Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

The Red Dress

Back in October hubby and I went to the wedding of two good friends. When I was pregnant with Tup, I remember happily thinking that I would be wearing a maternity dress and sporting a large bump at their wedding, but that obviously didn’t happen. Then, two weeks before the wedding, Molly died. I felt like the whole world was against me, and that my life would be nothing but death and loss. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. So I dealt with it by going out and buying a sexy red dress for the wedding. If I couldn’t be large and pregnant, I was going to be super hot. We had a wonderful time at the wedding, and I felt beautiful and thankful to spend time with my fun husband. We drank and danced and laughed and for a small moment, I was so happy and I thought that maybe we would be ok.

The wedding photographers took this great photo of me dancing with my hubby

The wedding photographers took this great photo of me dancing with my hubby

Saturday we went to another wedding. I seem to have “popped” over the week, and when I pulled out my red dress, it looked perfect on my little baby bump. I happily wore it to the wedding–looking noticeably pregnant. And the dress still made me feel beautiful and sexy (and multiple people told me how hot I looked).

It’s amazing how much has changed in the months since that last wedding. This dress signified for me just how far we have come–where we were and how blessed we are to be where we are. I will never forget the pain of our losses. And I will never stop being grateful for this miracle–even in the midst of daily headaches and weekly migraines.

Here is the red dress, showing off my 17 week bump:

17 weeks pregnant

Sorry for the dirty mirror bathroom selfie

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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.

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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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IF Bloggers Book Club: Hind’s Feet on High Places

When I got the results of my second beta during my last pregnancy, I was devastated. The next day I went to a good friend’s house, and she hugged me and asked how I was doing. That was all it took for me to basically collapse on her floor and sit and sob and pour my heart out for a very long time with her and two of her friends. I was a little embarrassed, but I’m glad it happened because it was very healing to open up to someone besides hubby, and it was so nice to have them validate my feelings and encourage me without giving me any lines about “what is meant to be” or any other bullshit like that. Anyway, my friend then handed me this book and told me I need to read it–she even said I could keep it:

This is an allegory about Much Afraid and her journey to the High Places to be with the Shepherd. Before I tell you anything else about this book, I have to make a confession. It’s something that might be obvious to those who know me, but it’s hard to admit and I’m willing to bet some of you reading this blog could confess the same thing: I’m a wallower. I wallow in self-pity, sadness, pain. I’m really bad at letting stuff go, and I would usually rather just be miserable. Because I’m a wallower, anything that encourages me to move on, heal, etc. usually pisses me off. Having said that, this book did not piss me off, and it actually helped me immensely. It is so full of love, and it presents huge concepts in such simple terms making it easier for me to relate to them. So it technically could be a light, simplistic read, but if you choose to really read into it and see the deeper meanings, it can be pretty heavy. There were many times that I had to put it down and just absorb what I had just read. There were also times that I had to put it down and just cry for awhile. It is a beautiful book, and I plan on reading it again and again. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I recommend giving it a try.

Make sure you go and check out these other bloggers and their book posts!

Songs and Sonnets

Return to Go

Dog Mom Chasing the Stork

Future Fords

If you want to participate in the IF Bloggers Book Club this next month, either comment on this post with the book/books you want to read or send me an email (catchingourrainbow@gmail.com) letting me know. I will put up a post next week with the participants. I’m thinking the “due date” for the posts will be November 16. Let me know if that’s a problem.

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