In Between the Jumbled Mess We Call Life, the Choice is Yours…

Writers block.  It is currently happening to me.  I have the urge to blog and feel like I have a million things to write about but no concrete topic is coming to mind.  My mind is filled with jumbled thoughts this morning. This post may just be a complete mess, it may not have complete thoughts and it may have no specific point except to unclutter my brain.  My apologies in advance.  However, I know you can relate to me as we are all humans and you would be lying if you said you didn’t have days where your thoughts are scrambled, where your house is a mess, the day doesn’t go as planned, and as organized as you try to be nothing is systematic.

I typically am a person who needs to live by a system.  If my routine is haywire, typically so am I. I function so much better with a plan, with order, and tidiness.   I am guessing this is why I am having writers block today because so far this week I feel like I am the opposite of those three:  no plan, no order no tidiness.  So, I’m having one of those weeks…I am human.  It is time I get my shit together so I can function and not feel like a crazy person!  Last week was not like this, it makes me wonder when this week started to fall apart.

Speaking of last week, I realize last weeks posts (obvious with no writers block) were a bit intense.  I am not going to apologize because I believe those were some topics that needed to be addressed.  Again, I am in awe over all the people in my life who supported me in some way.  Your thoughtfulness was appreciated immensely. I have no regrets sharing a little bit about our journey and I intend to keep doing so.   NIAW gave me the perfect opportunity to “come out” as a person struggling with Secondary Infertility and I am grateful.  As much as this experience SUCKS I am thankful for the struggle and how it’s changed my outlook on life and has created me to be an even more humble person.  My struggle always reminds me of this quote, “No, we don’t always get what we want, but consider this:  There are people who will never have, what you have, right now.” -Unknown

Although, both primary and secondary infertility (SI) come with relatively the same heartache and pain…the difference is, I was able to conceive and give birth once, on my own, to a very healthy and beautiful little girl.  I realize everyday that some women do not even get that chance.  Words do not even express my heartache for those women who don’t get that experience, yet never do I take for granted the gift I was given on June 27th, 2012. I am completely humble. Her birth day is special and it gives me goosebumps thinking about that very special day in our lives.  I look at E and I am just in awe daily.  Her smile, her laugh, her sass, her imagination, her inquisitiveness, her big bright eyes, her voice, her intelligence, her humor, her hugs, her kisses, her cries, her thoughtfulness, her silliness, her stubbornness, her creativity, her kindness, her tantrums, her growth spurts, her love…they are all a part of me and all a part of my husband.  We created this beautiful human being, despite the heartache of SI, she is what makes my heart happy and put one foot in front of the other every single day.  How lucky am I?!

Now as much as I love my little girl, there are some things with parenting that I am not so lucky with. Maybe it has nothing to do with luck though, but the demeanor of my child.  Currently, my luck is not with potty training my almost 3 year old.  I am trying so very hard to get her to wear big girl undies and stop having accidents in her pants.  This transition has come with many challenges.  My goal is to have her completely potty trained by September as she needs to be fully potty trained to be in the 3K program at our church.  We already enrolled her and put down the deposit, so if she is not we basically lose our deposit.  I won’t go off on a tangent about how silly this entire concept is.  However, it is just plain stupid.  Moving on…we had a great day with potty training on Monday.  E stayed in undies the longest she ever has before with minimal accidents in the morning.  However, she still wasn’t telling me when she needed to go.  I have to set a timer for every hour to remind us both it’s time for her to go potty.  Since she was doing so well, I decided we should go outside so I could weed in my garden boxes and give her the chance to get some fresh air and dig in the dirt with me.  She loves digging for worms!  Anyways, we were outside for about an hour and I was constantly asking her if she needed to go potty.  Every time I asked her, her response was, “No Mama, I am fine”.  However, I knew after an hour she wasn’t going to be fine so I told her it was time to take a break and go inside to use the potty.  E was acting indifferent and that’s when I noticed she had wet pants.  She never told me she had to go potty and she never told me she had an accident.  I simply reminder her that she was supposed to tell me when she needed to use the potty and I would have taken her to the bathroom.  Her response back to me was this, “Don’t worry about it Mama, I just peed in the grass like a puppy.”  Oh my goodness, did I laugh.  Maybe not the best teachable thing to do but it was the way she said it that laughter just came automatic to me.  She just made is seem like it was no big deal and she was just doing what she’s seen Haddie (our black lab) do out in the yard.  E simply has the answer for everything and she is smart beyond her years. She is also stubborn like me.  This potty training stuff is tough.  It does not reflect our parenting…I just think we have one of “those” kids.  She’s taking her sweet time and doing things at her own pace.  As much as I want her to be potty trained now, I have learned that God does things in His own way and this applies to potty training too. Again, waiting when you want something to happen is hard-especially for a person who needs to work on patience like myself!

Patience is not a virtue of mine.  I can be patient yes, but do I like to be patient? Heck no.  I have always been a person who likes to do things my own way, at my own speed on my own time and I absolutely can not stand waiting for others or for things to happen. I am also probably one of the most punctual people you will ever meet.  I can imagine this is one of the many reasons why SI is hard on me.  However, I firmly believe this is one of the things God wants me to work on and teach me a lesson on.  I am a work in progress that is for sure and honestly have no other choice but to be patient.

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Another thing I have been working on this past week is my overall health.  I have been working on eating better, drinking more water, and getting back to my exercise routine.  It is really hard to find the time to exercise as an adult with a child. However, it is important to me, something that can’t be compromised any longer, so I am making the time.  This past week I was really proud of myself because I got up early and worked out for an hour on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and again this Monday.  Yesterday (Tuesday) instead of an intense workout in the morning, I went for a bike ride with my husband and E  last night and that was just over 2 miles.  I have been trying to set tiny goals for improvement for myself…nothing that isn’t attainable or too stressful.  Working out has always helped my stress level, improved my mood, put more spring in my step and actually makes me feel like I have more energy.  Overall, you just feel better when you are eating healthy and moving.  Thankfully the weather has been nice too, which is a huge motivator for me.  I would love to lose the 10 lbs I gained while taking the fertility medication as well as tone up again. I am not going to lie though, it again is hard to find the patience for this because results do not happen quickly.  I swear the motto for my life right now should be: It takes time.

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Ready for some more scattered thoughts?  Being a SAHM is the hardest, yet most rewarding “job”.  However, my mom always said that if you are doing something you love it won’t feel like work.  I absolutely love being a mom.  Being a mom certainly doesn’t feel like work.  However, it has it’s ups and downs and challenges like any job outside the home.  Today, I can already tell will be hard because our schedule is going to be thrown off.  I am able to go outside my routine but from experience, it’s just never a good thing.  We are first going to the Library where E goes to Lapsit Story hour.  She absolutely loves the library.  She loves books and she loves reading.  However, E has selective hearing.  In other words she is starting to test her ability to not listen to her mother.  She thinks she can do whatever she wants to do while at the library (running, not putting material back after done looking at it, climbing the stairs and going to the adult area, running to the water fountain, spitting at me, not following direction, etc).  This can cause me great amounts of stress, however, I try to handle her not listening with grace and use them as teachable moments.  We always end up leaving in one piece and we always end up going back.  It must not be that bad right.  After the library we usually head home, eat lunch, read 3 books before nap and then she naps.  Today, after the library I am heading home, eating lunch then heading out again.  My younger sister is getting her wedding dress fitted and I need to be there to see how it is bustled.  Now this and of itself will be a chore.  Etta will be tired and it will be a less then fun outing with her.  Then, getting her home after she will either fall asleep on the car ride (all but 10 minutes) and wake up when we get back home and not nap or she will not nap in the car and just be cranky and fight her nap.  Either way, I don’t for see a nap happening.  This one little glitch in our routine will more then likely make the rest of the afternoon less then enjoyable and adding to the mix tonight she has swimming lessons.  As much as we have no problem doing things out of our routine (which will be our entire summer) it is just crazy the amounts of extra problems in our day getting out of our routine creates-mostly behavioral issues and crankiness.  This makes my “job” as SAHM difficult and whatever ounce of patience I do have wear pretty thin, but like anything I’ll survive. Might I add that MOM upside down is WOW and this poster explains why perfectly:

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Although some things can be explained perfectly, there are some things that have no explanation. Circumstances will alter us, sometimes knock us off our feet and/or give us a detour.  Life is not perfect and the days that fill my life are not perfect either.  However, attitude and perspective can make all the difference.  Recognizing your blessings and being grateful for them in the midst of any hardship is crucial. Today may be one of those days for me, but I am living and breathing and healthy and so is my husband and my daughter.  I may not have all I want but I do have all I need.

In all my ramble today I would like to leave you with just one more final thought to ponder:

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Thank you!

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It’s the last day of NIAW and I wanted to thank all of you who took the time to read my posts and the links attached to them. I appreciate all of you who also took the time to send me a kind message, said a prayer or supported us in any way. Your thoughts, prayers and well wishes mean the world to us. It took a lot of courage on my part to talk about this, but it was important to me to spread some awareness and share a little about our struggle in hopes to reach out to another who may be struggling in silence or feels alone in the journey and also give some understanding of what we are going through to family/friends who really have no idea or who are trying to better understand.

Financial Side of Infertility

NIAW Day 6: One thing I wanted to touch on was the financial side of Infertility. Like ours unfortunately, infertility is not covered by insurance. It is a pretty sad deal when you think about it. The costs of “treating” infertility is not cheap. After all we are going through emotionally, physically and mentally it seems unfair to have the financial stress on top of it.

You get mad because something that should happen so naturally isn’t and it’s costing you everything we’ve worked so hard for. Not only are we sacrificing, but so is our daughter. Sadly, we are at a place where our decisions in this journey are being ruled by money. It is honestly devastating.

Here are a couple of good links. Resolve.org has information on making treatment affordable.http://www.resolve.org/family-…/making-treatment-affordable/ and the second is a good article on the cost of infertility.http://business.financialpost.com/p…/the-cost-of-infertility

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Lets not forget…Our Men are Hurting Too.

NIAW #5:  Let’s not forget about that important part of the equation, the men in our lives. Oftentimes, they are silent but hurting and struggling too. Reach out to them and be their support. They need support just as much as women do in this struggle.  It is obvious but important to realize that men and women deal with things very differently.  Ask your partner or your friend how you can support him during this difficult time.

This is a great article from a males perspective on Infertility. Click on the link below and take the time to read the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nate-pyle/the-disgrace-of-infertility_b_4595151.html

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You are not Alone

It’s the 4th day in NIAW, please take the time to click the link below and read this great article from The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/21/what-couples-struggling-with-infertility-want-you-to-know_n_7101678.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

I can relate to most of these 27 points, and most people facing infertility would be nodding their heads along with me. After a year and a half in and then some on our struggle, I am finding myself wanting to become more open about our journey and spread awareness.

I have learned I have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. I have learned that a support system is key to finding strength in this journey. I have learned a lot about infertility, especially Secondary Infertility. I’ve also learned a lot about myself and the strength I have. Some days are just plain hard, but it’s like the quote: “On particularly rough days when I am sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days is 100%, and that’s pretty good”. God placed this struggle in my life for a reason and it’s my hope I can help others struggling with primary/secondary infertility realize they are not alone. There is support out there and people who do understand and care about what you are going through.  

Here are some things I try to remind myself daily:

You are never alone.  You are stronger then you will ever know.  Your struggle matters.  Be brave.  Be courageous.  Find strength in your tears.  Lean on your support system.  Spread awareness.  Be kind to yourself.  Take care of yourself. Love yourself.  Find joy in your everyday.  Live life to it’s fullest despite your heartaches.  Smile each day.  Laugh each day.  Find hope in each day.  Enjoy your family. Treat yourself. Embrace everyday miracles.  Let go and give it to God.

XOXO

NIAW day 3-Coping…

On to day 3 of NIAW, and I want to talk a little bit about coping. One of the hardest things about being diagnosed with Secondary Infertility is finding ways to live and cope with it. There isn’t one day that goes by where it isn’t hard to put one foot in front of the other. Tears are becoming a part of my daily accessory-along with many new wrinkles caused by stress (ugh)! Finding the positive among all the negative is grueling-but it has to be done.

As much as I try to find positive outlets or ways to cope with the intense feelings and stress that come with this, I never seem to be able to turn off how I feel completely. There are daily and constant reminders of my infertility and it’s painful and very overwhelming at times. It’s even harder when others do not understand my roller coaster of emotions.

The emotions that come with this are very raw. Triggers are everywhere…I’ve learned I can run, but I can’t hide. Like anything, there are good moments and there are bad. I never knew my own strength until going through this…and it’s not even the end of our journey yet. I have a feeling I will be learning much more about myself in the months to come.

Coping is something I have had to learn to do to survive each and every day…and it is crucial to my everyday living with Secondary Infertility. Coping is a very important aspect to any hardship so it’s important to learn different mechanisms to get you through.

“Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday.” This is a quote I hold near and dear to my heart and when I have downer days I just think of this quote and try to focus on the good, even if it’s only one thing and this will oftentimes brighten my mood just a little! My hope is that you find the good in even the hardest of struggle and keep fighting and never give up. Life is precious and the gift of life is truly a miracle. Love yourself and live your life to the fullest…even on those hard days!  

Below are twp great links to check out :  5 Ways to Cope with Secondary Infertility & Coping with Infertility

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/parenting/pregnancy/5-ways-to-cope-with-secondary-infertility

http://infertility.about.com/od/copingwithinfertility/a/copestress.htm

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Tips

Thank you to everyone who sent your love, support and prayers in regards to my post about infertility yesterday on Facebook. It is appreciated more then you will ever know. Since it is National Infertility Awareness Week I am going to continue spreading awareness and sharing a little about our journey thus far with Secondary Infertility. Unfortunately, I am that 1 in 3 million women who are having troubles conceiving again.

This situation has been very isolating, emotional, physically draining, financially hard, and by far the biggest struggle in my marriage.  I was brave, and did something big.  I “came out of the closet” so to speak on my Facebook page. I don’t like to “air out my dirty laundry” for all to see but  I am just so tired of hiding.  I am tired of infertility being something that isn’t talked about but mostly I wanted to spread awareness in hopes my bravery in “coming out” will help someone else who is struggling.  Since going through this, and with the few people I have shared my story, I am amazed at how many have said they have struggled with a similar situation in their journey to have children too.  As much as I don’t wish this upon anyone, I must say it is always nice to find someone who understands just what it is that I am going through.  These people have been the best sources of support in my journey and some have even become great friends.  They are the people who you don’t have to explain yourself too because they just simply know, they also know the heartache and are the less judgmental ones.

Yesterday in my post on Facebook, I talked a little bit about how much your support means to someone going through infertility whether it be primary or secondary infertility. Below is a great article on tips on how to support someone during this struggle in their lives. In my journey thus far, I have learned that there are many who offer advice or support in some way with good intention but oftentimes I am left feeling even more upset after because comments that were meant well are often insensitive or just plain to do not support or acknowledge how I feel. Please take the time to read this article. You never know when you may need to use these tips!  The article is courteous of Resolve.org:

25 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Living with Infertility

To Say:

  1. Let them know that you care. The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care.

  2. Do your research. Read up about infertility, and possibly treatments or other family building options your friend is considering, so that you are informed when your friend needs to talk.
  3. Act interested. Some people don’t want to talk about infertility, but some do. Let them know you’re available if they want to talk.
  4. Ask them what they need. They may also appreciate if you ask them what the most helpful things to say are.
  5. Provide extra outreach to your male friends. Infertility is not a woman’s-centric issue; your male friends are most likely grieving silently. Don’t push, but let them know you’re available.
  6. When appropriate, encourage therapy. If you feel your friend could benefit from talking to a professional to handle his or her grief, suggest therapy gently. If you go to therapy regularly, or ever have, share your personal story.
  7. Support their decision to stop treatment. No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief.
  8. Remember them on Mother’s and Father’s Day. With all of the activity on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, people tend to forget about those who cannot become mothers and fathers. Remember your infertile friends on these days; they will appreciate knowing that you haven’t forgotten them.
  9. Attend difficult appointments with them. You can offer to stay in the waiting room or come into the appointment with them. But the offer lets them know how committed you are to supporting them.
  10. Watch their older kids. Attending appointments may be difficult if they have older kids at home.
  11. Offer to be an exercise buddy. Sometimes losing weight is necessary to make treatments more effective. If you know they are trying to lose weight, you could offer to join them because it would help you achieve your personal fitness goals as well.
  12. Let them know about your pregnancy. But deliver the news in a way that lets them handle their initial reaction privately – email is best.

Not To Say:

  1. Don’t tell them to relax. Comments such as “just relax” create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.
  2. Don’t minimize the problem. Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Comments like, “Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.,” do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain.
  3. Don’t say there are worse things that could happen. Who is the final authority on what is the “worst” thing that could happen to someone? Different people react to different life experiences in different ways.
  4. Don’t say they are not meant to be parents. “One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, ‘Maybe God doesn’t intend for you to be a mother.’” Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.
  5. Don’t ask why they are not trying IVF. Because most insurance plans do not cover IVF treatment, many are unable to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses. Infertility stress is physical, emotional, and financial.
  6. Don’t push adoption or another solution. So often infertile couples are asked, “Why don’t you just adopt?” The couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision or chose another family building option.
  7. Don’t say, “You’re young, you have plenty of time to get pregnant.” Know the facts. It’s recommended that women under 35 see a fertility specialist after being unable to conceive for one year. Being young increases your chance of fertility treatments working, but it does not guarantee success.
  8. Don’t gossip about your friend’s condition. For some, infertility treatments are a very private matter, which is why you should respect your friend’s privacy.
  9. Don’t be crude. Don’t make crude jokes about your friend’s vulnerable position. Crude comments like, “I’ll donate the sperm” or “Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination” are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.
  10. Don’t complain about your pregnancy. For many facing infertility, it can be hard to be around other women who are pregnant. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Not complaining can make things a little easier for your friend.
  11. Don’t question their sadness about being unable to conceive a second child. Having one child does not mean a couple feels they have completed their family. Also, a couple may have had their first child naturally and easily but are now experiencing secondary infertility – infertility that comes after you’ve already had a child.
  12. Don’t ask whose “fault” it is. Male or female factor. Just because a friend has told you he or she is experiencing infertility as a couple, does not mean he or she wants to discuss the details.
  13. On the other hand, don’t assume the infertility is female factor. 1/3 of infertility is female factor, 1/3 is male factor, and 1/3 is unexplained.

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