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Hi! I’m Jalina, a cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing mom of 2 under 2 after 3 years of infertility. When in doubt, I ask “What did cave people do?” (I know a lot about cave people because I went to middle school.) I’m addicted to fresh air, chapstick, and water– hold the coffee.
My husband, Anthony, and I met when we were 14 years old and married when we were 20. No, we absolutely were NOT high school sweethearts. (Our love story is even better!) We tried for years to conceive our first baby. It was a very personal decision to refuse ART, and through diet and lifestyle change, we managed to naturally conceive two under two. I am passionate about eliminating toxins from our food and body products and helping others do the same because our food shouldn’t act like birth control.
One February morning, I woke up with such a strong urge to share my story of infertility, everything it taught me, and all the reasons I can now say I’m grateful for the experience that I could only describe it as a calling. I started an infertility blog to keep me accountable in sharing my story to encourage and inspire other women still waiting for their babies.
As I interacted more with both “sides” of the online infertility community (totally missed the boat on this while I was TTC), I realized that being a mother after infertility is a weird place to be. More importantly, I realized that many moms made after infertility felt the same way!
When you’ve experienced infertility and loss, you know it doesn’t all go away with a positive pregnancy test. Turns out, it doesn’t all go away when you become a mom either. Being a mom after infertility and loss has a unique set of joys and challenges. For me, infertility has forever impacted my faith, health, marriage, parenting style, and world views.
So I started over (because I’m good at that) and created THIS SIDE OF IF, with IF being the common Internet abbreviation for infertility and also referring to my prayer at 15 years old to “God– IF there is a God” to please be patient with me as I explored my faith.
I used to be an X-ray tech, but my distaste for breastpumps and triclosan led me to Upstate NY, where I could breastfeed my babies all of my days (hours… minutes…) and wash my hands with good ol’ fashioned water + castile soap + nature’s antibacterial: friction.
Anthony and I have each moved more times than we can remember, and now we just can’t seem to settle, so in the interest of providing our boys with the forever home we always imagined for our them, we’ve decided to go tiny. More on that journey hopefully in 2019!
it’s all highly experimental.
what you focus on grows.
you have to care for yourself before you can care for others. (I’ve ridden far too many airplanes.)
tattoos and writing are therapeutic.
Jesus is more than just “a great guy,” as I used to believe.
cavemoms knew a thing or two about raising their babies.
sustainable results are better than quick ones.
if you are still here, there is still a purpose for your life.
God is a funny guy sometimes.
it’s impossible to please everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.
there will always be another storm, each one preparing us for the next.
in second chances… sometimes third.
dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate.
our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
See you soon!
My Faith and Infertility Timeline…
because some of us are freaks for this sort of thing
05/1991 – Born in Anchorage, AK
10/1991 – Baptized Catholic
08/2005 – Met Anthony
10/2006 – Lost touch with Anthony
02/2007 – Prayed to God– IF there was a God– to please be patient as I explored my faith
03/2007 – Recurring dreams of “the man I’m supposed to marry”
06/2009 – Buddhist (I think)
08/2009 – Regained contact with Anthony. He perfectly fit the description of the man from my dreams
10/2011 – Married in a surprise Southern California beach wedding planned by Anthony
02/2013 – Began TTC
08/2013 – Moved into our first home. Plenty of room for babies! Anthony deploys. Not pregnant yet
11/2013 – Discovered Progressive Christianity. Dabbled in that for a bit
03/2014 – Started going to small church. Everyone welcome! Loved it. Joined the church choir
04/2014 – Anthony returns. Ready for our Homecoming baby!
10/2014 – 12 months TTC. Referred to RE by OB during routine exam. Refused to go
11/2014 – OB orders basic fertility workup. Diagnosis: Male factor infertility
01/2015 – Learned about toxins in food, bath products, and cleaning products. Began eliminating them
02/2015 – Male fertility supplements. Wholefood prenatal
03/2015 – Snowballs cooling underwear for men
05/2015 – Softcups
06/2015 – First ever +HPT. Father’s Day. Ugly crying
06/2015 – Miscarriage at 7 weeks. Devastated beyond my ability to function
07/2015 – Anthony leaves. I. Couldn’t. Even. Turned to the bible in desparation. Romans 8:18
08/2015 – Anthony returns. We reconcile and begin TTC again
11/2015 – Softcups + baby aspirin
12/2015 – +HPT
08/2016 – Abel born at 41 weeks. Thank you, God!
10/2016 – New church. Long-standing questions answered. YES! Began volunteering
04/2017 – Anthony and I baptized Christian together at our new home church
06/2017 – TTC Baby 2. Softcups + baby aspirin
07/2017 – +HPT
08/2017 – Miscarriage at 4 weeks. Shocked. Devastated. Confused. Fearful of secondary infertility
08/2017 – +HPT. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
05/2018 – Theodore born at 39 weeks. Wow!