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After the loss of our girls and riding the infertility roller coaster I have become a much, much more emotional person. I used to never cry, unless really mad or hurt. But now just about everything makes me cry. Before this, I could cope better with the things going on in my life, now I fall apart easily. Prime example being on Memorial Day weekend when we went to Missouri to visit my dad's side of the family.

My Brother and Dad
I don't know if I ever mentioned it before, but I have two half brothers who suffer from strokes. One of my brothers is losing his eyesight. The other is in a nursing home and has been for probably 10 years or so. He can't talk; he tries but it only comes out as noises. We have no idea what he is trying to say. This has always made me sad, but when we visited him a few weeks ago I just couldn't keep it together. Maybe it was because Marty was there, and normally it's just me and my parents. In those situations I feel like I need to be the strong one. Despite the 13 year age difference between the two of us, we were always close. My parents talk about how my mom had to stay in the hospital additional days after I was born, so my dad and brother took care of me. My dad would wake him up every time I needed to be fed and my brother would feed me. At 13, he had that much love for me. (side note: my dad is paralyzed so he couldn't feed me). Anyway, when we went to visit him he wasn't expecting to see me, When he saw me, his face lit up brighter than a Christmas tree and he reached out his one mobile arm for me. I fell into his arms and he wouldn't let me go. It was the sweetest thing. Then as we were all sitting around in the day room of the nursing home, he just decided to roll his wheelchair out. We thought he was going to smoke. I went walking down the hall towards the smoking area, but he was coming back towards me. When we met, he handed me a picture frame turned upside down. When I flipped it over there was a picture of me from my wedding day. I about fell apart right there, but he kept holding up one finger to his lips telling me to keep quiet.  I don't know why I was so emotionally struck, but maybe it was because I had never seen a photo of me in his room before. It was just so heartbreaking, my big brother not able to communicate with me, but saying so much in that moment. When it was time to go, I just broke down walking down the hall with Marty's arm around me.
Me and My Brothers Years Ago

Before the visit at the nursing home we went to lunch with my parents, oldest brother, his wife, my niece, a bunch of cousins, and aunts and uncles.But there we were at lunch with my one cousin who has twin boys, a glaring reminder of our twin girls missing from the family lunch. Another cousin who has a 3 year old, 1 year, and his wife expecting their third. A reminder of my infertility. There was my mom whose dementia was flaring up that day, breaking my heart because I miss being able to have a normal conversation with my mom. There was my cousin who lost her one day old son in October and who is now doing IVF to have another baby, my heart aches for her. All of these things were breaking my heart, yet the love I have for all of these people was holding it together. Reflecting on that on the drive home once again had me in tears, there I was being all sappy and emotional again.

Some times I am still taken by surprise when I have these emotional breakdowns. It's amazing how two little girls and infertility have changed me. I am not as strong as I thought I was before. I think it's a good thing. Because despite the sadness and weakness, I do love and laugh harder too.


  1. This is so sweet. It breaks my heart. Sounds like you have an amazing family!

  2. I cried reading this... You are so amazing Ashley. <3

  3. Having emotions doesn't make you weak! Feeling all these things and choosing to still get up every morning, and not give up on your dreams is a sign of incredible strength!


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