Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loss

What does this word mean in the IF community?
It means the loss of hope, dreams, and peace.  For some it even means the loss of the life of their child.
Often these losses put us at a loss for understanding, and create a state of shock, or confusion.

In this community it seems there are always so many highs and lows of emotions.  Some people are finding out they are pregnant, others are experiencing a negative beta.  Some are adopting or giving birth, while others are miscarrying.  It is a cruel world sometimes.  You can see the breadth of it on the stirrup queens lost and found connections abound link 

We have all experienced loss to some degree, but at this time one of my sweet friends Rebecca has experienced an unimaginable loss.  Her beautiful baby girl Lillian Grace “left this world as quickly as she came” at 22 wks and 6 days.  Please let her know of your love for her during this difficult time in her life.  

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jumbled Up Thoughts

This week I was reflecting a lot on my relationship with God and my thoughts on prayer.  I had a lot of different thoughts, and I will see if I can effectively summarize them.

Typically it is just when I start to think things are going pretty well, and I am emotionally and spiritually back to where I was before all of this craziness with infertility started is when I fall back on my face and realize that there is no going back to what I was like before infertility.  There is only going forward.  And I can choose to go forward in faith or I can choose to simply go forward without it. 

On Friday I happened to catch a few minutes of Dennis Prager on talk radio.   He was talking to a lady that whose sister had died a premature death.  Her belief in prayer was now being threatened.  Dennis Prager brought up some good points.  He asked her “When you have heard of the millions upon millions who died prematurely [before]…how did you reconcile that with your faith?”  She responded that she “accepted it as a part of life, and honestly doesn’t know”.  Prager then stated that a “very big mistake within major religions… is to assume that our requests will be answered.  In the vast majority of instances, God says no.”  To which I would reply—"No" is an answer, just not the one we were hoping for.  Which doesn’t necessarily help me feel any better, and occasionally makes me feel bitter.   

He then went on to give another example of how a lady called him up one day and informed him that she now believed in capital punishment for murder.  This was not due to anything he had said to convince her, but due to the fact that her brother had been murdered. 

When I heard this, I knew I was in the same situation—my relationship with God and feeling about prayer was being threatened due to my negative feelings with infertility.  When others dealt with infertility or loss, I was so na├»ve about what they were going through and accepted it as part of the trials in life.  But now that I was STILL going through it, it wasn’t so easy to brush away.  Would I lose my faith over it?  That was the question.

At times I have accepted God’s will, at times I have been angry, and at this point in time I was tired and confused.  Would I now after everything turn my back on God because in my weakness to accept His will it seemed like He had turned on me?  I would be the one to lose in a battle against God.  That much I knew.  I fully believe in the doctrine of my religion and I had made a commitment to myself and to God that I would act accordingly to these doctrines.  So who would be the liar and go back on their promises now?  It would be me.  And if I faltered, then God would be off the hook.  It’s crazy the way my mind thinks.  God can do whatever He wants, who was I to force His hand?  I knew that wouldn’t work. 

And on top of all this, I was having a problem with prayer, again.

Going back to Dennis Prager, in his radio broadcast he continued by saying that when we pray “we shouldn’t say please give me X, Y, and Z,” instead we should say, “because I believe in you and love you, I would like you to know what I would like.”   

All that my mind registered from hearing that was “since God typically says no, why am I bothering to ask Him for help?”  Also the phrase:  “unmet expectations create frustrations” came to my mind.  I thought, "that was my problem—I was expecting God to help me, and when He wasn’t, I was feeling frustrated."  So my solution was to not ask for His help.  I began to pray again, and didn’t ask for anything, but I was still feeling frustrated and upset.  I think it was because I didn't believe He would help me if I asked.  
On Sunday I was poking around on my church’s website and ended up reading a talk by Rex Pinnegar about prayer.  (“Peace through Prayer,” Ensign, May 1993,  65 )  Peace through Prayer
This was the part I especially liked:
There is terrible suffering in our world today. Tragic things happen to good people. God does not cause them, nor does He always prevent them. He does, however, strengthen us and bless us with His peace, through earnest prayer.
“It is not the usual purpose of prayer to serve us like Aladdin’s lamp, to bring us ease without effort,” Elder Richard L. Evans wrote. “Prayer is not a matter of asking only. It should not be always as the beggar’s upturned hand. Often the purpose of prayer is to give us strength to do what needs to be done, wisdom to see the way to solve our own problems, and ability to do our best in our tasks.
“We need to pray … for strength to endure, for faith and fortitude to face what sometimes must be faced.” (The Man and the Message, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973, p. 289.)
It was the Lord himself who taught us by His own example how to find peace when the answers we receive are not what we asked for. On the eve of His crucifixion, with “soul … exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” Jesus knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed to the Father, saying, “O my Father, if it be possible [and he acknowledged ‘all things are possible unto thee’], let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:38–39; see also Mark 14:36.)
We can only try to imagine the anguish the Savior felt when we read in the Gospels that He was “sore amazed and very heavy” (Mark 14:33), that He “fell on his face” and prayed not once, but a second time, and then a third (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). “Father, if thou be willing remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42.)
We cannot imagine the anguish of a loving Father, who, knowing what had to be done, accepted His Beloved Son’s willingness to suffer for all mankind. In this agony Christ was not left alone. As if the Father were saying, “I cannot take it from you, but I can and will send you strength and peace,” “there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:43.)
If we, like the Savior, have the faith to put our trust in our Father in Heaven, to submit to His will, the true spirit of peace will come as a witness and strength that He has heard and answered our prayers.
If we resist the inspiration of God and turn from His promptings, we are left to our own confusion and lack of peace.
Sometimes, when our prayers are not answered as we desire, we may feel the Lord has rejected us or that our prayer was in vain. We may begin to doubt our worthiness before God, or even the reality and power of prayer. That is when we must continue to pray with patience and faith and to listen for that peace.”

Reading this helped a little bit.  Now I just need to put it into practice.  I like that last paragraph, I think it summarizes how I was feeling.  
I hope that those of you who are going through hard times will be able to find some peace through your trials.  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cooling Off

What a week we had with our AC adventure.  Last night we got AC to half of our house, the other half needed to wait until morning, because the ducts were a little too short.  Thankfully, we had ac to the side of our house that our room was on.

My husband had an "ah ha" moment and realized that Duct Tape was for ducts and not ducks.  He is an interesting fellow sometimes.

Now, we have AC to the entire house and I am in heaven.

Now I can sit down and figure out what household chores and errands I was supposed to be working on this week.  It was just too hot, and my life schedule was thrown off I couldn't think straight.

Hope everyone else is staying cool this summer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sweating Bullets

I am so hot.  I just got home from work, and am fixing to take a shower and get the heck out of this house.  I stopped by my house for a little while this morning to clean up, b/c since it has been so hot here, we spend as little time as possible here.  Our new A/C unit will be installed tomorrow.  I can hardly wait.  I feel like I am living in an oven.  I am so glad our friends have allowed us to stay with them, otherwise, I'm sure we would've headed to the nearest hotel.  

Of course the AC had to go out on the weekend, and then during Texas' lovely 100+ degree weather, and then the parts for a new unit couldn't be located until Wed.  

I feel like I am still at Girl's Camp, especially since the family we are staying with was at camp with me a week ago.  It was hilarious when we first got to their house, my friend was like, "it feels like we are back at camp".  Camp wasn't even as hot as it is in my house w/o AC.  

Gotta go and get a popsicle before I become one myself.


Future Father's Day Recap

Well, for Future Father's Day we celebrated by eating puffy apple pancakes in the morning.   That was a delicious start to the day, but after that there were some ups and downs for my husband.  At church he was told Happy Father's Day, and by one gentleman he was asked how many children he had.  Brownies were passed out to all of the fathers, and he felt a bit awkward taking one.  He tried to avoid it, but then graciously accepted it.  I felt bad for him.  I knew how he felt.  I had been there just a month previously.

I was planning on barbecuing filet mignon and having a nice dinner, but our air conditioner broke.  We tried to trouble shoot it, but we didn't have any luck fixing it.  So we were sweating it out in our hot house until some friends offered to let us stay with them.

So that was the end of our future father's day.  My hubby handled it well, but I could tell it was difficult for him.  I hope that was our last future father's day we have to celebrate, but you never know around here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Quiet House

I am back in my quiet house after spending 4 days and nights with 200+ girls at a church camp.  The fact that I can only hear the clock ticking and my fingers clicking on the keyboard right now is music to my ears.  No crazy Pink Pajama or Shark or Jacob Jingle Heimer Smith Songs being blasted in my ears.  The silence is a beautiful sound.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, but it is nice to be home.

Sure, I'd love to have a home filled with the laughter of children, but today I will enjoy my quiet home.  As I drove home from camp I was reminded that this weekend is Father's Day and that my husband has not yet fulfilled his desire to be a father.  Someday he will get "World's Best Dad" mugs and cards.  I hope that someday comes soon.  But today and this weekend and I try to help him feel of my love and appreciation for him and try to help him have a good weekend.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Success!

I am home.

The internet and computer access was a little spotty where I was and I didn't want my family to know about my blog, so I couldn't write.  Besides the fact that I was busy watching a toddler and a newborn, and cooking and cleaning a bit to help my sister, so that didn't give me too much free time.  But I am home now, and I appreciated all of your comments and words of encouragement.

I realized I can do this.  Someday I will be a great mother.  I was able to juggle nap times, feedings, diaper changes (without gloves--yikes), mild meltdowns, play time, cooking and cleaning.  Granted I wasn't as sleep deprived or hormonal as I might be if I had been the one who gave birth, and I wasn't doing it alone, but I realized that I when that day comes, I just might be a pretty good mom.

And that was something to smile and cheer about.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Feeling Better




It is amazing what:
  • a good cry
  • a good hug
  • an husband's listening ear
  • a bit of sleep
  • and a kind blogger comment
can do for you. I made it to bed last night. My sweet husband tucked me in, sang me little orphan Annie's song: "The sun'll come out tomorrow", and thankfully, I feel asleep.

When I woke up this morning, I felt better. And I remembered a phrase from a talk I liked so I went to the computer to read it this morning before heading off to work. This talk was given in 1996, but I have always remembered this analogy for dealing with adversity. But I was sure surprised to see that the title of this talk was: Finding Joy in Life: Here's the Link: LDS.org - Ensign Article - Finding Joy in Life

I liked this part: "sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are. They can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do. The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, “Men are, that they might have joy.” 1 That is a conditional statement: “they might have joy.” It is not conditional for the Lord. His intent is that each of us finds joy. It will not be conditional for you as you obey the commandments, have faith in the Master, and do the things that are necessary to have joy here on earth."

And then this was the part I remembered this morning when I woke up: A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness.

I had remembered the part about the "pebble", but I had forgotten the "cork" portion. When I woke up and had a new perspective I realized that I will be fine going to my sisters. I just needed to stop focusing on the difficult facet of the trip and remember all the great things that would happen--I"ll see my brother, some nephews and nieces, and see my in-laws, it will be great. How could I have forgotten all that? It was because I let this stinky infertile fact block my vision and perspective.

The rest of the talk is great, but I gotta go. I hope I can remember to keep the "pebble of infertility" on the ground in perspective, and be a "cork" the keeps coming up and finding happiness.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Everyone Else But Me

These last few days I have been feeling like everyone else but me is either pregnant or spending time with their beautiful children. Facebook is exploding with baby announcements, ultrasound images, and smiling children. And then, out in real life away from cyberspace, it isn't any better. I can hardly turn around without running into a pregnant person who is having a baby shower every other Saturday. And then there's me. Lonesome, un-pregnant, childless me. I feel so far away from having a child. And that cruel fact has really gotten me down.

I try to be happy for the people that are pregnant, but it is just so hard right now. Maybe because both of my sisters are pregnant. I don't know why, but sometimes it hits closer to home and hurts more when family members are expecting. I'm happy for them, but they have no idea how much it hurts to be infertile, and maybe that is why I am struggling right now. How do you tell someone who is so thrilled and excited with life and the new life growing inside of them how much you are aching inside without them taking it personally and then hating you for bringing them down? I don't know, so therefore I don't say anything and hope the moment of sadness passes soon.

I am dreading going to help my sister this next week not because I don't want to, but because I am afraid I will be a downer and will end up ruining this happy moment for her. I don't know why I thought I would be okay helping her. I guess I thought, "I take care of babies all day at work and it's no problem", but now I am really concerned about my ability to do this.

Oh well, I just keep trying to think about something else and I try to keep myself busy. But I fear I am failing miserably. I just hope and pray I start feeling better soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flower from Heaven

2 years ago right before Mother’s Day (a day that strikes fear into the hearts of every infertile person, including me), I received a flower from heaven. I was just dreading the approach of this day. It had been a rough few years filled with negative infertility test result after another. I needed no reminder that I was unable to have a child and that my dream of hearing a little one call me "mom" seemed so far away.

Well, during that week before Mother's Day I drove home from work and I went to walk in the front door I spotted a rose sticking straight up out of the ground.

My hubby and I are not the greatest gardeners (not by a long shot) and for a split second I thought, "how in the world did a rose grow there? But then I took a closer look and saw that it was a single rose that someone had placed there.

I thought, "Who did this? How did this get here?" I had no idea. Then the thought came to me, “my future child had dropped it down from heaven and it had landed there for me to see.” I felt so loved and happy. It was a beautiful feeling. I went inside and asked my hubby,"did you put a rose in the yard for me?" At first he said “Yes”, but then he admitted, “No, but that would’ve been a good idea”. I told him how I thought it was from our child up in heaven and he agreed that must be who left it there.

Then a day or two later I was at the neighbor's house picking something up or dropping something off and my neighbor asked me if I had gotten the flower she left me for Mother’s Day. At first I didn’t know what she was talking about, but then I realized the flower from my yard was from her. I was a little sad to find out who had left it there, because now I knew it wasn't from my little child waiting to come down to our family, but I was also grateful that she had thought about me during this difficult time and in such a simple way had shown that she cared. And even though I know it was from her, I still like to think she was just delivering it to me from my child.

For months and now years I have meant to thank her for that kind act, but never had. Then it seemed like way too much time had passed, and she wouldn't even remember what putting the flower there if I thanked her. But this experience has stuck with me, and I felt that I needed to let her know how much I appreciated that simple act of kindness. So today I finally left a little note and gift on her doorstep thanking her for thinking of me during that time.

I am so grateful to have kind people in my life. Sometimes we don't know what the smallest act of compassion will do to help brighten and lift another's person's day.

What is something someone has done for you? And have you taken the time to thank them for it?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back in the Stirrups

But just for one day. Phew. I had a flashback to my days of hanging out in doctor's offices and being uncovered from the waist down, and putting my legs up in stirrups.

I know I said I would never have a pap smear again, and I almost got out of it today, but I succumbed to the pressure of the medical community and had one. I went in for a physical today, hadn't had one in years. I called up a doctor my friend had recommended and was told that I could come in this afternoon if I liked. "Sure, why not" I thought. Then the receptionist said that if I wanted a pap smear with my physical I would have to come in another day. I told her, I would just have the physical today, and I was fine not having a pap smear. Well, when I got to the doctor's office the receptionist asked me if I was having a pap smear. I said, "no". Then as I was filling at forms I thought, maybe I should, my insurance only covers a physical once a year, so this was my only chance to get it. Then the nurse asked me if I was getting a pap smear, I told her no, and that I was told they couldn't do it today. She was surprised, and went to see if there was time for it. Well, what do you know, there was time, and I had one done.

While I was there I of course had to give my medical history to the doctor and explain the pelvic surgery I had for my unicornuate uterus. I told her I had infertility treatments and she asked which ones. Then she asked if I had ever tried clomid and glucophage. I hadn't. I asked why would you use glucophage, and she replied that she had heard it was a good combination. Who knows. Maybe that is just as effective as driving a 2-seater or eating pomegranetes. I don't know, and right now I am not going to research it, but just in case someone else hasn't heard of using clomid and glucophage, maybe you will want to look into it.

She asked me if I had been to any infertility specialists and I rattled off a few names. Then she started asking me if I had sisters and then if my sisters had kids, and that was when I tired of the infertility questions. All I wanted was to get my legs back down on solid ground and be on my merry way.

I survived the pap smear, I endured the family practice doctor asking me silly infertility questions, and I got my feet out of those stirrups as back in my flip flops where they belonged.