Today is cycle day 20. This morning when I woke up I had some spotting. Okay, stop reading if you don't want a description of it. Still here? Well, this time it was pink, with a little tiny bit of brown mucus. That was it and I haven't seen it since.
So now I've had spotting one time on day 15 and spotting one time (so far) on day 20. I am about seven or eight days past when I think I may have ovulated. What could this mean? Would an infection cause intermittent spotting throughout the middle of a cycle? I usually have it at the end and at the end of my period, but never now. I guess there's a chance this is just the precursor to my period and maybe it will come any time now. But that would still be super early. Like I said before, the earliest I've ever gotten my period was like day 26, and that was very early for me. Why do my cycles keep getting weirder and weirder? I was hoping for more normalcy, but I trust that this is part of God's plan. I can't help but think maybe if some new symptom rears its head, it will allow us to have it treated, and ultimately be a good thing.
Now the bad news. My friends who adopted will lose their baby tomorrow. This is just worst-case scenario and I am sure they are distraught. My heart breaks for them. It just makes me want to scream "Why, Lord?" This, combined with standing outside the abortion clinic this morning and watching girls go in (I was able to mutter, "We're praying for you" to a couple of them), just makes me tempted lose faith in this world. Why do such horrible things like this happen? Why does God allow it? Why does God intervene in some scenarios, but not others? I know, I know, God has a plan for my friends and this is part of it, as difficult as it is. And as for those who have abortions, God is able to work miracles in some cases, but perhaps in the others the women choose to reject him. That's the only thing I can come up with - that there is evil in this world and we have a choice to bring it into our lives or reject it. Or, we may not choose it at all, but others do, and it effects us. Evil is out there and until we meet God our Father in heaven, it will be a reality we have to deal with. May God give us strength to live in this fallen world!
Thank you all so much for your prayers for my friends. If possible, remember them today and also tomorrow, when they will have to give their precious baby back. May God heal them and hold them close to him.
I do have some good news, though. This morning a woman entered the clinic only to leave a little while later. Before she drove off, she pulled her car over to the volunteers for 40 Days for Life who were there at the time and rolled down her window. She told them she had changed her mind and wasn't going to have an abortion and thanked them. Amazing! God is so good and we rejoice in this news!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today is cycle day 20. This morning when I woke up I had some spotting. Okay, stop reading if you don't want a description of it. Still here? Well, this time it was pink, with a little tiny bit of brown mucus. That was it and I haven't seen it since.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Friends of ours need your prayers. I posted about them a while back. Their ordeal is not yet over, and their hope dwindled dramatically a couple days ago. Without going too much into detail, it involves an adoption and possibly losing the baby. They need a miracle at this point. PLEASE keep them in your prayers, that God's will may be done and that He may hold them close to Him if things do not go in their favor. My friend is so strong and so faithful, and I just hope that she continues to see God in all of this if the worse does happen. It just makes me so upset that someone would have to go through infertility, then have this happen. It just doesn't seem right, but my friend is convinced it is still part of God's plan for her, no matter what happens. She is an inspiration to me. Thank you for any prayers you can offer for them.
We had our infertility support group meeting yesterday and it was great! Two women came (plus me and my friend L), and it was really a chance to minister to others going through this struggle of infertility. Speaking with them also reminded me how blessed I am that I discovered the PPVI. There are so many women out there who are treated by a local ob/gyn, RE, or fertility specialist and are not getting the care they need and deserve. Not that all these doctors are bad, but I've just heard so many stories (and experienced it myself as well) of doctors doing the wrong tests, looking for the wrong things, or not looking for anything at all. Some women give up all hope of conceiving, or move on to ARTs, when there are actually things left to try! Not to mention sometimes the underlying disease needs to be treated whether you want to have children or not. If only NaProTechnology could be more widely known. It will be one day, God willing!
- The Mets season is over. We are in mourning here.
The Bills are 4-0! Woo hoo! (But to show how upset we are about the Mets, the Mets' loss is determining our mood more than the Bills' win)
Right now my cat is laying on me like a baby. He has to have his arms around me whenever he is laying on me (and he is ALWAYS laying on me). Putting his head on me isn't enough, he has to hold me with his little cat arm just like a human would. This often annoys me, but then I remember how friggin cute it is! (Okay, sorry, that was not one of my pre-determined bullet points!)
- I lose another pound. I'm up to 31.6 lost, 3.4 more to go. It took me over three weeks to lose this pound, mind you.
Tonight while praying at the abortion clinic, I met a really pretty young woman who was also praying the same shift. We got talking at the end and somehow I ended up telling her that I was infertile (I swear I don't try to do this! The questions always lead me there and I don't hide it). It turns out she was adopted and talked to me all about adoption and her awesome experience with it. I, of course, think the Holy Spirit was involved in us talking for sure. I needed to hear from an adopted child that she loves her parents as if they were biologically related.
I finally won an ebay auction for an Infant of Prague statue. In the past month I've lost a few auctions, found out one I ordered online was out of stock, and have just had the hardest time finding a statue. Everything kept going wrong! After statues I was bidding on and watching started going for over $200 I got nervous I'd never find one, but I won one tonight for only $40. And it's just like the ones that went for much more, and in great shape as far as I can tell. He's beautiful. I can't wait to have my Infant of Prague here to pray in front of! Now when the novena refers to Him, I will have something to gaze upon. I'll have to post pictures once it arrives.
Again, thanks so much for your prayers for my friends. Have a great Monday!
Friday, September 26, 2008
I'm bored. And I'm in a weird mood, so I will warn you this post might seem cranky and kind of stream-of-consciousness.
First of all, is it just me, or is no one updating their blogs any more? Ever since I put that new fancy blog list on the side of my blog, with the titles of the most recent posts on all of your blogs, it seems like they never change. It's like watching water boil! I'm a little obsessed, so if you care about me at all, please, PLEASE, update your blogs. Not that you're busy or anything. That's no excuse.
The debate just started. Why bother? Obama's people will say he won, McCain's people will say he won, and the liberal media will say Obama won. And honestly, I hate debating. I hate it in real life and I hate it in politics. I don't like conflict of any kind and I don't like the idea of listening to Obama for half of the time tonight. I guess I'll be doing a lot of yelling at my T.V. I'm flipping back and forth from the Mets game, so I'll DEFINITELY be yelling a lot at my T.V. If I was a drinker, I think I'd play a drinking game where you have to drink every time Obama says "uh." I'm pretty sure I'd end the night pretty wasted.
So my spotting yesterday happened one time only. I haven't seen any since yesterday afternoon. Today I had some cramping, nausea, and light-headedness.
On another topic (I told you this would be all over the place), I'm wondering if my cranky mood has been due to thinking about abortion a lot over the past few days. Praying in front of an abortion clinic kind of depresses me, to be honest. It forces me to think about this evil in a real, tangible way. It makes me so darn mad at the doctors and nurses inside. I also pray for them and really try to love them, but I can still be mad at them. And while I also pray and love the women going inside, as an infertile woman I'm mad at them too. And to be honest, I haven't even actually laid eyes on anyone there. A friend of mine has, since she goes early in the morning when the abortions are done, and I think I'm going to join her during her shift next week. I want to see them and be forced to confront it. I'm not sure how I'll react. I know I'll be nervous but hopefully sooner or later I'll get the chance to offer kind words to someone going inside or even pray with one of them. I'll keep you updated.
Back to the debate now, for an update: In my opinion, I think McCain is doing great so far. Sure, I am blogging and only half-listening, but McCain just seems so confident.
So we have an infertility support group meeting tomorrow morning. If you get a chance, please pray for us and for its success. We may actually get some people to attend tomorrow, so hopefully the group can really begin to grow. It's just so important to spread the message of the Church's beautiful teachings on assisted reproductive technologies, and I'm so thankful this group gives us a way to do it.
Speaking of the Church's teachings, I somehow came across a blog tonight that talked about how horrible the Catholic Church's teachings on IVF are. It fired me up. It was an old post and the many, many comments were full of bickering, although mainly they were just anti-Catholic rants. The Church is just so misunderstood on this topic. If people really took the time to investigate why IVF is not allowed, I think some of them (not all) might at least understand why the Church would take this stance; they might not agree with it, but they hopefully would see that it is rooted in a belief in preserving life (which begins at fertilization) and the sacredness of the marriage union. The teaching is not there to make us miserable, or because the Church thinks science is evil, or because it believes children conceived through IVF are abominations (this misconception comes up a lot). Quite the contrary! The Church cares deeply about all the lives created through IVF, so much so that the embryo's right to life is the precise reason (or one of the reasons) it has deemed IVF illicit.
I'll get off my soapbox now.
Alright, I guess I'll go watch the debate. You know how the cable networks have those audience reaction meters? If you hooked me up to a blood pressure machine while I watched, it would look similar. It'd be off the charts whenever Obama speaks. I know, I need to relax.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I haven't posted about my cycle in a while, so I thought I'd give a little update. I should point out, though, that I didn't chart while we were gone this week and so I'm not entirely sure how it all went down.
What I do know:
- Today is cycle day 15.
- My period lasted for five days with the fifth day being just spotting.
- Mucus started on day six and, with the exception of a dry day on day nine, lasted through til day 13.
- Yesterday, day 14, I saw 8 PC; I think this would normally be a yellow stamp day, but because it follows a peak day, I believe it should get a light green post-peak sticker instead.
- My bbt was low on Sunday (97.4) and high yesterday (98.1) and again today (98.3). I did not take it Monday or Tuesday since we were away.
So what's different? Well, a lot of things. My period was about three days shorter than it normally is for me. My mucus started three days earlier and ended about three days earlier.
If I ovulated, I'm guessing it could have happened on Monday or Tuesday. I'm basing this on a couple things: 1) Tuesday was my last peak-type mucus day, and, 2) while I did not take my bbt on Monday or Tuesday, it was low on Sunday morning and high on Wednesday morning.
As for other possible symptoms of ovulation or anovulation (depending on what these symptoms may mean), I had pretty severe cramping over the weekend (a day or two prior to ovulation if, in fact, I did ovulate early this week) and even had to use a heating pad. I also had a bad headache Sunday night. I have also experienced back pains since the weekend, which is very unusual for me.
I'm trying to be patient for my next doctor's appointment on Oct. 6. I'm just getting nervous that I'll just come out of it with nothing but another appointment in another four months. If that does happen, well, I have to trust God that it will be best. I also can't be scared of finding out that the met isn't working because that won't necessarily be a bad thing. We can probably raise the dose and it might be that it just needs more time.
Before I go, I have some prayer requests. Please pray for T.C., a mother in her thirties who was just diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Also, for K.P. who is dying of breast cancer and may have just a few days left.
I am also taking part in the 40 Days For Life campaign today and will be praying outside of a clinic in Richmond. Please join me in praying for the unborn, especially those whose mothers will visit abortion clinics today. I will also pray for all those who are unable to bare children themselves, because I can't help but connect these two things - the millions of women who kill their unwanted babies and the millions of women who pray and hope that one day they'll be able to have life within their womb. Maybe all of us struggling with infertility should adopt spiritual children - those in the wombs of women currently deciding whether to keep the child or abort - and pray for them especially. We may not have our own, but we can give our love to their children in the meantime.
Update: Okay, something is up. I just had some spotting. Sorry for the gory details, but it was brown and slightly mucusy. But it's day 15. Day 15! I've never got my period this early. In past cycles, the earliest I ever got my period was day 26 and the earliest I ever started spotting was day 24. Heck, when I first started charting my cycles went 40+ days! Oh well, I'm fine. This is truly a rollercoaster ride and I trust in God that everything will be okay. And if I do oddly get my period super early this cycle, at least I have a doctor's appointment in a week and a half.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Well I apologize ahead of time if this doesn't make sense. I've only slept a few hours today after getting home at 5 a.m., but I really can't complain because my wonderful husband drove the whole way and went to work at 10 a.m. and we had to take a huge detour after all lanes of a portion of 95 were closed for an accident overnight.
We had a great trip, although busy and a lot of it was spent traveling (i.e. the car to and from NY, the train to and from NY, the car all around NY). Yesterday was especially difficult because we happened to be driving around the vicinity of the U.N. right as all the leaders of the whole world were meeting inside. Not smart. We could have avoided the area, except for the fact that I desperately wanted to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral. I'm not even sure why, as I don't typically stop in there each time I'm in town. But I made it, and I said prayers for everyone (including all of you!) in a few specific spots - the Eucharistic Adoration chapel, at the shrine to St. Therese, and at the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
My food experiences the past couple days were also awesome. The first day I had amazing whole wheat pasta at an Italian restaurant, and yesterday we had pizza on whole wheat crust that was very reminiscent of pizza we had in Italy last year. Delicious and G.I. friendly!!
And to top it all off, we actually saw the Mets win for once! It was an awesome game and we had a lot of fun.
Here are some photos to chronicle our trip:
Taking the train from Ryan's brother's house:
Let me explain this one. So ever since Ryan got his new iph.one, he likes to send mobile uploads of pictures of what we're doing to face.book. So since his i.phone doesn't have a flash, here I am actually shooting my camera simultaneously so that my flash would go off. Lo and behold, I thought the picture that my camera took while doing that came out kinda cute! And it makes it look like we have friends with us:
Our seats were the first row of the upper deck, which surprisingly, made me a little nervous. At one point I took my engagement and wedding rings off because I was scared I'd cheer and fling them to the seats below!
Another shot of the new stadium behind me:
A guy ran on the field and caused some excitment.Here, he is trying to get away from them for like the third time and they resort to dragging him:
Saying my good-byes to Shea. It's the last time I'll be there before it's torn down, unless they make the playoffs and there ends up being a game five in the first round. We have tickets to that game, if there is one:
Hi, everyone! I'm back and have lots of pictures to share with you all from our NYC trip. Before I can post them though, I have to do a radio interview to talk on behalf of a local pro-life group I'm a part of regarding the start of our 40 Days For Life Campaign. If you want to listen to it live on the internet, I'll be on from 4-5 p.m. and the station's website runs live audio. Just click here and then click on the "on air" button. I think they'll be talking with me in between songs, so if there's music playing that's why. Wish me luck!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Well we're off tonight for a little two-day trip to NYC. It's kind of for our anniversary, which was earlier this month. And being big Mets fans, we wanted to get to Shea stadium before the end of the season, so we're going to the game Tuesday night. We usually go several times a season, but this was our first baseball season in VA so it was tough. It will be even tougher if they lose on Tuesday!
We leave tonight after my husband is done with work, which is around midnight. We'll be staying at his brother's house, which is outside of the city, but free of charge. We're really looking forward to this mini-trip because New York is one of our favorite places on the planet and it's been a while since we've spent any time there. I've been busy this afternoon looking for exciting restaurant options that offer whole wheat bread, pasta, etc. I'm not cheating on this trip, so I've got to be creative.
Have I mentioned that I've hit a plateau with my diet? I can't really complain because my plateau happened to fall right as I reached 30 lbs. and as I'm comfortably fitting into a size 6. So I am constantly reminding myself of this when I start to get upset, and how as recently as April I would have told you that you were nuts if you said I'd lose 30 lbs. by September. This summer my "goal" became to lose 35 lbs. by my next doctor's appointment on Oct. 6, so I probably won't be reaching that. But since I just randomly picked that number, I shouldn't be too upset.
Alright, time to pack and hopefully get a nap in as well. And I have to drop Sophie off at a friend's house where she will be having a little vacation of her own (both the friend and Sophie are very excited). Hopefully I'll have lots of pictures from the next two days to share when I get back!
Update: I am excited to announce that Sophie Belle has her very own blog! She will be updating it while we are away so we know what she is up to at her friend Matthew's house.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Things can change so quickly. One second I'm in a fabulous mood having made a few great sale purchases this afternoon (including a pair of pants at G.ap for $4.97! What's not to be happy about that?) and then the next second I am down in the dumps. I'm in one of those 'why me?' moods, which is always fun.
But...I am going to use this as a learning experience. It's a great chance to put into action everything that I always talk about - trusting in God, drawing closer to Him, using suffering as an opportunity for growth. I always seem to talk about these things when I'm in a great mood and conveniently forget them when I'm depressed. It usually goes a little like this: Whoa is me. I'm so sad. I can't think straight. I can't do anything but sit here and think of all the bad things about my life, mainly that I'm BARREN. And I'm ugly and no one loves me.*
You get my point. So instead of falling into that rut, I am going to go into the office and get my Bible. Any time now. As soon as I finish this typing this. And, no, I'm not putting it off by posting about suffering well instead of actually suffering well. Okay, here I go. I'll update my progress shortly.
Update: Well I already feel better, even though I put off reading the Bible for about two hours (I did hem some pants, though). I calmed down as soon as I decided to view my suffering as an opportunity, rather than a curse. What a great chance to just crawl humbly to God and beg for His help. Knowing myself, if things were going great and moving right along like I wanted, I probably would forget all about God. Of course I'd still go to Mass, but without deep suffering, I'd probably never approach Him like I need to now.
I basically just skimmed through the Bible, but it did help. I always try to find something I can relate to infertility (big surprise). Tonight, something that struck me were all the healing stories in the Gospels. I've read these many, many times before, always selfishly looking for some clue to bring about my own healing, of course. What I realized tonight, though, (and I know this is obvious, but sometimes it's the obvious thing that pops out to you in a new way) is that it all comes back to faith. Every single healing story is about faith.
Now, I'm definitely not saying if I try harder to reach some level of superior faith that I'll get pregnant; my healing may come as spiritual or emotional healing. I just feel like I have not fully prepared myself to be open to God's healing powers, no matter what form they come in. I still want things my way. I don't have faith that God's path is the right way. Deep down, I think I sometimes wonder if God has just forgotten about me and my life has veered off in the wrong direction while He wasn't watching. Not until I trust that He has purposely laid out this path for me, and that He has blessed it and is walking it with me, will I be able to say I truly have faith. Right now, I know this in my head, but it hasn't sunk in to my heart just yet.
It's just something to ponder.
*Speaking of no one loving me...If, in the heat of battle, you tell someone you hate them, should you go to confession before you take communion again? Someone I know said it in a fight because their hormones were going nuts and obviously didn't mean it, even though they told the other person they did, in fact, mean it. They actually love their husband very, very much. I'm serious, though. Is this a mortal sin? This person does plan to go to confession very soon. They promise.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I can't thank you all enough for the very sweet comments you left after my last post. I am humbled, because I hardly practice what I preach, although you have all inspired me to definitely give it a try. And recognizing the problem is the first step, you know? I think debunking those myths is really about letting ourselves off the hook. It is truly all up to God.
Well, in other news, I have an exciting announcement (not that announcement!): New York City is getting a NaPro center! It's actually that and much, much more. The JPII Center for Women will open an authentically Catholic, comprehensive women's healthcare center in Manhattan in July 2009, featuring NaProTechnology. I am so excited about this because one of the two women driving this entire project is my very own Creighton practitioner. I am so proud of her! She has enlisted the services of a wonderful doctor (who I recently had the opportunity to speak with and look forward to meeting in person soon) and the two have teamed up to make this dream a reality. You can check out their blog here.
It is hard to believe that this will be the first NaPro center in Manhattan. With millions of people and so many Catholics in that city, it is about time there is an option that respects the dignity of life. And, as we all know, NaPro is a great option even for those who aren't aware of the Church's teachings and who may not value life in the same way. In the end, NaPro has a greater success rate than assisted reproductive technologies (and, not to mention, it treats the actual disease, rather than just applying a band-aid) and people in that city should have it as an option. As the doctor behind this project told me, it will only be a matter of time before NaPro sweeps the nation and people start seeing what a successful alternative it truly is. It's so exciting!
I'll be doing my part when it comes to video production for the center, along with my husband, so I'm sure I'll post more about it once we start working on things. It's funny because I have always said I wanted to help promote NaPro in some way, but I had always secretly hoped it would not involve teaching the intricacies of fertile mucus. Who knew God was listening to me even then?!
If you could all keep this center in your prayers, those involved would truly appreciate it. Perhaps you could pray especially to St. Gianna, since the center will be named for her (the JPII Center for Women is the name it is incorporated under, but Gianna will be the name of the actual center. Actually, John Paul II is probably another great person to pray to for this as well! What wonderful helpers the center will have in Heaven!).
So go ahead and check out the blog and help spread the word. And, of course, if you are independently wealthy and would like to donate large sums of money, I'm sure they won't turn you away!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Well things have been busy lately. My husband's birthday was Monday and we've been to two Mets games in two days and are planning a third for next week. Let's just say I'm not too happy with them and I'm really hoping we don't see a third loss next Tuesday. I won't say anything more about it because I'm still pretty depressed, but it is nice to be depressed about something much more trivial than infertility for once!
That's not to say my infertility-related depression has lessened, because it has not. Actually, I feel a little better this morning, but other than that, it has been going strong for almost two weeks now. I'd like to think it is hormones, especially because the last few days I've also had a mild, yet constant, feeling of anxiety. No reason for it, it's just there. The only thing I can possibly relate the anxiety to, and I'm still guessing here, is my husband's birthday. It made me realize I'll also be turning 32 in less than four months and that seems really old. Like almost-half-way-to-forty old. And it's not getting old in and of itself that causes me anxiety (well, a little), it's getting old when we still have no children. Never in my life did I think I'd be this age without kids. Never did I think I'd be an "old" parent. The other part of that is, I don't feel old. At all. I actually still feel like a kid, in part, I think, because we don't have any of our own.
I've also been thinking a lot lately about the negative thoughts that are on constant repeat in my brain. I've just been letting them run wild and I'm pretty sure they've been contributing to my demise. When I actually stop and think about what I'm thinking about, it often turns out the thoughts are either untrue, misinformed, or just plain screwed-up logic.
Since they are probably the very same thoughts that some of you have from time to time, I thought I'd lay them all out and debunk them.
If other people who get pregnant consider themselves blessed, then my lack of a pregnancy must mean that I'm un-blessed.
Alright, I'm not sure 'un-blessed' is a word, but you get my point. It seems like every time I read about a pregnancy on a blog, or hear about one in real life for that matter, the mother-to-be refers to it as a blessing. I'm not saying a pregnancy is not a blessing; of course it is! But you know how sometimes a child will get jealous when their sibling is praised by their parents and they're not? Like the lack of praise makes them feel like they're being told they're not good? Well, that's kind of how I feel. When others are given 'praise' from God, or blessings in the form of a pregnancy, it makes me feel like I'm not worthy of praise, which makes me feel like I must be doing something wrong.
We all know that a parent's praise of one sibling doesn't necessarily have any reflection on another sibling's behavior, and I know how messed up my logic is. At least a kid has the excuse of being, well, a kid! I'm a grown up and I still feel this way. I should be able to see that our parent, God, is able to bestow blessings upon others without it being a reflection on me. Just as our siblings received birthday presents on their birthdays and we sat and watched (I actually never had a problem with that as a kid!), I should observe others receiving 'presents' from God in the same way. It is their time, not mine. And I receive blessings in other forms that they may not. Although, they may even receive the very same blessings as me on top of their 'big' blessing, and that should be fine too!
It should all come back to the idea that God's plan for me is His plan for me. No one else. His plan is perfect and my lack of a pregnancy is part of that. Their blessings, their children, their good fortune has nothing to do with me. One is not contingent on the other. My lack of a pregnancy for so many, many, many years (kidding) could play a super important role later in life, or I may never know the reason until, God willing, I reach eternity. But we have to trust that if He loves us more than we can imagine, if He has the ability to make anything happen, and is not making this happen, then there must be an AMAZING reason.
If I trust God, I will get pregnant.
I should trust God. I know this. Everyone tells me to trust God with this whole infertility thing, and it is one of my most often repeated mantras. But the notion can easily become misconstrued in my brain to mean if I trust God I will get pregnant.
Now, no one really says this in so many words, but I do think some people believe it and imply it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the story 'As soon as I gave everything over to God I got pregnant that very month!' All stories like that do is make me feel more like a failure. I think I'm trusting God, but a pregnancy still alludes me, so I must be doing something wrong; my version of trust must not be right. Or - Oh, if I could only trust God the right way, then He'd answer my prayers! These thoughts are just plain wrong.
Trusting God is not some easy way out; it's not some golden ticket to answered prayers. I should trust God, but not because trusting Him means I will conceive. That's not the way it works. I need to trust God because He is our all-knowing creator and wants the best for us, and I should trust Him no matter what His plan, no matter what the outcome. In a way, you could say I need to trust God even more so if a pregnancy doesn't happen, because then in my confusion and despair I will really, truly need to rely on Him.
I also shouldn't worry whether I am trusting 'the wrong way' or 'the right way.' If we approach God with an open heart and ask Him to help us trust, I believe He will help us. I don't think we need to waste too much time worrying about the degree of our trust. After all, He doesn't want us to spend time worrying about anything.
The need to trust in a situation like infertility is critical. The advice given to us to trust the Lord is sound advice. But we just can't let ourselves twist it around to mean something else, which will only make us more upset in the end.
If I embrace the cross, I won't feel sad.
Ever since the notion of embracing the cross was first introduced to me, I've been attempting to do it. It sounds great on the surface - anything that will lessen my pain and suffering and bring me joy sounds fantastic. I don't want to cry and moan, so bring on the cross! But because it's not as easy as literally hugging a life-size cross for a certain amount of time each day in my living room, I've been kind of lost with exactly what it means. I'm not very good with these somewhat abstract ideas.
So I tried my best. I thought long and hard about it. I asked God to help me. I tried to change my heart and be more positive. I watched my thoughts and what came out of my mouth about infertility. At one point I felt as if I had arrived - I was embracing the cross and even felt a sense of peace. Then bam! I suddenly felt myself slipping into a depression a few weeks ago. But I'm embracing the cross, I cried. I shouldn't feel sad!
I was sure I had failed. Either I had stopped embracing or had never truly embraced it to begin with. But I knew in my heart I still trusted, I was still embracing, so what had gone wrong?
The truth is, embracing the cross doesn't mean the suffering ends. It actually means quite the opposite: We are opening ourselves up to the same suffering Christ so fully exemplified for us on the Cross. He embraced his cross, but did that make it easier? No! He downright suffered. He carried that heavy cross, battered and beaten, and he died a horrible death. He suffered physically as well as emotionally, as everyone screamed at him, taunted him, humiliated him. By embracing it, he endured it for a higher purpose. We can imagine that it brought him a sense of peace, but it did not make the mocking any less painful, the nails any less excruciating. It is how we endure the pain and suffering that makes the difference. When we embrace the cross we experience the pain, but we are assured it is meaningful. We are telling God that we are willing to die to ourselves, on our cross, to live wholly for Him.
When we embrace the cross we will still feel sad, and the depression may come and go. I think it is during those down times that we really need to stick close to our cross and remember that it is how we suffer that is important. We can cry, but we shouldn't feel self-pity. We can pray, ask our Lady and the saints for assistance, and even cry out to God. But we shouldn't give up, we shouldn't turn our backs on Him and lose trust altogether. It's going to be hard, and for some it may be harder than for others, but He is always there to help us through it.
In the end, I need to remember that getting pregnant is not up to me. I can't earn it. I can't will it to happen. I can ask God for it, but it is not a reward to be given to the deserving. I also can't cause it to not happen. I can't lessen my chances of conceiving and I can't do something wrong in the eyes of God to leave me infertile. Pregnancy is not only for the skilled pray-ers or the really devout. Bad people get pregnant and so do good people, atheists, murderers and saints. And just the same, there are people in every imagineable category who are infertile as well. Those who have graduated from infertility into pregnancy have not found some special key to unlock some magical door. And if that turns out to be us some day, that does not mean that we, too, have found the right combination of words, novenas, or actions to finally deem us worthy of a pregnancy.
Infertility can really play with our heads. It leaves us questioning our every action, doubting our value, and doubting God. But the truth is that our future is God's perfect plan for us, created out of love. And that's all that matters.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Well, sometimes you just need to vent. In the end, though, it doesn't help much, does it? I mean, it might make you temporarily feel better but it doesn't increase our chances of getting pregnant, that's for sure. I feel bad today for yesterday's negativity. I wish I was stronger, but I'm not.
I will live. I will have to work harder to accept God's plan for my life, a plan that has so far been drastically different than my own. If I can do my best here on earth, I will receive my reward in Heaven, I suppose.
What I need to focus on is that I may have biological children right now if I had rejected my Church's teaching and had undergone certain treatments. That may sound odd - why should I focus on that? Well, that empowers me. I am proud to be a member of a Church that recognizes the value of every human life, as well as the importance of not adding a third party to the sacred nature of the marital union or substituting it altogether. By focusing on this, I see God's greater plan and I find consolation in His plan for me. I would love to one day be a witness, along with my husband, whether or not we get our "miracle." I use to plead with God, "It'd be a much better witness if my story ends with a pregnancy!" but now I can see it being a strong witness either way: 1) We followed Church teaching and ended up with a pregnancy through approved treatments or, 2) We followed Church teaching and never got pregnant; instead of making the choice of instant gratification and a baby at all costs, we chose to follow the beautiful teachings our Church has so thoughtfully laid out for us and actually found joy through that decision. When I think about doing this for God and that my suffering is for Him, I feel better. It gives my suffering value.
It's not easy being a Catholic and going through infertility. So many of you know that, I know! I find joy in your stories as well, every time I read your comments and posts it is so evident you love the Lord so much and how you obey the beautiful teachings of the Church is so wonderful. You inspire me each and every day.
Also, thank you for all your kind comments and prayers. You all have helped me in ways you will never know.
I also want to post some of the things I am thankful for today, instead of my complaints like yesterday, so here goes:
I am thankful for...
- my husband
- my family
- my animals
- my home
- my friends
- my health
- my family's health
- the Eucharist
- my doctor
- NaPro doctors and all Catholic doctors
- living in a day and age when we have treatment options in line with Church teaching
- being able to stay home and work on my movies
- my weight loss
There is so much more, of course, but I will leave it at that for now.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well it has been a bad day. Actually, it's pretty much been a bad month. I had been doing so well through the spring and summer that this has caught me by surprise. I just so desperately want to be okay with not having biological children and I currently feel so very far from being okay with that.
I'm pretty much inconsolable at the moment. I'm depressed about my infertility. I'm depressed about not having peace with my infertility. I'm depressed about having to adopt. I'm depressed about not being okay with adoption. Here are just some of the thoughts currently swirling around in my mind:
- I have no idea how I'm going to be able to live the rest of my life like this.
- If I have to suffer through infertility, then why can't God just open my heart to adoption?
- I can't have kids AND I can't eat good food.
- It's just not fair.
- I am not as good as women who can get pregnant.
- I will never experience something that "those" women are able to, and often take for granted.
- I can't believe I am missing out on one of the fundamental things in the life of a human being.
- I just want to be normal.
- I just want to experience a pregnancy. Just once.
Uggghhh! I am so not a saint! Could you imagine what St. Therese would think of me if she were here today? Probably what all of you are thinking - that I'm a complainer!
I'm just having such a hard time right now and I am finding it very difficult to pull myself out of this. Nothing helps me anymore, not even success stories. Some people get pregnant on Clomid. Some people get pregnant after removing their endometriosis. Some people get pregnant after starting a diet. Some people get pregnant after starting met. For me, every treatment, every medication comes and goes, and I'm still in the same boat. Sure, I haven't been on the met too long, but it seems like people who do get pregnant on it get pregnant shortly after starting it. I just remember my doctor really seemed to imply that fixing my ovaries would be an uphill battle. They way he described them as slow, and the way he implied that my late progesterone rise was kind of rare, has really stuck with me since the appointment. I know my chances aren't good and I'm angry.
Oh ya, it's also cycle day one. That really has nothing to do with my feelings (other than maybe it has affected my hormones) because I honestly don't have a shot at being pregnant from month to month, but it's always a nice reminder of my failure as a human being.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
So today was the big McCain/Palin rally in northern Virginia! I was one of 23,000 people. Yes, that's 23-THOUSAND! It was incredible. Here's how the day went:
I woke up bright and early (4:45 a.m.) to attend. My husband, who was covering the event (he did a regular report, but you can also see his "live blog" from the event here), had to wake up at 2:15 a.m., so I can't complain. I drove to my friend's house and we set out for the two hour drive - me, my friend L, and her little 3-month-old baby, T. Around 8:30, we arrived at the mall where shuttle buses were picking everyone up to take us to the park where the rally would take place. We got one of the last parking spots in the place and immediately realized there were tons of people. Here's the line we waited in, which was just one of several lines:
And here's the baby:
Isn't he just adorable?! (Oh, and by the way, he is adopted, so I got to talk to L all about adoption today, which I do every time I see her! I'm probably like a broken record!)
So we waited in line for a shuttle for probably like 45 minutes. Then we arrived minutes later at the park where we went through a security check:
It was packed! It was immediately clear that we weren't getting anywhere near the stage, so we found my husband, said hi, then made our way to a hill that was already full of people. We found a spot on the top of the hill where we could somewhat make out the podium where they'd be speaking, and realized we were lucky to find a spot where we could see at all. Here was our view:
Way, way, way in the distance you might be able to make out a big blue sign, between the two tree branches, with the word "Country" on it (as in "Country First"). That is right in back of the stage. It actually wasn't as far away as this picture makes it seem.
So the previous picture was before anything started, and many more people would soon arrive. The grass you see is the spot that was behind the media bleachers, which is empty because you couldn't see anything from there. Soon, though, people were forced to stand there, even though I'm sure they never laid eyes on Gov. Palin or Sen. McCain. Here's the same spot about a half hour later:
Here's the Straight Talk Express arriving, although I'm pretty sure McCain and Palin were brought in in unmarked vans. So then who actually rides on the bus??
Fred Thompson spoke first:
That tree was in our way the whole time! Here's T again, sleeping through his first political rally:
I moved over a bit to get this shot, since it shows how many people were there much better, although this is just a fraction of the entire crowd:
The fire marshall's official tally was 23,000 people in attendance. That's amazing!! My husband said that the national press corp apparently scoffed at that number, but it seems pretty official coming from the fire marshall!
Next, McCain and Palin and their spouses came to the stage. Cindy spoke, although Todd did not (I was hoping he would!):
Then it was Sarah's turn:
The crowd went nuts! It was so cool! I have to admit that I still am moved when I think about her being our next vice president. I'm not one to care about "women power" or feminism, or anything like that (well, mainly because it has been hijacked by the pro-abortion movement); I think the best person for the job should get the job. But when the best person for the job also happens to be a woman, that is just so exciting, and suddenly I find myself being just so proud of her as a fellow woman!
Then McCain spoke and despite talk that everyone was there to see Sarah, people were still super excited and cheered just as much for him, if not more:
Here's one last pic of T:
I wish I got a picture of him with his "I vote pro-life" sticker on too, but I didn't. It was so cute!
Well there are no pictures of it, but catching the shuttle bus home was a mess. The crowd was nearing a revolt! Alas, we got on a bus and made our way to our car, and arrived safely home in the late afternoon. All in all, it was a great day!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I haven't been feeling too well lately. As I tried to fall asleep last night I had horrible stomach cramps. I thought for sure a stomach bug was coming on. I was convinced I'd be throwing up all night, it was that bad. But I never did. I woke up with some more cramping, but not as bad.
The thing that worries me is that nearly every morning I wake up with cramping. I'm worried it's the endometriosis coming back. And that's not me being a pessimist, because I sincerely haven't been looking for it and never thought it would come back. I'm just not sure what else could be wrong. If I had to guess where it is, I'd say on my intestines because the pain is lower-GI pain. When I had my two surgeries, Dr. H never detected any there, which surprised me because my pain just felt like it was coming from there.
Well, anyways, I have felt slightly nauseous all day today. It could be that the end of my cycle is nearing. I am on day 28, I think, and lately near the end of my cycles I, at worst, get nauseous and, at best, don't have an appetite. So it could be that. That being said, is nausea at the end of a cycle normal? Is it a sign of something? I'll have to add it to the list of questions for my doctor.
Speaking of this cycle, it has been pretty normal, which is good! I am currently nine days post-peak. I had severals days of good mucus lasting until mid-cycle, my temperature went up on my peak day, and then I had several non-mucus days while my temp stayed up. A couple interesting things to note, though. First, on the third day after my peak day, my temp dropped dramatically. It went from 98.2 to 96.8, which is way lower than my pre-peak temps which normally hover around 97.7. Nothing was out of the ordinary that morning and I did not take it earlier than normal. The very next day it went back up to 98.2 and stayed at that level until this morning, when it went up to 98.5. Also, yesterday I saw a very, very small amount of spotting, but it is gone today. That's not uncommon, as I will often have spotting every other day at the end of a cycle. Hopefully my dr. will give me something for low progesterone at my next visit, or whatever they give you to treat that problem (antibiotics?).
I've also been thinking about adoption lately. I got really upset last night, asking why God would want me to not only suffer infertility, but apparently doesn't want us to adopt right now either. I'm really praying hard that God can put it on my heart. But, in the end, if I am opening myself up to God's will, praying for it, and do not feel like that is where He is leading me, then I have to respect that. Just because something is "good" and "honorable" doesn't mean He wants that for us; if that were the case then he'd have answered my prayers with a pregnancy by now! So while it may appear that it's my problem that I'm not coming around to the idea of adoption, that would be taking God out of the equation.
But adoption differs from infertility in that it is within our control to just do it, and that somewhat complicates things. If I wanted to, I could walk into an adoption agency today, get the paper work, and start the process. And would God be upset with us for that? Most people would say no. So am I silly to just wait around for a sign from the heavens? How do I know if I am interpreting His will for me correctly? Am I letting my own hesitations and selfish desires for a biological child get in the way of discerning what God's will for me is? My husband is ready to adopt today and in a way, I am robbing him of being a parent by putting this off. God is apparently putting it on his heart to adopt, so should that supersede the absence of a clear feeling on my part? It's so confusing!
With all that in mind, we went to adoration last night. I didn't walk out with any clearer picture, but hopefully God will continue to help us come to a decision. I have just felt an overwhelming feeling for a couple years now that we are supposed to wait. And I'd like to think we're supposed to wait because I'll be pregnant soon, but I also know we might be waiting because the child we are supposed to adopt has not yet been conceived. I'm just going to continue to trust God and keep an open mind and heart. That's all I can do!
In other news, I'm going to a McCain/Palin rally tomorrow! I'm so excited. I'll get to see Sarah Palin in person and my primary goal is to get her to take a picture with my friend's baby. Last time I went to one of these things, I shook McCain's hand, so it's not out of the question I'd get up close. I tend to find a way to do that in situations like this. But this time there will be way more people there. They've already had to move the event because of the overwhelming response for tickets, so it's going to be packed. Check back tomorrow evening for pictures!!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Well we had a busy weekend. We had friends and family in town for the nas.car race today. It was actually supposed to be last night, until the big bad tropical storm threatened to destroy the state of Virginia as we know it and forced the postponement of the race til today. Last night turned out to be a gorgeous night. So, instead of watching the race on a beautiful September evening, I got sun-burned this afternoon. Oh well. It was my first nas.car experience and it was fun. Loud, but fun. And hot.
I've been doing better lately, but that's probably because everyone has been here the past few days. I wasn't doing so hot before they arrived. I've been feeling sad, I assume, due to the four-year anniversary and because I've been having moments where all of a sudden I realize I may never have biological children. Don't you hate that? It's not the first time it has happened. The thoughts just sneak up on you - I could be watching t.v. or lying in bed - and all of a sudden - BAM! - it becomes crystal clear that I may never see our own genetic child. It's like all along it had been possible that this was just a dream and in that moment I realize it is definitely not. Weird.
I don't mean to be a downer. And I also want to add that despite my saddness, I still trust God. His plan is best for me, even if it hurts. In my bad times I am trying to remind myself of what was said in my mother's dream. When my mother was surprised to see me holding a baby, my grandmother told her "don't worry." We are currently saying our second novena to the Infant of Prague, and I wholly trust that He will take care of me.
Before I go, I wanted to share something that I came upon just now. Maybe it will help someone else who is struggling tonight. I absolutely love this song and it makes me cry every time.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
In honor of our anniversary today, I thought I'd post some my favorite wedding pictures.
So without further ado, here they are:
And the groom. Isn't he so cute? (If you look closely, he has a huge set of keys - seriously, like janitor keys - in his one pocket. I yelled at him after I saw these pics and his response was, 'Well, what was I supposed to do with them?" Um, give them to any one of the 185 people in attendance at your wedding to carry?)
My whole life I dreaded getting married in the church I grew up in because it was very 70's - all wood and not very traditional - but this shot actually made it look cool.
I love this shot. My two sisters are directly above his head.
Our reception was held in an historic barn in Coop.erstown, NY, which is about 20 minutes from where I grew up.
At the end of the night, my mom tried to save these wreaths to give them to special people (including me) and she was only able to grab a couple because people stole them! So needless to say I never got one. And interestingly enough, the few people who did never even offered one to me! Some of the bridesmaids' bouquets were stolen to. And these were people we invited to the wedding!
Oooh, what I would give for a piece of that flourless chocolate cake right now. It's definitely not low G.I. (although it is flourless...)
I also love this shot (although this picture I took today of it came out blurry). This tent was right off of the old barn where the inside portion was held, which you can see in the background. The night was really magical,
just like it should be!
That's it for the wedding photos, but this is where we went after the wedding - our honeymoon, which was a cruise in the Mediterranean, mostly Italy with a couple French ports as well. This is Portofino.
And, just for fun, this is us shortly after we started dating. It is probably from back in 1999. So long ago!
Well thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me. And thanks to my groom, for the four best years of my life!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I laughed, I cried, I clapped, I cheered. Could I love Sarah Palin any more than I already do? She was simply amazing.
That is a real gift what she has. She was poised, smart, witty, warm, tough, and just plain awesome.
I know it didn't matter what she did, the liberal media was going to hate it. So far from what I've watched and read they are calling her mean, sarcastic and in the most UNREAL criticism of the century - "her speech was good, but she didn't write it". WHAT???? No politican writes their speeches! EVER! Amazingly, we just turned to CNN and they were discussing (the reporters, of course, because they don't just report the news, they give their opinions) how Obama can possibly react to this. They were actually admitting that it was good, but you could tell they were very nervous for Obama, as all impartial journalists should be. But, as one democrat cable news panelist actually put it tonight immediately following her speech (believe it or not): She was brilliant. Brilliant!
And as for the liberals calling her mean, well, guess what. She is a mother who has watched the national media and the democratic party attack her little girl for the last three days. What mother wouldn't fight back?
One other point before I go - What is so wrong with McCain picking a choice that appeals to conservatives? When Obama picks liberal Biden it's just par for the course to the media. But when - God forbid - McCain picks a conservative, well, he's just weak and stupid. The truth is, they are scared to death of pro-lifers (no pun intended). Well, be SCARED! Because Roe v. Wade will be overturned in our lifetimes!
And one more thing (sorry, I need to get all of this out or I won't sleep tonight) - I have had enough of this vetting crap. The media thinks they deserve to be part of the vetting process and they are all upset that McCain left them out. How dare he leave them out! The insanity of it! I actually heard one democratic strategist say on t.v. today that they should have been told, that McCain should have put her name on a list for them. WHAT?! Let me just say one thing here...I KNEW SHE WAS ON THE SHORT LIST! In APRIL! Little old me. In Richmond, Virginia. I remember it as clear as day. I was in our office, on my Mac, and I read it in an article linked off of the Drudge Report. Maybe they should have just called me.
Oh, and I'm not sad anymore after tonight. Hopefully my admiration for Sarah will keep my mind off of bad thoughts tomorrow too!
Still crying today. My temp dipped to 96.8 this morning, and I'm only four days post ovulation, if I even ovulated. That's crazy low. My temp doesn't ever get that low pre-ovulation. In other health-related news - my lower back on my left side has been killing me and I have been having terrible cramps off and on for the past few days - gastro-intestinal ones, not PMS - and my stomach has been upset.
Our anniversary is shaping up to be a bad day. We have family and friends coming in for the NASCAR race this weekend so the house needs to be cleaned. My husband says he's going to take care of it (which is very sweet), but that still sucks because that means his time at home before going into work will be spent cleaning rather than doing something fun for our anniversary. And he can't do it today because he's fixing up the landscaping (I know, I shouldn't be complaining). And I'm not trying to be bratty and try to say we need some big celebration. My primary goal is getting my mind off of the fact that we have been trying to conceive for four years, so getting out and doing something would help that cause. Obviously I'm failing miserably at getting my mind off of it thus far.
I just got a call from my Creighton instructor who I haven't spoken to in a few months. She's opening a new NaPro center somewhere (it's still a secret I guess so I can't say) and she wants me to make a DVD for them to use as a promotional tool. I really do feel as if I need to use my equipment, and my skills for that matter, for causes such as this. I believe that how I got my expensive equipment and even the idea for my movie was straight from God, so it would be selfish to say no to projects that promote life issues and the Church, and obviously I have a personal connection to NaPro and a desire to help promote it. I do really think this is all part of His plan for me. It's funny, though, because lately as soon as one big project is done (or at least the most stressful parts are behind me), a call comes to start something new. I'm getting to the point where I'm nervous about God has planned next! (Just kidding. Nervous is the last thing I should be if He is in control!) That being said, when is He going to give me time to promote my movie? I need to trust, I know, and I also know God is working on that for me, too. I guess I'll just have to pray.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I'm not doing well today. It is hard to live in a world where the reality is that not everyone is excited about being pregnant. The idea that someone could see a pregnancy as a burden, a punishment, an inconvenience, a negative, is just too much for me to bear. I know others have problems too, and they could be suffering just as much as me for an opposite reason (I'm surprised I can even admit that right now), but I can't help that it makes me feel like I've been punched in the gut.
I'm also SO sick of pregnancy and birth announcements. I know that's not the kind thing to say, but I'm sorry. Sometimes you can take it and sometimes you can't.
My mood today is that I want to beg and plead with God to take this from me. I'm desperate. I know feeling and acting this way this doesn't help. Hopefully it will pass.
It's been a long road. I'm thankful that my good days now outnumber my bad, but a couple bad days a month are still incredibly hard. Will it be like this for the rest of my life? Will I be out of commission once a month? Will I always be caught off-guard by pregnancy announcements? Will it always sting? I can't imagine it not.
The reality is this is my life. I have been unable to get pregnant thus far. I am one of those women. No one plans for this. And on a side note, I hate hearing little kids being told they can achieve anything the want if they just put their minds to it. That's not true! If I ever am blessed enough to have children I will not be teaching them that lesson. Some things are unattainable and there's no use lying to them and putting those unrealistic expectations in their heads. Although I guess the joke is on me. Most people can acheive anything they want. Most people aren't infertile.
Please, God, help me to carry this cross. It is really heavy right now.
On a different topic, can I just say how thoroughly digusted I am by the liberal media? I'm always disgusted, but now it has risen to a new level. Oh. My. Goodness. Just when you think it can't get any lower or any more obvious. The dems are so scared of Palin helping McCain and the excitement her pick has created among Conservatives, that they have managed to completely wrangle the media (not that they're not always on their side) into trashing her twenty-four hours a day. I have had more than enough! All I want to do is watch the news because it's the start of the convention, but I can't escape the attacks. Well, they should be happy, because they've done a wonderful job of turning our attention towards exactly what they wanted. Her daughter's pregnant. She wasn't vetted enough. Have you heard her daughter's pregnant? And that the media doesn't believe she was vetted enough? (Because, you know, if the media doesn't know something is happening then it must not have really happened! Kind of like, if a tree falls and no one hears it, does it make a sound? I guess if the media doesn't hear it, then no!). It's so clear that they all FREAKED out on Friday and decided to put this little attack plan into motion (as my friend put it during Palin's speech on Friday, "Obama must be throwing up right now.").
Of course it's not a surprise that the dems would try this. It's politics. But I am just so saddened by the degree to which the media* goes along and gives it credence. I mean, the New York Times ran three anti-Palin stories on the front page! I know, I know. They've always been liberal. They'll always be liberal. So why am surprised? I don't know. It just shocks me every time. They're all shameful.
Here's a quote on this very topic from Newt Gingrich:
The media has figured out that she’s the greatest threat since Clarence Thomas because a conservative, professional, woman who’s attractive is an absolute mortal threat to the left’s ability to define and legitimize American politics and they’re going to come after her with everything they can get.
Okay. I feel a little better now.
Update - I hear Fred Thompson's speech is going to stick up for Palin. If it's true, I can't wait! I also heard a pollster say that American's don't like when the media attacks someone, especially when they relate to that person, and that this might end up back-firing on the democrats.
* FoxNews exluded, of course! I love how the only non-liberal network is considered to be conservative. Trust me, anyone in the media who doesn't buy into the bias is always considered to be right-leaning.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Today was a rocky day. I started feeling sorry for myself shortly after getting out of bed.
It doesn't take much to set me off when I'm already headed in that direction - an email from a friend, a commercial on t.v, Internet news stories about celebrity pregnancies. You know how it is - individually they're not a big deal but sometimes it feels like they all come at once, and then I'm toppled over. By late morning, after watching a little t.v. and checking email, my thoughts were already filled with self-pity questions like, Why can't I get pregnant? Why don't I feel called to adopt? Why is this happening to ME?
I don't want to feel like this. I hate it, actually. I want nothing more than to live my life not caring that I can't get pregnant. Okay, maybe that's not true - I do want something more, but you know what I mean. It's just that if I can't have that, I at least want to not care.
By tonight, though, I started feeling much better. I'd like to think it was prayer. I sure as heck didn't do anything to help my cause; if it were up to me I would still be wallowing in sadness. Good moods and bad moods just wash over me and I often feel as if I have very little control. It's one thing to be in a depressed mood for months, but I think bad days are normal and are to be expected with infertility. Thankfully, I'm in a good place again now.
I did feel compelled to become angry with God this afternoon while I was sad, but I rejected it and the urge to blame Him was gone shortly thereafter. I don't think that was a coincidence. I always say that from my experience if you meet God half way, He'll meet you half way (deep, I know). I'm fully aware that He's also been known to pluck people out of the gutter with no help from them, and I'm not saying we can earn His help, but I just think He likes it when we display some faith. Why would He help us if we are cursing Him or wallowing in self-pity? He wants us to trust Him - it's all through the Bible, especially the New Testament. Jesus likes it when we believe in His father.
Anyways, it's been the answer so far for me. I spent over three years just stomping my feet, pounding my fists and telling God to help me. I couldn't understand why He wasn't! I knew He was helping other people; I heard their stories and testimonies. I knew God helped people who were down and out, like me! But nothing. Did He not love me?
You know when you were a kid and would throw an all-out temper tantrum? Well, maybe you didn't, but I threw many a fit. There were many times when I wanted my way and would cry and yell to get it. Was that helping my cause? Of course not. But I honestly thought that the louder I yelled, the better my chances were that my parents would march up those stair, swing open my door and declare, "You are screaming so loud that now we'll listen to you. You want to go to your friends house on a school night? Well, because you cried and carried on so dramatically, of course you can go!"
In the end, the only result of my tantrum was a headache. I'd always calm down (usually out of sheer exhaustion and having no other choice), say I was sorry, and only then did the situation even have a chance of improving.
It doesn't take a genius to know that throwing a fit isn't going to get you what you want, and you definitely didn't need me to tell you that. But for some reason, when you're in the middle of it we think it's our only option. That's what happened to me, until it became so obvious that all it did was exhaust me. So I calmed down, apologized to God and saw that there was another way. I'm always going to have bad days. Today was encouraging, though, because, by the grace of God, I managed it. I talked myself through it, rejected the bad thoughts and, sure enough, it got better. That's something we all need to remember - it will always get better.