Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A note to you.


A special note to IF friends and sisters, and others who are/have been waiting with me:

Hi there. Your support and encouragement has been invaluable to me.

SO. Now I have become one of "those" women, who tried almost everything, was on a break, applied for adoption, and got pregnant out of the blue. I am praying my story does not haunt and irritate other waiting-women for years to come- but I have no control over it (I'm sorry... sigh!).

At the same time, I know this story is a miracle. I have not tracked an ovulation for the three years we've been trying, besides when on fertility drugs. I mean, I have joked about an immaculate conception, but I feel like this comes pretty close and I'm so thankful for this. I'm also so aware that the fact that we've made it to 13 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy with no complications is another miracle, after the ones we've lost early.

I don't know why God has decided to show us such grace at this time, yes we have been praying and others too, but so have you for your child, so why me and not you, and why now and not before or later, who knows?

We don't take this for granted and we are trying our best to celebrate each day of it, while praying we can carry this one to term.

When I wrote 'unexpected journey' in the little blurb under my blog title I didn't really think of this extent of the unexpected! Gosh. Yet at the same time we've been praying for it so what else was I thinking? I'm also still keen to continue this blog so we'll see what happens.

I just wanted to acknowledge you and let you know that your support and prayers are what have sustained us and continue to be needed. I also want to keep caring for you so please let me know how best I can.

Love s

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas everyone!


(nativity set from my in-laws. first christmas that i get to display them! fun times.)

How are you doing?

I know today is a day of celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family. For us we pretty much received our gift and Christmas miracle early- our pregnancy. (um... Read previous post if you missed that.) Who knew? I still can't help but say it all seems so crazy. However I have also been thinking of those in the midst of a heart-breaking time.

I have two special friends who have gone through miscarriages this week. Each of them are very dear to me and it is heart-breaking to know they are grieving for their little child, especially right in this season of what should be joy and hope. Even though I can relate, I want so much to comfort them but words still escape me.

I also acknowledge a friend who misses her mother who has passed, and another friend who is going through a marriage separation.

These are all paths they also never imagined they'd be on. At times like Christmas, as much as it is a wonderful time, I'm sure you IF-ers know too, the realities of life can be so hard to avoid- yet another Christmas tree with no presents under it to buy for the child you imagine you'd have by now.

'I'm praying for you' is what I say, but it can seem so empty or overused when the depth of the pain appears so bottomless...

Oh Lord I continue to be thankful and overwhelmed by the infinite nature of your grace and mercy. The birth of Christ signifies the hope and life you bring. Yet I'm sure You also knew the double-edged-ness on the day of His birth, as it would mean His death and sacrifice for all of ours. (I think there is a song about this or maybe many songs but I can't remember it right now.)

You probably also had great joy and great sorrow as Jesus was welcomed to this broken world- knowing what was to come. I pray for comfort for these dear friends Lord. It can only come from You. All the words and gifts we may bring are useless and ultimately empty without You involved.

There are also so many questions we bring Lord. Could you have made it less painful? Better timing? Saved it for when we were prepared? How long more?

Anyway. We bring you these messed-up things and we know there is no other way but to let you handle them.

I know. Sorta heavy. But that's just what's on my mind. Hmmm...

It is actually already the end of Christmas day here. I had a lovely day (pancakes, presents, Skype, family, friends, etc. ) with special family here and I hope the same has been/will be for you too.

(this is what my living room is looking like...)




Goodnight!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Spilling the Beans

** caution: pregnancy-type stuff in here**

(this was my christmas craft this year... started as just a wreath using stuff i had... became a candy cane wreath!)

It is Christmas Eve here. I don't know if this is the best time for where you are at to tell you my news, because I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of these... but I need to let you know. I've been um-ing and ah-ing for the last six weeks wanting to tell you guys this but for different reasons I had to wait.

Guys, I'm pregnant.

Joke? No. Not kidding.

Did I just use the dreaded p-word? Yes.

Ridiculous? Yes.

Madly ridiculous? Amen.

Surprise? Big time.

Miracle? OH BOY YES on multiple levels. You may know we were in a local adoption process where we were going to be 'approved' of as adoptive parents, right about now (so they will make us put that on hold)... We conceived without help! (For three years I've never ovulated on my own and suddenly here we are...) We also have made it past 12 weeks which is in another realm of miracles.

Confused? Totally. I have felt very much like Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1 in the Bible- speechless and shown great mercy.

Celebrating? Yes.

Thankful? Yes.

Cautious about how I feel? Sadly, because of our history still yes, but trying to enjoy it too.

I have SO MANY SO MANY thoughts, so many posts I've imagined in my head and things I want to say but I'm going to keep this post short because I have a knack for making things complicated and this needs to be simple for now haha.

I'm also thinking of you as it is Christmas and this is a bittersweet time for many.

I love this song Christmas Offering by Casting Crowns, let's see if I know how to embed a video in a post... hmmm...




Talk more soon guys... Have a wonderful Christmas Eve/eve-of-the-eve.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five In One

Okay so the problem with not keeping up with blogging is that there starts to be so many things to say! Today I'm going to list- just to 5.

(this star has 5-points too. i know. deep.)

Stick with me people, there's some exciting stuff to be shared! Warning: lots of links so be prepared to right-click and 'open in new tab' (hopefully haha), lots of things relating to Christmas. (If you don't have the stamina for this list today, at least read point 1!)


1. CELEBRATION TIME! Grace and her husband at Chois-R-Us who are adopting have finally finally gotten their call to go to Korea.

She has been waiting for her son to come home for so long. Many of us have been waiting with her. She is a fabulous blogger and never fails to make me laugh. I'm just so stoked for her and her husband that their journey to bringing their dear boy home is at a final stage. Praying that things continue smoothly from here on and there are no hiccups. Woopwoop!

2. SHOPPING IDEA. Online shopping can be so good. Through Grace, I found this blog by Kelly- Life with Briar. They have also adopted and this blog is about life with their daughter. What's also fun is that Kelly makes crochet hats, clips and other fun accessories! Her Etsy shop is called BriarClaire (and I've already bought a couple things for my nieces overseas hehe).

3. CHRISTMAS. Christmas trees are going up all around us! Have you done yours? For the first few years of marriage, the husband and I delayed getting a Christmas tree because we (like many other couples) thought to wait until we had kids.

About a year into our infertility journey, we realised we could be waiting for a long time... so we decided to 'stuff it' and get a tree. I love that we made that decision to start enjoying what Christmas is about (like not simply about children) and creating our own traditions with or without kids. It was actually also good for us because it reminded us that we are a whole and complete family unit even as two.

4. IF AND CHRISTMAS. For those dealing with infertility or loss, Christmas is a hard time because there are so many reminders of things we are waiting for or miss. What are some aspects you struggle with? How are you coping? What are some ways you've found that help?

I don't have any great thoughts right at this moment but I'd love to come up with a 'guide' so if you have any ideas let me know.

Here are a few links that have caught my attention:
  • Stirrup Queens wrote a post a week ago, 'Fire and Ice', thinking through whether to go to possibly-difficult baby-related events or not... not totally related to Christmas but sorta is... and is interesting.
  • My recent favourite The Nester writes this post about doing less and enjoying more this season- not related to infertility or baby loss but something to think about for those like me who can tend to make life more complicated than necessary sometimes! 
  • (She also has awesome ideas for wreaths and other 'crafts' if you like that sorta stuff. See the bottom of this post.)
  • Beckie's Infertility Diaries posts about how it is so easy to think other people have had an easier time when maybe they didn't. TOTALLY.  Overly beautiful pregnant women, sweet happy families with tons of kids, perky parents of newborns, um... yup I'm horrible I know I know. But how many times have I walked past with so much seething envy? ALL based on assumptions that it was a smooth ride for them, when I have no idea. This, unlike me sigh, is a sweet post. 

5. BODY STUFF. On quite a different note, after a Christmas meal or not, I often struggle with dealing with how I look, and weight issues, my imperfections in general etc.

I waste a lot of precious energy concerned about this stuff and am continually having to go to God about this. I've come a long way but this has been a life-long thing for me- and probably will be.

This post, 'The Scale', at (in)courage is a good reminder, as when we let our minds get too preoccupied with 'fat or not fat', 'heavy or too heavy', 'eat this or not', not just are we doing damage to ourselves but also to others who see us as an example- daughters, friends, those we mentor, other women around us etc. 

This topic really gets me going so I can go on about it for a while, haha, but I will leave it for another day! 

So that's me for now. Hopefully not too long until the next post.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Married for Six Years!

(not us. stock photo.)

This past weekend, the husband and I celebrated our 6th year wedding anniversary. Woopwoop! We had breakfast together (at McDonald's haha) and also had a lovely dinner at a nice restaurant.

We have also started this random tradition of getting a gift for each other only on the day, where we go to a mall, set a budget (this year it was $20 each) and a time limit and go find a fun gift for each other. We wait (this part is his idea not mine!) until we get home (painful) and then we exchange it.

I think it came out of relieving each other of the pressure of getting anniversary gifts, figuring how much to spend, what to get, getting annoyed if one forgot haha, etc. Especially because our anniversary is pretty close to Christmas and the husband's birthday, this has been a fun activity we can do together and on the day of the anniversary itself.

This year the husband got me a lovely ornament from Redcurrent (very pretty store, love it) and a home decor magazine that had heaps of Christmas ideas in it (ahhh! Too many ideas now!), while I got him a Mini magazine (like the Mini as in the type of car) and a big bag of lollies/candy cos' his magazine was a special import from the UK and sorta used up most of the budget haha.

So here we are six years on. Crazy! It has also been the American Thanksgiving (even though we don't really celebrate it here in NZ some of my American friends do) so we've been thinking about what we are thankful for.

The husband and I are thankful to God for:

- good support from people around us this past year, like a counsellor who has given us his wisdom and time for free!
- a great team we work with who have been flexible with us and given us lots of grace when we need it...
- a marriage where we are each other's best friend and we enjoy each other's company
- a marriage that has endured some unexpected things like job dramas, grief, medical things, infertility, etc, yet remained on the same page on the whole,
- things He is continually doing in our lives that we don't have control over (ugh have to say I love/hate it!)
- to be honest, just overall survival of another year.

On another note... today I spotted a couple posts on (in)courage that were neat.
Here they are:

- Staying Sane this Christmas (I need this because this year I'm a bit overwhelmed by how fast it has come by!)
- The Depth of an Empty Womb (I know each of us is at different places in this journey, and this author feels like she can 'see the light' and while not everyone may feel like this yet, it is still a good reminder to focus on God's promises... even if we don't feel like it!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Talk-In-Front-of-Church Thingy

If you meet me in real life you'll immediately know I'm not an upfront-speak-to-crowd kind of person. That's why this past Sunday was especially scary and cool. Scary that I was sharing some of our story to the whole church, but cool that I got the opportunity to do it and hopefully it reached out to someone who maybe has been on a similar path.

My prayer was that I wouldn't cry and wouldn't cough. Neither of those are majorly life-threatening (in fact, I highly support crying) but I just knew it would be good for me (i.e. prevent mind block up on stage) in this case if I didn't. Thank God that it all went smoothly and I managed to hold of the crazy coughing for later.

Here's what I said:

Are you where you thought you would be a few years ago?

I'm sure many of you can understand what it is like to be on an unexpected journey.

I’m S. My husband J and I got married six years ago. In our third year into marriage we decided to start trying for a baby, little did we know what lay ahead.

 These past three years we have undergone eight rounds of fertility treatment, I have had two surgeries, we have gone on holiday, we have tried to relax, we have had less caffeine, we have taken more vitamins, we have lost weight, gained weight, exercised, not exercised, tried alternative methods, basically tried different things to get pregnant. [Managed to get a few laughs here...]

In this time we have conceived and sadly we have lost four little lives early on in pregnancy.

Where this journey is hardest, is all the unknowns... naive as it may sound, some days we feel like yelling, this is not what I signed up for!

Questions that we sometimes ask are: How long will we wait? Will we ever have children? What treatment should we pursue? How many rounds?

Should we even pursue treatment? How do we trust God to provide? When do we consider other options? How do we cope with this rollercoaster of hope and disappointment?

I acknowledge that J and I have been fortunate enough to get pregnant, but for us, the question is also, will we carry a baby to term?

As you can imagine infertility and pregnancy loss impacts marriage. Jason and I deal with these issues so differently, that it can be very difficult to be on the same page.

There is also a deep sense of grief and depression that exists when dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. With infertility, you mourn the child you dreamt of having, the thought of having a family.

With miscarriage, you mourn the child you carried for a time but won't get to meet in this lifetime and the things you longed to experience with them... and for some couples you ache to provide a sibling to an existing child.

It is a hard one to escape as there are so many reminders around us of what we miss or don’t have. Events like Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day can be met with such mixed feelings for those of us on this journey. J and I are full of joy for loved ones around us but we also feel the pain of yet another year celebrating it without kids.

I share this with you because infertility or loss is real for many couples around us. They may be your friends, family or colleagues. They may be open with their journey or they may be more private.
If you and your spouse are going through this, [our church] would just like to let you know that we want to care for you.

We’re not sure what this looks like yet, but we would definitely like to pray for you and support you. We understand that this is a difficult journey so we want to provide a place where you feel you can feel safe about it. This may be in the shape of a group, meeting up for a coffee or maybe even just a regular email.

You can contact me blahblah, etc...

Thank you.

I was shaking when I did it and I shook even after I sat down next to the husband. I hope no one noticed haha.

It was especially neat because the message was on community and how to be caring for each other in a deeper and real way (Galatians um... somewhere in there... I obviously wasn't paying enough attention!) so my bit served as an introduction to the message. Felt pretty special!

Doing this meant so much to me. It also occured very strongly to me how cared for I am by people around me, and how supported I am by the church with this whole idea to set up a kind of support network for others dealing with infertility, pregnancy loss or related issues.

I'm praying that wherever you are and whatever stage you're at, that you will also have someone you can talk to or feel safe with on this journey, as it can just be such a peculiar one to understand.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sickie


I've been sick the last couple days... down with a kind of cold and just ol' sore-throat-pain-and-yuckiness. Trying not to splutter all over the keyboard. EW.

But hopefully I'm getting there. Being in bed or on the couch all day is no fun. It sounds fun but when you actually have to do it it is not.

What are you like when you are sick?

I'm:

- paranoid that suddenly everything is super dirty and needs a clean. I think I imagine germs multiplying as I'm sleeping and breathing on it. NEED TO NEED TO: Change the sheets (done), ask the husband if he can vacuum (haha), wash the dog, wipe the whole house down, etc.

- hungry for everything but not really. I think cos' your senses get dulled you just want to taste tasty things, but then when you eat it it isn't actually that great cos' you're not feeling great enough to enjoy it? I may be one of those people who miraculously gains weight while sick.

- wanting chicken soup. So I made some in the crock pot for myself (and the husband). Love the crock pot cos' it is so 'self-cooking'.

- too uncomfortable to be in one position for too long. Sleeping isn't fun, sitting isn't fun, standing isn't fun, TV is boring. Oh I'm such a joy to be around. Thankfully it has just been Sammy and I.

- consuming a lot of honey and lemon.

- wondering if coughing so much can give you good abs?

- not sure how I would do this if I had a baby. I guess you just do what you gotta do. Or ring grandma.

- getting a bit concerned about how the world is managing to survive without me! Haha.

But no seriously, being stuck at home recovering from something always makes me realise how much I need to trust God for my sense of worth, not the things I do or achieve.

- doing an announcement-thingy-about-IF/LOSS stuff tomorrow at church so hoping that I don't sound too much like I've been travelling in the desert looking for water and chain-smoking at the same time. Sigh. Timing can be funny... I'm sure it'll be ok.

Haha... Not a terribly exciting post for today. Hope you have a good weekend ahead guys!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's Great About Now...

This weekend I got to spend some time alone at Browns Bay. It was nice taking a walk and have a nosey around the shops. Here is a pic I took while sitting on the bench.

(there were lotsa people and dogs out and about, but somehow they didn't feature in my shot... haha... oh well!)


Ahhh thankful for lovely days and gelato. haha. Yeah I had a double scoop of gelato- chocolate and hazelnut. MMmmmmm.

(Except it was a cash-only shop and I never carry cash on me these days, so I had to go and get money from an ATM, but I think the shopowners are pretty used to it cos' she let me have my ice-cream and trusted me to come back with the money. How nice!)

The warm weather reminds us that Christmas is coming up (yeah weird for some of you I know!) and I love it. What do you like about this time of the year?

I like:

1. Christmas and all its trimmings like ornaments, wrapping presents, food, etc.

2. Starbucks releases its Christmas-flavours of drinks! Yum.



3. Summer = warmth. (Though it might get hot and there are flies but besides that...) Having barbecues and hanging out outside.

4. Cos' it is warm, we will wear less layers, which means (theoretically) less laundry! haha.

5. Ice-cream/gelato/frappucino/milkshakes/smoothies, give it to me baby!

6. Music. Love Christmas music.

Last year my bro and sis-in-law got me Chris Tomlin's Glory in the Highest (if you can, listen to the 11th track by Audrey Assad, I love it even thought it isn't winter here... gorgeous! Reminds me I'd like to check out her own album... ) and Mercy Me's The Christmas Sessions for Christmas so I'm looking forward to playing it leading up to Christmas instead of after Christmas this time haha...

Anyway. That's me for now. What about you?

Sunday night here. Better head to bed. Have a good day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Year On

Today is the anniversary of when we lost Baby N. Yesterday I bought flowers to make it a bit more special but sadly when I brought them home, they were more floppy than I'd realised. (Darn those sneaky supermarket-sleeve-flowers and my lousy judgement haha... Oh well. )

How quickly a year has gone by. A year since the husband flew back from the States in a rush to be with me. A year since being at the hospital with my dear friend C who took care of everything while I panicked in pain. Thank you God for how you worked everything out somehow.

The grief has definitely subsided. Something you never feel is going to happen when you are in the midst of it and can hardly see past the hour. Though there is still a deep longing to know what Baby N looks like and what life would have been (as with all the babies we long to meet)... Life is interesting huh.

It is curious thinking about what I remember of the day I found out the pregnancy definitely wasn't progressing (the scan, going for something as normal as a meal after as there was nothing we could do and it was something to do aside from crying), the next day (arranging a D & C as by then I'd been bleeding for a while) and then that night/the following day when it all happened naturally and so quickly yet kinda also in slow-motion.

So many difficult memories, yet it was a deep and impactful time too, it especially impacted my relationships (with my mother who was there at the last scans, with my friend C who coached me through contractions that I for some reason didn't expect, and my husband who sped from airport to hospital in crazy shock).

One thing that the miscarriages have made me think about a lot is heaven. What is heaven like? I'm still figuring it out. A topic I never really had to think too much about in terms of specifics. It also has made me really want to go there, not in a scary way but just in a it-will-be-so-awesome-when-we-get-there kind of way.

Even this year has continued to be a bit of a confusing year, but we can definitely see how God has been taking such good care of us. The fact that we have simply survived a year is a good thing! To be honest I'm not sure where the year has gone. It feels like it sorta just disappeared, all I know is I'm tired but here I am... haha.

So. We're really not sure what the future holds but it surely is going to be 'good' because it is in God's hands. He is a faithful God. Oh how I need to remember that on the trickier days!

(we decided to buy bears to for each of our children, to remember them by even if there is little to hang on to. here are just three of them... two have their nickname-initialed on their foot!)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thoughts on Naomi



I've been quite interested in the character of Naomi from the book of Ruth in the Bible. Initially I just thought she had a lovely name but I also really struggled to understand why she wanted to be called 'Mara' instead which means bitter- so much more ugly-sounding!

Recently, I got to read a Francine Rivers book Lineage of Grace, and it had a version of Ruth and Naomi's story. (I don't read a lot of Christian-fiction but I have enjoyed some Francine Rivers books as it helps me picture what life may have been like in history.) I was really intrigued by how Francine Rivers detailed these women, especially Naomi.

It occured to me how her life contained so much loss. She lost her husband Elimelech and both her sons. Thinking back to the way life was in Bible times, to go from a woman married with two sons (her life was probably pretty secure in terms of income and social standing), to having NONE of those.

Instead she returned to her homeland with nothing but a Moabitess on tow, who was a foreigner to them. This would've been a big no-no to the locals and they probably weren't very well received or welcomed.

I know this is not my situation but I think this connected with me because I'm learning so much about loss through things such as the husband and I having to change jobs and give up some dreams we had about our career future, through infertility and miscarriage, as well as through friends who have lost close ones.

There was also a situation earlier this year where the thought of losing the husband became very real to me. Thankfully this did not happen and I still have him but in a sense that day was life-changing and it made me think about the realities of life.

I guess with so much of our lives revolving around the idea of progress, advancement and plans on what you are going to do next, (and a lot of our identity is linked to these things) it hits you hard when your life is on 'pause' or for some even, like Naomi, in 'rewind'... when stuff is taken away.

A friend of ours has gone through a devastating marriage breakdown and he was talking about how he never thought years later he'd be back in this place of being single with a crappy car and a few bits of furniture- with really just 'nothing to show' for his life... I'm sure he thought he'd still be married, possibly with kids, and at a good point in his career... but it hasn't quite turned out how we all thought for him... it reminded me of Naomi.

NO WONDER she was upset. No wonder she wanted to be called Mara. I only understand a smidgen of her pain and yet I can understand why she would have called out in despair and anguish. When I was younger it was so easy for me to think she should've just 'gotten over it'... now bitterness is something that I'm more familiar with.

However, I also think even though she called herself a bitter person, she must've loved God and showed it. The fact that her daughter-in-law Ruth wanted to follow her God says something about Naomi. She probably demonstrated God's love through her strength and perseverance even back when they were living in Moab, a foreign land with foreign gods, or else Ruth wouldn't have followed her back to Bethlehem. You know what I mean?

Our friend whom I mentioned has also left us with a lot to learn. He's clung to God the best way he can through this process. I'm sure there are days where he is still angry like Naomi was (uh... I've been through less and I am!)... but as friends we can see that pleasing and following God has been his priority.

Ruth could've gone back to her family and started a new life, but she chose to stay with Naomi. I know it also demonstrates Ruth's character and commitment, but I would imagine that Naomi probably also had something about her that caused Ruth to want to adopt her faith. Naomi also demonstrated her care in helping Ruth find a new husband- Boaz, an older man but a godly man.

This is something I thought was worth considering... asking myself if I'm continually putting God first in all the aspects of my life. A hard one to do though huh?

Anyway. Just love it when there's parts in the Bible that suddenly seem to make so much sense or speak to us where we are at. I guess that is a way God speaks to us and comforts us through His word.

Hmmm...

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ten Things at 10 am

Today I'm starting at 8:30 am because maybe by 10am I'll actually be ready to post haha.



1. I had a wonderful time in Dunedin. It was great having a couple of days away from 'normal' life, spending time with my friend P, and checking out the little city. It was beautiful weather too which was a huge bonus as it can get cold down there!



One of the highlights was visiting the Cadbury factory... CHOCOLATE! Even though some of the original products are no longer made there, they still make lotsa fun stuff like the boxed chocolates and easter eggs. It was a fun tour and you get chocolate as the guide takes you through. yum.

(pointing is a bit off... )



(us in the sugar bowl... this is my fave pic!)

2. I've been thinking about how to explain infertility to others in a short and sweet way (if that's possible)... because I am giving a notice at church sometime soon to tell them about the church's desire to have a support group or network for those struggling with infertility and/or miscarriage loss. This is huge for me because those who know me know I'm not at all an upfront person, plus I'm pretty much baring my all by being up there!

However, I'm so thankful for this opportunity as this is something I'm excited about, but kinda freaked out at the same time. You can pray for the right words to say in that short time (like 2 mins), so that women for whom this is relevant to will feel safe and comfortable to maybe respond or at least feel cared for, and also that the rest of the church will gain bit more insight into this topic. Also if you have any good quotes or ideas, let me know!

3. Another blogger Heather posted about this video, Empty Arms. This has been on my resources page too but I thought to post about it again because it is just a really well done project.

It is a video that explains infertility so well... if you haven't seen it I encourage you too- there may be tears though! I also like how Heather puts it in her post where she said, "You guys all know that we are adopting, and though that is seen as a "resolution," the stamp of infertility on our hearts will never truly go away." I think she says it in such a succint way.

4. I have thought of posting the above video on my Facebook page just for some friends who may be interested to watch it or pass it on to others, but I'm still not really sure about it! As much as I have been super open about my journey, I also don't always know how much to say about infertility/miscarriage stuff on Facebook. Funny huh? Hmmmm. What do you think?

5. When I was in Dunedin I met a girl who'd been in foster care. It broke my heart to hear that her mom for various reasons was struggling to cope with her kids, and had to give two of them up to be taken care of by another family. This little girl was now back with her mother, but her brother is still with the care-giving family. What a mess. I am not here to judge but I'm just saying it was simply so impacting talking with this real life child who was in the midst of this. I don't dare to imagine the impact this is having on these children.

As the husband and I have been thinking through these situations linked to adoption, etc, it just really hit home and I wondered if God was just nudging me to slowly open my heart to the various ways I can parent one day, even if it is not conventional... not sure yet, but it was a conversation I'll remember!

6. Summer is on its way... so that means strawberries! Yay. Looking forward to more.


 7. Aren't peonies just so beautiful? I wanted peonies for my wedding but we couldn't get them at the time. They are such gorgeous flowers huh! These were some we spotted when I was down south.




8. Sammy's chicken-legs stretch. See what I mean?


9. About a week ago I finally finished lining some of our room curtains. Yeah I sewed the lining on by hand cos' it was quite thick and I'm not so used to how machines work still. Felt very accomplished. Um... think I've had this project on for like way too long! Anyway, very relieved to be finished. We haven't put them up yet but we'll get there hopefully haha... 


10. Rocky Road- Snickers RR on the left, and  and newly discovered Cookies 'N Cream RR on the right. I found the 'original' Snickers recipe in a Women's Weekly Cookbook (great books). They were an instant hit with the girls.


Recently, I stole some inspiration from my friend K and made this Cookies 'N Cream one. So awesome. These are great treats for bringing over to parties or as gifts! Let me know if you want either recipe. (Sometimes I take a while to email you but I do do it eventually haha...)

Thanks for reading! Have a great day.

(oOPS. We were cleaning as I typed this off and on. Now it is 11. ha.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Phew.

I survived my 21 km! Thanks for all the support you guys. I had a lovely crew who cheered me on. It was so hard- I hit a wall unexpectedly earlier than planned, then it was survival-mode from then on. I'm proud to say I didn't walk and I still did it in a great time for my standards. I made it in 2 hours 7 mins!

Thank you God for helping me through one of the longest two hours ever! Still felt great at the end though.

athlete photo (Running photos are terrible and one day I will post a photo of me NOT in running gear cos' I'm really not as hard-core-sporty as it looks. I picked this because the guy behind is walking so it makes me look good. I really struggled on the Harbour Bridge, but they closed the lane just for us so I tried to make the most of it! haha.)

Probably because of the big run, I've been pretty tired these last couple days, and that will be my excuse for having a sorta hard couple of days. It has been busy at work overall too.

Well... that and I noticed a Facebook pregnancy announcement this morning (man oh man maybe I do need to just not use it...Oh Lord how many more, please help me), and the husband has kicked off his Mo-vember campaign (hahaha... sigh... poor me poor me), so it is great timing to be LEAVING Auckland for a couple days. I'm visiting a dear friend in Dunedin (all the way down in the South Island!). I'm excited about that and I'm sure we'll have a fun time. woopwoop.


(map of nz! top red dot is auckland and bottom one is dunedin!)

It'll just be nice to spend time with her, be seeing new sights and be AWAY from normal life for a short time. I will miss the husband though. I think cos' it has been a difficult time for us this past year, I find it hard being apart from him! I know sounds so needy but it is totally the truth- I've become super clingy in a random kind of way. SAD. Sigh. haha.

Anyway. Gotta go get the bags ready. Hope you are having a good week and all you North Americans had a fun Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ten Things at 10 am

(Started at 10am but had to leave so... posted at 7pm haha...)

Okay so I'm not sure if when you post two posts in one day, they get easily missed? Is that like a blogging no-no? But oh well. Some days I just have more time than others... so here I go.

I'm THANKFUL FOR:

1. Yesterday I spent some time with a new friend. She is dealing with secondary infertility, well, in the sense that she can conceive but has miscarried repeatedly... We had lunch and I had a wonderful time getting to know her, and I am learning more about infertility on another level- like even after you have a child. I'm thankful that God has provided me with friends like her who understand this deep ache.

2. I have a few friends who don't struggle with infertility but who have been really commited to trying to 'get' this road that I'm on. I am thankful for them because they are trying to see things from my perspective and even though it is hard for them to see it, they make so much effort to. It makes me feel very loved and appreciated, and I have much to learn from them!

3. New duvet cover!
(part of pillowcase- oops... upside down)

My mom got me a new duvet cover quite a few months ago... it is not exactly our bedroom style so I had to think about it for a while but it is SO gorgeous (and I don't really have a defined style anyway haha) so I'm gonna use it. But it is WHITE-based... so Miss Play-it-safe here is taking a risk, gonna go for it and use it. Oh dear Sammy boy, please don't lay your paws on it when I'm not looking.

4. New handbag.



Wow. My mom (again) went away recently and the crazylady bought me a fancy new handbag. What?? I don't need one. She just got me one a for my birthday a few months ago too. But some of you can see where my 'shopping for others' habit comes from. It is very cool, but it is red, white and navy so I can't wear too many colours when I'm using it or I'll look a bit too colourful. Love the 'marine' thing about it though. Thanks mom!

5. It is cool today. It is probably gonna rain! I know this is weird, cos' I've been wanting the warm weather for so long. But I would like it to be cool for tomorrow's run!!! (Please please stay cloudy for one more day...) I'm checking the weather like every few hours.

6. Ice cream sandwiches. (I love the new Magnum ice-cream sandwich.) Thankful for this invention... ahhh...


7. Less than eight weeks to Christmas! We have family visiting!

8. Our adoption assessment should be done by the end of December- then we will be deemed 'fit to be adoptive parents', hopefully. We have a lovely social worker who has been super pro-active. Even though realistically there are very few babies up for local adoption, we are still thankful that the process has been faster than we'd previously thought and the experience has been handle-able so far.

9. My work/ministry was in the local community paper this week! It was a great write up and led to quite a lot of interest. So cool.

10. I'm really nervous-excited about tomorrow's run, but I'm glad I get to do this. In reality we all know this is something I wouldn't be able to do or train for if I was pregnant or had a little one. I need to remember to not take this for granted.

Of course, I would give it up in a heartbeat for those things, and it is hard for me to not view this as a 'consolation prize'. This whole running-thing will always be so (argh) conflicting for me because last year I watched my friends take part while I didn't cos' I was pregnant, yet we miscarried soon after. And this year I get to do it but only cos' this last little one didn't stay either... ugh.

But on another level I'm glad I'm healthy and my wobbly knees have held on this long. This has been a good 'challenge' for me mentally and physically to work towards, to feel like I can accomplish stuff in the midst of this baby-madness and I'm super thankful for all the encouragement and support I've gotten.

I even have a friend running with me tomorrow to pace me and the husband and some good friends to wave me on along the way. Stoked!


Weekendweekendweekendiloveyou. Have a good one!

Truth about Sammy

We've had him for about seven or eight weeks now! Sammy's actually been really confusing. He is great at home and settling in more and more.

However, we've had a few seriously bad things happen on walks so we have to muzzle him. We have talked to a couple dog experts too so we are working on it, but it has been more drama than we were wanting! Whywhywhy.

Anyway. He's less anxious overall and is a lot of fun. We are still waiting to see if we can work on some of the big issues, cos' if not we may have to give him up, which is horrible to think of. Sigh.


For now, here are more photos:
Sammy licking my sweaty skin. Ew.

Here he is watching Project Runway with me haha (though he went to sleep in like the next second...)

He only eats his chew-hide toys when we get home from work... it's like he saves them for us to watch him

Sammy getting ready for bed (he is waaaay better, phew)

Lying in the sun... mmm... grass...

Waiting for the husband to wake up in the morning... quite intense really!

Relaxing on the deck.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Facebook... sigh...

I found this news article about those going though infertility and handling Facebook pregnancy announcements at Untangle Me.

Totally. I do like using Facebook to keep in touch with friends but I've hidden one or two people because I can't handle their comments on their ongoing pregnancy. I like them and I'm happy for them but it is too hard to have dangling in front of you whenever you open Facebook.

Yet do you find yourself clicking through all their photos during pregnancy and even after the birth? Oh gosh yes. I guess I'm so intrigued and so fascinated by what I cannot have or my body won't do.

The initial announcement is hard. I do understand the desire to celebrate and share the news with everyone. I'm sure I'd want to do that too, to some extent, if I were pregnant, but I can't always handle it on the receiving end because of where I'm at.

I'm sure posts like this sounds quite self-centered. After all, pregnancy news is good stuff. She's having a baby!

I get that. But since when is this journey rational? At the end of the day, it hurts. It feels unfair. It feels like you're being overtaken yet again. It feels like you are being left behind. It feels like you're not good enough.

You're still waiting. You exist in two worlds- the world where you are okay and you are celebrating with them, and you mean it and then there's the world where you feel so jealous, so freaking frustrated that it is not your announcement.

They say it doesn't really get 'easier' though... for those who have gone through infertility and whether or not you do end up having kids, they say the stab to the heart or the slight lurch of the stomach still will be there, but I think I'm hoping I get better at handling it and start to have some better ways to cope? Let's keep hoping.

Weeping into the pillow before bed isn't the greatest on the eyes the next morning, nor is randomly freaking out on the inside how much you hate your body that great for the general well-being. (Not always. But we have Issues. I know.)

Anyway. So what should we do? There's gotta be a way to function like semi-normal. A list would be great of course.

1. Don't use Facebook. (Easier said than done.)

2. As the article mentioned, use the 'hide' option. It is there, why not? (If only there was that option in real life!)

3. Collect a couple trusted friends to warn you if they know there is an 'announcement' coming.

4. Look at every friend on your list who is married and tell yourself that they may be pregnant soon... this sounds ridiculous, but may help to reduce shock-factor. (This was a tip a friend of mine shared with me. She's also been through a rough time with infertility and I thought this was helpful. )

5. If you know friends are trying to conceive or just pregnant and you are okay enough to converse with them about your journey, ask them if they can let you know when they are going to announce the news to the rest of the world- so you can brace yourself for conversations, etc. Explain how it can help to know beforehand.

(I've found that being open with my journey has helped my friends be more aware of how to be sensitive, though it can make me feel super vulnerable at times... I'm really thankful for them.)

Obviously it is not our 'right' to know early or know at all so there will still be tricky ones, but this can help.

6. Pray that God will help you grow a THICK thick skin, protect your heart from the envy and focus on the right things. (Pray also for a bigger picture perspective. So needed but so hard.)

Umm... Okay so there are not that many ways to prevent this. I'm sorry.

Let me know if you've found anything else that may make it better...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ten Things at (not really) 10 am (more like 12pm)

The fastest way for me to post is to list. So here I go. This is a jumbly list of things.

1. This weekend is a long weekend for us here in NZ- Labour Day. It has also been quite sunny! Loving it. Yay for warmth!

2. However, I haven't been feeling all that wonderful. I'm not sure if I have allergies or am just run-down. I'm yawning by 9pm and crawling into bed by 9:30pm! Grrrr. Thankful for not having to work tomorrow though.

3. I have started to get quite depressed about supermarket-ting. I used to like it but now it comes with such dread! (Maybe because I'm terrible at writing a shopping list... cos' it all depends on what is on discount! You know what I mean?)

It is such a big job... walking your socks off, pushing big bafoony trolley/cart around, dodging other shoppers and avoiding aisle-rage, spending a TON of money that doesn't look worth your wares, loading it into the car, then unloading it all, stocking the pantry, then doing it all again in a couple weeks.

Now I make sure I buy ONE SNACK THING as a reward, cos' I'm often starving from all the mental, physical and emotional energy I've invested into the trip... so I eat it when I've loaded the car and got in my car and BREATHE. Then start the journey home.  Yesterday I ate a banana. Not very exciting I know but still good haha...

4. My friend Ruth mentioned making cards recently on her blog... this inspired me to make some the other day. I'm not very hard-core (like not at all a proper scrapbooker-type) about it but I just make the most of random things I have, like fabric.

(as you can see, i like hearts!)
There are lots of birthdays (and a wedding) that have been going on this month. I'm already late for some, ugh terrible I know. This is also a good money saving thingy (which I'm trying to do!) as I can get super carried away buying cards and gifts, etc.

5. My blogger friend Grace and her husband are adopting and waiting for their child to come home to them. She finally has just heard some good news... it is possible that she will be able to bring him home from Korea in 6 to 9 weeks. SO STOKED FOR THEM!

6. Heather at reach in, reach out, reach up posted about some myths about infertility. This is a great post... I myself may have said stuff like this to others before experiencing infertility myself and I understand that with IF and loss, sometimes there really is never anything to say that is good or helps... but at least avoiding the really bad ones is a plus. (At the moment one of the hard ones for me is wondering if people think that adoption is our new fertility treatment. It is not.)

7. My super friend C has been celebrating her birthday this weekend! Happy Birthday!

8. I'm running a half-marathon in a week. I have to admit I'm quite worried about it. Am I prepared enough? Will I survive? Have I set too high of a goal? AHHH... I'm also raising money while I run, for the Heart Foundation. If you'd like to donate, click here. (Don't laugh, I've been pretty laidback about the fundraising.)

9. IF stuff never leaves me... I often randomly count the number of people I know who are pregnant. Do you? I hate that I do this as it is just plain ol' torture... but I can't help it. It is reaching the point where 80-90% of my friends are either pregnant or have kids or are 'trying'... I wonder if you ever get used to it.

10. Right now, the husband is vacuuming. Yes! I am so thankful for him. haha.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hello There!

(not my bear)
Hi there to everyone who's coming by via IComLeavWe (International Comment Leaving Week) October 2010! This is my first time participating, so I'm quite excited.

If you'd like to know about my IF stuff, you can go to My Infertility History.

If you'd just like a gist of everything, you can go to Welcome/Quick-start.

Here's some random stuff about me:
1. I'm writing this from a fitness centre in Auckland, New Zealand. I've lived here for almost 10 years though I grew up in Singapore and am from Singporean-Chinese background.
2. I'm married to a Canadian.
3. This morning we forgot to feed the dog- the husband thought I did and I thought he did.
4. The dog has been a  lot of work, though we really like him... but that's for another post.
5. I love Japanese food... I just love a lot of food in general.
6. I flinched when I heard that Alicia Keys had her baby, cos' I didn't know she was pregnant. And I double-flinched when I heard that Beyonce is now pregnant*. Totally jealous. Sigh... Secretly don't want to listen to their music to 'punish' them for being 'fertile'.
7. I just wrote two posts related to how much I LOVE shopping (one here and one somewhere else) which is so hilarious because in real life the husband and I have had talks about 'finances' just this week and shopping is SO NOT ALLOWED. Well he didn't say that but I think that is a probable conclusion.

Okay I'll stop here.

Thanks for stopping by!

*Edit: Hold your horses... I've been told this might be a rumour only.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Just Looking'

Shopping makes me feel gooooood.

I totally love walking into a mall with a couple hours to myself and browsing what's in it. Whether it is because I enjoy clothes, am a visual person, am always on the prowl for a bargain, or just plain materialistic... I'm not sure. But I'm one of those people who savours breathing in the smell of air-conditioning mixed with floor cleaner mixed with food court Chinese and freshly brewed coffee, when you first step into the sliding doors of new malls.

If one day I go missing, you'll find me buried behind a sale rack.

AAAhhhhh bliss.

But let's be honest. Malls are hard for the IF-er...

I love this post by Beckie where she talks about going into baby sections in shops, etc. She expresses it so well.

As time has gone on, I've been able to refrain from doing this as it is too painful, unless I have good excuses to do it like if there's a sale, then I go and have a look for something for presents and if there's an upcoming birth, etc.

However, I do sometimes find myself wandering around (Pumpkin Patch and Cotton On Kids are some of my faves) in there just embracing the sweet and succulent dream that one day I too will be able to buy something for my child. I soak in all the things I would buy with my eyes and pretend that I'm just having a 'quick look'. I wonder if shop assistants know...

I haven't bought any baby stuff yet, miraculously I have managed to not, however, my problem is with my own clothes. The only maternity thing I have in my drawers is a set of maternity swimwear, which is easy enough to shove to the back (not really, but let's keep pretending).

Where I have 'shopped in faith' is I've bought those tops that have recently been in fashion the last couple years, you know the ones where the part under the bust is gathered or just overall baggier... with the thought of possibly being pregnant in mind.

They are still cute clothes of course, and no one would know that some were bought with the thought of a future pregnancy... but I KNOW. I even did this only a couple months ago (just before our last round) and now that one-size-bigger-so-now-too-baggy top is laughing at me no when one is looking. (The bonus is that it is a bit longer so it hides my butt well. uh huh.)

I thought I was being practical and yes, truth is that it was also my expression of hope.

Which brings us back to the same-old-same-old deal: HOPE- what do we do with it?

I like how Beckie puts it so succinctly when she describes the baby-section-browsing as a double-edged sword. This is a brilliant way of describing almost everything to do with infertility really.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Great Is Our God... at showing up in unexpected ways

Last week we watched a Louie Giglio (guy who founded Passion Conferences, etc.) DVD at our church small group called 'How Great Is Our God'... if you want to watch it too, I think this is it here.

He goes through some super mind-blowing stuff about astronomy, genetics and biology, etc... nothing I will be able to paraphrase well so go watch/listen to it yourself if you want to.

What got me though was this bit he got to about conception and babies. Yes. When he started on it I was like, OH NO.

I can't do this... please don't linger on this topic. I know a baby is a miracle I know that. I don't need you to tell me more about how awesome it is because I might just start bawling in the middle of this room and it might just be a tad awkward. Yes I have great friends here, but their husbands may not know what to do and I really don't need to stop everyone in mid-bite of chocolate-chip cookie, etc...

Then it got to about 22:40 into this message and I really was squirming on the inside... but I felt God's gentle nudge.



Mr Giglio showed a picture of a 3-day old embryo or 16-cell embryo. It really got my attention. It was beautiful! It was so intentional and so 'wonderfully-made' even at that stage.

Even though I'd seen pictures like this before, maybe because of being exposed to the world of infertility and IVF, this one really struck me. I think it is cos' I've been asking all these questions on how to understand the beginning of life, and how do I think about these little baby buds of life that I have lost through miscarriage?

I think it just seemed like God was reminding me that all creation IS HIS...

It all belongs to Him- whatever age, whatever stage of life, etc.

Louie also went on to read from Psalm 33 where verse 15 says, "He who forms the hearts of all..."

Can I tell you how crazy meaningful that verse is to me? Definitely was trying not to show too much reaction or break down at this point and keep eating the buttered slice of date loaf I was using as a decoy.

You see...

Last October when we were expecting Baby N (yes I'm going to use that word 'expecting' even though it is hard...) I read and re-read that verse all the time because Baby N had a good heartbeat and that was what we had to hold on to for hope.

Yes. One year ago I was pregnant and for me there are reminders of this everywhere. Where do I hide?

But I think God just reminded me that He is taking care of it all.

Taking care of EVERYTHING, including questions and emotions my puny brain and heart is struggling to keep from spilling over... and taking care of those little lives I miss and don't know how to think about... taking care of the infertility and adoption issues...

O Lord thank you for meeting me in the unexpected places...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Favourite

I love new home ideas, even though I have so many they are coming out of my ears (or stuck in the garage) and some will never be fulfilled... always like looking at pictures and other people's ideas too. Here's my new favourite blog/site thing- Nesting Place.

Ahhhh!!!! Gorgeous.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

She Said It Better - Some Stuff On Loss...


I noticed while looking around online the other day that October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in the US! What interesting timing, as this topic had just been particularly on my mind too...

Today's post looks a bit long but I'm sharing couple links and a thing that I copy-pasted... If you skip the links, do read the copy-paste bit below, as I found it pretty powerful.

I'm thinking a lot around the idea of life in the womb... I have found it so difficult to get my head around it. Like I do believe life starts at conception, but when it is your own and when you miscarry at an early stage, like five weeks, it is just hard to know what to think of it or how to feel... because it seemed so unreal.

Anyway, there were a couple of good posts that came up on (in)courage again that made me confront this issue a bit more. They are not actually about miscarriage, so not directly related, but at the core of it these women would've had to sort out their thoughts too.
  • She Made Me a Mommy With Hope, by Teske Drake- She carried on with her pregnancy knowing the baby was not going to do well...
  • Face to Face, by Heather Gemmen Wilson- She had one of her children as a result of rape... and has faced judgement from others...
Both women have gone on to impact others as a result of their experience and it is fascinating to see what God has done with it.

If you have gone through miscarriage and pregnancy/baby loss (or are friends with someone who is) I hope the following is encouraging to you too. I know it may be really hard to read but it spoke to me deeply and maybe it will to you too.

This is from a 'Double Daily Portion' email that I get from Sarah's Laughter (a resourcing ministry for infertility/loss). The writer/founder, Beth Forbus, is gifted at writing from a biblical and empathetic perspective. I have found it hard but soothing to read. This was sent out specifically for this week to acknowledge October 15th.

************************

Why does it hurt so badly to lose a baby? Even one only a few weeks post-conception? The answer, my friend, is actually pretty simple. That tiny, little baby—even if he or she was no more than a few cells—was created in the very image and likeness of God Almighty! Oh, the preciousness of this tiny little creature! For a short time, your mortal frame, or that of your spouse, housed the very image and likeness of God Himself.

We can only imagine what God looks like. We are told in Scripture that if we were able to look at Him with human eyes that we simply could not take it and we’d fall dead (Exodus 33:20). However, He found a way to give us a glimpse of Himself. He created us in His image and in His likeness. Not exactly like him. He may not have green eyes and brown hair like me, but I’ve been created in His image and His likeness. Your baby was too, and this makes your baby precious. Oh, the unfathomable worth of the child who has God’s fingerprints all over them!

God even says “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”. He doesn’t saunter into a delivery room and look as a newborn takes its first breath and say “Thanks, doc. I’ll take it from here!” Birth is not a prerequisite for God’s protection, God’s love or God’s involvement in your baby’s life. Before your baby was conceived in your body, he or she was already conceived in the heart and mind of God. Before you loved your child, God loved your baby. Before you prepared your nursery, God had already prepared a place. Before you knew you’d lay down your life to save your baby, God laid down His life to save his or her soul. God never planned on waiting until your baby was born to know and love your baby.

God still loves you. Even though He has allowed you to walk through the devastation of miscarriage. He offers you His comfort and His healing. You can pour out your heart to God and He’ll understand. When friends, family, and even your spouse can’t bear to see your tears anymore, God has incredibly broad shoulders for you to cry on and strong arms for you to fall into. Lay your head on His chest and hear His heart beating. A heart that broke just like yours has.

As you find comfort in the bosom of Love Himself, don’t forget to look into His eyes and see the promise of a heavenly and eternal reunion with your child. One that will not end in miscarriage. No SIDS allowed inside the gates of pearl! No stilled heartbeats. No blighted ovums. No spontaneous abortions. No grief. No sadness. Just an eternity with the child you’ve held in your heart so much longer than in your body! And an eternity with a God who loved you enough to orchestrate the death of His only Son to provide a way to reunite you with your child.

There is no doubt that Heaven will be an incredible place that defies the description of man. Never in our wildest imagination could we begin to come close to imagining what God has in store for those who love Him and have received His gift of salvation. Psalm 127 tells us that children are a gift and a reward. If you are a Christian, your gift is unopened, waiting for your arrival in Heaven. What joy your heavenly reunion with your child will bring! Perhaps the only place you ever saw your baby was on a positive pregnancy test or on a stilled sonogram screen.

Child of God, you will see your baby one day! You’ll see the expressions on their face, smell their fragrance, and hear that precious voice in the place that God has prepared. Was a hospital room the only place you were ever able to hold your stilled child in your arms? One day, because of the sacrifice of Calvary you’ll explore together all that Heaven has to offer. For the child of God these are great and precious promises.

Not only are you assured an eternity with the baby you have loved and lost, but even more importantly, you will be with the God who loved you enough to sacrifice His baby to allow you an eternity with yours. All you have to do is accept His salvation and with a joyful, redeemed heart join Him at His home. He—and your child—are waiting for you there.

(c) 2008 Sarah’s Laughter-Christian Support for Infertility & Child Loss

 *************************
 If you think these words may also comfort someone else you know... do send it on!

Thanks for reading...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hello Monday

It is back to work for me today after a week off. Hope you had a good weekend too?

(Got to soak in a bit of sunshine this past week.)

Resuming life after time off always tends to give me like a small panic attack so I'm gonna take a few mins to reorganise my head after this post (and pray!), haha. It is also crazy that it is like 12 weeks to Christmas or the end of the year. Mad. Maybe I should put my tree up now so that'll be one less thing to do?

There were a few beautiful days here in Auckland (yay!) and I got to catch up on some goofy movies- Grown Ups, Date Night and Despicable Me (loved it). Yes, somehow I have to watch light and funny movies at the moment. I can't handle anything too sad or too serious. Even animated films can get the tears flowing so I'm staying away from anything that's actually intense. Silly all the way is good thanks.

Anyway here are a couple links to some posts that caught my eye:
They each have a blog too if you scroll through the article you will find it. Both are part of this website, (in)courage, which often has some posts that speak straight to the heart.

Why do days-off always go by so fast? I hardly got anything on my 'list' crossed off. Typical! Sigh. Haha... Have a great week.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Simple Way Around It- Miscarriage Realities

(Magnolia- pic not really relevant to post but I just love magnolias! So pretty.)

This past week a friend went through a hard time. Even though I've been through some stuff similar to her experience, there is nothing to say that will make it better. I am still helpless. So sorry, girl.

I'm thankful that I had the week off so we got to hang out for a few hours one afternoon. I feel priviledged that we got to have some good conversation, even in the sadness. We connected on quite a few things, and even though she has appreciated that I am able to be there for her (and I'm so glad), in an odd way, it was actually like she was there for me also, dealing with my stuff too.

Here are things I'm learning after thinking through my own early miscarriages/pregnancy loss (before 12 weeks, because that's what I know about)... I know not everyone goes through the same thing, so I understand if it doesn't ring true with everyone.

1. Usually it is easiest to blame yourself- even I didn't say it, I thought it. Like thinking, I skipped rope before I found out, I ate that weird thing, I was too hot, I had that sip of wine, etc. NO YOU DIDN'T CAUSE IT. (Unless you abuse your body in an obvious way like with drug addiction, reasons for early miscarriage are still not medically clear and they don't know how to prevent it. Don't let others or old wives' tales tell you otherwise.)

2. It is hard to know how to think about the little life that was in you. It is easier to think of it as a vague entity, but it was life. Yet we think it wasn't 'fully' a baby, so how do we acknowledge it? Sometimes it is easier to not think of it as your child, but it was. It was wanted. It was God's creation. (Safe in the Arms of God looks at the biblical basis of this if you want a book on it, by John MacArthur.)

3. It affects your marriage. Wives and husbands deal with it differently and it is not easy to know how to communicate about it. I feel like sometimes it is the whole 'circular effect' of not wanting to hurt the other spouse or see them cry, so we either don't bring it up or try to be brave and bear with it, but we end up avoiding it or miscommunicating somehow... (There's lots of resources on grief and the impact on marriage too.)

4. It surprises you how lost you feel. You didn't realise you could be attached or feel love for something you had not seen, met or, in some cases, felt.

5. Morning sickness may continue after the loss... and this is a difficult physical reminder.

6. There is shock because it all unfolds fairly quickly. You were pregnant, now you are not. What are you going to do with the plans, real or vague ones, that you made?

7. You kinda don't want to make a 'big deal' out of it but it rocks your world. For some just a little, for some a little more. There are now a lot of "What ifs". What if I get pregnant again, what if I miscarry again, what if... It may also bring out other insecurities, like what if all your friends or sisters 'over-take' you and become moms before you, have their second and third children even, etc... that is normal. There are no easy answers to these, just continue to bring them before God.

8. You don't know what to tell people- if you've been away from work, if you've already told some friends about your pregnancy, if you need to tell your mother she isn't going to be a grandma etc.

9. You don't know how others will react and you can be sensitive about comments... we brace ourselves for the comments that may be awkward, or make us feel angry or like it was our fault. Hopefully none come.

10. There are lots of questions for God, and not always sufficient good answers. You try not to think about it too much but you sorta can't help it either.

11. Time will help the intensity to ease. There may always be random things that will always remind you of your pregnancy and the loss, and this is normal so don't feel silly, and it does get easier over time.

12. It makes you so so so thankful for loving friends and family. Some may have been in the same position too and some not, regardless of that, their encouragement and support means so much and you realise how much you need them. If you have kept it all very private, sometimes it does help to share it with a close friend or family member whom you trust.

13. It helps to 'let it out' somewhere. For me, I have a journal where I 'write to God'. Some days I had lots to say to God and some days I didn't-  I write sad things, angry things, glad things. Counselling also provided me with good guidance when my grief seemed to be quite overwhelming or when it was affecting me in a way that was more than what close friends and family could help me with. Going for a walk and listening to music or just letting yourself weep was also fairly therapeutic.

I found this book, Free to Grieve, by Maureen Rank, good too. (They had it at the North Shore's Albany Library...)