Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

New Year

This time of year always makes me reflective.

I remember at the end of 2010, my mom and sister were both saying how glad they were that the year was ending because 2010 sucked so much, and I actually got a little upset with them. Yes, 2010 was a hard year for my family because both of my grandparents died that year, but it was also a good year. It was the year I graduated from college, married the love of my life, and started my first job out of college. It was the year hubby and I moved into the little apartment we built together, adopted our little kitty Gaia, and joined our church. 2010 was a big year for me, and I was a little hurt that they overlooked all of that to only see the negative and the loss. I think part of it may be that I was the most accepting of my grandfather’s death, and I was apparently the only one who was expecting it. My grandfather was so heartbroken after my grandmother died, and I hated to see him that way. He was a shell. I was so sad when he died, but I took comfort in his death, too, because I knew he was where he belonged–with my grandmother. I insisted on pointing out the good to my family, and I was a little sad to see the year pass after I had spent so much time looking forward to it.

WeddingAfter five years together, 2010 was the year I finally married the love of my life.

Gaia2010 was also the year this beautiful, snuggly girl entered our lives

2011 was another big year for us. Hubby quit his job and followed his dream to be an auto mechanic, and I got my first full-time job. Hubby also joined his volunteer fire department and found another passion to follow. We bought a house, made some very close friends, and started trying to expand our family. At the end of the year, I had a lot to think about and a lot to be thankful for. I did have a nagging sadness because I hadn’t gotten pregnant yet, but it had only been four months, and I had high hopes for the future.

Now that another year has passed, I’m trying to look back without bitterness in my heart. 2012 brought three miscarriages, multiple friendships lost, a new atmosphere at my job that makes me hate going to work, and an unfortunate turn of events that eventually led to us leaving our church. I keep thinking about how glad I am to be rid of 2012, and how much I am looking forward to the clean slate of 2013. I also keep thinking about 2010. I keep thinking about how my mom and sister only saw the loss and couldn’t see all of the wonderful things that had happened that year, and I’m trying to see the good things. In 2013, we adopted little Miss Molly, I found this community, we made new friendships with good people who won’t treat us with the hate that our old “friends” treated us with, we found a new church that we are slowly finding our place in, and hubby has come a long way in his fire training. It really doesn’t feel like much. It really doesn’t make me feel better about all of the sadness that we have endured this year, but I’m working very hard to look into 2013 with hope and not look back on 2012 with anger and despair.

MollyOne good thing that happened to us in 2012. I love her little Batman collar–it has a seatbelt buckle.
How did that tiny puppy grow so fast?

What about you? How do you feel about 2012 and the new year that is rapidly approaching?

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Inspiration

I’m having a hard time finding the joy right now, so I’ve been pretty dependent on inspirational quotes and bible verses to encourage me. I have multiple sticky notes on my monitors at work, and I have a “Secret” board on Pinterest called “IF/Loss.” Don’t pretend like you don’t have one. I’m always encouraged when Storkchaser over at Dog Mom Chasing the Stork posts inspirational photos, so I figured I would share some that have helped me. I hope they help you too.

TRUTH

always try again

<3 <3

at least it makes you smile for a second. :)

not your identity

Never let the odds stop you.

I refuse to be reduced by my inability to have children.

I need to make a sign and hang it where I will see it everyday!

I tried to link to the original site for each of the pictures so you can click on them to get to the source, but since I got them all from Pinterest, a few had broken links that didn’t work. You can’t say I didn’t try. Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone.

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Sadness

I’ve done a lot in the past few days. I went to my office Christmas party, saw The Hobbit with my family, hung out with some of the teen girls from the church, made some Christmas presents, and various other things. But only one thing has been on my mind, and I just can’t shake it. I had no intention of posting about the shooting in Connecticut, but it’s the only thing I’ve been able to think about for days. I have no personal connection with the shooting–apart from the fact that I am a human who cares about other humans, but I can’t seem to function after hearing that news. I just keep hearing my husband’s words over and over again. They haunt me. When we were talking about it on Friday evening, hubby said, “When I was listening to the news, I just kept thinking ‘What if some of those parents were like us? What if it took them six or seven years to have a kid only to have some a**hole shoot them?'” It makes me cry just typing it.

I desperately want a child, and I know that hubby feels the same way. But the thought that we could work so hard and go through all of this pain just to have a child that we ultimately can’t protect scares and upsets me to the point that it is crippling.

I have nothing but sadness in my heart for those families. I have nothing but sadness in my heart for the pointless violence and death that occurred on Friday and occurs on a daily basis in this country and around the world.

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What the Hell?

Have you checked the “Freshly Pressed” section today? I took a look today and saw a blog post entitled “Prenan-sucky.” That’s right, WordPress freshly pressed a blog post about how much pregnancy sucks. Not only that, but the author accidentally got pregnant (her due date is 9 mon and 2 days after her wedding) and whines about how she hadn’t planned to get pregnant so soon.

Did I mention she has only written three posts on her blog? She’s not even an establish blogger. I know IVF Male posted not too long ago about trying to get freshly pressed, and I think it would be wonderful if he did because he is a good writer who is really open about his journey and what infertility looks like. I don’t see how they could choose something like this while he still sits and waits to see his blog up in the “Freshly Pressed” section.

What the hell, WordPress?

It’s just so typical that a post about how much an accidental pregnancy sucks would be freshly pressed. I have nothing against the author–her blog is her space to post whatever she wants, but I don’t understand WordPress’s choice. And I’m a little pissed that I’ve never seen an IF/loss blog on there, but they will freshly press a post that just seems to embody what so many bloggers in this community find extremely hurtful.

I’m not saying they should put one of my posts up there–I’m perfectly happy in my little corner of the internet, but I know multiple bloggers who would love that honor and if they get pressed, it might actually help educate people.

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Periods, TTC again, Reminders, Christmas…

I have a couple different ideas for posts floating around in my head right now, but they are all  being drowned out by a voice that keeps screaming “AHHHHH! You’re taking the GRE tomorrow! AHHHHHH! PANIC!” Yes, the voice in my head is a bit melodramatic. So today is going to be a bullet point kind of day:

  • Thank you ladies for your responses to my previous post. Every time I’ve ever talked to someone about it, I’ve always gotten the, “deal with it, everyone’s period sucks” response, so I guess I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. Like I said, it wasn’t until very recently that I even realized just how heavy my flow is compared to other women.  So I’m going to make an appointment to talk to my OB about it, and I can’t help but think that maybe figuring out why I have hellish periods will also solve my mc mystery without any “infertility” testing that wouldn’t be covered by insurance. Hey, a girl can hope, can’t she?
  • I am now in my fourth cycle after my last mc, which is the cycle that we had decided to start trying again. Right on time, I am starting to feel the desperate need to TTC. I knew that waiting was right for us the past couple of months because I didn’t want to TTC, and I was afraid of becoming pregnant. If I still felt this way, we would wait another cycle–or however many cycles it took for us to be ready, but I am ready. At least, I’m as ready as I can be. And hubby says that he is ready too, but I am willing to pull the plug as soon as he says that he isn’t.
  • Saturday was the Christmas parade in our town, and hubby’s shop made a float for it. There are only three employees at hubby’s shop: the owner, hubby, and one other mechanic. I think I mentioned before that the other mechanic’s wife found out she was pregnant the same time I did with my first pregnancy, and every time I see her, it’s like getting punched in the stomach. I can’t even hate her because they really wanted children but didn’t think she could get pregnant because she has pretty bad endo, but I still break down and cry every time after I see her. Well, all three employees and their wives were on the float on Saturday and the owner took everyone out to dinner afterward. It was horrible. She looks adorable–just glowing with the cutest baby bump I’ve ever seen. Ugh, I’ve been a bit of a mess ever since. My first due date is in January, and I don’t know if I’m ready for it.
  • My magical Christmas hope has been fading fast. I think the biggest reason is the fact that it has been 60+ degrees here over the past few weeks. At the Christmas parade, people were wearing t-shirts and sandals–it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. Combine that with my GRE stress and the pain of seeing my pregnancy twin still carrying her child, and I’m just not feeling the holiday cheer anymore. A cold front rolled in yesterday, and I’ll be done with the GRE tomorrow, so hopefully that will lift my spirits. Hopefully.

For those who have suffered a loss, how do you handle pregnant women with the same due date as you? Any spells I could cast to make her invisible to me?

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Abnormal

Warning: I’m about to talk about periods. A lot. In detail.

I’ve always been somewhat aware of the fact that I have unusually heavy periods, but in the past year or so, I have started to realize just how different I am from most women. There were little hints, like whenever I needed to ask someone for a tampon, they only had these little tiny ones that might last me about an hour. And the look of shock on girls faces when I mention that I’ve been on my period for over a week. Not too long ago, I was on a retreat while I was on my period. When I confided in a friend that I was concerned about my need to go to the bathroom every two hours, she told me to just use a bigger tampon. I told her that I use super tampons, and her jaw dropped. It took me a long time to realize that most girls don’t go through a super tampon every two or three hours for the first few days of their period, most of them don’t consistently bleed through a super tampon the first two nights of their period and most girls don’t have a period that lasts well over a week.

My suspicions where finally confirmed when I used a Divacup for the first time yesterday. When I first opened my new Divacup, I was a little surprised at how small it is. That’s right, I thought it was small. Yes, it’s a little large when you are trying to insert it, but I wondered how something that size could possibly hold my heavy flow. The website, however, reassured me that the cup is more than large enough: “The DivaCup conveniently holds one full ounce of menstrual flow (30 ml). As the average woman only flows approximately 1 to 1.4 ounces (30-40 ml) per cycle, The DivaCup is the ideal menstrual solution to care for your cycle. In fact, many women are surprised at the amount of flow and expected that there would be much more!” I was actually looking forward to checking the little measurements on the cup and learning that I was not bleeding nearly as much as I thought, but I had the opposite experience. I started my period yesterday afternoon, and between that time and this morning, I’ve already surpassed the 1.4 oz average. It was almost filled to the halfway point both times I emptied it yesterday, and it was almost completely full this morning. This is over the course of only 17 hours.

I told hubby about it this morning, and he said “No wonder you are so exhausted when you are on your period.” Seriously. I usually do nothing but go to work and come home and sleep when I get to the end of my period because I’m too tired to even function. I’m completely wiped every time Aunt Flo decides to visit, and I thought I was being pathetic because women have managed to power through since the beginning of time. At least now I have confirmed that I am not like most women, and I have a small excuse for how tired and pitiful I am at the end of my period. Trust me, I am now sufficiently jealous of all of these women with their little wimpy periods.

Is there anything I can do to help lighten the flow a little? I was amazed at how light it was when I was on birth control, but that’s not really an option for someone who is TTC. Anyone know of a miracle herb or something that I could take? I promise to be your best friend.

Also, I just wanted to say that I am in no way giving a bad review of the Divacup–I’m really happy with it. I just have to empty it more often than most women. I’m already in love with the fact that I don’t have to carry an arsenal of giant tampons and pads with me everywhere I go.

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Hubby and Sexy Time

Alright ladies, it is time for my much overdue post updating you all on hubby and sexy time. I hope it’s worth your wait ;o)

The first few days after hubby opened up about how much our losses have affected him were a little awkward. I’ve posted before that the one thing hubby and I tend to be really good at is communication because we spent almost five years in a long distance relationship before we got married where we talked all the time on the phone or on Skype, so this awkwardness was fairly new territory for us. After hubby confessed how much he has been hurt by this journey, I tried very hard not to freak out and show just how distraught this made me because I was afraid he would stop talking to me about it after seeing how much it would upset me, but I also wanted to foster conversation and make sure that this new openness would stay. Needless to say, we had quite a few conversations after that where we were both very wary–he was fearing a wifey meltdown and I was fearing another hubby shutdown. That being said, things have gotten much better and our journey through IF and loss has finally become a regular two-way conversation. I remember the exact moment when I knew that we had crossed a very large bridge: I have no recollection of how we got on the subject, but hubby cracked a joke about how he is sure that fertile men have small penises and that must be his problem–his penis is too big. I almost died laughing and told him that he’s starting to sound like a bitter infertile and he said “Oh, you have no idea just how bitter.” This was really the first time that we have freely talked and joked about all of this while still acknowledging our feelings about it. I can say with complete honesty that I have had more healing from this shift in our conversations and our relationship than from anything else.

Sexy time has been a slower road. After hubby told me why he was avoiding sex, I removed all pressure and didn’t bring it up again–leaving it up to him to make the first move. He did eventually make that move, and we have slowly shifted from having sex maybe once a month with me being the only initiator to having sex a few times a month with fairly equal initiation. It is serious progress. I’m still hesitant about making the first move, and I immediately back off at the first sign of disinterest, but we have definitely come a long way. I do have a confession to make, though. Sexy time is difficult enough for us right now without the added stress and annoyance of condoms, so we have been contraceptive free this cycle. So six months of prevention turned into three months of prevention and then turned into two months of prevention and one months of NTNP. Honestly, I think the preventative measures were making the sexy time problems even worse, and I truly hope we don’t have to go back to them any time soon. Do I secretly hope that I “accidentally” got pregnant this month? You betcha. Do I secretly hope that I didn’t get pregnant this cycle because it would be so stressful and with my track record I would be mourning another loss at Christmas? Yeah, that too.

We still plan on going to counseling, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Between hubby having fire academy until 10pm twice a week and training another night of the week, me frantically studying for the GRE that I am taking next Thursday, a Christmas party every week until Christmas, hubby’s fire department being in three different Christmas parades, and us taking the time to make our usual batches of fudge for Christmas presents, we haven’t had a lot of free time. As soon as the new year starts, we will go talk to a counselor about all of this. I promise.

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Christmas

I know that many people in this community have a really hard time with the holidays, and I totally understand that. Everyone who has suffered through infertility or a loss (or multiple losses) has a right to be a Grinch during the holiday season, but I wanted to write a little post about why I love the holiday season–even if it is a difficult time.

For years before I got married, I hated the holidays–mostly because it was family time. To me, the holidays were a time for arguing, crying, door-slamming, etc. I spent every Christmas season counting down the days until I could move back into my dorm room at school. Then I got married, and Christmas meant decorating our home, making fudge with hubby, snuggling next to the Christmas tree, hopeful Advent services at our church, and time with the man I love. The definition of “family time” shifted to something quiet, comforting, and lovely. Once we got married, Christmas became my favorite time of year, and I just can’t shake the feeling of hope that always comes with it. Yesterday, hubby and I decorated the tree while drinking hot cider and watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and that just seems to sum up Christmas time for me.

Yes, there have been times that I have been sad. I can’t help but think about how I should be eight months pregnant right now, taking adorable belly pictures in front of the Christmas tree and preparing our home not just for Christmas, but for the arrival of our child. Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by reminders of my three failed pregnancies. But I’m also surrounded by hope. Hope that, one way or another, we will have a child next Christmas. Do I know that for sure? No. But I’m hopeful.

I hung three of these ornaments on the tree this year, beautiful reminders of the children we will never know but will always love:

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