Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ten Things Around 10 A.M.

(I'm no saint, but I figure this is a good exercise for me to do as I have an overactive mind and can get obsessed or occupied by things that are immediately in my path, and not notice some other things that maybe happening. This is a good way for me to remind myself what God is doing along the way. )

Ten things I'm thanking God for today:

1. Lost and Found: My engagement ring diamond went missing the other night! I was horrified to see just the empty claws holding nothing! Felt quite sick that I'd lost this precious gift from the husband.

However, the next day, the husband miraculously found it under the desk at our work. (The claws had worn down and it popped out! Scary.) Phew. So relieved.

2. Even if we didn't find it, it would have sucked, but it would've been okay. Thankful for the husband (who found it but also) was trying to tell me it didn't really matter, at the end of the day it is just a piece of jewellery.

3. My mother, also known as Mrs K, who is waiting to patiently for grandkids from me but is trying not to put any pressure and has tried her best to be so gentle about it, reminding me to continue to wait on God.

4. Also thankful for her food. She gives us lots of food to bring home, even after we've visited her on Sunday nights to have dinner at her house. This week she gave me hamburger patties and this is our burger (with egg and bacon for extra protein- as if we need it haha- so yummy though!)

5. Ballet Class. So exciting! I went to do an adult ballet class this week. I have been looking forward to trying it out as it is something I used to do as a girl and still do enjoy. I'm waaaaay rusty of course, but the other women were not super experienced either, so it was good. (I'm hoping it will be a good attention diverter from some of the intense life stuff going on... may not always be able to go because of work, but still good to know there is a class I can attend and feel comfortable in)

6. Learning to laugh- still. I have to share that at this ballet class that was meant to take my mind off things, there was a pregnant lady! (Probably just like four months or something, just a little bump. Definitely was cos' someone mentioned it, not my imagination.) I have to admit, mid-jete, when I realised, I was a tad horrified because I so was wanting it to be a place where I could just relax and not think about baby-stuff... but somehow it will follow me wherever I go. It probably is a little silly thinking I can totally avoid it. I told the husband when I got home and we just had to sigh and laugh about it.

7. We bought this magnetic knife holder thing almost a year ago. We don't have IKEA here and we got it from IKEA in Gold Coast last year and lugged it home in our suitcases along with a duvet cover set, clocks and a heart-shaped mirror (yes... not kidding. Don't laugh too hard. Would've put shelving units in it too if I could've). Anyway, the husband finally put it up for me. Pretty stoked!

8. My friend C. She is a great encourager and cheerleader. She is trying so hard to understand this journey I'm on, and yet it is hard for her too as she hasn't had to experience the same issues. She was so impacted by the last post's video clip that she shared it on her FB page! This was so that others can also learn more about the difficulties of infertility stuff. I was very touched and encouraged.

9. Music. I love listening to music- all sorts! At the moment, because of where I'm at, I'm finding that bands like Casting Crowns are more helpful for me to listen to than others. It soothes my soul and reminds me that I need to let God take the driver's seat. It helps my mind zoom out to the bigger picture in life- where we are at with Christ. It also brings me to tears because trusting God is the hardest thing to do, especially cos' there has been so much heartache.

10. Random friendships I'm making on this (often-unwanted) journey... people from church, friends of friends, other bloggers, long-time friends who I'm reconnecting with. I'm surprised by how it has opened up new conversations and new depths in relationships.

God has definitely been good to me.

(started this post just before 10am but now it is almost 10:30. haha. oh well.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thanks for Airing

This morning I watched a doco about Jay Jay Feeney and Dom Harvey, local DJs who are husband and wife and have been trying for a baby. Some friends had seen it and told me about it- they warned that it'd be hard so I left it for a couple days before I watched it. They made a documentary on their fourth IVF cycle. (It was aired on 'Sunday' on 30th of May. Click to watch it but I'm not sure if non-NZers can view the video. Sometimes the TV people limit it to locals...)

I'm sorry that it did not have a 'happy' ending but I have to say it outlined the journey so well. They also braved the cameras and shared all the emotions that the husband and I have felt too, even though we haven't done IVF before. I think all fertility treatment cycles carry similar emotional impact. I watched it as I ate my breakfast and was trying to shove the porridge in my mouth before it got more soggy.

I just appreciate that their vulnerability would've been so hard. For us, sometimes the fact that friends and family know that we are trying can be bad enough, let alone the NZ public. We want them to know because we need the prayers, support and care, but it can be so difficult too because your lives and dreams are just right out there, and as especially when something goes wrong, there is such a sense of wanting to be alone in the grief and sometimes even a strong sense of failure.

Yet openness helps us all to learn from each other and empathise, so it is a funny tension again. I think airing it on TV also helped everyone have a bit more of a realistic idea of what's involved with infertility and treatments- in this case, IVF.

It was just comforting for me to see Jay Jay do the injections, wait for phone calls and react to the various bits of news, as they were all things we have done too. It was also hard but kinda cool to hear Dom's perspective, I think it gave a voice to many husbands out there who are also on this mad mad journey. (Thank you for sharing.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tips on Drawing Blood

(No I'm not commenting on any vampire movies or TV shows. Not that they are popular around here or anything. ha... yes they are. )

I've recently been having a bit of trouble with my veins when I get blood work done. They seem to collapse or do something tricky. I'm pretty ok with having them pricked again or done again on the other arm, but it does hurt, and it does get wearying when it happens repeatedly.

You may already know this... Here are a couple tips I've learnt if you have disobedient veins like mine at the moment:

- Drink lots of water before you get to the clinic. Simple but it works. (This is especially relevant for fertility treatment stuff cos' we often have to do our blood tests first thing in the morning, we're already slightly dehydrated from sleeping all night, and I can forget to drink when I am rushing out the door.)

- Bring a heated wheatbag or hot water bottle or something that you can press on the inside of your elbow to heat it up when you are waiting for your turn. It warms up your veins and somehow helps it to 'pop' up. This worked beautifully for me today. Yuss.

Any other tips?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photo Time

Putting up that last post's pic of the spiderweb got me thinking to post a few more pics on here. I've been fiddling with my little point and shoot camera and am quite proud of the photos I've managed to take! Here are some shots from my past couple weeks.

It is wintery and cold here... lovely time to read by the fire.

Speaking of fire, here's our firewood basking in the winter sun. We're trying to dry these ones out... probably more for next winter.

A couple posts ago, I moaned about not being able to bake a chocolate cake. I ended up managing to make making a chocolate mudcake that needed less eggs haha and also contained baileys and coffee. yum!

I love it with a cup of tea.

Last weekend, the husband took us away for a weekend! It was a lovely surprise to spend some time with him. We actually just ended up in a place just out of the city center, as he thought I'd like it for the food and shopping in the area. WOW. That was so sweet (especially when what husband likes to shop?)

I didn't get pics of our time away, but I did get a photo towards the end when we went to visit the park where he proposed to me SIX years ago! We used to walk up the hill a lot when we were dating and we also took a couple wedding photos there. It has a fab view of Auckland.

Mt Eden is a volcano, so you may be able to sort of see the crater shape in this pic... and it was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon too...

This photography stuff has been an accidental new hobby for me... didn't think I could take such lovely pics with my little Canon Powershot... but pretty stoked with these! Yay. (Feel free to share tips.)

Random last addition: I also love home decor stuff. Today I just put up some frames containing photos of my gorgeous nieces and nephews. So excited about them! Here's a pic of the corner of my living room.

Okay... probably enough for now. Hope you are having a good and restful Sunday.

8th Time

Hello! Having slight issues with my blogging career, can't seem to keep up with my intention to post regularly haha.

Anyway. We are trying again. How I got through the last seven months, I'm not sure. But here we are!

I did a count and this is our eighth time trying with assistance. If I do some quick math, and I like math, so please don't mind me, that's like an average of maybe 8 x 4 = 32 blood tests, and possibly like 8 x 2 = 16 ewwy scans. I mean at least that! Cos' often there's extra tests and things. Of course, it depends on your clinic and the amount of monitoring you get... random tangent I know, but that was just some interesting calculating for me. (And no, I never get used to the prick of the blood tests or the prod of the scans, but what to do!)

Needless to say, I'm scared. Terrified. I am finding this round a different kind of hard, probably because our loss in November was so shattering. I have hope but it is a disturbed kind of hope.

I'm trying to keep myself distracted and being busy does help. However, the two-week-wait will eventually come and I'm dreading that as that is the worst. (I'm thinking to maybe do something a bit different to get through it, like the Twelve Days of Christmas- so fourteen daily events? Or fourteen gifts for myself? Ideas?)

Overall I'm doing surprisingly well. (Thank you for praying for us if you have been.) Thank God for the husband who is doing the injecting for me. The last round was ten months ago and it took us a while to remember how it all works... I can't bring myself to do it- I know some of you do, big ups to you!

This morning, as I came home from my blood test (had to wake up early grrrr), I spotted this spider web outside our house...

Cool huh?

Things like this of God's creation help me to remember His greatness... which I forget very often.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Soothing the Crazywoman

What things make you cheer up a little?

Tuesday was the day I tried it all...

I had a couple bleak days at the beginning of this week. Hate how it makes me feel like I'm empty at the core. No wonder they call this infertility thing a monster, it rears its ugly head so unexpectedly... Everything makes you cry and everything makes you angry.

(Maybe that's how Venus F feels...)

Maybe it is the currently wonky hormones, maybe it was because I randomly decided to be smart and look up a information sheet on adoption where some random fact just made my hope levels plunge to the bottom, I'm not sure. I think I just get sick of it sometimes. Sick of waiting, sick of being patient, sick of planning my life around 'maybes'... so I just got sad.

So anyway, I went to the mall after my early work-shift. Yes, I love shopping. I love looking at clothes and just looking out for good buys. Ahhh... instant bliss.

Um, not long-lasting though.

The knot in my stomach did not totally go away. I even had a bit of sushi to see if that would ease my prickly emotions. I love sushi. But my appetite is insatiable.

I went home and went out for a walk. Walking is good cos' it makes you breathe. I took my MP3 player with me intending to listen to some music (ahhh music is good...) as I walked as it was a beautiful and cold wintry day with pure blue skies...

...but the battery was dead. Haha. I felt like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve.

So I stomped my way around the block and back. It was good but by then I'd realised my thought patterns were just going round and round in circles, a variety pack of all the things I could be insecure about were swarming like bees in a hive.

I knew the best thing was to focus on God's word. I read through a bunch of Psalms and tried to concentrate on the words. (Why didn't I start with that, I don't know.)

I know I say it often but I love turning to the Psalms.

Lord thank you for soothing my sour pruneyness
Some days I feel so lost, but knowing you are at the end of the road is my ultimate comfort.

I also texted a friend in a similar place to me, and it was a relief to know I was not alone. Thank you God for her.

The last thing I should've done to cap the day off would've been to bake a bunch of chocolate-chip-laden cookies and down them with a big cup of tea. But I didn't have time... all my frustrations had fast-forwarded me to dinner time.

(That's probably how you age quicky- be bitter. UhOh. Makes you pruney inside AND out.)

I did have to have a cup of tea with a close friend after dinner though. And that was also a fine way to spend the evening.

But life is weird. I feel like I never know what tomorrow brings.

I feel more 'normal' now. Or close at least. Thankyouverymuch.

(Maybe I should've had nutella on white bread for dessert... )

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Afternoon

This afternoon I was planning to make a scrumptious chocolate cake but I forgot to get eggs when I was at the supermarket (don't you hate that) and I'm only one short but I can't be bothered going back, and I want to follow the recipe to the T cos' it is a new one, so I might make something else instead...

But it is a lovely day outside, which all of Auckland is thankful for cos' it has been pretty mad stormy for a while... so it is cold since there is little cloud, but oh so gorgeous.

The husband and I recently discovered that our little lemon tree is really going for it this year. Without much effort on our part, as we have been terrible at keeping the garden decent- I have no clue about these things.

Yet, there are tons of lemons on it! So fun! We've never seen this many before. Bummed about my lack of eggs (haha. in more ways than one huh ladies...) I decided to go take a few pics of our ballooning lemon tree.

Oh ya they look like oranges but they really are lemons...

Cool huh?

(Our yard is in a terrible state, but I think I have managed to hide that fact well in these pics. )

I'm refraining from making any jokes about life literarally handing me lemons, etc. But it is hard to not laugh about that, as it totally matches the season of life the husband and I have been in haha.

Anyway.  I'm going to go have a big think about what to make as it is hard to redirect expectations, especially high ones about having chocolate cake with frosting. (Actually that sounds a lot like something else doesn't it? haha.) Sigh.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Guessing Games

Sometimes I wonder what people think of me. Um... hold on. Sometimes? Maybe more like very often. Being 'not good enough' is a big fear of mine. (I have a lot of thoughts on that topic of 'significance'... but we'll leave it for another day haha.) With infertility stuff, this takes a slightly different form.

More specifically what I'm thinking about today is that I think about reasons others may think of about why I don't have children yet. Do you do this too?

I think I do it because if I'm honest, I am sure I did this to others when I was younger and less experienced with life. I wondered why they didn't have kids and sort of guessed answers for them. It is that whole thing of wanting answers, almost any answers. As if God's plans need my defending.

These same reasons now sometimes float around in my head and they are tempting to believe in as it would give me something. SOMETHING. To answer the Question of Why. Here's a sample:
  • I'm not motherly enough. I'm not going to be a good mother. That's why I can't have kids...
  • I'm not good with kids, I won't be good with mine...
  • I can't handle things I've already been given (like housework haha), so I don't have the 'capacity' (sorta hate that word) to be a mother, as that is a lot of work.
  • I'm not a multi-tasker and mothers need to be able to do that...
  • Something's going to happen to us. What would happen to the baby if we had one?
Depressing right?! I know, but they hit close to home, and I think sometimes I want to guess God's mind, and so I bring Him down to my level, and I conclude that, "That's it! Those must be the reasons."

At times I try to come up with holier reasons, like the work I do will be more impactful if somehow I don't have kids, as they are distracting blah blah. (As if it isn't distracting now...)

Thankfully God is larger than all my winces, whimpers and whines. I love that He is a God of exactly that- all my unending random thoughts and insecurities. All my ugly criticisms. GRRRR. All my desperate grasps for more answers...

Anyway, I wanted to share this because I just thought if some days you think like this too, you are not alone. Oh Lord help me to dwell on what is right and true!

(Used this photo before. But thought I'd use it again. Just so ugly that it makes me laugh!)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Website- Sarah's Laughter

Another blogger (While I'm Waiting) reminded me of this website I'd come across once before. Sarah's Laughter provides different resources to Hannah's Prayer Ministries, but also provides great resources and support to do with infertility, and miscarriage loss. Jen mentioned this thing they have called 'Double Daily Portions', which are like little devotionals that you have to subscribe to and get sent to you, so I've also started getting them emailed to me.

I've really enjoyed getting them and though they may be sometimes hard to read (so might need to read them in your break if you read them at work, or possibly risk a few unexpected tears!), they have given me great biblical reminders of God's promises to me.

I've found them encouraging and thought maybe you might too?