National Infertility Awareness Week

Popping up in my Facebook memories today was a picture of my husband and I from six years ago, April 23rd, 2012.  We were expecting our first baby and life couldn’t be better (side note, my husband never smiles big for pictures, but he was truly excited for our first little one to arrive)!  This picture was taken at our very first baby shower, hosted at my parents house.  It was an exciting day celebrating the soon to be arrival of our little girl and our soon to be journey as new parents.  The day was filled with lots of advice from the already seasoned moms in my life, laughs, love and support from my family and friends.

You see, my entire life I knew I wanted to be a mom and I wanted lots of kids.  I was never sure about anything else, but I was so damn sure about being a mom.  When I say I wanted lots of kids, I mean at least five kids!  I could picture is so clearly.  So often I had heard it spoken by my own mom, by my friends and family that I was going to be such a great mom.  Not only did I hear this, but I believed it in my heart to be true and I wanted it so badly.  I felt this burning desire in my heart that this is what I was meant to do in my life and I thought it was so special that God placed this desire in my heart!  Some people know they want to grow up to be a doctor or a teacher or an Engineer…not me, I just wanted to be a mom!  So, at the time I figured that this wouldn’t be my last rodeo and that I’d surely be pregnant again within a year or two and again and again after that.  No one really ever told me that getting pregnant isn’t always as easy as it seems, so I never thought twice about it.

Isn’t it ironic that we can plan and plan and plan our lives and God just laughs?

Little did I know I was going to get bucked off my bull and realize my dream of becoming a mother again wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would.

Little did I know the plans I had for myself when it came to family building would be crushed by Secondary Infertility.

Little did I know how heartbreaking it would be to see our oldest daughter question why she didn’t have a sibling and wonder and inquire what was taking so long for God to give her one.

Little did I know that my sleepless nights would come from staying up with anxiety as I worried about why I coudn’t get pregnant, instead of sleepless nights due to lulling a baby back to sleep.

Little did I know that I would need to have IVF to conceive my second child.

Little did I know…because we truly knew so very little about this illness.  Little did we know that this could happen to us.

I will be the first to admit that I was oblivious to the fact that conceiving a baby wouldn’t come as easily to my husband and I the second time around.  In fact, I barely recognize the newly expectant parents below–they seem like strangers to me now. Secondary Infertility has opened our eyes to so many things.  Honestly, at the point this picture was taken in my life and in our journey to become parents I didn’t even know that Secondary Infertility existed.  However, it isn’t any surprise to me as to why I didn’t know about it…NO ONE EVER TALKED ABOUT IT.

It is for that reason that I am so desperate to talk about it and start changing the conversation surrounding this taboo topic.  I had heard of infertility but I didn’t know there were different levels of it.  I didn’t realize how everyone’s struggles are so diferent, yet the feelings associated with it are the same.  I didn’t know that you could conceive a child the first time around on your own and not be defined as infertile and then have troubles conceiving a second or a third, etc., and it was Secondary Infertility.  Until I started to become open about our struggles, I also didn’t realize how common Secondary Infertility is and how many others I talk to and know have said “Me Too”.  To say I was very niave is an understatement.

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That changed pretty quickly though as we were trying for our second child and nothing was happening.  It just seemed like all of a sudden we were in this dark place, alone, struggling and we were in the center of a whirlwind that was rocking our entire lives.  I can’t even begin to tell you about the feelings that overcame me in this time and all that we were dealing with.  I had never felt so alone, desperate, scared, emotional, depressed, etc., in my life.  It was certainly a hard time for both my husband and I.  Honestly, it was that small thread of hope that I kept hanging onto and my faith in God’s plan for me that anchored me and kept helping me put one foot in front of the other.

Now, I am telling you about this to bring more awareness to the topic of infertility, not to have pity for me.  I truly hope you take a moment to think about those other people out there who are struggling with infertility and realize they are truly hurting and it is hard to find people to share with what exactly you are going through.  So many things would trigger me into being sad on a daily basis or someone would say the wrong thing or I would simple see another women pregnant-and it would lead me into this downward spiral of complete sadness.  Some days it was easier to just isolate myself then to involve myself in a world that was evolving, when my world was just standing still.  It isn’t an easy road for people struggling to be on and we need your support, empathy, compassion, patience and kindness more then you’ll ever know.

Sadly, there is such a lack of knowlege on this topic.  I think back to the above picture and how much advice I was overwhelmed with at my first baby shower and I was trying to take it all in about being a new parent and so appreciative I was of all the tips people were giving me…but advice is not always merited when it comes to people struggling with infertility.  We do not appreciate advice as we’ve likely done EVERYTHING you are suggesting anyways.  Support is different then advice giving and sometimes all we need is someone to lend us a shoulder to cry on or someone to ask us to go do something fun, because let me tell you when you are struggling you live, breath, and sleep (in my case not sleep) all things infertility.

Finding the right kind of support was the hardest thing during my struggle and the circle was very small.  However, once I found my circle I clung to it and the safety net these people provided me because those other people struggling right along without you are your life line, your sisterhood.  They understand like no one else will.  Like I said, I knew so little until Secondary Infertility rocked my world and when it did, it rocked it hard and it was life changing.

I am 1 in 8.

I hope you join me this week in bringing awareness to the topic of inferility.  It’s time to #FLIPTHESCRIP and #CHANGETHECONVERSATION.

You are not alone!

 

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Free Friday

TGIF!

Tomorrow evening my sister and I will be enjoying a mom’s night out at the Justin Moore Concert.  We also have meet and greet passes before the show!  To say I’m pretty damn excited is an understatement.  In celebration of this awesomeness I thought I’d share his Kinda Don’t Care video.  It’s the perfect song for a Friday!  Enjoy!

Thankful Thursday

Quick note:   You guys, I’m once again changing Thursdays up.  I am just not feeling any creative energy or inspiration on Throw Back Thursdays.  Cheers to a new series on Thursdays called Thankful Thursdays & we start today.

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In the past I’ve talked a lot about self care and how you can not pour from an empty cup.  You may be like me and you often feel drained of energy.  I”m going to guess this lack of energy is because you don’t make self care a priority.  I’m going to also guess that it’s not a priority because you are so busy taking care of everything and everyone else and by the time you get to yourself you have nothing left.  If you find yourself agreeing with me, then I am going to challenge you to stop what you are doing, shut off all noise around you and tune inward to yourself.

Today, I am going to challege you to change your way of thinking to being thankful and see if that changes your outlook on how your cup being empty is making you feel.

Instead of thinking in terms of your glass being empty, what if you started simply thinking of having a glass at all?  By doing so, this shifts your perspective to being thankful.  Do you ever notice that the most happy of people in your life are the ones who are the most thankful?  They are the ones who can put a positive spin on everything no matter what.  Thats because focusing on being thankful makes you happier.

I was really thinking about this the other day.  Currently I have a cold.  I am going on day two of a headache and a sore throat.  Feeling drained of energy is an understatement.  Sure, I’d love to be able to take a sick day and nap on the couch all day and have someone available to give me TLC.  However, my day will likely go the complete opposite of that vision…I had to still get up at 5 am when my alarm sounded.  I had to then get myself dressed and ready to go so I could then get my kids up and ready to go this morning.  I still have to take my cat to her vet appointment this morning.  After that I still have other errands to run and so on and so forth.  What if instead of saying “I have to” or “I had to” what if you simple said, “I get to”.

-I get to wake up at 5am because I have a good routine and schedule in the morning and am well enough to still be able to get up out of bed in the morning while many others in this world are to weak or unable to walk or even get themselves out of bed in the morning.

-I get to get dressed in the morning because I have clothes in my closet to wear, while many are homeless or displaced and unable to afford basic needs.

-I get to get my kids ready too because my children are healthy enough to send the oldest to a good school and I am lucky to be able to stay at home with my youngest.

-I get to take my cat to her appointment because I have the means to care for our animal and keep her healthy and up to dates on shots because we consider her our family.

-I get to run errands in a car and go to the grocery store this morning because we are fortunate to afford two vehicles and don’t have to walk and also fortunate to afford the food that fills our bellies. This ables me to serve the Lord so I can help make meals to feed my family.

Wow!  What a difference the change of statements can make…because I am lucky that I have a cup at all.  Now I’m not saying that self care should be thrown out the window, but in the midst of our complaints and being tired we so easily forget how to also be grateful for the people and things in our life that are making us tired in the first place.

Instead of feeling worn down in doing tasks that I really don’t feel like doing at times or feeling like I don’t have the energy to take care of others when I am not really taking care of myself…sometimes a simple change in perspective gives me more energy then I thought I had and it helps to make these tasks a little bit more enjoyable. I can feel so much more humble in doing them as well.

Also, being happy is contagious and when you are positive it can be so uplifting to someone else struggling.  The next time someone asks you about your cup, I hope that it is a no brainer and you are able to smile and thankfully say that you are happy to just have a cup at all. At first this may be easier said then done, but with time and practice you will start to see how it can change your entire being and maybe a friend or family member’s mindset as well.

You may be tired or weary but the very things you are complaining about someone else could very well be praying for.  It is important to not only be thankful but also cultivate gratitude in your everyday!  An important lesson that we all need to really think about in our every day.

*COLOSSIANS 3:23-24*

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord.  You serve the Lord Christ.

 

 

 

Wondering On Wednesdays

I’m often told that being a SAHM is the most important job in the world.  I’ve also often  been told that being a SAHM is the hardest job in the world.  A couple other things I hear often in regards to being a SAHM is that it is the most challenging jobs out there, but also the most rewarding.  I will not disagree with any of the above statements.  However, I will disagree with one thing.  I’ve never seen being a full time mom as a “job”.

Raising little human beings and doing the SAHM gig certainly is not something that everyone is cut out for.  Heck there are many days I wonder if I am really cut out for it!  here I am though living and breathing this SAHM thing.  Some days are much better then others and I always keep the idea in my head that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side on the days I wish I was in someone else’s shoes.

Working full time or even part time outside the home and trying to raise kids is also something that not everyone is cut out for.  Personally, I do not enjoy the act of juggling and I know if I worked it would consist of more juggling then I am doing now.  It stresses me out just thinking about it and therefore it would take away from me being a good mom to my kids, that’s just me.  A lot of my friends that are working moms will tell me that they feel they are better moms because they work.

Whatever you choose to do, work outside the home or stay at home, there are no judgements passed about you, by me.  You are doing whatever is best for you and your family and for each individual Mom out there, it paints a completely different picture.  What is right for you may not be right for me and vise versa.

If you are having one of those days as a mom where you are wondering if you are enough and if you are doing enough, I first always look strait at my kiddos.  Are their basic needs being met?  Are they  happy?  Are they thriving?  Are they healthy?  Do they have kind hearts?  Etc, etc. etc.  If they answer is ‘Yes’ then Mama stop questioning yourself and start enjoying the important work you doing every single day that you wake up.

Maybe you are a SAHM, like myself, whose child has a cold and all that child wants to do is is be in the comfort of your loving arms snuggling in a chair.  Mama you are doing your job that day and are enough.  Maybe you are a Working Mom and your child wasn’t up before you left for work to tell them you loved them and now the mom guilt is eating at you throughout the day.  Mama your kids know you love them and you are enough.  As a mom we all contribute so many important things in the lives of our children so stop questioning and start realizing that the role you are playing in any form is important and it is enough.

 

 

 

 

Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

  1.  There was no blog post yesterday because school was shut down due to Blizzard Evelyn.  I had two extra kiddos besides my own at my house, that I was watching all day, and there was literally no down time to even eat lunch, let alone sit down to write a blog post. Sorry folks!
  2. This was one of the biggest snowstorms since 1988 in our area!  I think they said on average about 23.7″ of snow!  IN APRIL!
  3. Today is the first day I could venture out of my house and go somewhere.  We usually do library day on Tuesday and sometimes I have misc. errands to run.  However, K has a cold and isn’t seeming herself.  I don’t want to chance her spreading her germs or picking up more germs and she’s extra snuggly and clingy making adventures wither her less then desirable.  Another day cooped up indoors, YAY!  …said no mom ever!
  4. I won tickets to the Jusin Moore concert on Saturday.  I also won meet greet passes!  I decided to take my sister for a fun mom’s night out!  We ended up getting a hotel for the night.  This will be the first time I have ever left K overnight (and we are still nursing mind you).  My anxiety about leaving her is already screaming at me, however, we both need this practice!  …and did I mention I get to not only go to Justin Moore’s concert but I get to meet him?!?  I am pretty anxious about that as well.
  5. My house looks like blizzared Evelyn happened indoors as well.  Good grief you can tell that people have really lived here the last few days and haven’t left.  There isn’t a squre inch of this house that doesn’t need to be sanitized, cleaned, and organized.  It’s gross and I can’t stand it.  I can’t wait until I can start doing some spring weeding and cleaning around here.  It needs it SOsoSosoSosoSo bad!  For instance, do not look up at my ceiling fans.  There has got to be 2-3 inches of dust sitting on the fan blades.  It’s so bad that it’s tarting to fold over and you can see it clining to the face blades.  So embarrassing!
  6. I also have so many projects I would like to start….you have no idea! It needs to warm up stat!
  7. If you could be any color in the box which one would you be?  I’d typically choose green because it is my favorite color and it reminds me of green grass and green trees and summer BUT today I choose white.  I feel like it’s the color that gets used less often. Ever feel like you just want everyone to leave you alone for one minute so you can focus and finish even just your own thoughts?  Well, that’s me today.
  8. The movie, “I Feel Pretty” comes out Friday.  I want to see this!  Seems like it would be a good one to go see with friends.  There are actually quite a few I want to see.  “Blockers” is another one that is on my list.  What movies are on your list?  Last one I saw was with my hubby was, “I Can Only Imagine”.  If that isn’t on your list, put it on your list!
  9. I’ve been really digging Starbucks Pike Place K-Cups coffee.  What’s your go to K-cup?
  10. Tomorrow my oldest daughter has a doctor appointment to address the potty issues we’ve been having.  I am hoping we get some answers.  It’s been so incredibly stressful on me and worrisome and I know my daughter is starting to become easily embarrassed over this as well as having annoying physical symptoms.  She really doesn’t want to go to this appointment.  I’d appreciate some prayers for us tomorrow!
  11. …that moment you put your child down for a nap because they really need one and FINALLY fell asleep and then you walk away, take a deep breath and THINK you can start diving into your to-do list and be productive while they snooze.  Then in the blink of the eye they are awake…yup, just happened to me.  So frustrating.  As always, when we make plans God laughs!
  12. Even the birds seem confused over Sprinter this year!  We’ve been trying to keep our feeders full for them.  We feel terrible for them too!  We have a house finch sitting on eggs in her nest…she’s barely visable except for when the male comes back with food for her.  Poor thing!  I hope her babies make it!  She’s doing her best to keep them safe and warm!
  13. My husband was kind and got me 2 books that I’ve been wanting to read.  On the cover of one it reads, Make Everyday Moments a Chance to Find Calm & Feel Connected.  Is it inronic that I haven’t even gotten a chance to start reading even one of them?  GAHH!
  14. So, back to this concert.  What does a mom wear to a concert to NOT looks so momish?  99% of my clothes are leggings and either oversized shirts or tunics now.  I’m thinking leggings are not the answer.  I also don’t have one non-nursing bra that fits, gahh!!!  I’m so off the grid when it comes to style these days.  This girl could desperately use a mommy-make over!  It will be interesting to see what I come up with on my own!  What do you wear to concerts now that you are a mom?  Help another fellow mom out…please!!!  I have a feeling this could be a disaster and quite the task to take on and I’m running out of time to figure it out!
  15. How do you keep your elementary aged child to keep his or her room clean?  My child loves ‘things’.  She becomes very attached to ‘things’.  Most of these ‘things’ are trinkets.  I don’t feel like me cleaning up after her is the answer anymore.  I may need to start the less is more lesson with her and eliminate toys from being in her room.  It’s gotten out of hand.  She is messy and doesn’t care.  She has never been good about helping pick up or clean up after herself no matter how much we stress the importance of being tidy and clean to her…I just don’t know what to do.
  16. My little one is really into babies right now…human babies and dolls.  She would spend hours taking her baby wipes and wiping down her dolls if we let her.  She loves helping me with the 6 month old I watch and is such a little mama.  It melts my  heart to see.  Seeing this makes my hearts swell and makes me hope and pray we are able to make her a big sister someday too.
  17. What is one thing you are grateful for today?  Today, I am grateful that although my to-do list is long and have so many other things that I could be doing to occupy my time, I am grateful that I am a stay at home-mommy so I can give my daughter some extra snuggles and love today while she’s fighting off another cold.  It can be frustrating sometimes to not get things on that list accomplished but then I remind myself of the importance of these extra snuggles with her and being able to nurture her in her time of need and there is nothing more important.  Those other things can wait.
  18. While we were snowed in, I wrote a short little hand written note to my mom to send via snail mail.  My grandma passed away recently and her birthday is quickly approaching.  I know this time will be extra hard for my mom so I thought I’d take the time to write a little thoughtful note.  As I was doing this, it made me realize this is something I’d like to do more of.  It’s not often we receive hand written sentiments anymore and it can really mean so much to someone.  Little acts of kindness can go a long way and I was reminded of that this weekend.  What is also neat is my oldest daughter asked what I was doing and I told her and she decided she also wanted to write a little note to stick in my envelope to give to her Grandma.  It was a great way to teach her kindness can be found in the simplist of forms and it melted my heart she wanted to spread joy too!
  19. If you want to see the definition of Stir Crazy first hand feel free to come visit me today because I am the definition to a T.  I think my dog fits it as well as I’m watching her pace about the house aimlessly whining at the same time!
  20. …Yes, Sprinter is officially a new Season in Wisconsin.

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Sacred Sunday

Church and Sunday school were cancelled due to Winter Storm Evelyn. We literally got our Winter all in one weekend it seems and it’s SPRING. Can’t complain too much about a nice low key weekend at home with my family today. We made some cinnamon raisin biscuits with a frosted glaze, played outside, admired the beauty in the snow, p built with blocks, painted nails, did some crafts, watched a movie and enjoyed lots of relaxation, play and rest! I’m lucky to get one more day at home with E tomorrow because school is cancelled for tomorrow even!