Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Belle

Earlier today, Belle at Scrambled Eggs published a post saying that her blog has received some really harsh comments and hurtful messages, and she is going to take some time away. It really upset that someone could hurt her like that. It upset me to the point that I wanted to write a post to let everyone know why I love Belle and her blog.

Belle is one of the bravest and most honest bloggers I have encountered here, which is saying something because you have to be pretty darn brave and honest in the first place to blog about IF and loss. She has written about some tough subjects that I know were not easy to address, but I also know that I related to many of these posts and found comfort in the fact that I am not alone in some of my more painful or humiliating feelings. Not only does she encourage me and make me feel like I’m not alone by writing these posts, she inspires me to be more honest and write about the tough stuff. Without Belle, I don’t know that I could have mustered up the courage to write about some hard topics like infertility affecting hubby’s sex drive.

When you pour your heart out on the internet, you take a risk. A risk of being judged and criticized. It’s a risk all of us in this community take, and the more honest we are about the hard stuff, the higher the risk. I just want to say that I truly appreciate Belle taking that risk and that it has brought me insight and healing.

Thank you, Belle.

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The Wonderful and the Stupid

I’m going to start by saying that nothing seems to elevate my mood and calm me down like jazz music, and I am so happy that it is finally late enough in the year for me to play jazzy Christmas music at my desk at work :o)

In my last two posts, I told you about our current TTC plan and our adoption back up plan, and today I want to tell you about some of the reactions we have received from the few people we have told about our plan to adopt if we don’t get a viable pregnancy before April. I feel like this community is really good at complaining about the stupid things people say, so I really want to start on a positive note and tell you about the absolutely wonderful reaction we have received.

Hubby and I are friends with a wonderful couple that we absolutely love spending time with. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll call her Buttercup because we like to watch The Princess Bride together. Buttercup and her hubby have been married for about a year and a half and have been NTNP for most of their marriage, but she has problems with her thyroid and her hormone levels so there is a good chance that they will encounter problems whenever they do start TTC. Despite the fact that they are not in the same place as us, Buttercup is the most understanding person that I have spoken to about our journey, and she is my biggest source of strength and encouragement outside of this online community and hubby. She is actually the first person who told me that adoption through the foster care system is free, and when I told her our plan, she cried out of joy that we will become parents one way or another. Then she told me that they want to take the mandatory PATH (Parents As Tender Healers) class with us so they can become foster parents in the near future. Their friendship has honestly been a bigger blessing than I could ever ask for, and I find it very comforting to know that, if we do move on to adoption, they will be there with us :o)

The most common reaction we have received is the “once you adopt you are going to get pregnant” reaction, and while it gets old, it doesn’t really bother me that much. I usually just smile and say that means we will have two babies and my heart might just explode because I’ll be so happy. One thing that does bother me is when they take it one step further and say the reason we’ll get pregnant after adoption is because we’ll “just relax and stop trying.” I really don’t need to explain to this community why I find this so infuriating, but it especially upsets me because it isn’t even relevant to us. Our problem is not that we are too stressed to conceive or that we are trying too hard to conceive. Our problem is that our baby dies only a few weeks after conception. But, who knows, maybe if we adopt and relax, that will stop happening. Ugh. People are stupid.

Anyone else out there talking about the possibility of adoption? How have people reacted to that?

I still have to tell you all about hubby and sexy time, so keep an eye on your newsfeed ;o)

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Game Plan

First, I want to sincerely thank you all for the encouraging comments you left on yesterday’s post. I’ve been feeling a little down and discouraged, and your comments lifted me right up. I love this community so much.

As I mentioned in my last post, we are going to resume TTC on my next cycle, hoping beyond hope that we can conceive and I can have a viable pregnancy without going to see a specialist. I’m currently on CD20 of my third cycle after my last mc.  Usually, this means that I will be ovulating soon and should be expecting my period in about two weeks, but I had a LOT of EWCM on Monday, so who knows? I honestly haven’t been paying close attention to my cycles lately, and I only noticed my cervical mucus on Monday because there was just so much of it. I guess we won’t really know until my period starts because I’m not temping. For now, I am going to start working on getting my body ready again by taking my prenatals (I quit after my last mc), eating healthy, and maybe even exercising. I figure I have about 4-5 weeks before I ovulate and it’s baby-making time, so I might as well start now.

Some of you may be wondering what we are going to do if this plan doesn’t work. Hubby and I have talked quite a bit about that, and we have made the decision to start the adoption process if we can’t get pregnant again or the next pregnancy isn’t viable. Hubby finishes fire academy in April, so that is the “cut off date” that will determine whether or not we are moving on to adoption. One of my coworkers just completed an adoption this year, and he said he would love to have us over for dinner to talk to us about the process. They adopted through the foster care system, which does not cost anything (actually, after the tax rebate, they will make about $12,000 from it), and we would be doing the same thing. I know it’s a little unorthodox to skip the specialist and go straight to adoption, but we are ready to be parents. Honestly, we are interested in adoption whether we can have biological kids or not, and this way, we can go can go ahead and become parents while we are figuring out the IF stuff. I was a little surprised at how easy the decision was for us, and we are both 100% percent on board. Yes, we both want biological children, but the real desire of our hearts right now is to have a child to love and raise. This decision also means that we will be parents in the next year or so, no matter what my body decides to do, and we are super pumped about that. Super. Pumped. I know it will probably be a long, drawn-out, and difficult process, but hey, why should it be any different than the rest of our baby journey?

Alright, I’m going to continue leaving little previews of future posts for you because it motivates me to keep writing and it helps me break down the very large amount of stuff I want to tell all of you. Plus, I like to think it leaves you hungry for more. So be on the lookout for posts about hubby, sexy time, and the reactions I have received when telling others about our adoption plan.

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Stuck

I’m feeling a little guilty about my lack of posts lately, but I promise that I’ve been here reading all of your posts and even doing quite a bit of commenting. I have a few different things to post about, but I think I’m going to divide them up into different posts so I don’t overwhelm you. I’ll probably write them all today and release them throughout the week so I can hold you captive with the suspense.

I briefly mentioned in my last post that I feel stuck right now. After my last mc, I went to see my midwife who suggested that we wait six months before TTC again, and she also offered to refer us to either a high risk OB or a RE. She also ran a bunch of blood tests which of course came back normal. It has now been three months, and I have not gone to see anyone else.

There are a lot of reasons for this. The biggest one is money.

I live in a state where all infertility testing and treatment is completely out of pocket, and hubby and I really don’t have that money to spend. We’re still paying off the bills from my first mc which cost us about $1,000 with insurance. I usually don’t tell people that we don’t have the money for a RE because inevitably, they always tell me that kids are expensive and if we are worried about money, maybe we shouldn’t be having kids anyway. Needless to say, this really upsets me. We are very careful with our money–we don’t have cable, we rarely eat out, and we go without some things that we would like to have so that we can work on paying off school loans and other debt. We have enough money for a kid. We won’t have enough money for a kid if we spend thousands of dollars on a RE. Part of me keeps saying that it could be something small, an easy fix, and then I could carry to term and we could finally have our beautiful rainbow baby. But I am quickly losing my faith in small, easy fixes. IF and loss treatments can accelerate so quickly, and I honestly don’t know how far we would be willing to go once we get caught up in the rush of tests and treatments–I don’t know if I am willing to open that can of worms. We already have student loans and a mortgage, and we really can’t afford to acquire any more debt right now. Especially when we have no idea if we will get a baby in the end.

So we’re stuck. We just can’t move in that direction right now. Maybe in a few years after we pay off a few things and get better paying jobs. You know, when I’m thirty and my chances of getting pregnant start rapidly decreasing. Which is so fucking unfair. I just want to scream and cuss and curl up in a ball and cry at the injustice of it.

So hubby and I have decided to try one more time with just the progesterone supplements. We have talked about it over and over again and we always end up in this same place: trying one more time without seeing a specialist. After that, we are moving to plan B. (Actually, I think it’s plan G. Plan A was getting pregnant immediately without any problems. Plan B was getting pregnant by charting. Plan C was having a healthy first pregnancy. Plan D was having a healthy second pregnancy. Plan E was having a healthy third pregnancy. This would be plan F, but that makes it sound too hopeless.) Also, that whole six month wait thing isn’t happening. We are waiting three cycles, then jumping back in the game. That sounds reasonable to me, and that means we’ll be trying again in a few weeks.

Are we crazy for attempting this again without seeing an RE? Please say no. Lie to me. Also, does anyone else have problems with people saying that you can’t afford children if you can’t afford testing and treatment? Does that piss you off beyond all reason?

Stay tuned: more on hubby, sexy time, and Plan G later this week.

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Thank You

Happy Thanksgiving! I have so many things in my life to be thankful for, and one of them is all of you lovely bloggy friends :o) You all have helped me more than I can possibly tell you and I love this community so very much. I know this can be a hard time for those of us in the IF and loss community, but I hope and pray that each and every one of you ladies is showered with blessings today.

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Liebster Blog Award :o)

Hello ladies! I’m so sorry that I have been MIA, but we’ve had a lot going on and to be honest, I needed a little break from this world. This is our third cycle of not TTC and I’m feeling stuck right now. I mean, how many different ways can I say we aren’t trying, we want a baby, I’m heartbroken about our losses, and I want to punch every pregnant woman I see in the face? That last one a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one. Anyway, on a positive note:

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Blog award by two lovely ladies! I mostly just happy that I have friends here in the bloggy world :o) This award is granted to up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging. I have to answer 11 questions by each lady and then nominate 11 other ladies and give them 11 questions to ask.

Here are my questions from MRKH Musings. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you really need to. She has a pretty unique story, and I am just so touched by her honesty and vulnerability.

1.  Would you rather be a Hammer or a Nail?
I feel like the obvious answer to this is the hammer because no one wants to be the nail who gets beat on all the time, but I think I will pick the nail. I’m a fairly empathetic person, and I don’t think I could be the hammer and be mean to others all the time. Plus the nail gets to hang out and hold stuff together which seems like a pretty noble thing to me :o)

2.  If you could look like any celebrity who would it be?
I would never want to look like a celebrity. Then I would have all of the hassle of being a celebrity (people taking pictures of me and asking for my autograph) without any of the perks ($$$$$$).


3.  Would you rather go into outer space or to the bottom of the ocean? Why?
Outer Space. I’m super claustrophobic, and just being underwater in the deep end of a pool freaks me out. I don’t know why, because water doesn’t seem like it would bother people who are afraid of tight places, but it definitely does. I thought it was just me before I learned that people who are claustrophobic usually can’t handle scuba diving.

4. If you could have any super power what would it be?
Is teleportation a superpower? I think that would be awesome.

5. What is your Bond Girl name? (First ever pet’s name hyphenated with the name for your lady bits you used as a child/will use for your daughter followed by your maternal Grandma’s maiden name. For example mine is Tasseen-Fanny Wilson.)
Lucky-TeeTee Bowman. Hmm, that doesn’t sound like a Bond girl name. It sounds atrocious. Also, TeeTee is the name I used as a child, but I plan on using anatomically correct words with my children. Lucky-Vagina Bowman sounds even worse, and now I can’t stop laughing.

6. Favourite colour?
Blue

7. What tradition/custom from your own childhood will you ensure you continue with your kids?
We were always allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve, and it was always a set of pajamas that we slept in that night. Then we always looked adorable in pictures Christmas morning. I’ll probably keep up that tradition.

8. Which would you rather be amazing at, singing or dancing?
Dancing. I love to dance, but I’m not very good at it.

9. If you ran for president/prime minister what would be the silliest thing you would put on your manifesto?
I’m not really sure, I’m so not funny enough to think of something good to put here.


10.  Did you go to University or straight to work? If you had the chance would you go back and do the opposite?
I went to college, and I don’t regret it at all. I loved going to school and I’m trying to go back. I much prefer being a student over being an employee.

11. Given all the fertility in the world, in your ideal family how many kids do you have?
Hubby and I have talked about this (who hasn’t?), and I think we both agree that three is a good number.

And here are my questions Surviving Baby Dreams. This is another blogger that I really care about. She is another RPLer who has been very supportive to me through her kind comments. You should go give her some love. Right now.

1. What is your favorite season and why?
Autumn. This sounds incredibly nerdy, but one of the reasons I love fall is because it marks the new school year. Even though I’ve finished school, it still reminds me of the excitement of going to new classes, receiving the syllabus, looking through new school books, moving into my dorm room, etc. I also love it because I live in East TN and the Great Smoky Mountains are so beautiful this time of year.

2. How did you know your spouse/partner was the one?
When I met hubby, I was not in a good place. I was depressed and anorexic. He was the first person in a long, long time who told me that I was beautiful and I believed him. I don’t mean I believed that he thought I was beautiful, I mean I believed I was beautiful. He made me love myself again–or maybe even for the first time.

3. What is your best childhood memory?
I just like the everyday memories of playing outside, climbing trees, eating a sit-down dinner with my family, etc. I feel like there was a small window in my childhood that was simple and happy, so I like to embrace those memories.

4. Do you have any siblings and if so, do you have a good relationship with them?
I have a beautiful sister, S. I love her to pieces, and we’ve become really close, especially as hubby and I have dealt with loss. The interesting thing is that we really disliked each other for most of our childhood, and it wasn’t until I moved away for college that we started becoming friends. Now I can’t imagine having her to call, and I miss her because she is going to school in North Carolina.

5. What is the greatest lesson this TTC/loss thing has taught you?
I cannot measure my worth as a person/woman/wife by my ability to conceive and carry children.

6. What is your favorite kind of movies?
I love Quentin Tarantino movies, and I absolutely cannot wait for Django Unchained!

7. Sweet, salty or both?
Oooo, both. Have you ever eaten cotton candy and peanuts at the same time? Do it

8. Have the Holidays changed for you since embarking on your TTC journey?
I can’t really answer this question because we started TTC in August of last year so while I was a little upset that we weren’t pregnant last year, we hadn’t reached the IF/RPL stage yet. I’ll let know know once this year is over. I will say that my marriage changed the holidays for me. I was not a big fan of the holidays before (they were highly emotional and filled with crying, yelling, etc.), but now that it is just hubby and me, I LOVE the holidays! Seriously, I’m exerting quite a bit of self control right now to not start playing Christmas music and setting up the tree.

9. How do you feel about pregnancy announcements?
Monday, hubby told me that our new friends who got married last month are pregnant, and I starting crying and talking about how unfair it is. That should just about sum it up.

10. If you could change anything in your life besides your infertility/losses, what would it be?
I wish we had enough money to travel. There are so many things/places/people I want to see, but we are just barely paying all the bills right now. We could make a few life changes to have some extra cash if we really needed it (like for a baby), but we definitely do not have enough extra cash to spend on a trip.

11. Where would you go if you won the trip of a lifetime?
I would go on an actual trip of a lifetime–spending the rest of my life traveling. Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, I want to see it all and spend a significant amount of time in each place.

Ok, at this point, I’m supposed to nominate 11 bloggers for the award. There are so many bloggers that I follow who deserve an award, and I’ve seen this award really making the rounds over the past few weeks, so I’m going to try to nominate bloggers that I know deserve some recognition and I don’t think have received it yet, at least I haven’t seen them do a liebster blog post! There are only six bloggers who meet this criteria, so I’m going to just nominate them and ask that anyone who is not listed here, please feel free to consider yourself nominated and answer the questions :o)

Genuine Greavu

Non Sequitur Chica

Womb Wasteland

Wanting Another Wagner

This Crazy Baby Journey

Songs and Sonnets

Here are your questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. How did you choose your blog name?

3. What is your favorite blog? (You can name more than one if you want)

4. How did you meet your significant other?

5. What is your favorite color?

6. You are having a dinner party and can invite 5 people (living or deceased), who would they be?

7. What is your favorite distraction when things get a little too rough?

8. Would you describe yourself as an introvert or extrovert?

9. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Bonus: describe your morning routine.

10. Coffee or Tea?

11. Think of a question you would like to answer, then answer it! A question that really reveals something you want others to know about you.

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Confession Time

Sorry I haven’t been very present here lately. I’m freaking out a little trying to study for GRE and complete my grad school application. Plus, my dad and his wife are coming to stay with us next weekend so I’m trying to do a bunch of stuff around the house. I haven’t seen them since my wedding two and a half years ago because they live out in Austen and it is hard for us to make it out there when hubby doesn’t get any sort of paid time off.

I do have a confession to make. I spent hours last night looking at the maternity pictures of all of my friends with babies. Apparently, I’m an emotionally unstable person who likes to torture myself. I just sat there and looked through all of them and felt worse and worse about myself. Why the hell do we do things like that? I would say it’s like pouring salt on the wound, but at least salt cleans the wound. I feel like this isn’t remotely healthy, and I know I’m not the only one who does stuff like this. Who else out there looks at maternity pictures when it does nothing but upset you? Who checks their pregnancy milestones months after they’ve already lost their baby? What about reading baby blogs and birth stories? Now that there are secret boards on Pinterest, who has a baby board? Seriously, ladies, why? Why do we do these things? And please, please tell me that I’m not the only one who goes there…

On a lighter note, I’ve been nominated for the Liebster blog, and I’m working on my post for that. It’s taking me some time to answer all of the questions and think of some of  my own, but I promise to post it soon.

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There is Healing Here

Hello beautiful ladies :o)

I apologize for my absence lately, hubby has been sickly. You all don’t know this, but when the hubby is sickly, it is a big deal because is very rarely sick. I think he has thrown up three times since I met him seven and a half years ago: once he was drunk, once he had a ruptured appendix, and once he had a stomach bug. He is one of those people that can somehow suppress it, put his sickness in the back of his mind, and continue to do what needs to be done. So when he called me Friday and told me that he left work to go to the doctor and they were not allowing him to drive himself home because he is too ill, I knew he felt like death. Apparently, he had some sort of stomach bug and was severely dehydrated (to the point that he almost passed out at the doctor office). So I’ve been playing nurse since Friday, and I am happy to report that as of yesterday, he is feeling much better and participating in his normal activities again. I know he’s not 100% yet, but he definitely looks and acts like he feels a lot better.

I have so much to tell you ladies. First, I have finally started listening to the Bitter Infertiles Podcast. I feel like I have been living under a rock because it took me so long to start listening, but every time I would read a post about it, I would be at work where I couldn’t listen. So I finally started listening at home, and I love listening to these women because I feel like they really verbalize everything that is on my heart. I started at the beginning and I’m about that start episode six. The podcasts are fairly lengthy and they can get heavy, so it’s taking me some time to catch up. Listening to these women has helped me realize and confront some stuff, like my husband’s grief and my need for someone to acknowledge that I am a mother who suffered a terrible loss. They have also inspired some good conversations between hubby and me, and we have made some important decisions:

First, we want to have some sort of service to say goodbye to our children. One thing that is so terrible about miscarriage is the lack of closure. Normally when you lose a child, you have a funeral and grieve with friends and family, but we never got that. So we are going to have a small service, light some candles, say a few prayers, and say goodbye. There are a few people we want to invite, but it’s going to be very small and intimate because this is really about hubby and me healing and moving forward with our lives. We need to honor our children before we can talk about trying again.

Next, we are going to look into counseling. Hubby seemed surprised and uncomfortable when I first mentioned this, but we decided to try it. I think he’s only agreeing because he wants to help me, but I also think he will still benefit from being there.

Needless to say, we have had some difficult and significant conversations in the past week. While it has been emotionally exhausting and uncomfortable, I feel like we are more open with each other now and more aware of each other’s feelings. For example, hubby and I have started becoming friends with another couple in the fire department who got married last month, and I was excited to be friends with another fireman’s wife. Yesterday, hubby told me that she is pregnant, and I just broke down and cried. Hubby acted like this was a totally normal and expected reaction to that news, and I knew that he understood how I felt. I knew he felt that way too.

So that is where we are right now. It’s not a very pleasant place to be, but I think there is healing here.

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