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How PTSD Smoothed the Suffering of Infertility

Posted 04.07.2016, by kristin
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This week I'm excited to feature a guest post written by fellow Gravity author Lindsay Fischer.  Lindsay's memoir, The House on Sunset, was published by Booktrope in 2015.  

Sometimes I come to mommy blogs to plan ahead, titles like “the best baby shower gifts for your soon-to-be momma friends” and “how not to muck up your kid with BS advice” standing out as most likely to go viral and grab my attention (with the exception of anything that makes you laugh about those ice panties you’re forced to wear home from the hospital), but anyone using mommy blogs like others use WebMD is probably not helping themselves: there are so many differing opinions it’s hard to keep researching without wondering if I’m doing more damage than good.

My husband and I are coming up on our two year anniversary this June. A year before we were married I stopped taking birth control and, six months later, I stopped taking a medication from my dermatologist, both in preparation for the day we decided we were ready to be parents. I’m not usually a big planner, I like life to be an adventure, but when it comes to raising little people I think an ounce of preparedness is best, even if it only humbles you later because you realize you still had zero clues how the hell to keep another person alive and functioning without therapy. Stopping meds that might be harmful to a fetus (or prevent one entirely) was an easy way for me to feel in control of some part of this process, even though forgoing the meds from my dermatologist meant adult acne was absolutely going to be a part of my thirties.

I know and value the lessons my friends have learned. The soon-to-be mommas who think they have it the most together are the ones who have their butts handed to them in parenthood, and saying you’re going to be a certain type of mother inevitably assures you’ll be the exact opposite. I get all of that.

But what I don’t understand is why I can’t get pregnant.

We tried on our own for 15 months before I told my OB that things weren’t, well, progressing the way we’d like. I was tracking my cycle with the Kindara app, we were having a banging good time, even planning a celebratory trip to Punta Cana when I hadn’t gotten pregnant last summer, convinced it might be our last time to truly enjoy one another without a babe.

This spring I’m learning my left ovary is a putz who ovulates a week and a half later than my right. That they’re both working, but my tubes might be closed and the only way to figure that out is through an outpatient surgery including blue dye and no insurance coverage. But if I don’t do it, I may never know what’s really keeping me from carrying.

In truth, this post isn’t about feeling sorry for myself – because I don’t. I’ve been through enough in life to know every lesson, hardship and painful moment presents you the opportunity to learn and grow as a human, making shitty moments become turning points that – later – will be the thing you realize made you who you are. I’m a domestic violence survivor who needed three years of trauma therapy to overcome PTSD. Trust me, I learned and grew from every second of that hell. In fact, my PTSD and coping skills have helped me heal from the disappointment of my delayed pregnancy.

Adoption? Sure, it’s an possibility. IVF? Maybe that too. Fostering? I definitely know there’s a real need. I’ve done enough researching (and mommy blog stalking) to understand and acknowledge my other options.

The entire point of me being here today is really about proving possibility exists even when we don’t see it, and so – mommas who are here – remember that when you’re working with your little people. Potty training might be tough, but I’d LOVE to feel that kind of frustration right now. Teenagers are terrifying, but you’ve kept someone alive for over 12 years (that’s a win). And my win? Well, I’m a thirty-something who really wants nothing more than to use my own experiences to shed a little perspective on life…and get knocked up, of course. But I’m writing for a momma blog before I – technically – am one.

And that’s pretty cool.

Lindsay Fischer is a best-selling and award-winning author, and the creator of #domesticviolencechat on Twitter. An avid reader and learner, Lindsay took her passion for words into a classroom before starting a writing career. Life got messy when she fell in love with a man who would become her abuser, and it pulled her from the classroom. After three years of trauma therapy, she saw an opportunity to use her voice against domestic violence, blogging about trauma recovery since 2009 and releasing The House on Sunset, her domestic violence memoir, in 2015.

Lindsay hopes she can be an advocate for women, men and children who are still living inside the nightmare of domestic abuse. She currently lives with her husband and three dogs in St. Louis, Missouri.






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