A little over a year ago I got the opportunity to share a little about me and my journey with infertility with a friend from high school, Danielle Foulk, who started an AMAZING blog, Bblissful. I wanted to share that blog post (also see below) with you all to give you a better insight into our Jolley story!
NOTE: A few changes have since occurred since the blog post! The #1 being that our second son, Grayson was born on March 23, 2015 and he is the light of all of our lives...we were all so in love with him from the minute we laid eyes on him, especially big brother Nolan. I look forward to writing a follow up post to this soon with an update on what life is like now with a one and almost 4 year old! Another thing I want to note is that while I am still doing a few events yearly for Dulce Designs, that is now extremely part time while I focus on my new blog and being a mommy! I also want to give Danielle a big thank you for allowing me to share my story with her readers and also allowing me to share it here with mine as well. She has some amazing stuff going on with her blog, so be sure to check her out!
REAL MOM: ANGELA JOLLEY
Want to meet a REAL mom who not only is a business owner but has successfully tackled infertility? Those are two challenges that make this mom STAND OUT! It is my pleasure to introduce to you Angela Jolley. Angela and I know one another through high school. While we weren't in the same 'circle' back then, we are now a part of the Working Mom's Club. She is going to share with you her experience with infertility as well as her business and Mommy-must-haves! Please be sure to visit her website at Dulce Designs Candy .
Tell us about yourself and your family!
Angela: My husband and I met while I was in college at Eastern Kentucky University. He was graduated but came back to visit his fraternity brothers during a formal. We became instant friends for years and once I graduated and moved back to Cincinnati, where he was living, we immediately started dating. I know it is cliché to say but he is 100% my best friend and is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He is the hardest working person, and because of that I am able to stay home with our son while running my own business. I am blessed to have him for a husband. Together we have a 2 year old son named Nolan. Nolan is hilarious, assertive, extremely active, kind, polite and very bossy at times. We are also expecting our second son, Grayson, in March!
How will baby number two change things for you? How is it different from preparing for your first?
Angela: Life is going to get so much crazier but a lot more fun too. I think having two of the same gender really helps in preparing for their arrival, we already have almost everything we need. With the second pregnancy I am much more relaxed and not as nervous as I was the first time around. I think our biggest obstacle will be starting over with the newborn stage after having a toddler that can do a lot on his own. I am having a C-section again with our second and I am nervous about the recovery of that while trying to care for a newborn and toddler. I know there are a lot of challenges with having a toddler and a newborn but I will survive with the help of my family, friends and some wine!
What are you most excited about with your growing family?
Angela: I am so excited to give my son a brother/sibling/best friend and at times worst enemy. More than anything I am beyond blessed to be pregnant again after at one time being told I would probably never have children. I will admit, I am the WORST pregnant person ever…just ask my loved ones!
What can you share with moms who struggle with infertility? What's your story?
Angela: To be honest, I never really paid much attention to infertility until it became a large part of my life about four years ago. It was then that I found out really how common it is, and I am noticing it especially with a lot of people my age. We tried on our own to get pregnant for almost 9 months with no luck, I know they say to wait a full year before seeing a specialist but I just knew something what wrong so my doctor had Adam and I go in for a couple of tests. Adam had to do a sperm analysis where they found out he has perfect “super swimmers” so we knew the issue was with me. With him cleared, it was my turn. The first test was a Hysterosalpingogram or better known as the dye test where they test the condition of your fallopian tubes. It was after this test that they discovered I had endometriosis and it was so severe that I had only one working fallopian tube. After further testing they also found that I had low ovarian reserve…meaning that I had a lower egg count and the eggs I had were not of great quality.
With that knowledge we started fertility treatments at the Institute of Reproductive Health under Dr. Scheiber. It was here that we underwent a total of 6 artificial inseminations (iui’s) before we decided to move onto in-vitro fertilization (ivf). None of these fertility treatments were a walk in the park and all included a series of medicine…especially the ivf’s where I was giving myself up to 4 injections a day in my stomach. I was moody, tired, and emotional while starting to put on weight from all of the medicine…top that off with negative pregnancy tests monthly and I was starting to also get very depressed. We ended up doing 2 ivf’s both of which I never made it past egg retrieval because my egg quality was so bad that no eggs fertilized. The next day after our second IVF retrieval I received a phone call from the IVF nurse letting me know that nothing took and that we could not move on with the second part of the procedure was one of the darkest days of my life. I remember Adam coming home from work immediately and just lying in bed with me, holding me while I sobbed. Fast forward a few weeks and in that time we had decided to look into egg donation as well as adoption. It was during this time that I went off all fertility medicine and started acupuncture with the amazing Carole Paine. I was eating organic and doing yoga and praying more than I ever had in my entire life. I noticed my period was a little late and my lower back was aching which I thought was so odd. Just for the heck of it I took a pregnancy test and imagine my total shock when I saw those 2 pink lines. I took three more tests that day just to make sure. Our first son, Nolan is a true miracle baby and it is never lost on us how much we went through to get him!
What is your message to women who are struggling with infertility?
Angela: That you are not alone, infertility is actually really common and does not define you as a person. I love that it is being talked about more and more in media, blog pages etc. If you do have or have had any sort of infertility do not feel like you have to hide your feelings. It’s ok to be sad some days!
Once I became pregnant and was so sick with constant morning sickness I felt like I could never complain or ask for help because that is what I so desperately wanted and prayed for…what I want to tell people is it is ok to be honest about how you are feeling. You don’t have to love being pregnant every second of the 9 months; you are not ungrateful for feeling that way.
What got you through the tough days of infertility?
Angela: Talking about it with my loved ones while also going to a counselor and of course praying…lots and lots of praying. I think it is so important to have a strong support system in life, people you know you can really count on to get you through your darkest days and those who also rejoice with you in your happiest. I felt so surrounded by love from my friends and family. I was not always very open about our infertility but as soon as I was able to open up and talk about it, the better I felt. The biggest eye opener for me was learning I was not alone; that infertility is very common!
Did the infertility cause any stress to your marriage? How did you and your husband stay close and connected?
Angela: The weird thing is it brought us closer than ever. Nobody knew better than him what loss and heartbreak we were experiencing. I was never alone; he was with me every step of the way. At first, I felt guilty for not being able to have children, like it was my fault because the infertility was with me. When we got married we had these dreams to start a family and I felt like I was to blame for not being able to fulfill that dream for us. He constantly reminded me that I was not alone, we did the infertility shots together and he would listen to me when I needed it and hold me when I had nothing to say. For that I am forever grateful!