Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Uterus

I've grown some pretty tough skin the last few years. I try to politely point out that we: 1) have no children and 2) can't have children. And if they push the issue, 3) because we have no sperm and 4) yes, we tried the adoption route.

But I had a new one hit me in the gut today. Recently, I've started to wonder if I am starting to get premenopausal. Getting my doctor to agree has been another issue. But when I told him my night sweats are unbearable and I am no longer sleeping at night, he finally agreed to do some testing.

One of those including an ultrasound....

I tried to keep the humor today. My husband works at the hospital, in their construction department. When I arrived for my appointment today, his crew saw me go into the Woman's Center. As I walked by them, I said, "don't worry, I'm not pregnant."

The nurse asked how many kids I have, and I said none. Again, I was okay.

But then, out of the blue, I learned a fun new fact about my body.

My uterus is tilted.

I tried to keep a smile on my face, but I guess it was bad enough that the tech couldn't get a clear shot, so she went and got another tech to assist her. Again, I had to go through the "no, I've never had a baby before" routine, but it was harder that time. It was like she was surprised I didn't know my uterus was tilted.

Well, what do you expect? This is the first time I've seen my uterus on the screen!

Okay, I didn't really say that, but I thought it.

After that, there wasn't anything to do but stare at the screen of my uterus of nothingness. Because she was right in her assumptions. What 30+ old woman doesn't know that about her own body? It was just sad to stare at the screen and realize I'll never see a baby grow inside my belly.

I also had to do blood work to check my thyroid and other hormonal levels. I won't get the results back until next week. I've actually had my symptoms reduce a bit (I bought a lighter set of bed sheets), but I still know that my hormones are out of whack and I'm hoping the doctor will find something.

Its times like these that I find great strength in Jesus. I've had many moments where He has spoken to my heart and I know that everything is in His hands and going exactly according to His plans. When it starts to get hard, I give my pain to Him and let Him take care of it for me.

Monday, June 22, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Aunt's Intuition

Yesterday, we celebrated Valex's 5th Birthday. First off, who gave him permission to keep growing?! I love each new stage, but I was looking through old pictures and I miss those boys being little babies.

Of course, I took my role as aunt seriously and spoiled him rotten. I seem to have developed two seperate birthday budgets. The first one is the presents I buy and wrap for them. I think I gave him 2 outfits and 5 shirts. Including a Superman Shirt with a cape.

The 2nd budget is the the toys that go on the cake.
Last night, my sister told me the Superman shirt was his favorite present and he couldn't wait to wear it to school (aka, daycare) today. She went on to say that I always find the coolest gifts. I told her it was my "aunt's intuition."

I had planned to get Daxsen a matching cape with shirt for his birthday in August. But last night, I felt bad that he had to wait so long. So this morning, I decided to just order it now. When its his birthday, I'll get them both a Batman shirt with cape. Call it my "aunt's guilt."

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Positive vs Negative People

Today I am feeling bitter and angry.

Last week, I had a friend leave her abusive husband. I have spent months praying for her safety. When she came home, I was overwhelmed with joy. I dove in head first and did what ever I could to help her out. Miracles pour out and things started to fall into place. (You can read more about that HERE.)

Not once, did I question the what if? I'm not even going to spell it out here, because that thought NEVER crossed my mind. I refuse to believe the worst when something amazing is happening.

So when others started to question it, I became angry. I wanted to tell them, that was none of their business. If they couldn't be happy, they could take their attitude some where else, because I wanted no part of it. I was mad because I wanted these people to be happy for her. I wanted them to surround her in love so she wouldn't question her own decision.

But I was also mad because it stirred up old feelings. When we were chosen, very few people responded in a happy "congratulations."  Instead, we were bombarded with "what if she changed her mind?"

I was so hurt that people couldn't just be happy for me, not even for a minute. But that was one of those moments when you learn your true friends. Those who were genuinely happy for us, were also the ones that were there for us later to help us pick up the pieces. Those were the ones who called and cried with me. Those are the ones that helped me realize I needed counseling.

Why is it people get to choose when they think its okay to be positive about a situation or when they can be negative about a situation? Why can't people dive in with pure joy and never question the what if's? Why would they try to tear down a good situation with their negativity?

I would never question a pregnant woman, "What if you miscarry?" Or a cancer patient, "What if you die?" So how are these situations different that they would warrant negativity instead of happiness?

I do realize that this all boils down to a person and their individual attitude towards life and there really isn't anything I can do about it except to try and educate people. But like I said, I am bitter right now and just need to vent. I'm worried that if another person tells me "I told you so," I might punch them.

Again, I am learning my true friends. Those who cried tears of joy with me last week are holding me as I cry tear of sorrow this week.

Also, I'd like to ask a favor. Please pay for my friend. Pray that God will keep her and her child safe. Pray that she will find the strength to put her and her child first and be able to cut herself off from a bad situation. Please pray for her family that they can find peace and comfort right now. Please pray for her husband. I won't lie, he's not on my list of favorite people. But, even now, God has reminded that HE is in control. God loves even him. So pray that God can soften his heart and change him. Jesus didn't come to save the sinless, he came to save the sinner.

Monday, June 8, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Spidey Sense

My spidey sense started tingly a month ago. It started right before Mother's Day. I saw a random post on Facebook and I thought "they're pregnant." It was just a few ordinary posts, links, memes, etc. NONE of them mentioned pregnancy. But I knew better. It wasn't even a person I know well, but still, I just KNEW.

I remember the last announcement I realized, before it was made. Again, there weren't any clues, but I just KNEW.  

It made me wonder if, as an infertile, your pregnancy detection monitor becomes better fine tuned. Maybe its because we want to become pregnant so badly, that we start to notice those little signs in others. Maybe its because those announcements can be so hard on us, that we tune in early, so we can better prepare, emotionally and mentally, for the big announcement.

Today, the official announcement was made. I was right.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: What to say?

Some days, I stare at the screen and wonder what I should write. I have dozens of unfinished posts in draft because I can't get them to come out the right way. Others, sit on a private journal because they feel to raw to share.

But then I remember how lost I felt during our infertility struggle. How I just wanted to find people who understood my pain. I cry when I think of those who are still in the dark days of infertility. Please know you aren't alone. Some of your journeys will end with a baby. Others, will not. But hopefully, you will all find peace.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, May 18, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Turmoil & Grief

Over the last few months, my heart has been in turmoil. Its as if all of my infertility issues have come back to haunt me. My heart has been in constant turmoil for weeks now.

I'd go back and forth. "Maybe we should try again?" "But we're happy" "I just started school." At the end of the day, the logical part of my brain would say no. But then, a day or two later, I'd find myself in tears once again.

A few weeks ago, we had a guest speaker at church. Something she said really stuck with me. She was talking about how after she found Christ, she was overcome with grief about her marriage, which had ended several years previously. (I think she said 12 years, but I can't remember for sure.) She told us how, once she found Christ, it was like she could suddenly grieve her marriage.

That was just what I needed to hear.

By the time we had decided to pull our adoption profile, we didn't go to church much. And even when we did go, our hearts weren't into it. That's not to say I didn't pray about closing our profile, because I did. We had been talking about it for months and it just reached the point where it was time to decide one way or the other. In the end, we felt ok about closing our profile and moving on.

After listening to this lady, I realized, I don't think I ever fully grieved my infertility in full. We grieved when we realized we couldn't conceive on our own, but we moved on to adoption. At that point, I still believed I would be a mother someday. After we were unchosen, we grieved, but it was over the loss of the baby girl.

I don't think I've ever fully acknowledged my infertility as a whole. At each stage, there was still some hope. Then, when we were unchosen, I was too deep into the grief of that loss, that I couldn't acknowledge the loss of my dream of motherhood as a whole.

Since realizing this, I have done much better. I still have days where it gets to me, but its seems manageable now. I think I have a better understanding of what my heart is going through and I can hopefully find peace again.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, May 11, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Post Mother's Day

Can I just say, I think yesterday was the most peaceful Mother's Day I've ever had? As the weekend started, I kept expecting to get anxious, but I never did.

I think several factors helped.

1) We always turn that day into a celebration of the other spouse. So its not Mother's Day, but Savannah's Day. In June, we will have Josh's Day. We buy each other a gift and then that person gets to decide what they want to do that day. This year, Josh gave me some charms for my Pandora bracelet and a new necklace. Then he picked out two cards. A sappy romantic one from him, and then a cute humorous one from him and the fur-babies, which included an iTunes gift card from the fur-babies.

2) Maybe I'm selfish, but I find it hard to celebrate Mother's on that day. I was talking with a friend this weekend, and told her, "I love my mom every day. But when it comes to Mother's Day, I have a hard time focusing on that love because I'm too caught up in my own grief of what never was." That day always makes it harder on me. So I choose to avoid mother's on that day. Its nothing against them, I just am usually in such a horrid state of mind that I can't be around others.

3) Church was amazing this year. Its probably been 8 years since I've been to church on that dreaded day. I just couldn't handle it. But over the past few months, I've developed a much deeper relationship with God. I always considered myself a religious person, but I'm not starting to realize, I was never a spiritual person. I've had some amazing changes take place in my heart and soul. I have a deeper love for my Savior than ever before. I think that is one of the biggest reasons this year was so much easier. Our pastor did a beautiful job of acknowledging mothers in all walks of life.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Weirdest Advice Ever

Over the years, I have received a lot of advice on how to get pregnant. But yesterday, I think I received the most strange advice ever.

I was helping some customers in my office. While I was doing entering stuff into the computer, they noticed the pictures of my nephews. He asked, "Is that your baby?" I told him no, it was my nephew. This is the conversation that followed.

Him: "Which one is your baby?"

Me: "None of them. I have 5 nephews."

Him: "You don't have any babies! Are you married?"

Me: "Yes, I've been married 14 years."

Him: "14 years and no baby! You need to eat horse meat."

Me: (stammering for a response) "Uh, well, I eat elk meat."

Him: "No, you eat horse meat, you have baby."

Add that to the list of weirdest conversations ever.

Monday, May 4, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Mother's Day

For the past several years, we have been out of town for Mother's Day. I'm not sure when it happened, but it somehow turned into a tradition.

This year, we aren't going anywhere. Josh asked me where I wanted to go this year, but I looked at the calendar and already had plans for the day before. We talked about leaving that night, but I decided I'm okay to try staying home this year.

Its been nice to escape every year. Mother's Day is one of the hardest days for me. Years ago, we decided to make it a special day for me and Father's Day a special day for him. But even then, it still stung a little bit.

I've also decided to go to church that day. I've been so much happier with this congregation that I think I'll be okay. They all are such sweet spirits so I don't think it will be as overwhelming and unbearable as it was in the past. Just another reason I'm so happy I found this church. But more importantly, because of them and their example, I've been able to develop a much better relationship with Christ.

If all else fails, I know I'll still be getting a gift that day from my wonderful husband. I picked out a few charms for my Pandora bracelet and a new necklace. I've also dropped hints that flowers would be nice too.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fertility Shaming

When I was deep in the trenches of infertility, there was nothing I hated more than Mother's Day. I dreaded that holiday more than any other. Partly because it was a reminder that I was not a mother, so I had no reason to celebrate. But also because I hated how I would be treated on that day. If I went to church, they would hand me a flower and say it was because I was a women who had the potential to be a good mother. But after the first time that happened, I avoided church like the plague on that Sunday each year.

Each year, it was hard to honor my own mother and mother in-law because the pain was too much. Because not only was it Mother's Day, but also seemed to be a day to honor grandparents also. So not only was I reminded I wasn't a mother, but also that because of me, they weren't grandmother's. (Realistically, I knew that wasn't my fault. But as the oldest child of each family, I had put that extra pressure on myself.)

With all of that being said, this post may come as a shock to most. But I'm noticing a growing trend, fertility shaming. Maybe this is only my opinion, but I feel like I must speak out.

Maybe its because I'm in such a healthy place now. But I don't remember ever being so hateful to motherhood in general. I would find myself trying to justify some mother's over others and I would baffled at how some could be mother's when I couldn't. But I never felt like I was at war with all mothers in general.

I noticed this trend slowly. Someone would post a meme about being a grandmother. Or about how the greatest gems around a neck were those of your child. (You know the ones that make you think, blah, blah, blah. Big deal) Sure, it would sting a little bit, but I would just scroll by. And I don't think I ever saw a person attacked publicly over it. But I've seen rants on private groups and they make me sad.

But now that Mother's Day is approaching, I feel like the haters are coming out. I almost feel like they want the day cancelled in honor of their grief. I no longer hate Mother's Day, but still have very mixed feelings over it. I wish there was a way it could be a day to honor mom's, and yet those in the infertile community could have no idea it was that day and therefore it would be just another day to them. But I know that's not even possible in our over commercialized world we live in.

At first, I just tried to ignore this fertility shaming. I remember the pain. It feels like it will never end. But yesterday, I found myself trying to leave a comment on a blog post a mother had written. It was your basic, "the house is filthy; its mac n cheese for dinner. But I wouldn't change it for anything." I wrote a long comment about how I used to wish that was my life. I would trade my clean house for not clean. But I wasn't given that opportunity. Then I realized I couldn't comment as anonymous, so I didn't want to post the comment.

I'm not against anonymous comments; I allow them on my blog. But I also feel like if you can't say something and attach your name to it, maybe you shouldn't say it at all. I allow anonymous comments because I want someone to feel like they can freely express themselves without reviling too much about themselves. But if its a rude comment, I delete it. Anonymous should be for someone scared, not angry.

I keep going back and forth on my feelings here. In reality, most of these hateful things I have seen are on private groups; groups for childless people only. So mom's and grandma's probably have no idea. Which is the way it should be. As an infertile, we need a safe place to vent and cry and curse.

Still, I can't help but wonder if these feelings help a person find peace and healing, or if they actually slow down the process. I believe its the latter reason. If you cling to hate and bitterness, it becomes a part of you.

That's the point I'm trying to get to. Infertility sucks. It hurts. Sometimes you think you are going to die from the pain. Sometimes you wish you would. But don't stay in that moment. I believe, that if all you do is curse mother's and grandmother's for their happiness, you will never find your own happiness. Its not their fault they aren't living in the same nightmare you are; don't hold it against them. I can't walk around and always expect my family and friends to pretend they don't have kids & grand kids. I wouldn't want my misery to rain on their parade.

Could they be more supportive? I think that is a mixed question. Honestly, most people are pretty sensitive to my situation. Its only every now and then when I want to choke someone until they understand. But I can't be that way to everyone, because not everyone is that way to me.

I think there can be a better balance. Don't ignore your feelings. Doing so will only let them pressure and build up until they explode in an ugly fashion. But don't stew on them forever. Acknowledge the pain, but then count your other blessing. I hate not being a mother. But right now, I'm extremely grateful that I'm able to go back to school. I wouldn't have done it if I had kids. I hate that I'm not a mother, but I'm not going to lie, I love sleeping in on the weekends and having a quite house.

If you are still pursing treatment or adoption, my prayers are with you. I hope it works out. But whether it works out or not, I wish you happiness. Don't wait around waiting for it to happen. Find those moments now.