Happy New Year's Eve! We are getting ready to visit my in-laws for the next two days. And I'll also have a chance to see Lifehopes and, hopefully, her new puppy!
I'm doing good. Trying to keep the positive attitude going! I had a mini-breakdown yesterday but I picked myself back up, starting working on things on my to-do list, and immediately started feeling better.
Once again my cycle is seeing changes. I am now on day 14 of my luteal phase, the longest I've gone since I started charting. They are normally eleven days, a couple were twelve, and earlier this year, after my surgery, they were even shorter. No, I do not think I am pregnant. I feel pre-menstrual and I know it will come at any point. The only reason I am even posting about it is because I'm trying not to let superstitions get the best of me. At the end of my cycles, I always post that it hasn't come yet, then get it right afterwards. So, my tendency would be to not post today, to ward it off. But because I know that way of thinking is insane and possibly even worth confessing, I am forcing myself to post. God isn't going to put off a new cycle simply because I DIDN'T POST ABOUT IT ON MY BLOG! He is in control, not me. I am trying to combat those superstitions by posting, to show God that I know that it is up to Him and not some magical thinking. I have always had a tendency toward magical thinking.
That being said, a 13 day luteal phase - or longer - will be nice. Not that my 11 or 12 day ones weren't good. My doctor just told me on Monday that are perfectly fine. But isn't one day longer even better? Maybe not. But at the very least it shows that things are still changing, hence the reason (perhaps) that I haven't conceived yet. Hormones are still shifting and fixing themselves and haven't settled down yet. Things are still getting even healthier. The body taking a lot of time to heal is always one of the themes of my doctor's appointments. Somehow that is so easy for doctors to realize but much harder for us patients to understand.
I have been struggling with some faith questions that I will post more about here soon. Mainly, how to have hope and faith that our specific prayer will be answered when we know that for some people, it is not. I know, that's nothing new. I've written about it here a million times. I just always come back to it. I do feel as if the Holy Spirit has filled me with a new desire to ask big things of God and trust that he can and will deliver, but that voice in my head is always whispering, But some people pray and pray and never conceive. What about them? While that statement is most certainly true, I think that might be the devil pushing me to doubt God and his awesome power.
But that is a topic for another time. I also wanted to share with you a blog I found through Just Another Catholic Mom. It's the blog of a woman who passed away on Christmas Eve, and it pulled my heart out this morning as I sat here and sobbed as I read it. While her struggle is very different from that of infertility, it is clear she had a lot to teach all those who suffer. I think I can learn a lot from her words about finding joy in the darkness (a column she wrote about it weeks before her death can be found here). For me, personally, reading all this (at the very least) will help to soften the blow of starting a new cycle today. It really puts things into perspective and reminds me that I have so much. Not that our time here on earth is the end all be all - she is in Heaven where we all desire to be - but it reminds me that the time we have been given to do His work is short and it shouldn't be wasted wallowing in sadness. I hope I can find joy in my darkness, if that is where I find myself the next few days.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year's Eve! We are getting ready to visit my in-laws for the next two days. And I'll also have a chance to see Lifehopes and, hopefully, her new puppy!
Monday, December 29, 2008
I'm just writing a quick post because I am exhausted from a long car ride that included being stuck in D.C. rush-hour traffic. I just wanted to say that my appointment went great. My doctor is really encouraged by my cycles, is sure that I am ovulating and thinks I will get pregnant without the help of drugs. That being said, I asked him if I could start taking Clomid or Femara, and he said that'd be fine. He suggested Tamoxifen, since another doctor in the practice, who is a NaPro doctor, has been starting to use it with patients. Does anyone have experience with this drug? I've read about it on wikipedia and I know it's used to treat breast cancer. I was just wondering if anyone has any personal experience
I will start taking it probably this week, since it's taken on days three through seven. I am getting estradiol drawn on day three and then estradiol and progesterone drawn on peak +7. I think. I don't have the information in front of me.
I also am now officially at forty pounds lost on the doctor's office scale. And that was even with a full bladder (although I did get to take my shoes off. The nurse actually told me I could disrobe as much as I'd like. I'm like, "Don't tempt me!"). My doctor was really happy that I'd lost another five pounds, despite the fact that he said last time I could maintain now. I have been maintaining - adding back in some fats - but I still lost. Then when I got home, I weighed myself here, bladder completely empty and fully disrobed of course, and weighed the lowest I've weighed yet and the lowest I've weighed since college. The amount put me into a new decade of weight and one that I only dreamed about being in for years.
I just can't wait until I get pregnant so the positive effects of this diet can be fully seen. I hope it will be the encouragement that others need to stick to it. I mean, my weight loss might inspire some, but not as much as a pregnancy would. And for selfish reasons, I hope God decides to use me in that way!
I did get the adoption physical done, except for the TB test, and my doctor even commented that I'll probably get pregnant after I send it in. I know that is often a myth, but he is my doctor and he does happen to think I'm going to get pregnant real soon. He even said he expects a call about a positive test in the near future.
I also told him how way back at our first appointment with him, he said how the metformin and the diet will make me feel "whole" again. I said that for many months after starting treatment, I still didn't feel whole. That is, until November. I said I now know what he means. He was happy about that and said usually when a patient tells him they feel whole, they're pregnant within six months!
So I feel very positive and upbeat right now. I hope this feeling lasts through a new cycle starting. I'm on 12 days post peak (by the way, he said my luteal phases are a great length), and will probably start a new cycle tomorrow. I start the Tamoxifen on day three, so that is right around the corner.
I also listened to a book on CD during my drive, and it gave me great insights into my struggle with infertility and my faith. It's called Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza and is on loan from Lifehopes. I'm sure some of you have heard of it. I didn't finish it yet, but already it has really made me excited to go deeper into my faith. I don't want to waste this time of struggle and hardship. I often think about how if I am to become pregnant, that I'd look back on how I handled this painful time and wish I'd suffered more gracefully. I want to turn over a new leaf and do just that before it's too late. I'm going to post more about my thoughts in the coming days.
Oh, and one more thing. I know some of you have asked in the past about my progesterone level I talked about in October, that my doctor had deemed perfect. I found out today it was 16.7. He reiterated that it is ideal. I know sometimes blood work can't be compared to other blood work taken at a different lab, but that is mine, for what it is worth. I also asked him about my LH and FSH, and he said when it was tested in October, one was 5 and the other was 4, making it a 1:1 ratio (he told me which was which, but I can't remember). He said that for all intents and purposes, I don't have PCOS anymore, but obviously that's because it is being controlled with medication and diet. If that were to be stopped, it would come back. I just love knowing that I am currently free of it, though!
So this obviously didn't end up being a short post. I always have good intentions to be quick, but then I just write and write! I am about to bake some low G.I. Christmas cookies so I will take pictures and do a post about them. My mom made the cookies last week and they were delicious. You'd never know they were made with Splenda and white wheat flour! I am going to go one step further, though, and make a low G.I. frosting as well. I hope it comes out good!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Isn't it funny how once we ovulate (or have an "ovulatory event" - I'm not going to believe I ovulated until I get pregnant), we forget what cycle day we're on? At least I do. I started to write what day I'm on and I have no idea. So, instead, I will say that I am eleven days past peak. Eleven days and no spotting in sight, at least at this very moment.
Last cycle I think my luteal phase was eleven days. The cycle before that it was twelve. So I might start tomorrow, or I might start on Tuesday. Or I might not start at all. Hahaha... Of course I am just kidding! What a jokester I am. I definitely do not feel like this cycle is any different than any other failed cycle. I feel pre-menstrual (whatever that means, since it always seems to manifests in different ways) and nothing feels out of the ordinary. I've had a sensation in my legs on an off through the entire cycle, so that can be checked off the list. I'm starting to get depressed, which always happens. And my bbs are sore, but, then again, that could be my new bra.
Not starting my cycle is a good thing, I guess, since I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. If I am able to start taking Femara, then at least I can start it this cycle. I have to say, my doctor's appointments always seem to be scheduled at just the right time (this has not gone unnoticed, God!), which usually means the perfect time for whatever necessary blood work. Tomorrow it will hopefully mean the perfect time for drugs.
The actual reason for tomorrow's appointment is for an adoption physical. I'm a little nervous about how it will all go down. See, at my last appointment I asked my infertility doctor (not that that's his official title) if he could do the physical when the time came. He said yes. I knew to ask because a friend of mine goes to him as well, and he did her adoption physical. But then when I called to make the appointment, the woman on the phone acted like that was nuts and said he can't do that. So, believing that she was nuts instead, I went ahead and made the appointment for an annual. I hope that when I get there tomorrow I will tell him why I'm really there, hand him the physical checklist and he will say okay.
Let's be honest - the adoption physical is just a front. More face time with him means more time to talk about my cycles, which means more time to figure out what's going on, which means more time to get me pregnant. If he says tomorrow that he can't do the physical, I will just schedule one with a primary care physician, and I will at least get a chance to show him my chart and ask for Femara. It will be more than worth the three-hour round-trip drive.
So hopefully I'll have a lot to update tomorrow!
On a completely unrelated topic, I got a new camera for my birthday and I love it. It's 13.6 megapixels. 13.6! To put it in perspective, the four-year old camera we got for our wedding that I have been using was only 3.1. That's like quadruple the megapixels!
To show the fruits of my new camera, I thought I'd post a picture of one of my cats, since they don't get a lot of attention on this blog (although they just did, in fact, get some play when I posted our Christmas card photo last week. Speaking of that picture, I later realized I messed up because I failed to post the actual Christmas card in which I included the bible verse for which this blog is named. It was a little shout out to anyone on our Christmas card list who knows about the blog, which is about three people, or so I hope. Anyways...)
So this is Carmie:
Or Carmie J. as Ryan likes to call him. He's definitely our most photogenic pet (sorry Sophie and Jasper). He's also the fattest, by a landslide. He's also on the bottom of the pet totem pole - he is dominated by both Sophie and Jasper and any other animal that visits our house, for that matter.
Isn't he cute, though?
He's named after Carmelo Anthony who played for our favorite college basketball team, Syracuse, when they won the national championship. At the end of that season we went out in search of an orange cat to name Carmelo. We attempted to call him Melo, which is his namesake's nickname, but it just didn't stick. He's definitely a Carmie.
We say that Carmie is a lover because when given the choice of where to sleep in the entire house, he chooses right next to you with at least one arm or leg wrapped around you. It's the sweetest thing, but also hot in the summer.
So that's one of our pets. To make use of my camera, I'll profile the others in the days ahead, so get excited!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
We're back from the freezing cold north. It was beyond cold the first couple days, but it actually got better near the end. The early part of the week, though, reminded me why we don't live there anymore. How do any of you do it, and how did I do it for 30 years?
Anyways, I've had a bunch of blogable thoughts floating around in my head for a few days, so this is going to be a hodge podge of a post. Here goes...
First, we got home today around 4 a.m. We had a great visit, although it seemed to fly by and I hardly feel like I got to talk to my family at all. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve, Christmas, and we even celebrated my birthday yesterday. Here's a picture:
I had a breakdown last night as soon as I got in the car to leave. It was probably partly due to always being very sad about leaving my family and knowing we wouldn't both be back until July (I'll be making two trips alone in the spring), but it was mainly about infertility. It's hard holding it in for several days; I'm used to being able to openly be sad when I feel like it. It wasn't that I was around babies or anything - I know it could have been much worse - but it's just that time when my cycle is nearing the end. I always lose it just before it's over.
My birthday was another reason for my breakdown. I am utterly depressed this year about turning another year older without conceiving. 32. I almost can't believe it. It makes me tear up right now just thinking about it. Leaving my parents' house made me start thinking about the week that is ahead of me - namely, my birthday. Ryan has to work on my birthday this year, which isn't his fault and he feels horrible, but it makes me dread it all the more because I'll be alone for most of the day. Alone and sad. (Aren't I pathetic?)
My mom and sister loved their aprons, and I kind of wished I'd made one for my other sister too, despite the fact that she doesn't really cook. Here's a picture of all of us:
That's my mom second from the left. She got sick again last night, just as I was leaving. We're hoping it's not C Di.ff again. It sucks because not only does she get sick from it, but she feels defeated when it comes back. She counts the days between bouts, hoping it will be longer each time. For her sanity alone I hope it's not C Di.ff, or "the beast" as she says it's called on the message boards. Please pray for her if you get a chance.
On a completely different topic, I went bra shopping today. I had ordered one for Christmas that ended up not fitting me so today I subjected myself to what I consider torture. I swear I get nauseous each time and I usually leave empty handed. Well, this time I refused to let that happen. I was wearing a pre-weight loss bra that would better serve someone forty pounds heavier than me. It's really embarrassing. I cannot even explain to you how huge it is and how terrible this bra fits me.
So tonight I left with two bras, one of which was on sale from $70 to $30. But now, as I sit here, I can hardly breathe. I know (from learning on Oprah) that a well-fitting bra is supposed to be tight and I know I've been used to wearing super-loose ones, but this can't be good.
Oh, and I should mention I had someone "fit" me. I was sick of trying tons of bras on and never finding one that felt good, so I decided to just do it. I had a stranger measure my chest and I found out I am a 30 DD, which they don't make, so that means I'm a 32 DD, which they do make (prior to the fitting I was trying on 34 C's, so I guess it was necessary). If it were up to me, I'd have bought a 34, which felt a lot better, but I put my trust in Tiffany, the bra fitter, and bought the little itsy-bitsy 32's. I'm hoping I get used to them.
In cycle news, I discovered the other night that for the past five or six months, every other cycle has been almost identical. I thought ovulating on every other ovary was a myth, but what other explanation is there for it? Every other month I ovulate on day 18 and on the months in between I ovulate much earlier on the same day (I can't remember what day right now). And for this current cycle and the one before last, I ovulated on day 18 and then had spotting on day 24 (yes, I woke up on Christmas morning to spotting.. although that doesn't really explain it well - it was more of a super light tan discoloration and happened only once). So, if this cycle continues to mimick that one, I will get my period tomorrow. I least I think that's the case. My chart is still packed some where, but it's something like that. So what is the deal with the every other month similarities? Has anyone else ever seen this? I am going to the doctor on Monday so at least I'll be able to see what he thinks about it.
On Christmas night, Ryan and I went to the movies with my youngest sister and her new boyfriend. We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was a pretty good movie, but the reason I bring it up is because it made me think - and cry - about infertility (I know - it's probably not surprising that something reminded me of infertility). I was a mess as I watched it! There are just themes in it that resonated with me, not to mention Benjamin Button's mother, who took him in when someone left him on her doorstep as a newborn, is infertile and even gets blessed at a healing service (although the preacher does say something about it being due to her sins, which we all know isn't true!). The main reason I wanted to say something about it tonight is one line in particular. It is repeated throughout the movie and it really struck me:
“You can be mad as a mad dog at the way things went, You can swear and curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.”
I sobbed every time they said it! Doesn't that just sum it all up? That describes my experience perfectly. I spend so much time being mad, so much time cursing God, so much time being angry that my life didn't turn out the way I'd imagined it. But where does that get me? NO WHERE! I just have to let it go.
Well there is a lot more I could write about, but I need to rest. I'm going to make some hot chocolate (I found some with low sugar that is not actually advertised as low sugar!) and watch some t.v. Have a good night!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Well we are heading north tonight. Actually it will be tomorrow, since Ryan doesn't get off of work until 12:30 a.m. Hopefully we'll get there around 8 tomorrow morning.
I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to do while I'm there, because I don't like logging onto my blog from computers of those who may not know my blog exists. I don't mind if people find it, but I still try to be discrete. We're bringing our laptop which is on its last legs, so I might check in, but I at least will be checking other blogs from Ryan's iphone.
Tonight I'm packing and wrapping and looking forward to everything being done and being in the car on our way.
Sorry if you're sick of these, but here are two more aprons I finished:
This one is for my friend. I love the fabric, especially the skirt.
And this one is for my sister.
I also made a little apron for Madeleine, but you'll have to wait for Beth to post a picture of it when she gets it!
And since I don't know when I'll be posting next, I thought I'd end with our Christmas card picture from this year. It even includes the kitties which I don't think I've ever posted pictures of before! The orange one is Carmie (a boy) and the black one is Jasper (a girl). As you can see, Jasper is crazy.
Have a blessed and merry Christmas!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
I'm okay. I'm not going to let this ruin my Christmas. We are leaving for my parents' house Sunday night and I can't wait. I haven't been home since August and I have only been home three times this whole year. I also haven't seen one of my sisters since last Christmas. I can't even begin to describe how much I've been looking forward to this. I am SO excited and even stupid infertility can't rob me of that.
I will get to meet my sister's new boyfriend and then there's the other sister who just got engaged. My parents are having my dad's office party at their house on Tuesday and that's always fun. Then there's Christmas of course, and let me just say that my parents still buy us a TON of presents. Then on Friday we'll celebrate my birthday early. We'll also shoot some video for my documentary on Wednesday (speaking of which, I have to start posting some clips from that here). There will be no reminders of pregnancy or babies. It will just be fun and relaxing and the only thing I'm not looking forward to is leaving Friday night.
In cycle news, it's day twenty. I personally think I ovulated sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. I had great mucus - "10 KL AD" (or for those of you who don't speak Creighton - clear, lubricative and stretching an inch or more, all day) - three days in a row, Monday through Wednesday. I've never had that type of great quality for that long and that often during the day. I know that has to be an improvement. I'm still ovulating late, if I am ovulating at all. At least day 18 or 19 seems late, but I'm not sure what the window is for normal. I usually just make it in those windows.
Yesterday I woke up four hours earlier than normal, so my temping was screwed up, but I believe it still showed a rise. This morning it was 97.9. The day before, it was 97.8. So even though it was four hours earlier than the previous day, it was still up a tenth of a point. I think that shows that had I slept until my normal time, it would have likely been around 98.3.
That being said, I am very perplexed because it was low again this morning. I think it was 97.6. I know I shouldn't temp, but I did and now that temperature is really confusing. My temps are always very normal around this time of my cycle. They are practically all 97.8 and then, coinciding with my peak day of mucus, they always rise to around 98.3. So this is different and odd.
My back hurts. This is a relatively new phenomenon, mainly happening in the last two months. I think it is due to me standing up for long periods of time sewing, especially because I basically just sat on the couch prior to my sewing binge.
Speaking of that, while I used to do it as my full-time job practically, I can't sit on the couch anymore at all. I tried today as my fabric was in the washing machine and had nothing else to sew, and I just couldn't do it. I was bored. How can someone's personality change so drastically so fast? I spent years either sitting on the couch or wishing I could. I mean, I had a bed pillow on the couch permanently! And let me clarify, when I say "sit" I actually mean lay. Staying relaxed during my surgery recovery was nothing because it was all I did even before the surgery.
I guess my point is that I wasn't just lazy before, I was exhausted. I was weak. I felt dizzy when I stood up. The only time I felt good was when I was laying down on the couch watching t.v. It's kind of like my body and my mind were lazy. I didn't want anything to challenge me, I just wanted to veg out. I truly think this was a medical problem, and whether it was associated with a low thyroid, high prolactin or PCOS (all three things I started treating last Spring) or eating low carb, I'm not sure. All I know is that the fog has been lifted. I can clearly see that things have changed immensely.
Now I just need everything else to start working like it's supposed to. Ovaries, I'm talking about you here.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Here are the thoughts on replay in my brain:
1. I'm not going to get pregnant this month, or the next, or the next. I may never get pregnant.
2. Nothing ever goes right for me/us. Why can't we just have something little to be excited about?
3. I am afraid something else is wrong with me that we don't know about yet. So far 50 million separate things have caused me to be infertile (endometriosis, PCOS, high prolactin, thyroid issues, you name it), so the odds are there is more that we have yet to discover.
4. #3 leads me to feel sorry for myself. Why can't I just have ONE thing wrong? Wouldn't that be enough????
5. I want to be happy for Christmas.
6. It's way too early in my cycle to be depressed. Usually that doesn't really set in until the fourth week or so.
7. But I have every reason to be depressed every single second of every day. Sadness is my default emotion, and when I'm happy I wonder what is going on with my hormones!
8. I know I already said it but I REALLY need something to go our way.
9. My husband did not get laid off. I guess that could be viewed as something that went our way, but the fact that we even had to (have to) worry about that at all is depressing.
10. I'm fine, I really am. I just needed to vent. I just want things to change. I want this dark cloud over my life to lift. I want to be happy all the time, with moments of sadness when they are warranted, not the other way around.
I know God is with us, and I know I will live no matter what happens. I'm sorry for feeling sorry for myself and complaining. I know I am blessed in many ways. I'm trying to remember that.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Get ready for some award giving... Two fellow bloggers were kind enough to think of me for awards (one of them I am long overdue in posting, I just didn't know how to save the image on my mac), so here they are:
This first award comes from Meridith at The Road Less Traveled...
The award is for PROXIMITY and it's explained this way:
"This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
I give this award to:
Life in Mazes
Becky at Any Day Now...I'm Still Waiting
Beth at Beautiful Day
Charlotte at And Not By Sight
This award (the overdue one) comes from Katie at Just Another Catholic Mom:
This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.
The rules to follow are :
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
I am passing this award onto:
This Cross I Embrace
Shannon at A Friend of Gianna
(oh, and sorry...adding links to everyone is a lot of work, I only got through two)
I love all of you guys!
Monday, December 15, 2008
I've got two more aprons under my belt. What is wrong with me? Do people even want or use aprons? Oh well. They're getting them.
So I haven't written any kind of cycle update in a while, which always seems to happen when I'm in this part of my cycle - the middle. It's the busiest part but also since it changes day to day, I usually wait until I'm in the luteal phase to talk about it. Anyways, since there isn't much else to talk about...
Today is cycle day 16. This is my fifth day of mucus and it's improving in quality each day. Yesterday I had my first day of really good quality mucus, and today is the second day I've seen it. This is especially good because I didn't know what people meant when they described this type in years past - I saw mucus that was 10KL, but it was always more thick, and for the past few months, it's been a more watery 10KL in the couple days before ovulation. At least, I think this is good. I could be wrong. I wish the NaPro book they give you when you first start charting had the mucus pictures in them like the instructors' books (by the way - didn't you just love those pictures? They look like someone blew their nose on a blue napkin and is now showing you - yet it's worse because it didn't come from someone's nose! I just remember thinking how I might want to teach Creighton, but that I didn't know if I could handle those pictures all the time).
The only slightly different thing I charted so far was mucus on day eight, followed by three dry days. It was the day after my period and then went back to dry for a few days until my real mucus started. I don't think that's a big deal or that weird, but I would have liked to see four days of green stickers (as I try to remember - I can't hyper-analyze...I can't hyper-analyze).
So that's where I am. My temp is still down, not that I put a lot of stock in temping, but it's just an extra sign. I also have been having pretty bad pain for the past few days near what I assume to be my ovaries. It's on both sides, but more on my left. But my left hurts every month. That was my really bad ovary before - the one that was five times the normal size due to a HUGE endometrioma. I guess it could be that it is just more sensitive (what I'm hoping), or that there are adhesions (I'm hoping not), or that I'm ovulating on that side right now (I'm really hoping!). Who knows!
Well we're getting ready to go out. I'm starting my monthly novena to the Infant of Prague tonight, so I'll keep you all in my prayers. And I'll also be saying some extra prayers for my husband's job. Television is a very vulnerable industry in a bad economy and the company that owns his station is laying off people at its other stations. He's getting text messages about it as I type this. We don't have a plan exactly if it were to happen to him, other than attempting to sell our house and moving back to NY where he has more contacts. Let's hope that doesn't happen. I'm not actually actively worrying about it, though, which is good. Stress is not good during this part of the cycle!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
This may come as a surprise to you, but I don't often rejoice. I mean, really rejoice. I get happy at times, moments of joy come once in a great while...but to actually take part in the act of rejoicing? I tend to think that I'm just a person that doesn't have reason to do much of that.
A positive pregnancy test - now that would be cause for some serious rejoicing. But so far, that experience has escaped me.
But today, on Gaudete Sunday, we light the pink candle - the one that always got me excited as a kid, and still does, out of habit - and rejoice. What about those of us whose lives seem dismal and bleak, who are on the outside looking in, who won't get what we want for Christmas?
As our priest said during his homily this morning, we all have reason to rejoice - the fact that Christ died on the cross so we can spend eternity in heaven is reason enough.
Usually, pointing to something so big and huge - like, you know, the afterlife - doesn't really sink in with me like it should. That sounds terrible, but I'm just being honest. It is not tangible to me, and my infertility is here and now. The idea of rejoicing in this very moment because I'll one day, God willing, get to heaven doesn't make me mourn not having a baby any less. But, at least for today, I'm going to try to remember that I do have a reason to rejoice - and a BIG one, at that! We'll see how it goes.
On a completely different topic, I have some more aprons to show you. So WARNING - if you are one of my sisters or my mother and have found my blog and read it without my knowledge, I'd like you to stop reading because I'm about to show your Christmas presents. And I'd like you to feel really guilty if you keep on reading. And while you're at it, you should feel guilty for reading this without telling me in the first place!
This apron is for my sister. I'm calling it (in my make-believe product line) the "Frankie" because a) that's her dog's name and so far all my aprons are named after the person-I'm-making-it-for's dog, b) it's similar to the "Sophie" but just a little different - just like the real-life Frankie (he's Sophie's real brother), and c) because I decided that while I'm naming all of my aprons girl names (for obvious reasons, of course - don't you know the apron naming rules?), Frankie can be a girl's name sometimes.
I'm a little nervous about it because it's a little eccentric, and it's not like I know she loves the fabrics or colors or anything. I was just drawn to them, but they don't really "match" in the traditional sense (although I think they match), so I went out and bought the cupcake fabric to bring them to together. I love it, but it's hard to make something for someone else. With this, I just made something I would like and I'm hoping her tastes are similar to mine, which they usually are.
I also didn't realize until I was completely finished that it's pretty short. It's a mini-skirt apron!
This one is for my mom. When I gave her an apron for her birthday she said that now she needed one for Christmas. I'm not ever sure if she remembers saying that, but she's getting one! If you're keeping track, this is still the "Sophie," but with a few additional embellishments.
I'm going to give it to her when we first get there on Monday so she can use it all during the week.
Speaking of that, I am SO excited to go home! That is reason enough to rejoice!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Very fitting that on this feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith released Dignitas Personae, an instruction on ethical issues surrounding procreation and biomedical research.
IVF, infertility, birth control, and embryo adoption are among the issues addressed.
Here's the document.
Guys, this is huge. It's a beautiful document (not surprisingly) that talks in specific terms about many of the issues we deal with on a daily basis.
There is something to be said about your Church addressing the very cross you bear. I cried. I'm not sure why, other than perhaps because they are talking about it, about OUR issue. I actually started tearing up when I got to the part that says "surgery for endometriosis." I'm like, that's me! A Vatican document is discussing what I've gone through and what I am continuing to deal with. It just touched me.
There are many amazing parts, but I think this is my favorite line:
Behind every “no” in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great “yes” to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence. [emphasis in original]
How beautiful is that?
Behind this "no" there shines a "yes" called NaPro Technology, which was born out of the "no" in order to do just what this says - recognize the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence.
And those of us who have chosen to follow the NaPro path are saying "yes" - "yes" to life and "yes" to alternatives that protect life while still attempting to achieve pregnancy and treat the underlying disease. What a wonderful way to look at it!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I feel like it's been forever! Actually, it's only been two days (well, three since technically I posted very early Tuesday morning) and I've really had nothing interesting to say. Not that I do have interesting things to say now, but I was just getting sick of seeing my last post up there.
Here's what we've been up to:
I just returned minutes ago from ordering our Christmas cards at a copy place. I visited said copy place three times tonight in the pouring rain. I made multiple versions of said Christmas card - MULTIPLE versions - and finally - FINALLY - I asked enough questions, and the right questions apparently, in order to get what I wanted - two 5 x 7 prints to a page on glossy card stock, thank you very much. What I wouldn't give to have the printer my parents are getting us for Christmas right now.
I want to share with you our Christmas card, but have decided to wait due to not wanting to spoil the surprise for those of you whom I know in real life and who are on our Christmas card list. Wait, that came out wrong - there is no surprise, per say. It's just that there is no point in mailing you one if you see it here first. You will have to wait.
I am on day 11 of this cycle and so far have had very little mucus. I had some on day seven, but it was only once and it was very cloudy (although still a 10...I rarely have mucus that isn't a 10) and then once today (10c). That being said, when I was having tons of mucus I wasn't getting pregnant, so I guess this could be a good thing. Not that small quantities of mucus are good necessarily, but change is good, therefore this could be good. There are always things you can do for mucus - not that I'm doing them yet, but I rest assured I can do them if I choose - and so if that ends up being my only problem now, then that would be great.
I cannot believe there is only one week left until we head home to New York for Christmas. This month has just flown by. We haven't seen one of my sisters in an entire year. That seems crazy to me, since my family is really close and has never lived far from each other until a year and a half ago. I have a lot to do before then (including mailing Christmas cards), but I have finished most of my shopping so that is a big weight off my shoulders. Now I just have to sew three aprons before we leave and put together a home-made cookbook for my sister (back to Kin.kos I go).
Speaking of next week, we are going on a tour of the White House this coming Thursday morning that we're excited for. We're heading up there Wednesday night with a couple friends and staying over (in an actual hotel! I LOVE hotels!) because our tour is early the next morning. We've been on the White House tour before, but never at Christmas-time and we can't wait. And I'm glad to get in there one more time before it changes hands!
I made more soup today and I can't wait to have some for dinner.
I've been having headaches almost every night this week, which is not normal for me. I haven't been taking anything for them because a) I still wonder if LUFs and ad.vil are related, despite my doctor telling me to take it if I need it and not worry about that, and b) sometimes I like to feel the pain so that I can chart that I had it and how bad it was. Is that weird? I do that with cramps mainly, but I find myself doing it with headaches too. I find it a little weird.
Okay this is totally random, but we have a new obsession here in our household. Three words - Summer Heights High. Have you seen it on HBO? Oh my gosh. It is not for those of you who dislike swearing, that is for sure, but it is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It's an Australian show that was on there last year and now HBO is playing the episodes, like it did last year with Extras. It's a mockumentary and follows three individuals at a high school. We are seriously obsessed and walk around singing the songs ("Welcome to Mr. G's room, G's room, G's room..."). There are only eight episodes, so I get sad every time one ends! It is not for the faint of heart, I will warn you, but we find it hysterical.
Well that's it for now. Hopefully my life will get more exciting in the coming days and I'll have more to post about. A visit from a fellow blogger, perhaps? There may be something being planned and it would involve lots of doggy pictures being posted here!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It's very late, but I just wanted to check in to update about the home study visit today. It went great and now we just have to turn in some remaining paperwork. Our social worker thinks if all goes well, we will be approved sometime next month.
I can't believe the home study process - what I dreaded for the last three years whenever I contemplated adoption - is over. Well, nearly over - the birthmother letter still scares me.
Of course, we cleaned more than necessary. Although, now our house is just as clean as most people's homes are on a regular basis, so it was probably a good idea anyway.
One of the big things we learned today was that we will most likely be matched with a white baby. That surprised me, because I've always been open to adopting a child of a different race. Apparently, when a baby becomes available, the agency goes to a waiting couple of that same race first, if one is available, and our social worker told us they usually are. I guess it's a good thing that there are couples of many racial backgrounds who are waiting to adopt through our agency (the website has photographs of waiting couples, so I know this to be true). And she also said that if the birthmother wants to choose the parents (and I got the feeling that doesn't usually happen), they almost always choose a couple of their same race.
It's not shocking information, I guess. I just didn't know that.
Other than that, she asked us tons of questions about our discipline methods, what types of things we are willing to accept in a child (medical issues, family history, etc.) and what type of contact we would want, if any, with the birthmother. I'll post more about that in the future, but we mainly said "that's fine" to everything she asked, except when it comes to accepting a baby that is considered a legal risk. After seeing what our friends went through when they lost their beautiful little baby boy this fall, I don't feel comfortable taking a high legal-risk baby. Although we did tell her that it would be on a case-by-case basis, because there are some situations that are high risk but aren't as high a risk as our friends' situation. But, that being said, if a birthfather is in the picture and might contest, we don't want to be involved.
So that's where we are with adoption. I've got to go to bed, but I also wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comments yesterday. And I also want to thank my husband for his amazing guest post. I am so blessed, and I am going to post much more on that in the coming days. And I guess I need to have him back more often because I'm pretty sure it is officially the most-commented-on post I've had so far! And don't think he wasn't checking it all day to see how many it was up to!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Believe it or not, it's been exactly one year since my first post.
The birth of this blog can be traced back to one simple reason - I wanted to leave a comment on Andnotbysight's blog - which I had probably found by googling PPVI and laparotomy, I'm sure - and needed a username to do so. Instead of just creating a blogless account, I went all the way and started my own.
How green I was in that first post - I actually apologized for its length! Little did I know that I would soon throw caution and creativity to the wind and write long-winded posts nearly every day.
So I threw my story up there and had no idea what would come of it.
I knew I was hooked when Lifehopes left me my first, second and fourth comments! My first blogging friend. I still look forward to her comments, and all of yours. There's nothing like having a bad day then logging on to see all of the love you've left me.
So on the occasion of my blog's first birthday, I am actually going to do something I've never done before - turn over the reigns to someone else - my husband. I've always wanted him to write a guest post and today seems like a special occasion, so it's as good a time as any. And although I often serve as his grammatical editor, I am giving him my username and password, and this post will go up unedited, uncut and unread by me (just a little disclaimer in case he decides to swear, say something off color, or put commas in the wrong place, all of which he has been known to do).
So without further ado, I give you my husband:
Thanks very much sweetie..
Quite frankly, I am a little intimidated. As many of you are very aware, my wife (among other things), is an exceptionally talented writer. It will be difficult to meet her high standards and do so without swear words, off color references and grammatical mistakes, but I will do my best.
I think what is most interesting about this blog and the role it has played in our lives (and make no mistake it plays a very important role) is that prior to her decision to dive head first into this endeavor, Karey used to regularly poke fun at blogs. Now, the blogs she made fun of were blogs that I consumed, and still do on a regular basis. They are mainly political blogs with arcane and in depth analysis of random congressional races in different parts of the country that had no impact on us. She often used to pick on me when I had my laptop fired up, the Mets game in my ear and a TV show on, all at the same time. She could not believe that I could pay attention to all those different things at once, and engage her in a conversation.
My how the tables have turned.
But there is a big difference between my consumption of blogs, that do nothing but to feed my need for useless political knowledge, and this blog. This blog, and its interaction with all of you has helped us in ways we may never be able to measure.
One of the aspects of this forum that I find so remarkable is Karey's ability to be so incredibly candid about her infertility struggle. Most of you only know her from this blog and might be surprised to hear that she rarely, if ever, lets people in to see the things that hurt her and bring her down. In fact for the first 3+ years of this struggle, she only had me to release the burdens of this horrible situation on, and I don't mind telling you that I sucked at absorbing it.
I sucked really bad. (does sucked count as an off color reference?)
One of the things that I have learned about infertility is that A- It impacts woman in a completely different way than it does men and B- No one can truly understand the struggle unless they are going through it themselves. I am sure there are many of you who are at that point right now. You are desperate, on the verge of despair and the only people you have to talk to about it are a husband that cares, but can't truly understand and a girlfriend, mother, sister, etc. who loves you dearly but has no problem conceiving or hasn't started to try.
They listen, the want to help, but in all honesty THEY JUST DON'T GET IT!
That is where we were December 7, 2007. Karey had yet to have her second surgery, we were just really starting to understand the depths of her problem from a physical perspective and no matter what we tried, there was nothing we could do to alleviate the emotional pressure caused by infertility.
That is when she said to me "What do you think about me starting a blog?". Honestly, I wanted to say "A blog! ha! I am not a freak, it is a cool thing to do, I told you so!!" But, that probably wouldn't have been the right tactic. I think I simply told her "It can't hurt."
That was a year ago. A year, does not seem nearly long enough. Each one of you that has taken the time to read, to post and to share your stories have become part of our lives. You have strengthened our family imeasurably. This blog has become an emotional outlet for Karey that has given us the stability that we needed to use all of our energy into getting her healthy so we can have a baby.
And I promise you- we will have a baby!!
Truly, this is what Al Gore must've envisioned when he invented the Internet. (that was a bad joke)
So I guess I want to say thank you. Thank you for helping the person I love the most in ways that I never could. I have learned a lot about marriage in the past four years and I think the most important thing I have learned is that we as a couple and as a family cannot succeed on our own. We need help. We need people who understand what we are going through. We needed YOU!
I wish that I could do everything for Karey, and believe me I am trying to get better everyday. I think I had to learn that in some cases, it is not a bad thing to ask for help. It was probably the one thing I prayed for the most (aside from the obvious) in the time leading up to the blog, and boy did God deliver.
So thank you for being an answer to prayer. I hope that Karey's contribution to you can return even a tenth of what you have given us.
Finally, let me close with a word about my wife. She is unequivocally the most wonderful person I know. She is strong where I am weak and smart where I am dumb. She has made me a better person and I love her more each and every day. And her cooking tastes as good as the pictures make it look!
She often apologizes to me because she hasn't been able to get pregnant. (Imagine that, all she is going through and she apologizes to ME!). Well, she has nothing to be sorry for. She has given me more than I could have ever asked for. I truly believe our marriage is a fantasy, and for that I am eternally thankful.
I am sorry for the length of this post and my rambling ways. (Perhaps that is why my blog only gets about 60 views a day and this one gets hundreds.) It has been a special honor.
Thank you all once again and God Bless you!
(a side note- I am VERY proud of myself that I got through this without openly weeping in front of all my co-workers!)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Do you know what that is, over there to the left?
It's a clean, clutter-free surface! (and this one in particular was courtesy of my wonderful husband. You should have seen a before shot!)
That's right, we cleaned today for the big home study home visit. We're not done yet, but we're almost there. All we have left are the floors, which we're waiting to do til the last minute.
Can I just say how nice it feels to have a clean house? Most of you probably only know that feeling, but I am not exactly the cleanest person. Well, that sounds bad. I like to think my person is clean, but my house, not so much. I used to think that the negatives of cleaning (the expenditure of time, energy, elbow grease) far outweighed the positives (living in a warm, comfortable environment that is neat, tidy and free of clutter which in turn makes your mind feel neat, tidy and free of clutter). Now I am rethinking that. I just might keep my house clean all the time. It even makes me like our house more and excited to be in it!
And did you know that when you pick up after yourself and take ten minutes to clean each day that you can actually maintain the cleaniness without much effort? What a novel concept!
So...we're almost ready. I might actually post some more pictures on Monday to document the picture-perfect house (actually, it will still be far from perfect. I know too many couples who have gone through this to clean like a crazy person. The secret is out - I know they don't bring white gloves, people).
In other news, we had our monthly infertility support group meeting this morning and we had our biggest turn-out yet - there were six of us there. Each of us has a very different story, we've been going through it different lengths of time, but we all experience very similar emotions, heartache and hardships. It was a good meeting, and it made me realize I am blessed in so many ways - in particular, that both my family and my in-laws are so supportive. I guess I took that for granted, but some people really struggle with that. Really struggle. If you get a chance, please pray for our group.
I am working on yet another apron tonight. This one is just a skirt-type apron, without a top. I'm starting to notice a trend here - I seem to be constantly doing projects and spending WAY less time in front of the t.v. Very unlike me. It makes me wonder if it has something to do with my medication and/or hormones and/or diet. Like, my energy level is finally back to normal, perhaps? I haven't thought about it in a while, but I am way less tired than I used to be and I almost never lay down on the couch (which I used to do for most of the day). Now, I can barely watch an hour program and I get restless. I guess this is a good sign! And also perhaps the reason why I've been cleaning more lately as well!
I'm still excited about finishing up our home study and getting on the waiting list. I haven't really thought about this much yet, but can you believe we'll probably adopt a baby next year? I mean, chances are pretty good that it will happen in 2009. That's pretty exciting, now that I think about it (and now that I'm okay with that concept).
I just continue to pray that God will lead us in the right direction. Lord, help me to discern your will. Keep us on the right path, and if we make a wrong decision, gently guide us back on track. And we just ask that you bring us our babies by whatever means you have planned. Amen!
Friday, December 5, 2008
I'm in the mood to bake, and as much as I love my diet and the size that it has made me, baking is just not as fun as it used to be. Last year I was baking these. Ya, remember those? I hardly can. Ahhh...those were the days. I can almost taste the buttercream right now. (And side note - why did I say my birthday was January 3rd? It's always been the 2nd as far as I know).
So goodbye decadent cupcakes. Hello Splenda aftertaste.
It's not that bad. Tonight I made my favorite muffin - Banana Chocolate Chip. It's actually my husband's speciality and when I say "speciality" I mean the only thing he bakes. But they are to die for!
So I made a low G.I. version (or, should I say, lower G.I.). They came out pretty:
They tasted pretty good, too. Usually, they are decadent. These aren't decadent, but they're not bad. They just needed a little pat of butter on them to take them up a notch.
I altered the original recipe as I went along (Splenda, less butter, etc. [I looked into using canola oil in place of the butter, but apparently purists don't recommend doing that in recipes that originally call for butter. I don't know.. I'm sure it wouldn't ruin them]). Near the end, I realized the batter was looking more like dough, so I added some milk, which the original recipe did not call for. The first batch came out less sweet than I had hoped, so I added a little more Splenda. And that did the trick, because the second batch was good even without a pat of butter! (Although I wouldn't object if you still wanted some.)
Here it is:
AYWH's Nearly Guilt-Free Lower G.I. Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 ripe mashed bananas
1/2 stick butter/margarine (this is where the "nearly" and "lower" comes in)
3 tbsp. light butter
3/4 cup Splenda
2 tbsp. sugar (because I always like to use a touch of the real stuff)
2 eggs (I use Eggland's Best because they have Omega-3)
2 tbsp. milk
2 cups white wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate chips (again.. not necessarily low G.I., but everything in moderation)
Beat butter and Splenda/sugar until creamy. Add eggs, flour, milk, baking soda, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth. Mix in mashed bananas and chocolate chips (I ended up using about 4-5 tablespoons of mini chips, but you can play it by ear depending on how good or bad you want to be).
Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes (mine always need to go for longer.. maybe like 25?).
That's it! Now eat one and pretend you are totally splurging. I had two in the span of a half hour (probably not recommended) and I didn't even notice a Splenda aftertaste - that's the sign of a successful low G.I. baked good!
Let me know how yours turn out!
Well since I've talked so much about my dress debacle, I thought I'd show you what it looks like:
My sister (the bride) loves it, so we are definitely going with it. I made the sash last night, since my sister really wanted a dress with one and this didn't come with it. I was just so excited to find the perfect shade of blue (our flowers will be hydrangeas so this will work great). We're also playing around with how to wear the sash.
Oh, and I would just like to point out that I don't have a strapless bra at the moment, so the addition of one will certainly help the sagging of the top that you see in this picture.
So more happened with the great bridesmaid dress fiasco of 2008. On the third try, the dress was delivered to a wrong address (at least it was the dress, and not another article of clothing!). Finally, that dress arrived, and I'm supposed to be receiving a back-up dress today, courtesy of the company. Not only did we get the back-up dress for free, but they also refunded the money for the dress I have on in this picture as well. So that basically means if my sister can fit into the other free dress I'll get today, we can take hers back and our bridesmaid dresses will be free! Worth the hassle, I'd say! Now go out and shop at J.Cre.w! I recommend them again!
Since it's picture time, here's a shot of our tree:
The popcorn and cranberries didn't take too long, just the better part of one day basically. And if you're wondering, our dog has sniffed the garland, but hasn't attempted to eat it yet (although we did catch her eating some pine needles last night). And the cats, while curious, have never knocked the tree over, although we typically find a stray ornament on the other side of the room every now and then.
As for me, I am doing great. We'll start really getting ready for Monday's home study home visit tomorrow. I've been keeping the house pretty clean since we scheduled the visit, so it won't be too much work.
And the good news is I still feel very positive toward adoption. I actually am excited about the possibility of having a baby this way, whereas before I kind of avoided thinking or talking about it when others brought it up. I believe it is a grace that my heart is opening more and more to it, and more than ever I believe that God may intend to give us one ore more of our children this way. Who am I to argue with that?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
First of all, I can't thank you enough for your amazing comments on my last post. I sat and read them and cried (in a good way). As you probably well know, when you're going through something like this, you want to be comforted, but there are only certain things someone can say. It's touchy, to say the least (as I'm sure all of our husbands can attest to!). Well, your comments were just what I wanted to hear. What a blessing that I can log onto a computer and get that kind of support. God definitely used all of you to remind me my life is full of blessings.
I feel much better. I started feeling better before I wrote that post, and yesterday we decorated for Christmas so that lifted my spirits even more. Speaking of that, I always feel torn about whether to decorate or to observe Advent. This year I came to the conclusion that I am in dire need of the joy that Christmas decorations can inject into my life. I am so depleted of joy, that whatever extra the tree and lights can give me will just bring me back to a base level! And it's not like the decorations will make me so happy that I simply won't be able to observe Advent. On the contrary. Waiting and hoping is my full-time job.
We are also lighting the Advent wreath each night and reading the daily Mass readings as well as a reflection on them.
That being said, I am about to start yet another craft project - I'm stringing up some popcorn and cranberries to make garland for the tree. I've never done my own before, but my mom does it every year and I want to carry on the tradition. I'll post some pictures when I'm finished.
I also wanted to let you all know something nice that happened on Monday. When I was going through the worst of it that day, the idea of adoption made me even more angry. I hate to admit it, but in my low moments I resent that we have to adopt. I fear that it won't fill the void in my heart, that it won't be enough. What I hate most of all, though, is that I feel this way. It just seems so unfair, and just seems like those of us who can't have children should automatically have hearts for adoption (but nothing is that easy, now is it?).
Later that evening, I guess he answered my prayer, because my heart changed. That's the only way I can explain it, like I now completely understand where the term "change of heart" came from! It clearly wasn't anything I did because I was in a foul mood and wasn't about to talk myself out of it. I sure wasn't about to convince myself that adoption is what we're called to do.
I know it was from God. And that's not to say that I won't have any doubts ever again. I'm sure between now and when we adopt a child that I will look at parents with their biological children and feel jealousy. Heck, that will probably happen later today! But I can't stress enough what a blessing it was that in the midst of that bad mood, my heart could suddenly be much more open to it.
So thank you to all of you who have adopted who have left comments and/or sent me emails. Your words help me immensely. And I hope that when I am brutally honest about my feelings and doubts about adoption, that it is not offensive to you. I'm just a girl trying to navigate the heartaches of infertility. Hopefully I'm not too weird and you may have even had some of the same feelings as I do, when you were in my shoes.
I also have some more hope, thanks to some info from Lifehopes (and her favorite doctor). I have started praying about adding Clomid or a similar drug into my treatment. My doctor already said he would do this after six to nine months, but sooner if I felt called to. What I didn't realize until last night is that it's not just some random last-ditch effort he was going to try, but actually a treatment plan with much better results than using Metformin alone. So, I'm going to pray about it this month, then ask him about it at my appointment on Dec. 29. In addition to that, I also now understand that my one day of spotting isn't a cause for concern, but rather part of a crescendo (is that right?) bleeding pattern - it starts light, increases to heavy, then returns to light. I remember reading that in my NaPro book, but had definitely forgotten about it. I can't tell you how much better that makes me feel.
Oh, and by the way, the dress saga continues. I received my second "dress" package today and it was actually a pair of women's pants. I handled it much better this time, but did send off a somewhat harsh email that I am now feeling guilty about. I asked for compensation for our troubles, but now I just feel greedy! I'm supposed to have a phone conversation with someone who handles the bridal department tomorrow, and I've decided I'm just going to cave and say all I want is assurance that the dress WILL arrive at some point. But at the same time I'm torn because my mom and I have both been inconvenienced. I just don't think that Jesus would argue with a company over their mistakes, or want something in return. So maybe I will surprise this woman, who probably usually deals with jerks. I'll let you know how it goes!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Right after my earlier post today, my day went from bad to worse.
First, the UPS truck pulled up outside seconds after I clicked "publish." I was so excited. It was a bridesmaid dress from J.Cr.ew for my sister's wedding. She wanted to order it to see what we thought, but I had already fallen in love with it and was secretly getting my hopes up pretty high that she'd choose it. Without having much good in my life to focus on these days, this stupid dress arriving was like my light at the end of the tunnel.
I know, silly. And a recipe for disaster.
It wasn't the dress. I knew as soon as Ryan handed me the box that it was way too heavy to be the 1.8 pound package (yes, I checked the tracking information so much I had it memorized). My beautiful light blue strapless dress (with the cutest pockets!) was actually a man's coat. And to add insult to injury, upon calling the company we learned what I could have already guessed - it was now completely sold out.
Let's just say I had a melt down. Over something as trivial as a dress, you ask? Yes, and while I may not be proud of it, I will be honest. I cried like a baby over a missing dress.
I was, of course, crying about more than the dress. I was really crying because the dress represented something I had put my hopes in (how pathetic I am). In the midst of my sorry life and my struggles in a world full of fertile people, I decided to look forward to receiving a stupid package, something that could brighten my day, and J.Cr.ew screwed me. The story of my life.
So after speaking with the company and ordering another color that was still available (there are two colors that would have worked), I calmed down. I got all dressed and ready to go shopping with my husband and as he sat in the car waiting for me to go to the bathroom quickly before we left, I discovered that yet another cycle had come to an end. Just. my. luck.
I got in the car and broke the news. We attempted to talk about it, but it was mainly me just giving bleak ultimatums - I want to give up...We are being silly to keep trying like this...We need to move on with our lives...God has decided I am not worthy of children and you made the poor decision to marry me - while he tried to have some hope. And, by the way, when I say I want to give up, I don't mean that this is just too much and I can't take it so let's give up. Oh no. I would try through menopause if it were up to me. I just suddenly felt like maybe we are being foolish to think we have a chance, like everyone is laughing at us, and that perhaps God wants us to move on and start coming to terms with being infertile.
Then that led into my worse fear and what can cause me to cry whenever I think about it - the thought that there's a good chance that my time on this earth will pass without biological children. That my one go-around here will be without the joy of pregnancy, the experience of child birth, taking care of a newborn that is a complete mix of me and my husband. We get one shot at life and I will be missing out on perhaps the most important part of it - creating more life. It is too much for me to contemplate. Thankfully, my mind blocks out the severity of the thought most of the time, but not today.
The main thing I couldn't get out of my head was that I just don't know how I will live the rest of my life in this world - a world full of fertile people, babies, pregnant women. I just don't think I have enough energy to do it and I don't want to do it. It is just too hard.
My poor, poor husband, because I just kept repeating, "I can't go on living in this world."
Please, please, PLEASE don't think I'm being suicidal here. That is not what I am saying at all, of course. It's just that I can't go on like this. Something has to give. Either I have to live on a deserted island, or I have to change my outlook. At this point, the island idea is looking pretty nice.
Oh, and I almost forgot - this cycle was completely messed up. It took a HUGE step backwards. My luteal phase was eleven days, but if you count yesterday's day of spotting as day one (which I'm pretty sure Creighton does...am I right?), then my luteal phase was ten days. Since it had been twelve days the past couple cycles, and I was hoping for even longer this time around, this was an enormous blow. Also, the fact that I had spotting is in itself a step backwards. So much for putting my hopes in getting healthier! Because of course I can't get pregnant, but now improved cycles are even too much to ask for!
I'm feeling a little better now (despite the tone of this post, believe it or not). We had a good time shopping (I was supposed to be buying Christmas gifts for others, but instead I purchased a present for myself from my mother and picked out something from my husband for me as well...very successful trip!), and it got my mind off of things. And I guess I just realized tonight that there's nothing I can do about it. I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of trying to will my body to change. I'm exhausted, actually. So at least for this moment, I'm all cried out. I'm trying not to think about it. But I'm sure I'll cry more tomorrow.
This is the part of the month where I get angry.
The cycle isn't over yet, and I'm having few symptoms that it is coming to an end, but I just know in my heart it is.
So, the anger started yesterday. I attempted with all my might to fight off anger at God as I got ready for Mass. I cried in church. I went numb around pregnant women. Later in the day, I grew disgusted as I heard stories of horrible parents someone told me and came to the conclusion that as much as children are God's creation, our free will is to blame for screwing up. I know that might sound obvious, but it's easy to believe God saw those bad parents as more suitable parents than me, as horrible as they are. That just can't possibly be the case.
Still, I feel like my life is out of control, that I can't understand why God would allow this to happen to me.
Speaking of things God is allowing to happen to me, I have had spotting yesterday and today. BIG step backwards. I'm devastated. So not only do I of course not have a chance at a pregnancy, but I can't even simply get an improved cycle. It feels like a huge slap in the face. I lower my standards and my hopes, and they even get squashed.
Of course I want to know if something is wrong so it can be treated, but I just hoped that nothing more was wrong! I just desperately hoped the spotting would go away as my cycles improved, which it had the last two months. I feel like I've been kicked when I was down.
So I'm still trying not to be angry with God. Not because I don't blame him or because I have come to terms with him not answering my prayer. No, I am trying to not be angry because I understand that we shouldn't be. I know it's not right and isn't productive. That's all I can give for now. Hopefully I'll believe the not blaming him part later.
Yesterday I filled my time with projects to get my mind off of things. First, I made some topiaries because I've always wanted to and last night was as good a time as any:
I was happy with them, and kind of surprised that not only did I quickly found all the pieces at Michael's (despite the millions of Christmas decoration shoppers I had to push through), but that they only took about ten minutes to make.
Then I made this:
It cost only $10 to make, although I broke a $2.99 hot glue gun in the process. I love having an Advent wreath and we'll be able to use this one year after year.
So at least I felt productive yesterday in some way. I may not be able to produce a child, but I can produce all the arts and crafts projects I want! That's a fair trade-off, right?