daily art · Infertility · Resolution update · trying to conceive

Resolutions update week 4

Before I summarize…

1 Wednesday was just one of those bad days. Felt pretty discouraged and depressed and sad. My blog post about sympathy and empathy was definitely on the whiny/pity party side. But husband helped me work through it (again) and I’ve been feeling a little better.

2 Brother got married yesterday; so I didn’t get most of my goals done yesterday (or Friday-helping set up, traveling, etc). (Aside: she is using an IUD for birth control, so let’s just say if she gets pregnant before we do, I’m going to be super annoyed *shrug*

Since 1/4/19 (8 days)

  • Bible reading: every day
  • thankfuls: every day
  • reading: 6 of 8
  • creative: 6 of 8. (photo session with cousins, photo editing, multiple paintings in one day (so that covers my missed days), designed a couple personalized burp cloths, wrote a blog post, and did another watercolor)
  • cleaning; 7 of 8
  • yoga or walking: 5 of 8; missed two in a row over the weekend
  • piano: 3 of 8
  • date/activity with husband: dinner out on Sunday; art night at home on Monday.
  • jigsaw puzzle: no
  • blog update: done

So overall not too bad in light of the above notes (and the bachelorette party on the 5th). I keep missing the jigsaw puzzle (I just don’t have as much down time as I expected) and I’m not keeping up with my ‘every other day’ activities very well. Also drank my quart of water every day, and overall managing to eat very healthily.

TTC update. While I’m not tracking (and trying unsuccessfully not to keep thinking about it, though it is more manageable for the most part); I do think that there’s a good chance I ovulated around the 4th between the few signs that I noticed without even looking for them. If so, I guess that means I should expect AF by the end of this week or the beginning of next…so I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait til February to test (assuming she doesn’t show). We’ll see. 

appointed time · Infertility · journal entry · trying to conceive

On bitterness

I found something out this week that made me feel very bitter. I had to have a long talk with God about it to even start to come to a place where I can be at peace with the situation. In the event that this blog somehow does not remain anonymous I cannot share any more than that. I wish I could, but what I found out is not my story to tell. I’ll touch on that again at the end of the post.

I went through the list of things I know to be true; then proceeded to have it out with God for the ‘unfairness’ of it all (which turned into a general meltdown about being so worn out from this journey of infertility and just crying out that frustration and pain). Then I cycled back to the initial truths and let them ruminate a little, and this is what it boils down to.

1) Blessings from God are not dependent on our behavior. Thank goodness for that; if it was, none of us would have anything good. We’re all pretty broken and rotten…my very bitterness and negativity already merit some degree of punishment. We may not understand why God chooses to give blessings to certain people who have done ______, and we may not understand why God doesn’t give us certain blessings when we have done ______, but at the end of the day; any blessing we are given is God showing his grace to us.

And I of all people should know that to be true. I was ashamed to realize that if it came down to not deserving something because of a previous action or decision…I should not be married right now. I rushed into my first marriage, disregarded my parent’s wisdom, and ended up getting divorced. Yet I got a second chance, I was given so much grace…and have been blissfully married for 17 months to a man who is everything I could have ever imagined. But some people, especially those who may still be waiting on their first love, may look at my story and think, “seriously? She gets that? Look what she did!”

2) I am only living in my story. I don’t get to know all the details of everyone else’s. I kept thinking of something Aslan says to Shasta in the Chronicles of Narnia…in fact, it’s so succinct and appropriate that I probably won’t even say much else. Shasta wants to know why Aslan wounded Aravis earlier in the story, this is the response. I imagine he says this very gently and kindly, but also in a no-nonsense, firm tone.

“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”

And honestly, we won’t even get to know all of our story until it’s done. How silly am I to think that I would ever be given the inside scoop on someone else’s. I can’t know what’s going on inside their heads or hearts; and I am not privy to what God is choosing to work on in their lives. If I truly believe that his timing is perfect, that doesn’t just apply to my story.

So I’m trying to let the bitterness go. I’m trying to rest in how God showered blessings on me when I didn’t deserve them, and letting him gently but firmly remind me that he doesn’t tell me any story but mine.

Infertility · Resolution update

Resolutions update week 3

I won’t have time tomorrow (future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party all day), so here’s my update for this week so far.

Today I may have just taken a break…was up late last night for work and just needed to veg out a bit after the last few weeks of work overall…so today’s data will impair my results a bit. Oh well.

  • bible reading: every day
  • reading: every day. Mostly the new book I got (Empty Womb, Aching Heart), one of the days it was a CEU lesson for my license renewal. *shrug*
  • cleaning: every day.
  • creative: see yesterday’s post for my art projects. Today I think I’m just going to skip but maybe I’ll color a little later while I watch Netflix
  • thankfuls: every day
  • piano: 4 of 6 days
  • yoga/walk: 3 of 6 days. Skipping today because I’m tired (see above) and tomorrow part of the bachelorette party is a yoga lesson in the park so I figure that double counts
  • puzzle: done
  • date night/activity: dinner out on Sunday night, game night with him and family on Monday night
  • blog update: done
  • drank 1 quart of water every day

And while I’m not tracking this cycle (and yes, I still think about it all the time but it’s been manageable so far with all the activities to distract me…), I did notice a gush of watery mucus today and I’m about 3 weeks in which is when I’m usually in my window. So here’s hoping. I may not be able to wait until the end of January though if I am indeed a day or two away from ovulation.

family · Infertility

On family

I ordered a book a few weeks ago that finally arrived the other day and I’ve basically just been inhaling it; it’s got short chapters so it’s hard to not just go on to the next and the next even though I should probably let each one ruminate for a while. The downside of being a fast reader *shrug*.

Anyway, the book is “Empty Womb, Aching Heart,” and it has stories and reflections from multiple women (or couples) who have struggled with infertility. Once I finish my first read I’ll probably go back and take each chapter a bit slower and write down the takeaway/lesson/attitude adjustment technique in each one…future blog post, perhaps?

One of the chapters especially jumped out to me yesterday. The writer was reflecting on how hard it is to be childless in a church community that is centered around the “family,” family ministry/resources/events were all geared towards the typical parents/children structure.

She went on to share that she taught a Sunday school lesson on the 6th day of creation; and the children drew pictures of animals and then Adam and Eve on a large piece of butcher paper. She told them that this was the point at which God said it was “very good,” and then rested. One of the little girls pointed out that there weren’t any children in the drawing.

“No children, not yet…and still God called it very good. Not….’good-but-it-would-be-better-if…’ After he made man and woman, he proclaimed his work finished. It was complete. They were complete.” 

She comes to realize that a family is not formed once children arrive. The family of two is just as valuable, just as complete.

And she closes the chapter with her new response to those prying “when are you going to start a family” questions. Her answer is essentially this:

“We already have. We’re just waiting to see if God chooses to add to it or not.” (my edit)

-quotes and paraphrases taken from Empty Womb, Aching Heart (chapter 10); book compiled by Marlo Schalesky

Infertility · iui · Resolution update · trying to conceive

Resolutions update post 2

First off; a couple emotions/thoughts from the Christmas week related to TTC.

  • Got a bit emotional after Christmas morning with husband’s family. Sister-in-law is so dramatic about her pregnancy (this is the one that was also TTC and ever since getting pregnant has basically forgotten about our journey)…plus I just miss her and I miss having that friendship but I just don’t even want to talk to her right now and I don’t like that I don’t want to talk to her and being around her without talking to her is just hard. And I also couldn’t help but remember that fact that this is now the second Christmas in a row that she’s been blissfully pregnant (granted, they found out two days after Christmas last year that the baby hadn’t developed…but still) and I’m over here waiting.
  • -I really don’t mind sharing our journey with friends or family. I’m happy to tell people where we’re at and what’s going on when people who know we are struggling ask. But I felt the sting today of being judged and given unsolicited advice….I was telling one of my cousins that we are going to be moving forward with a medicated IUI cycle if nothing happens this month and her response was “you really should consider seeing a naturopathic doctor, they usually test for things that a regular doctor won’t and maybe they could get you on some vitamins or supplements that would help.” This is coming from someone who was TTC for a year and a half. I’m sorry. She should know better how annoying it is to be told all the ways in which you clearly aren’t doing enough.

As for resolutions. It’s been a bit tricky this week with the holiday and going away for a couple scattered overnights; I had very little down time…but I did the best I could.

  • Read the Bible every day
  • Read something every day except Wednesday when I was out of town: Anne of Ingleside mostly
  • Creative: struggled a bit. Edited my short story, took more photos, and then I got a mixed media art set for Christmas so yesterday and today I did some watercolor experimentation
  • Thankfuls: every day.
  • Cleaning/home maintenance: fudged this a few days (counted taking a shower one of the days as ‘cleaning myself’), and used ‘clean up clutter’ several times
  • Yoga/walking: eek. One out of seven days.
  • Piano: Two out of seven days.
  • Dates/activities: Do all the Christmas festivities count?
  • Puzzle: worked on one the other night with mom/sister

Now things are back to normal (we don’t do much for New Year’s Eve) so I will get back on track with all this; and back to eating healthy again starting tomorrow. But I did drink my full quart of water every day this week as well.

Infertility · Resolution update

Resolutions update post 1

This is going to be super short since I’m on call this weekend for hospice and no joke; worst on-call weekend so far. There’s supposed to be an RN and and LVN on call on weekends; the RN to do any visits that are scheduled as “daily RN” and admissions, the LVN to assist with the as needed visits that inadvertently happen. The LVN called off and no replacement was found. So it’s just me…for 67 patients…for 60 hours. I started at 7:15am, got home at 4 pm…and still have the potential to get called out at any time.

Anyway. Enough of that. So much for a short post. *shrug*

All that to say; as far as my resolution project, with the exception of yesterday and today (because I literally have had no down time since yesterday morning), I have been doing very well.

*read the Bible: every day

*other reading: Anne of Green Gables book 5, started book 6; attempted to read “Go Set A Watchman” but gave up (didn’t like it), John Donne

*cleaned something/did house-maintaining activities: every day

*creative enterprises: photography twice, blog post, a poem, a short story, and doodling

*thankfuls: every day.

*dates: photo taking date in LA, looking at Christmas lights

*piano: 3 of 7 days

*yoga: 4 of 7 days

*puzzle: didn’t happen. Hopefully next week.

*blog check in: done

Also: I drank at least 1 quart of water every day, and managed to avoid for the most part too many snack/junk foods (though one of my patient’s families baked me a bag of Christmas goodies so how could I not?). I’m also proud of myself for making a super healthy/fertility boosting trail mix that I’ve snacked on all week instead of junk food; as well as juicing/making smoothies to supplement my diet during the week.

With the exception of yesterday and today: doing very well at this project! *pats self on back*

Now to go try to sleep a little more before I get called out again.

 

how to · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

Resolved

Aunt Flo arrived today in all her unwelcome glory. I knew she was coming between the negative test at 12 dpo and a temp drop when I woke up. So I spent the morning between my hospice visits fighting back tears of disappointment and frustration and anger and longing and aching.

Then, somehow, it abated. Just like every cycle, hope begins to rebirth. I allow the grief to do it’s thing, then in his grace God reminds me that he is still faithful. I couldn’t even explain what did it this time. I didn’t even recognize it when it happened. Just, suddenly, I wasn’t overwhelmed by sadness.

I’ve (almost) decided that this upcoming cycle…our last one before we pursue assisted reproductive methods (IUI)…should be one without the pressure of tracking. I was initially so desperate to catch our fertile window, so hung up on knowing when I ovulated to know when I could test. I didn’t do well before with not tracking. But I think I can do it one more time. I think, for the health of my marriage and my own spiritual growth I need to let it all go and just be. We will do life, be intimate, enjoy each other…and if I haven’t started my period by February 1st, I’ll take a test. If I have, then we’ll proceed with IUI. Simple.

And to keep myself distracted, to productively fill the time, and to recognize what it can look like to enjoy my life in this child-free time…here are my “resolves” for the next 7 weeks. This blog space will be my accountability. I’ll try to check in at least once a week with updates on how well I’m doing. The list is long but some of the things could take as little as 5 minutes so it’s not really all that much. I’m even going to put the list on my refrigerator.

  • read my Bible: every day
  • read at least a chapter from a book: every day. (maybe I’ll resume my ‘alphabetical by author progression through my book collection. I’m somewhere in the D’s)
  • yoga or walk: at least every other day
  • something creative (drawing or other art, coloring, photography, scrapbooking, writing): every day
  • play the piano: at least every other day
  • clean something: every day. (will probably make a schedule for this)
  • intentional date night or memory-making activity with husband: at least once a week
  • do a jigsaw puzzle: at least once a week
  • list 5 things I’m thankful for: every day

Here’s to making this cycle the best one yet.

Infertility · iui · journal entry · trying to conceive

3 months

Pregnancy test at the fertility clinic today was negative. I was so hopeful, and once again bitterly disappointed. I know I’m not out til AF shows…and as someone on one of my apps pointed out, my temps indicate I may have ovulated even later than I thought which means I could only be 6 dpo instead of 12. Guess we’ll see.

Regardless, I came home tearful. Husband actually came home encouraged; I should have been too but I got distracted by the one negative (that wasn’t even what we went for!). The doctor went over all our results, and as we originally thought…there’s nothing glaringly wrong. She wasn’t concerned by my high AMH (as I have very few other indicators that PCOS is a likely diagnosis), and while she wasn’t thrilled by all of husband’s numbers, she didn’t indicate that anything needed to be done about them (yet).

She outlined the plan for starting a timed/medicated IUI cycle…which we can do as early as my first period that starts in the new year. Due to my current cycle status, if AF shows in a day or two they can’t start with the upcoming cycle as that would put the actual IUI procedure right around Christmas.

I’m still a bit hopeful that this cycle was it…also hopeful that in light of all the good numbers and having had the HSG in November that maybe the next cycle will be successful…but if not, I guess we move forward with some assistance. And since IUI boosts our chances quite a bit…husband is feeling sure that we’ll be pregnant within 3 months.

So he let me have my meltdown tonight, and then essentially promised that if we aren’t pregnant within 3 months (after a round of IUI if necessary), we’ll go away for a weekend and have a meltdown together.

Oddly enough, that helped me feel a little better. For my own sanity, it’s not that long to be ‘strong’ if we get a couple more negatives. And it makes me feel less alone to know that he’s seeing a point in time at which he might also be broken by this for his own sake and not just mine. Not that I want him to be broken by this…but there’s a strange comfort and strength in being broken together.

 

Uncategorized

Always Good

Do you remember how Mary was grieving?
How you wept and she fell at your feet?
If it’s true that you know what I’m feeling
Could it be that you’re weeping with me?
Arise, O Lord, and save me
There’s nowhere else to go

You’re always good, always good
Somehow this sorrow is shaping my heart like it should
And You’re always good, always good

It’s so hard to know what you’re doing
So why won’t you tell it all plain?
But you said you’d come back on the third day
And Peter missed it again and again
So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see

You’re always good, always good
This heartache is moving me closer than joy ever could
And You’re always good

My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if you can hear me
Please help your child to know

That you’re always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant to be understood
Will you help us to trust your intentions for us are still good?
‘Cause you laid down your life and you suffered like I never could

And you’re always good, always good
you’re always good, always good

appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive

On an infertility consult: part 2

My husband was a lot more overwhelmed by our experience at the infertility clinic yesterday. He was much less prepared for the invasive/personal questions, the rapidity with which we moved forward with testing, and the unfamiliarity of all the medical (and infertility) terminology.

Once we got home and he’d had a chance to process a little bit…in addition to sharing the above he went on to express some of his emotions. The most prominent theme was sadness and burden. After all, this is not how babies are supposed to be made. It’s supposed to be fun and romantic and the result of two people’s love for each other. Turning it into a science experiment (IVF)…or even just removing the component of intimacy (IUI) just feels…sad.

There was also a heaviness on his heart in general that this has been something I have focused so much on (ouch!). He expressed missing the times when we just spent time together and enjoyed being us…when every conversation didn’t revolve around having/making a baby…and when having sex was only meant for fun and romance. He expressed sadness at watching my cycle of emotions every month. He has verbalized this before but somehow it felt deeper last night; and in light of suddenly being realistically presented with these new options for conceiving a baby….I suddenly felt as though I have to a degree forced us to this point.

Thankfully he puts no burden of blame on me. He just wants me to know how he feels. We were (ultimately) able to have a good conversation about these emotions, and we prayed together last night which was really helpful for both of us. I will try to let go (again) of the excessive tracking and work on my trusting…and hopefully have a good month of just enjoying each other.

And while we likely will have some decisions to make in the next couple weeks…if everything comes back normal I think we will both be on the same page with waiting a little longer for God to bless us with this in his timing and praying we will have the privilege of making a baby without any assistance.

But if we end up requiring medical and scientific interventions at some point in the future, I will be infinitely grateful that we have these as options. I just so deeply wish that it didn’t have to be this way for anybody.