Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Where We Are Now

I feel like such a tease telling you all that I’m going to start writing again and then not immediately writing a bunch of posts. A lot has happened since I quit writing, but instead of playing catch-up with the last couple of months, I’ll tell you where we are now:

  • I’m going to school full time to get my Masters in English literature. I’m not really sure what the long-term plan is (teaching private high school, teaching college, applying to PhD programs, etc.), but I love what I am doing right now. I love reading, discussing, and writing about literature, and that’s basically all I do now. It’s hard, especially since I took time off after undergrad and had to relearn quite a few things, like how to study or write an academic paper, but I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing right now. Well, that’s a lie. I’d rather be a stay-at-home mom, but that isn’t happening right now, so this is the next best thing.
  • Hubby is in the hiring process at the fire department in our town. After he didn’t get the last job because they basically run on the “good ole boy” system, he started putting in applications at different departments. This department is completely different. Instead of hiring from the volunteer list, they have a multiple-step hiring process that takes months. Hubby passed a written exam back in September, and he is taking a physical exam next week. When he passes that, he’ll be able to get an interview. If he does well on his interview, he’ll take a psych evaluation (1 out of 4 fail it). If everything goes well, it will probably be February or March before he starts working, and if it doesn’t go well, we’ll move on to another department. Apparently, he was the only one out of over 100 applicants who showed up for the written exam in a tie, and he had two separate officers tell him that he made a really good impression, so we that’s a good sign. Also, he got one of the highest grades on the written exam, so that doesn’t hurt either.
  • As I mentioned in my last post, Hubby and I are going to start the process for foster adoption if he gets this job. As it is, Hubby gets paid on commission, and I get a small stipend from school so we have a hard time keeping our heads above water sometimes, especially with all of the medical bills from Hubby getting so sick this past winter/spring. The beginning pay at this department, however, would increase our income by almost $1,000 a month, and by that time, the medical bills should be paid off (assuming we don’t create any more), saving us a few hundred dollars a month. So that would leave us with some baby money. And as an extra perk, we could also afford to start eating meat again.
  • We got another dog at the end of August, Jack Jack. Molly was a very high energy dog, and she really needed a buddy to play with so that she wouldn’t be destructive, so we went to the pound and picked out a new best friend for her. Jack Jack was about nine months old when we got him. He was also scary skinny, and he had kennel cough. Looking back, I have no idea why we got this sickly, scrawny dog, but I am so glad we did. He is the best behaved dog I’ve ever had, and he learns very quickly. Plus, he’s the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen, especially now that he’s put on some weight. I’m sure you’ll agree:

Jack1

Jack2

It’s also nice that he matches our house so well, haha. The only problem is that Jack Jack is also a high energy dog and needs someone to play with–that’s why he was a perfect friend for Molly. Maybe we’ll go get him a friend in the spring because we’re not ready for another furbaby yet.

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Hubby

In the midst of our loss, I haven’t given any updates on hubby. The truth is, hubby is doing very well. Ever since he started taking the immunosuppressants, his pain has been declining, and he has been pain-free for awhile now. Even though we are cautious about celebrating too early, we are both so happy that he is feeling better, and I have been hoping and praying that his body is finally going into remission and this is not short-lived. Maybe this is the magic combo that will help him, and even if it isn’t, I am so thankful for the relief he is feeling now.

I’ve also mentioned before that hubby is a volunteer fire fighter and trying to get a full-time fire job. Last weekend, hubby went to Nashville and did his live burn so he is now certified to go into burning buildings and has all the prerequisites to test for his state level 1 fire certification. He was really hoping to get a job at a local department because they received a grant to hire four more full-time employees and he had more certifications than the other guys in the running, but we found out last Thursday that he was not chosen. That’s right, Thursday morning we learned that Tup’s heart was no longer beating, and later that day, hubby found out that he didn’t get his dream job. It was like being kicked when you are down. (Also, if you were paying attention to the dates, hubby was out of town Friday night through Sunday evening for his live burn, so I was on my own after we found out about Tup). For now, hubby is putting in applications at different departments and trying to get as many certifications as he can, and he is starting a new job next week. His job now is terrible and unstable so we decided months ago that he would find another one if he wasn’t one of the four. So he isn’t working his dream job yet, but hopefully he will be happier where he is going.

So, like every other aspect of my life right now, there is a lot of celebration and disappointment in the hubby department. (Who would want an average life when you can have one that’s full of extreme joys and heartbreaks?)

Be on the lookout for a post about what we are working on during yet another baby-free summer.

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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.

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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…

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Just because I try to stay positive….

… does NOT mean I don’t have feelings and you can say whatever you want to me–I am sad and hormonal, and I am not impervious to hateful comments!

Yesterday hubby and I got the chance to spend some quality time with our best friends and their 5 month old son. This is the couple that got pregnant on the first try, had a textbook pregnancy, and their son is a happy, healthy boy. I have worked very hard on not resenting or begrudging them because it is honestly not their fault that it was so easy for them, and I would never wish fertility issues or a miscarriage on someone. I was there her entire pregnancy, giving her support and listening to her whenever she needed to talk. When she had her baby, I organized with some people from our church so they would have a meal brought to them every day for at least a week after they got home from the hospital. Whenever we visited them or went out with them, hubby or I would hold or feed their baby so they got a chance to eat a complete meal in peace. I have honestly loved watching that little man grow, and I am so happy for my friends.

While we were hanging out, my friend made two comments that didn’t sit well with me.

I told her that we have started actively TTC again after our post mc break because she has really been there every step of the way. She and her hubby have been through a lot of our experience with us–being hopeful for us, being sad with us, being frustrated with us, and whenever I get pregnant (see that positive thinking there?) she will be one of the first people I tell. First, she told me that her co-worker is also TTC. Apparently, this girl is super fertile and got pregnant on the first try with one of her kids and got pregnant while on BC with the other one, so my friend is expecting her to announce any time now. This was followed by a comment that went something like this: “So you and (coworker) will probably be pregnant at the same time and I’m going to hate my life because I’ll have to deal with both of you.”

Later in the conversation, we told our friends about hubby’s new life plan. Hubby is currently a mechanic and a volunteer firefighter. In September, he will start fire academy which he is really excited about. It is a 240 hour course–Tuesdays and Thursdays for 7 months, and once he is done, he will have enough certifications to get a full time fire job. If he gets a full time fire job, he will make more money than we make combined right now. So we are hoping that he will be able to get a full time fire job because he loves working with the fire department, and if he gets one, I will be able to quit my job whenever we have a baby. My friend was very upset when she had to go back to work after she had her baby, and when we told her about the awesome opportunity that hubby has right now, she said, “If you get to stay home with your baby and I’m still going to work, I will hate you.”

I’m hesitant to write about these things because it makes my friend sound like she is always hateful and unsupportive, which isn’t true, but this kind of attitude and these comments have become more and more frequent. I know she’s been having a rough time lately (fighting with hubby and PPD) and that makes her negative, but these two comments really cut me down to the very center of my heart. She has essentially had everything handed to her when it came to TTC, and she is not allowed to resent me when I get  pregnant! Am I so wrong to expect the same love and support I gave her? I just can’t believe she would talk about how inconvenient it would be for her if I got pregnant, when she knows what all hubby and I have been through.

I know every person with one of these blogs has stories like this, where someone says something that isn’t very nice in the first place, but it is like a slap in the face when you take into consideration the circumstances. Please excuse me while I go cry in the corner.

-Danielle

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