Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Scarlet Letter

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’ve read and reread all of them, and I am very thankful for this community.

I finally filled my prescription yesterday. I wanted to wait until things passed naturally, but I really did not want to start passing everything at work one day this week, so I decided to go ahead and get it over with yesterday. Needless to say, when I walked into the pharmacy, I was upset and distracted. That might explain why I didn’t realize what was happening until I left. When the pharm tech was typing in the prescription, he asked me quite a few questions. First, he asked me which doctor wrote me the prescription and which office she is with. I thought that was a little weird because that information was on the prescription, but I answered his questions figuring maybe he was new or something or maybe they had a new policy where they have to double check that information. Then he asked, “Do you understand what this is? Did your doctor talk to you about this?” I answered that my doctor explained everything to me, thinking this was a weird variation of the “Do you have any questions about your prescription” question that I always get. It wasn’t until I was walking out and looked down at the coupon that came out with the receipt that I understood his questions. It wasn’t a coupon. It was an advertisement for Gerber that the machine automatically printed with that prescription. That’s when it hit me that the medication I was about to take is the same thing as the abor.tion pill. The tech thought I was getting an abor.tion. His questions revealed that he obviously disagreed with my “decision” but could not voice his concern because it would endanger his job.

I don’t think I need to explain to this community just how upsetting I found this whole situation. I got out to my car and just sat and cried for awhile before I drove home. When I told hubby about it, he got really mad and said I should have complained, but technically the man did not say anything inappropriate to me. It was almost all tone of voice and facial expression, and I really could have just read into it because I was upset and hormonal (although I’m positive that I didn’t).

I know I shouldn’t care what others think, but after all that we’ve been through and how much I struggled with the idea of medically inducing this miscarriage despite the fact that my baby already died, I really just hate that man for judging me. Seriously, why don’t you just give me a scarlet letter while you are making assumptions about me?

Has anyone had an experience similar to this?

As a side note, I learned yesterday that medically induced miscarriages are very different from natural ones. I won’t go into details, but I will say that I found one perk to having a husband with Crohn’s: readily available painkillers. When I spoke to her Friday, my midwife offered to call  me in a prescription for some painkillers, but I figured I’ve been through this three times already and I would be fine. I was wrong.

Advertisements
6 Comments »

People suck. And so does Crohn’s.

I think people are misunderstanding me when I say hubby is getting better. When I say hubby is doing better, I mean he is only having pain three days out the the week instead of every day. I mean that his pain is tolerable and not causing him to walk hunched over or constantly wince in pain. Yes, he is better, but only when you compare his pain to how he felt before Hu.mira. I think people have this idea in their heads that he will go to the doctor and start on this magical medication and never have any more pain or problems, and as much as I wish that were true, it isn’t. Crohn’s is a lifelong disease that is painful, exhausting, and discouraging, and we were reminded of that this week.

Wednesday evening, hubby was having some abdominal pain. Nothing too bad or out of the ordinary, but it was bad enough that he decided to sleep on the couch so he could be propped up in a comfortable position and he wouldn’t keep me up by tossing and turning in our bed. This is not unusual. He usually sleeps on the couch about two times a week due to pain, but we consider it a big improvement from having pain every day. About 2:40 he came into our room in extreme pain and said that he needed to go the the ER because he couldn’t handle it anymore. Let me just stop and say that my husband is a tough guy with a fairly high pain tolerance who has never gone to the ER because of his Crohn’s pain, so when he said that he was in the worst pain he has ever been in, I took that very seriously. The doctor at the ER ordered some blood tests, and they gave hubby some good pain medication (can I just give a shout out to modern medicine and dilau.did?) while I sat and told hubby how much I love him and to stop worrying about how we are going to pay for the ER trip (we’ve almost met our out-of-pocket for the year because of all of hubby’s tests). Thankfully, all of his tests came back normal, which means he isn’t bleeding internally, he doesn’t have an infection, and he doesn’t have an abscess. The doctor said that he was just having “acute flare up pain,” and gave him a prescription for some pain killers and a steroid pack. We left the ER around 7:30, and I had to call one of hubby’s fire buddies to help me get him in the house because of the pain killers (they gave him some good stuff). That afternoon we called his GI doctor and let them know what had happened, and they said to go ahead and take the steroids.

This is our life. This is what Crohn’s looks like. Yesterday, one of our good friends who also has Crohn’s had to have surgery despite the fact that she was fine when we saw her a week ago. The truth is, even when you are doing better, you can have a night like we had Wednesday, with the worst pain you have ever felt in your life.

Why am I telling you this? I know that we complain a lot about the stupid things people say to infertiles, and I posted a little about some of the things people say to someone who has Crohn’s, but some of the things people have said lately INFURIATE me. It usually begins with someone hubby hasn’t seen in awhile commenting on the weight he has lost and how great he looks. That’s fine. By all means, please boost my husband’s self esteem by telling him how great he looks. Then we usually tell this person that hubby has Crohn’s disease and that he lost 50 pounds in 3-4 months because he was in too much pain to eat. How would you reply to this? Because the most common response is, “Well, at least you look great.” One girl actually had the nerve to say that his diagnosis must have been a huge blessing in disguise because he was able to lose so much weight.

Seriously?

What kind of screwed up culture do we live in? Since when is an extremely painful and life-long intestinal disease preferable to being overweight? Also, let me just say that my husband is 6’4″ and was 240lbs in November. Now he is 190lbs. So it’s not like he was morbidly obese, and he was in good shape (as in, he could run two miles in full fire gear). I would rather my husband be fat than deal with this disease because he can lose that weight–he can never lose Crohn’s disease. And it sucks.

16 Comments »

Insensitive Comments and a Sad Day

Yesterday hubby’s volunteer fire department had their annual banquet. Despite being sickly, hubby insisted on going because he loves the department and the guys he volunteers with. In an earlier post, I briefly mentioned that one of the guys at the department just got married and a month after the wedding, he told hubby that his wife is pregnant. At the banquet, a few of us were talking with him and I asked him how he is enjoying married life. He told me that they are expecting a baby boy, and I had already braced myself for the announcement, so I handled alright, but I was really upset when he followed this announcement with “That’s right, I’ve got Olympic swimmers!” Seriously? Is that necessary? I was hurt and offended and we aren’t even dealing with male factor. I’ve learned so much since I’ve entered the IF/loss community, and one of the things that I have learned is how damaging a diagnosis of male factor can be on a man’s ego and self image. Honestly, I don’t see how these men do it, because a lot of men don’t announce pregnancy by talking about how excited they are to have a baby–they announce it by talking about how they are man enough to knock a girl up. I have never heard a women announce pregnancy and then say, “That’s right, my uterus is so much better than yours at sustaining life!” If I do ever hear that, I will punch her in the face. Last night we were in a big group of people, and there were a lot of excited high fives and cheers so I kept my mouth shut, but I feel sick every time I think about it and my heart breaks for men who have to put up with that when they are already down.

In other news, my pregnancy twin had a baby girl this past weekend. I’m going to refrain from further comment on this because it will be petty and unfair.

Also, today was the due date of my first pregnancy. I wanted to write a whole post about this, but I’m still processing, and I don’t need to tell this community about how today makes me feel.

15 Comments »

The Wonderful and the Stupid

I’m going to start by saying that nothing seems to elevate my mood and calm me down like jazz music, and I am so happy that it is finally late enough in the year for me to play jazzy Christmas music at my desk at work :o)

In my last two posts, I told you about our current TTC plan and our adoption back up plan, and today I want to tell you about some of the reactions we have received from the few people we have told about our plan to adopt if we don’t get a viable pregnancy before April. I feel like this community is really good at complaining about the stupid things people say, so I really want to start on a positive note and tell you about the absolutely wonderful reaction we have received.

Hubby and I are friends with a wonderful couple that we absolutely love spending time with. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll call her Buttercup because we like to watch The Princess Bride together. Buttercup and her hubby have been married for about a year and a half and have been NTNP for most of their marriage, but she has problems with her thyroid and her hormone levels so there is a good chance that they will encounter problems whenever they do start TTC. Despite the fact that they are not in the same place as us, Buttercup is the most understanding person that I have spoken to about our journey, and she is my biggest source of strength and encouragement outside of this online community and hubby. She is actually the first person who told me that adoption through the foster care system is free, and when I told her our plan, she cried out of joy that we will become parents one way or another. Then she told me that they want to take the mandatory PATH (Parents As Tender Healers) class with us so they can become foster parents in the near future. Their friendship has honestly been a bigger blessing than I could ever ask for, and I find it very comforting to know that, if we do move on to adoption, they will be there with us :o)

The most common reaction we have received is the “once you adopt you are going to get pregnant” reaction, and while it gets old, it doesn’t really bother me that much. I usually just smile and say that means we will have two babies and my heart might just explode because I’ll be so happy. One thing that does bother me is when they take it one step further and say the reason we’ll get pregnant after adoption is because we’ll “just relax and stop trying.” I really don’t need to explain to this community why I find this so infuriating, but it especially upsets me because it isn’t even relevant to us. Our problem is not that we are too stressed to conceive or that we are trying too hard to conceive. Our problem is that our baby dies only a few weeks after conception. But, who knows, maybe if we adopt and relax, that will stop happening. Ugh. People are stupid.

Anyone else out there talking about the possibility of adoption? How have people reacted to that?

I still have to tell you all about hubby and sexy time, so keep an eye on your newsfeed ;o)

4 Comments »

I Need People to Understand This

I know we have all written the post. You know which post I am talking about. The post about the terrible things people say to those who are suffering through infertility or loss. There are particular phrases or sayings that cut us all to the quick, and many times we are left wondering how anyone could think that was a helpful, kind, or even acceptable thing to say to someone who is going through what we are enduring. But there is one that really upsets me and makes me angry, although I never really understood why it affects me the way it does.

Until now.

Oftentimes, well-meaning people will tell me about their friend, mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, etc. who has had a miscarriage, but now they have healthy children. Sometimes the person is speaking about her own story, telling me about how she was able to get pregnant and carry to term after a loss. You would think that I would find this encouraging, and I would receive hope about how I could potentially be telling the same story down the road. But I think I finally understand why this bothers me so much. Almost every time I tell someone about my losses, I am not looking for hope that I will give birth to a child or encouragement that I will one day be a mother.

I’m already a mother.

When I talk about my miscarriages, I am looking for someone to acknowledge my grief and what I have lost. I want someone to understand that I am not solely mourning the fact that we can’t seem to have children right now. It isn’t only about my fertility issues and whether or not I will carry to term and give birth one day. It is about my children. All three of them. It feels like the whole world wants me to just write them off and try again. Like they don’t count. I don’t care how far along I was–you become a parent the moment that second line appears. I have loved them, prayed for them, talked to them, imagined their futures, made plans. I didn’t get to hold them in my my arms, but I sure as hell held them in my heart. I want people to understand that. How do I make them understand that?

8 Comments »

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

4 Comments »

What NOT to Say

It seems like every blog I read that deals with infertility/loss has at least one post on things that you should not say to a woman who is struggling with becoming pregnant or a loss. I wanted to share some things people have said that made me want to punch them in the face were unintentionally hurtful.

  • If it’s meant to be, it will happen:I’m fairly certain this is just something people say when they have no idea what to say. I think people believe this phrase makes them sound wise and empathetic, but I personally think it makes them sound insensitive and a bit moronic. I work in emergency services so I hear lots of horrible stories from our paramedics: babies that die from drug withdrawal because their mothers are addicts, toddlers who are covered in deep burns from their abusive parents, etc. Apparently, it was meant to be for these parents. If I don’t have kids, it’s because I just wasn’t meant to be a parent–obviously, I would be a huge failure at it.
  • All in God’s timing: Similar to the above phrase, this seems to be a phrase that people say when they have no idea what to say because they seem to think it makes them sound not only wise and empathetic, but also deeply spiritual. This is probably the phrase that I resent the most because it suggests I don’t have enough faith to trust in God’s timing and need to be reminded of it. Growing up, I never wanted kids. I thought the girls whose life goals were to grow up and be mothers needed their heads examined. Then something changed. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. I believe it was God working in my heart and calling me to be a mother, and I have a hard time believing that the God I love would call me to something yet keep me from doing it. In fact, I completely reject that suggestion.
  • Just relax–it will happen as soon as you stop trying: It seems like everyone I talk to knows someone who quit TTC and got pregnant. If my progesterone is low, not thinking about it will not magically bring it back up and cause me to get pregnant. Also, how are you supposed to make a big life decision, like having a baby, then not think about it? “Oh yes, I want a baby, but I’m going to pretend like I don’t so that it will actually happen.” You’re right, that makes perfect sense.
  • Just enjoy having sex with your husband: I find this highly offensive because it suggests that the fact that I’m upset about having trouble getting and staying pregnant means that I am not enjoying having sex with my husband. If good sex equaled babies, a lot of people with children would be childless and visa versa.
  • You are so young, you have plenty of time to have kids: I’m not entirely sure why everyone seems to think that 24 is too young to worry about fertility issues. Biologically, I should be at the peak of my fertility–nothing but downhill from here. Yet, despite a year of trying, we still don’t have a baby. Why do people insist that this isn’t cause for concern?
  • (Regarding my miscarriage) You didn’t have a miscarriage, you just had a late period: In the minds of a lot of people, a chemical pregnancy is not considered a miscarriage–it is a late period. According to this train of thought, if I hadn’t taken that pregnancy test, I wouldn’t even know that I was pregnant and therefore, that pregnancy didn’t count. When you spend nine months fruitlessly trying to get pregnant (like my choice of words there?), that second line is a huge cause for excitement and celebration. And no matter how far along you are, losing that piece of hope is devastating. To quote Dr. Seuss, “A person is a person, no matter how small.”

What should you say to someone struggling with fertility issues/loss?

How about, “I can’t possibly understand what you are going through right now, but I am truly sorry you are having to go through this.” That sounds good. Don’t try to relate to people that you can’t relate to–just because your sister’s best friend’s uncle’s first wife had a miscarriage does not mean you understand what I am going through, so stop trying to pretend like you do. You know what I have found the most comforting? A big hug (at an appropriate time, of course–don’t make me cry in the grocery store). You don’t have to say a word, just show me that you care, and you are there for me.

What sayings have you gotten that thoroughly tick you off? Has anyone said/done anything that genuinely comforted and encouraged you?

-Danielle

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.