Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Hubby

I mentioned this briefly in Friday’s post, but I believe it deserves its own post. Hubby is doing much, much better. I am beyond grateful for all of your encouraging words, positive thoughts, and prayers for my husband. He is my absolute favorite person in the whole world, and it was killing me to watch him suffer. He still isn’t 100% (honestly, we don’t really know what his 100% will look like now), but he is able to sleep through the night and go to work. He is also able to eat fairly normally now (read: able to eat more that plain chicken and couscous). It is wonderful to be able to goof off with him, and I love that he is my playful husband again.

On a different but related note: Hubby is now officially on the volunteer list for the city fire department. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Right now hubby is part of a volunteer department, and he has been working very hard for the past year and a half to get all of his certifications so he can join a paid department and be a full-time firefighter. The first step to joining the city fire department is getting on the volunteer list, and they actually do all of their hiring directly from this list. So this is basically his chance to show them how much he has learned and how dedicated he is to being a firefighter (which I can tell you that he is pretty darn dedicated). We still don’t know how long it will be before they will hire some of the volunteers, but this is a big step in the right direction.

7 Comments »

Send in Your Completed Crafts!

Ok ladies. It’s time to send in your completed crafts. I will go ahead and admit that my craft is coming along quite nicely and probably won’t be finished for a few months, but I did make something else for a friend’s wedding so I will post that (along with a picture of my progress on the sweater). So don’t feel bad or hang your head in shame if your craft is incomplete!

I originally said that completed project pictures would be due today, but I didn’t post any reminders.  So maybe we can say Wednesday? Is that enough time for everyone? I already received one email, so it may not be a problem at all.  Just let me know!

7 Comments »

Waiting

If you can’t tell from my lack of posts, I’ve been struggling with this space lately. I’ve felt a definite shift on my reader, and I’m not sure where I fit in. Most of the women I follow are now pregnant or officially moving on to some form of adoption. The ones who don’t fit into either of those categories are like me: posting sporadically and sometimes half-heartedly.

This isn’t a post against pregnant infertile bloggers. I love you all. When I read happy posts about your pregnancies–heartbeats, movement, viability, acceptance–I literally do a little happy dance. I look forward to those posts, and I pray for you all and your little ones.  I talk about you in everyday life (“My friend Belle felt her baby move the other day, I’m so excited for her” “My friend Theresa is having twins and trying to avoid buying a minivan. I totally feel her–I hate minivans” “My friend Steph just found out she’s pregnant after five miscarriages. I really hope this is her take home baby”). I’m sure people wonder how I know so many pregnant women, but that is how I think of you in my mind and my heart–as my friends that I think about and hope for and celebrate with.

I also really enjoy reading the blogs of women who are going through the foster adoption process because I am learning so much. If we end up going down that path, I have a good idea of what to expect–not just the paperwork and classes but also the emotions. I truly appreciate you all for documenting the process for the rest of us who may be there one day.

I’ve spoken before about feeling stuck, and that feeling just won’t go away. I am grateful for the healing I have had in the months since my last mc, but I feel like something has to give. Hopefully, we will start actually TTC again this month because hubby is feeling significantly better (thank goodness!!!!!), and that will give me some forward motion. The thing is, I feel like our whole life is stuck on pause. I’m working at a  job I hate until I hear back from the Masters program I applied to because it seems silly to go job hunting if I’m going to be quitting to go to school in the fall anyway. But, to be completely honest, I really don’t know if I’m going to get in or not–the program only accepts sixteen students a year with an assistantship, so it is a fairly competitive program. Hubby has applied to be a professional fire fighter in our community after he finishes fire academy, but it will probably be months before we know anything. If he does get the job, he will be making quite a bit more money–which means even if I don’t get into school, I can still possibly quit my job and work somewhere part-time. Combine all of this uncertainty with the question of whether or not we will be able to have children, and I am left feeling stuck. Even our back-up plan of foster adoption is up in the air right now (if I don’t get into school, we will go ahead with the plan, but it will be on hold if I get into school).

I’m surprisingly more comfortable with all of this than I would have ever imagined myself capable of being, and maybe the hope that is filling my heart is a testament to the growth that I have experienced during the last year and a half of TTC. Being unsure of life and where it is heading, however, leaves me at a complete loss when it comes to this place. Everyone in this community seems to be either moving forward (pregnancies, adoptions, further treatments) or fading out, and I am feeling more and more like I am in the second group because I am sitting still. Waiting. As my good friend Rose says, I am a seed. I am waiting in the dark surrounded by pressure, but I have the assurance that at some point, my life will bloom–although I have no idea when that will be or what it will look like.

I guess for now I will just keep reading and when I feel the need, I will post. I promise to update you ladies of any motion in our lives…

12 Comments »

On Being Positive

Lately I’ve had a few people comment on the blog and IRL that I have such a positive attitude about our IF and loss journey, and it has seriously taken me by surprise. It has made me step back and look at myself. Am I being more positive?

I think I have mentioned before that I am a wallower. I usually just wallow in my sadness and desperation. I think up worst-case scenarios in my head and live them over and over again. I’m not usually very good at seeing the silver lining and moving on, but I think that maybe there has been a small shift in my outlook. I believe that there is always room to grow, and I’m definitely not where I want to be, but I have been feeling less “OMG, the world is crashing down around me” lately.

I believe there are many contributing factors to this. The first is that Hubby has been very sick, so TTC has taken a back seat. His diagnosis has been a huge distraction for me. It has also caused a bit of a role reversal in our relationship–I am now the encourager who tries to stay positive when hubby is hurting and discouraged, which is a huge deal because I am learning that I am strong enough for that role. There was a time in my life when I never would have believed that because I am always the one who falls apart while hubby has always been the rock in our relationship. Hubby’s illness has also put a lot of things into perspective, and I have learned that there are things I care about much more than having children. I can honestly live child-free as long as I have my husband, and learning that has made nurturing our relationship my biggest priority. I can’t nurture my marriage when I am in the throws of despair.

Another reason I think I have been feeling more positive is the fact that we have a solid back-up plan. I know that, one way or another, we will have a child in our home in the next year or so, and that takes some of the pressure off. It also gives me something to look forward to, work towards, and get excited about. If I get pregnant again and have another miscarriage, we won’t be back where we started. Instead, we will have another adventure to start that will hopefully have a happier ending. That takes a big weight off my shoulders and keeps me from despairing about whether or not we will ever be parents.

I also think a big contributor to my better outlook is the months that I have taken off to heal. When the midwife suggested a six month break, I couldn’t believe it. I know she suggested such a long break so that we could have some emotional healing and not escape the healing process by jumping right back into TTC, and I can finally see now that it was a good recommendation. In the past few months, I have learned to face my pain and slowly put the pieces back together. I was helped along the way by a few close friends, some powerful prayer and worship sessions, openness between me and my husband, and the Bitter Infertiles Podcast.

I still miss my babies. I still look at the calender and feel a deep sadness when I see my due dates pass. I still wonder if I will ever be able to carry a pregnancy. I’m still scared about the uncertainty of our future. I think the biggest difference is that I have learned how to hope again, and I am going to hold on the that hope as hard as I can.

1 Comment »

Signs and Control

February 14th was my second due date. I’m not writing this because I’m freaking out and upset (although I am sad). Instead, I’m writing it because I want to talk about the signs that we see in our desperation to have have some semblance of control in this crazy process of IF and loss.

When my mom was pregnant with me, her due date was February 14th (I ended up being born two days early, so I’m not quite a Valentine’s baby). When I calculated my due date with my second pregnancy and discovered that it was the same date, I just knew that the pregnancy would stick because look at the signs!!! It has to mean something!!!

The truth is, the signs are everywhere–especially if you are looking for them. Do you know how many rainbows you see in your lifetime? I’m pretty sure that number doubles when you are TTC after loss. After my first two losses, we had a very wet summer so I kept seeing rainbows. Each time, I knew it was a sign that the next pregnancy would stick, and we would finally get our rainbow baby. Spoiler Alert: that pregnancy didn’t last either. Even though I know that the signs mean nothing, I still look for them. I’ve spent the last week thinking if I’m pregnant, the baby will definitely stick because it’s meant to be. It couldn’t be coincidence that the one time we had sex this cycle was during my fertile period, right? It has to mean something, right? Somewhere in this big world, there has to be a sign that we will finally hold our baby, right? Right?

It think it all comes down to control. We cling to our signs because we want a guarantee that all of this struggle will eventually be rewarded, just like we cling to our peesticks to make us feel like we have some sort of influence on our cycle and the outcome. But you know what? There is no guarantee. There are couples who spend years and tens of thousands of dollars trying to have a baby and they see sign after sign after sign, and they still live child-free. There is no magical baby sign. I have no real control over the outcome of my next pregnancy. It sucks. I like to be in control, and it just kills me to know that I have no power when it comes to my pregnancies.

But it’s also beautiful.

If I can’t control the outcome, I also can’t be responsible for it. As much as I might beat myself up and loathe myself and my body after I have a miscarriage, the truth is that it’s not my fault. I see a lot of women on these blogs get upset at the lack of control they have over their outcomes and their lady parts. That is completely justified. But when you acknowledge the lack of control, you also have to accept that the blame doesn’t lay on you. Trust me, I’m talking to myself as well.

Will I get pregnant again? Probably. Will I be able to give birth to a baby? I have no idea. And no signs that I see will change that. At least I can take comfort in the fact that I’m not going to screw it up.

2 Comments »

Unsolicited Advice

I know I’ve already posted today, but these things come in spurts, so just bear with me :o)

Hubby’s Crohn’s diagnosis has taught me something. It seems like everyone we talk to knows someone with Crohn’s and knows the surgery, treatment, supplement, diet, miracle cure that will fix my husband. Everyone wants to introduce him to someone who has Crohn’s or lend him a book or tell him about their research or give him a doctor’s phone number. No one seems to care that we’ve actually done our own research and we are already starting a treatment plan with his doctor or that we don’t want to talk to a bunch of complete strangers about my husband’s small intestines. In everyone’s attempt to help him, they are annoying me to the point that it is actually starting to piss me off, and last night I said something to hubby: This is like infertility. The only real difference is that people are more willing to talk about it and don’t say stupid things like, “just relax” or “you’re still young, don’t worry about it yet.”

So I’m trying to find out a way to kindly tell people to shove off. Not telling people about hubby’s condition is not really an option because he is noticeably sick. He has lost fifty pounds since October and is down to his middle school weight, and people tend to notice that. He also walks hunched over and visibly winces in pain on a regular basis.

On a positive note, hubby started Hu.mira yesterday. The first time he takes it, he has to take four shots. So he injected himself with $10,000 worth of medication yesterday. I feel a little sick just thinking about it, but I’m so grateful that we qualified for the co-pay assistance which means we only payed $5 for those four shots. The nurse said he should be feeling better in a few days, and we are both hoping for an awesome placebo effect so he can feel better immediately. He did say that he felt a little better this morning, but he was still in a lot of pain.

I just want my husband to feel better. It breaks my heart to see him so weak and discouraged. Sometimes I have to hold back tears when I hear him grunt in pain. Please, please let this drug help him.

7 Comments »

The POAS Plan

Today is 8 DPO, and I am resisting the urge to pee on all the things. I would like to hold out until 10 DPO because I’ve gotten a BFP on that day with two different pregnancies so I think it’s a pretty safe pee day, but it’s just so hard to resist. So today I thought I would share my “wait until 10 DPO to pee on a stick” plan. I’ve been following this two-part plan for nine or ten months, and it seems to work for me:

1. No peesticks in the house. If I have them, I will pee on them. Some people like to stock up on HPT’s, but I’ve discovered that I loose all self control when I have a stack of them in my house. Instead, I will purchase them on my way home from work the day before I test and try to hold out until the next day so I can use FMU. Sometimes that doesn’t work and I just hold my pee for a few hours that night, but I do try to wait until morning.

2. Use cheap dollar store peeticks until I get a BFP, then switch to digital for confirmation. We often have friends ask us how we manage to survive on the amount of money we make, and the answer is that we are really cheap. I just can’t justify the price of fancy peesticks because I feel guilty wasting the money, and hubby gets upset (he never actually says that it upsets him, but I can tell he’s annoyed). So I always start with dollar store cheapies, which works out great. I’ve always gotten my BFP a few days before my period is due when using them, and I don’t feel bad about wasting money if it’s negative. I actually have a system where I hoard dollars and save them to buy peesticks. If I want to buy something cheap that I don’t need, like a soda or candy bar, I ask myself if I’m willing to sacrifice one of my peestick dollars for it. The answer is usually no because I love my peesticks. Once I get a squinter, however, I allow myself to use a digital HPT so I don’t drive myself crazy analyzing the lines.

That’s it. It’s a simple plan but it works. It keeps me from testing way too early which will stress me out and waste our money. I have two dollars stashed in my wallet, so I will buy two tests at the dollar store on my way home tomorrow and hopefully get a BFP on Friday, which is 10 DPO.

Does anyone else have a method for testing?

9 Comments »

February Little Miss Crafty Pants Challenge!

It looks like we got a pretty good turnout for the Little Miss Craftypants Challenge :o) All of the projects look so great, and some of them look intimidating–I’m seriously impressed at the talent we have in this community. I’m so excited to see all of your finished creations! Here are the projects that will be made:

First up is Sexy Sadie from The Sub-fertile Slut:

Maryland Love // Reclaimed Wood Nail and String Art Tribute to The Old Line State

She got her project idea off of Pinterest, and here is what she has to say about it:
“I chose this project as a housewarming gift for my best lady in the whole world. She just moved into her own apartment and is living alone for the first time. She told me she desperately needs things to hang on the wall. I decided to make this nail/string state art project since she has moved around a lot. I’ll be making one of Maryland, one of Arizona, and one of Washington–all these states she has lived in. Hope she loves them!”

 

Next is Arwen from MRKH Musings:

Arwen

Here’s what she had to say about her project: “I have started to make this for my godson’s belated Christmas present! This will be the most complicated crochet project I will have ever done and I’m ready to improve!”

 

Next is April from R. Sativus:

April

Here is what she has to say about her project: “I’ve decided to make a stuffed turtle. I found this fabric at goodwill, and I’ll use it for his shell. I have some plain green for head, feet, and tail. I’m going to design the pattern myself, so no links to share for this one. I’ve always been an artist who loved crafty stuff, but I just started machine sewing this past Christmas. I love it!!”

 

Next is Hoping on Hope:

Iris Afghan

She got her pattern from The Daily Knitter, and here’s what she has to say about it: “I have selected yarn in the shade of golden orange and require a thick 2 ply yarn. Lets see how it turns out to be. I think it will add a nice pop of color to my living room.”

 

Finally, here is my project:

I got the pattern here. I’ve been knitting for awhile, and I’ve finally started branching out into harder projects. Last month I made a cute cardigan that was very basic, and I wanted to try something a little harder this month. I may be biting off more than I can chew, but I ‘m going to give it my best effort! I picked out a very soft green yarn that’s really pretty, so as long as I don’t screw up the knitting, it should be a very nice sweater.

Just as a reminder, email me a picture of your completed projects by February 25, but if it doesn’t look like we will be ready by then, we can adjust it. Along with your picture, let us know how it went including any disasters, do-overs, or happy accidents :o)

Think this looks like a lot of fun and don’t want to miss out? Email me a picture of a crafty project you want to complete along with a link if applicable and a short description in the next couple of days and I’ll add you in!

Also, it seems like most everyone was interested in making this a challenge so anyone who completes a project every month for three months will get a prize. The best part? The prize will be something handmade by another blogger who is participating. It will be a prize exchange! Wahoo!

2 Comments »

Frustrated

Remember how I said that hubby has Crohn’s and he will be starting Hu.mira to help him? Yeah, that hasn’t happened yet. He got his prescription on the 9th of this month, and he will finally get his medicine on Tuesday, an entire month after he first went to see the doctor. First, we had to wait for him to get his TB test, which he couldn’t do on a Thursday or Friday because it has to be read two days later and can’t be read on Saturday or Sunday, so it was a whole week before he was done with that. Then, we had to deal with the insurance company and prove to them that he actually needs this medication and no other medication will work. Then, we had to contact the drug company because our co-pay was $1,000 for two shots (which is a month’s worth of medicine). Seriously? Why the hell do we even have insurance if it doesn’t actually make it so we can afford our medical care?  Anyway, the drug company has a co-pay assistance program that will basically waive the cost of the co-pay so that we only have to pay $5 for every month. Once we finally got that worked out yesterday, we have to wait until Tuesday because the shots are overnighted from a special pharmacy. It was too late to send it yesterday, and they don’t ship Fri-Sun, so they are sending it Monday and we should get it Tuesday.

Meanwhile, my big bad husband who never complains is constantly wincing in pain and has even cried quite a few times because he hurts, he’s tired, and he’s frustrated with the whole process. I really just want my husband to feel better and do the things he loves (like respond to fire calls), and I feel so angry and helpless about this whole process.

Not every day has been bad, though. He had a really good weekend, and he even initiated some sexy time on Sunday for the first time in a month. Consequently, I ovulated the next day, so we’re not writing off this month like I had previously thought. Maybe we’ll get a one-hit-wonder baby this month… I’m not getting my hopes up, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Anyway, if you are a praying person, please pray that hubby starts feeling better ASAP after he starts his shot on Tuesday. The first time he takes it, he actually has to take four. Then he takes two the next time, then just one every time (he’ll take it twice a month). If you are not a praying person, please send healing vibes and good juju his way.

On a completely different note, make sure to email me your project before tomorrow if you want to participate in the Little Miss Craftypants Challenge. It doesn’t have to be anything big or complicated, but we would love to have as many people crafting with us as possible!

6 Comments »

Bit of Earth Farm

Raising plants and animals in simple partnership with nature.

Laura Grace Weldon

Free Range Learning, Creative Living, Gentle Encouragement, Big Questions, Poetry, Occasional Drollery

A Woman Like That

...I have been her kind.

Our Egg, Her Nest?

My journey to Motherhood through gestational surrogacy

Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Stepping Stones

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Sabine Daily

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

My Perfect Breakdown

-- Surviving. Living. Hoping. -- Recurrent Pregnancy Loss & Adoption

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Recurrently Lost

My honest account of life with recurrent pregnancy loss

Caring for Crohn's & UC

Caring for a loved one with Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

my german life:

an american girl in hamburg

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Stories of a Son

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Eighteenyears's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

IBDaily

The tales of a girl with unruly guts.

SocialJerk

Because writing about social work can be funny, too! (Sorry Precious)

No Air Radio

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm...

Growing Globe

"I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness." - Carl Sandburg

lamenting the lentil

unexplained infertility, twin pregnancy, and me

tales from the waiting room

Just another IF blog

The Moon on a Stick

Infertility and all that jazz.

The Stolen Colon | Living beautifully with an ostomy

Stephanie Hughes | This blog is my way of connecting with the world about living with an ostomy and Crohn's disease.