Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Autopsy Results

I hate that I was gone for so long only to come back with such sad news, but I knew that this community was the only one that could truly understand how painful it was to lose Molly. We got her autopsy results this week and learned that she had a genetic heart defect that would have caused an arrhythmia. She had fibrosis in her heart, and she most likely died of a heart attack while she was sleeping. The vet assured us that there was no way we could have known that she was sick and even if we did know, there was nothing we could have done. She is actually the second pup in her litter that has died suddenly, and I told the woman who gave her to us, so she can tell the others who adopted pups from the litter.

In some ways, Molly’s results were a huge relief. We now know that no one hurt her, and that it is safe to leave Jack Jack outside. Also, it’s a relief to know that we could not have known or done anything. I went over that morning in my head more times than I can count, trying to see if there was some sign that she was sick, something we should have noticed. But there was nothing. She was her usual self–a happy crazy pup. Now we can move past worrying and wondering and just grieve the loss of our pup baby.

Last week I was talking to a good friend who is dealing with some heavy stuff right now. We hadn’t talked in a long time, so neither of us was really aware of all of the tough stuff the other has been going through. At one point, I just looked at him and asked, “Is this what it’s like to be an adult?” I feel really old. I feel tired and I feel like my heart is so heavy from carrying my losses. Is that what adulthood is? Adding to the weight of your heart?

I’m going to try to start posting again. Hubby is in the hiring process with our local fire service, and if he gets the job, we are going to start the paperwork for foster care adoption. And I don’t think I could go through that process without all of you. Plus, I’m getting a little overwhelmed without my outlet–I need you ladies.

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Molly

Last year we got a puppy. My heart was broken because our children kept dying, so we got Molly, a sweet little five week old pup who stole my heart. She filled an empty place in my heart and when I was sad, she gave me joy. Having her was so wonderful, we got another pup, Jack, for her to play with. Just the other day I thought that I could be happy–that hubby and my furbabies could be enough. I was content, and what I had was enough.

Last week, we came home and found Molly dead in the yard. She was lying in her usual spot, but she wasn’t there anymore. She was gone.

I miss her. I miss the way she always smelled like puppy. I miss the way she used to get so excited that she would start yelping when we came home. I miss snuggling with her. I miss the way she would paw at me when I asked her to sit because she was anticipating that I would ask her to shake. I miss watching her chew on Jack’s ears. I miss the way she would fall asleep with her head on my chest. I miss playing fetch with her. She was my baby. The only baby I ever got to hold. And I miss her.

Molly

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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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New Year

This time of year always makes me reflective.

I remember at the end of 2010, my mom and sister were both saying how glad they were that the year was ending because 2010 sucked so much, and I actually got a little upset with them. Yes, 2010 was a hard year for my family because both of my grandparents died that year, but it was also a good year. It was the year I graduated from college, married the love of my life, and started my first job out of college. It was the year hubby and I moved into the little apartment we built together, adopted our little kitty Gaia, and joined our church. 2010 was a big year for me, and I was a little hurt that they overlooked all of that to only see the negative and the loss. I think part of it may be that I was the most accepting of my grandfather’s death, and I was apparently the only one who was expecting it. My grandfather was so heartbroken after my grandmother died, and I hated to see him that way. He was a shell. I was so sad when he died, but I took comfort in his death, too, because I knew he was where he belonged–with my grandmother. I insisted on pointing out the good to my family, and I was a little sad to see the year pass after I had spent so much time looking forward to it.

WeddingAfter five years together, 2010 was the year I finally married the love of my life.

Gaia2010 was also the year this beautiful, snuggly girl entered our lives

2011 was another big year for us. Hubby quit his job and followed his dream to be an auto mechanic, and I got my first full-time job. Hubby also joined his volunteer fire department and found another passion to follow. We bought a house, made some very close friends, and started trying to expand our family. At the end of the year, I had a lot to think about and a lot to be thankful for. I did have a nagging sadness because I hadn’t gotten pregnant yet, but it had only been four months, and I had high hopes for the future.

Now that another year has passed, I’m trying to look back without bitterness in my heart. 2012 brought three miscarriages, multiple friendships lost, a new atmosphere at my job that makes me hate going to work, and an unfortunate turn of events that eventually led to us leaving our church. I keep thinking about how glad I am to be rid of 2012, and how much I am looking forward to the clean slate of 2013. I also keep thinking about 2010. I keep thinking about how my mom and sister only saw the loss and couldn’t see all of the wonderful things that had happened that year, and I’m trying to see the good things. In 2013, we adopted little Miss Molly, I found this community, we made new friendships with good people who won’t treat us with the hate that our old “friends” treated us with, we found a new church that we are slowly finding our place in, and hubby has come a long way in his fire training. It really doesn’t feel like much. It really doesn’t make me feel better about all of the sadness that we have endured this year, but I’m working very hard to look into 2013 with hope and not look back on 2012 with anger and despair.

MollyOne good thing that happened to us in 2012. I love her little Batman collar–it has a seatbelt buckle.
How did that tiny puppy grow so fast?

What about you? How do you feel about 2012 and the new year that is rapidly approaching?

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Community

Lately I’ve been wondering what role this blog needs to play in my life while hubby and I are taking a break from TTC. I wonder if I am really letting myself step back and take a break when I am still reading, posting, and surrounding myself with this world. In wondering this, I have begun to really evaluate what this community means to me and what role it plays in my life.

I love having support from people who understand (at least on some level–everyone’s story is different) what I am going through, and I love knowing that I can be that support to some other people. It always amazes me how much love and encouragement I can receive just from a comment on a post or an email from someone else in the community, and lately I’ve been trying to make the effort to leave some love on the posts that I read. Every time I read about a BFP or a birth, I get so excited and celebrate for that couple. It gives me hope, and I truly feel joy for them because I know the road that they have traveled to get to that BFP was long and hard.

But being part of this community is also heartbreaking. I feel a connection with some of these couples, and I will cheer and hope and pray so hard for them. But sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes my WP reader is full of BFN’s, failed IVF’s and FET’s, and miscarriages. It’s easy to feel hopeless when you are surrounded by these stories, and sometimes it is so hard to deal with other couples’ losses when I’m already dealing with my own. But you what? That’s what community is all about: sharing joy and sharing pain. It’s about encouragement and commiseration. It’s about letting yourself care about people enough that your heart will break for them. It’s about posting funny stuff that will brighten everyone’s day.

This community is important to me, and I plan on sticking around, even when we aren’t currently TTC.

Speaking of funny stuff, because we want to give my body time to heal and I’m not emotionally ready for another pregnancy right now, we are preventing pregnancy. Believe me, the irony is not lost on us. Anyway, little Miss Molly likes to get into the trashcan in our bathroom, and while we usually are good about keeping the door shut and keeping her out of the bathroom, she still manages to get into to it every once in awhile. Earlier this week, I was outside with her and saw something weird when she pooped. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was a condom. Oh my goodness. We are now buying a new trashcan with a lid.

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Progress

Yesterday I completed step one of my plan to take my life back from fertility issues and loss. My poor wardrobe needed to be updated last fall (I only had one pair of jeans that fit…), but I powered through thinking that I would be pregnant soon, and I decided that after three mc’s, I would allow myself to go out and spend the money this year. I had a long list of things I needed, and I went out armed with $260, hoping that I could find some good deals and get most of the stuff on my list with that amount. I bought 3 sweaters, 1 sweater dress, 2 long sleeved shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 1 jean skirt, 3 camisoles, 1 pair of leggings, 3 bras, and 5 pairs of underwear. The total damage? $240. Success! Now I just need some new shoes…

On to step two! We are in the process of some house updates. Little Miss Molly is almost big enough to start leaving outside during the day, so we are trying to prepare for that. This includes making sure that the fence doesn’t have any escape holes under it, putting lattice under the back deck to keep her from getting into the mud under there, building a doghouse of sorts, and building a wooden gate to keep her from getting on the deck around the pool (I am terrified that she is going to fall in the pool because our friend’s dog drowned in an above ground pool). We built the gate this weekend and will be hanging it tonight. I’ve always had indoor dogs and the thought of leaving her outside makes me a little nervous, but she loves being outside and it is better for her than being cooped up in a crate all day.

I also made some progress on step three: my old Taekwondo instructor did a demo to earn his 7th degree black belt on Saturday, and I went to watch. I got to see a bunch of people that I haven’t seen since I quit, and I realized just how much I miss it. I’m so glad I went because I found out that one of the instructors has started a school close to where I work, and he is going to send me some info on it. So I might be getting back in the game! Wahoo! I can’t wait to put on my uniform and gear and start fighting again–it is the only way to work out :o) Tyler (the instructor who started the school) said that he doesn’t actually do adult classes and his oldest student right now is sixteen, but I would be welcome to come train with him and maybe even start helping teach again. I’ll take it.

It’s amazing the turns your life can take when you decide to start living again :o)

Don’t forgot to send me your book/books for the IF Bloggers Book Club–they are due Friday!

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It is Well

This morning at church we sang “It is Well with my Soul,” and that made me feel a whole lot better:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

I’ve been so afraid to get excited and worried that I will wake up one morning and not be pregnant, but for now, I am pregnant. I know I will feel better after tomorrow because that is when I have my first appointment with my midwife. I’ve never actually made it to my first appointment before–since I had chemical pregnancies, they were over only a few days after I learned I was pregnant. I guess for that reason, I feel like actually making it to an appointment is a good sign. Unfortunately, hubby’s boss is out of town and he put hubby in charge of the shop while he is gone, so I’ll be on my own tomorrow–I would really appreciate it if everyone would send some positive thoughts and prayers in my direction around 2:15 EST.

Also, does it feel like fall to anyone else? There has been a noticeable shift in the weather here in East TN. We went for a mile long walk with Molly today, and I didn’t even break a sweat. I’m taking it as a good sign because I love autumn. Let’s just hope that fall pregnancies bring May rainbows.

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Getting so big!

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In the last picture I posted of Molly, she was just over six weeks old. In this picture, she is eight weeks and she is growing so fast! Look at those paws–she is going to be huge! For the record, yes, having a puppy is really helping me deal with everything. It was a very good idea.

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Molly

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I just had to post a picture of our little bundle of joy. Don’t have any kids, so I have to brag on my furbaby. We picked her up a week ago and she has done great! Love her :)

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Our Newest Family Member

So what do you do when you are sad and frustrated because it is almost August, which will mark a year since you started trying to have a baby? You get a puppy. Everyone, meet Molly:

Image

Molly is a Australian Shepherd and Labrador mix that we are getting from a woman I work with. We won’t get to take her home for a few more weeks because she is only 4 weeks old, but I can’t wait until she is ours. I’m really looking forward to training her, having a buddy to walk with, and a puppy to snuggle. Hubby didn’t even put up a fight–he immediately agreed and said that he thought it would be good for me. I know she will be a lot of work, but I could really use the distraction. I know it won’t get rid of that need to love and raise a baby, but it might help curb it a little until we get everything figured out. Then, once we have a baby, he or she will have a friend to play with–every kid needs a dog. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am :)

I know I promised in my first post to give some background information about our journey, and I’m planning on telling a little bit of our story at the end of each post. So now that I’ve told you all about Molly, let me tell you about our first appointment. After we had tried a few months, I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and started charting my cervical mucus and basal temperature. I noticed that my average temperature was fairly low (about 96.3) and that my luteal phase was only about nine days long. I could also tell from my charting that hubby and I were definitely having sex at the right time when I was ovulating, but I wasn’t getting pregnant. So I made an appointment with my OBGYN in February where I showed him my charts and told him I thought I had a progesterone problem. He smiled at me and told me that they don’t do any fertility testing until a couple has been trying for a year. He suggested that I buy some OPKs and come back in six months. It was so frustrating–I felt like he didn’t hear a single thing I said. I just knew there was something wrong with me and if my OBGYN wouldn’t take me seriously, I honestly believed I couldn’t get pregnant until after he saw me again in August.

Has anyone else had the frustrating experience of an OBGYN that just wouldn’t listen? Or have you been told that you can’t have any testing until you have been trying for a year? Is anyone else guilty of getting a new pet to help you deal with fertility problems or a loss?

-Danielle

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