Friday, December 31, 2010

Broken Dreams

I've read this poem on a few blogs, most recently on We Are All Mothers. I find myself reading it a lot more lately, several times in a row, and it's been on my mind constantly. I just love it.

As children bring their
broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken
dreams to God, because
He was my friend.
But then, instead of
leaving Him,
in peace, to work alone;
I hung around and
tried to help,
with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them
back and cried,"How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said,
"What could I do?
You never did let go."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 & 2011

2010 was an interesting year. Understatement of the decade.

In this year, I was able to begin treatments again after years of waiting and wanting. What a blessing! Those treatments led to pregnancy, and I had the best week of my life in 2010.

Followed by one of the worst months of my life.

2010 was also simultaneously the most difficult and most wonderful year of our marriage.

What a roller coaster this year was for us, and I have to admit I am happy to see it go.

About a month ago, our Stake President encouraged us to ask friends and family to fast with us on the first Sunday in January. Ryan and I are fasting that our fertility treatments will be successful and we'll be blessed with children. It is not usually in my character to ask this, but if you are so inclined, we'd love for you to join us.

My hope is that 2011 will be our year. So far, we seem to be off to a hopeful start!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Shadow Hanging Over Christmas

I believe Christmas is about one thing, celebrating the birth of Christ. Sure, there are a lot of other wonderful things about Christmas... family, friends, traditions... but when it comes down to it, it is all about a tiny baby who came to earth to save the world.

Even so, it is hard not to get caught up in the game of "might have been" or "should have been".

Where are my kids to tuck in on Christmas eve? Is this really Ryan's and my 15th Christmas as a couple with no children to share in the magic? Probably the most painful thought is that today I should be coming up on month 5 of my pregnancy and instead my body is the same size it's been for years.

I had images of posing for a picture by the Christmas tree with Ryan, my hand tucked under my growing belly. But that's all gone now.

These thoughts are a shadow hanging over Christmas this year. It takes an enormous amount of effort and strength not to let them take over everything. It is a constant battle, sometimes one that is fought minute by minute.

In our first years of trying to start a family, I would tell myself each Christmas that the next year I would be a mother. I would think, "Hopefully, this Christmas will be the last one just Ryan and I".

Then as the years ticked by, I stopped doing that. It was too heartbreaking as I saw that dream come and go with every passing year.

This year, I am again telling myself that next Christmas things will be different, that next year will be *our* year. This constant promise to myself (as out of my control and as potentially deviating as it is) is sometimes the only thing that holds me together.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

All I Want

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree

I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby, all I want for Christmas is you :(

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Laura Bush - One of Us

Apparently, former first lady, Laura Bush, dealt with infertility as well. I found a quote from her on Hillary's blog and I had to investigate further, as I knew no one could make a statement like that without experiencing infertility first-hand.

Politics aside, I always felt Laura Bush was a graceful, strong woman. I love her even more after reading this excerpt from her book,

"For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-ribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It Comes and Goes

Last night I was skimming my FB homepage when I saw an old friend’s recent status update… Only 1 more week and we see what gender the baby will be!

This friend is pregnant, due in May, just like I was.

Grief from the miscarriage is always there, although the intensity comes and goes. You are walking around and coping fine when suddenly…BAM. It’s right there in your face again.

After 7 years of waiting, I found out I was pregnant on our Anniversary and had a due date of Mother’s Day. It couldn’t have been more perfect. And in a flash it was gone. This baby, our little appleseed, is gone. And that’s it. Just like that.

I want to be in that place again. I want that baby. Even if I am blessed to become pregnant again at some point, I will always want that baby.

I don’t think that feeling goes away.

Ryan was perfect… he didn’t say much… just kissed my face and held me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Infertility Currency

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it is funny how infertility changes you, and permeates every aspect of your life.

One small example is how I think about money. Dollars? What are those? Everything in my life is valued in treatment terms now… and this new currency comes with a ridiculous exchange rate!

A nice night out with the hubby is no longer fifty dollars. It is now an Ovidril Ovulation Trigger Shot.

My husband’s new uniform and boots cost one vile of Follistim Egg-Stimulating Hormone.

I projected our taxes for 2010, and in April we will owe the government one complete medicated cycle.

Sometimes it’s funny to think about, sometimes it’s depressing…

I need new tires on my car. There goes an IUI.

Our electric bill is 3 bottles of prenatals.

I can’t turn it off.


Anyone else use infertility currency???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What is Going On?

I had another spiritual experience today. Another confirmation that someday this journey will come to an end with the result I've been dreaming about. In a way today's experience, although less detailed, was even more surprising.

I am confused at what is going on. For years I have begged for answers and direction, and felt I have heard nothing. (Well, almost nothing.) Now it feels the flood gates have been opened. I want to pinch myself to prove it is real.

I wonder why now? Did I just get so desperate it was time for a bit of mercy? Or have these answers been there all along, and I've just been too hard-hearted to receive them...

Friday, December 3, 2010

I think I can... I think I can...

Doesn’t it always happen that the minute you write a positive, uplifting, nothing-can-stop-my-happiness post, everything in the universe conspires against you? I’m being over-dramatic here, but today I am really being tested. Really.

Baby pictures, baby talk, baby stories are running rampid right now and I can not escape.

I have to be okay with where I am right now. And grateful for the gift I’ve been given. And excited about the Christmas season.

I have to be okay!

The Poorest Spot in All the Land

Last month was our Stake Conference at church. The last few Stake Conferences (we have two a year) have been amazing to me, as there has been at least one talk that was written specifically for me. I’m joking, of course. They weren’t actually written for me, but their message was exactly what I needed to hear.

This time, the talk was on waiting for blessings. Or maybe the actual topic was on something else… but that’s what I got from it. Our Stake President spoke about a particular scripture, Jacob Chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon. It was interesting because Ryan and I had read that chapter not too long ago, and I remembered it. It was an allegory using olive trees.

I hadn’t thought much of that chapter at the time, but in the talk it took on a whole new meaning for me.

21 And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard.

22 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto him: Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.

We can relate this to our wait for desired blessings. We pray and pray and it feels like those blessings never come. We feel like the poorest, most neglected spot in all the land. But God hasn’t forgotten us. In fact, He labors on our behalf even more. He is nourishing us and preparing us to bring forth great fruit.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Keep that Feeling

Ever since I received some answers about this long journey we’re on, my life has completely changed. No one can tell by looking on the outside… I’m still not pregnant, on a break, unsure of when our blessings will finally come… but on the inside, I feel like a different person.

My faith that motherhood will come has returned. My knowledge of which path is right for us is sure. Now I have to simply do my part and lean on my dear frienemy… patience.

In the meantime, I am doing things to protect myself from sad situations to try and keep this positive, happy attitude for as long as possible.

I reclaimed my lunch hour. I decided it is my hour in the middle of the day to do whatever I’d like. As I mentioned before, work is a difficult place for me right now. The people are awesome, but the circumstances are hard sometimes. Now, instead of eating lunch in the conference room, I use that time to run errands, read a book, watch something fun on Netflicks, or even write a quick blog entry. ;) I am loving this hour for myself immensely and it is the right decision for now.

Another thing I am doing is hiding people on Facebook. I had only hidden a few, select people before, mainly those who posted too frequently, use it for business networking, etc. I have expanded this to include people who are in a stage of life where motherhood consumes them. Not all mothers, mind you, just the ones who constantly post about their babies, kids, and the endless frustrations of being a mom. I don’t fault these women at all, so I hope no one is offended. Once I’m a mom, you probably won’t be able to shut me up about that kind of thing! :) But for now, I don’t need to see it all the time. (Disclaimer to my mommy friends who are reading this: I am not talking about you. The moms I am hiding on Facebook do not follow my blog or even comment about my situation when it does come up. They are 100% in their own mommy world, which is fine, but I don’t want to live in their world right now.)

I have continued saying “no”. I started trying out the “no” word when I began treatments again about 5 months ago. I made the decision that I am going to keep using that word, even during this treatment break. Sometimes I modify it a bit (“Yes, I’ll help with that, but I can only do such-and-such.”). I’ve learned that it is not always selfish to say no; sometimes it’s self-preservation. On the flip side, when I do say “yes”, I don’t begrudge it because I consciously chose to do it. I find that helps me enjoy the task more, and I do a better job.

There is a lot more I’m doing, but I’ll just share one last thing. I am trying to have a tougher skin and focus on what really matters. One small example… Since I posted about my experience on Sunday, I lost several readers who were following along publically. My natural instinct is to have hurt feelings and mull it over for a while, wondering why they left. Maybe I had offended them… maybe my blog isn’t “real” enough (I’ve been accused of being *too* positive in the past)… maybe it’s too religious… maybe they got bored…

In reality, it absolutely does not matter. When I started this blog, it was just to document my fertility treatments so that people who knew what I was going through wouldn’t have to ask all the time how I was doing. The money for treatments fizzled out quite quickly and what came after was years of working through the never-ending grief that is infertility. I kept writing, thinking it could be something that my future child would read someday, or at least a history for myself of our journey. That is the real purpose, not whether 100 people read along or 1000. I know it seems silly, but I am a sensitive soul, and I could be hurt by a lot of silly things. Refocusing on what’s really important is helping me to stay sane.

I feel like I have changed a lot since Sunday, and I hope this positivity and peace sticks around for a while. I find myself actually able to bear the holiday season this year, something that has been lacking in many years past.

I want to share a quote that a wonderful woman posted on here a few days back. On Sunday, I was completely low. Hopeless. The desperation and despair was worse that day than it had been in a long time. Even worse than when I found out we were losing our baby (although the miscarriage was a *huge* part of why I was feeling so low on Sunday – delayed despair I guess). I thought it just couldn’t get any worse. It was at that moment, that God showed mercy on me, and gave me answers I had waited 7 years to hear. This quote describes that moment perfectly.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

- Harriet Beecher Stowe