Maybe it wasn’t about me.
By Andrea Hensrud, founder of her (health & empowerment in reproduction)
This article was hard for me to read. And although our stories are different, the parallels run wide. Andrea and I started our own journey together about a year ago. She reached out for an exploration coaching call with me at Soul Space Work. She had a feeling, a calling, an intuition based in life experience and heartache. Given everything she had been through, she wanted nothing more than to walk that same painful journey with others. When someone shares a part of their soul, well, you listen. I had the honor of working alongside Andrea as she followed her calling and in less than a year, she is sharing her gifts, experiences and support through her brand new business, her...Health & Empowerment in Reproduction. Andrea has found a way to use her painful experience to see others. To be seen and acknowledged in your grief, loss and pain is one of the very rare things that actually helps. Welcome Andrea, thank you for seeing our pain and not turning away.
Maybe it wasn't about me.
Infertility is a bitch. So is fertility, actually. I found myself on the side of infertility as I sat in the doctor’s office wondering what was next. I found myself resenting pregnant women, crying at the drop of a pin. It was so easy to be triggered. Triggered by pregnant women. Triggered by ultrasounds, baby announcements, anyone clinking their glass to say they have an announcement. Even if it wasn’t a pregnancy announcement. It was any announcement that had any form of hype prior to the dreaded clinking of the glass, or clearing of the throat, announcing “I have an announcement.”
That’s infertility. All these triggers. Everywhere. All the time. And guess what, it doesn’t go away. Just because I am on the other side of infertility, didn’t mean it went away. Just because I had children after a long haul of negative pregnancy tests, doesn’t mean the trauma stops.
It's been 5 years since my healthy daughter was born via a C-section, and there continues to be a sting in the air. That is why I have a therapist. Because even though you don’t see it, I f*cking hate it when people get pregnant. They trigger me. And I’ve been pregnant. Twice. I also have a little boy. He’s three.
It all started when my husband and I made the decision to heck yes - let’s have kids! I can still picture it. Let me set the scene. We were broke and totally in love and living life to the fullest. It was a dark winter night. We were driving to a UND Hockey game in Grand Forks. Decked out in fan gear, and chatting up a storm when we decided, yes! Let’s do this!
So we did. And did. And did.. And nothing happened. Nothing changed. Nothing. This was the first signal that this was going to be hard for us. After a visit to my primary, and a plan - nothing changed. After a second plan, nothing changed. Then a referral to reproductive medicine. Nothing happened. Tests, and IUIs (intrauterine insemination).. Nothing. Notta.
I remember after my 6th IUI with a negative pregnancy test.. I was sitting in our shower, crying. You know, those ½ showers that are small and you barely have room for yourself. Yes, one of those. I was sitting there crying - and yelling at God. A few swear words and then complete surrender later - I said I needed a break - that I couldn’t do this anymore.
I was then overcome with this intense sense of peace. So we took the break. We re-aligned. We built a house. We had fun. A lot of fun. We enjoyed life again. Even as I write this I think of how crazy it is of how at peace I was at this time. I still hated pregnant women. And I wasn’t really great at self care, and my habits were junk. But I was at peace.
Its crazy how even if you are angry at God, cuss him out and kick and scream that he still shows up for you. I have always had a big belief in him, and the way he shows up for me. I also have always prayed that he uses me as his vessel. That whatever he wants for my life, that I would also want - and be so aligned with it that no one f*cked with me. Yes, I love Jesus and swear a little. God gave me a passion to take a break - and it was everything we needed. Then one day, I told my husband I was going to go to my doctor and complete a physical as the first step to pursuing IVF. It was so much easier this time. So much more aligned. It wasn’t as scary as it used to be. I took it one step at a time. One appointment at a time. One phone call at a time.
Fast forward a few IVF protocols, schedules of shots (not the fun kind), and two very intimate transfers with me, my husband and my doctor in the room - we have two amazing miracle kiddos who we love.
During our journey I always knew I was called to this mountain so that I could show others it can be moved. It’s hard for me to pick one thing that I learned from infertility - because I learned so freaking much. I am who I am because of those negative pregnancy tests. I am who I am because of Corbin, the little boy who didn’t make it through the pregnancy when his twin sister did. I am who I am because of the climb.
It came to my realization that my struggle and my journey maybe wasn’t about me. Maybe it was about so much more. Maybe it's about the women I get to reach because I started a business to reach other women who’s habits have plummeted because of their journey into and out of the trenches of infertility. Maybe it's about the 9 embryos I have that we plan to give up for adoption. We just aren’t there yet. Maybe it's about the ripple that I can create if I just show up. Maybe it's not about me, but about how God is planning to use me. And I’m here for it.
Connect with Andrea via her website, socials and listen to her podcast, Diagnosis Infertility.