Leaving Tomorrow

Friday, May 29, 2009

I am totally unprepared for this trip! Not to mention Mr. A's family arriving late this afternoon! Well, actually I am way more prepared than I was at 8am this morning...as I have finished cleaning the guest bathroom (and our other two, just for good measure), vacuumed, and folded the rest of the laundry. I really should try to mow the yard today, but I'm not sure I'll get to it with oil change, grocery store, swiff.ering, and making up their beds still staring at me! Lest you think Mr. A makes me do all the work, his job is to vacuum the pool and put the sun blanket on after he gets home from work today! That is not a small task! Plus, I do get a nice sense of satisfaction while/after cleaning- I love the way our house smells after I'm done!

I am really looking forward to the time off, though. I hope for lots of quiet time and to come home feeling totally refreshed. I told my mom we're going on a vacation, and she is hilariously excited we're going before our first clo.mid cycle so we can be relaxed for the meds... because we all know being relaxed is the ticket! (I just want to add that she has been awesome about our IF, which I know must be hard after having 4 kids (plus one m/c before me) whenever she wanted. She tries so hard to not say the wrong thing, and for the most part, she does a great job!) (Also wanted to note that I know that stress does play a role in our how body chemistry changes/exists, so I guess there is some truth to the advantages of being relaxed, but of course that is such a cop-out response from those who never struggled to conceive...)

I will definitely be praying for us and all of you during my week off. Praying that God will bless us (all inclusive!) with our first child this summer. Moreover, praying that God will turn our (all inclusive!) hearts to embrace His will for us and our families. Of course Psalm 37 indicates that the Lord will grant us the desires of our hearts, but what are the desires of our hearts, and do they need any tweaking? Of course we all have a burning desire for children that has not been given to us yet. But what about the desires that have been granted? Graceful marriages, safe homes, financial security, supportive families, faithful friends, furry pals, and last but definitely not least, love and mercy of our Savior are desires of my heart that have been granted in a measure I can't fully comprehend. Thank you Lord for granting these desires of my heart, and help me to not doubt Your Word because one desire has not been granted (yet, haha). You do grant the desires of our hearts- help us to see them more clearly!

I'll try to update from the beach next week!

Only 5?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


When Mr. A got home last night, I excitedly showed him my little pills safely in their packaging until 6/8, if I am regular as normal. He goes,

"Only 5? Well that's not so bad!"

Oh, my dear, awesome, blessing-of-a-husband Mr. A. I sure hope you're right! Little baby of ours, come quickly!

Got 'em!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I picked up the second prescription of my entire adult life this afternoon! (The other one being an anti-inflammatory for tendonitis in my foot 2 years ago while I was training for marathon #2.) I know it's way in advance, but I am supposed to start the day we get back from the beach, and since I don't have alot of experience with getting prescriptions filled (especially infertility ones), I wasn't sure how many days it would take for me to get it, and I didn't want to be sitting on CD3 without my Cl.omid!

I was cracking myself up because, as a result of me being so prescription-devoid, I felt so special to have one that I was looking forward to the little bottle with my info on it...they just gave me 5 of the tablets in their bubble packaging stuff in a baggie (with all the info of course)! Ha! Maybe I should have specified that I wanted a bottle...haha! My friend K (who'll be on her first cycle of Cl.omid with me next month!) is also on several prescriptions for a heart condition, and she thought this thought-train of mine was hilarious, as prescriptions are a necessary mundane part of her life (except of course this prescription, which we have very high hopes about)!

K also found out that her insurance does not cover meds (or at least not Cl.omid), a day after I jubilantly emailed her to say that mine does- I only had to pay $3.82!! I was bummed for her...but of course even $50-something is not alot, when you think of how much people pay for 6 IVF's to try for their first. It's all relative! (She agrees.)

I was congratulating myself on my refreshed state of mind this morning, as I'm 3dpo, and I haven't once googled "earliest possible implantation symptoms" or anything like that!!! HA! This feels great.

I also wanted to speak more (maybe a little cliche-ish) about the poppy that bloomed for the first time ever last week. I bought 6 poppy plants last spring on my perennial kick, eager to have the vivid orange among the purples and blues that the other flowers would produce. Well, as you may deduce, none of those poppies ever bloomed last year! They looked a little questionable again early this spring, and I was passively frustrated at them for not blooming, and I even moved some to see if they would do better in different light conditions (ironically, the one that bloomed didn't move!). Then, out of the blue, Mr. A and I were playing with Banana in the front yard last week, and all of a sudden I saw the beginnings of a bright orange bloom! WOW!! I had totally written off the possibility that they would flower; boy was I surprised! Now I am hoping that some of the others bloom, too!!

Moral of the story is that I haven't been waiting for new beautiful life alone- this flower waited to bloom for an entire year, and boy when it was its turn was it knockout gorgeous. Additional moral of the story is not to give up hope or write anything off because it doesn't seem possible or look like anything is happening. I had plans of digging up the poppies and putting something else in, but boy am I sure glad I waited a bit longer!

My, my, was that cheesy.

ANYWAY, here's hoping that my 5 little Cl.omid pills are just the fertilizer I need to bust out a blossom!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

That is how I feel. Earlier today, I was thinking about how, just a while ago I felt like I had no direction in our/my journey to parenthood, literally, spinning like a top, everything zooming by. And dare I say it, I honestly feel like it is not going to be long now before we will be blessed with new life. I try and try not to get my hopes up, but it is something I can't shake. I guess that is a good thing, right?

And as much as I feel excited anticipation of what the next few months will hold, I feel remarkably calm and at peace right now. I sort of feel like God is allowing me this respite from the day-to-day turmoil of trying to conceive (especially during the last two weeks of every cycle!) before whatever big thing is coming next. I hesitate to describe it as the "calm before the storm", because mostly I think storm has a negative connotation, and of course as a human, I'd rather not think that right now is peachy keen because in a month there will be some catastrophe. But of course, who am I to know what is coming next, and even if it is something big that God is preparing me for, there is by no means any heavenly guarantee that it some a good something big (judging from Sew's time with Cl.omid this cycle , my first cycle on Cl.omid is scaring me a little!) But let's hope it's a good something big.

But I do feel as though I am being given these two weeks as a time of rest, rejuvenation, and relaxation. And I am so thankful for this time- I already feel refreshed, hoping to embrace with trust in Him whatever God has next for me.

T-minus 12!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I don't exactly know if that is indicating the right amount of days because I'm not exactly sure of the concept of T-minus, but today is ovulation day according to my monitor, so only 12 more days until the start of a new cycle- a chance to see what God is going to do with Cl.omid!!

I think the next two weeks will be kind of odd. I'm not sure I will hope as much as I have before, now that I know there is a problem with the progesterone. I imagine I might be an eensy bit more relaxed than usual- how appropriate that next week we will be at the beach!!

On the other hand, who am I kidding, I know I will hope a tiny bit, because of course, God is not limited by February's progesterone results and can make all things new with one command and can place a new life within me at any time.

I am at the crazy place that I used to view with much awe where I'm actually wanting a new cycle to start! With all my friends who have been through RE treatments and ART, they had said these crazy words before, and I always was speechless....but now I know what they're talking about! I have high hopes that God is going to use Cl.omid to bless us with our first baby(s) (just have to add the (s)!!!)- like one of my friends says, if we didn't think/hope it was going to work, we wouldn't try it!

Mr. A and I planted a raspberry bush this afternoon! We figure that if we are going to have fresh veggies, we might as well have fresh fruit, too! We might go back and get a blackberry one, too...we'll see!

Content for Now

Friday, May 22, 2009

For once, I feel like I have been bumped in one direction over another.

My friend cautioned me to remain prayerful in all things, even with this new piece(s) of information, and I totally agree. I cannot let myself make Cl.omid a god or place it on a pedestal and believe it is what will bless us with new life. No, God is still the creator of all things, and God Himself is still who will bless us. He may use Cl.omid in the process, but it is not Cl.omid's plan that we are a part of, and I do not live my life in service to Cl.omid.

It feels nice to have this unexpected diagnosis and plan for treatment.

Another friend of mine is in a followup appointment for IF right as I am writing, and she thinks her doctor may prescribe Cl.omid also. It would be nice to have a cycle buddy (we are in completely different states, but our cycles are lined up!) on the first medicated cycle. I warned Mr. A about the potential emotional side effects, but I am just praying that it does not really affect me that much emotionally or, more importantly, physically in a bad way (thin lining, etc.). I was looking at the calendar again last night, and if I ovulate in the next two days, and I don't ovulate too late next cycle, we won't even have to worry about escaping the RV!!

I talked to two people yesterday about the RE appointment, and they both had anecdotal stories about successes on the medication. I am feeling very positive about it, but remaining as realistic as possible for myself that it is no guarantee the first time or any time for that matter! God is in control.

It is a beautiful day here, and I just want to hang out outside mowing the yard, weeding the flowerbeds and veggie garden, and making sure the hammock still works (haha). One of my poppy plants is blooming for the first time, and it is beautiful! I also saw a ladybug on one of my pincushion blooms this morning!

Maybe I can stop work early today and just be outside! I feel so content to trust God with His plan right now. Thank God for His awesome creation!

You tell me

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So I guess my "acceptable" (according to regular doc) progesterone test at peak+7 was 6.4, but the RE said that they like to see it above 10. You tell me, is that something my regular doctor should have picked up on?! Regular doc told me it was fine! Mr. A is not impressed with regular doc right now.....

SO, the RE appt was easy as pie! He does not see it necessary to do any of his own re-testing (at this point), and he wrote me a prescription for clo.mid due to my progesterone results. He said it usually works great in candidates like me/us, so he sounded very optimistic. I'll hop on that train! And he warned the chance of twins goes up to 5-8%....is that a bad thing?! Two babies for the price of one?! (Of course I realize it is more for me to carry and the babies aren't usually born as big, but...).

Obviously, since I'm smack in the middle of this cycle, I'll have to wait until next cycle to take it, and of course, if I stay regular on clo.mid, I will be near peak on the weekend where me, Mr. A, both my sisters and both their significant others are renting an RV to travel Vermont for our cousin's wedding (you know, all 6 of us hanging out 24 hours a day will be fun, but...). We better get the privacy-enhanced RV.....


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

24 hours from now I will probably be sitting in the RE office or driving home, and since I'm still on this side of the appointment, I have been thinking alot about what I expect to leave there with tomorrow. Not that I know what I should be able to expect, which is probably a whole other category. And of course, not to mention, we all know that expectations in general are usually dangerous...didn't we all expect to have our first babies last year?

(And, haha, to let you in on a chuckle, I was just thinking that have been expecting to be expecting every cycle for a while now!! Haha, I am cracking myself up! ANYWAY....)

Here is what I'm expecting from tomorrow (those of you who've been to an RE can tell me if I'm crazy or not!)
  1. He'll say that I need a whole new panel of hormone bloodwork all from the same cycle and that Mr. A needs some bloodwork and to give another sample
  2. He might say that since my HSG was in September that I need another one
  3. He'll say that one of the results that was considered "ok" by my OB does not make the cut in the RE world, and (in a perfect world) it will be really easy to fix
  4. He'll be taken off guard when I ask about the clotting blood test
  5. If #3 doesn't apply, he will suggest clo.mid or a lap
  6. If #3 does apply to any of Mr. A's sample from last July, he'll suggest some sort of ART
  7. I will at least have some plan as far as what the RE suggests for further diagnosis/treatment
Is this too much? Are there other fun things that happen at the RE that I don't know about?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I am back!

Mr. A is 100% sure that caring for Banana is our practice round before the baby gets here. He teases me about how I worry about her when we board her (not that often in general, but, unfortunately, several times in the next couple months), even though she is super social and probably loves playing with the other dogs when she is there. He shakes his head when I worry that there is some terrible reason if she only pooped in the morning, instead of morning and evening like normal. He sighs when I fret if she is not in the mood to eat her breakfast (and then when I gawk at how he successfully gets her to eat by burying half a treat in her full bowl!). And most recently, he chuckles at my hand-wringing that I think she has something stuck in her throat (even though she eats normally, drinks normally, breathes normally, plays normally, and chews normally, sleeps normally.....). (Just wanted to note that these things haven't been happening all together or all recently- just a cross section of random things that have happened since we adopted her..) He loves her just as much as I do, but I can definitely see myself being one of the new moms who is hyper-sensitive about everything...haha! (Of course, it is good to pay close attention to symptoms and gut-instincts, but some things don't warrant freakouts!!)

I am glad for the practice, but I respectfully request that my file be reviewed because I think I have had enough practice!!! I hereby apply for the real thing...do I need to submit a personal essay?

Speaking of applying for (and getting) the real thing, I counseled my first real patient yesterday at the pregnancy center. (The center brings in role-play patients for new volunteers to practice on before we get to counsel real patients.) She has two teens, and her husband and her got pregnant unexpectedly last year but miscarried. They decided they wanted to try for another baby again, and she was at our center yesterday for a test. We didn't have the results before I started the session, so her and I talked about the support systems she has in place and how her family has reacted (positively) to her trying again. She was so hopeful, but the nurse delivered the news: her test was negative. I was so heartbroken for her. I gave her some resources about mourning and grieving in case she was having any residual feelings from the miscarriage, but I added that I understood from personal experience that there is a mourning of the hope that happens with every negative test and every cycle that passes, and our eyes locked and she nodded and said "oh, definitely". Wow. God is so cool. I was telling my co-volunteer about the session later, and we were commenting about how neat it was that God allowed me to be this woman's counselor. I have been praying for her by name ever since I left my shift yesterday!!

Perhaps God has allowed me to practice facing new cycles and negative tests with grace and trust so that I could help one woman face her negative test. If that has been His plan, I am honored; if I gave her even the smallest big of encouragement or hope or feeling of solidarity in her disappointment, I almost feel like all my sufferings have been worth it. I know the feeling that accompanied her heart as her face fell at the news, but I was able to sit with her afterwards and (I hope) comfort her and remind her of God's faithfulness.

I'm pretty sure everything is practice for something, and unluckily for me, most of my practice seems to be preparation for pop quizzes! SO I better be diligent in my practice, no matter how mundane or repetitive or undesirable- God's pop quizzes count for alot of the final grade!!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Nothing new here- but we're busy with visitors and then going to my BIL's graduation this weekend. I feel behind on reading blogs other than mine, but I probably won't be back to normal busyness level until Tuesday....which seems like a really long way away! Hopefully I'll come up with an awesome post in the meantime...you all will be in my prayers!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The other thing that came to mind the last few days of last cycle was how silly my frustration was, when it comes to the big picture. We have been trying for 2.5 years, and I had steam coming out my ears that I couldn't possibly survive one more day of spotting/wondering. Hah. Crazy, isn't it?

It is really easy to lose perspective and let my sense of reality become warped. If I am really being serious with myself, even one cycle does not make that much difference at this point in the game. And if I am really really serious, this 2.5 year stretch of my life is fairly inconsequential to the concept of my entire life and, even more, all of eternity. So I should have really saved myself all the fuss and hand-wringing of the last 4 days of last cycle.


Turning the tables on myself, it only takes one cycle to create a life. Just one cycle to create a precious soul who, even before he's created, has been blessed with some purpose from God. Just one cycle to welcome into the world a little one who will grow up and have some sort of effect on the big picture.

No wonder each month is so important to us. No wonder we grieve the loss over and over again! No wonder it is easy for us to wager so much hope every time.

Lord grant us Your wisdom and perspective as we walk this road with You!

Picking Up

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanks for all your comments about my last post. Misfit, you are cracking me up! I guess his optimism was a little out of place objectively, but he was so sweetly trying to cheer me up that it just melted my heart. (Not to mention, he has some plans for our adoption savings if (when, he says) God blesses us with a biological baby. So he was also making jokes about that! He is such an awesome blessing to my life- I could not do this without him!)

A few things crossed my mind as I pondered the last couple of days. Every month I try to convince myself to not be upset on CD1, and every month I fail. Darn humanity!

I keep begging God to show me some direction or give me some feedback. This is not the first time, though, that I have reminded myself that God is probably up there banging His head on the kitchen table because He has probably given me some portion of that already, and I have been too dense and/or human and/or oblivious to realize it. After all, He is God and I'm a human. He is perfect, and I am flawed. Sometimes, it makes me feel better to think of the situation in this way because it reminds me that He has never left or taken a vacation, with a sticky note to remind Him to "get back with me" when he returns in 2 weeks. He is always with me and, whether I notice or not, He is continually providing me with examples of His love for me.

But then again, thinking about it that way makes me dumbfounded at myself that I am completely not getting His messages. Is my voicemail box full? Did His email bounce? Am I so helpless that I need a sign to point me to the sign? Ha! Yes, I think I am that helpless!

But then I think that (even though He is always here), perhaps He hasn't been dropping any clues about our path to parenthood. Maybe He is planning some huge surprise bash for me, and He can't give me any clues, not even a tiny one, because He knows after a tiny clue I will go sleuthing around and figure out His surprise party before He can get a chance to knock my socks off. Ah, there it is, just CD3 and my optimism has come lurking back again!

Perhaps at this point in my life journey what I want (hints, tips, clues, bricks-to-the-head) is not what I need. Or at least maybe God knows it is not what I need- I am sure it is what I need! Ha! It would be nice to get going on some sort of path, but if God wants me to sit in the middle of the game board and keep spinning around like a top seeing all the options fly by me in a blur, than I really have no choice, do I? I mean I guess I do have a choice, but if my ultimate choice is to follow the path that God has for building our family, I better sit tight and make sure I'm not choosing a path because everyone else is choosing it or taking that direction. (Which in itself is also hard- there have been alot of good adoption posts lately, but I am just not 100% sure that God would have us go that route full-on yet...)

My co-volunteer told me she has been praying for me all last week, and she said she prayed especially for me on Sunday. I almost lost it! She is such a wonderful woman of Christ. She said in their small group prayers, they had a girl battling IF and they prayed and prayed for her, and her son turned one this past January. I thanked her so much for praying for us; she and her husband were married 6 years before they had children, so her and I talked about the many blessings that a marriage can glean in the time before children. All in all, it was a very uplifting discussion. I am so thankful for her!

Today I praise God that my mood and outlook are picking up after Sunday night, and I pray that I will begin to somehow start picking up on what God has in store for us!!

Beginning of cycle #31?!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wow, cycle #31 (CD2 today).

At the beginning of my cycles, I always feel a bit rebellious:
  • I become a brat about my prenatals. Why am I taking $20 per month prenatal vitamins? They clearly aren't the magical beans!
  • I drink coffee to my heart's content (still less than 3 cups per day, but after ovulation, I try to limit that to one cup. Why, I have no idea, clearly it doesn't make a difference!)
  • I allow myself to kick back with a beer with no guilt. Again, maybe I should try beer this cycle after ovulation! (Ironically, the beach week with Mr. A's family will probably start around 5dpo! Blah!)
  • I don't drink as much water as I probably should.
  • I don't feel guilty about having a c.oke (not the trademark specifically, but I think some localities would call it soda or pop generically...)
  • I openly mock people on Hou.se Hu.nter's who go on record saying they're buying a new house because they are planning on having a family soon. GOOD LUCK PEOPLE! Ha!
Don't worry, my rebellious phase usually doesn't last long...

Can't do it

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I poas'd this morning and BFN, but I have still not really seen any flow per se, just spotting, although it is getting darker now. By the time it reaches my liner it is light brown.

We had a fine lunch with Mr. A's parents for Mother's Day, and it was all fine and good until we were home again and I was walking Banana...I was just completely overcome by incredible frustration over the spotting and the continued feeling of being utterly lost on this road. When I got home, I was visibly frustrated and Mr. A was asking what was wrong (he is awesome), and I just said (through a couple-or-so tears) "I just want my (bleepity bleepity bleep) period to start! I can't take this spotting anymore! I just want to start and get on with the next cycle!" To which he optimistically (wow, I love this guy) noted that I had never wanted my period to start, which was another different thing about this cycle, so maybe that in itself was a good sign. Sigh.

I think I'll probably start sometime in the next 24 hours. I don't know how much longer I can just willy nilly keep wandering around trying to figure out what God would have us do without any affirmation/rejection from Him of any of whatever we're doing.

Continued (more)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I opened my eyes this morning and felt some mild cramps. Great, I thought. Godddddddddddd, don't You know how deflated my heart is going to be when I go to the bathroom and see the blood? This weekend, Lord?! When will You have mercy on my heart about this? I don't even want to get up because I don't want it to be CD1, but I guess the faster I get out of bed the faster I can get it over with...

I get up, drag myself to the bathroom, and guess what? No blood! Not even spotting! I was floored. After my walk with Banana though, I am again having light and pink/peach spotting. I just do not know what to think. The level of spotting is way less (so far) than my other episode of it, but I just have a hard time thinking that I could be pregnant... because where is this spotting coming from if I am? I know that "they say" that like 30% of women experience spotting in pregnancy, but I don't get it.

I just wish that if AF is coming she would show today so I can mow the other half of the yard with gusto and attack the weeds in the flower bed & veggie garden without worrying about the spotting. Ho hum.

The cramps have not returned since when I had them early this morning. What is going on?!


So I decided that God would probably not want me to sit in my recliner all day on this beautiful day, whether I'm pregnant or not. Although I am tempted to want to sit still and not do anything because I am so annoyed/worried about the spotting, I can't imagine that a little low-key gardening is going to make baby jump ship. And I can't imagine that God would have me halt all my favorite hobbies just because He may or may not have blessed us with a little one. SO, I went out and weeded our flower bed, and it looks great now. My parents are visiting this Thursday, and I'm excited that so many of my perennials are in bloom.

Other than the spotting, I have just had some waves of hunger and am currently feeling pretty heavy/tired, but that could be from the weeding activity earlier. Bah!


Friday, May 08, 2009

Oh for pete's sake. Spotting?! Seriously?!

Yesterday from about 10am to about 5pm, I spotted light and pink and it never made it to the liner I had on. Since 5pm yesterday, I haven't had any more.

Oh for pete's sake. It is not lost on me that my whole prayer yesterday was for direction, and then I get this 7 hour bout of spotting. Hmm.

I have only had one other episode of spotting in my entire life- in Feb of this year from about 7dpo continuously until my period came- when my gut and heart tell me that we lost our first baby, but the beta was negative after a good amount of bleeding/passing of clots and stuff, so we'll never really know the whole story. Mr. A suspects that any miscarriage that happened could have been due to a very severe illness in our family and the extreme stress related thereto (I was intimately involved for caring for the afflicted family member's family), so he is not discouraged by the spotting situation yesterday! I think my optimism has been contagious...

ANYWAY, I have conclusively decided that anyone who characteristically spots every.single.cycle should be given some sanity award or something. I am about to lose my mind and move to the looney bin! A friend of mine is at the end of her 2ww, and she said she has been spotting for over a week! WHA?

I am praying for our hypothetical baby for whom we have waited for so long! I know that I should.not.assume that it was implantation spotting, so for that reason I have held off on ordering nursery furniture. Heh heh.

I should also add that I was going to mow half our yard today since it is a foot and a half tall thanks to the 11 inches of rain we've gotten in the past week (okay, so maybe I exaggerate the numbers a little...), but now I am nervous to mow the yard for fear of more spotting or hurting the hypothetical baby! Oh for pete's sake.

God be with me!

(Can I suggest that God might be a smarta.....smarty pants? He is up there saying "Oh, you didn't want to start on Mother's Day? Oh, okay, how about two days before?" Aaaaaah!)

**Update: Today I had even less light and pink/peach-ish spotting from 9am to 5pm. What, does this baby only work during the day? Hahahaha....Am I delusional or what?!

Asking for Directions

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I am 10dpo, and I think it's the toughest point in my cycle. I certainly don't feel like I'm pregnant...no gagging at the thought of food, no red alert button on my stomach to light up when implantation happens (wouldn't that be great...haha), no nothing, except that I've been tired in the evenings, but that happens every cycle, so that is not exactly anything to write home about.

I am fighting worry and sadness about CD1 on Mother's Day.

Last night I prayed and prayed that God would give us some kind of direction. I mean, even if it means getting a phone call from my doctor: "I'm sorry, A, but somehow we missed the fact that you don't have a uterus and so there is literally no way you can ever get pregnant!"

Now there, that would be some direction!!!

I had prayed in January that if we were meant to adopt that God would provide some kind of financial boost in our tax refund (several things have changed in the last year that caused us to not be sure of what our refund would be), but since we got peanuts, I took that to mean that perhaps we would not be called to adopt. (There I go, (mis?)interpreting God's messages to me again?!)

I am just begging for some kind of road map!

I think these lyrics by Third Day (song: Revelation, album: Revelation) capture exactly how I'm feeling today!

My life,
Has led me down the road that's so uncertain
And now I am left alone and I am broken,
Trying to find my way,
Trying to find the faith that's gone
This time,
I know that you are holding all the answers
I'm tired of losing hope and taking chances,
On roads that never seem,
To be the ones that bring me home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way,
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without You
I've got nothing without You

My life,
Has led me down this path that's ever winding
Through every twist and turn I'm always finding,
That I am lost again (I am lost again)
Tell me when this road will ever end

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way,
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without You
I've got nothing without...

I don't know where I can turn
Tell me when will I learn
Won't You show me where I need to go
Oh oh
Let me follow Your lead,
I know that it's the only way that I can get back home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I've been trying to find my way,
I haven't got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I've got nothing without You
I've got nothing without You

Oh, give me a revelation...

I've got nothing without You
I've got nothing without You

Having another piece of cake (or not?)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Now that I mentioned cake, is your interest piqued? Haha. It will be a few paragraphs before I get to the cake part...

Can I reconcile surrendering with feeling shocked or left behind (or I guess, if I'm being honest... a teensy eesny meesy bit envious or jealous? *gasp*) when someone announces that they're pregnant? Am I allowed to claim that I surrender this longing to God and several days later feel the air go out of me when I open an email that announces an unexpected pregnancy?

To be correct, I looked up the definition of surrender and here's what I got: to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield. Yep, that is what I want to do with this big ol' infertility situation- but if I claim to have surrendered, what kinds of things am I entitled to feel regarding what I have "given up"? Is it hypocritical of me to say I have surrendered and still blurt out "her, too?!"?

If I were to meet myself and hear for the first time what I'm thinking, I think I would say "yes, A, it is sort of hypocritical (on its face) to say that you have surrendered and still whine about what you have supposedly given up. After all, you can't have your cake and eat it, too." Yikes.

(Here comes the cake!)

My sister B has really awesome perspectives. A couple of years ago, we were all sitting around talking about this phrase you can't have your cake and eat it, too. She does not get it whatsoever. She thinks for it to make sense for what people use it to mean, it definitely needs to be reworked because, technically, you can have your cake and eat it, as long as you are okay with not having any cake after you eat it. Get it? And, to this day, all of us still tease her about her take on this saying! I will be her maid of honor at her wedding (someday in the future), and it is my pledge to work this into my toast!! So, here is what she suggests to be more appropriate:
  • You can't have had your cake and eat it, too.
  • You can't have another piece of cake.
So, for example, the first alteration clearly establishes that if you have already had your cake (so it is gone), you can't eat it (after it's gone). Translation to real life, if I have already given up my longing for a baby (so it is hypothetically gone), I can't claim to be longing for a baby.

I guess in my real life translation, cake turns out to be a bad thing! Eek!

The second alteration (which is the one all of us think is the more hilarious of the two alterations), really identifies that you can't have two things. So, in my real life, I can't profess to have the mindset of surrender and the mindset of fretting about my infertility.

After thinking about this popular saying and how it may (or may not) relate to infertility, I've come to the conclusion that it's a little harsh to be a objective standard for us, but it should make us stop and think about how what we are saying is matching up with what we are doing. In other words, I think it is nearly impossible (even after professing my surrender!) to sever myself from all of the emotions that come after hearing of a new pregnancy, because, let's face it, I'm human and I'm weak. BUT, if I am saying I have surrendered my longing for a baby to God, that should mean that I'm 100% surrendered. Jesus did not commend His spirit into God's hands, on the condition that God would not let Him feel any pain. (Side note: It is interesting to think about that on another level because of course Jesus did feel pain after surrendering, but I don't think he whined about it.) So the analogy goes (of course I don't think I can really be comparing myself to Jesus, can I?!?!), I will still feel pain from infertility, but should I be whining about it?

(I realize what I'm writing is sort of an answer I don't want to hear, but I continue on nonetheless!! )

So what should happen (if I am properly surrendered and have my first piece of cake), I should offer up, 100%, whatever fills my brain so that God can put a positive spin on it and send it hurtling back to me on His grace information superhighway. I should not let any wallowing or why me-ing or darnit-ing trouble me for any period of time because God is waiting up there to heal me of this hurt.

This is a tough conclusion I have come to. Drat, I feel a spiritual workout coming on... I will be sore tomorrow!

Although having several piece of cake seems like what we humans have to settle for because of our emotional weaknesses and our tendencies to not let things go and to want to be in control, it would be good for me to challenge myself to only have one piece of cake: to really surrender, to give myself up into the power of God.

Who knows. Maybe God will use my meek beginnings as the flour and baking po.wder of some great and beautiful confection that defies all popular-saying logic!!

Eternal Optimist

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I have had this comic on our refrigerator door for as long as I can remember. In the midst of cartoon hell, complete with little devils with pitchforks and a whole population of frowny-faced people, there is one person whose head is a yellow smiley face. The caption: Eternal Optimist.

That's me in a nutshell!

I feel like this is a blessing and more often that not, one of the things that keeps me going. Of course there are days when I am down about waiting (ahem, beginning of a new cycle...), but most often even on cycle day two, I can (usually) convince myself to recognize the new opportunities that the new cycle holds. Sometimes though, being an eternal optimist makes me feel silly and oblivious and naive, especially when it comes to trying to conceive. Two questions whose answer I am constantly search for are: How can I reconcile my optimism with the pain and hurt and rejection that I feel due to our lack of children? and How do I identify with others on this road without seeming like I've lost my mind because I am always looking on the bright side? I think each of these questions could sustain their own post!

I had an acquaintance who was also going through infertility who was fairly bitter about her situation. Here comes me, skipping down the "hope for this and hope for that" and "maybe this is our month" lane every.single.cycle. Eventually, she just began to plain ol' ignore my optimism! I knew she wasn't so optimistic, but can't I be anyway? I think she was trying to save me from myself! No matter what her motives, ignoring my sentiments (no matter how crazy hopeful) kind of hurt my feelings (do I sound like I'm in middle school or what?!). However sophomoric (do I get an award for using good vocab?) it may seem, I thought it was fairly judgmental of her to decide for herself that my hope wasn't valid since she had none left.

As I have said several times, last cycle was rough. And true to form, I was so optimistic and hopeful...I thought God could not possibly ask me to continue to carry my cross by bringing CD1 on Easter, and therefore, since the alternative was a + HPT, I was preparing myself to see "Pregnant" on my digital test. Mr. A is really supportive of my hopefulness, but he is sad for me when it all comes crashing down. When we were talking about it after this current cycle had started, he gave me some great advice. "Hoping and being optimistic is fine, but you can't convince yourself it is the reality, because then when it's not reality, you're devastated." I am so thankful for his insight!! Even though it might seem normally logical, when I get in my optimistic mode, there are logic-blinders involved. Just because of my nature, I am easily led to hoping, and it is easy for me to be tempted into convincing myself that whatever I'm hoping for just has to be actually happening. Mr. A's words are among the things I have been trying to focus on this two week wait. I can hope and be optimistic all I want as long as I don't convince myself that it's reality. (Until I take a HPT on Mother's Day morning and it's blaringly positive and I can go get the onesie I have stashed in my closet to surprise Mr. A when he gets up for church....oops, er...haha....there I go with the letting my daydreams run away with myself again!!)

Don't get me wrong...some days I am surprised that I still have hope left in me. Some days being an optimist is really hard. Just had to add that, lest you think that my whole struggle with infertiliy has been all peaches and cream!!

But I'd like to think that God sprinkled in a few eternal optimists to those of us whom He has chosen for infertility's path in order to help anyone who is struggling get back on their feet. I will encourage and build up anyone I know who needs a boost, even if I'm having a tough time, because doing so gives me a boost back in the right direction, too! I think humans feed off each other, and since I'm feasting on an endless bowl of optimism ice cream, I might as well invite others to the party!

Mother's Day commercial (and Ball of String)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I am not specifically endorsing 18.00 flowers dot com, but I have to say in the midst of all the other mother's day onslaught, I am so appreciative of their commercial that recognizes "dog moms" in addition to the traditional moms, that I almost want to write them a thank-you letter!

"Every mom counts"... LOVE IT!!!

Ball of string

Banana has a newfound obsession with cardboard, and in her quest for more, while we were talking on the deck last night, she descended upon the ball of string (and cardboard inner) that we were using to tie up our pea plants in the garden yesterday. Of course she did not delicately unwind the string, and this is what we found:

So this afternoon I decided that I was not simply going to give up on this mangled, tangled mess of perfectly good string. I was going to unwind all of it and rewind it on an empty cardboard roll. Mr. A declared it impossible! It could never be done, and 5 hours from then I would be pulling my hair out and giving up!

Bah, I was not deterred!

So on the couch I sat with my empty cardboard roll and this mess of string. I found one end and attached it to the roll. The first few minutes went by relatively easily, but then I found myself facing a serious tangle. Then I saw the other end of the string and thought maybe it would be good to work at it from that end! But then I ran into a tangle with the other end and went back to the first end attached to the roll... Oh dear...

As I went about my untangling and rewinding, I was thinking that the knotted and seemingly all-for-not pile of string reminded me of how I feel our longing for a baby might look in picture form. At the outset, it looks hopeless. Then after some attention, things seem to get going in the right direction. Here comes a knot and progress slams to a halt. How can I get out of this bind? Ah-ha, somehow after some string-wiggling and patience, the untangling seems to be on the right track again. Smooth sailing ensues and, oh goodness, can I really be almost finished? I knew it could be done!

For whatever reason, God has placed some tangles in our string to our first baby. We are slowly but surely trying to have patience while working through the knots. He knows how we can untie the binds. We'll take a deep breath and keep the faith that it will be done.

Days like today...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

...should happen more often!!

I have done the following:
  • made an awesome breakfast for me and Mr. A
  • got to visit the garden store for corn seeds and also to scope out perennial seeds for my only-remaining empty flower spot
  • picked out hollyh.ock and coreo.psis seeds
  • cut back dead bush as much as I could without Mr. A's help (he'll help me when he gets home from an errand)
  • weeded/prepared empty flower spot
  • planted seeds
  • transplanted 3 poppy plants that were just not thriving where they were- hope they like the new spot!
  • spread some of our compost on our veggie garden
  • made cherry pie from scratch
  • started to thaw meat for dinner
I am about to:
  • sort laundry, put in first load
  • go outside and read my book in the hammock
All the windows are open and it smells like fresh cherry pie in here- life is good!

After the fact

Friday, May 01, 2009

I was talking with one of my previous supervisors yesterday with whom I have a great friendly rapport. We hadn't talked in a while, so he was eager to learn of what was "new" with me, and when I told him there wasn't really anything "new", he was baffled! How could there not be anything new?! Aren't I an almost-30 married chick? Isn't there anything cool and new going on?


Even if you consider our recent camping trip which was awesome, or Mr. A's brother's college graduation in 2 weeks that we are travelling to, or the trip to the beach in June with Mr. A's family, or the trip to my cousin's wedding in mid-June, that is not the kind of new thing that people expect to hear from an almost-30 married girl.

He goes: "No additions to the house? No additions to the family?"


This is where my title starts to come into play. I racked my brain at that moment to think of something witty or funny or at least placating to say, but I came up with nothing in the however-many milliseconds followed his comment. So I just said nothing and let the question and associated silence awkwardness hang out for a while. He is a very nice guy, and I wouldn't at all mind telling him we're hoping, praying, begging, pleading, longing, asking, etc. for an addition to the family, but there's a time and a place for everything, right? And at 4:56pm on a Thursday when he's about to leave work is not exactly the time to launch into that, I didn't think.

He continued: "How old are you? Almost 30? WOW. At that age, I had two kids!"


(Repeat paragraph above about silence awkwardness.)

He is not the type of person I could be angry about these types of comments- I am sure he'd be the first one to be compassionate if he knew what was going on- so I did not exactly hang up on him and run bawling into the bathroom. But I just wish I had something better to say in situations like this than nothing.

Of course, on my walk with Banana, I came up with some good ideas, naturally, after the fact: "Wow, you are lucky to have had two kids by my age!" or "Maybe soon" (the lamer of the two ideas!). But I can't exactly call him back today and lay this one-liner on him now! Ha! Maybe I should have asked him if he'd heard about National Infertility Awareness Week. Nah, too blunt (for his particular character).

I don't think there is any way those of us struggling with infertility can avoid having this situation happen to us. At some point, someone who we haven't talked to in a while will want to know if there's anything new with us, and mean in no uncertain terms, are you having a kid yet? Grace in my Heart has crafted a really clear, sensitive, and compassionate new answer for herself and her hubby, since they are pursuing adoption. For those of us who aren't in that pool yet, we have less concrete status identifiers! I think I have identified another positive character trait that is being sharpened in me right now- quick thinking on my feet!!

I will let you know if I come up with something better than "Not yet", or if I will just continue to be speechless at the question until some time later when a zinger comes to mind!