Monday, May 31, 2010

Mixed May

I might try and sneak a couple of posts into before the end of the month- which means today! haha. I think of so many things to say and write here, but takes me time to spit it out. Very typical really, I'm like this even in conversation.

We're like in the middle of the year almost! Scary.

May has been a mixed month for us. Lots of wonderful things and also hard things.

Great things:
  • 8th 'Dating' Anniversary for the husband and I- I got flowers on that day! woopwoop.
  • Birthday celebrations (like six?) of special friends and family (I love buying presents!)- fun times
  • Birth of a good friend's baby- a super cute little girl
  • Meaningful chats with a lovely friend
  • Had my surgery done and seems like all went well
  • Pregnancy announcements from a few friends
  • Mother's Day
  • Going into winter- getting out my boots!
  • Survived six months of waiting (in terms of 'not trying')
Hard things:
  • Surgery bill- mostly covered by insurance, thankfully, but still a bit to cover on our end. hmmm...
  • Pregnancy announcements from a few friends
  • Mother's Day
  • Going into winter... cold!
  • Due date of our baby we lost in November
It has been interesting for me to think through some of these things that exist in both the wonderful and difficult categories. Life is curious like that. Thank you for walking it with me.

(Off to work!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quick Update and Misc Things

My doc had a look at my surgery 'wounds' and they all look like they are healing up fine so YAY! Thank you for all the prayers and hugs. I've been back at work this week and I'm still taking it a bit easy in terms of activity but I'm doing well. Haven't had any dramas. Phew.

I've recently updated my 'bookshelf' and 'resources' page. Still a bit unsure about the 'resources' page cos' there are so many ways to do it and endless things I'm sure I could add to it... but that's that for now. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

I know we're probably all a bit over Mother's Day, but here's an article, If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say... for anyone who's interested. Infertility-types have enjoyed this recent article by Nia Vardalos, from 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' fame.

I hope you are having a good week.

Friday, May 21, 2010


When things get taken away from you, they strip you of your identity.

The whole idea of identity is a massive and fascinating topic and I'm probably only scratching a few layers of it, but I've been thinking about it... and I've had time to! I've been a shut-in for five days. (And for good reason. I'm not planning to be a hero- though I very much want to be. I hope to heal up well and fully, or close to it, so I have been resting. This is so that I can resume a bit of 'normality'- whatever that is- in our daily lives.)

In the last couple of years, I have been through four hospital admissions. This has also meant that I am becoming the Queen of Recovery- staying at home for a bunch of days, resting a lot, moving around but not too much, etc. I have also been very blessed to have people around me who have cared and helped to provide for our needs.

But being made to stay at home and not do much (as much as that sounds lovely at times) does something to you. I'm sure that seems a bit obvious- for one, cabin fever. And it is just not as glam - the Queen wears a coat of old duvet instead of red velvet and scruffy slippers instead of gem-encrusted shoes. She's usually home alone so there aren't any minions to boss around or posh tea parties or anything, though yes, there is cake and there is eating.

What I mean is, it makes me feel like I am not a contributing member of society, it makes me feel like I'm missing out, PLUS it makes me realise that the world goes on spinning with or without me. In short, it makes me reflect on who I am and what that means.

I can understand why we find so much 'pleasure' in being busy whether it is getting things done or spending time with others. As much as these may be positive things that do help the world function better, I realise they also give us a sense of being satisfied with who we are, a security in knowing we are needed and that we have a role to play.

For me, I feel like who I think I am is constantly being tweaked and questioned. Let me try and explain. Here are some of the things I pride myself on being... and some of the who-am-I questions it leaves me with:

  • I put a lot of effort into being a good wife to the husband. I love the husband. But in recent months, things have been out of our control. There are aspects of his health and well-being that I cannot 'make better'.
Even if I wasn't a wife or a good wife, who would I be?
  • I aim to be healthy and fit- and let's be honest, want to look good. Running and swimming are some of my 'things' that I try to do. But with having many procedures and treatments, these are also things that I constantly have to give up and re-arrange.
 If I wasn't even able to be healthy, or can't take care of how I look, who would I be?
  • I thought that desiring to be a mother was a God-given thing and I don't think I have impure motives to be one. Now that I have been struggling to have a baby, that role of motherhood feels out of my reach.
 If I'm never a mother, who would I be and how will I still be okay?
  • I have wanted to be in a job that is meaningful. And both in my previous and current job, I am doing something that is precious to me. However, just when I find my feet with one task or project, things seem to change due to life's ups and downs or I'm not always able to figure out how best to use my strengths and abilities, etc.
If don't excel in my job, can't prove to others that I am a capable woman, who am I?
  • I want to be a good friend to my friends, but there are some relationships that I have not been able to pursue due to events in life and a drop in capacity (and I'm not even a high-capacity person in the first place). Or I've not been able to solve their problems as well as I'd like to. 
If friendships get strained or taken away from me, or if I can't be there for them all, who am I?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to get us all depressed nor am I asking for sympathy. I'm still going to pursue these things (above) to the best of my abilities. Surprisingly, yes, I do actually love my life. I list them just to illustrate how I think I hold on to roles that I feel give me significance, when maybe even these seemingly 'good' things are still only peripheral to who/what God wants us to be and He is constantly peeling me back to help me discover what's at the core. Or it is the manner in which I am stubbornly using them to make me feel good, that He is trying to pry my fingers from- maybe? I don't really know.

I think maybe what I'm trying to process is: God is showing me (will be showing me throughout my lifetime) how I've anchored my identity in so many aspects of life- many of which are not bad. But even some of these things may not always be, and His following question/s is, "Who will you be without these? What will you do then?"...

Truth is, I know the answer. It just isn't the easiest one to do- I'm still learning how. Yet it is the best and the only way.

So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galations 2:19-20 (NLT)

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39 (NLT)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Five incisions later... (wow. didn't know it would be more than three...) I'm alive and well! Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


It feels like life is constantly being 'disrupted' by something else. Like a tracking dog, you think you're on a great scent trail, then you're interrupted by some other whiff, and you're being sent off on another one.

I'm not great with surprises so this has definitely been an area of growth- though I don't know if I'm getting any better at this.

When you set aside 5-6 weeks mentally/emotionally (and maybe socially) to do a fertility cycle of treatment, the illustration of being on the rollercoaster is never clearer. The drugs work. The drugs don't work. Maybe now? Yes. Blood test. No. Maybe now? No. Blood test. Maybe. Increase dosage? Yes. Wait. Working? Maybe. Blood test says yes. Any follicles? Yes. Big enough? No. Blood test. Not yet. Scan. Maybe... now? What about... now? Scan. Did ovulate? Blood test. Yes. Pregnant? Maybe we're good. Should be but wait. Wait. One week. I feel this way. No I feel that way. Maybe now? Two weeks. Blood test.  Oh no. Hmmm. Gutted.

Start Again.

Lord! Remind me who you are.

Like some kind of crazy marathon version of Snakes 'N' Ladders!

The other day I had another confusing taste of this bizarre world of unexpected things. I was scheduled for a minor surgery. We had both cleared our schedules and friends at work were so kindly covering for us. We had alerted close friends and family just to let them know.

I got my pre-op prepping. Got into the gown. Did not have anything to eat or drink for over 12 hours (quite a feat). Cleared the system. Had the scary disposable undies on hand to change into at the last minute, plus gorgeous blue hairnet.

But then they were running late... and the surgeon came in (I thought this was my briefing with her but... ) to tell me apologetically that she had to postpone my surgery! There were other uncontrollable and major reasons for it that made a lot of sense. I get it. But... hold on. What??

There's nothing I can do. I got back into my own clothes and we walked out of the hospital!

(In the meantime the husband got a parking ticket for staying in his space too long- he waited with me and had forgotten about the time limit! Oh no.)

It was a confusing day. All the prayers that my wonderful friends and family have said for me are possibly on pause or maybe God has recorded them on His MySky to be replayed in a few days time.

(I know it is not my fault but I feel kind of embarassed! Thankfully we have been able to reschedule it and it will happen in the next few days.)

I realise over and over how 'control' is so important to me- subconsciously. I want to have a say in what happens- though I'm not always aware of it. They say it is your decision how you want to live your life and how you want to deal with things. I understand and I agree- I'm working on it, I promise. However, sometimes, however much you decide to be adaptable or flexible or respond well, the rug still gets pulled under you. And it hurts. I'm not sure if I am getting any used to it or am any better at falling!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The day after the day after Mother's Day

Two days ago it was Mother's Day and I thought about not writing about it, but here I am, writing a sort of delayed response!

These last two years, I decided to not attend the church service on Mother's Day. Please know that I am not anti-mothers, I know a few and I like them. I understand why it is important to encourage and appreciate motherhood. However, because of all it represents, it hits home pretty hard. Emotionally, I still don't think I can do it without flooding the room with tears and I want the moms there to have a good time, instead of having to be distracted. I'm over trying to be 'brave' so I'd just rather not go.

I had a great time eating and celebrating with my mother. She had decided she wanted to have an afternoon tea at her house and invite her friends, many of whom are not mothers themselves. I'm not sure why she decided to do this but in some ways it was nice to still be having a little 'party' so I could show her my appreciation, but not necessarily be focused on 'mothers'. I am thankful for my mom. I know she finds it very hard to know how to deal with (or talk about) my infertility and losses, but she is trying her best (some conversations are better than other) to be sensitive and encouraging- which I appreciate so much. She writes great cards and reminds me of God's promises.

In short, I 'survived' Mother's Day. I sneaked past unharmed. Did you?

But what about today? Today we got a pregnancy announcement. YES. They're having a baby. YES I should've known that.

 I was pretty naive to think that more of these weren't coming. Here I am again, happy-sad-guilty. Happy for them, sad for me/us, and so guilty that I'm happy-sad. (What kind of friend am I??)

It cracks me up (I mean laughter not tears- I'm sure it is confusing haha), but also sort of not, at how I was so focused on dealing with Mother's Day, and forgot that everyday is really a kind of Mother's Day while I'm in this infertility road. And not just for me and infertility, but others who struggle for different reasons too... such as loss of a parent. Life is just not quite the same anymore. 'Normal' things carry so much more weight and meaning. Perspective huh.

Sometimes I do wonder what it would be like if I could hit 'rewind'... I know I can't and probably won't- even if I had the choice. But just a frequent thought.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

MRI Result

This week I got the call following up on my MRI. It turns out that I have to have another procedure done. Sucks! Totally was hoping that what they saw was somehow wrong. Not the greatest news.

Thankfully I can have it covered by insurance and there is a slot to do it soon. This is good. Thankfully also, I can do it at a private hospital, which is a lot nicer.

As much as I was prepared to deal with whatever comes next, and as much as I'm used to 'negative' news, and even though it is a fairly common and straightforward procedure, I'm not used to it. (How come?) I think I still had a bit of a shock and that could be why the last few days I've just been in a bit of a blur.

Between the husband and I, at the moment, we are a barrel full of issues. I think we are feeling a little bit stuck.

I know God is much greater than my wimpy self, but this is hard.

No. More. Hospitals.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mother's Day is Coming- Useful links

I'm always keen to celebrate it for my mom and what she means to me, but for now I'm still a bit confused about how to approach it myself.

Here is a short post I found about it, from someone who's dealing or dealt with infertility stuff. I thought it was interesting:
Eve's Daughters

If you, like me, are a bit confused about how to approach this day, the author, Holley Gerth also wrote another post a year ago on her own blogsite, When Mother's Day is Difficult. There is an article attached to it, which is I really like and is pretty useful. If you are a friend who wants to care for someone kind of like me, you can have a read too:
When Mother's Day is Difficult- PDF article.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

My Three Categories of Crying

I cry a lot. Do you?

I'm not sure if it is the infertility road itself, or if it is just that I have become more aware or open about my issues, but I'm less afraid of it. To me it is not a necessarily negative thing (unless I'm using it to be manipulative), it is simply a way of expressing emotion and there is a reason why we were made to be able to cry.

Whatever it is, the human body can produce a lot of tears and I've become pretty shameless about weeping wherever and whenever. The husband has slowly gotten used to it, and is great at being there for me and waiting while I just let it all out, even when he desperately wants to go to bed. He should get a medal.

I have learnt to prepare myself by stuffing tissues (Kleenex Aloe Vera is best from my research) in my handbag before I leave the house most days, having a pack of tissues in our car and the husband's vehicle too. If I have run out, I will resort to serviettes, toilet paper and the back of my hand. (Does cause a bit of a mess if I leave tissues in my pocket and forget about them before doing the laundry. So annoying! Oh well.)

I know we all cry differently for different reasons, but I just thought about the 'categories' for myself...

Here are my types of crying:

1.  Deep agony.

Time/Place: Home. Late in the night.
Amount of tears: 40 noseblows
Who's around: The husband or no one

When your heart is simply broken. I think this is a grieving kind of crying (often includes sobbing), when the massive-ness of this journey occurs to me. For me, there is a certain amount of anger that comes out too.

So many 'resons' can spark this off. Things like the fact that I can't quite get my head around the children I have who are in heaven (children? mine? who? what?where? heaven?), wanting to meet them now, the idea of waiting but not knowing if I'm waiting for something I'm not going to get, the idea that not only may I not have kids but that would mean the husband won't have kids either, anger at how things seem 'unfair', jealousy that others have what I want, just feeling very lost, etc, etc, etc.

I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
-Psalm 6:6

My face is red with weeping,
deep shadows ring my eyes
-Job 16:16
[It is good to know that David and Job did this as well. (And they were men too.)]

Frequency: Depends. Not often, but when it does, everything seems to pour out. And when you're done, you have no energy left.

Strategy: Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour cream is good for the area around the nose and upper lip.

2. Constant struggling/wrestling with God.

Time/Place: Church service or similar
Amount of tears: 4-5 noseblows
Who's around: The husband and the whole room full of church-attenders

Somehow, I have no shame crying in church! It seems to just flow freely. I don't really mind, but I'm not sure how others who see this might feel. This happens especially during worship songs. I think this is because in singing these songs I'm declaring that I love God and He is good. And this is a hard thing to fully reconcile. I'm not usually crying cos' I'm doubting, I'm more crying cos' I know God is great and His plans are perfect, I just cannot fathom how that works with how much it hurts to get there.

Frequency: At the moment, almost every church service. (Whywhywhy!!!)

Strategy: Blow your nose during the song-singing, so that you don't have to when everyone's quietened down for the sermon.

3. Random tears

Time/Place: Unexpected- anywhere, anytime.
Amount of tears: 1-2 noseblows or just a quick wipe
Who's around: Could be the husband, or friends, or even strangers...

This is when something that comes up stirs a memory up or stings the wound. There is a wide range of when this might occur, from a simple conversation with a friend to watching a movie preview for 'The Blind Side'. Something sparks an emotion in you and the taps turn a little. I try to blink it back and sometimes that is good enough. Sometimes, they keep coming. Usually this only lasts a little while, but it is hard to say.

Frequency: Often.

Strategy: If it is safe, share what's on your mind. Your friends probably want to know how to care for you and it helps if you let them know.

Not sure why I decided to write about this. Just thought you might want to know you are not alone on the sad days. If we look up 'tears' or 'weeping' in the bible, there are lots of verses!

...a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance...
- Ecclesiastes 3:4