my morning sickness. I would have embraced that first trimester, nausea and all.
...Not wished for the day I fit into my maternity clothes so everyone would know I was pregs and not just getting chubby.
...Been just as excited about the first time I felt the baby move.
...Paid more attention to everytime the baby moved and taken the time to really enjoy what it felt like.
...Appreciated my pregnant body, swollen ankles and all, recognizing the gift that it was just to be pregnant.
...Taken more pictures of my pregnancy instead of hiding behind the camera.
...Tried not to be so anxious for my pregnancy to end. I would have tried to enjoy it more.
...Been just as thrilled as I was when she came out.
...Cried just as hard.
...Held her and smelled her even longer.
...Still stayed up all night looking at her even though I was exhausted from the labor and delivery.
Now, this doesn't mean you can't complain about how uncomfortable you are. I remember just how awful it feels to carry an extra 40+ pounds and feel so tired all the time. I remember having heart burn and thinking my skin is going to pop, after all it can only stretch so much! I just hope that you will savor your pregnancies and maybe in the midst of the nausea and back pain, you will be able to find a happy place remembering the gift that is yours to be pregnant carrying your precious little one.

As for me and my's time for me to make some lemonade! Aric and I have decided to adopt a baby through LDS social services. We are almost done with all of the RIDICULOUS paper work, we will be getting finger printed tomorrow and turning in the last of our paper work this week. The Lord has definitely been there for us and we have felt Him guide us to this decision. We appreciate the love and support from our family and friends. Many of you have been along for this painful ride and you have been a huge strength to us. We realize we still have a journey ahead of us and so far it has not been easy but we look forward to sharing our lemonade once this is all said and done.


Elizabeth Caldwell said...

Bless you for taking a child into your home who needs your love. I know how frustrating infertility is. I was married to my first husband for 6 years before I got pregnant with John. We were married for another 3 years after he was born. I have been married to my second husband for 5 years now and have only had the one pregnancy in my life. My John is such a precious gift. I would welcome another child if one were given to me, but as I recently passed my 40th birthday, I am pretty sure that will never happen.

Your words about embracing pregnancy have such resonance with me. thank you for that gift.

The Hansen Clan said...

What a beautiful post Jess - thank you for sharing such a difficult but important message with all of us who love you and your family so much. We are going to seriously celebrate when that paperwork is finished!

Ilene said...

Ironically, I feel really excited about your adopting. I do NOT rejoice in the infertility problems but I do know the blessings of adoption and they are simply incredible; every bit as beautiful and miraculous as carrying a baby inside your body (and consequently every bit as nauseating and frustrating, I think).

I remember one day sitting with two friends. We were all recent first-time moms. One friend said she felt like less of a mother because she had a c-section and never "pushed", the other was feeling a bit less mother-like because she adopted and never experienced pregnancy, and I was feeling down because I couldn't breast feed. Then we all just looked down at our beautiful baby boys and realized that we were mothers in every sense of the word, we just had different journeys along the way.

Good luck and keep us posted!

cyn the win said...

glad i found your blog through amazing ilene! (er, actually you found me first.)

That's what I say. I'm so glad gals like us who belong to the infertility club write blogs about it because all the prego gals out there need to see the other side.

you are latina (seeing as you mentioned tios and tias) like myself and i so KNOW that helps when it comes to adopting through LDSFS. all my gorgeous children are part hispanic. viva la rasa!

Jessica said...

Loved it. Probably your best post. I'm sitting here in Utah sick as can be, but it helps to have reminders like this. I'm linking you, I think.

Hazen5 said...

I found you via Jessica's blog! That was a beautiful post and wish you all the best with adopting your child. That child will be so blessed and lucky to be in such a loving home! Thank you for making me appreciate being pregnant with all my children.

gab said...

Came over from Everyday Romney's too!

I relate so much to this post. Infertility was my middle name.

Then, we adopted twice through LDS (best thing ever!) and later did IVF to get twins.

Now insanity is my middle name!

Good luck...I will check in. Thank you for this from-the-heart post!

Laurie said...

I'm over from Jessica's blog.

Just wanted to let you know I'm impressed with your optimism and am wishing you all the best.

Thanks for the reminders to appreciate each moment.

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for sharing so much with all of us. This was an honor to read and I am truly wishing you all of the best. I came over from Jessica's blog but, I must confess I have lurked over here before, because you say such funny and witty things in Jessica's comment section.

Also, at the risk of sounding like a scary pervert or something I just have to always look so cute in your pictures!
Okay, now that I have freaked you out I will leave as mysteriously as I came ;)

Abbie said...

I so needed to read that today. Thank you so much. I'm going to appreciate the sweet blessings of pregnancy.

(Jessica R's cousin)

Heidiram said...

What a beautiful post. You have such a great attitude. I certainly wish I could have had your positive outlook when I was going through secondary infertility.

Glenn said...

Jess, I am sorry. I wish I were home tonight because I would call you over to watch the bachelor. I will be home next week. :) There are very inspirational thoughts and feelings at I am impressed with the thoughtfulness of the stories there. If you have time, check it out! Best wishes on your adoption.

Lindsey said...

Oh, Sorry, that post from Glenn was actually from me, still with all of the same heartfelt emotion! I am still at my parents house. Sorry!

day in the life of a prince said...

Such a good post, thank you!!

Erin said...

Over from Jessica's blog too...what a beautiful post. We are just starting the paperwork through LDSFS after 2 years of trying (after having twins via fertility treatments). You put it all so perfectly...thanks. :)

Bridget said...

Came over from Jessica's blog too.

That was a beautiful post. I have three children but with our first we had to try for 1.5 years. I remember how long and painful that was.

Good for you for making lemonade!

Paige said...

An honest, great perspective on this. When I get there, I'm going to tell HF every woman should be able to have all the babies she wants. So there.

Denae (a.k.a. D-dawg) said...

That lemonade sounds delicious. I wish you the best of luck! I am also dealing with secondary infertility and it is no fun. I wish I could go back to my pregnancies and childbirth's and cherish every moment of them. I wish I had known then what I know now! But that is life I guess. Good for you for making the most of it.

Erika said...

visiting via Jessica's blog - what a great attitude you have and taking the step to adopt.. well good for you. I can already tell you're a great mother.

Shally said...

I have dealt with infertility too (for 6 years). Although it is no fun-- without it, I would have never had my son Jaxon. We adopted him through LDS Services, and I cannot IMAGINE my life without him. We also did in vitro, had twins, then a surprise baby.

I KNOW that everything happens for a reason... so best of luck to you with the adoption! It is THE BEST.

Also, if you need help with your portfolio (don't know if you have done the letter and stuff yet) PLEASE email me. It helped me so much to talk to someone else who had done it.

I know you don't know me, but I would be more than glad to help out.

Penny said...

That was beautiful Jessica. Thanks for sharing your experience. Isn't it neat to see all the love and support in the comments from people around the world that don't even know you? We love you dearly and you will be in our prayers. I am so excited for your family... keep us all posted!

Brigitta said...

came over from Jessica's blog. and loved your perspective. I am finishing up my last month of pregnancy on my last baby that I plan on having. I am trying to savor it, but now I am in the last weeks and am so uncomfortable and tired. And just ready for him to come out. So it was good for me to read your post and so I will enjoy it knowing it is my last.

Rochelleht said...

Came over from Romney's. We adopted through LDS as well. That paperwork is a bear! Good luck!!! How exciting. You have a lovely family and that post was sweet as can be. What a blessing it is have a new child join the family.

AMY said...

I am SO excited about this adoption. In a way, it seems the adoption process is a little like pregnancy. All the ridiculous amounts of EVERYTHING you have to do will pay off when that one person finds YOU through inspiration. You're going to make great parents to a lucky baby. And you'll make a young woman feel comforted knowing her child will grow and develop with a wonderful, strong, and happy family.

We are so blessed to know you and your family. I admire the way you were there for me and Jack. The joy you expressed to me never for one minute made me afraid to share any part of my pregnancy and child with you. You are a great friend - and that's all I can say because I'm getting emotional just typing this.

I love you and your family. Yes- even Aric :)

Rachel said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this post.
I linked you from Jessica's blog and am so glad I followed the link.
I am in my last few weeks of pregnancy and doing most of those things you say not to. (wishing it was over... get this baby out... hiding behind the camera...)
So thank you for this. I needed to hear it.
Good luck with the adoption!

Lauren said...

Hey, it's me again...

I wasn't sure if you have your comments sent to your e-mail or not, so I decided to come back here and comment. I just read your Boh-bah Sighting post and went back to discover what a Boh-Bah actually is and I thoroughly enjoyed both posts!!

Your girls are gorgeous! I am so glad that seeing a boh-bah again didn't send her into a relapse and I loved how she thought you were silly to put a boh-bah in her hair.

Teresa said...

Well, that made me nice and teary eyed! I feel like I can relate, but in a slightly different way. After our first child was born, there was a time of about three years that we thought we wouldn't be having another one (she was born with a fatal genetic disorder). I remember watching all the pregnant women around me, and it was painful & difficult. It wasn't that I didn't want them to be pregnant. I was happy for them. But at the same time, it put what I wanted so badly right in front of my face with me knowing I couldn't have that right then. We have since decided to have another child. I loved every moment of that pregnancy. And now we're pregnant with baby #3 and I find myself STILL loving every moment. I don't feel like I can complain.

I wouldn't be surprised if bio-baby #3 makes an entrance at some point in your family. Right now, maybe there is a little spirit that needs to be in your family - so adoption is where you need to be right now. Either way, it's a beautiful, emotional journey that you're on.

Mahina said...

i linked to this post from jessica's blog and i am so glad that i did. my husband and i are experiencing infertility issues for the fourth time around. we have three lovely daughters, each which were a result of modern medicines, thank goodness for those. We are now in the 6th month of trying for our 4th. my husband has endured many "tests" and i have undergone surgery and bloodtests... just as you mentioned!

right before we got prego with our third we started looking into adoption because it had been a year and a half with no pregnancy. that month i found out i was prego. so, i think adoption is a wonderful option and we may need to go that direction someday, too!

best of luck and thank you for your thoughts on embracing pregnancy!

Audry said...

I linked from Jessica's blog, and while I don't suffer from infertility I really enjoyed your blog. I totally understood what you were talking about I just had my 3rd and final child and I was able to do all those things...(although I must say I didn't embrace my morning sickness because it put me in the hospital 3 times)

Lindsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa-Mc said...

I found this post through the blog of a friend of a friend...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with infertility. I had a 3-year bout with it myself. Temperature charting, ovulation prediction, hormonal manipulation, shots, tests, ultrasounds, labs, and especially negative pregnancy tests, etc, etc can get quite tedious and emotional.

Good for you for making lemonade. Wishing you well with LDS Social Services. Some child will desperately need a loving home and you will be able to provide that.

It is comforting to know it is in the hands of the Lord. It doesn't always make it easier while you are going through it, but having a testimony of the plan helps get you through it. Best Wishes!

Hollyween said...

I clicked over from Jessica...

Beautifully written post. I dealt with secondary infertility for three years before we got our beautiful baby, Faith, here through many MANY rounds of clomid and IUI. She truly is a miracle, hence her name; Faith. Having secondary infertility is so easy to overlook for so many because "you already have one baby".

Good luck in your adoption quest and may the Lord bless and guide you.

Kristy said...

I, too, came to you from Everyday Romney's, after finding her blog through Christie's (which I found by mistake! :)

What a beautiful post! You put into words what so many cannot. I have not dealt with infertility, but my dear husband's brother & sister-in-law are working on their own recipe for lemonade! Your story is far-reaching & inspirational. Thank you for sharing so honestly!

Many blessings to you and your family on your journey!

KARA said...

I know that there is a very special spirit waiting to be born and placed in yours and Aric's arms! You are truly ready- your girls are definitely ready. All of us will be there for you every step of the way!
I could only imagine what you have dealt with but Heavenly Father knows what we need. He knows how strong you are!
I can't wait to meet the newest addition to the Albrecht Family- hopefully he comes soon!!!

I love you guys-
You are in our thoughts and prayers

Meghann said...

It was so fun to see a picture of you pregnant since I met you well AFTER Edee had made her mark on earth. My after-birth pictures still beat everyones' though. You know how some people are so swollen and unrecognizable after car wrecks? Well, that should give you an idea of what I looked like.
Anyway, it has been so great reading everyone's inspiring comments- as well as your amazing post.
As hard as I can only imagine this is, you guys have the most peaceful perspective and optimism. Everyone who knows you is blessed by your friendship and service. I can't help but think about what great sisters Maya and Edee would be. I just adore those girls! I am so excited for your family and what life has in store for you guys.

annie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annie said...

annie said...

I don't know you, and stumbled on to your blog by mistake, but I have a story very much like yours. I got pregnant with my first baby six months after I was married, I then suffered with secondary infertility, It took over three years to get pregnant with my 2nd child. He is now 3, and we are unable to have any more. I could try more rounds of clomid, but all the hormones has caused me to get a condition that would risk my life and the life of any child I was carrying if I were to ever get pregnant. we have never thought of adoption, because I have seen so many of our friends go through the process and take years to get accepted,if they were even accepted at all. It seems that the more children you have already, the harder it is to get a child, and for us, I didn't want our last 2 children to be separated by years and years. Also, I didn't feel like it was fair that I had two children, and I was competing for a baby with those who don't even have one. I have learned through our experience, that I am thankful for the 2 I have. I know so many women who can not even have one, so I count my blessings, that I least have two. I agree with you about how much more I would have cherished the time I had with my last baby, if I would have know he would have been my last. Good luck with the adoption, if it doesn't work out, remember how lucky you are to have been blessed with at least 2. I hope that you get the baby that you so want, but just wanted to say, be thankful for the 2 God sent you. I don't mean to get you discouraged, just wanted to say That I hope the adoption works for you, but if worse comes to worse, please enjoy the two you have, and be thankful that you at least have them. I have a sister who has tried to adopt for five years, they have no children.. things could be like that!

Nancy said...

I realize this post is older, but my sister linked through to you, and sent me a link to this post. (I also know Everyday Romneys) My husband and I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary this year, and we just passed our 4th year of trying to get pregnant. It helps to see that so many others have struggled as well, because that means that I'm not alone. We have struggled through all the testing, the medications, the negative pregnancy tests, and most recently through a very difficult miscarriage. I have so many (pregnant) friends who ask what they can do for me, and your post has inspired me to tell them to cherish every moment of their pregnancies. Good luck with your adoption. We figure that at some point in our lives we will have to look at that road as well. I hope each day to be blessed with at least one child I can bear on my own, but I realize I may have to go through other roads to get the other children I want. Thank you for this beautiful post.