Thursday, August 30, 2012


I haven't posted in quite a while, and unfortunately this is not going to be some well thought out, deeply meaningful post.  In fact, it is probably going to by whiny and negative and probably kinda judgmental.  Not how I usually strive to be, but here it is.  (So if you're less than impressed and/or highly irritated by negativity, just skip this one.  Seriously.)

Facebook, you kill me.  I have endured more pregnancy announcements than I thought possible.  I have congratulated just about every dang person who has posted cutsie pictures, clever announcements, "aren't you all surprised (but not really)" posts, "oops, we're just SO fertile" posts, clever posts, not-so-clever-posts, and so many more ways to tell people you're going to have a baby.  Many of these people, were it not for Facebook, would never make this announcement to me especially, but because we're Facebook friends, I get it all.  And I'm never prepared for it, which makes it worse.  I'm scrolling, reading things like how expensive people's dinners were or how much they had to do today and WHAM....WHAM WHAM.  BABIES!!!  BABIES, BABIES, BABIES. 

Then there is the fact that the vast majority of my friends have children and want to Facebook brag about them.  As they should.  So, I get that, I'm coping, and then it becomes all about being a mother.  And how when you're a MOTHER, everything changes and your life is just so blasted wonderful and you can't imagine a better life.  Hmm, so if we never have children, my life can't be as good as yours?  Seriously?  And don't you think I already wrestle with that concept ALL THE TIME?  Wondering if my life will always be incomplete because I didn't have kids?  And with the election season, this has somehow gotten worse, as more and more people post more and more things and the politicians try to reach out to . . . you guessed it!  Mothers!

But tonight took the cake.  Scrolling along, seeing what's up, reading a post about my cousin getting free chicken nuggets, and all of a sudden there is a BREAST.  (A completely separate post than the chicken nuggets, in case you're trying to figure that one out.)  Granted, there is a baby attached to it and I know that breast feeding is ideal for a baby, blah, blah, blah, BUT I DO NOT WANT TO SEE A PICTURE OF IT ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.  It was actually something someone had posted on a Pinterest board about breastfeeding, but really?  And to add insult to injury, this is someone who is recently pregnant after trying to have a baby for 8 years and recently being told it would never happen.  And then she got pregnant, as many of those stories seem to go.  So she dealt with this for 8 years and doesn't stop to think that posting a picture of a suckling infant on Facebook might be hurtful to someone??  Rub some more salt in the wound, why don't ya?

I know that NONE of this is done to hurt me or anyone else.  I know that people are proud and loving parents who want to share their joy with the world.  And I DO want to know what is happening in people's lives, otherwise I suppose I would just give up on Facebook altogether.  I have some super-considerate friends on Facebook, too.  One couple had a baby in the last year, and although they talk about her and post the occasional photo, they more often than not give a link to her photo page, so if you want to, you can look at as many pictures of her as you want.  And most friends are very balanced in their posts.  They talk about their kids, their spouses, their jobs, their exercise, their days, etc.  And truth be told, I certainly care more about their families and big life events than I do about their exercise routines, and I care about THEM. 

I guess what I'm saying is just . . . that I wish people would take a little more care, but I realize that may not be realistic or fair.  And I can always control what comes into my Facebook world.

Okay, I am done with that long negative rant.  I did have a very positive breakthrough this past weekend, so stay tuned!  I hope to get that posted over the upcoming long weekend

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Glass Half Empty Sort of Day

I'm not sure I'll get through this post, but I have fallen back into not talking about things, so I need to try to get this out.

It is possible that I miscarried last month.  At Easter, of all times.  I have no definitive proof of this.  My period started VERY early (almost a week,) and lasted longer than usual with some odd bleeding.  Something happened and while I'll never know exactly what it was, the thought that I was pregnant, even if only for about a minute, is terrifying.

At least, today it's terrifying.  Sometimes it's awe- and thanks-inspiring.  It depends on if it is a glass half empty or a glass half full sort of day.  Today I am tired and have been working nonstop and have had very little contact with loved ones, so it is a glass half empty day and it is terrifying.

Terrifying because it means that maybe we can get pregnant, and that maybe I can't carry a baby.  That maybe we're dealing with two big issues here instead of one.  I've said all along how thankful I am that we just weren't ever getting pregnant, because I didn't think I could handle getting pregnant and losing a baby.  Which, honestly, might be part of the reason I am so unwilling to even consider IVF.  (Along with a lot of other reasons, of course, but this is one very rooted in emotion.)  And it's not good, how I feel.  It could be worse.  It WOULD be worse if I knew for sure we'd miscarried; it doesn't feel good nonetheless.

Terrifying because maybe I didn't miscarry and my body is doing something else, like early menopause or something that will completely destroy our hopes to have a child.  I know this is unlikely, but hey, it's a glass half empty day, so bring on the unlikely!

Now, if this were a glass half full day, I would say that I am so thankful that maybe we CAN get pregnant, that the maybe-miscarriage was just a fluke and J's little guys are in perfect health!  That this month or next I'll get that positive pregnancy test we long for (which, incidentally, would also be terrifying, but in a completely different way.)  That it is awesome and amazing that we have been blessed with hope, with the opportunity to conceive.

Maybe this is just the way we're supposed to be, J and I.  It's just that it is so lonely here.  And I'm so tired.  In typing that, I realized that I feel lonely for many different reasons, and that I am tired because I have been working like a maniac.  So it's not all because we don't have kids - I'd be more tired then!  But it's a glass half empty sort of day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Life Should Be Cherished

I am pro-life.  Yes, I am pro-life in the political/baby-rights sense of the word, but I am also simply for life.  All life.  One thing that I have noticed about myself since realizing that conceiving a child might not be a natural possibility for us is that I have much greater respect for life in general.

I have always been pretty sensitive to the "bigger" aspects of preserving life.  As a child, I wanted everyone to be healthy and after realizing this did not always happen, found myself afraid that eventually everyone I loved would get sick and die.  Morbid, yes, but a major fear, nonetheless.  I was so sad when people died, and I didn't like it.  This is still true today, naturally.  What I sense now is a bigger sense of the preciousness of living things.

As I got older and became more aware of what was happening outside of my immediate circle, I started to see that life should be preserved on an even bigger stage.  Life begins at conception and should be honored.  On a universal level, I began to realize that every single human life is of the same incredible value to God.  And if we truly value every life the same, why are there still people in the world dying because they don't have clean water?  Should the death penalty be an option?  Why are we punishing death with more death?  (I don't have the answers to these questions.  I just got to a point where I started to think about them.)  I became more aware of life in a more "political" way, and in a more philosophical way.

Since learning that J and I may not be able to create life, I have come to cherish life in a whole different way.  A dying plant makes me sad.  Trees amaze me, surviving through one drought, one storm after another, all the while pointing their arms toward God.  I feel attached to animals again, not just my own, but animals I read stories about or see on TV.  And, of course, any story I read or hear about a human life ending brings sadness.  Sometimes just an ache in my heart, sometimes some tears, sometimes sobs, and sometimes, incredible anger at the way we think life is expendable.

A good example has unfolded the past few weeks in Florida.  Politics, protests, opinions, and race aside, a child is dead.  A child walking home with Skittles.  While everyone tries to make their point, the tragedy that a child lost his life is getting lost.  The very thing that we should care about it getting lost in rhetoric and debate and an election year.

Another example can be found here.  WARNING!  This will haunt you.  I'm not exaggerating when I use the word haunt.  (B, I read it despite your warning.  Don't read it again!)  It is a dad's account and expression of sorrow after his wife's selective reduction.  It is awful, and after I read it, I felt numb.  Then mad, but not very surprised.  This happens all the time.  This is part of IVF and the infertility culture.  This is what I desperately want to avoid.  Life is wasted.  It is thrown away every single day.  Not just through abortion or selective reduction, but through poverty and violence and disease and people thinking that we can treat each other as though we are disposable. 

Every life is valuable and should be cherished.  Every single one.  What a challenge to live life this way.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Tonight a friend on Facebook linked to this blog.  I looked at it with interest, thankful that the author also seems to veer away from things like IVF and other chemical treatments.  It is a site I will be going back to and hope to find some like-minded peers there.

As I perused some of the information on the site, I became somewhat overwhelmed.  Give up sugar, alcohol, caffeine, flour, shampoo, and have you ever considered that you might have Celiac Disease?  But, I LIKE sugar, shampoo, caffeine, flour, and on occasion, alcohol.  I don't want to give those things up!  A lot of people get pregnant while eating those things, and alcohol only seems to increase the odds! 

I felt like a spoiled brat thinking those things, because there are a lot of women out there right this second who are giving up things in the hope that they will become pregnant.  There are a lot of women out there right now who have given up those things because they are pregnant.  As well they should.

Now, I would like to have a baby, but I'm not sure what all I am willing to give up at this point to get there.  And that got me thinking: am I just being selfish?  If I were to get pregnant, I would give up caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, if needed, to keep that baby healthy.  But at this point, we're talking about a theoretical baby, one that does not exist.  So, am I selfish for not wanting to give things up to perhaps get to the theoretical baby being a real baby?  It is entirely possible that I am.  I have the utmost respect for women who give up so much for the chance at a child.

Now, one thing I have been thinking about and am trying to make small changes to work toward is a healthier lifestyle.  Not easy.  I struggle with food and exercise has never been my BFF, so you do the math.  But Andy Dufresne dug himself out of prison with a rock hammer, so I suppose small efforts do pay off in the end.  :-)

The caution here is a refrain I use often, but have a hard time following: "everything in moderation."  While being healthier is great, if we are putting all of our hope in healthiness bringing us a baby, we will be disappointed.  Sometimes the healthiest people do not conceive and sometimes the least healthiest do.  All of them are loved just the same by our Heavenly Father. 

It is a double-edged sword: it would be awful to get to the end of life thinking you avoided EVERYTHING that was bad for you and still didn't have a baby - think of all you missed out on.  On the other hand, it would be awful to get to the end of your life and wonder if you had made healthier choices if a baby would be yours - think of all you missed out on. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


This time of year is always hard.  Even when I am not actively thinking about my Dad, the knowledge that this is when he died is always there.  Some years are better than others; this year has been particularly hard.  On a positive note, I have been more sad this year.  :)  I know that may sound contradictory, but too often I don't feel anything, or not enough, anyway, so I will take sad.  But the fog is hard.  It makes it hard to move, hard to think, hard to get up in the morning, and hard to care about anything.

Today, a friend sent me this, and this quote broke through the fog, bringing me to tears:

"'So I would like to remind the couples who are experiencing the condition of infertility, that their vocation to marriage is no less because of this. Spouses, for their own baptismal and marriage vocation, are called to cooperate with God in the creation of a new humanity. The vocation to love, in fact, is a vocation to the gift of self and this is a possibility that no organic condition can prevent. There, where science has not yet found an answer, the answer that gives light comes from Christ.'”  

Ahhh.  Marriage itself is a calling.  Marriage itself is valued by God.  Thank you, Mr. Pope (Your Holiness?) for saying this, for shining light on hope for the hopeless, for speaking Truth where often there is none.  

I think this is also a good reminder that there are many things that are complete on their own, namely a person.  A single person is complete by his/herself and created.  A life, conceived in any manner, is complete and created by God.  LIFE is created by God.  LIFE is all around us: plants, trees, birds, fish, dogs, giraffes, babies, the elderly -- it is all life and it is GOOD.

I will say more about LIFE later.  For now, know that you, your marriage, your very being, is a life called unto God. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Tonight I sat at my mom's house and noticed something I had never noticed before: the way the picture wall is arranged reflects the stages of her children's lives.  I had noticed the wedding picture of my brother and his wife, and the photo of me and my husband that was added after we were married.  My sister isn't on this particular wall (there are several photo walls in their home,) because she is not married yet.  What drew my attention tonight is that my mom has started adding pictures of her grandkids.  So, my brother and sister-in-law's wedding photo is surrounded by several pictures of their son, their daughter, and all of them as a family.  The other side of the wall contains one photo of Joe and I on our wedding day.  No other photos surround us.  We are alone on an empty side of the wall.  And that makes me really sad.  In this instance, the sadness isn't necessarily for us, though there is an element of that to everything, it seems; this sadness is for my mom, my dear, sweet mother who would love a house full of grandchildren and so far has only two.  What if we never add to that wall?  That makes me sad for her.  This infertility thing not only involves the hopes of the two people trying to have a baby.  It involves the hopes of grandparents-to-be, aunts and uncles in waiting, cousins who would love playmates, and friends who want to share this stage of life with us.  It is hard to look beyond my own pain and sadness at this situation to see this, but sometimes I can look beyond the edges of it, like looking to the edge of a field, and catch a glimpse of how it might affect others.  It's blurry, but it's there.  Sometimes it makes it easier, focusing on someone else's perspective of the situation, and sometimes it just knocks the wind out of me, the knowledge that I am, again, albeit through no control of my own, letting people down.  And that stinks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

All or Nothing

I am worried that I have taken a somewhat unhealthy approach to how I am dealing with INFERTILITY.  That is what we're dealing with.  Difficult to admit, but true.  The approach I have taken is one of ALL or NOTHING.  I either don't think about any of this at all, going about my daily responsibilities without really thinking of it, or I decide it's time to really face it, make some decisions, and move forward.

A dear friend asked me about the entire situation last weekend, which made me pause.  I paused and thought a few different things: 1) "This is a good friend.  Thank you God for good friends who aren't afraid to bring things up that may explode into a volcano of ickiness."  2) "Am I NOT dealing with this?  Am I just ignoring it?   What should I be doing?"  3) (Later in the day,) "Maybe it's time to bite the bullet.  We should just go ahead and go to the doctor and do what he says."

Thankfully, I guess, I landed somewhere in the middle of all of that.  I brought it up with J and we talked about it some.  I had a terrible dream about having a horrible argument with the dear friend.  I had trouble sleeping.  So today I decided I would try to do some more reading about infertility, to try once again to find some information, some encouragement, from people who have been through what I have that wasn't all in "infertility terms."  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, visit an infertility support website.  Everyone is speaking in a foreign code containing things like "Lupron, BCP's, e2 levels, just to name a few.)

Here are some examples of what I found:

"Are you interested in or planning IVF?  Ask about our multi-cycle discounts!"

"Most women simply don’t realize that at 30, a healthy woman has about a 20 percent chance of conceiving per month and by the time she reaches 40, her odds drop to about 5 percent, Collura said."

Wow.  The first item makes me feel like Wal-Mart has gotten into the infertility business and wants to sell me IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) at their "Roll-Back Price."  Or they're running a specials at Sam's.  The second item blew every positive thought I had about trying to find encouragement right out of my head.  According to it, I maybe have a 10-12% chance of having a baby, even without our infertility issues.  Both of these items were found on websites for actual fertility clinics, by the way, not quacks selling drugs on the internet.

I am sitting here realizing that infertility has become a massive marketing market:  Conceive NOW before it's too late!  Don't miss this ONE TIME OFFER!*

*Offer may be hazardous to your physical, spiritual, and emotional health.  May cause damaging side effects to your marriage.  Side effects may include, but are not limited to: adversely affecting your body now and in the future, going bankrupt, being convinced that your body is not your own and that you MUST do these things because if you don't then there is 0 chance of a baby, and increased stress in every aspect of your life, including your marriage.  No guarantees, no refunds.

AND THIS MAKES ME MAD!!!!  Mad, mad, MAD.  Why do I have to listen to these people?  Why do I think I have to listen to these people?  They don't know me.  They don't know J.  They don't know our bodies or our lives or the home we've built or anything else about us, but by golly, they will sell us the opportunity to put ourselves through hell and MAYBE, just maybe get a baby out of it.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  They get paid either way.

And then I realize, I don't have to listen to them.  I don't have to submit my body to their will, to what they say will make my body and J's body and our bodies together cooperate to have a child.  The ONE I do have to listen to DOES know me.  He knows J.  He knows our hopes and our struggles and the things we cry about in the middle of the night.  He knows our bodies from head to toe.  He knows every hair on our heads.  And he LOVES us.  He's not trying to sell us something.  He loves us, even in our sin, our darkest moments that we don't want anyone else to know about.

And HE has a plan for us.  A plan that may or may not include children.  Who am I to mess with that plan?  Sarah messed with the plan, and though God made good things happen out of her impatience and disobedience, He would have preferred that she didn't mess with the plan.  Elizabeth resigned herself to the stigma and sting of being barren, and she got to parent John the Baptist!  Mary believed the COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE could happen with her fertility (a virgin had a baby!) and she had the incredible honor of bringing our Savior into the world as a baby and being entrusted by God to raise Him.  The Bible is full of people who were obedient and disobedient with their fertility. (Remember the two women in the Old Testament who got their dad drunk on different nights and had sex with him.  That wasn't God's plan!)  I pray that I would be obedient to Him with my body, with my fertility, that J and I would listen and obey, no matter how hard it gets.  That obedience may take us somewhere I haven't thought of and to places I am not comfortable in.  But HE will be there, and that is what matters.  I choose to TRUST the author of my life, to place it ALL in His hands, give Him ALL the glory, and REJOICE in His plan for me, for us.  Giving Him my ALL may leave me with NOTHING, but NOTHING with Him is better than it ALL with the world.