Thankful for the family I never thought I’d have

As someone who has struggled with infertility, I remember those painful days of hoping, wishing and praying for a baby. After a few years of trying (with the wrong person..), very irregular periods and a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) I convinced myself that having kids of my own would never be in my cards. The unwanted jealousy when someone I knew was expecting and the grief of feeling “broken” or “unworthy” was sometimes all-consuming. Every period and negative pregnancy test was another low blow that just compounded all those feelings. 

If this sounds like you- my heart goes out to you but please know, there is always hope. 

After some much needed growing and maturing, I had found Mr. Right (finally!) and decided that I wanted to try to combat my PCOS. I did tons of research, blood work and looked into natural ways to increase fertility. Everything I kept learning about fertility really came down to diet and lifestyle, both of which for me, needed tons of work! 

Now, I’m not an extremist in any way, but once I had found some hope and made the deliberate decision to try my absolute hardest to conceive, I went pretty extreme. I quit smoking and drinking- two things I had long wanted to do away with anyway but kept coming back to. I went on a 14 day juice fast. 14 days with no food!!  From there, I went on a strict vegan diet and combined with regular exercise (something I hated) and a great supplement regimen, I lost about 40 lbs in a couple months and all of my blood work looked better. 

After just 6 short months, on Christmas Eve, I took a pregnancy test on a whim and it was positive. Still, the best Christmas gift of my life. There was a time that I thought I’d want 4 or 5 kids, but after we were blessed with our daughter I would have forever been happy with just her. 

Fast forward a year, perfectly content I was shocked to find out I was pregnant with baby #2. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without both of those girls. The me from 10 years ago would have never thought any of that possible. I believe now that things happen when the time is right, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. I also believe, you should never just accept your circumstances because you always have options, no matter how hopeless things may seem. If all my efforts to get pregnant failed, I know I would have adopted and still had a house full of love and laughter. I still may adopt some day. And with options like IVF and surrogacy there are more ways than ever to have a family.

This year, as we are patiently waiting for baby #3, I’m taking some quality time out to really be thankful for this life and family I have been given. Parenting is tough and it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day.

I’ve been recently reminded though how short life is. It’s precious. Our time is precious. We need to cherish every moment and count our blessings every chance we get. Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

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