Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 9

Today, I took a personal day from school. My kids will understand, they take personal days more often than I do. I have so many thoughts running through my head, ideas I want to document, feelings, costs, procedures, findings, inspirations, however, I am limiting myself to one post a day, one day at a time. Because that is how this journey is, one day at a time for 28 days. I have recently read so many places that going through the infertility cycle is a roller coaster. I felt this way after the first few months, yet had no idea this is what others were feeling. You spend two weeks getting your hopes up and two weeks crashing, and then you secure your seat belt again for another ride. If you are one of the lucky ones, the train behind you if full of supporters, who unfortunately have to ride the same one over and over with you again.

Yesterday, when I was at the library, I picked up my holds to discover that, "The Happiness Project" had come in. I have been on the list for this book maybe four months or so, but it came yesterday. FYI...I am not reading this book because I feel that I need to be happier, of course there are days that you can and do need to feel happier, but that is not the reason I put it on my list. I am reading it because I like to read, it looked good, and why not. But the real question is, why now? Why yesterday did out of the blue the book show up at the library? Quite honestly, I had forgotten that I put it on my list. Is it God, is it the 23 speed readers before me, why did it show up when it did? Again is God speaking to me more or am I searching for him more, or do I even care which? Should I care, or just be grateful?

Either way, I guess it got me out of bed this morning and back to the gym, which is the real reason I have so many thoughts flowing through my head. I think when I am on the treadmill. Sure I listen to Morning Joe (msnbc) and find out what is happening around the world, which is probably more beneficial to me than watching the Today show and seeing the latest makeup colors for spring. Also I know that Jon appreciates it more, when he does not have to explain everything to me about the evening news, and I keep up to date. Morning Joe also starts at 5:30, which is my normal treadmill time, long before the 7:00 am wake-up call of Matt and Meredith.

Anyways, The first chapter of "The Happiness Project" was about energy, and finding more or better physical and mental energy, therefore I think I will be at the treadmill at 5:30 more often than not for the last month of school. I also was listening to Joel Osteen's new book, which was a bit too new ageish and not as much Bibleish as I hoped, but he did have some good inspirational stories, one hit me hard. It was about a man who was preparing for cancer treatment and had to up his white blood cell count. The doctor told him a number and he told him he would have double that. So every day, when most people rested during this period, this man did not. He worked out hard, lifted weights, he prayed, he continued on with more gumption than necessary, because his thinking is that God can do his part, but I have to do mine. Which I know goes 100% against the whole God can do anything, you are saved by grace bit, which I believe and I believe that Joel and this man too believe, however why not give God some help. Sure he doesn't need it, at most times probably does not want my help, but getting in better shape and going back to the gym can't hurt much after the first few days.

PS: By the way, God did answer this mans prayers and he had double the count. The story probably would not have made Joel's book if it had ended any other way, but it does a little provide some much needed inspiration.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 8

Day 8, as I type that, I remember that just one week ago the floor fell out. Just 7 days ago, I was hoping beyond hope that day 8 would never come. I remember back to how awful day 1 was, the tears, the fears, the disappointment. One week later, seems like a lifetime ago. The growth in one week, the changes that can happen in one week.

Today I got an email back from the author of the Pregnancy with Hope blog, the one that I have really found helpful and inspiring. It took me by surprise that someone I have never met, nor will meet found a few minutes to make my morning. Which started my thought process on who and how am I helping out others? Will someday this blog, or my voice, or my struggle, give hope to someone else? Will I get to look back at this someday and see how much I have changed, grown, how my husband and I have reconnected because of this, or come together? Does having a child, put an end to my growth? What if God never blesses us with a child, will I still see a positive outcome or will I become bitter, upset?

I know God is working on me. I know he is working in my heart, my thoughts, my life, my control. I know it because I see it. When I look to him he answers. Is that all too simplistic? Today my Max Lucado calendar for April 29th was all about how "you may feel alone in the wilderness, but you are not. He is with you." Just days ago I felt so alone, so out in the darkness, and today, God sent a reminder. Maybe I am searching too hard for this, or God is making it easy for me to see him. Again it is a good day, so maybe I see God more on good days. Either way, I am just thankful it is a good day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 7

Today I am good, it is my sister's birthday! Happy Birthday! I have had a good night's sleep, a good morning talk with my mom, and a wonderful start to the school day. I am happy. I am thankful. I am ready. I have been reading another blog about infertility from a Christian woman who is struggling as well and she is fabulous, wonderful blog. After reading her every morning, I feel refreshed. If anything, this trial, this path, this journey, will strengthen my faith. God is refining me, he is putting me in the fire, the hot coals, and cooking all the crap out.

Quite possibly creating a better me? Is that possible?

I realized today that going through infertility is a lot like any other struggle I have had to overcome. Luckily for me, my struggles have not been too terrible, just average, single girl, teacher, stuff. This too is just average, it seems like such a big all consuming issue, but I can handle it. I say this today, when I am on one of my "good" days. Ask me in about 20 more. Actually I really need you to ask in 20 more. To remind me that even though the bad days come and they come a lot, the good days come and come a lot too.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 6

Going through infertility heightens your consciousness. You are constantly questioning what you say to people and what others say to you. You are more sensitive. You realize that your words are your only form of letting your feelings out. And, that sometimes, your prayers, your voice, do not always express what is in your heart, and that frustrates you.

The next few days will be the good ones, the easy ones, the days between the end of your period and the days before ovulation. You have few days to breath, 4 exactly. You enjoy this time, you may yikes have sex for fun, or just because. Who does that anymore? Every second of the next few days you don't spend worrying.

These are the days of reflection, of realization, of safety. These will be the good days. You make the call to the fertility doctor, discuss your plan for this month, and you are happy. You can laugh, and you think just how precious of a gift that is. A funny story, commercial, television show, you can truly forget for a bit. You can spend a few days not trying to figure out what God is telling you and why He is making you go down this road. But again that is a choice, it is your choice, you can stop the treatment at any time, but the fear of maybe, this might be the month, I have to try this month, creeps in. The fear and the lack of control, that is what kills you.

You know God is listening, he is always listening, you know that. You were told that on Sunday, why do you feel so afraid, so alone, on this journey?


Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 5

Today you wake up, you get up, you are ready for the week. You are busy today with work, with teaching, with life, and you are thankful for that. You start to look for books, guidance, search the internet for someone you can connect to, someone that you can trust, someone that has been through this.

You find some comfort. You read stories after stories about women who are struggling, who are in much, much worse situations than yourself. You feel the guilt, yet realize that everyone is still in the same place, struggling, some more than others. You are blessed. You are have to believe it. God help me to believe it. I have a wonderful husband, wonderful family, wonderful doctors, and a job, and a means to pay for this treatment. I have faith. God, I believe in you and have faith that someday, hopefully soon, I will have my own child. Do these words sound as shallow as they seem to me?

At some point in this journey I have to give up the jealously, the longing for what I don't have and be thankful for what I do have. At what point, what day, does this happen? Will I have to continue with this for day after day? Where is God's plan? Will I ever know it? Will I ever hold the answer to my prayer?

I sat at Bible Study last night and was thankful, so thankful for the three beautiful faces looking back at me. Knowing that years ago, ten, twelve years ago, when God brought the four of us together he had planned for this night. Knowing the support all four of us needed today, realizing God knows and provides, but I still struggle.

Day 4

You wake up today feeling good.  You get up, get showered, put on make-up, no mascara because you are headed to church, but in other words, you are feeling alive, living, breathing, feeling.  You have a to-do list today and you will get it accomplished.


You arrive at church, the early service, 8:30.   You have started to go early as there are less people, less children, fewer babies.  Instead of the seventy that go up for the children's service you have a manageable fifteen.  You walk in a few seconds late and the first song, "how great is our God" has just started.  You try to sing, you want to sing, you love this song, but the tears start down the cheeks.  All you can do is bite your lips together hard, so you don't sob like a fool, and just let the tears fall. 


You rub your eyes knowing in just a few short more verses you are going to have to greet the people sitting around you.  You don't want them to know you are crying.  You have twenty seconds to pull it together, then ten then time.  You say hi, you did it.  You fooled them.  You sit down, you wonder how great is your God?  Are you crying because you feel close to God, or because you are upset with him?  Is your faith enough to get you through this? 


You start to question why you don't want people in the most protective, safe place you know, to know.  After the first song you are good, you can close your eyes during prayer and focus, you listen really listen to the sermon, on fellowship.  You smile at the person sitting next to you when told, and laugh as the pastor tells a joke to make a connection.   You can relate to the sermon, you have fellowship, you have a group of girls, that would carry your baby if necessary, they have told you.  You have the most wonderful Christian support group you can rally, you are the lucky one.  The one that does not go insane because she has someone to talk to.  You appreciate the weekly Bible Study meetings more every month.  

Day 3

You are about 80% normal, the shock, the grief, the crying is gone, at least for now.  You feel normal, you have cramps, you can readjust to life, you go grocery shopping, and out to dinner.  You can make it, you will make it.  You check your facebook, email and discover another birth, and another picture, another person's dreams coming true and you don't cry, you don't really feel anything.  Life is moving on.   You question what you put on facebook, in an email, and wonder, does someone read my words and hurt?  Am I shattering another person's dreams with my new job, my fabulous husband, my newly painted laundry room?


Struggling with infertility is hard, but life is hard.  You wonder is my issue bigger than someone else's?  Should I talk about this with my single friends?  Are they sitting there rolling their eyes, saying to themselves," well at least you are married.  My chances for a child is farther than yours.   I may never have a husband, let alone a baby.  You are the lucky one."  You talk to the single mother and listen as they try to juggle two beautiful little girls, while their husband is far from the picture, not by their own choice.  Are they better off than you?


In your simple, selfish mind, you feel justified for your feelings, while in reality is this really the worst thing that could happen to you?  No, and far from it.  Your husband has this attitude, he can see the big picture better than you can.  He can control his emotions.  He can see the negative and he questions you about it.  Are you not happy now?  Don't I alone make you happy?  We have a great life, why are you so sad?  Do you really need a baby to be happy?  And you question your own thinking again, do I really need a baby to be happy?


That is the question that you constantly are asking, will a child make my life better?  Is all this pain going to one day, maybe next month, maybe next year, maybe never be worth it?  Again the control issue is creeping back.  You have no control over this, you cannot will yourself pregnant.  And that is ultimately what is killing you.  The lack of control. 

Day 2

Day 2 is no better than day one, at most times it is just an prolonged extension as if the past hours just all blended together to form one terrible reoccurring nightmare. You wake up on day 2 with no more enthusiasm than the night before. Your eyes are tired, and sore, and bloodshot, and you look miserable. You don't want to get out of bed, but you do, because you have to. On day 2 you go to work and teach 30 other children, you have tears in your eyes as you try to hide your pain from them. You don't look anyone in the eye, for fear they will see your broken heart. You make a phone call to a parent wondering if you will ever get the chance to be on the receiving end of that line.

Day 2 is full of sad looks, people know you are hurting but cannot figure out yet why, they don't count the days like you do. Their lives do not revolve around a 28 day cycle. They want to help, but can anyone say the right words? Would you hear the right words, if they were said? Your husband calls often on day 2, just to check on you. You get emails and sometimes flowers and you only wish that were all it took. This must be what the widow feels when grief stricken.

The best part of day 2 is that you know. You are 100% sure there is no hope for this cycle. You are at peace with that knowledge. You can move forward, you can drink wine, you can drink the whole bottle, and you do, you can smile if you dare. You can laugh. You can hold a conversation without breaking down. You can move on, you can start to regain hope.

All of your close friends, parents, siblings, prayer partners know. There is no one else to tell. Your sad story has been passed through the chains, and when you answer the phone who know who is on the other line, what they are going to say, because you have heard it at least five times and five times last month and five times before that. God has a plan, you will have a child, don't worry about the money, just relax. If I hear just relax one more time....

Day 2 your husband comes home with a plan for the weekend. We are going away, we are painting the laundry room, we are staying busy if it kills me, because I don't want you to cry anymore. You are starting the recovery process, the moving on process, the only 27 more days process.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 1

Day 1 sucks! especially sucks when it comes after day 29, or day 30 or happens in the afternoon when you have all day to think maybe your dreams have finally come true. The moment that you see blood on the toilet paper, the moment Noah, or Madison, or Daniel, dies. The moment…oh the moment. You are in your home, your workplace bathroom, your favorite store. It is the moment when the coaster starts down the hill, slowly for a split second then falling out of control. The tears form in your eyes, the thoughts, the fears, the hopes, that maybe just maybe God would still let you be pregnant and it is a fluke. Then you try a second time, still blood, and the bottom falls out. And you sit, on the toilet and cry. God help you if you are at work, or in public, or even worse, with your husband, because you want to escape for five minutes, five minutes, of uncontrollable rage, and sadness and disappointment, as you realize again that another chance has passed. Another life will not come to you, another 1000 dollars or 10,000 dollars are quite literally flushed down the toilet.

After the moment when you find out you are not pregnant, day 1 starts. You mark a big P in your planner and count up the days. You text your sister, and your best friend with the news that you started. You make the awful phone call to your husband, the one person, who may feel the same way and you tell him. It is hard, difficult, the worst phone call you can make, because now you are crushing another person's dream, you stopping another person's hope. His Noah, or Madison or Daniel dies as well.

Then for the rest of the day, you cry. God help you if you wore mascara that day, or if you have a big presentation, or if in seven minutes, you have to return to 30 students who will look at you and know something is wrong, they see your blood shot eyes, but they are too young to understand why you are upset. They don't want to question it as their teacher is always the strong one, the one with the answers, and yet today she does not have them. She has failed again. She is at Day 1 for the second time, the twelfth time, maybe the last time.

When you think of the first day of anything you have happy thoughts. The nervousness you feel on your first day of high school, your first day at a new job, the first day of the rest of your life. Day 1 is not supposed to be a sad day, it is not suppose to be a day of grieving of disappointment. From the first moment on day 1 goes by in a fog. You don't really remember anything after that first moment, you don't choose to remember anything.

On day 1 you find out a friend had her baby, and wonder if God likes to play cruel jokes on you. And you want to be happy for them, you are happy for them, yet you cannot bring yourself to make the phone call, to send the email, to buy the "It's a boy" card. Not today, not on day 1. Or day 1 starts while you are on vacation and takes you by surprise, and you sit on a hotel bed, and hope you are not bleeding onto the sheets and you cry, and your vacation, your get away, your escape, just became your problem.

On day 1 you call your fertility doctor and leave a message, you will not be in for the pregnancy test, you need to schedule another appointment, you need to take out another loan, max out another credit card, and you wonder if you can go through this for another month, another 28 days.

On the first second you see your husband on day 1, you are safe, you know that there is at least one other person in the world that knows how you feel, that can hug you and kiss your cheeks, and tell you he is sorry and he loves you. You are a pitiful couple. He part of the reason you are not pregnant, yet you cannot blame him, you won't blame him, you don't have it in you to blame him, because you love him and he is already is blaming himself. He tells you so, and the guilt starts, why can't you just hold it together for him? But he is the only one who really sees you, hears the tears on your pillow, rubs his hands on your back. You heart breaks for him. He knows he is the one causing you all this pain and he cannot do a thing about it.

The hardest part is the lack of control. You have none. You have to give it to God, you cannot do this yourself, you cannot will yourself pregnant. You cannot! You have to believe this. You have to believe that as sad as you are that your period started, someone else in the world is sitting on a toilet that very moment overjoyed by this discovery. That somewhere someone is also going through your pain, that life is unfair, and bad things happen to good people, and people who don't want or can care for a child get one, and you do not.