Thursday, July 21, 2011

Welcome those coming from ICLW! I took last month off but totally missed all the new blogs and new visitors. It seems all the more important to find new women to connect with as every one I feel the most bonded with moves on too mommyblogdom. With any luck, once my vacation starts next week, my blog will be getting a nice re-vamp with added pages so that I can just link to our story without giving an introduction every single month. But for now, I'm Rochelle. I'm a 24 year old nursing student, professionally trained doula, aspiring midwife, maternity-care system changer, and most importantly mother. My husband, Matt, and I have been married for a little over 4 years and have been trying to expand our family that entire time. Since we got married so young, we never thought we would have a problem conceiving and it really added a lot of stress to that first year of marriage and has continued to be the main source of sadness in our lives. 3 years ago I finally got pregnant but miscarried and my womb has been void of life ever since despite an onslaught of herbs, uncomfortable ultrasounds, and a few months of Clomid. I have another $90 to pay off from those Clomid cycles before we decide where we go next, which looks like it will be a laproscopy. We are in a not preventing sort of place right now, where it's always there in the back of my mind but I'm not temping or using opks or anything like that. And since that's been the case, my blogging has slowed and turned more towards other aspects of my life. I hope you'll stick around and ride the roller coaster with us. I feel like I'm a safe bet as one of those blogs you can add without any worry they'll get pregnant before you.

Infertility and miscarriage has very obviously impacted every facet of my life but it's so much more obvious when it comes to my dreams (and I don't mean the crazy ones I have while I sleep.) Ever since I witnessed how amazing women are, especially while giving birth, I've felt drawn to pregnant women. I feel drawn to serve them, in every single way that I can, be it prenatally through some education, emotional and physical support, or just helping mop the floors for a mom on bedrest, but my favorite part is when I get to be that support during labor. After doing it purely as a volunteer for so long, I finally took a workshop this past weekend that I needed to get started on certification. It took me a long time to finally get back to a place after my miscarriage and following infertility where I was emotionally strong enough to provide that support and it's definitely an ongoing battle on some days, but I couldn't be more thrilled to feel like I'm finally back in the game. The workshop was absolutely incredible and I am so glad that everything came together so smoothly for me to go. I learned so much, especially about breastfeeding support which is definitely what I felt least prepared for. There was a woman there who reinforced the therapeutic communication skills I was supposed to learn in that first semester of nursing school and seemed to have a way of seeing right to the core of a person. The last day of the workshop was so bittersweet because although we had all just met, we felt so bonded. That bond was reinforced during our last exercise together where we all sketched and described our "ideal birth" which led to a very therapeutic purge. I think most of us cried, if not during our own stories, listening to others. It had been so long since I sat down and went through all the details again. I had forgotten how unprepared I was to experience labor when everything I read said it would be like a heavy period, like menstrual cramps. I forgot that mess of emotion, that terror, being too prideful to call my midwife back and ask her to come, pushing every one away, the horrible treatment from the hospital staff, and the large amounts of drugs that followed. I cried so hard at one point, while still trying to hold back, that I lost my voice for a moment. I definitely felt so much lighter afterwards (well, after the random crying during the first hour of my drive home.) I eventually did get to explain what my ideal birth looks like but it was the first time I'd really allowed myself to say aloud that I may never get the chance to give birth. It sounds so hopeless but I really needed to acknowledge publicly that even if I never experience another pregnancy, I will still be doing everything I can to help others with their experience.

I feel a lot more prepared for my OB/Peds class next semester too after the review I got through the workshop. It made me realize just how much I already know. I only have one of the three births I need to complete my certification lined up and it's not until the beginning of October but I'm hoping that a lot more are going to fall into my lap after that. It brings my soul an almost forgotten kind of happiness to be so close to fulfilling this dream. It doesn't hurt that this certification and experience will help me jump straight into the master's bridge program after nursing school. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as I build a place just for my doula clients to go and learn about me and my services. It will also be a place where I can share the birth stories too. Wow, I have a lot to do during the month the ninja.toddler is gone to Chicago! By the time he gets back, I'll be in my last year of nursing school!


Cyndi said...

It's pretty amazing what you're doing. I'm sure it takes a lot emotionally to do it too. I haven't been able to get there. When I see pregnant women I get upset inside. They always look so happy and full and I can only think when will I get to feel that.

Accepting out loud that we may never experience this is a big step, good for you! It's rough but i'm glad we have this community where we can share, purge and be each other's support because it's really hard to find this in the people we see daily.

Candice said...

Wow! Your workshop sounds like it was an amazing and therapeutic experience for you! I am so glad you did it :)
I am excited for the opportunities it gives you and I look forward to reading all about where it takes you in your career!

Melissa said...

Hi! I found your blog through ICLW. It sounds like you are on an absolutely amazing career path! I'm glad the workshop was so therapeutic for you.

Missy said...

I'm glad you are able to follow your dream, even though I can only imagine how hard this job must be when you are also struggling through infertility yourself.

Elaine VanDRiver said...

Hi! Found you on ICLW and wanted to say hello! I love the intro post--so great for the start of ICLW. Also love the blog template! Very cute. Hope you have a great week!

Kelly said...

Wow...after what you've been going through in your personal life, it takes a strong woman to do what you do in your professional life. I admire you for that!!


Heather said...

I really admire you haning around pregnant women for your job, I think you are in a really good place to be able to do that. Then again as a teacher I am surrounded by kids all the time. Good luck with the studies and the journey to motherhood.

annoyed army wife said...

Your post made me tear up a bit. I saw a midwife for years for well woman care and she had been helping me (more than she knows) with my infertility journey. She was a light in this world. She recently passed away in April and I'm still in shock and grieving for the loss. I just wish she would be around when I do get pregnant. So, I really admire your career path. :)

Jo said...

I can relate to this post, as hubby and I also started TTC very young (I was 20, he was 30). Because of that, we didn't seek help for almost five years! Its a little different being in your 20's and going through IF than in your 30's. There's less pressure (time is on your side), but increased frustration (things SHOULD be working fine). I admire your strength and desire to help others, particularly those who have what you so desperately want. I know for a fact that I am nowhere near as brave.


JustHeather said...

Congrats on such a wonderful workshop. I hope everything continues to go well for you and you are able to get your certification soon.
Have a great vacation!

Beth Brakewood said...

So many people going through IF can't handle being around pregnant people that it's really nice to hear about someone who not only can handle it, but actively seeks out the experience! I shocked myself by being unable to attend baby showers once I found out I was IF but I love to be around my friends who are new moms - something about the pregnancy is difficulty for me, but mommyhood seems not to trigger those same worries. (I never thought I would react that way, but live and learn.)

Congrats on getting through the workshop and for moving foward on the formal certification!

tanyaslifejourney said...

Visiting from ICLW.

I enjoyed reading your story. I have a daycare (even though we have no kids of our own) and many people (fertiles and infertiles) say they couldn't do what I do while going through what I'm going through. I have to say the same about you...While I can deal with babies and kids, I couldn't handle working with pregnant women day in and day out while striving to get what they have. I commend you for doing what you do--and I'm sure you are awesome at it because you obviously love it so much! :)

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