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10 Real Things

Ok, so since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I’ve been seeing a crap ton of articles written about…if he does this never leave him or these are the things she needs in order to feel loved.

Most them are the…if he trusts you completely, she needs to know she’s loved always, if he has nothing to hide, she needs to feel protected…kind of lists. And while I’m in no way knocking any of those articles…because they are absolutely true in every way. Sometimes, I think they don’t always give the full reality of relationships. Because the sweet, hopeless romantic stuff wears off. Not to say your relationship isn’t a fairy tale…cause I totally believe mine is! But there’s a lot more vacuuming & dusting and a lot less birds chirping & dancing to no music in a long term relationship. And while he still opens doors for me, brings me flowers, holds me when I need to be held without me asking…that’s only a small part of what makes me know I’m loved. 

Saturday is the the 15th anniversary of our first (well, technically only) date. And next month we are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary. We moved crazy fast. lol And I’ve learned that there’s a ton of stuff that happens in a relationship that you won’t find in most movies & story books. 

So in that spirit…I thought I share 10 things I think proves our relationship is a keeper & if you can relate, yours is pretty awesome too! (In full disclosure, I should probably let you know that this morning was extremely stressful for me as I was trying to line up things for our current cycle of TTC…that’s a whole nother post though…so I took a Xanax and that might have influenced the idea for this post. lol However, they’re all still real!)

Ok, here we go…

1. If you can go to a sporting event and they want one team to win and you want the other team to win…meaning regardless, someone is leaving that stadium unhappy…and you can still stop to get something to eat at a restaurant on the way home and not get asked to leave-you’ve got a keeper. 

2. If you go out of town with a friend and she decides she wants to go to Hooter’s and while you’re there you snap of pic of your waitress…even if it was with the Build-A-Bear you brought and made everyone take a pic with…just for your hubby-that my friends is love! 

3. If you have ever had Domino’s pizza by candlelight to celebrate your anniversary and it’s not inspired by a country music song, just coincidence…and you still think it was pretty awesome-that’s an awesome relationship. 

4. If he will wear the clothes you sprayed with your body spray, because he was purposely trying to irritate you and you decided to make him smell like a girl while at work, to work and not wash them first-y’all are kinda awesome. 

5. If he agrees to put a FatHead of you over the bed in the master bedroom in the event of your death & his remarriage-don’t let him go!!!

6. If you have to have a procedure done and you can’t have anything to eat after midnight and until recovery is complete, and he doesn’t eat during that same time frame cause he doesn’t think it’s fair-you should never let him think he’s anything but awesome. 

7. If he will go to the store and buy you “girly things” (that’s what we call feminine hygiene products in our house), pregnancy tests, make-up, or nail polish without you being there with him…and only a pic of what you need/want sent in a text-he loves you unconditionally. 

8. If he uses the toilet paper you like and you hang it on the holder the way he likes-you know you’d miss him if he was gone. 

9. If he still pinches your butt when you walk by even though you’ve got serious bed head going on and are in the same PJs you’ve been wearing for two days…hey, it happens-he will always love you. 

10. If he’ll go with you to Build-A-Bear, even though you have no kids & you’ll go with him to the tool section of any department or home improvement store…even though you both know that you’d rather be hanging out with his ex and he’d rather be hanging out with your  ex, but still you do it cause you vowed “for better or for worse”-then you’re one of the luckiest people on Earth. 

The point is, all the stuff in the beginning is wonderful. And he will always want to see you smile. Just like you will always want him to know that no one will or could ever love, appreciate, and desire him more than you do. But the reality is that there will always be dishes to do, a load of laundry piled up waiting to be washed, bills that have to be paid. There’s gonna be stomach viruses that in NO way could ever be considered sexy. There are going to be days when you want to beat him to death with a spaghetti spoon and he’s going to want to trip you when you’re walking past him…it’s a major relationship win when you both manage to push past those thoughts and don’t plan on what you’re gonna tell a jury of your peers. He will never understand why you need another pair of shoes (or leggings, or another purse) and you will never understand why he needs yet another wrench set…but, you’ll still find yourself getting a new set for him for his birthday and he’ll hear himself saying, “you should buy them”. 

Life is messy, it’s crazy, it’s a road trip without directions. And as long as your partner is there to hold your hand & laugh along the way…you’re gonna make it through. So don’t worry if your relationship doesn’t always line up with the “perfect relationships do this/ways to tell you’ll last/what happy couples do” kind of articles. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like Disney will ever knock on your door trying to buy the rights to your love story. Cause only you know what’s perfect for you. And it’s your happily ever after! 

*bonus*  If you can agree on a place to eat in less than 10 minutes-your relationship is meant to last. (It’s only happened like twice, but man was it amazing!!!)

Carrying Our Umbrellas

The hubby and I had a conversation Saturday afternoon on the way home from the RE’s office.

When you pray for rain, they say you’re suppose to keep your umbrella with you. If you don’t, then you don’t believe that God will answer your prayers and provide for you. So, if you’re praying for rain…be sure to carry an umbrella.

Well, after seeing the RE Saturday morning…and after I got a trigger shot of hCG to force ovulation…we went shopping. We had already decided that since we had to drive so far for a Saturday appointment that was only going to be about 20 minutes that we would go and get a few things that we are needing for the nursery.

After going through everything that we already have in our nursery…gathered over the years for different pregnancies that were lost & one HUGE contribution from a friend who just liked to buy baby stuff so she could be prepared-but ran out of room so she gave a ton of it to me since there hasn’t been a time that we weren’t wanting a baby…I realized that we need more than I could have imagined. I was shocked…not sure why since the twins were boys…at how many boy items we had, how few gender neutral items we had, and how I apparently haven’t planned for a girl at all. So, the nursery is needing help. And we were gonna do a little shopping to see what we could find.

Well, we ended up finding a lot. lol It was so much fun! And we walked away from out little shopping excursion with a few things that we needed and plans for a couple more things.

I think some people may look at this and not understand planning for a baby that hasn’t been conceived yet. But we really are carrying our umbrellas. We both have faith that the Lord will answer our prayers. We both believe that some of the things that have happened to us during this journey were small obstacles that God placed in our way to allow for better things to have time to transpire for us.

We originally saw the RE last year. We were planning on being so further into the process of IVF by now. But, I went anovulatory in November after seeing him. So, we didn’t start our baseline testing until after the first of the year. And we know now that there was a reason for that. Didn’t understand it at the time, but it’s clear as day now. And I do truly believe that it was God’s plan.

I have to admit, I haven’t always understood God’s plan. And I haven’t always been very patient when it comes to His will. I have struggled with my relationship with God throughout this journey. I think maybe that’s part of being human. I mean, I know there are people out there who never stumble in their faith, but I am not one of them. And I am working on that.

But as I sit here on the eve of the 14th anniversary of our first date…truth be told, our one & only date…I am really starting to see that there truly has been a plan set in place by God. It all has happened for a reason. I may not understand why things are happening when they are happening, but I am now seeing that I don’t have to. It really isn’t my place to. I didn’t use to be ok with that. But, I’m learning and growing again in my faith and understanding of the Lord.

So, we are preparing for our child, because we know with everything in us that God is going to answer our prayers.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

 

What Loss Moms Wished Non Loss Moms Understood

Ok, so maybe limiting it to just moms and non loss moms is a bit of an understatement. I think a more appropriate title might be “What Loss Parents Wished Everyone Who Has Ever Been Lucky Enough To Never Experience A Loss Understand…And What They Wish A Few Fellow Loss Parents Would Too”. But, for the sake of available space, I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

Recently I started a new Facebook group, Love Echoes Forever-TTC After Loss. The TTC journey after loss is so unique, that I thought a group that was centered around the emotional roller coaster was needed. One of the first questions that I asked the ladies who joined was…”What do you wish people understood the most about loss?” This blog post is dedicated to the remarkable women who answered the question & is about the 3 biggest topics brought up.

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed, and one that was mentioned in group as well, is one for everyone to understand…loss & non loss. I don’t understand why, but for some reason we live in a society where every thing is compared and measured and ranked. And while I am not one to agree with little leagues that don’t keep score, because life keeps score and it’s just as important to learn how to win as it is to learn how to lose…score keeping doesn’t always have a place in life. One loss is no less significant than the next. A loss at 5 weeks is no less of a loss than at 35 weeks. You still the lose the dreams of birthday cards, Christmas excitement, first words, first steps, first days of school…last days of schools. Hearing a heart beat, being able to determine gender does not…I repeat, DOES NOT change the fact that your entire world is turned upside down and wrong side out because in a moment you lose the entire dream of who that baby might have been. It amazed me when I lost my daddy how many people told me how sorry they were that I lost him at such a young age. I was 34 he was 2 days shy of 60. I was also told by a few people to basically get over it already since I was an adult…I was lucky I had the time with him. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter at what age you lose a parent-the loss is never gonna be easy, it’s always be a hole in your heart, it’s going to change everything in your life. Losing a pregnancy is the same way. It doesn’t matter at what age, it’s a loss that will forever change your life. Regardless. A loss is a loss. So, let’s just make a pact now to not compare one to another in an attempt to make one worse or better. One is not lucky while one is unlucky. A loss is a loss…there is no scale.

Just like with anything lost, there is no replacement. It will never matter how many children you eventually go on to have & hold, there will always be a little piece missing. And it’s not that you aren’t appreciative and grateful for every single blessing that God has given you. No, in fact, you are probably more appreciative than anyone can possibly imagine. You know what you’ve lost and how precious and fragile what you have is because of that loss. But at the same time, you aren’t mourning because OPI discontinued a nail polish color that you really liked and no one is making that particular shade. You are mourning a child, your child. The best way I can think to describe it in a way that everyone can relate is when you lose a friend. Not necessarily due to death, just not in your life anymore. You know that friend that you had the late night chats with, the one who would laugh at the dumbest things with you? You will never replace them. You will always…even if you go on to find 10 other amazingly beautiful people who you are lucky enough to call a best friend in your life…you will ALWAYS look back to those memories of the friend that you once had. You will always miss the laughter they brought you, even though you have a ton of laughter in your life. You will always wish for that smile to shine on you one more time, even though you are surrounded by love. It’s not that you’re greedy, or unappreciative. You are not wanting ALL the smiles in the world…just the ones that have touched your life and are no longer there. And there will never be anyone to replace that friend, because there is no way to replace that person. There is simply someone else now who also shares a piece of your heart. So please understand that when it comes to children, whether rainbows (babies born after loss) or sunshines (babies born before loss), it will never matter how much laughter fills a house in the early morning hours…there is always going to be a little bit of a quietness that echoes because loss parents know there should be just a little bit more noise. And it’s not that they aren’t thankful for the noise they hear, they just know it should be a little louder.

Pregnancy and infant loss seems to still be such a taboo thing to talk about it. It’s treated in 3 ways, it seems. Like it shouldn’t be brought up because it will cause too much pain or uncomfortableness for the asker, or like we are contagious and should “it” be brought up we will somehow give it to you, or just completely open conversations when support is needed. I really wish it was always the latter. Loss is a part of life. We can’t avoid it. And sadly, people seem so ready to give support and understanding for just about any type of loss…just not pregnancy and infant loss. And that makes it that much more isolating. Because people are afraid of upsetting a loss parent, they don’t always ask how they’re doing. Because it’s something that isn’t commonly talked about, people aren’t sure how to approach the subject of an angel. It’s so easy for people to imagine how hard it is to cope with that type of loss, they are worried that by asking about the loss, they will bring up horrible memories and a ton of pain. And sometimes…not gonna lie…it absolutely will. BUT, that’s not unlike asking how anyone is doing after a loss of any kind. Not every conversation is going to be a sad one. Just today, on our way from a day out, the hubby and I talked about how similar I was to my daddy when it came to driving…and that led to stories, which led to happy memories. A few weeks ago we were talking about how much I miss him and that led to tears. But the fact that I had someone to talk to and support me through both sides of the spectrum was what I needed. And when I’m in a particularly vulnerable place and I think talking about my losses will just absolutely push me over the edge, I don’t talk about them. So please, if you know a loss parent…don’t be afraid of mentioning what they’ve gone through, of asking how they’re doing, of asking about what it’s like and if they need support or just love through it. Regardless of how long ago it happened. It helps to know that we aren’t the only ones who remember our babies existed, however briefly.

It’s just a start, I know…but, sometimes just a little understanding can make a world of difference.

 

Random Blog Post Topic

I have been so horrible at the whole blog owner thing lately! Shame on me. Even though it may not seem like it, I am committed to this site. I’ve just been in a very odd place lately.

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Everything has just taken a very odd turn in my life the past few months. I got stymied in my Stillbirthday training. I am just stuck on the last two chapters and can not for the life of me get past them. I found a love for indie yarn…hand dyed awesomeness that is not cheap. lol And out TTC journey has taken a turn that I did not see coming. Nothing that I’m ready to fully disclose right now…it’s still kinda fresh. But the hardest thing that we’ve gone through the last few months is my FIL passed away. It wasn’t suddenly, it wasn’t a surprise, and man did he fight.

So, even though we’ve been making plans and putting things into motion for our future, I’ve just been very unmotivated in general. And it doesn’t help that I started a workout regime that has just absolutely frustrated me. And I really don’t think that it’s necessary for my Wii Fit U *game* to use the phrase, “just saying”, when it’s telling me how things should be done. For real, that shit is irritating.

Anyways…I kind of got off on a tangent. lol So today’s blog is just a random topic that I pulled in order to get me to do a post. So here we go…

10 Things I’m Afraid Of (right now anyways)

  1. Clowns…duh! My aunt use to collect them. She isn’t that much older than me, and was the baby of the family before I was born. She was not happy that I came along, especially since I was born kind of sickly & early and automatically got a lot of attention. So one day while she was babysitting me, I was about 4…she put me down for a nap in her room that was covered in clowns and put in a movie for me to watch…Stephen King’s “It”. Needless to say, I am not a fan of clowns.
  2. Finding out about a major incident on “The Walking Dead” before I see it happen…especially if it’s something that happened several seasons back. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve only just recently started watching it and am in catch up mode. (Thank you Netflix for being absolutely awesome for that!)
  3. That “The Player” won’t come back next season. I always do this, I get into a new show and then it’s not picked up for a second season. I did that with NBC show years ago about the fertility clinic, I did it with “Gang Related”, “Almost Human”, “Forever”. Oh, when they announced that “Forever” wasn’t coming back, I was so sad! And, I’m pretty sure that the same is going to happen with “The Player”.
  4. I’m afraid of not having strong enough wax melts for when that damn skunk strikes again. I think he’s young, probably born this spring, and just hasn’t totally mastered his spray when he’s startled. But he’s sprayed near my bedroom 3 times in the past 6 weeks. It’s not been fun. Country living, who knew?! lol
  5. That I won’t lose the weight that I gained over the last few years fighting some pretty bad flares. But, I am trying.
  6. That my husband will one day say that I don’t need another pair of shoes and actually mean it.
  7. That one day I will believe I am too old for Build-A-Bear Workshop.
  8. That I won’t finish my Stillbirthday training.
  9. Jeff Gordon retiring. I know how stupid that sounds. And yes, I am a die hard #24 fan. I have been since his very first race. And yes, his retirement announcement broke my heart. I cried Sunday as he took the checkered flag at Martinsville. But, my fear of him retiring isn’t about me as a fan. My daddy was a huge Jeff Gordon fan too. Not as big as me, but very close. He was such a fan, that we thought it needed to be mentioned in his obituary when he passed away in 2013. And we put his ashes in a Jeff Gordon cookie jar that he gave to me for Christmas years ago. It just seemed perfect. And now, Jeff Gordon is retiring. As silly as it seems, I feel like that’s one more connection to my daddy that I am losing. One more thing that time has taken…will take…continues to take. The world goes on and changes like nothing ever happened. Just a little heartbreaking.
  10. And finally…and always…that I won’t be a mommy. It’s scary to think that it may never happen, and it’s something that I am terrified of.

So, there you go. 10 things I’m afraid of at the moment. The bright side to them is that, for the most part, they are fixable. I know that eventually I will get caught up on “The Walking Dead” & my class work for Stillbirthday. My husband knows better than to actually say out loud that I don’t really need a new pair of shoes…he enjoys sex too much for that. If “The Player” isn’t picked up…there will be a new show next season that I’ll enjoy. lol There a greater chance of Build-A-Bear going out of business before I think I’m too old for it. But, I think the biggest bright spot is that in 2 weeks, the hubby and I will see a doctor and find out what our next step will be in our TTC journey. And I truly feel good about this appointment. I don’t know how it will go, honestly. It could be the next step, or it could be the end. I don’t feel like it will be the end though. I feel like it’s just going to be our next step. And I know that we’ve had a few set backs over the last month and half, but I pray that it’s going to be ok and that we will be able to move forward.

Day of Hope

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One of my biggest supporters is Ashley from Pee On A Stick Freak. Sometimes I think she believes in me more than I do. lol So the other day, she was helping to promote my blog, Twitter, and Facebook page and asked me if I call my site a fertility site or an infertility site. I told her I call my site an infertility blog.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely am all about promoting fertility.  Everything in my being is focused around TTC and trying to improve my chances of having a baby. But I spent years running from the word “infertility”. It scared the shit out of me, if I’m being honest. And then I was officially diagnosed with it. I can no longer hide from it, it caught me.

infertile adjective: not fertile; unproductive; sterile; barren: infertile soil. 

(Thank you dictionary.com for making it so heartbreakingly blunt.)

Everything about infertility sucks! At least for me, I can’t speak for the entire world. It’s isolating, by definition…unproductive and barren. It’s a waste land of emptiness that you walk through. And you feel like you’re walking through it alone. Even though you’re not. My wonderfully supportive husband walks this path with me. He anxiously awaits the lab results, knows more about charting a menstrual cycle than he ever wanted to, and can tell you the sensitivity level of First Response EArly Results home pregnancy test. (For those of you wondering…they’re quantitative nor qualitative and are designed to pick up any amount of hCG in your system over the level of zero, per the manufacturer. I called them myself.) So, I am not alone on this journey, but at times I still feel like I am.

I’m in TTC groups online, and we all talk about the things that we are doing to try to get pregnant. And we do the “get to know you” games, like post the 12th pic in your camera roll. We talk about where we’re from, what our favorite color is, what’s your hobby to keep you busy during the TTW…two week wait, the time between ovulation and testing time/period. But even in the most supportive and loving groups, it’s rare to see anyone actually talking about infertility. It’s the elephant in the room…we all know that the majority of us are in these groups because we’ve had issues getting and/or staying pregnant, but we all ignore that particular aspect. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll see the occasional post about wanting to quit, or someone struggling at the moment with their emotions, and we all know that we can absolutely reach out for support when we need it, but for the most part the posts are mostly upbeat & casual.

So when I say I’m not alone, I mean I am surrounding by loving and supportive people.

I consider myself an incurable optimist. I always look for the silver lining. There is always something beautiful in a situation. You just have to want to see it, and sometimes you have to really search hard for it…but, it’s always there. So I completely understand not wanting to ruin the mood of a group by posting something sad. No one wants a Debbie Downer at a party. And no wants to be one. But sometimes, in the process of keeping a happy mask on, we isolate ourselves even more.

Infertility is a struggle. And it’s scary. It’s something that not everyone will understand or know how to talk to you about. It can be uncomfortable for someone who has never experienced it. But it will ALWAYS be uncomfortable if we never talk about it. It will ALWAYS be something that isolates us as long as we allow it to by only dealing with it inside our own heads. As long as we try to hide from it, it’s going to continue to be a taboo topic to bring up and discuss openly about.

I don’t know if I will ever have a baby. I want it more than I can even begin to describe. My heart and soul ache for it. But the reality is, I don’t know if it will ever happen for me. I know that I pray this new doctor will be able to help us. I pray every day. And my prayer is that I will one day overcome the word “infertility”. But in order to do that, in order to truly overcome the word, I first have to acknowledge that it is my current reality. It is, unfortunately, a part of my life. And ignoring it won’t change that.

So, yes, this is a blog about infertility and what it has done to my life. And I’m proud of that…because one day, hopefully, I will be able to say that I kicked infertility’s ass! In every way possible…not just by having a baby. So for now, I am not going to let infertility rule my life with fear. I will not let it isolate me, I will not stay quiet about it. I will own this!

So on this Carly Marie Project Heal Day of Hope, I am breaking the silence surrounding infertility and offering my support to anyone who is struggling with it. You are not alone!