Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

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!

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Kindness Friday Part II

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the lies I tell myself. It was good for me to not just acknowledge these thoughts, but to admit them to others and write them down. I don’t, however, believe that it will lead to healing unless I fully confront those thoughts and reveal them to be the lies that they are. That’s how Theresa and I came up with Kindness Friday. The idea is to write a post on Fridays where you are kind to yourself and maybe confront one of those lies and reveal the untruthfulness (yes, I’m making up words) of it.

This week I wanted to confront a lie that I didn’t mention in my previous post, but I have talked about it before on this blog, and I know other women struggle with it. It’s the idea that my husband would have been better off marrying someone else who could easily give him children. Trust me, I know how ridiculous it sounds, and I feel silly just writing it out, but it is a thought that has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. When thinking about how to counter this lie, I thought about making a list of all the ways I am a good wife to my husband, but I decided that was too much like trying to “prove” myself as a wife when the truth is that my husband loves me. I don’t have to earn that love with a list of wifely duties. I don’t have to earn it by birthing our children (although I do truly hope that I will). The truth is, my husband and I have a really good marriage. We take care of each other, and we get along better than any couple our age that I’ve met (I actually have friends that get annoyed with the fact that hubby and I never fight). He makes  my heart so happy, and I am thankful for him every. single. day. And I can tell by the way he looks at me, treats me, and speaks to me (and to others about me), that he feels the same way. We are soul mates, and we were incredibly blessed to find each other so early in life.

I am a good wife. I have an extraordinary marriage. My husband is just as blessed to have me as I am to have him, even if that is hard for me to believe.

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Kindness Friday Part I

Previously, I wrote about the mental image I have of my womb: “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.”

For this week’s kindness Friday, I tried to re-imagine it. I know it sounds weird, but it was actually a fairly healing process. This morning when I woke up, I was so perfectly comfortable. I had multiple quilts on the bed so there was a nice heaviness to them, and I was so very warm and snuggly and just wanted to stay there forever. While I was enjoying my perfect moment, I tried to imagine my womb as a similar place–a place that is warm, comfortable, and dark (not scary dark, more like a dimmed room). I imagined it as a place that is welcoming, a place that a baby would want to snuggle in and stay for awhile. It made me feel better, encouraged, and I’m going to try hard to hang on to that mental image.

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Kindness Friday

After my last post, Theresa from Journey to the Finish Line and I have decided that we need a kindness Friday. The idea is that every Friday you write a post where you are kind to yourself and fight against some of the negative internal dialogue we all subject ourselves to. People in this community can provide such great support, but the support always seems to go outward–to other people, and it is time fore us to start sending some of that support inward.

This can take lots of different forms, so get creative. Here are some ideas I have thought of if you are unsure of where to start:

  • Confront a specific lie that you tell yourself and write about it. Write about why you tell yourself this lie and why it isn’t true. Then replace it with something else–something encouraging, kind, and maybe even flattering.
  • Write yourself an encouraging letter or comment and post it on your blog.
  • Draw/paint/doodle a kind truth about yourself and put it up where you will see it. It could be as simple as one word. Post a picture of it.
  • Take some time where you pamper yourself and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Do this for no other reason than the fact that you deserve it, and then tell us about it. 
  • Write a post where you tell us all something awesome about you. Don’t be modest, brag on yourself.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of the kindness tomorrow, and on Fridays to come! Also, since I have started writing about hubby’s Crohn’s disease, I seem to have acquired a new group of followers, and I encourage you all to participate as well. A lot of my posts are directed to the IF/loss community, but I know that those suffering from a painful and frustrating disease like Crohn’s could use some kindness as well!

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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.

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