Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Forward Motion

For months I wrote about how I was stuck. It felt like we were in a constant state of waiting and facing a huge expanse of unknown, and I didn’t know how much longer I could handle the lack of resolution.

When we lost Tup, I was heartsick and angry, but there was also an unexpected emotion: relief. I felt free. I didn’t understand it, and it made me feel like a terrible person who obviously didn’t deserve the child she lost–like I wasn’t properly honoring him. But I’m finally starting to understand that this feeling of freedom and relief has nothing to do with my grief for Tup, it has to do with the huge weight of the unknowns that I had been carrying for months.

The truth is that my life finally has forward motion, and even if I don’t like the results, even if I hate them, I have found some resolution:

  • Hubby didn’t get the fire job. After months of anticipation and hoping, he was not chosen. It sucks, but he started a new job last week that he really enjoys, and he is content working there while he continues to add to his certifications so that he will be a better candidate next time.
  • I got into graduate school, and I was awarded a teaching assistantship that will allow us to (barely) afford it. After months of sitting on a waitlist and trying to figure out how we could possibly pay for school without the assistantship, I finally got the letter.
  • Hubby is feeling better and will not be having surgery right now. This could technically change any day because Crohn’s is a horrible and unpredictable disease, but we are now sitting on the “well” side of the unknown (which is infinitely better than the “sick” side of it).
  • We lost Tup and my RPL panel came back normal, which means we are stepping back from the TTC world for awhile. There is no timeline on this–we will start trying again when we both feel like it–so there is no pressure and no anxious waiting. No waiting until we are allowed to try again (surprisingly, we weren’t given any restrictions), no waiting to POAS, no waiting for test results, no waiting for appointments, no spending hours each day wondering if it will work this time.

I no longer have panicked moments where I worry about the fact that I have no idea what will happen in the immediate future. I no longer try to stare into the unknown and decipher some sort of answer. Sure, things could change and we still don’t know what things will look like long-term, but at least we know what the next couple of months should look like.

I miss Tup and it makes me sad to think about what could have been, but I’m also excited about the things to come. I feel like I finally have something to look forward to and get excited about. I have goals to work towards, goals that I actually have some control over–having a baby was a goal, but it wasn’t something I could work towards because I couldn’t affect the outcome of my pregnancies. Studying and working hard can get me through graduate school, and training consistently can help me finish the triathlon.

I can improve and grow. I can work towards something tangible. My life can finally move forward.

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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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In the Meantime…

I’ve noticed a trend on the IF blogs lately: bloggers are deciding to stop putting their lives on hold. You make a decision to TTC and make adjustments in your life to prepare for pregnancy and children, but at what point do you decide to stop making those sacrifices and take your life back? Today I am choosing to take my life back–fertility issues may be able to control my ability to have children, but I will not let it have power over any other part of my life. I am going to choose joy, and I am going to enjoy the time I have now. I decided to come up with a list of things I am going to allow myself to do. Some of these things are ideas I acquired from other bloggers and some of them are purely my own:

  • Buy new clothes: I know this is a common thread with women who are TTC, and it is really two-fold: you don’t buy new clothes because (1)  you are trying to save money and (2) you don’t want to buy clothes and then get pregnant and have a bunch of new clothes that don’t fit you. I needed new jeans a year ago, but I didn’t buy any for the two aforementioned reasons. Now I’m getting a little desperate, and I plan on doing something about that. I plan on buying new clothes this fall season–and not just clothes that would still look good if I get pregnant. I didn’t buy any new clothes last year, so I’ve decided that I get to buy two years’ worth of stuff this year. Because I deserve it.
  • Work on home improvement: We bought our house in September of last year and while I would not call it a “fixer upper,” there are some aspects of it that are a bit dated. We’ve done a little bit of work remodeling one of the bathrooms, but we haven’t really dug into a major project. One reason is that demos can be expensive and babies can be expensive, so we were saving for the latter. Another reason is that we didn’t want to get halfway through a project and find out that I’m pregnant and not nearly as useful and helpful as I was before pregnancy. Now, I’m ready to make our home the place of our dreams. I want to remodel our kitchen.  I want to tile the entrance.  I want to paint the extra bedroom that I’ve been waiting to paint because it will be the nursery and I don’t want to jinx myself. Seriously, whether it turns out to be a nursery or not, it will still be yellow, and we already have the paint, so I don’t know why I keep waiting. No more waiting.
  • Start some serious workouts: When we first started TTC, I was going to Tae Kwon Do three times a week. I earned my second degree black belt and had just passed the test to be a trainee instructor, helping teach the kids classes. There were a lot of reasons why I quit, but one of them was the idea that very strenuous workouts and intense cardio can negatively affect your fertility. I wasn’t getting pregnant, so it was a sacrifice I was willing to make, but I miss it. I miss learning. I miss pushing myself to the limits. I miss fighting. I’m not sure if I will join another school because I haven’t found one that I like close to home (another reason I quit was because the school  was so far from our new home), but I will start training again. I may not have someone to spar with, but I can still work on my technique, my speed, my accuracy, and my strength.
  • Go on vacationFor years I have talked about wanting to go up to Washington DC with hubby because he has never been there. It’s such a neat place to visit, and all of the museums and stuff are free. Plus, I have a lot of family up there that I never see. We just never made definite plans to go up there because we are saving money (are you seeing a trend here?), and we weren’t sure when I would get pregnant and how that would affect the trip. Well, we have made the decision to go up there in the spring when the cherry trees are in bloom–pregnant or not! Beyond that, I want to go back to Europe. My junior year of college, I studied for five months in Germany, and I loved spending time out there. Hubby and I both have a close friend who lives in Manchester, and we want to go out to England to visit him and possibly hop on over to Germany to visit my friends there. We are still hashing out this idea and figuring out how we will save up for it, but I am determined to make it happen!
  • Read lots of books: Is it just me, or do any of you waste a lot of prime reading time researching infertility and miscarriages? I spend so much time trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and how to become and stay pregnant, and at this point, I’ve decided that time can be much better spent. Useless Google searches are going to be replaced with quality literature. I have the heart of a nerd and reading is one of my great passions. Lately, I’ve been letting all of this crap take away one of my passions, and that is just not acceptable anymore. I’ve actually been thinking about starting some sort of IF blog book club where once a month or so we all write a summary/review of a good book we read that month–would anyone be interested in that?

Life is too short. I’m not going to let fertility issues and loss steal years of my life. I’m going to enjoy time with my husband. I’m going to eat and drink whatever I want to eat and drink. I’m going to make plans.  I’m going to seize the freaking day. What about you?

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