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The Truth About Trying to Conceive...and how to decrease the stress.

Opalmaree Stone

Posted on April 15 2019

How many pregnancy tests are too many? Asking for a friend, obviously (as I cover my semi-embarrassed face). Opal, here, ready to bring up a topic NOBODY is talking about…waiting for that double line. If you’re already uncomfortable, good. Honestly, I’m a little uncomfortable typing this thinking about all of you who are going to read it. But this is something we need to talk about and should NOT fear if we want to do so. The past few months have been strange and different in Wild and Precious world. Maybe you’ve noticed? Maybe you haven’t? In all reality, you probably haven’t but me, I HAVE. On numerous occasions in the past weeks, I have thought to myself, “I just wish I could tell you all why I’ve been a little off lately.” Wait a second! Why the heck can’t I tell you all? If I had to guess there are one, two, A LOT of you who have either been there, are currently on the rollercoaster or sadly, may be someday.
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After four months of doctor appointments, needle pokes, and invasive tests, I’m happy to say I am finally done with testing after my recurrent losses. What did I learn? Not a whole lot, which in an odd way, I suppose is a good thing. All three of my losses are still unexplained but I do have a great group of doctors that have put me on a regimen that includes-wait for it...five pills a day, seven fruit snack like vitamins and one shot every morning and honestly, this is not even that bad compared to what some women have to endure. I’ll take it!  As I’m sure some of you reading this may know, trying to conceive is not always sunshine and rainbows, in fact, it can be super frustrating.  On top of those stressors, some of the medication I’m taking makes me feel incredibly unmotivated and extremely exhausted. Ideas that usually come pretty easily, I have to dig so much harder. The energy it takes me to do an instastory-a SINGLE instastory-is unreal. I need a daily nap or honestly, I’m a zombie.  On several occasions, I have worried about loosing all my customers in my pursuit to expand my family. I know my rainbow baby will be worth all of it, but the journey to get there has not been great. I don’t tell this story because I want any sympathy-I don’t want it, I am so incredibly blessed. I tell this story, because I KNOW I’m not alone and it’s likely someone very close to you is hurting and struggling and guess what? They may not feel they can talk about it so here’s your daily reminder, to be a kind human-you don’t know what battles someone is facing
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Let’s get back to those pregnancy tests. Ever peed on a stick, saw the single line, threw it away, only to pick it out of the trash 15 minutes later just to make SURE a double line didn’t magically appear? Don’t worry, you can admit it. I’ve done it…more than once. Or how about when you stare at the test so intently your eyes start playing tricks and you swear you see a line! Yep. I’ve done that too. I’ve even brought a test outside just to see if “better lighting” would help. Call me crazy, but am I wrong to say that trying to conceive does make you feel a little crazy…A LOT of crazy at times? If you’re in the thick of it, I’m thinking of you and here’s what I’ll say…it can suck. If you’ve been trying for awhile, it most certainly sucks! But YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  I’m very thankful to have felt the pure joy and excitement of seeing that double line, and I’m hopeful it will happen again, I’m also hopeful for you! But I want you to know, while you are waiting for that to happen, you are not alone and you have every right to be mad, angry, sad, frustrated, impatient, eat a gallon of ice cream or cry into your wine while watching Netflix. You also don’t have to hide your feelings. Trying to conceive and especially the dreaded two week wait is extremely stressful! Be kind to yourself. Take time for yourself. Take time away with your significant other. Go on a date or two or three. 
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Over the past two years, I have adopted some strategies and tools to help me cope with disappointment, loss and my lack of patience! :)  Although, I still struggle daily with the pull between hope and doubt, my heart tells me to never give up hope for myself or anyone else. Life may not unfold how I envisioned and that’s okay. I know it feels like our bodies are failing us and I’ve been SO incredibly mad at my body, but I want to believe with all my soul, that my body and your body WILL find a way. It may not be easy, but I’ve been trying to not focus on fear and doubt but instead the gift of today and the hope for the future. I envision what can be, better yet what WILL be.
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So here they are, maybe they will help one of you. 
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MEDITATION: I’ve done lots of meditation practices over the years but my acupuncturist introduced me to the easiest (and BEST! In my opinion) meditation. Are you ready? It’s so simple and honestly, it works better at keeping distracting thoughts out of my mind than any meditation I’ve ever tried, Breath Counting Meditation. I do this meditation whenever I start to feel anxious or am having negative, doubtful thoughts. I also use it while at acupuncture, doing yoga or trying to fall asleep.  Heres what you have to do (help from this article: Breath Counting Meditation):
1. Engage abdominal breathing and inhale
2. Pause.
3. Exhale and at the very end of your out-breath, mentally count, "One."
4. Again, inhale, pause, exhale, and then at the end of your out-breath mentally count, "Two."
5. Keep counting like this at the end of every exhalation until you reach "Ten."
6. Then, starting counting backward --- nine, eight, seven, six, etc. -- until you reach "one" again.
7. Like a game, however, there is a rule here that you have to follow: If, because of random thoughts, you even briefly forget which number you're on or hesitate, then you must start over again at "one."
8. See if you can go all the way up to ten and back down to one again without making any mistakes.
9. Once you’ve got 1-10 down, increase to 20, then 30, etc. 
Easy, right? And once you do it often, trust me! You’ll see it helps to relax you! Lately, I have tried to also add in visualization practices, which have proven to help lots of women feel more relaxed and some even swear by that being the successful factor in their fertility journey.
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YOGA: Getting back on the mat has been interesting with the whole exhaustion thing I mentioned above but all in all, I think it’s been very beneficial for my body and mind. I feel more relaxed and centered in the present instead of fear of the future, and it gives me intentional time to meditate or pray. I get a lot of chats in with the big guy during yoga, which if I’m going to be honest, doesn’t happen as much as at home with my little assistant running mad. 
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ACUPUNCTURE: I was very hesitant about acupuncture, not because I didn’t think there would be benefits, but because all of those benefits come at a hefty cost. Although I don’t have a success story to share with you in terms of healthy baby, my acupuncture experience has been entirely worth it. My acupuncturist has given me more hope than any doctor I’ve seen, she believes so strongly in the power of the human body that I can’t help but believe it to. Sometimes things just need to align before the body can fully do what it is capable of and sometimes the body needs some extra assistance. So why is acupuncture helpful for fertility? Acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term. This increase in blood flow can also help to thicken the endometrium. It also helps to reduce stress which in turn can help to keep the hormones needed for the reproductive cycle in balance. Anyway, I’m hoping that acupuncture is helping my body as much as it’s been helping my mind! If you need someone in the Milwaukee area, let me know and I’ll send you in the right direction! ;) 
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FAITH: I’ve discussed the up and down roller coaster of my faith over the past two years before. I’m happy to say that my faith, after three losses, is stronger than maybe it’s ever been in my entire life. You know that phrase, “Let go and let God”. Well, I’ve been telling myself that one daily. I recently read the book Grace Like Scarlet and if you’re a person of faith and have suffered pregnancy loss, I highly recommend it. This was the first thing I’ve read since my losses that I felt like I could truly relate to in terms of connecting loss and pain with my belief and trust in God, the lover of all who would never intentionally cause us pain. I’ve also started listening to more Christian music which has also help me release sad and frustrating emotions and inhale ones of hope and peace. The lyrics are a constant reminder that there is nothing too difficult that together, with God, I cannot overcome. If you’re a Spotify user, my favorite playlist is called “Hold Hope”, and if you’re not a Spotify user and want to know what songs it features, send me a message and I’ll tell you.
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HOPE VISION BOARD: I compiled some quotes and images on Pinterest for a private vision board that I reference when I’m overcome with feelings of doubt. I filled the vision board with words of hope, strength, rainbows and rainbow babies. What would be on your vision board? Create one and make sure it’s easy for you to access when you need a change in thought.
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There you have it. These are the things that have helped me on this long, difficult and at times devastating journey. But also along the journey, there has been good and beauty even in the darkness. I have discovered a new love for my body, my faith and my mind. I have connected with so many wonderful women who have successfully made it through this journey and ones that are on the ride currently. I have a hope I haven't had before for myself but also for you! May your prayers be answered and may you never feel alone. May you feel free to scream or cry and share whatever your heart needs to. And may others accept those emotions with listening ears and you, with open arms.  I hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if just the smallest glimmer. I see it! Not only for myself, but for you too, and I can’t wait for all of us to reach it!
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PS-Do you know someone struggling while trying to conceive? I have a little something you could send them so she knows you're thinking about her! Check out my "Things I wish for you" card! 

4 comments

  • Deanna Rusch: April 17, 2019

    Your words are perfect. I felt the same way, and still do with going through my infertility journey. There is a reason you are in it right now, and I know God is doing this to strengthen your faith, love yourself more, and also to help others. You have no idea how many people you have helped by writing this. <3

  • Stephanie: April 16, 2019

    Aw, Opal. Sending you all the feels and good vibes. Thanks for sharing so openly.

  • Stephanie: April 16, 2019

    Aw, Opal. Sending you all the feels and good vibes. Thanks for sharing so openly.

  • Laura : April 15, 2019

    Beautifully written, Opal. Hang in there. You have so many friends backing you in all the roller coasters.💙

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