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two pink lines.

Ever since I can remember, all I ever wanted to be was a mother & a wife. I wanted to be married young (check) and wanted to be a young mom (check). I love babies. Adore them. Not sure how many of them I want, but having one has been the most transformative experience of my life. Mostly, because of what it took to get to that point. (actually having her is a whole different story)

I wanted a baby looooooooong before I was able to have one. I remember throwing my last box of pills in the trash and getting giddy about the possibility of soon carrying a child. At the time, I was working for a large pharmaceutical company selling birth control. I was in OB offices all day long. I watched beaming mommies and their newborns every single day. I wanted that. I dreamed of that.

Month after month passed. Ovulation predictor kits. Charting. Temperature taking. I don’t know how many negative pregnancy tests there were. Each of them ended in tears. I was hopeless.”When are you going to have children?” I was asked, time & time again. I didn’t share my pain. “Oh, I don’t know, when my ovaries decide it is time, I suppose.” They would chuckle. Some would even tell me to enjoy my time without them. Apparently there were a thousand reasons to wait.  So why do so many people who get pregnant effortlessly have so many negative things to say about their kids? Not fair. I vowed not to speak negatively about my child. Ever.

After ups & downs & a few pulled yanked strings, I was able to wiggle my way past the year long wait to see a military infertility doctor. (Indeed, we were put in San Antonio for a reason, as they have the only Infertility Clinic in the Air Force.) Tests. Tests. More tests. Diagnosis: uterine abnormality (this & a little of this) w/ significant chance of late term miscarriage. My heart broke. I was scheduled for surgery and put on an exploratory round of clomid, with the understanding this likely would not get my anovulatory body pregnant, given the condition of my uterus.


I was told not to not try.

Hot flashes.

Mood swings.

And the day before surgery…I cried harder than I ever had in my life. This time, tears of joy

I will never, ever forget that feeling.

I am at a place in my life where I am ready to open up & share this. I kept it all bottled up for a very long time. I think you can even see in these pictures, a substantial darkness, that is no longer present in my life, or my art.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. And I share this post with you to encourage sensitivity towards those who may be struggling. Many women keep this private & make it a deeply personal struggle. After all, sharing your “trying” means you have people begging for “news” every time they see you. Pain, pain & more pain. If you are struggling, it might be helpful to reach out to someone close who is struggling as well. Or who has overcome the heartache. We know how you feel. There is joy on the other side.

Never, ever, ever for one second will I take my daughter for granted. I know she is a blessing. She was wanted by both me AND my husband long before she made her debut. My little clomid baby. I know quite a few precious little clomid babies. I think they share something special. Moms who fight hard, hard, hard to have them. We all have a story. What’s yours?

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  • Rachael - Shawna, this is a wonderful post! I am so grateful for the encouragment you showed me through my trial and I am so happy that our stories have happy endings! :)ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - I’m so thankful that you’re at a point where you can share this. You’re such a maternal person, not just with your child, I believe that you genuinely want to help people make their lives better, this is a very significant way to impact others, but then, I don’t have to tell you that. I have to say when this came across my RSS feed, it’s not for where I expected it to go – sure got my attention! And thank you also for the reminder (again) to treasure my kids – we’ve had a VERY rough three weeks and I needed to hear some of that stuff (again).ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - Beautifully said. I too, feel like the experience has been tough, but it has given me such a great appreciation for the blessing that is motherhood! We’re still waiting to bring our Caysen home from Taiwan and I look forward to the wonderful day when we get to hold him in our arms!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tess - Thanks for sharing your story here…I totally understand that pain all too well.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I know how you feel so much! I have PCOS and was on metformin for at least six months before we got pregnant. I definitely think there is a special bond that all women who struggle with infertility share, whether they have ever had a baby or not. Thank you for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea McCown - Read this again tonight… I know that feeling. So many times. The negatives. And now… the positives and the losses. Crying right along with you as you face this again. Caroline is so lucky to have you two as parents :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - Thank you so much for sharing this. I love hearing these stories; it gives my husband and I hope. I have PCOS and after 15 months of trying we were to start our first clomid cycle. Unfortunately, a cyst was found during the baseline scan, and we had to hold off until it was gone. Now 3 1/2 months later we have finally started the first clomid cycle and are now in the 2ww. I know it may not happen this month, but we are one step closer in our journey. Once we do finally get those two lines, we will not take one day of the pregnancy for granted.ReplyCancel

  • Carmen - I know the pain and endless tears. After a few year on fertility drugs, my husband and I decided to adopt and it is the best decision we have ever done!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - I’m just finding your blog and appreciate (& relate to) these feelings…
    I’ve just started my own too. check it out!
    http://www.expectingabundance.blogspot.comReplyCancel

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