(If you are reading this through tears because someone is yet again announcing a pregnancy that you so desperately want just know that I am praying for you. I don't know how many announcements I have read through tear filled eyes and a lump in my throat. I do know that God has a plan and that even though it is hard his plan is better than your plan. Through this journey I really feel like God has been asking me to be open about our experience so I can possibly help or encourage someone else going through a similar experience longing for a baby and yet getting a negative test month after month. If you are reading this with that lump in your throat and want to talk please email, call or send me a Facebook message. I would love to pray for you by name and try to encourage you. I'm also hoping to at least raise awareness that infertility is hard and sometimes you have no idea what people are going through so maybe try not to be one of those people who casually asks others when they are having kids. There were days when my answer wouldn't have been very kind had it not been really filtered.)
We had a blast at home telling our family and friends the awesome news. Both sets of our parents knew around 8 and a half weeks but we swore them to secrecy. My roommates and one of my best friends also knew before we came home but we told everyone else at Christmas or over Skype right before coming home for Christmas. It was fun to come up with different ways of sharing the great news. I'm hoping to blog about all of the ways we told people and fun reactions later.
It was so hard keeping this secret. I knew before we started trying to get pregnant that I didn't want to tell people we were trying. I wanted it to be a surprise and for me telling people you are trying to get pregnant is awkward (because we all know what that means) and then there is extra pressure if it takes a while, which it did. Well, after things took a little longer than we anticipated I told a few of my close girlfriends so they could be praying for us and because it was hard to keep up the facade that we weren't trying. Once things really started to drag out we told our parents last December that we had been trying for about 18 months and that we were going to get on the IVF waiting list (and ended up getting pregnant through IVF) in Stockholm but that we didn't want to talk about it and wouldn't be giving updates because we still wanted it to be a surprise. So, after all the secrecy and then waiting to make it past the 12 week mark it seems so strange to be telling people because it has been so hush hush. But I can't wait for my belly to grow enough that it is obvious that I am pregnant! (Not sure I'm looking forward to the waddling stage . . .)
We told one of our sets of friends over break using what I like to call the Band-aid method. Some people pull off a band-aid really slowly and others just rip it off. I pull slowly and Jake rips. We just ripped it off with them. I walked over to them when they were at our house and said, "So, we are pregnant." It definitely caught them off guard. But my favorite part was when one of them asked for the details and Jake said something along the lines of, "We are due July 1st, it took us 2 and a half years and we eventually got pregnant through IVF, we are having the baby in Sweden, Kara feels better now and we aren't finding out the sex." I started cracking up. Talk about information overload!
I am planning on writing more about our struggle to get pregnant with a few more details so I can remember our journey but also to help anyone else who might be in our shoes. Infertility is hard. Mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting and so many of us just keep it to ourselves. (There is a part of me that wishes I would have been brave enough to open up sooner but the more people that knew the higher chance I had of being asked about it and sometimes I just didn't want to be asked how things were going.)
I am SO thankful that I eventually opened up to a close friend from college (who I've become so much closer to over the last two years because when you talk about peeing on a stick and how your ovaries are doing you tend to grow closer) and then to my roommates and one of my best friends. I do not know how I would have made it through the last two years without these girls. Jake has been amazing, of course, but these girls and their prayers have meant the world to me. If you are struggling to get pregnant and haven't told anyone I would highly suggest telling at least one person. Find someone you can confide in and trust. I found it especially helpful when they can help you to laugh at yourself because things will get ridiculous at times and you will definitely need a few good laughs to make it through.
Here are a few pictures from our 12 week ultrasound and a few belly bump pictures even though the bump isn't really very obvious at this point :).
This was from our 12 week ultrasound in Sweden.
The two white rectangles are jaw bones and the five dots right above the chest are fingers!
I can't believe I have a baby in my belly!
Our first family photo!
12 weeks but not much of a bump. Thankfully the baby is measuring right on track during the ultrasound so I don't have to worry about that :).We've been taking belly pics most weeks with the correct fruit but it is misleading because the fruit is way heavier than the baby and wider. So this 12 week picture we found something that was the correct length (6 cm long or about 2.5 inches) but wasn't as big as the suggested plum.
And then this happened when I was home over break and shopping with my mom. We were giggling so much!