infertility + pregnancy

I am 1 in 8.

I am 1 in 4.

I am 1 in 50. 

1 in 8 women/couples suffer from infertility.

1 in 4 women have had a miscarriage. 

1 in 50 women have had an ectopic pregnancy. 

Struggling with infertility is like going through the five stages of grief every single month.

You deny its happening, bargain with a faith that's already been shaken, get angry with yourself and everyone around you, cry - oh boy do you cry, and eventually... you accept it. 

& then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and do it all over again.

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We started trying to create a tiny human in 2016. We found we were/are able to get pregnant super quick when tracking cycles and ovulation. In 2016 I was pregnant 2 times. In 2017 I was pregnant 2 times. Now, in 2018, so far, I have been pregnant 1 time. I have had 4 miscarriages and 1 ectopic pregnancy.

I spent the last eleven-ish weeks thinking of a way to make this amazing, personal and raw blog post about my history and how to just throw it out there all messy and complicated but yet make it all beautiful by also announcing we were finally expecting our rainbow baby. However... we received news a couple weeks ago that yet again that would not be the case.

It's been two years to the date since we started trying to have a baby. Two whole years and five pregnancies later. We've spent two years uncomfortably answering the questions and dodging the comments... "When are you guys going to have kids?" - "Do you have any kids?" - "You were made to be parents!" - After the third loss my husband and I decided to just start telling people that asked because we were running out of answers, "We hope so!" we would reply... "We've had two miscarriages and one extremely painful ectopic pregnancy."

I've spent the last two years making myself attend every baby shower I was invited to and forcing myself to congratulate everyone that I knew that was pregnant. I felt selfish for feeling anything but overjoyed for them. Which then made me rethink the person I was as a whole. I spent the last year photographing beautiful mothers coming into Motherhood and welcoming their newborns into the world. I've absolutely loved every moment of it even though at times it has become bittersweet. As I sit here going through my fifth loss... I can't help but wonder if it will ever be me... and believe me everyone has had an answer for that question... telling me, "it will happen" and reiterating that I am "meant to be a mother" and "when the timing is right" all horribly painful things to hear and bite my tongue through. On top of hearing those things that people think are going to help... I also battle feeling like there is something wrong with me... the questions of "Haven't they figured it out yet?" - "Is it you?" - "Is it your husband?" - the answer to all these questions... NO they haven't figured it out. According to countless tests, pokes, sonograms, and medications the results come back the same every time... "You're perfect!" - "Everything came back completely normal!" All while I sit there thinking I would rather them find something actually wrong with me so I can have a reason as to why we've now lost five babies. But still, no diagnosis.

No infertility story is the same. There's always a story that is more challenging than my own that inspires me to continue to be strong and that shows me that one day, maybe I will be a mother if we just keep trying. 

My hope for sharing this painful, raw time in my life is that women reach out to other women who are going through something like this. Who have suffered through the losses and felt the selfish guilt when their friends welcome beautiful babies into the world. Who are getting up and showing up every day even though they're carrying this sadness with them every single day. My hope is that this creates a safe place of support for you. Do not be ashamed of your journey. Do not let anyone belittle your feelings of defeat, loss or hopelessness. Don’t let anyone try to tell your story for you. Know that you are not alone. There truly is an entire community of women just like you. 

I also hope that this raises awareness to others who have been incredibly fortunate to have not been through something like this, to please stop asking those triggering, personal questions to couples and women and to remind everyone that truly every single person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about... a little kindness can go a long way. 

+ To our support system, (you know who you are) - thank you for just everything. For checking up on us, the calls, the texts, for listening to my rollercoaster of emotions, dropping off treats just to show you care. Ya'll are truly the best and we couldn't do this thing called life without you!!

xxo, Koiya