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It’s Stork OTC Time!

If you follow me on Instagram (AdorkablyHappy), then you saw this pic on the 2nd-Positive OPKs! 

That means Stork OTC time!!! In my last post, I shared with y’all how someone from Rinovum…the makers of the Stork OTC…contacted me about my previous review. And how happy & grateful I am that they contacted me. 

***Full disclosure: This review is made possible by a free Stork OTC that was sent to me. I am not being paid for this review. And I was not asked to give anything other than my honest opinion, once again, on the product.***

So the first thing I noticed right away was that the design on the box changed. There’s now a baby bump greeting us. (And when I shared this pic on my Facebook wall…it was immediately noticed by some of my fellow TTC buddies. lol) But, after all, that is the goal, right?! So I kinda like it. 

Another thing I noticed…I don’t remember the old box having this, if it did…The side of the box has some helpful information about the use of the Stork OTC. Which is kinda neat. It helps to give you an idea going into it of what is involved. I don’t know if it’s like this for anyone else, but I know the first time seeing the box and not knowing a whole lot about what was inside or what was involved was a little overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited & I had read several reviews. But the Stork OTC isn’t cheap, and I was worried I was gonna mess something up. 

Again, I got a giggle out of the warning that the Stork OTC is NOT intended for contraceptive use. That makes me laugh EVERY time. I mean, every time! 

So, y’all know I’ve told you that I am a tad strange. That I think/worry/obsess over things that most people don’t. There was a slight hold up in the delivery of my package. And the temperatures were crazy high that week. I worried about what the heat might do to the Conceptacle sitting in a hot vehicle for half a week or being out in the heat if the package was simply dropped off inside my property fence. (I live in the country, my driveway is long & bumpy, they don’t always come to the house for deliveries.) But my mind was eased when I saw that you could store the Stork OTC in temperatures between -22 and 130 degrees F. 

Once you open up the box, everything stayed the same. You’ve got instructions in both English & Spanish. There’s an insert thanking you for choosing the Stork OTC on one side & a code for the Glow app on the other. The applicator with the cervical cap holder inside & the Conceptacle which contains the cervical cap are in a plastic enclosure thing that keeps them separated. I think it is important to note, the Stork OTC is not a sterile device. Wash your hands before handling the Conceptacle at all stages of use. 

If you haven’t already watched the “how to” video, you can watch it here. I highly recommend watching it at least once. It’s very basic, but helpful in getting to know all the parts of the Stork OTC. Because it is a single use device…you can really never be too prepared. 

Putting the Conceptacle on was a little bit easier this time around. Although, it still wasn’t quick and simple. You need to pinch the tip to remove air, just like with a condom and unroll it on to an erect penis. And because it takes a little work to get it on…continued stimulation for him may help keep him happy-therefore making it easier to go on. It may look like a condom, but it’s very different. It’s not made with natural rubber latex, it’s silicone. It is definitely seems thicker than a condom. According to hubby, it seems to have a tighter fit than a condom. And there’s no form of lubricant on it. So it’s “dry” for lack of a better word, and that makes it a little fumbly putting it on. (In my last review I referred y’all to the condom/banana scene in the movie “Never Been Kissed”. That is still a very fitting visual aid. Nothing popped off, but it took a minute to get a handle on it.)

So don’t get frustrated if it’s less than romantic getting the Conceptacle on. You’ll get it. No pressure, don’t stress…just roll with it. Stay patient and in the moment. Keep the mood as light as possible. 

Because I didn’t noticed that much EWCM, I decided to use a small amount of PreSeed. Last time we didn’t use any because in the how to video when it talks about insertion of the applicator, it said not to use lubricant. I understood that to mean no lubricant at all during the process. But after following  the Stork OTC (storkotc) on Instagram and reading more about it, we felt like using PreSeed…a TTC friendly lubricant while we did our thing…was ok. (The FAQ section of the website, storkotc.com also addresses it.)

I don’t normally use PreSeed, but I am glad I decided to use it for this. It definitely made the Conceptacle less noticeable for me. Still knew it was there…but that may have more to do with the fact that the hubby and I have been together 15 years and the only time we’ve used anything “condom like” is when we’ve used the Stork OTC. So there is definitely a different sensation & reaction to it. 

If you decide to use a lubricant with your Stork OTC, be sure that it is TTC friendly! PreSeed is what we chose. But AstroGlide makes a TTC friendly one as well. Just be sure that you’re getting the one designed for TTC The reason for this…most lubricants are not sperm friendly. That is the complete opposite of what we want. So double check to be safe!!!

After we did our thing, getting the Conceptacle off was easier than getting it on. It is easier to take off from a still erect penis, you just roll it back down. You do have to be careful getting the cervical cap out of the Conceptacle. Keep it upright, and only touch the sides of the cervical cap. Don’t put your fingers inside the cervical cap when you’re trying to get the Conceptacle off from around it. 

It was so much easier to place the cervical cap on the petals of the applicator this time. It wasn’t hard the first time, but everything is easier the second and third time around.  The purple thing is part of the cervical cap holder, there’s one on the other side too. The petals are the white pieces that are on either side of the yellow tab. You remove the yellow tab and set the cervical cap evenly on those petals. Once you’ve got the cervical cap on the petals, you click the two purple pieces of the cervical cap holder in place, keep the applicator upright, and pull back the plunger on the bottom of the applicator. That closes the petals around the cervical cap. 

I let hubby hold the applicator while I got my pillows propped up so that I could lean back in the proper position comfortably. And I got situated. Just like last time, insertion was no problem. No issues there. There was a little pressure, nothing too bad, I wouldn’t even classify it as uncomfortable-simply noticeable, once it was placed against my cervix. 

The first time I used the Stork OTC, when I pushed the button with the two dots to release the plunger, that plunger released quickly. This time, I knew not to let my thumb get caught. lol There was a little bit more pressure, just temporarily, when the plunger depressed. I made sure it felt comfortable and then clicked the button with the theee dots to release the cervical cap holder from the applicator. Then I removed the applicator and had hubby throw it away. 

We chose, just like last time, to leave the cervical cap in for the full 6 hours. (It can stay in 4-6 hours.) Since we used this one around bedtime, I set an alarm on my phone to make sure that I didn’t sleep through the 6 hour mark. 

I know you can get up and move around as soon as you remove the wand. But I have to admit, I laid in bed, scrolling on my phone while binging “Friends” on Netflix as background noise for about an hour and a half. Then I got up, finished up some laundry while doing a face mask…there is always laundry to finish up it seems…and then went to sleep. I could feel the presence of the cervical cap holder. It wasn’t uncomfortable, again simply noticeable. No big deal. Once my alarm went off, I got up went to the bathroom and removed the cervical cap & holder by pulling on the pull string. Easy peasy! 

Here’s a pic from the last review showing you what the cervical cap, holder & pull string look like once you remove it. So now we wait. Hopefully I won’t go too stir crazy during this TWW. 

While there is more effort into using the Stork OTC over Soft Cups & PreSeed…I definitely think that the Stork OTC is the one to use. I’ve tried both, I prefer the Stork OTC. TTC is just not what Soft Cups are designed for. Yes, it’s more expensive and maybe I’m overthinking it and relying on a label too much. But seriously, sometimes store brand biscuits aren’t as good Pilsbury. 

I love the Stork OTC. I love that it’s designed for couple like my husband & I. We have male factor issues thrown into the mix. And having the ability to do cycles at home, medicated or non-medicated, either in between IUI cycles, in place of an IUI cycle, or even in conjunction with an IUI cycle…is amazing. It gives us more options. And when you’re looking at a $1200 IUI cycle, gratefully we only pay half that after insurance (but still), you need options! 

For less than $100 (I paid $79.99 plus tax and shipping for my first Stork OTC using my Walgreen’s app), you get a little extra help for the swimmers. When you have motility concerns, that’s a big deal to be able to do. Our swimmers like to freestyle it during the backstroke competition & they apparently get lost easy…they need all the help they can get! 

One of the things that I have enjoyed the most about this experience is the customer service. Since getting in touch with them, the people at the Stork OTC/Rinovum have been the absolute best! You can contact them through email at: support@rinovum.com 

*Again, my only connection to this company is as a consumer. I, nor anyone in my family, is employed by them. I am not receiving any financial compensation from them. They sent me this Stork OTC based on my previous review. They did not ask that I give anything other than my honest opinion.*

I’ve Missed Y’all! 

Once again, I have to accept the “Bad Blog Owner” Award! I know it’s been MONTHS since my last post. My blogging mojo took a long vacation. 

So much has happened since my last post. We’ve had an attempt at IUI that had to be cancelled the day of. We’ve done an IUI cycle that left us heartbrokenly devastated. We had VBS at our church…I was the director. (One of the scariest things I’ve ever done and I’m so proud of how it went!) We’ve had to say goodbye to one of our fur babies. Friends moved away. And I’ve been working on my very first October 15th Wave of Life event. 

It’s just been a very crazy, very emotional, very hectic few months. So I hope you forgive me for being absent. 

He was of the sweetest creatures. We miss him terribly. This picture was taken just a few weeks before he passed. He loved that blanket. I washed it that morning and he was just absolutely lost the entire time it was off the bed. About two seconds after I threw it on the corner of the bed, he was on it & passed out. 

On to the amazing and happy things…VBS at First Baptist Church of Murchison was amazing! We had two children accept Christ! I was beyond blessed to have the chance to be a part of it. (Normally I wouldn’t post pictures of other people’s children, but we were given permission to photograph & share during registration.)

October 15th, I will be hosting a Wave of Light event at my church from 7pm-8pm. My hope is to have enough Mason/Ball/Kerr jars to honor at least 100 angels. October 15th is such an important date during Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. I’ve been thinking about doing this for years, and I’m so excited to finally have a game plan for it. If you’re interested in having your angel honored during this event, please contact me. You can either join the event here, leave a comment on this post, or email me at love.echoes.forever@gmail.com 

And finally, one of the neatest things came across my messages the other day…This absolutely made my day. So, keep an eye for a follow up review! And a possible announcement involving The Stork OTC Ambassador Program! I won’t know if I’ve been selected until later this month, possibly early next month. But I am very excited for this opportunity! 

I Will Not Stop Talking About Infertility…

…so don’t even bother asking me to. 

Wow! The plan for this week’s blog post was SO different than what it has become. I guess I can just save that one for a later time. 

So let’s back up a second. Yesterday I downloaded Resolve.org‘s Listen Up toolkit for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week. It’s next month, April 23-29…the 29th is my birthday. After I downloaded the toolkit, I created an album on my personal Facebook profile and added all the photos to it. A little while later, I was “gently” asked to maybe not focus so much on infertility because it may make some people a little uncomfortable. 

So after I calmly removed myself from the conversation…telling them to forget my name and blocking them is “calm”, right?!…I sat and stewed for a while. 

Infertility is a disease. Just like cancer, diabetes, heart disease. Why do we welcome and encourage awareness for those things, and ask people with infertility to sit a corner and stay quiet?

When a friend is going through a divorce, what do we tell them? We tell them we’re here for them. We tell them to talk about it. We tell them it’s natural to grieve the loss of the relationship, the loss of the future. We tell them it’s not healthy to keep all those emotions bottled up. We tell them we are their friends and that’s what friends are for. 

Why do I not get that same level of understanding?! And the…well, I’ve never experienced infertility and that’s why I’m uncomfortable with it…is kind of lame. I’ve never been through a divorce. I still don’t tell my friends who are going through a divorce to leave me out of those conversations. I’ve never had cancer…I still talk to my friends while they are going through chemo. 

My husband lost his mother more than 20 years ago, I lost my father less than 5 years ago. Him knowing what it’s like to lose a parent didn’t make his hugs to me more comforting. It didn’t make his presence by my side more important. Just like my arms, when he lost his father a year and a half ago, weren’t a place of solace because I knew what it was like to lose a daddy. All that mattered was that we were there for one another, we were by each other’s side, when we needed support. We didn’t have to understand in order to comfort. 

Because when you’re going through something difficult, all that matters is that you are surrounded by people who love you. They don’t have to know what to say, what you’re feeling, what journey lies ahead of you. They just need to support you through it. 

I talk about infertility, because so many people don’t even know what it is. There’s this idea that if you want to get pregnant and you don’t get pregnant that very first month you try, it’s infertility. Or that infertility can be “fixed” by simply getting a massage to help you relax or a different kind of underwear. (By the way…don’t talk to your friends about their spouse’s underwear. You want to talk about uncomfortable.) 

Not talking about it, doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t make it less painful. It doesn’t. And while you may be more comfortable not hearing about it, someone you love is still suffering alone. 

1 in 8…that’s how many people suffer through infertility. 1 in 8 have a disease that’s not contagious, but no one wants to be “around” it. Can you imagine how isolating that can be?

My life is a messy kind of happiness. It is full of loss, full of cuss words, full of hospital stays & surgeries. It is financial worries, broken plans, and plants I can’t always keep alive. It’s full of love, full of faith, full of hope. It’s fur baby snuggles through out the night, a marriage working on it’s second decade, it’s Christmas tree lights hung year round. It’s kisses followed by death threats and some times death threats followed by kisses. It’s beautifully crazy. It’s not easy, but it is amazing. 

It’s not fair to ask me to share only the happy. To only share the inconsequential. If I can share when a recipe goes right, or when flowers are randomly brought home…why shouldn’t I share when I have a bad day trying to conceive a child? It’s not fair to only be a friend during the good times. 

Yes, infertility can be uncomfortable for those that are blessed enough to never face it head on. But that level of comfor comes at the expense of someone you love. And being silent about infertility makes me uncomfortable. And I’m not willing to do that. 

Always Stay Hopeful


I think it’s so easy to become discouraged while TTC. It’s such a crazy roller coaster ride of a journey. And the weird thing is, you feel…sometimes…like you’re all alone on that roller coaster. Of course your spouse is riding it with you. But, sometimes it can feel like they’re in a different car entirely. Like, you can hear them screaming along with you…but it’s off in the distance.

It can be so isolating. It really can make you feel like you’re alone…even though your surrounded by people. 

The hardest thing to remember is to always have hope. One of the things I find myself saying over and over again is…every new cycle brings new hope. It’s not always easy to remember. Especially when my Instagram & Facebook feeds are being blown up by pregnancy announcements (I hate the “we weren’t even trying” ones), sonogram pictures, birth announcements, and cake smashes…and my cycle has just started. 

It’s hard. I’m not even gonna try to lie about that. Some days all I can do is turn my phone off, turn on trash tv, grab my yarn & hook, and pull into myself. 

After years of trying, it would be so easy to see everyone else getting what I pray for every day, and just give up. I have my despondent moments. I have those moments of anger and jealousy that make me want to give up. 

But then I hear this little voice that reminds me how much I want this. How much my very core desires this. And I realize that I would never be able to forgive myself if I just quit. 

And I think part of the reason I can still hear that tiny voice is a combination of faith and support. There are moments of calm during my prayers, where I just KNOW that it’s going to happen for us. That’s why I love that scripture so much. 

But I’m also extremely blessed to be surrounded by amazing people who support my husband and me through our journey. Trust me, it’s harder to find that than you think. Sometimes when people find out you’re trying to get pregnant, they immediately come up with 1,001 reasons as to why that’s the worst idea in the history of ideas. But that topic is probably best left for another post. lol

Without the support of my friends I’d be lost. (My husband too. Can’t forget him, but for this post I’m focusing on the friends who surround us.) I could not imagine not having them in my life. And what’s great is that not all of them are from the TTC community. I have friends who are supporting me through this who have no idea what OPKs, PreSeed, or follicle scans are. Having a solid support system is a must! These people help to drown out those negative thoughts/people/judgments. 

And don’t be afraid to talk about it. Talk about your fears, cry when you need to, scream when the urge hits. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to not be happy all the time. Hiding those emotions, burying that part of your journey only helps to isolate you. And it’s not fair to you! The hard times, the times it takes everything in you to push through, are part of your journey. They’re part of you! And those who love and support you…love you, all of you!

You are not alone in this!!! You have so many people supporting and praying for you…even more than you can imagine. You’ve got this! And you are going to be so proud that you pushed through the fear & thoughts of giving up. You are not alone, even though it feels like it sometimes. There are so many of us who understand the full emotional sprectrum. And we are always here! So always have hope!!! 

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.

 

Unfollow? Nope! Unfriend!

So this has been weighing on my heart the last couple of days. And I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t speak up about it. 

As many of you know, October is not just about Breast Cancer Awareness. It’s also dedicated to Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness.  I am 1 in 4, I am the face of pregnancy & infant loss. It is a painful badge to wear. 

Over the last few days, several of my fellow BLMs…baby loss moms…have done status updates on Facebook. In these status updates, they explain what October is & that they’ll be posting a lot about Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awarenss. And they explain that they know it’s a hard subject and that those in their friends list who feel uncomfortable with the subject are more than welcome to unfollow them for the month of October. With no hard feelings. 

(Now, let me pause for just a second to say that if that’s the decision they’ve come to, then I completely respect them for it. I am in no way upset with them for understanding that people process things differently. I am in no way saying that their position on this subject is wrong or that they are wrong for thinking this way. My feelings on this are strictly about me and me alone.)

Well, I am not that considerate! Back in May when it was Lupus Awareness month and I was posting daily facts, I never felt like I needed to apologize for spreading awareness about the disease I live with every day. If I was posting about Breast Cancer Awareness month, I wouldn’t offer for people to unfollow me until November rolls around. 

Pregnancy & Infant Loss isn’t easy. Nothing about it is. So spreading awareness about it isn’t going to be easy. And hiding from it won’t prevent it from happening again. Acting like it can’t happen to you won’t keep it from happening to you. And the reality is, if it hasn’t happened to you…it’s most likely happened to someone you know and care about. And they need your support & compassion. 

How can you be a supportive loved one if you’re hiding posts because they are about a hard subject? How will we ever spread awareness like that?

I’m going to post about Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. And if it makes you so uncomfortable that you consider unfollowing me until November-do us both a favor & click unfriend instead. No disrespect, I’m not gonna be mad at you. But if you can’t support me through this month, then we aren’t really friends anyway. So it’s not a loss for either one of us. In fact, if I’m honest, I’ll respect you more for doing that. Because by unfollowing me, you’re saying that I don’t matter unless I’m only happy go lucky Mo. 

And let me just say, that my feelings about unfollowing are not just limited to October and Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness. If we are Facebook friends and I’m annoying you to the point of unfollowing-unfriend me instead. Again, I’ll respect you more. Cause I’m gonna be me. And you’re either gonna love me or hate me. I get that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I seriously do get that. But being unfriended sometimes really is the best option for everyone involved. 

If talking about pregnancy & infant loss is a deal breaker for you, then I’m ok with that. I’m gonna talk about it, and I’m not going to be afraid to do so. And if we’re truly friends, then you need to support me the way I will support you through your darkest hours. Regardless of what those are about…cancer, infidelity, divorce, bad hair cuts, misspelled tattoos…it doesn’t matter, I will support you through it because we’re friends.  

This Is What I Know

I know I’ve shared this before, not on this blog…but on an old one. But the feeling behind this never changes. This was a note I did on Facebook a couple of years ago.

Last October when Adrian Peterson’s son died from injuries sustained by an alleged assualt from his mother and her boyfriend…and I say alleged because I don’t know what the final outcome is, at the moment I think it’s still just charges…the entire football community became a support system. There were cards, prayers, hugs, outrage, and shoulders for the football player to lean on. Before games there were questions about how he was coping, how he was carrying on with his life, dedications of games in the young boy’s honor. 

What a lot of people never realized was that Adrian Peterson had only recently learned the child existed. The first time he ever saw this little boy was after he was on life support in the hospital a couple of days after the attack. He was not a part of this child’s life and this child was not a part of his life. And when people would mention that in comments on different news stories, they were…rightfully so…villified by others leaving comments of support. People who said that this man was merely mourning the idea of this little boy, the idea of the man he would become, the idea of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and kids were belittled for their lack of sympathy and compassion. So what if it was the idea that was being mourned? It was a loss through no fault of Adrian’s and he had every right to cry over and grieve the things he was never going to have.

 So why am I any different? Why is a woman who has suffered a miscarraige not given the same understanding, compassion, and support.

This is what I know…

…I know that from the second I found out I was pregnant, I thought of myself as a mother. I was actually excited about middle of the night feedings, nights spent soothing a coughing baby in the bathroom with the shower going. I embraced every part of what life as a mother was going to be. I teased with the hubby about being able to say, “Just wait until your father gets home” and how I needed to start preparing myself prenatally for the eventual “I hate you” screams that all toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers are so quick to shout. I didn’t have rose colored glasses on when I thought about being a mother…I just thought about being a mother.

 A handful of miscarriages, and coming up on what should be my 12th year hearing “Happy Mother’s Day”, I find myself a ball of tears with very little understanding and compassion from “society”. I say it that way because, of course, my friends and family who know that I’ve lost babies are my rocks. But, in general, I am not considered a mother by most people, even though in my heart I feel like I am…just to babies that are no longer with me. When people learn that I’ve had multiple miscarriages, I get a lot of lost looks…some just don’t know what to say. Others, I wish, should not say anything. I’ve heard a lot of things like, “Well, at least you won’t have to raise a sick child”, and, “At least you didn’t lose a real baby”.

This is what I know…

…I know that my babies were real enough to have a heartbeat. I know that they were real enough to change what I ate, drank, kept down, thought about, and shopped for. I know that while not all pregnancies are lost because there was something was wrong with the baby, no challenge or birth defect was worth me not wanting them. I know that I would have done anything, including laying down my own life, to get them here safely, to make sure that they had the best life possible.

Tomorrow, not unlike today or yesterday, I will mourn the idea of my children. The birthdays, the first days of school, the attitudes they would most likely have come by honestly, the everything that I don’t get to have through no fault of my own. 

This is what I know…

…I am a mother. And I know that my friends and family have that understanding as well. I also know that because they love me and don’t want to hurt me, most will not say anything to me tomorrow about Mother’s Day. I know that it is a hard subject to talk about and that they hurt for me. But I know that, for me at least, not talking about it, not acknowleding that I held life, hurts as well.

I’m not asking for people to treat me with caution…saying “with kid’s gloves” seemed a little heavy handed…just treat me like anyone else who mourns. Some days are gonna be better than others, some days are gonna be bad, some days are gonna be awesome, and some days are gonna be the stuff of country songs and AA meetings. You don’t have to sheild me from your baby news, you don’t have to hide your mommy miletones out of worry for me. Yes, I might cry…but, it’s out of love and joy for you even if it’s mixed with a little sad for me. Ok, so maybe sometimes it’s more like a lot of sad for me and a little bit of joy and love for you.  But that’s part of the process, the coping, the learning to live past the loss.

 So there it is…that’s what I know. I’m not wanting pity, just a little understanding…and maybe for advertisers to realize that not every damn thing should be billed as or for Mother’s Day…but mainly the understanding. Understanding that I am a mother, just different from the norm. “

As you can tell, this was written for Mother’s Day. And I know we’re still like two months out. But, there was just something calling out for me to share this now.  (Sorry the spacing is a little weird, it’s a copy & paste job from my original Facebook note.)

Flickering Light

It seems like here lately I always have a candle lit. I wish I could say it was just because, or that it’s because I’m trying to get the rather large amount of candle holders I need for an idea I’m schemeing. But the truth is, I light a candle when I’m missing someone, or when my heart is heavy.

Even in the daylight, a flickering candle flame is just beautiful. The colors of the flame alone are warmth! There is nothing cold or standoffish about the appearance of the flame. It’s inviting, it’s welcoming. It enhances everything that surrounds it with a warmth, a glow.

In the darkness, a dancing flame atop a candle screams hope. It says, “Not here! I will not allow it! Darkness I defy you! You can not cloke me, you can not hide me, you can not control me!”

Maybe it’s the defiance of that flame that draws me in. Maybe it’s the example I want to strive for. Enhance the good stuff…deny the bad stuff from having total control.

We can’t stop darkness & pain from happening. It’s life and the only way to have a sunrise is for there to be a sunset. Most of us can only choose how we react to it. (I say it that way because clinical depression is not simple and for someone struggling with it…choosing how to react to the darkness would be easier than actually becoming a candle.)

So maybe that’s why there are so many circumstances that cause us to want to light a candle. Because there is comfort in a flickering light.

This candle is for anyone who needs it right now with a *gentle hug* from me to let you know that you are not alone.

You Say, “Relax”, I Hear…”Please Punch Me In My Throat”

Yup! That’s right! I absolutely hate when someone tells me to relax. Mainly because the person whose normally telling me to relax is usually the reason I’m upset to begin with.

But in regards to TTC…someone telling me to relax is probably going to be the reason I make the lead story on the news one day.

So let me start off by saying that I do totally get that it’s coming from a place of love. I do totally get that you are coming from a place of caring. But, OMG!!! Please don’t tell me to relax.

See, my TTC journey has been ongoing for 13 years now. I’m so not a newbie. I’m not simply having unprotected sex or recently have stopped taking birth control because we’re OK if it happens. I am a temperature taking, app using, chart stalking, stick peeing, cervical mucus checking, supplement taking, baby obsessed fool.

There’s only something like a 20% chance that a woman will get pregnant during any given cycle. And that’s if there’s no issues what so ever. Unfortunately, I’m an issues girl.

I use 3 different apps to make sure I’m covering all bases. Because two always seems to be a couple days apart from each other. And one has the best chart…only one cycle at a time, and the whole cycle can easily be seen.

I have a BBT alarm set because you have to take your temperature at the same time every day. And temping is the most accurate way to tell when you’re going to ovulate. So, why bother if you’re not gonna do it right?!

I test twice a day with OPKs because it’s the smart thing to do. LH levels apparently increase every 6 to 12 hours. So, you can easily miss the beginning of the surge by only testing once a day. And again, if you’re gonna do it…do it up right! I stock up on pregnancy tests and start taking them early because I have to get medical care as soon as possible. And the difference in knowing I’m pregnant 4 days before my missed period and 2 days after I’m late can play a huge role in a healthy pregnancy for me.

I take supplement because it’s recommended to take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects. The other vitamins I take are to help supplement my life with Lupus.

Everything I am doing is because every fiber in my being wants to hear a tiny voice call me “mommy”. I don’t do this because I like the chaos it brings. Who wants to carry OPKs in their purse so they aren’t chained to the house from CD10 to CD-whenever the hell I ovulate?! No one!!!

I do all this because relaxing and waiting for it to happen naturally got me no where. And now I’m almost 36. Which means that I don’t have time to just relax and see what happens. It’s simply the reality of my situation.

So while I absolutely love & need all the support I can get while on this roller coaster…telling me to relax will do just the opposite. Because as much as the intelligent side of me knows you are looking out for me, the super sensitive-slightly irrational side of me believes that you think I shouldn’t be in charge of a plant…let alone another human being.

If your electricity goes out, you call the electric company to report it. If the representative that answers the call suggests you change a lightbulb to see if that’s the true problem, you totally take offense…right?! Cause who would be that dumb to mistake a burned out lightbulb for total loss of electricity?! Well, however crazy it sounds…that’s exactly what I hear when someone tells me to relax about TTC.

It’s like my longing for a child is being taken for granted. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I interpret it as being told to give up. But more so, being told to give up like it’s the most natural, easiest thing in the world to do. 

So please, the next time your TTC friend is falling apart…keep this in mind-we hate hearing relax! Suggest meditation or yoga. Ask if they’ve tried acupuncture to help with the stress. Sing them Soft Kitty. Just please don’t use the R word. 


(Not my photo. It was shared in one of my groups. Please let me know if it’s yours so I can do proper photo credit.)

The Little Things

Laying here in bed, looking out the window…watching the snow fall. Yup, snow!!!

I know right now, most of my friends are sick to death of the snow. There’s been a ton of it up north. But here in East Texas…not the Big Bang’s East Texas of Houston, the East Texas that’s in between Dallas and Shreveport, LA…it’s a rarity. The mention of snow in the forecast is enough to shut down the schools. In fact, even the hubby’s work shut down very early today and is opening late tomorrow.

It’s officially a snow day!

Unfortunately, in order to have snow days-you gotta have cold weather. And cold weather tries it’s best to kill me. So as the system bringing the snow got closer to us…even before the cold set in…this flare showed how strong it planned on being.

So, as I watch the red birds play on the bare branches of the tree outside our bedroom window, I once again find myself feeling a tad jealous. They look so happy and free. Completely oblivious to the cold as they float through the sky. Just loving every minute of the grey skied day.

I am totally envious. lol

Cause I’m not taking the cold so well. I’m hurting. I’m truly missing the beauty of today.

But then my phone dings at me. It’s a message from someone on Facebook. It was so simple, “…haven’t seen that much from you, I hope you’re ok…”

When you live with a chronic illness, you can easily feel alone. It’s such a hard thing for people to understand. It isolates you. And when you don’t feel good anyways, feeling “forgotten” is just devastating. It makes you feel like you don’t matter, and that simply isn’t true. But chronic illness is such a mindfuck, that you actually start to believe the lies it whispers to you through the pain.

It’s amazing how such a little thing, a simple FB message can help make you feel so much better. Yes, the pain is still there. I can’t move any faster than I did before the message. Still so envious of the birds jumping through the maze of leafless limbs. But I’m enjoying the beauty of today because I no longer feel disconnected. And that is amazing!

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Chim is soooooo not caring for the white stuff! lol And to show the kind of day it’s been for me, I didn’t even realize until just a second ago that my white fur ball Baxter was even in this photo! So, yeah! lol