Thursday, April 29, 2010

11 Things I'm Thankful for...

(Started with 10 but expanded one to 11 so oh well... )
1. I've lived this long. 28 years haha.
2. The husband is doing better... slowly.
3. I have a husband who spoils me- but also doesn't let me get away with 'crap'... least not too much.
4. Had a fun few days celebrating my birthday, especially sharing the actual day with a fab friend with the same birthdate. Love it.
5. Got cool presents- cooking/sewing books, chocolate, voucher for a food processor someday, super cute apron, a lovely meal, etc.
6. I attended a sweet wedding service that was on my birthday! It was gorgeous.
7. Got given time off work on my birthday- so generously covered by a good friend.
8. The husband helped me put shelves up in the house that I've been waiting to do.
9. Got lots of lovely birthday messages.
10. It is coming up to 6 months since November- I've survived in general, and I've survived the 'not trying' (when I say that I mean not going through any fertility treatments).
11. This past week has been relatively low-drama- the husband cut his finger quite deep but could drive to the clinic himself. Phew... (Did I speak too soon? Hope not!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Birthday Present: MRI

A part of me still thinks they put the appointment on my birthday maybe on purpose. I mean, they had the date in front of them and all! And we harassed them pretty bad. Anyway, I take it as a birthday present from the public hospital/health system. Thank you.

So I woke up on birthday morning to rush to the hospital for my appointment. It was more intense than I thought. Firstly it was longer- like over half an hour! Which I'm sure is normal, but didn't think there was that much to look at. And it was loud!

I actually had to recite Bible verses and worship songs in my head to keep from freaking out and to focus on something better- and I realised I didn't actually remember all that much, mainly random things I memorised at school. I think I really only had two or three 'verses' or paragraphs that I repeated over and over. It surprised me! Pretending you are in 'Avatar' only lasts like two seconds.

It is a weird feeling. I knew I was safe, but being in an enclosed space, told not to move, with my eyes shut and loud machine noises in your ears... really was kinda scary. They gave me headphones but they didn't really help with the noise.

Was nice that the husband came to wait outside for me. Well... it is over now. I survived ha. Now we wait for what the docs will say. Sigh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Piece of Cake- not

Birthdays- not quite as easy as they were!

It is Birthday Week. I'm trying to celebrate it in small and different ways the best I can.

Some of you will laugh (or maybe be kinda annoyed I'm saying this) because I'm really only turning 28, so there's little to worry about- I'm still young blah blah blah. And I've never been one to really care about my age- in fact there have been times that I've even forgotten whether I was 25 or 26 or 27... It has never really mattered much to me. But this year it is actually bugging me a tad. Just a tad.

I can hear the tick-tock. I have become Captain Hook. Obsessed about the clock in the croc.

It is not about the number. I know it is not actually about the number, even though that's what's visually hanging out in my head and the math I keep doing back and forth.

It is the same-old-same-old. It is about the not knowing. It is about the looming, "God, what are you doing?" questions. I may be 'young' but no one actually knows what the future brings, it doesn't guarantee fertility and kids. If I've got issues now, I've got issues now, it doesn't just go away after a certain time of gaining a qualifications in classes like Infertility 101, Quick Responses to Awkward Questions 210 and Pelvic Examination Techniques 350.

(Though wouldn't that be fab?)

Anyway. I guess it is just ANOTHER thing that I was naive about previous to this infertility journey- and we know that list is looong.

So I'm trying my best to make the most of my Celebration Week and think of different things to do that are fun, instead of being afraid of it. (It is true- the word is actually 'afraid'.)

Funnily enough, they mostly revolve around food. (And great people of course!) Here is my list:

1. On Tuesday, I baked hefty chocolate chip cookies with extra hunks of dark chocolate in them. For me for me! (Usually I make them more for the husband.) It was good.

2. Thursday, tonight, I'm meeting a friend for bubble tea, which I love.

3. On Friday I'm having one of my favourites,Vietnamese for dinner and a little dessert night with closer friends. (One of my best friends shares the same birthday! Yay!)

4. On Saturday, the husband and I are gonna have breakfast together.

5. Last year I made a birthday t-shirt by buying a top and adding a small '27' on it in diamantes (I think this was the quiet start to when I knew I needed to start overcoming my age-issues haha)... so maybe this year I should do another similar thing with '28'. This could be my own little tradition/joke/thing. I love shopping so that would be a good excuse to shop. haha!

6. Maybe I will treat myself to a new CD too. hmmm.

7. Have actually also pre-celebrated with the husband over the Easter weekend. Was spoiled. I'm super thankful for that.

That's my list for now. Any more suggestions?

tick tock. haha.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure?

(Only if I could peek over the stupid hedge!!!)

The husband hasn't been 100% health-wise these last few months (yes... somehow the weeks have turned into months). It has been an interesting ride on another rollercoaster, just when we thought we were already on a rollercoaster with interfility- ha. Thankfully I think we are on the home stretch. I think we are getting somewhere in terms of him feeling better, but we've got to be patient- as we know, the human body doesn't always do what we want when we think it should. Grrrrr. (More waiting, anyone?)

Anyway. I've really missed being with the husband. We do a lot of everyday things together, and when that changes, it really messes with your world. My evenings have been a little different with him going to bed way WAY earlier- so I'm watching TV on my own (so weird), or doing the dishes alone or on the computer. The house is really quiet. Just lonely really, yet I don't really want to be doing anything else because I want to be close by to him. Our social life has also dwindled to pretty much not being able to make any commitments that involve evenings- which really limits our options because generally, people work in the day! I've gone to things alone, when he would usually come with me. Also, things we were thinking of doing or been planning to do have been left undone or half-done.

As a tick-boxer-type personality (actually both of us are in different ways), this has been a new nightmare.

Basically, life is different. Again.

What? It is not like we were really living life in the fast lane. Yet here we are, cutting our capacity down again another few notches. My brain has gone through some rewiring I think- you think I'd be used to this by now, but I'm not.

Whatever it is, we've gained a new insight into those who have way more long-term health issues. I think (and hope) our capacity to empathise has grown. We're learning even what it means to spend time with each other, now that we have even less of it- so even our appreciation for marriage has grown. (I think I've had a small taste of what it would be like to be a widow! It is a scary thing but something I can't take for granted.)

It has also been hard not knowing how to function as the spouse of someone who's not feeling well for an extended amount of time- it is confusing and wearying.  Communication as a married couple when you are both healthy is already hard enough! Definitely doesn't get any better when one of you is down... But we learn new things don't we? Oh God, I hope I am learning.

I'm thankful we are getting some positive news these days and the husband is slowly feeling better. I feel like everyday we are literally clinging to God because we have no idea what each day will bring at the moment. And why should that be a bad thing?

Like the husband says, life is an adventure. And I'm glad for every little bit of it I get to do with him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TIME part 2- distractions

(Eating is always a good distraction... haha... thought not always the best for us though huh.)
Maybe I'm just rambling today... but oh well...

This past weekend, I did a 10km run with a friend. I'm thankful I was able to do it and that we completed it close to our goal. Yay! I enjoy the CHALLENGE of running, and if I am able to 'train' for an event, I try to schedule one in. It also is a good 'distraction' or at least takes my mind off things temporarily. Plus it feels like I am accomplishing some goals in life (for example, to be physically decently healthy, to finish an event, etc.) even though I'm not getting anywhere in other areas in life, like hoping to be a mother.

As you may have already experienced though with fertility, the same things that help and ease things, are sometimes the same things that make you remember and rub your 'issues' in your face. Like... Personally when I am on fertility treatments (and when I have been pregnant), I don't run and do a lot lower-impact stuff, or sometimes I have to do nothing and lie on the couch, just cos' I'm advised to do so by doctors- even if physical activity is not proven to be a danger in pregnancy if you are already an active person.

This means the very goals/activities I sometimes set up to 'distract' myself or that give me some 'space' have to be left unmet- for example cancelling events or scraping 'training' schedules or agreements with friends to do an event with them. Instead I watch as others take part in things I can't. I understand this is for a good cause overall, but sometimes it is hard when the result of the cycle is negative or something else goes wrong. I can feel like I put something off for no reason to really 'show' for.

It is also hard to not be resentful of others who don't have to think twice about any of these things.

I really struggle to not be jealous of those who can do whatever they want and not have to be told to stop. (As you maybe can tell I struggle to not be envious about a lot of things!!! I guess fertile or not, we can't escape this. argh.)

Anyway, I wanted to talk about distractions and how they are awesome and sometimes not-so-awesome but in the end, I reckon you gotta have some! You do it for the variety and the positive-ness it brings, which God wants cos' He wants us to lead an abundant life- a life to the full- which I'm learning includes handling the crap life brings too.

What are some things you do in this bizarre life-stage of sort-of-waiting but trying-not-to-wait-too-hard?

TIME part 1- Waiting

With infertility, one of the things that changes is your perspective on time. For one, your perspective of time in terms of waiting. It is not simply waiting, it is also waiting for what possibly may never come or what may be continually disappointing (kinda like the buses in Auckland haha). Obviously it is not the healthiest thing to be simply obsessed with waiting for a child, but this is also the reality of desiring one and hoping to have kids, and depending on where you're at in your stage of infertility, our perspectives are going to differ.
(There's a poem about waiting- here.)

Anyway, what I was thinking about writing today was the whole idea of distractions and what to do with ourselves NOW so we are not simply focused on 'waiting' in itself.

Hold on. I want to emphasise that it is not my intention to say that we should be all about waiting to get pregnant and pop a baby out. I understand that at the moment I do have a 'goal' to be a mother, but I'm learning it is not for me to 'achieve' or decide. I do believe we can grow to have a bigger-picture perspective than that- and that God intends for more to life than that. All I'm saying is for those of us who are maybe still in the midst of treatment, in between cycles, waiting to see doctors or waiting to make concrete decisions on all these varied issues, I've been trying to figure out how to still live a meaningful and exciting life (haha), despite the 'waiting'.

I say this because practically, the way we look at our months and years are different for now. You know when you're on the infertility/fertility journey when you don't think of weeks and months in terms of normal calendar-type increments, instead you think like this:
- 10 days- roughly at least 10 days between ovulation and when you could be fertile
- 2 weeks- roughly 2 weeks from when you ovulate to when you can find out about pregnancy results
- 4-6-8 weeks- depending on what you're doing, could be 4-6 or 8 weeks for a cycle
- 3 months- if we do get pregnant, this is how long I need to 'set aside' and keep it on the down-low both for medical reasons and before we want to share about it publicly... etc.

and I could list a ton more of these which are more infertility-related like:
- how long till the fertility clinic office hours start?
- how long till the next chat with the nurse?
- how long till the next injection?
- how long it takes provera to work?
- how long it takes climophene to work?
- how long it takes till the next blood test?
- how long till the next appointment with the doctor?
- how long till the next dreaded scan?
- how long will we can start a new cycle?
- how long should we 'break' or rest from treatment?

I'm sure you could come up with some of your own too. Which then impacts the way we plan or schedule our lives- basically you kinda can't. So it becomes this sorta bizarre thing of waiting, but trying not to, but ending up having to anyway. Frustrating, anyone? sigh...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


(I love hot cross buns!)
Another Easter weekend has come and gone. We got to celebrate it with lovely friends who treat us like family. We are thankful for them.

April is a significant time for me. Two years ago, Andy and Nikki Bray lost their daughter Natasha in a horrible river canyoning accident, as did six other families. Around the same time, we experienced our first loss.

I remember reflecting on these things. Our first baby loss was very hard for me. It surprised me how bad I took it. I think as much as I had thought about miscarriage and knew others who had gone through it, I still didn't expect it to happen, and so when it did, it was a great shock. Also, when it takes extra effort to get there, with fertility treatment, you are also grieving the idea that you may have just used your ONE 'lucky ticket' kinda thing, though I know that may not be an actual truth. It just felt like a big blow on so many levels.

Anyway. I remember thinking that if I found it so so hard dealing with the loss of this baby, whom I hadn't even really known (carried for 9 weeks in the womb), how much harder would it be for the Brays who lost their amazing seventeen-year-old daughter, and pretty much any other parent who has lost a child.

Then I remember also transferring that to wondering how intensely agonizing it would have been for God to see His only Son die on the cross. How did God feel? And not only did Jesus die as someone who was perfect, He did it for us, beings who do not deserve it at all. Not at all. (I don't think I will ever be able to comprehend how God felt/feels, but I know He has also made us in His image so we probably have some understanding of it.)

I know I have to be careful about bringing God to 'my level' but I have to say that it comforts me to know God knows how it feels and knows it to a much larger extent. It helps me to know God isn't just this face-less, cold yet powerful thing who is simply shoving me to 'get over it', but treasures my tears and is holding me tight.

There are always so many more things I want to say and expand on! But I need to keep to time... haha so that's all for now.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

huh?- questions questions...

I had a laparoscopy (ovarian drilling cos' of PCOS) over a year ago. Recently the topic came up with a friend in similar shoes which sparked off some thoughts for me in the last couple days... slightly messy ones and pretty much unrelated to the actual procedure but here goes:

When I had a laparoscopy done, I remember being really stuck on the whole idea that I had to have surgery in order to attempt to have kids naturally. It really stumped me and to some extent, still does. I don't know why this seemed more major than pumping drugs into my system to help me ovulate... anyway, I guess it was just a very in-your-face reminder of my fertility status and all the questions (WHY do I need to manipulate my body so harshly for it to even try to ovulate? You're supposed to go to the hospital to deliver your baby not to have someone drill your ovaries as a pre-cursor to the possibility ovulation which is pre-babymaking, which is pre-pregnancy, which is pre-baby. In other words, a big fat "THIS IS UNFAIR." - Don't really swear but have been very tempted to.) that come with it.

Speaking of questions... As a Christian dealing with infertility, at every step and angle we seem to be faced with the overriding questions- Do I let God deal with this and wait for some special indication? Or do I step out in faith and hope and use the resources (brain, etc) He's provided to make the best decision we/I know at this point in time? Or is the second question pretty much the answer to my first question?

These are common questions as a Christian and are not too bad at first glance, but I've noticed they get more frequent and hard when you are in the midst of infertility stuff... Like when you have a demanding voice on the other end of the telephone asking you if you want to take the appointment for publicly-funded (free, yes thankyou, I get it) day-surgery or not and you only have those five seconds to make that decision.

Oh yeah, sure you may have already discussed it with your husband, but what about work, you know there is important close to the date she's just barked at you, so is that an indication to push it and trust that another date will come up, or what? How long do I clear the schedule for? General anesthetic still takes a while to wear off... Does it matter? Do I tell people? Will it work? What does God think? Was I listening to my own 'desperation' rather than waiting for God's timing? What does the phrase 'God's timing' mean anyway?? Hold on. Also, what are my motives here? The nurse was pushy and stressful. Why did she do that? Should I have said no? I'm nervous. Does it mean I should take a break? How do I know? Yes, that's the one.


I honestly think I could list hundreds and hundreds of questions like that, that have popped into my head these last couple of years. I'm sure you could too... and I know there are no necessarily wrong or right answers to most of them... but I just didn't know I'd come to know the famous WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY HOW questions so intimately and be visited by them so frequently. And to have to be making these decisions on what feels like wobbliness... and I think it could be because I'm so nervous about the whole red-pill blue-pill, what if I eat the wrong-coloured pill thing?

Which leads back to another big but basic question,

Which, as you probably have figured out if you have been journeying too, is the theme question of most major aspects of this life on earth. And a daily struggle for me. From what I know about who God is and my life so far, I don't need to think twice to know that the answer for me is 'yes', but my humanness doesn't always understand that, as it doesn't make sense to trust someone so wholly.

and so there. I think I'm stopping here.
I wish I did but, I don't really have a tidy conclusion to this post... haha.

I hope you had a meaningful Easter weekend.