Each week I interview someone who has experienced infertility firsthand. This week, I’m interviewing Kaeleigh from Unpregnant Chicken. She talks about her experience with diminished ovarian reserve. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!
Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a very outspoken and LOUD individual. I bet it is because I am so short. At 5’1″ you need to speak up if you want anyone to hear you! I really love chocolate, books, and cold weather. I live in Canada and it’s a good fit!
Q. How long have you been TTC and what issues are you facing?
We have been TTC for two and a half years now. At first we just assumed that I would come off the pill and that would be that. As the months dragged on it became obvious that it wasn’t gonna be that easy. We were referred to a fertility specialist and after a few months of tests I was diagnosed in the early stages of Diminished Ovarian Reserve. My hormone levels are all fine and my age is still young (28) but… my eggs are not a very good size and there are significantly less of them than there should be. This is stressful, you can’t really mess around without the eggs. When the eggs are done it’s menopause time. I hope I get a few more years in before that hits me.
Q. Why did you decide to blog about your journey?
Oh man. Blogging is amazing! It is so cathartic and I have gotten so much support and love from the community. I just wish it had been my idea! My husband actually suggested I write about my journey. I’m a writer anyway… so it’s not like it was that far of a stretch to think about. I just never had. After a few days of rolling it around in my brain I couldn’t really shake the idea. So I just jumped in with both feet and Unpregnant Chicken was born! Thank goodness I am married to such a brilliant man. The blog has changed my life and my journey through trying to become pregnant in the most positive and amazing way. But all credit should go to my man.
Q. Which books, quotes, websites, verses, movies, songs, etc. were an encouragement to you during your journey?
Book: Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos: I can’t even begin to tell you what a turning point this book was for me. First off, it was refreshing to read a book by a celebrity that I like who was willing to be open and honest and didn’t shy away from discussing the pain of infertility and treatments. But the biggest breakthrough for me came when she discusses a dream she had one night about a little girl. It is what drove her to seek out adoption as part of their path. Later when they eventually had a placement it turned out to be the EXACT girl she had dreamed about. This gave me hope that you get your child in whatever way is necessary but that that child was intended for you. I got so much hope from this book!
Song: A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal (Noble Maiden Fair)– From Disney’s Brave soundtrack: This song simultaneously breaks and restores my heart. It is sung in Gaelic and was featured in Brave. Yes, yes the Disney movie. Hear me out. When we first decided to start trying we were on vacation in Scotland. I feel very at peace there, like it’s home. When the movie came out I watched it and there is a scene where the mother sings this lullaby to her daughter. I just knew I had to learn it and sing it to my children. I have the pronunciation almost down now. Hopefully, someday soon I will have a babe to sing it to.
Quote: “When you feel like things are getting harder you’ve probably just leveled up!”
Q. How do you take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually during your struggles?
I actually really struggle with this. I started seeing a counsellor to help me deal with the ups and downs for this journey and that has been immensely helpful. For a while after my diagnosis I ate all my feelings and sadness and uncertainty… I ate it all up. This resulted in some weight gain. I also stopped working out because I was afraid that it would somehow mess up my ability to conceive. So that didn’t help either.
Now I am getting to a healthier place, mentally and physically. I have gotten back to eating heathy meals and only treating myself once a week. I also joined back up with a Crossfit gym which is something I previously enjoyed for four years! This is all having a beneficial effect on my dress size! I am still seeing my counsellor once or twice a month and that’s been the biggest thing for keeping me accountable for more positive behaviors all month long.
Q. What has been your lowest point and how did you survive it?
Hard to say. I think, at this point, diagnosis. I was young when we started trying… 26! So even after two years of trying and getting referred to the clinic age was supposedly still in my favor at 28. I never dreamed the issue would be my eggs! PCOS maybe or hubbie’s sperm… but I never even thought about my eggs! When my doctor told me that my egg count was not that of a healthy 28 year-old I about fell off my chair. I truthfully just went numb. I basically did nothing but sit and process and cry for three days. Scared the wits out of my poor husband!
I’m not sure how I survived it. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die for a while. But time moves on, and with some distance I reminded myself that I still wanted to have a family and that I had better get a move on. I try to be thankful that I was diagnosed early on in the process and that I didn’t listen to other people saying that I was so young and to just try naturally a little longer. With the condition of my ovaries waiting longer would have only been a detriment. SO I guess being grateful for what I DO have and focusing less on the things I can’t control helped me get through it.
Q. Have you been able to find a “silver lining” in your infertility?
Sort of. Because of the blog I am in contact with a lot of other awesome individuals that I would have never met if I had gotten pregnant right away. I am infinitely grateful that they are around and love how much richer my life is because of them. It also caused me to dedicate more time to writing than I had been up to that point in my life. Maybe if I had gotten pregnant right away my novel wouldn’t be as underway as it is now. Those are both good things that have improved my life as a result of infertility.
Q. Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
I guess just that this journey is hard. But you are not alone. If blogging has taught me anything it’s that the infertility community is a vast and supportive one! Reach out to others. Allow them to help you carry the burden. Read all the blogs you can find. Twitter is incredible. Do not suffer in silence. It’s too painful and so unnecessary in this day and age to feel alone in this. I’m here with you! We’re here with you!
XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken
Many thanks to Kaeleigh for sharing her story! Please leave her a comment below to let her know you appreciate her, and consider pinning this image for others can find her infertility story.
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