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DeeJay Winter's Infertility Journey

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

Read DeeJay's story here:

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If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude
of the battle you are fighting. || Infertility. Something you think happens to other people, but you don’t think will ever happen to you as a couple. Until it does. 1 in 8 couples struggles with infertility. Our journey started in January 2017. We had been trying to conceive for six months prior, but we had some concerns due to a few surgeries my husband had when he was a baby. We received the news that we would be unable to conceive naturally. What did this mean for us? What did this mean for our dreams of future family? The unknowns and the gravity of that statement can weigh on your heart with such a crushing and devastating force.


I’m writing this post four years past that first appointment. After our first round of
IVF, we had five viable embryos. An absolute blessing and miracle in itself! Our first embryo transfer, in 2018, was successful and gave us our beautiful little girl, Everly Michelle. She’s sassy but still sweet, and looks just like her Dada! (Tell me how that’s fair! It’s like doing a group project and someone else gets the credit!) Our second embryo transfer in March of this past year ended in a miscarriage around six weeks. That miscarriage rocked our world in such a way that I realized just how deeply our infertility journey affected us. I thought we were doing okay. Losing that sweet baby opened our eyes to how disconnected we were, and how not talking through the emotions infertility brought had caused us to drift apart. It laid open just how broken we were. How infertility, lack of communication, and just moving forward because “that’s the only option” really took its toll on us. We realized the amount of work that we needed to put into ourselves. Some days, it seemed so overwhelming and that we would never get back to how things used to be. In a way, the miscarriage brought us the clarity we needed to continue our journey together. It forced us to put aside the question of “What’s next?” and instead ask “What do we need to do to heal? How can we help each other?”

Infertility can be so isolating. 2020 was not the year we expected, but it was definitely the year that we needed. I’m telling you this piece of our story as a reminder to check in with your partner. It’s just as much their story as it is yours. If your husband is anything like mine, talking about emotions is not something that comes easily. Put in the work and have those hard conversations. You may be surprised at what you find out, but it’s worth the effort of being vulnerable and open with the person you’re walking through this with.
 
One of the things I hear all the time when I talk about infertility is “You’re so
resilient! You’re so strong!” In our day and age of just pushing through, focusing on the next step, and making things work, we think that being resilient is a compliment. But have we ever really thought about what “resilient” actually means? According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, “resilient” means “capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture or tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” If we let that sink in for a minute, being resilient is more about being able to deal with this unfair, unfortunate event that was just dumped on us. We move forward because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do instead of stopping to address how we feel about it. We hear the words, “You will not be able to have children naturally.” After the initial shock wears off, our first reaction is “What’s the next step? Where do we go from here?” We’re strong because that’s the only reaction that allows
us to feel some sort of control in our lives that is not going according to plan. We force ourselves to focus on what we can DO instead of how we FEEL and spring back into action. I’m not saying that there isn’t a beauty in being resilient, in taking the unexpected twists and turns of life and recovering quickly from those tough situations. Some days, you need to do that. You need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move forward. But if there’s one thing I hope you take away from this, it’s to give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. You’ve been given life-altering news. Give yourself space to feel the sadness, the fear, and the frustration. I recently heard someone say, “I no longer want the measure of how well I’m doing to be based on how quickly I can move on from how I’m feeling.” What you’re feeling is completely normal. Process those emotions, grieve your losses, and then embrace the courage to continue.
 

Another component of being resilient is elasticity, the property of resisting
permanent damage due to stretching or enduring strain. If there’s one area of life that absolutely stretches us to our limits, it would be infertility. If infertility were a rubber band, I would say that most weeks, I feel that I’m being stretched to my limits and about to snap at any moment. Each appointment, each injection, each blood draw, each wait for results stretches us and stretches us. We prayerfully wait and with cautious optimism, we move forward. And some days when you feel like it’s just too much to handle, we hear “Oh you’re not trusting God!” or “Just trust the process” or “Just relax and it’ll happen” or even worse “Maybe it’s just not meant to be.” So we clam up. We reason away what we’re feeling. Our reaction is complimented rather than the emotions we feel. Our reaction of moving forward, dealing with the pile of poop that infertility has dumped on our laps. It’s okay to feel the anguish, sadness, and unfairness of infertility. You’re allowed to walk with the pain. Let people know you’re struggling. Sometimes you need more than a “You’ve got this, you can do it. Next round! Next time!” When you share your story, you are empowering others who feel the same way. You’re giving a voice to the deeply buried emotions and helplessness. It takes strength to admit you’re struggling.


 We don’t know what this next year will hold or where our infertility journey will
take us, but I’m confident in the One who does know. My mantra for this year is “Out of my hands and into Yours.” No matter what 2021 brings, God is already there and will stand beside us willing and ready to give us the love and grace we need to make it through. Remember that you are a warrior. You are seen. You are enough. When you can’t see what God is doing, you can trust that His heart is to give the very best to you. Your wait is temporary. What’s waiting for you at the end will be worth it all.

Instagram: @deejay.winter

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

To read Aubrey Titus' infertility journey, click HERE.

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