Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Still Here

I’ve spent a lot of time lately wondering about this space. This blog was my way of dealing with loss and pain, and I don’t know if I could have survived without it and the community that I have found. Now that I have my precious little Squish, I’m not sure what to do with it.

I would come to this blog in times of depression. In times of fear. In times of survival. In times of hopelessness. But I’m not so sure how to express myself now that I am happy. I’m not saying being a new parent is all sunshine all the time–it’s stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting, but I am so thankful that we have made it to this place and that we have a healthy baby that writing about how hard it is seems petty and somehow dishonest to the joy that he has brought into my life. I also have a real fear of sounding ungrateful or of hurting those who are still in the trenches by talking about how hard motherhood can be.

But I can also see how beneficial this space can still be. I would like a place to talk about how difficult it is to recover physically from giving birth or how going back to school less than two weeks after having a child totally sucks.

And I feel like I owe all of you. You’ve helped me so much, and I feel like I need to share him with you because of that. You shared the burden of my losses with me, so I want to share my joy with you.

So I’m not promising more than the occasional update, but I want you to know that I’m not going away. I’ve faithfully kept up with my reader and your stories, and I’ll still pop in every once in awhile to share mine.

Advertisements
2 Comments »

After All This Time

I’ve been wanting to write for awhile but I just can’t seem to find the words. Johnathan Bruce was born on December 27 at 2pm and was 9 lbs 2 oz and 22 in long (which is huge considering my relatively small frame). It was a very difficult birth but I was able to have him at home and he is thriving.

After all this time, after all the losses, I can’t believe that my son is here and I get to keep him. I can’t believe that I am a mommy to healthy little boy. Every time I let it soak in, I just cry because I feel so lucky and I feel that I have been given a gift that is so precious that I could never deserve it.

He is beautiful and perfect. And I am crazy in love.

image

14 Comments »

A Perfect Post About Loss

A friend of ours who suffered a loss shared this on Facebook and I thought it was perfect. This blogger absolutely nailed it and I wanted to share with all of you:

http://thelewisnote.blogspot.com/2014/02/why-miscarriage-matters-if-youre-pro.html

2 Comments »

See Life

Two weeks ago hubby told me that a friend of ours died in a car wreck that morning. We hadn’t seen him in a while, but we used to hang out pretty regularly. He was a member of my husband’s volunteer fire department, he worked full time as an EMT in a neighboring county, he was on the rescue squad in our county, and he dreamed of being a medic for Lifestar. He was 20 years old. He dedicated his life to saving people and he died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. We weren’t really close with him, but last week was the longest week of my life.  

Sometimes the world is a horrible dark place. Sometimes I’m afraid to walk out my front door. Sometimes it feels like my life is full of death. Sometimes I struggle to find the joy.

I’m not looking for sympathy or even encouragement. I’m just trying to figure things out. I’m trying to understand. Sometimes I ask myself if this is what being an adult is—learning just how unfair and scary the world is.

One thing I have learned is to cherish life. I tell my husband every day how important he is to me, and I’m learning to see through the brokenness of others in order to just appreciate them. Sometimes this isn’t a good thing because it can be crippling to be too aware of how fragile life is, and every once in a while I find myself fighting down the panic that something could happen to those I love. Because it could. I’m fully aware of worst case scenarios.

I guess it all boils down to trying to see life. I’m trying to see life. It’s hard because there is so much death, but I want to choose joy and see life. It’s a work in progress, but that’s where I am.

2 Comments »

Moving Forward

Thank you all for your kind and honest comments on my last post. I’ve tried hard to be honest in this space, and sometimes that means that my posts aren’t very pretty and show a side of me that I’m not comfortable with. I struggled for awhile with those feelings, and I didn’t want to write them because I didn’t want to upset bloggers who are pregnant or parenting because no matter how upset or angry I am about our situation and no matter how hard it is to feel left behind by those bloggers, I do actually care about them. I didn’t put any sort of disclaimer on my post because I wanted to be raw and honest and not apologize for my feelings, and I’m glad I did because it helped a lot and I don’t feel as stifled by this space now that I have said what has been on my heart for a long time.

One of the reasons I stopped was because I was tired of writing about infertility, pregnancy, and loss–I’ve been stuck in the cycle of pregnancy and loss for so long and I felt like I need some mental distance from it. And honestly, I still feel like that. But I do miss writing, and this adoption stuff is pretty overwhelming so I’m going to try to keep up with this blog by writing about adoption. I’m not sure how often I will be able to write because my workload as a funded graduate student is pretty heavy, but I do want to use this space to work things out, vent, celebrate, etc.

I also took the step to make an appointment with a counselor, which is something I’ve been talking about doing for over a year but never actually did. My school provides free counseling services for students, so I am meeting with someone tomorrow. If nothing else, I figured that the school counselor can refer me to someone who specializes in infertility/pregnancy loss  (I have already checked the Resolve website and there is nothing in my area). It’s a start.

Also, blogland, thanks for making me feel less alone. I know, logically, that I’m not the only one going through this and I’m nothing the only one who has had these feelings, but it’s nice to hear sometimes. You guys rock.

I’ll leave you with this. It’s one of my favorite songs because it is honest about pain but it also contains hope. Sometimes I just sit and listen to it on repeat:

“After The Storm”

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won’t rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.

And I won’t die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

3 Comments »

The Truth

I have a lot of practical reasons why I’ve been so absent from this space. When I first started this blog, I was working a desk job with a lot of down time so I would write blog posts when I was waiting for the phones to ring at work. Since I started school, however, I am no longer in the position where I am stuck in front of a computer with nothing to do. Also, I spend so much of my time reading and writing now that at the end of the day, I just don’t want to write anymore. These are all good excuses for not being present in the blog world anymore. They are also just that: excuses.

The truth is that this space has been too painful for me ever since Tup died because it is much too lonely. For the longest time, this space gave me hope. I loved reading about my infertile bloggie friends’ pregnancies and watching IVF and rainbow babies grow up because I knew that one day, after I did my time, I would join those ranks. I thought about it, worried about it, even feared it, but I never truly believed that I wouldn’t be able to carry and birth children. I always saw our struggles as a season that we had to pass before emerging on the other side with a baby in our arms. But after two and a half years and five losses, I’m having to face the very real possibility that we may never have biological children. Even as we are filling out our adoption application, I’ve realized that I still believe that we will adopt a child and then I will have a successful pregnancy, but that is not realistic. Unless there is some change in medication, procedure, something, I don’t think that I will ever make it out of the first trimester–we can’t keep trying the same thing and expect different results. I’ve always heard that part of the adoption process is grieving the biological children that you will not have, but that is something that you cannot truly understand until you face it.

So as I am in the process of coming to terms with the fact that I may never carry and give birth to my children, I have reached a new level of intolerance for pregnant women. I feel nothing but anger and resentment when I see them, and I have no sympathy for the struggles that come with pregnancy. This means that not only am I having to deal with the anger I feel towards myself and my body for failing to protect my children, I’m also having to deal with the guilt that I feel about some of the hateful bitterness I feel towards others–some of whom I love dearly. Like our good friend who is an adoption lawyer and is helping us through this process in every way she can. She has been such a wonderful friend and support, but I can barely stand to look at her because she has a beautiful baby bump.

The worst part is how alone I feel. Especially in blogland. The place where I once I found comfort, camaraderie, and hope is now extremely painful. I’m fairly certain I can count on one hand how many of the blogs I’ve followed through this struggle that are still active and childless. Even the RPL blogs I follow are all carrying seemingly healthy pregnancies. And the number of pregnancies among my friends is almost unbearable. We started early trying to have children, so for most of our struggle, we only had a handful of friends have kids. Now I am facing pregnancy announcements on almost a weekly basis, and some of my friends are even having their second child. And where do I go to escape? Where do I go to vent and commiserate? This place doesn’t provide that for me anymore. I cheered on so many blog friends and celebrated their victories, and at some point, I was left behind.

So that’s why I don’t really write anymore. That’s why I don’t comment. Coming here is a chore. A reminder of all of my loss. I thought about starting an adoption blog, about creating a clean slate, but I’m still unsure. The truth is I would just like to feel less alone. Filling out all of this paperwork is daunting. And it’s hard. I’m having to dig up a lot of emotional baggage at a time that I’m already pretty fragile. And while I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I may never have biological children and filling out paperwork with tough questions where I have to write about things like the sexual abuse that I endured as a child, people just keep popping out babies and making cutesy announcements and I keep feeling more and more isolated.

That is the truth.

9 Comments »

TWW and Kindness Friday Part III

After months of missing the big O because of hubby being sick and some weirdness in my cycles, I am officially one week into the two week wait. I feel like this is our first full-hearted attempt since my last pregnancy, and as much as I make excuses about why we couldn’t really try each month, I think the truth was that I wasn’t ready. I want a baby, but I wasn’t ready for the emotional roller coaster that is TTC, and as much as I hope and pray that our next baby will be our rainbow, I have to acknowledge the very real possibility that I could have another mc and I couldn’t face that possibility. Now, I’m ready to try. I’m ready to hope. I’m ready to risk great heartache for a chance for our rainbow. I’m ready to hurry up and wait I have begrudgingly resigned myself to waiting.

Whenever we aren’t trying or I’m not currently in the TWW, I always think that it’s not that bad–I can stay calm and be patient and stick to my POAS plan. Seriously, I’m an intelligent, reasonable person, and I can conquer the TWW with grace and sanity. Then, starting just a few days after ovulation, I feel the desperate need to start peeing on all the things. No matter what I’m doing, the upcoming peestick day and everything it represents (the possibility of a baby growing in my ute, the possibility of another mc, the possibility of our lives being forever changed) is always in the back of my mind. The harder I fight it and try to stay calm, the more forcefully it drives itself into the forefront of my thoughts. It’s ridiculous.

So, in an attempt to distract myself from obsessing about the current state of my ute, I’m going to spend the next week doing things that I enjoy and will leave me feeling content and empowered. Let’s think of it as a whole week of kindness that will keep me mentally (and possibly physically?) happy and healthy. Here are some of the things I plan on doing over the weekend and during the evenings next week:

  • I would like to spend as much time as possible outside. I haven’t posted about it, but hubby and I have been busy little bees getting a garden ready for this summer. First, we built a fence to keep out the pup, then we built two raised beds, and two potato towers. We also used the extra lumber from our fence to make some small boxes for me to grow herbs. Now that it looks like we have had our last frost (I hope), I’m ready to plant some seeds and some of the seedlings that we have been growing in our house. I absolutely love the feeling of the dirt under my hands and watching the miracle of life coming from these tiny seeds. It really builds up my self esteem and also makes me feel more connected to God. Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain all weekend, but that’s ok because I have a back-up plan:
  • I’ve been spending some time lately reading blogs and watching youtube videos on how to make my own cloth pads and panty liners.  I spent my winter knitting, and now that it is summer, I am ready to start sewing again! Sewing makes me feel so calm and empowered–it’s like the whole world disappears for awhile, and there is nothing but the whir of my machine. Also, wearing something that I made is an incredible feeling! I’m planning on taking aspects that I like from different patterns and products and meshing them into a super awesome hybrid that’s just for me :o)  I know it may seem silly to make these during my TWW, but maybe I can jinx myself into pregnancy…
  • Over the past few months, I have slacked on my reading and replaced it with watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. In the past week or so, I have worked on remedying that and revisiting my “to read” list. I’ve started a pretty hefty epic fantasy series called that Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve almost finished the first book, and it feels really good to lose myself in a series again, which I haven’t really done since I finished reading the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin (can I mention that he needs to hurry up with the next book?). I’m also doing daily bible readings (following the OWNit365 plan), and reading different nonfiction works, like those by C. S. Lewis.
  • The last thing I want to concentrate on is spring cleaning. I’ve gotten a little bit of a head start, but there is still plenty to be done–we bought a fairly large house with the intention of filling it with children (because we are responsible and couldn’t possibly start trying before we had a place to put a baby), so there is lots to clean. Once the nice weather hits, I actually enjoy cleaning–opening all the windows and smelling the fresh air while I organize, sort, scrub, and fold.

So that’s it. My be-kind-to-myself-by-attempting-to-salvage-my-sanity-during-the-TWW plan. What do you think?

Also, here is a bonus picture of our little Molly hanging out in one of the raised beds before we filled it with dirt. She’s not so little anymore!

Our sweet little furbaby!

Our sweet little furbaby!

12 Comments »

Lies I Tell Myself

Over the past month or two, our small group at church has been studying James. A few weeks ago, we talked about James 3 and the tongue. We talked about the devastating power that our tongues have and how this power for evil includes not only the words we speak, but also our internal dialogue. This discussion made me much more aware of the things I tell myself, and I’ve begun to realize how hurtful some of those lies are. Here are some of the lies I tell myself about my fertility:

  • I hit the jackpot with my husband, and I used up all of my life blessings with him. He is so wonderful that I don’t deserve any more blessings. 
  • I somehow jinxed myself earlier in life by claiming that I didn’t want children. It wasn’t until I experienced some serious emotional healing and self discovery that I found my deep desire and calling to be a mother, but it was too late.
  • I’ve had a lot of hard stuff happen in my life, and I’ve begun to believe that is just the way it will always be for me–as soon as I recover from one life disaster, another will follow in its stead. That’s just the way my life will always be, and it can never change.
  • I always imagine my womb as an angry, hostile, barren place. In my mind’s eye, it’s grey and dusty and full of cobwebs, and it is a hateful place that rejects life.
  • I did something to cause my losses. Whether it was from a physical shortcoming or from being a person who doesn’t deserve children, those losses are my fault.

I’m working very hard now to change the language I use when I speak to myself. I’m learning to be kind to myself and not place blame where it does not belong. And when I am to blame, I am learning to treat myself with grace, understanding that we are all broken, and if my God can forgive me, I can forgive myself. I’m also learning to trust hope. This can be so hard to do–as a friend of mine said, hope is heavy because it is an anchor.

I think that all of us could benefit from this. We have  to change our internal dialogue. We have to stop beating ourselves up. We have to stop prophesying disaster over ourselves. We have to start treating ourselves with grace. If we can’t do it for ourselves, we have to do it for our future children. I challenge each of you–pay attention to your internal dialogue over the next week, and make it a point to be kind. All of those wonderful, encouraging things you post on each other’s walls? Say those to yourself, and see what a difference it makes.

4 Comments »

Catching up

First of all, thank you so much for your support on my last post. Although I’m a little ashamed of just how bitter I sounded, I appreciate all of you validating my feelings. I guess it just goes to show that people say dumb things no matter what you are going through, whether it be infertility, loss, or even Crohn’s disease. Life lesson learned.

I have a few things I wanted to post, so I’m going to go with bullet points today:

  • Hubby has been doing much better since the ER trip. I’m learning that this pattern of feeling good one day, then having the worst pain of your life the next day, then going back to feeling better the next is fairly typical for Crohn’s. I’m also learning that the frustration, helplessness, and anger that I am feeling is normal, and it is ok to break down every once in awhile. I called a good friend on Friday and cried over the phone with her, and it helped me realize that it’s ok to be emotional and upset–that I don’t have to be an unwavering tower of strength for my husband. You would think that I would have figured this out a little sooner because I have been saying that hubby is allowed to be upset about the IF/loss that we have experienced, but I guess I’m a slow learner.
  • I got into grad school. I’m really excited and proud of myself, but I’m not doing a celebration dance just yet because I was put on a wait list for an assistantship. Which means that my school may or may not be paid for, and I may or may not get the resume-boosting experience. Right now, hubby is of the opinion that where there is a will, there is a way, but I’m not sure how we are going to make it happen without that assistance. Especially when we have medical bills piling up (just when we are almost done paying the bills from my miscarriage). It’s actually looking like we will reach our 2013 out-of-pocket limit this month, which I think is fairly impressive.
  • It’s been awhile since I’ve done an update on my lady parts, so here it is (disclaimer, in-depth period talk ahead): I had a normal period for the first time since I was on BC, and I’m freaking out about it. Ok, freaking out is a little bit of an exaggeration, but I am quite perplexed. On day 29, AF started. It just started, which I thought was weird because I usually have three to five days of spotting before it actually arrives. Then it lasted four days. This is unheard of. Mine usually last a week to a week and a half–and that isn’t counting the spotting that happens before it actually starts. I mentioned to hubby that it was over and he looked at me like I had grown another head and said, “But didn’t it just start a few days ago?” Also, it was blissfully light–it only filled my diva cup about a third of the way every twelve hours (as opposed to completely filling it every six to eight hours). Apparently, this is what “normal” periods look like, and I would be ecstatic if I wasn’t so weirded out by it. Maybe it’s a sign of good things to come?

Those are the biggest things happening in our life right now. The most important thing is that in the midst of everything that is going on, I’m still feeling very hopeful. I just know that things are going to work out, even though I don’t know what it will look like. I’m frustrated, tired, and impatient, but I’m hopeful. I think a lot of that has to do with the beautiful weather we’ve been having–it just lifts my spirits. Spring is trying its very best to settle into East Tennessee, and I am beyond ready for it! It also has to do with the amazing amount of love, prayer, and support we have received from our new church. I hope to post a little more on that soon, so stay tuned!

10 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 »

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.