Friday, December 3, 2010

Avoiding Christmas

Well, ladies, I have news - we have a Christmas tree up!

We are keeping it really simple, just lights, a few ornaments for now. I might add some garland, or maybe not. I might get a topper, I might not - though it looks rather sad without a 'hat' of some kind!

I asked DH the other night if we could put up one of our trees. He looked at me wide-eyed and said sure, if you want to.

I came to realize that avoiding Christmas was hurting me more than it was helping me to a degree. Yes, it's a child-centered holiday, and for that reason, I have to protect myself from unnecessary emotional pain. But I wanted to participate this time. To tell myself, you know, it IS Christmas. For YOU. Even though we don't have our little ones with us, it's still Christmas.

We'll be doing it differently, that's for sure. I have a tree in my living room, but that's where the similarity ends. I shop for comfort when I can afford it - and it's just for me. Heck, I think that's great. It's that time of life for us, for me, apparently. One day, we will buy presents for our little ones.

I will not be attending our Sunday school Christmas party. Almost everyone has kids they bring - most of them multiple kids. So, that one gets a pass.

I'll let you know more of the strategies we will employ to survive this most sad of holidays for the family experiencing infertility. Until then, hang in there, ladies. I plan to try.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's the ___ _______ Time of the Year

For the first time in 2 years, I played a Christmas song in my house. I'm a Josh Groban fan, and I played a song from his Noel album. I haven't felt emotionally safe enough to allow myself to acknowledge that Christmas is occurring, occurring in the world around me, but not for me.

Of course, Jesus came to this earth for each of us, myself included. But not being able to celebrate this child-centered holiday in the traditional way for 4 years now has worn on me.

There is no tree up, though I own 2. I did hang a Christmas card wreath we bought last year from Will&ams-Son%ma. I have to say, I was able to smile a little with its hanging.

God and I have been on a healing project for my heart. The journey is long and still ongoing. I want to quit - so, so much - but I've come too far. Surely I am closer today than I have ever been to my future babies!

I have 3 babies in heaven, and I miss, miss, miss them. I attached a Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope button to this blog to reflect my appreciation for each of the ladies on their website. Their courage at sharing their stories is inspiring. I feel less alone because of them.

So, how would you fill in the blank of my blog title?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrating Halloween

Well, friends, I wish I could say celebrating. I am more of a fall celebrater anyway. I don't feel like celebrating, so I am thankful instead. I am thankful that my hubby and I could bag some leaves today and trim some of our shrubs. We worked hard and our yard looks better.

We are watching Extreme Makeov@r Home Edition where they are redoing a school for the deaf's dorms and helping them with their annual haunted house fundraiser. I really love this show. It makes me cry, and I always think, I'd love to help out and make someone's dreams come true. Dreams are so fragile and so valuable.

I am thankful that I can hear. Just hearing some of these kids' challenges in growing up is really heart-wrenching. The experience of infertility on Halloween, a holiday exclusively for the kiddos, is heart-wrenching. We are downstairs this year, with our lights off. It is just too hard to open the door to the dressed up little ones. I asked my hubby to give it a break this year. Over time, he came to understand just how painful this holiday was to me. And it's the first of several family-oriented holidays to come.

So how do you cope? When the sadness of infertility is almost overwhelming, and the tide of kid activities threatens to sweep all the sadness of your infertility experience into your lap, what do you do instead? We ate a pizza and rejoiced in the joy of those who have suffered so much. And one day like them, I too will rejoice in the victory of joy in the midst of heartbreak.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Completely Alone

My friend Kate*, who had her son at the end of July, called me out of the blue this week. The phone lines run both ways - this is true. To be honest, sometimes the loneliness of infertility and multiple miscarriage is positively haunting. It's like I'm the only one who knows my thoughts or has the capacity to care. A lie, straight from the evil one, no doubt. But exactly how I feel.

I could have called her to let her know I was thinking of her. I have been so much. Her son is nearly 3 months old, and it is getting quite cool here with the changes of fall. The changes of the seasons elicit a marked reaction in me now - more of a mourning. Ah, yet another red maple in its glory, and no little one in my arms. My driveway is filled with yellow gingko leaves and green maple ones, and no tricycle to guide across them.

Halloween costumes are the worst. I always imagine what my children would dress as - a pumpkin for me the first year, maybe a turtle or ladybug the second. Then they would maybe help pick - Spiderm%n or what character is 'in' for young girls today? I am sad that I don't know that.

We ate at a local hamburger and taco eatery, which filled to bustling with families, which were all I seemed to notice though I know high school kids were on dates and guy friends were pigging out, too. A guy with 4 tattoos on his arms - I am not against tats, quite the opposite, though I have none (I will so regret EVER saying that!) - walked by guiding out 2 little ones, with mom carrying another.

Our conversation was going well. I tried not to feel sorry for myself though I spoke with laryngitis. I've been working extra hours, my dad lost his job (a whole 'nother post), DH is out of town, I got my flu shot this week - a shock to my otherwise barely-making-it immune system, apparently. Actually, other than the occasional bout with insomnia, all things considered, I've been making it pretty well - ok, maybe not.

Then I mentioned that today was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. My friend, in her love for me, tried to stay with me, but her phone rang. It was her DH - little boy is crying and won't stop, so it was time to go home. I asked her about that, as I clinched my heart shut in the hopes that her sharing her life with a bambino wouldn't leave shards of glass in mine.

Yes, this is my first night out, and he is trying to get comfort and get down for the night (for a few hours). And the last time I was out, for not even 2 hours, I walked into the house to him screaming for me, said Kate.

I said something harsh like, well maybe that could change one day, wink. She handled it well - it was only a defense mechanism on my part. I would never want to judge her, or be ignorant on this issue. But I don't get to decide if I ever experience this.

She said 'so what was the rest of your thought?' but my words sounded hollow to my own ears. How can they stand against the cry of your own flesh and blood? Apparently, they cannot.

We left the restaurant, giving each other a hug. She said she would pray for me, and I silently knew I'd pray for her, too. She said I know I don't really understand or know what to say, and I told her thank you for listening.

An adventure in friendship and infertility, part 2.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Giving Up

I have so been having those days where I don't want to get out of bed. At work, as a pharmacist, we are giving flu shots. This is my first year to give them. It's amazing how those fertility shots helped me out there! If I can give shots to myself, I can surely inflict pain on someone else.

God has really helped me. I have been anti-social to say the least for this last while, and even the minor 'socializing' required to administer a flu shot was proving daunting. God said gently 'don't think about it so much'. We are 'required' to administer the shot as a regular prescription, meaning we put it in line to fill like a regular prescription. With grief rearing its ugly head, I was not happy at this prospect. But it's gone ok.

I even gave my first shot to a pregnant woman last night.

Satan, 0. God and me, 1.

I woke up at 4 am this morning. Another thing that's been happening some. It may be the pregnancy hormones going out of my system, and my lovely body returning to its apparently already off-kilter self. Yeah, the self-loathing is trying to come back. I know better, but I don't feel better, ya know?

We went to a craft fair on Sunday. Fun. I used to love those SO much, even planning for months in advance to drive to one 2 hours away. No more. Infertility drained not only my bank account, but my joy, I'm sad to say. I used to buy Christmas decor and ornaments starting in July, and I looked forward to decorating as soon as I could. It's so hard decorating for Christmas now (so I don't). Thanksgiving has a very different meaning to me now, and it all begins with Halloween/fall. I always wanted a little sweet pea, complete with the pumpkin costume with the lid of the pumpkin as a hat. So precious. It just won't be fall without my little pumpkin.

I miss having a lil' pumpkin in my life, in my arms, so so much.

So, what did I buy at the craft fair, you ask? A lovely dichroic glass pendant, with pink and green and swirls hung on a pink crystal chain. I wore it out of the booth just to make myself smile. One day I'll learn how to add photos to this blog. ;) Anyway, I also got a pearl pendant and 2 hair holder thingies made out of piano wire with beads on them. They are called Flexi8. I learned my hair is thinner than I remember, but hey, at least I have a new way to put it up.

It meant alot to me that DH came with me to the craft fair, and walked around, and wrote checks and didn't complain. I needed that. And even more, I needed someone to be with me and let me forget that I am experiencing infertility. Sometimes, God comes our way at a craft fair.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not Any Closer

Hello, friends. Well, I'm not any closer to being a mom today.

In literal days, I suppose I am. Am I the only one who has trouble falling asleep at night for thinking, I can't sleep, I don't have my baby yet? Amazing how this illogical thought can propel me to the heights of pain on any given night.

Our adoption agency in Texas has had a few 'issues' with our paperwork, the latest of which is they cannot log onto a website to confirm my employment, as that website requires a subscription, and the subscription costs - money. Well, I am sorry folks, but some of that 'agency fee' we gave you can be used for that. If my W-2s aren't enough - KWIM?? Sorry guys, my patience is running a little thin. I know you didn't intend to spend some of the $10,000 plus we gave you on my employment verification, but guess what? You have the money now!

Ok, I'll try to be nicer the rest of this post.


We went to the botanical garden last Saturday, and it was the most beautiful day. Blue sky - the most lovely shade of pure blue. Not a cloud. Warm, but stopping just shy of being too hot. I should've known - people bring their children to the garden when it's like this! I was literally physically aching by the time we left, there were so many strollers (that I dare not look inside), wagons, Little Tik_es cars, pregnant bellies.

I am delighted to see it - the life, the progress, the potential lived up to - for each person. I really am. I would like to see that for myself, in OUR lives.

What finally got me was when DH stopped to hold a door for all the children. A dad was walking past holding his little daughter (I can't tell how old a child is just by looking - a reality of infertility - but she looked less than 2). 'Don't look, don't look' I told myself. But so many little ones had passed me by that day, and I glanced at her. Daddy was cooing at her, saying something sweet, and she had the happiest open-mouthed grin as she was carried by.

On the way out to the parking lot, I lost it.

Sobbing. Boo-hooing. All my brave front, ruined. A messy, loud cry.

Back in our hot SUV - the irony is we have had this SUV for over 7 years now, with no children to ride in it - I sobbed and tried to talk. All DH could say was we would never come to the garden on such a beautiful day ever again.

I cried louder.

The loneliness of infertility is exhausting. All of your energy is often spent insulating yourself from the pain. It finds you anyway. When you dare to be human. Which is a very brave thing for the grieving.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Believing It

Ok, friends, so it's been awhile.

And we had another miscarriage since I last wrote.

Not to get all into it - because I am so sad that talking about it just breaks my heart.

I don't mean to exclude you from all this, but it is our 3rd miscarriage in a row.

We were not even 'trying'. Now of course, like any infertile, I am perpetually trying. I just mean we weren't cycling, and we sure as hell weren't prepared for this.

So, I've been SO tired. I am having trouble concentrating at work. My therapist plans to keep an eye on me. I already take an antidepressant, but I was taking two medicines until I became pregnant the last time. I tapered off one of the meds and I hope I can keep it that way.

My relationship with God is tanked. I know He will be there, and I know He is a good God. I do not feel it at all right now.

So, I'm just not f'ing believing it.

That this happened again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crap It

This is my new 'expletive', which I'm unfortunately getting much opportunity to use. 'Crap it' seems to fit my life quite well. My period is late - Crap it!!!!!

I know why - I ovulated late. My period is usually like clockwork, explaining the utter shock of my infertility diagnosis. There was NO HINT of any problems in my body whatsoever.

I ovulated late due to stress, I'm sure. We had our 2 home study interviews in one week's time, and the flood of emotions as I cleaned my house - you'd have thought they were bringing a baby to our house to stay that week - and I really wanted them to - were surprisingly volatile and sustained for that whole week.

Not to mention during the interviews themselves. Discussing the most intimate details of your life with strangers, no matter how nice they are, is daunting for me. All the most painful moments of my life are out in the open for everyone to read in the home study document. It's alot.

Then we went home for my birthday on July 18. Going home elicits tremendous pain for me, not the least of which is due to having no child to take home to his/her grandparents. As per usual, I cried myself to sleep the first night.

Then there's the Pain From the Past. My father was a very angry man, and while he is different now, he really hasn't changed inside, if you know what I mean. He's white-knuckled it and held it in and beat himself up for still being angry inside, but he has been unable to lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Jesus is the only way this weak woman can make it one step, and my father needs more Jesus. Crap it, I know I surely do.

My PMS has been sustained for almost 2 weeks now. All I've wanted to eat is Z@xby's and cheesecake and chips. Usually I can handle it for a few days, which is normally all it is. But this 2 week thing is killing my motivation to exercise and eat well. And just so you know, my motivation to eat well is very easily killed. Very.

I'm the chocolate girl at work. I always have candy around, in my drawer, waiting to be purchased. I work at a pharmacy in a grocery store, so the options are many. I have very little time to eat, but great need to do so. The public knows I am dangerous without chocolate. So do my co-workers.

To make up for it, I exercise regularly. I have a gym membership - notice I did not say I go to the gym. I used to be very good about it, going 3 to 4 times a week for months. But the heat from this summer, and the varicose vein treatments I've been enduring that have left my legs sore and bruised, have busted my motivation.

Excuses, excuses. I know! I have done some WiiF@t Act@ive workouts. They are challenging and work my muscles pretty well, allowing me to burn more calories at rest! Yea!

Enough already. I need to just get back on it. Me and my swollen, period-late, depressed self. Crap it!!

And I will, right after I have maybe some Za@by's later today. (yes, it really is 3:40 am right now - long story)

So. Period - get here! I know you're out there! And if you're not coming, please let my boobies go! Rarrrr!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ok With It

So we just left the maternity ward after seeing my friend Kate* and Anthony. Just as I expected, her sister Betsy* was protectively holding him, complete with the judgmental downward look should I dare to hold him, lest I steal him, infertile friend that I am. Not fun, but ok, you don't really know me, and I'm sure I'd feel the same way towards my sister's infertile friend she hasn't seen for over 6 months, too.

Still yucky.

I don't have to be ok with it.

I'm not ok with what God is doing. But I don't have to be. I know God is a good God, and really, that is enough. It doesn't feel like it is enough as we drive through the night, headed to DH's office for some late-night work. If we had a baby like Kate does, we couldn't do that. We'd be headed home, with me very sore, and one very perfect gentle angel in my arms.

I didn't hold him at all. No one offered, and I didn't ask. Hmm, I thought, so this is how it is. Not bad, but not especially good. But then again, this infertility thing is a shark with piercing white teeth, capable of separating bone and marrow, shredding hearts and dreams.

Hope you enjoyed your time in the maternity ward, I told DH. You'll be spending the LEAST time of all your friends here, I said after he mentioned the 4 friends' babies he had visited down this same hallway.

Don't talk like that, he said.

We mailed our photo books to the adoption agency today. For those of you who don't know, these are 5 copies of the same book that different birth mothers look through to choose the adoptive parents. We made ours a literal book, as I learned photo publishing websites can do. It has pictures of our lives, our cats, our hobbies and our heartaches. A Dear Birth Parent(s) letter, the most difficult letter I've ever written, is at the front. Over 6 months of work and lots of tears, several re-writes and drafts later, and it was ready. I found myself choking back tears as I walked out of the post office.

Take care of the most personal, vulnerable package I may ever mail, I implored.

Then DH called in the credit card for our agency fee. A chunk of change like none other, the agency fee is compliments of my parents. We did some saving, the best we could on our budget after infertility treatments, to contribute. I'm conflicted, but very grateful to accept their help.

We have quite a lot of expenses to go, including travel to the distant state and the rest of the fees involved. Not sure how we're going to pay for that, but God is able.

On a humid night with no hint of the forecasted rain, I look as far out into the night as I can see. Maybe if I can see someone else's life, I can forget the emptiness, the sorrow, the ache in mine. It is raining in the world I see tonight, like it has been for some time now.

And no, I'm not ok with it. It bites. Over and over. With no knowledge of when it all will end.

I'm glad I saw my friend, though.

*not their real names

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've never been a patient person. Although an introvert, I am a type-A personality all the way. When something needs to get done by someone, that someone is me. Why wait?, I reason. And then there's the 'only I can do it right' syndrome. Umm, I don't suffer from THAT... no, not at all.

As a result, accepting my DH's personality can be a challenge. Who can't relate? That's why I married him! I've gotten better at letting things slide: the way towels are folded and organized in my linen closet, his messy side of the bed, the side table by his chair with papers over 9 months old. Ditto the books from schooling from long ago in our basement.

I am wondering, however, how I'll do with waiting to be a mom.

I've been waiting to be a mom for quite some time already: our first miscarriage was over 3 and 1/2 years ago. I have been feeling the 'mothering instinct' for quite a bit longer - since I was 26. That's 10 years. But it was a 'bad' time in our lives back then, with DH's schooling and my full-time pharmacist job. Even my mother-in-law said, 'I just don't know what you'd do if you got pregnant like so-and-so.' As my RE once said, she got her wish.


Anyway, today has been a day marked with lessons of patience. My good friend Kate*, who I wrote about in a previous post in January, went to the hospital today to deliver Anthony*. I had planned to go visit them today, which is a really big deal for me. My losses have been difficult to endure, and I wanted to be there for my friend, in spite of the sadness. Of course I have no idea how these things really go, but I was imagining it would be today that he would arrive. But, here it is 6:20 pm, and still no Anthony.

DH and I sometimes eat lunch together on Wednesdays. We went to the local chicken super-crowded place and barely got in and out before we needed to be at the bank to have some of our adoption paperwork notarized. Well, apparently, the bank is no longer notarizing. Of course I took it personally and had to look away as the very kind bank official lady apologized about why she could not notarize our adoption papers. We thanked her - me, through gritted teeth - and I went outside and cursed the fluffy white clouds against chipper blue sky. WTH... I think I needed to feel a little more cut off from society today, I really did.

It's been close to 100 degrees here off and on for a few weeks - we've had one of the hottest summers on record. The heat saps my energy and my want-to almost as bad as infertility. I forgot an appointment I had was at 2:00, even though it was written down, and showed up at 1:00. Then I dashed to T*rget to grab only a fraction of what we really needed to make use of the time somehow. I threw the bags in the house, and barely made it back to the appointment.

Aaarrgh. My mind has been full all day, wondering how I'd deal with Anthony and my friend. I cried myself to sleep last night thinking of it, but found myself waking this morning feeling much better. But my mind was still full. I'm a 'slow processor' of emotions; they take me awhile to digest. Unfortunately I feel them with the intensity of a high power wind tunnel.

So, now that DH is home, I guess it's time to make use of the evening. My friend texted me just now, poor thing. 'He isn't here yet, but I will push again soon'. Poor angel. I wish I could do it for her.

*not their real names

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Going to Take It Anymore

Friends, I am so sorry for staying away so long. Bla, bla, bla.... but you know how it is. I've been busy doing as little as possible, including going for 2 nights to a B&B with DH. Getting away from my family-friendly small city was HEAVEN. I didn't even realize just how suffocating it really was.

I'm not going to take it anymore - just being sad.

True, grief is a life event. I am so much more than my sadness. I have to remember that. Suffering from depression for over 10 years - and probably much longer, perhaps even from childhood - I tend to get wrapped around the axle about sad things I cannot change. Powerlessness is one of the worst things about infertility, but my goal is to live more fully.

I visited my friend Beth Anne* a few hours away. Aaahh, someone who gets it. She is hilarious, single for now, and a pharmacist like me. We gab and joke about our jobs and how much they su*&, though we are both grateful for our jobs. Um, yes we are. But life has not been as kind as I would like to my friend, and along with me, we are journeying down the road of Dreams on Hold.

We made a pledge to get together more often, and we should. Life is too short to be alone for long, and I've been alone about as long as I can take it.

That doesn't mean I won't be up for more solitude. Sometimes it's a bummer being an introvert, but I get energized by being alone. One of my favorite things to do is to visit our botanical garden and just walk slowly and sit for long periods of time. I usually stay about 2 hours. God and I talk, and I get a chance to listen to Him for a change, and I come away - changed. I wouldn't say I feel 'better,' because sometimes I leave with tears in my eyes clinging stubbornly to my mascara. I may leave tired. But grieving is hard work. I leave feeling closer to who I really am.

My mom, for those of you who know, is doing well. She had her thyroid removed in May and she won't have to have radioactive iodine, which is usually used to 'eat' up the cancer cells the thyroid may have sent out to the body. Her doctor didn't say she didn't have cancer, only that her diagnosis is Hashimoto's thyroiditis - an autoimmune disease. There must have been some cells that looked suspect for them to even call it the c-word at all, but WE ARE SO GRATEFUL. Wow. I feel like we dodged a bullet. Thank you, Jesus.

But, the Hashimoto's diagnosis got me thinking - maybe I should have my thyroid checked, including checking for antithyroid antibodies and other autoimmune disease markers like NK cells and antiphospholipid antibodies. Forgive me if I'm inaccurate here, but I've tried to put all this out of my mind - over $1,000 worth of tests (deductible previously met, yea!) - because they are all completely normal.

I've never been so saddened by normal lab results.

Interestingly, the nurse I had talked to that day at my doctor's office had just had this exact panel drawn after her recent miscarriage and difficulty TTC, so I didn't have to know the names of all the tests or convince the doctor to order them. She was there, validating the legitimacy of my request. That really was comforting.

Even though my one shot in the dark left to have a 'condition' on which to blame my infertility is now gone. Gone. DOR it is. Yucky, yucky.

I keep praying for that radical miracle, that only God could have done this miracle out of nowhere. For each of us. Because He can do it.

I have no idea why He might not.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother

A challenging day it is, Mother's Day. With my mother's recent diagnosis of thyroid cancer, my relationship with her has come to the forefront of my mind.

She made it through the surgery well, and had some of her lymph nodes removed also, which they will send off for evaluation.

She will have radioactive iodine at some point as well, and begin a thyroid hormone supplement. Hopefully, she will completely recover and be cancer-free.

But it's amazing how the c-word can change your perspective.

My mom and I have been close at some times, at other times, not. Since my father was a very angry man and largely incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship with me during my growing-up years, she was the one I was closest to. But I came to realize over time that the codependent relationship she had with my dad was what met her needs also. And it determined how she related to everyone - including me.

Sadly, I became angry with her some over the years. Mostly later, after I'd been married awhile. She was all I had when I lived at home, other than my younger brother. And he depended on me.

Only recently have I been learning how to be a different person - I have found myself learning to be a better friend, learning how to accept myself and enjoy the company of others, how to reach out to someone when I am sad or need help. Unfortunately, my mom is just learning these lessons now. I am very glad that she is, but it has been difficult learning them for myself.

However, I am very grateful that she is my mother. I told her this weekend, you mean more to me now than ever, after all my experiences with infertility.

I wept when my dad left for awhile, and I was left in her room alone. The scar on her neck where her thyroid was removed was so painful for her, and to look at her hurting, to want to take her pain upon myself - oh, to be able to. There is nothing as painful as watching one you love suffer.

I stayed overnight at the hospital with her, and I am so glad that I could. My coworkers worked for me so my DH could drive me the 4 hours to be with her that day. The nurses were kind to her, and I helped her whenever I could. I filled her ice pack that was wrapped around her neck to soothe the incision.

God is able to work through any life experience, from the most serious to the most mundane. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). He spoke to me many times over this last week, revealing how he wants me to see Him. And how he wants me to see my mother.

I may not have done it the same way, but she always tried to do the best she could.

And for that, I am grateful she is my mother.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reeling in the Cash

Today we got some really difficult news about our finances. Our 2009 tax return will not yield us as much of a return as we’d hoped - as we’d set our hope of affording adoption on. We might get back $3,500 - a far cry from the $25,000 we need. My DH left the message on my voicemail - even he hated to leave it. But he was driving back from the accountant’s office, and so he couldn’t talk about it once he got back to work.

The wind just flew out of our sails. We feel melancholy beyond words. I told DH ‘no matter what, God is still good’. And He is.

But this news - it’s so, so bad. SO bad.

What in the world will happen now? It was like the tax return was our ‘permission’ to pursue adoption. What were we to believe about our family now?

Does our family matter to God?

Of course it does, because he is strong, he is loving (from the Psalms). But it does not FEEL like we matter. I wish I had been spared this disappointment.

We just didn’t need another disappointment.

I’m heading to Memphis next week for Mom’s thyroid surgery. It will be a tough time to be with her, but I’m casting it all on the Lord. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last week and is having her thyroid removed next Wednesday. Wow. I have no energy to deal with this, you know? So, in that case, the Lord's loving arms are open for me....

At any rate, it's been a rough little while.

Off I go to take a walk.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Believing A Lie

Well, friends, I had been believing a lie and didn't even know it. I had a fellow infertility-sufferer give me a copy of a sermon called Enduring Faith by Bill Johnson, a pastor in Redding, California. It reminded me of a great truth: God is good; satan is bad.

Not to get all he*&-fire and brimstone on you, but satan is real. He and his demons have come to steal, kill and destroy. But I've known that a long time. And like you, I've been feeling the effects so much during this time of my life.

Here's a great question: does God 'allow' suffering to 'make us stronger' or 'grow our character'? I don't believe He does. He is good; that is His nature and He cannot go against that. Jesus came to earth and died for our sins; His love is good and perfect. Any time someone came to Jesus and asked Him for healing in the Bible, he gave it to them. He did not say 'no - get right with me first' or 'no - I want you to learn to bear up under it'.

So why is all this happening? For the millionth time asking myself, I still have no answer. However, I have some peace knowing God did not decide this was good for me and bring it into my life. Infertility and miscarriage - each loss we have endured - is the work of the destroyer. There is no infertility in heaven. Just as there is no cancer, no death of any kind.

I believe that I am living in the in-between: between what I can understand and what I don't understand. The why of what I'm going through is one of the things I don't understand. God is giving me the grace each hour of each day to live in the in-between. And as we all know, it is not easy. But He is here, and He did not cause this - He did not 'allow' it to teach me a lesson. He didn't forbid it either, however. Because all along He has a plan to work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Let me also say that God has been misrepresented to me alot in my life. My father was a very angry man and took this anger out on my family and me during my growing up years. He is vastly different today, but our relationship is largely broken and stale. I am unable to pursue a healthy relationship with him to this day. We get together at holidays, and do the usual things, but it is largely just a walk-through instead of a real, living relationship. I say this to illustrate that my template for our heavenly Father, Jesus, was largely colored - and colored in error - by my relationship with my earthly father. So this knowledge that God is good and just how good he is is a really big deal to me.

I know it's just arguing semantics to say did God allow it or did he just not forbid it. And this is a great mystery. I do not have the answers, but I do look to God for them. Many of the answers won't come this side of heaven, but I have peace today knowing that God is good.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy It's Spring

Well, friends, as you can imagine, I'm not 'happy' it's spring.

Don't get me wrong - dour, cold gray days can get old. Even if they accurately reflect my state of mind.

But warm sunshine? Green grass clumps growing? Daffodils? Birds merrily singing?

I'm not ready for that.

It's like I'm walking down a path of broken rocks in bare feet. Next to me is a path of softest spring green grass, but I am not allowed to walk on it. God says, 'no, I want you to walk down the other path.' How it hurts, how it isolates. How it hurts!!!!

Why even HAVE the other path? Why must I even know it exists? I ask Him, if You're not answering MY prayer, why are You answering ANY?

As per usual, I hear only silence. And birds merrily singing.

P.S. - God and I are still talking. But our relationship is surviving amidst great agony.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heart Break

When tears rain
Down my heart
As they so often have -
I feel so alone.

When my arms ache
From emptiness -
When my heart
Has more love to give,
And the ones
I give my love to
Are gone.

When I come home
After a long day of work
To a quiet house -
So quiet.

God, are You here?

I try to remind myself that You are.

I long to be
The innocent one again.
Who never knew of death
In my womb.

Who never knew the death of dreams -
So many dreams.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
Ah, yes - sadly so.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Good Friend

When I got a text from a friend last Wednesday, I just knew that she was pregnant. Kate* and I have been friends for over 3 years now, and she's a keeper. I knew that she and her husband were 'trying,' and they have never had reproductive challenges, as I refer to them.

I wanted to give her as much space as I could, since I'm going through a rough time in the wake of the termination of our infertility treatment heroics. And it was a good thing, for when she broke the news to me, I handled it really badly.

About 20 minutes into our lunch, I said 'you're going to really laugh at me when I tell you this. I thought you wanted to have lunch with me so you could tell me you're pregnant.' A relieved bit of laughter from me couldn't cover her response of 'I am'. Oh shit.

I bumbled around for something to say, and it wasn't congrats. I scraped through my rice and beans and cut up the rest of my chicken burrito mindlessly. My appetite was gone. As I swirled the food around on my plate, I hoped the check would come, SOON. I wanted outta there.

Tears filled my eyes. Here was the one person I could turn to in my journey who was now ripped from my hand. She said many good things like, I have been thinking about you so much lately and I feel the closest I ever have to you here recently and I love you and I could never hurt you. But my mind couldn't take it in then.

You may say, the one person in your journey? Well, I have distanced myself from so many acquaintances during our years of failed IUIs and failed IVFs and miscarriages that people have stopped trying to be my friend. And while I know you have to have a friend to be one, I haven't done so well on that one. I am just trying to survive here, and making nice just isn't in the cards.

Enter Kate. She came along in my life right after my first miscarriage, right at the time that her mother died. We had a kinship right away. She wasn't trying for a family then, and I was so grateful. It was too good to be true. A few years younger and a schoolteacher, Kate had her feet planted firmly on the ground of work-church-hubby. And I liked it that way.

I knew this day would come, and on one hand, I am grateful. Walking through infertility with a friend would suck. Watching her highs and as for me, mostly lows, on this road would scrape against the skin of my soul leaving wounds only the Almighty could heal. On the other hand, the dreams of us being pregnant at the same time are gone. The dreams of me being the mother first have been gone, but I could have helped her through some of this.... if only. My first child would be 2 and 1/2 now, and what advice I could have given! What joy I could have shared!

I want to be the friend to walk down the road of pregnancy with her, but I can't be. I want to be the one...... I can't even finish this thought, it hurts so much.

But I told her today, I don't want to know anything. I can't know what's going on. Of course, I'll nearly die if something bad happens..... but Lord willing, it won't.

So, dear Kate, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm going through infertility and that I can't share the sweetest time in your life with you.

*not her real name

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cleaning Grief

Well, friends, today I'm experiencing 'cleaning grief'. Good grief, what now, you ask? Well, when you clean out your garage and find yourself making space for the kid stuff - when you don't have any kids yet - you get 'cleaning grief'. When you find your Girl Scout badge folder from 1984 that details the child care badge you completed when your brother was born, and you don't have any kids yet... well, you get the idea.

We've lived in our home for over 4 years, and when we moved in, my hubby was in a residency program across the country. He finished the program and moved here, but I was on my own at the house-signing and for the move across the country - quite a fun ride with my mother-in-law and 2 cats (15 hours of driving). Needless to say, I didn't organize so well back then. And my dreams were so different.

I began cleaning our extra basement room today. So much to go, but I must focus on what I got done. Always crafting ambitious, I had saved license plates and broken bowls, wooden boxes and greeting cards - each in the hopes of creating a masterpiece one day. I'm more of a hodge-podge putter together-er, as opposed to a true artist. But to me, this is my way to self express.

I realized today that I will not have the luxury to explore all of these creative options. I'm ok with it, I guess. Our trash bin is full for the week already. I had always planned to be a stay-at-home-mom. Well, it's a 'no' on the mom part for now and on into the foreseeable future, and a 'no' on the stay-at-home part, too. I'm a part-time pharmacist, and if you know any retail pharmacists (think Wally world, though that's not where I work), then you know why I work part time. I would lose my mind otherwise.

I'm blessed to have a job. I'm blessed to have a job. I'm blessed... (you can tell this is a process)

Something I'm Not is... through cleaning yet. Though I'm taking a major break so I can - go back to work. Yea!