We are so moved and inspired by Allegra's story. We may not be going through her exact trial, but her words are so relatable and raw. This is not a topic you find easily on social media and we are so grateful for our brave friends who are willing to share such Bona Fide words.
You can find her blog HERE or read below and find out how Allegra chooses to have gratitude though this trail.
"Jotting this down for my record and memory. I got the blood results back yesterday, on Feb 9th. Negative. I wasn't surprised, though. Despite my best efforts to not cheat, I couldn't stand not taking a test! I did hold off a long time, though. I took a pregnancy test on Saturday at it was negative and also took another one on Monday and it was negative. However, you still hold out a little hope for the blood draw. A miracle even.
I had the impression to share the journey a few weeks ago on instagram. It's always scary to do so, because you don't know how it will be received. I didn't do it to complain, or to get attention, or to get sympathy. I don't need any of that stuff. I did it because I felt like I should for some reason, and I guess to be honest and shed some light that no body's lives are perfect. I've gotten responses in the past like "you have a dream life!" hahahaha well not true- everyone has struggles in their life at one point or another! Also it's sometimes awkward for me to post negative stuff, because I like to just focus on the positive and not only that, but I KNOW that people are fighting much tougher harder battles. There are refugees dying, persecution, kids with cancer, the list goes on and on and on! So I cringe a little asking for prayers for my little insignificant trials, but I feel like we aren't here on this life to compare our burdens or trials, but just help each other no matter how big or small they are. To love one another. I would really love to help others too, and hope that by sharing I can help someone else in some sort of way, even if it's just to shed light on some of the darker days of life and how we will all have them.
Yesterday was hard. Of course I'm sad with the negative results! How could I not be? How could I not shed tears and wonder "why?" How could I not be upset? So much was invested in this emotionally, financially. So many people have sacrificed to help us. Praying for us, getting kids off the bus until Dan got home from work, bringing things by, fasting and praying... My mom and sister and her baby flew all the way out here our first IVF round in June and put their lives on hold to watch our kids while we went to Prague for weeks. That's huge! I'm so grateful for all the love and support and sacrifices. It's good to cry and be angry. I did a lot of that this round. All day I pretty much just sat in bed. My friends Val and Lauren brought by flowers and a treat and card, Dan brought home flowers and dinner, neighbors brought by stuff. Sisters let me call and cry and talk and vent all day. Despite the sadness, underneath it all I felt calm. Compared to other failed rounds, this one was actually the "most calm" I've felt and I definitely, without a doubt, contribute that to the prayers of so many this round. So thank you all! Seriously!! It wasn't all for nothing. All the prayers and nice comments and love helped me out a lot. How grateful I am for such love and support. I will never forget it. I'll always remember it. I love you guys.
Today I woke up so much better. I grieve in a way that I cry really hard and let it all out and just drain all my emotions, and then I move on. This morning it's almost as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I'm just back to normal. I know the Savior is carrying me because that's not normal to move on this quick. I'm kinda just in "whatever!" mindset about it right now. I'm fine!
A few nights ago, I woke up at 3 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I wasn't upset or crying, I just couldn't sleep. Some thoughts came to my head that this is just my time in life to be patient because all the previous times in my life I never had to be patient before... I wanted a husband and someone to love me--> I got one pretty much that same year. I wanted a baby--> I got one right when I wanted. Max was conceived first try. I wanted a girl next--> we got her and were over the moon. We wanted Dan to get accepted to the graduate school of his dreams--> he got in. I wanted him to make it home in time from his interview before I went into labor with Max--> he did. We really wanted to move to South Carolina and there was one amazing job opening--> he got it. We really needed a house to open up in the neighborhood we loved--> one opened up right when we needed it to. The week we needed it to! I prayed for good neighbors and friends for the kids in our new place--> we got it. There are a million other instances where my prayers have been answered instantaneously. Some prayers get answered right away, and others don't. Sometimes we have to wait and wait and wait. Maybe they won't get answered until the next life. I know though, if we be patient with whatever we are wanting in life or waiting for, it will be given to us. I just feel it. When I die, I know the Savior will embrace me in his arms and say "way to persevere. way to not give up." I want Him to be proud of me. All the others out there who have had to be way more patient for things and continue to wait for the desires of your heart... don't give up!! Maybe this is my main trial in life and the rest will be smooth sailing? Maybe it won't be. Maybe this is just the easiest trial I'll have yet in a midst of horrific ones yet to come. haha. Who knows.
The first IVF round, I had some complications the day after the transfer. (The day before we were going to fly home) I woke up in serious pain-- The worst pain I've ever experienced in my life. I couldn't stand, walk.. I felt like I was going to throw up... it felt like labor pains but 10 times worse!! I was crying and yelping in pain. I didn't know what was wrong. We quickly got in the rental car and Dan sped me as fast as he could back to the Prague clinic. He was so scared and panicked. I could see it on his face. We were in a different hotel father away than normal, and I remember every bump and groove the car went over, I wanted to die. He parked and told me to wait in the car while he ran in to grab the doctor. I don't know... maybe he was thinking they were going to bring out a stretcher or something? haha. But sitting there was excruciating. For some reason, getting on the floor of the parking lot on all fours like a dog (lol!!) eased the pain a LITTLE. I was moaning and crying and can only imagine how ridiculous I looked. Well, I never want to forget the cutest older gentleman (he was probably at least in his 70's or 80's you guys!!) He was speaking Czech to me and ran over to me. I was able to get out "sorry I only speak English." And then he scooped down and picked me up and started carrying me towards the clinic. I thought any second his frail body was going to drop me, and I remember thinking how kind he was to help me. I'll never forget that man. I love love love the people in Prague. All of them have a special place in my heart. By this time Dan and the Prague doctor were coming towards me and Dan thanked the guy and took over carrying me inside. They hooked me up to an IV and started pumping pain meds through me. Thank goodness for drugs! I've never been more excited to not feel that awful pain anymore. Your body goes through so much with IVF. The shots, the stimulating of your eggs before egg retrial, all the medicine... it's a lot. The doctors in Prague and my fertility doctor here think I had "ovarian torsion" where my ovary started to twist positions and was pinching on surrounding nerves. The next day it must have twisted back because I felt totally fine and was able to fly home ok, but I really think the pain and stress I was in made that round not work. I mean, you're supposed to be relaxed and take it easy the day after transfer and I was the farthest thing from relaxed. So first round was a bust and we just transferred one.
The second round was my first FET (frozen embryo transfer) and we decided that one didn't work, might as well transfer two this time. We got excited about the thought of possible twins! This was the round I took the very hardest when it failed. I just felt so good about it. I thought it would work. I thought at least one of the embryos or both would stick, and they didn't. I was pretty devastated but not just because of that, but because Dan's mom took a turn for the worst quickly and passed away this same week!!!! I can't even describe how awful that whole month was. I can't put it into words at all!! I didn't even care about myself or our dumb embryos anymore, but now my heart was hurting beyond comprehension for Dan and his family and for me too-- I loved her. Looking back, it was actually a tender mercy that the second round failed around the same time as her passing, because it took the focus off me completely. All I wanted to do was be there for Dan and make sure he was ok!!!! To support and love him! He was in Colorado and I didn't want to burden him the news so I remember calling my parents in complete hysterics...sobbing with the news and sobbing that Dan's mom was dying. It was ALL TOO MUCH TO BEAR! It helped me a lot to vent to my parents and then be there for Dan. I guess it just goes to show that when you're sad about something you're dealing with, it helps to serve others. To think about others. It makes you happier. Service and selflessness brings joy. The horrible South Carolina flooding also happened after this failed cycle, and I remember just gathering and buying supplies for the victims with Max and Ruby also helped me not to think about my own struggles! I didn't even care about myself anymore. I convinced myself that this round failed because it just wasn't meant to be... timing was horrible... If I did get pregnant I probably would have miscarried from all the family sadness of the funeral and traveling or whatever. So first round and second rounds kinda had a reason to fail, in my mind. I told myself over and over the timing and circumstances just weren't right.
Fast forward to this round, our third FET (frozen embryo transfer.) It had been almost 4 months since the last failed transfer and we were starting to think about flying back again. I didn't want to stress Dan out and I wanted to make sure he was in a good place emotionally after everything with his mom and all. We both agreed we were ready to try again. I think he really was excited and we were both hopeful to start off the new year with some good news! We deserved it! 2015 sucked and we deserved some joy, so we were excited and felt so hopeful! The timing was good, I wouldn't have pain and ovarian torsion because its a FET and not a fresh stimulated cycle, Dan's mom will be up there in heaven pleading with Heavenly Father to grant our wishes. If I got pregnant, I'd have an October baby which I've always wanted cuz I just love October haha! This was it! This was our round! And then it failed. The first two rounds I kind of understood why they failed. This one I didn't. However, they were our worst embryos of the bunch. Even still though, they were "good enough". This round was special though. I had all the support and love of so many since I opened up about it. I felt like I was being carried by my friends and family. Carried by the Savior and his complete understanding of the emotions I was going through. So grateful for the atonement and that he knows me and my struggles. Maybe this round failed because we aren't supposed to have twins. I mean, I have huge babies!! And I'm really small. Twins would have been *maybe* very dangerous for me.
So where do we go from here? We have one more frozen one left. It's one of the best, quality- wise actually! The Prague clinic bunched the lesser quality embryos into the groups of two and transferred those together, and the best ones by themselves. The first really good one we did first. The other really good one we are saving for last. Maybe I am supposed to have one baby at a time. Twins would kick my trash. I sort of feel relieved with the pressure of twins off. They would have been cute, but also really challenging. We were driving to dinner the other day, and I reached my hand behind the seat to hold Max's hand. I said "Max! What do you think? Is it worth flying back to Prague? I have one good embryo left. Should I try even though we've tried 5 so far and they haven't worked?" He said without question or hesitation " mom you always keep trying and never give up!!!" Well of course tears came to my eyes and I said "you're right Max. Thank you for your support and advice!" Man I love that kid. It's kind of crazy, all of this. We have unexplained infertility and everything is great. My eggs are awesome. My uterine lining is awesome. I'm fairly young... well young enough where this should be working. The fact that it hasn't has been baffling, but it just goes to show that the Lord has a plan for us. I just need to figure out what that plan is. We will probably get pregnant on our own down the road, and it will be hilarious and awesome. Or maybe no more babies are in store. I don't know. I really don't know, but I'm willing to hang on for the ride and trust in Him to guide us.
I've felt so comforted and loved. I'm grateful because it's strengthened our marriage.. Seeing the way Dan has taken care of me when in pain and experiencing the ups and downs together, leaning on each other when the bad news has come.
My only conflicting thoughts are my own thoughts. I feel like I get impressions or feelings that it will work, and then it doesn't, so I'm starting to wonder if those aren't impressions or feelings, but just my own crazy thoughts! Like I'm making it up or something! So, I don't know how to go about prayers anymore. Not because I question if He is there, I know he is! He loves me and I've felt that love and He's carried me. I just question if feelings I get during prayer are from Him or me. Am I crazy? Has anyone ever felt this way? Getting personal revelation is like a mind game for me. I'm scared. It's almost as if I've put up walls and don't know how to gain knowledge from Him anymore because I question if it's real or not. I know He is there though, and I know He loves me and all things will work out in His time. I just don't know what or how to do prayers anymore, if that makes sense, because every time I feel one way, the opposite happens haha! Anyone had similar feelings or can shed some light on this? I have stopped praying for things I want. Now I just pray to be strong to accept His will. To feel peace. And comfort. To be safe during travels.
My mom always said when things get rough, keep a gratitude list or journal! It helps so much. Life is great. Be happy. Have joy. I am so grateful for:
1. My health! A functioning body. Legs that run.
2. A Husband that loves me and I love him. We have each other.
3. Beautiful Children. A boy and a girl. A daughter and son. One of each, what more do I need?!!
4. Healthy Children
5. A peaceful joyful house
6. The Gospel
7. My Savior and his atoning sacrifice, someone, the only one.... who truly knows every emotion and pain I'm feeling.
8. Wonderful friends and family that build me up.
9. The means financially to even be able to do IVF!
10. That I even get to have children. I know some can't have any at all, and I know how hard and trying that must be
11. A beautiful place to live and raise the kids
12. That I have been able to enjoy the kids, make memories, stay at home and soak up the moments
13. A husband that supports us financially
14. An eternal family and joy in the eternities. A hope for the future. Joy in the afterlife.
15. That I've been able to have one on one time with Max and Ruby. Not having a baby in years has actually allowed me opportunities to soak up and live life to the fullest more, not having to worry about babies and nap schedules and diving my time between a million other kids! I wouldn't trade those times with the kids for anything. Not even a baby. I've loved our spontaneous summers of go, go going that probably wouldn't have happened nearly as often with a baby or two younger than them. I wouldn't trade it or exchange it. They're really amazing. It's like Lorelai and Rory. Did she need 5 kids? No! She just needed her bestie Rory. (hahahah can I get a Gilmore Girls high five!!) That's how I feel about Max and Ruby. hahaha. I don't need a million. They fill up my heart and soul.
16. A pretty view of nature out my window that brings peace and comfort to my soul
17. Cars to drive, food to eat, clothes to wear, warm water
18. Freedom and a country that's amazing.
19. That we were able to have a bunch of frozen embryos and not have to do egg retrievals for every cycle.
20. The experiences in Prague. The people in Prague. The beautiful places we toured and went to in Prague and surrounding countries.
I could go on and on. This post and just writing is so therapeutic! I feel so much better already haha.
Even though I want a baby, it's not like I'm sad and not functioning. For the most part, I'm happy and joyful and enjoy each day. We are fine!! I am peaceful!! I have my life and kids and stuff to do, and it's not like the grief is consuming me. I am grateful for all that I have. Hopefully if you're reading this and going through a trial or hard time of your own, you can hang in there too. Stay close to the Savior, have a million good cries and get angry, eat some chocolate, whine and cry some more, realize good times are ahead, realize we all have hard times, be grateful, serve others, have patience..... not all prayers will be answered right away. I just hope this helps someone or my kids in the future when they decide to read it. I think of Job in the bible... all that was taken from him. All he had to endure. In the end, all is made right. Most of all, trust in the Lord and his plan for you, even though sometimes we have trials that just suck and are unfair!! Let Him carry you and help you find joy in the midst of pain. It is possible.
Thank you, Thank you, Allergra for these words! Such an inspiring post to find happiness within the trails. Sending love and prayers!