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Friday, February 5, 2016

a labor of love: TTC by Heather Paradis

I am grateful to Heather Paradis for sharing her story of trying to conceive her first baby, the heartache she felt when it took much longer than expected, and her ultimate joy in delivering a healthy boy.

I have several friends who are in the midst of this difficult time of trying to conceive and it breaks my heart hearing them sound so alone in their struggles. I know there are many women out there who have taken a longer road to starting their family, and it is my hope to feature those strong women here on my blog to help women feel less alone.

Thanks, Heather!

Images shared from Heather Paradis

1. How long did you try to get pregnant? 
We tried for 1 year to get pregnant before seeking the help of a fertility specialist. After which we tried for another 3 months before conceiving our son.

2. How long into the process did you realize something wasn't working? How did you feel at that point?
We knew after about 6 months, as I wasn't cycling. But since i had been on hormonal birth control for so long, we decided to give my body a year to reset itself. When then didn't work, we sought out medical help. 
It was hard on us, me especially, knowing that my body was failing me. Even harder knowing that friends who were not even trying, were unexpectedly expecting.
3. How would you describe your feelings every month when you realized you were not getting pregnant? 
In the beginning, it was devastating, and usually ended in tears. As the year passed, it just became the norm.
4. What helped you in this situation? What were things people said or did for you to help you feel better?
My husband was my rock. He was with me through the entire process. Reassuring me, and providing me with a listening ear, and a shoulder to lean on.

5. What were some challenges, things that made it worse perhaps or that you struggled through? 
Finding out that others were pregnant was by far the hardest part of it all. Another challenge was multiple people asking us when we were going to have a baby, and telling us it was time for us to start our family. We kept our struggles silent except with our parents, and very close friends. We tried to brush the comments off, but over time, they started to wear on us. I will never understand why people feel they have the right to comment on anyone else's family planning. I mean, seriously, its my uterus, not yours (sorry, clearly still a touchy subject, Haha).
6. What is your advice to a woman who is desperately trying to get pregnant? 
Seek help, see a fertility specialist, and learn what options you have. Our doctor was so helpful in creating a path for us. 
Don't give up, keep trying and a path will present itself. It may not be the path you originally envisioned, but it will take you on a beautiful journey.
7. What is your advice to a mother who has a friend who is not getting pregnant? How can she be there for her friend? 
Be a listening ear, and provide them the support they need. Do not over promise. Help keep them grounded to reality. It's vital to not lose yourself in it.
8. What do you think women don't understand about fertility concerns? 
I think women think it's easy to get pregnant for the majority of women, when in fact, many of us struggle. While my path was not as difficult as many women, at the time, it was a very difficult time for me. 
It made me feel like a failure as a woman and a wife. Infertility is not an easy journey, and for me, it felt as if I was alone, like I had never known anyone who struggled as I was.
9. What were some feelings you had about yourself, your body, your future as a mother while you were going through this experience? 
My body was failing me. I was letting myself and my husband down. After learning what my issues were, my attitude towards myself changed. I began to see myself in a more positive light, and change the way I looked at the situation. My child would be my miracle, I worked hard to get to this point, and I would love my baby when it finally happened.
10. What has this experience taught you about life, about being a mom?
The challenges started for me from the beginning, and have made me truly appreciate my child.

11. Any good Web sites, books, resources you found helpful?
Nothing for infertility, but I found what to expect before you're expecting pretty helpful.
12. Anything else you want to share about your experience?
It was a long journey, that ended with my beautiful son. I know that next time we try, we will have options to help us. It may not happen with ease, but it is possible.

We bought that Lotso about 6 months into our journey of TTC. I was super depressed about not conceiving and decided I would give myself something tangible that would be for our future baby. It definitely helped me. I would snuggle it every time I got sad or got yet another negative pregnancy test. To this day, our son still snuggles with it
smile emoticon

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