Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ADOPT-A-BLOGGER!!!

This month, OCTOBER 2014 we pray for
C @ Connie Ann's blog!!


How it works:


ALL bloggers, readers, commenters, lurkers, lurchers, creepers, crazies, borings, snorings, dazed, confused, and willing - i.e., ALL OF US - will be uniting our prayers for the entire month for the blogger mentioned above. At the same time, across the country, across the Americas, heck, even across the world, our prayers will all be directed in the same place, at the same time. FOR A WHOLE MONTH! Get ready for some SERIOUS fruits, people!

Click on the blog link above to visit the Blogger of the Month's post in which they will give you a brief history of their journey with infertility/adoption/childlessness. Then, continue to follow up and check in on that blogger throughout the month, to become more familiar with them and better align your prayers with their intentions.


Why?:


The idea is to pray a Childless Blogger, one of our own, to a Childless-No-More status. To bridge that final gap, to knock down that final wall, to make them MOMMIES against all odds!! Above all else, our prayers will be for peace and joy in their hearts as only God holds the answer to these prayers.


When?:


All month long! A new Blogger will be announced at the beginning of each new month. This post will be updated on the 1st of every month, so be sure to check back!


So,... How, again??


Pray whatever prayers you'd like. Do a Novena. Say a rosary. Meditate. Say a litany. The Memorare. Whatever your heart desires, whenever it desires it. You may also choose (and this is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED!) to offer up your suffering, any suffering at all, for the Adopted Blogger. Your offering can be as small as your patience with an overtired, sugar-high toddler, or it can be as large as offering your cycle (if you are going through infertility) in the hopes that your cycle will be instead the cycle in which their child is conceived. Singles? You, too have an excellent opportunity to offer your daily wait for a spouse. Not trying to conceive? That's okay- hey, trust me, I'm sure we ALLLLLLL can find some form of suffering in our daily lives to offer up!


So, join in, one and all, and please feel free to STEAL this lovely Bloggy Button below created by our own Rebecca @ The Road Home.



The button should link back to this post on your page (steal the URL from above), so that all blog readers can learn how to join in, and WHO to pray for!
(Remember, the post will be updated on the 1st of each month, but the link will remain the same.)


Thank you for participating in the Adopt-A-Blogger Prayer Campaign!!! Your prayers are powerful, and so very much appreciated!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How It Has Been

I am just over 11 weeks, today, and I actually made my bed this morning.

That is huge.

Because today, I finally felt less queasy.  So, I did something productive.

Up until today, I have pretty much loafed around, not made any meals expect for the occasional Sunday brunch or quickie weekday dinner, and basically felt like butt any time I exert any, and I mean any, energy whatsoever.

Yes.  First Trimester has been... yuck.

It has been a humbling experience, for sure.  Because truth be told (and this won't come as any surprise to those of you who have read this blog for a while), I desired having children, but I never *really* desired pregnancy.  It was the only area I felt like I had some control when the proverbial crap was hitting the TCIE household fan and all bets were off on the adoption/foster front, and so I became hell-bent on trying to control my fertility and have children the "conventional" way, when in the end, it honestly didn't matter to me HOW they came to me.  I was a hot mess, and infertility and inadoption saw to it that I was humbled in ways I never, ever would have been, otherwise.

And now?  As a Choleric who likes to get things done, get them done my way, and pretty much always know that if left to me, yes, the job will get done, and get done right... I'm discovering that pregnancy throws yet another humble pie right into that old stubborn face.  I can't do anything.  Walking more than 15 feet makes me pant like I ran a marathon.

It's been awful.

And... it's been absolutely, 100%, incredibly and gloriously A-MA-ZING.

I am LOVING that God is now using this perfect and tangible blessing to show me that, hey, guess what, Choleric TCIE?  It's not about you!  It's about the baby!!  Unproductive?  I don't think so!  Your body is housing ANOTHER body that is rapidly and safely growing every minute of every day!!  That is tough work!

So, who cares if I'm not making gourmet meals or running marathons?  I am creating a home for my child to grow in, and that is really all that matters.

Plus, the silver lining may now be appearing as I near the end of the First Trimester.  (How did that happen, exactly??  Crazy.)  Maybe I'll be back in business in the kitchen soon, and maybe I won't.  One day at a time, and I'm loving every disgusting, achy, blessed and beautiful minute of it :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ultrasound and Pregnancy Books

I kinda feel like I was hired to write this post by someone else who is experiencing these things, because I still have that "this can't be my life, can it?" aura floating all around me.

Of course, it used to bug the ever-loving poop out of my to read a former IFer write something like, "Wow, I still can't believe I'm a Mom!" as they're sending their kid off to college, but here I am walking the walk and talking the talk that many others have forged ahead of me.  I can't change my feelings.  They just are what they are.  But, surprisingly, when I do receive emails or correspondence from other mothers-post-IF, I find that I don't relate to what they're saying as much as I may have expected I would.

For example, I don't feel like I have one foot stuck in IF and one foot in Mommyhood.  Maybe it's silly, but it's me - I feel fully alleviated of the cross of infertility.  My loving/warring debate with Alison at Matching Moonheads over the difference between subfertility and infertility, and why I would never use the word "sub" to describe someone who has an inability to conceive, is still alive and well in my mind.  I haven't graduated to "sub"fertility.  I've graduated to Mommy.  Sure, I may never conceive again, but I am not worried about that.  At all.  I swear.  (May sound weird to many of you, but it's true.)  I'm a Mommy.  And I feel more convinced now than ever before that we will be able to foster in the future.  One pregnancy, one adoption, one foster - is enough for me to say the worst part of my infertility, the CHILDLESSNESS, is over and done with.  Forever.  I don't feel stuck in infertility.  My heart and soul still aches for my sisters carrying the heavy cross on their shoulders, but my heart and soul feels completely and utterly free of that cross.  I think that distinction, for me, has been in part formed throughout the years in watching others cross over, and then come back, cross over again, and come back again... and again, for me, the worst part of the cross has always been the childlessness, and I always felt a disconnect with the mothers.  I know that is not the case for everyone, and I know for many women, the ability to plan a family, to carry life in their womb, to carry to term, to give their child/ren siblings... these are important and real crosses.  For me, it just wasn't.  Which is probably why now I feel so... free.  Free of that weight, free of that branding, free of that identity.  I still experience guilt, of course, which I suppose is silly since I know I wasn't "chosen" by God to be "rewarded" with this baby because I "deserve" it.  But I do feel like, why me?  Why not them?  I can't explain it.  I wish I could, of course, explain to those who still suffer childlessness that their time will soon come... but I cannot.  Because I know not.

And so, on to my current life and current excitement.

Here is Baby TCIE at 9 weeks:

We've decided, unlike the pregnancy book's comparing the baby's size to a grape, that ours is actually more like a fig.  Fitting, since I've been eating figs like they don't cost $15 apiece.


Heartbeat 171bpm (it always speeds up, in both genders, between 8-11 weeks, then settles back to 120-160 for remainder of pregnancy.  So, sorry, no gender guessing just from that ;) )



3-D images with the transvaginal probe - we went back to the place where I did my externship in ultrasound and learned basically everything about pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound, for this special peek at the baby with Grandma and Grandpa.  It did not disappoint.


Cute little bugger.  As many of these wiggly 9-weekers as I've had the pleasure of viewing over the years, I was pleased to see my own already has his/her own personality.  Breaking the mold, even after a doughnut and juice, this baby slept.  The whole time.  Momentarily wiggled its little hiney, just to appease us all, then promptly back to sleep.  Clearly it's Mr TCIE's kid.





I may be good at sonography, but taking pictures of still sonogram images, not so much.  The above were the 4th or 5th try at it.  Here's one from the 1st attempt:

Baby Omen.  Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

And here's some fun things I've stumbled upon while reading some pregnancy books...
(and this does nothing but further my silly Choleric notion that reading pregnancy books is stupid, because *I* know everything there is to know about birthing babies.  Flash forward 7 months:)
Anyhoo, here are the little gems I particularly liked:


Ahh, yes.  It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, knowing someone out there is suffering.  Thank you for preparing me for what it means to be a mother, oh wise pregnancy book.

For the people who see me in clothes, which fortunately is everyone.  
The same could not be said for my infertility treatment years...


OK, time to go to the bathroom for the 3rd time this afternoon... Until we meet again!









Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A New Identity

I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while.

Well, that's not even the whole truth.  I'm sorry.  But I'm also not sorry.

And that dichotomy pretty much sums up how I've been feeling these past few weeks.

I'm full of joy.  And I'm full of sorrow.

I'm grateful.  And I'm guilty.

I'm humbled.  And I'm proud.

I'm amazingly calm.  And I'm anxious.

I'm starving.  And I'm nauseous.

I'm fatigued.  And I can't sleep.

I'm horny.  And I'm gassy.

My emotions and my physical symptoms aren't the only things that appear completely at odds with themselves.  I also can't wrap my mind around HOW to blog, anymore.  WHAT to blog.  WHO is blogging...

That's the real issue.  I feel that I have lost my identity.  I have always been TCIE.  The veteran infertile.  A.S., the FertilityCare Practitioner and RDMS coming to a Skype near you every two weeks and a transvaginal ultrasound probe near you (very near you) over holiday weekends and the like.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't lament my shedding of that identity.  Because I've gained a new one, one I've been preparing for for 8 years (or, if I'm being honest, much longer than that, in my mind's eye).

Now, I am a mother.

I'm a veteran infertile.  And I'm a mother.

But, you see, that's not the truth.  It's not the truth, at all.

I'm NO LONGER infertile.  I'm simply, and miraculously, a mother.

And that's an identity I'm not yet familiar with.

I don't know HOW to be TCIE, the Mother.  (I'm a professional at being TCIE the Infertile FertilityCare Coordinator and Sonographer.)

I just got promoted to the job of a lifetime, and it will take me some time to stop performing all of the job duties of my last job - that job I held for 8 years, and climbed to the top of that career ladder.

But the weird part is, I still feel a sense of obligation to my prior job, and all of the people I served through it.  And that's where my heart breaks in two.

When I announced my pregnancy to family and co-workers alike, every single one of them commented about how great it would be for my patients, clients, and blog readers to hear this news.  And every single time, I balked.  "Uhhhhh... well.... it's incredibly hard to explain.... yes, they'll be happy.  Yes, it may be a source of hope for them.  But, it won't be met without pain and sorrow."
The words I was choosing were not really being understood, however.  I just couldn't seem to find the right words to convey what, perhaps, only other infertile women would understand.

But then, I received this email response from Rebecca at The Road Home.  Her email had exactly the words I was searching for, exactly the emotions I was trying so hard to convey to the "non" infertiles in my life.  I read it to my mother.  And through her tears and nods, she responded that she understood.  She really understood.  And she would pray for Rebecca (and The Man), and for all couples still carrying this cross of infertility.
With Rebecca's permission, I will share that email response to my personal email announcement to her, here:

This might be the most honest email I've ever sent - so please feel free to ignore it.

I've wondered if I should tell you that twice last week I felt compelled to pray for you and resisted the urge to tell you I was having "good feelings" - for fear of sending you on an unnecessary roller coaster. (As having been on the receiving end recently of "good feelings" and "dreams about pregnancy" messages I realized those aren't especially helpful to receive.)

I almost emailed or texted you yesterday to vent and didn't - and only because I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me not to.

I have wondered if you realize you will SO be the story that people tell about "this one lady I know..." ;) (really, smile and giggle at it while rolling your eyes)

I will be honest and admit that I finally shed tears this evening when I read your post - tears purely for myself and not for you, and I share this ONLY because I KNOW you know what I mean. These tears that now we are different, that I am SO SO SO happy we are different, but that we are different. That the island of infertility is a little less fun because you are off it, and that I am so glad you are gone, but that I already miss you.

I miss you so much it hurts.

And I feel awful for that, because I miss you, but as much as I miss you, I am infinitely more glad you are gone from this island.

And at the same time as all of this, I see beauty.

Beauty that I know I will hit send, because I know you "get it".

Beauty that I confidently call you friend.

Beauty at what has transpired in your life and marriage in the last 12 months.

I am praying for you - that you are soon throwing up and feeling quite awful as that sweet baby takes over your life. I am praying that you are holding a sweet child in 9 months and all that follows because we both know that the sadness of infertility isn't just about a BFP, but about a life unlived. I am praying you experience every. single. second. possible. of the life that will be lived.

I am giving thanks for the healing in your marriage. And for Rob's health. All of it.

And, finally, if I may, I am asking for prayers. I began a 54-day Novena yesterday asking for God to make His will known in our lives as it relates to pursuing parenthood. There is more behind what led to that, but all that is for another day. For now, I am placing my desires at His feet and begging Him to make His plan known to me, no matter what. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared, but I am fighting it and trying to trust.

I don't know what else I want to say, just that I hope you relish and enjoy every moment of this new journey you are on. We both know it is not one that can be earned, but when it comes after such a long wait, it should be rejoiced in fully and without apology.

Life is gift. Nothing more. Nothing less.

And for that we can say, Deo gratias!

Love and prayers my dear dear friend!

I get it.  I assure you... I get it.
As do so, so many women who may be reading your words this very moment.

At times, I just cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart, feeling my baby within me, knowing there is life in a once barren womb.  But that same heart that is full of joy also breaks with compassion for my sisters in Christ who are pained by my blessing.  NOT out of jealousy.  NOT out of envy.  But out of yearning for a blessing, themselves, and not having any answers why some crosses are visibly lifted while others are not.

I get it.  I so get it.

For my dear sisters in Christ, those who are friends IRL, friends here on the blog, friends from other online sources, and even those who read and have never commented, I want you to know that I get it.  You need not explain ANYthing that you do or do not do as it relates to me or this blog in the future.  You are mothers.  Every single one of you.  Your maternal hearts are what need protecting, now, and to seek others who are where you are- feel how you feel- without judgement, without drama.

To that end, I would like to share here a group on Facebook that is specifically designed to serve your needs for support, advice, commiseration and celebration, no matter what stage of infertility you are in (even those with prior infertility).  It is a way to bridge the gap and grasp the common thread together, through our shared Catholic faith.  It is a secret group, meaning it is not searchable nor will any of your posts be "public" on your Facebook account.

To be added to the group, please email Rebecca, the group's founder, at:

Rebeccawvu02@gmail.com

To conclude, I promise to keep writing and updating in the future, as I go back to that post I wrote just before finding out I was pregnant - the post called "Acceptance" - and realize, hey, maybe I should take my own advice, eh?  My current identity is that of a pregnant mother to an unborn child.  That is my Present.  The most important thing to Accept.  While I acknowledge and accept my past infertility, and my still unknown future, I accept that I am currently with child (and will always be a mother), and embrace that blessing.

This Blessing, I (will work constantly to) Embrace, in the same way I worked to embrace my cross of the past.

God bless you all.