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.


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...)

Friday, October 08, 2010

In Real Life

I just realised that this blog is about eight months old! I do enjoy blogging. I do get nervous about some of the things I put out there about my life, but overall I do like keeping this going and all. Here's a shout-out:

Thanks for reading my posts and commenting on them, etc. I appreciate all you folks who are dropping in and checking this out. It means a lot.

Some of you have mentioned that my blog is 'pretty'. Why thanks! I do like it too. It is actually just a blogger-template, which means I didn't do anything, I just picked it and it appeared haha...

Some of you who read this know me but some of you don't, and as it is hard to know what I'm like just from my blog, I thought I'd do a small IN REAL LIFE list:

In real life,

1. I am not so great at verbalizing my thoughts and feelings. Okay. 'Not so great' is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I'm terrible. (I'm sure even the husband uses this blog as a reference to how I may be doing this past week. Things to work on, yes.)

2. I like neat and tidy but I'm not neat and tidy. I'm clean but messy. Unless you say you are coming over, then I make sure it is neat and tidy, where possible.

3. As much as we try, there is always soapscum to be scrubbed, dishes to be done and more laundry to be loaded. I really admire friends whose houses are always looking fab, but I also know I need to just get over it.

4. I read too many books at the same time.

I love 'knowing bit more' and tend to over-research initially, and then have to go back re-read everything cos' I read it too fast the first time. (But I'm getting smart enough to underline or dog-ear parts that I like so I can go back and just focus on those.)

5. I'm insecure. Can you tell? I think that's why I explain things too much too. Just so you don't misunderstand me. Heaven forbid you misunderstand cos' then it may lead to you not liking me. How can you not like me? I wouldn't be able to handle that. Sigh. Seriously. Full of issues. Reading a book about it of course.

6. If I have some time to chill, I like to sit around and drink tea- and just do not much.

Ok. That's me for now.

Wat Yo Talkin' 'Bout Girl?

This post is written in reference to my last post- More Than a Broken Window.

My friend asked me questions around the lines of, why do I need to mourn the idea of motherhood now, when there are still possibilities for the future? (I think that's what you meant, A? I hope so, haha.) And that is a fair enough question cos' I know it sounds like I'm shutting things down too early...

(Okay. Honestly it feels like I could write a book on this so I'm trying to stick to the point. I hope this makes some sort of sense.)

There are a few 'levels' to what I mean...

One is, it is specific to adoption, like in desiring this future-child, I need to deal with certain aspects of motherhood, like that I won't have that pregnant-to-birth experience, along with him/her not resembling us. This is a more obvious one which you probably already figured.

Two is, for me, I actually delved into the grief of not being a mother right from the start- like right when I found out about my not-so-useful ovaries.

I know this seems a little weird drama or premature (as I am 'young' and there are reproductive technologies, etc.) and it may sound like I lost hope but that is not at all what I mean. My hope recharges all the time- probably only cos' God does it for me and along with that maternal desire He's put in many of us women.

I think when I say,"I grieve the thought of never conceiving, carrying and giving birth and having kids" (or a similar statement), I mean it because it is a reality for me TODAY. Yes, the future may bring something different (and in some ways it already has, as I have conceived previously), but it is my way of accepting my TODAY and making myself give it up to God, because I really don't know what the future holds- no one does. It is a version of 'acceptance' rather than denial- and maybe sorta extreme, which I know is not how everyone processes, but maybe is my way of dealing with this.

It is like a thing that I need to constantly do to think beyond the idea to be a mother, because just maybe that will be my life. I have to untangle myself from seeing a lot of my identity as a woman with being a is like a way to survive or move forward I think... like making a decision that there is more to life with or without kids... does this make any sense?

Three, not sure if this is even relevant to the question but may help... going through infertility is a hard one to describe.

I think it is like other examples of processing pain/suffering/when-bad-stuff-happens type issues.

(The husband gave me the idea for the following.) Maybe it is like when someone loses their leg, due to disease or accident. Their world changes. You can't do everyday things the same, your job prospects change because you used to be in a physical job, your social life changes because it is hard to go dancing every week, your house layout has to accomodate, you only need to buy half a pair of shoes...  your identity and your perspective on what you thought life was going to be is significantly shifted.

One day, you get a new artificial leg that works like 'as good' (or if you are a Kiwi, is 'good as'), that is fab and all- life may even be way better, you may climb mountains for a living and get tons of cash. But it doesn't take away the fact that your 'right' or 'normality' of having two legs is no longer there. It is not a given. Your definition of you is no longer the same. You have to be defined by something more than that.

Sure, you now have two legs again and are doing great but the world looks very different because you have experienced that loss or that 'change of plan' and it doesn't simply just 'rewind' to the day before your accident. (Though you do wonder what it'd be like if it did.)

I think this is sorta like an illustration of infertility for me.

My head tends to always be full of thoughts and words, so this may have been babbly. Hope this makes sense. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More Than a Broken Window

Can everything be replaced?

Here's a post that got me thinking the other day. (The original post is here by Lori, who writes a great blog, though heart-breaking at times.)

It is about 'replacing children', with reference to the biblical book of Job... when you lose a child through pregnancy/miscarriage loss, some will say one way to get over it is to get pregnant again and have your next child... and yes I can understand where that thought would come from, as it probably helps life to keep going, but that does that really solve it? I think it helps you think about something else... But both are separate and different little lives that are special.

In the original post, Lori is thinking through it because she lost her baby last year and here she is pregnant again around the same time of the year, and it is so confusing.

It can be taken to another level too when we consider the whole idea of adoption. I know for me I need to mourn the idea of conceiving, carrying a baby in the womb and a baby that looks like the husband and me as we journey on with adoption. I've already been doing that since I've been on this infertility road- with all my issues, it just isn't always going to be clear, and will be a continual kind of grief, because you never really 'get over it' I don't think.

Hmmm... yes. This is kinda an incomplete thought! (Just thought to share the links for now cos' sometimes I take so long to produce a post and spit it out!)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ten Things at 10am

There's a lot going on.

I'm keeping it light for today. Here are some random things I'm up to...

1. I went out and bought a new pair of shoes- wedged heel sandals, in preparation for warmer weather haha... ahhh feels so good. I don't often see shoes I like at Number One Shoe Warehouse but I did and they were $29.99, which is pretty cheap around here. (I think this is my first new pair of shoes this year? Could that be? Quite an accomplishment I think!) Only problem now is nasty toenails... here's a pic of them without feet.

2. Our study was not being well used so I de-cluttered the study a little... sold my desk that I wasn't using (it ended up just as a paper-holder) and bought a taller bookshelf to store our books instead, moved stuff around, tried to get organised, etc.

I found some cute boxes at a Japanese-goods store and using it to store my stuff on our small bookshelf instead of just piling it on the desk. I'd like to paint the shelf but that'll be another day... (This 'organised-thing always works for a short while and then somehow a magic mess appears again! Note: I just don't take pictures of the mess.)

3. This week coming up we're having a break! No work for a week. We have been looking forward to this for a while. We're not going away but being home and just trying to relax will be nice. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with some friends too... we also have a few house-things to get done... lots of books to read...

4. Finally tried making this coffee cake today.

Looks good and tastes okay... but is icing was a bit overkill. Thankfully the husband is a sweeter-tooth than me so he will be good help eating it.

5. I wear these around the house sometimes just to laugh at myself. I got them last year when we went to the Universal Studios in Gold Coast, Australia with some great friends to start a new adventure. I don't actually watch that much Spongebob but I just thought these were funny.

6. This is something I'm casually keeping my eye out for- a printer's tray or drawer. Okay, I don't need it, but it'd be kinda cool for home decor stuff one day. I missed this auction on TradeMe the other day and was so frustrated. (This other one was also for sale but looks like they want more...)

7. My friend shared these random YouTube clips with me the other day. It came out of a conversation on how, in general Asian music videos, whether from HK or Taiwan or Korea, are so overly sappy but quite intriguing to watch! (Check 'I Am Woman' by KISS out if you want a sample. Beware it is eight minutes long!) High cringe factor but I sorta love it.

For a more fun and sugar-sweet pop feel, watch 'Nobody' by Wonder Girls, another Korean clip. Quite hilare.

8. We had a couple warm days here this week. Even though I was at work for some of the sunny afternoons, it was nice to be reminded of what summer feels like again. Funny how you sorta forget.

9. This was Sammy a few minutes ago. (It was his birthday yesterday, he's now officially three... but we weren't great dog owners, we didn't really know what to do. Do they eat cake? We gave him a couple venison treats that he liked and uh... had to leave for work. He did get some good rubs though.)

10. I need to go. I'm meeting someone in ten minutes. Wow I'm organised. I guess that's what happens when you tre and get stuff done on Saturday mornings.

Have a great weekend.