THIS IS US... Introducing RACHEL

"I've Always Wanted All the Babies."

I’ve always wanted to be a mommy for as long as I can remember. My family would tell me stories about how when I was around 2, I loved on all my baby dolls so hard. Then when my brother was born, I just carried him around everywhere and wanted to help with all the baby things. I would dress him up, cuddle him, change his diapers. All of it!

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When I was older I was adopted after my biological mom passed away. I gained 2 new sisters, one of whom was born a few days after my adoption was finalized. And I got to do all the baby things again with her. I loved rocking her to sleep and smelling her sweet baby breath. She was the most spoiled of my siblings, because we all doted on her.

Then I saw “Cheaper By The Dozen”, the one with Lucille Ball. From that point on, I knew I needed to have at least a dozen children! I had it all planned out:  married by 25, first couple kids by 28, then I also wanted to foster and adopt as well. I adore big families, and both my husband and I have 3 siblings each. So I wanted all the babies!

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Meeting My Husband

My husband and I met when we both started working at the same overnight job for the summer when I was 21 & he was 22. The minute he walked through the door, I had the strongest feeling that I was going to marry him. I had never had that kind of feeling before. So I spent the whole summer flirting with him until he said he would go out with me. I’m an introvert. It was hard. He is an even more introverted introvert… that made it harder. But we made it through and got married six years later. We just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago.

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I'm a Natural Girl

For the most part, I’m still at the beginning of my fertility journey. When we got married, I had 2 Depo Shots. They caused a lot of issues for my body, so I stopped and never went back on birth control. We decided that even though we were struggling financially at the beginning of our marriage, we were not going to prevent it. The birth control wasn’t worth it, and any child would be a blessing. So we spent most the last 7 years NOT preventing anything (other than those first 2 depo shots). We were hoping pregnancy would just happen naturally and we were closely following my cycles.

In the last couple years we have become more financially stable and really started actively working for a baby. Still nothing has happened. I’m now starting the testing stages of my journey to see what is going on with my body. I’ve done a lot of natural things to help me balance my hormones and cleanse/detox my body. It has helped tremendously.

I don’t always feel I deserve to be with this group of amazing women who are in my infertility meet-up group because I haven’t done all the testing and everything they have yet. I am also slow to get testing done (fear of what the tests will say, I suppose) though the ones I have done so far are all normal. I’m pretty "hippy dippy" and I would love to do things as naturally as possible.

I have plans for some mind work & emotional cleansing coming up... along with focusing on healing my gut, working with midwives, and naturopathic doctors... to get to the root cause and support my body in natural ways.

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The Lowest Part of My Journey

The low points hit every month when my period comes. Or when we think I’m finally pregnant and then I have strange bleeds (late and intense). Those are super emotional moments that can send me hiding out in bed for days, when I feel my body has failed me again.  I know I still need to get some more tests done so we can work on the root cause of why I'm not getting pregnant. Then we can determine what the next steps will be.

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But There Are Some Good Things Too

I’m not sure there has been a high point in my journey yet. But there have been some really good things that have come so far. I’ve made some amazing friends in my infertility meet-up group, all of which I adore immensely. They are like a second family to me now. We laugh, we cry, we hang out, we paint, we go out for tea or coffee. It’s nice having people who are on similar journeys, and seeing the different ways they do things. And even though my journey is super "crunchy," they are still accepting of me.

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Finding Inspiration Helps Carry You Through

I've found a few ways that have helped me on my journey. First and foremost, having good friends who are walking this path with me makes all the difference in the world. I know I can call on them any time, just like they call on me.

And I hold on to a very special quote that helps to carry me through the most difficult times. 

It’s going to be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”

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Some Final Thoughts to Share

Don’t ever feel like you have to do this alone and don’t feel like you have to be conventional. Every person’s journey is different, and we all get to choose how we want that journey to look. If that means doing IVF, surrogacy, adopting, fostering or going a more holistic path with your health, then follow your heart and do what is best for you. There is no definitive way to do this. Infertility is not something to be embarrassed about. I struggle opening up to my friends and family, and I’m working on that. So find a group of people who are walking this path with you and connect with them. It makes it easier to share and feel accepted.

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Wishing you the best,