Category Archives: It’s not always about me

Lucky

I know I still haven’t finished Otis’ birth story (yes there is more) but things have been kinda hectic around here lately. Lets just say that going from one to two kids is not easy! But I need to take a small break from the birth story for a very special post. This post is very near and dear to my heart as it is an announcement that makes my heart burst with joy.

Those of you who have followed me for a while may recall that many years ago I developed a close relationship with another blogger, Tutti. She and I connected on a level that I never expected when we decided to meet up eons ago. She became my rock during a very dark time. We went through infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and giving up hope together. I gave up hope when I lost my 4th pregnancy, she gave up hope when she got divorced. Things changed a lot for us after that. She moved across the country and we started heading in very different paths, but we never lost our connection. She was my biggest cheerleader leading up to Muppet’s birth and never seemed to resent me finally becoming a mother when she wasn’t. I truly feel blessed to have her in my life. I treasure a picture I have of her holding Muppet when she stopped by for a brief visit. Tutti has so much strength and such an amazing attitude towards life and I am so proud to call her my friend.

I am overjoyed to announce that Tutti, my dear friend has reached the end of her journey after all these long years. On Tuesday July 23rd, she welcomed her beautiful baby into the world, a daughter whom I’ve decided to refer to as Lucky. Both mom and baby are doing well and are home enjoying their time together and with loved ones. I’m dying that I can’t be there to hold this special little girl but I’m sending her my love from across the country.  I’ve already decided that she and Otis will marry some day, whether they like it or not.

Welcome Lucky, you are truly lucky to have such an amazing mom and we are all so lucky that you have finally arrived.

name

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under BABIES!, If you're happy and you know it..., It's not always about me

#Microblog Monday: Sidelined

It is the truth that once you have kids stuff that focus’ on you (or your husband) suddenly becomes nothing more than an afterthought. Well, maybe not an afterthought, but definitely not as important as it was before.

You see, tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. The day after that is our 7th anniversary. Guess what I have done to prepare for these events…not much. I ordered a few presents for his birthday then suddenly realized how mediocre the whole thing was. I don’t want him to feel as though his birth or our anniversary is unimportant to me, because they aren’t, I’ve just been a bit distracted with Muppet’s many idiosyncrasies (another story for another time) lately.

So today I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to prepare for these events. I bought stuff to make some fun cupcakes for his office, I managed to find a few small gifts that he hadn’t requested, and I put together an idea for a simple anniversary gift. I’m exhausted. I used to be all into this kinda stuff now it has become a last-minute ordeal. I really need to work on that.

name

3 Comments

Filed under #microblogmonday, It's not always about me, Living Life, marriage

Eternal Love

Last night my Grandpa passed away. He had a very hard past few years and although it is heartbreaking to see him go, I know that he is in a better place and free of all his burden. But more importantly, he is the reason I have Muppet. The fees for her where a little higher than we anticipated and it caused us to be hesitant to show our profile to her birth mom. But we felt strongly that we need to show it to her so he graciously and without hesitation gave us the money to help us make up the difference. Without him I don’t know if things would have turned out how they did. For that I will always be eternally grateful.

I’m so glad he got to meet her. And I am so proud to be his granddaughter.

name

16 Comments

Filed under adoption, Family, Healing, It's not always about me, Motherhood

The Pain Olympics

The Pain Olympics. If the ALI community was twitter this would be the trending hash-tag. This is not a new phenomenon that has come upon us, but something that is continually a struggle in our little world. This particular wave  first caught my attention by Jjiffare. Since then there have been many insightful posts about the topic that is currently plaguing us. 

Here is the what I perceive to be the truth though, at one point or another all of us has had the thought “Well at least you haven’t…” or “I’ve dealt with more…”. We are human. Not only are we human though, we are humans going through one of the most stressful and emotional experiences that one can go through. Every day we see others achieving what we yearn so desperately for so easily and it causes us pain. I am perfectly willing to admit there was a time that I bitterly thought “Well at least some of these woman know they can get pregnant, I’ve never even had a chemical pregnancy!”. I now look at that statement in shame, but I am flawed. At least now I can recognize how truly disturbing this thought really is.

Part of the wonderful thing about blogging online is anonymity. We can say whatever is deep in our hearts and the backlash is not “real”. I think sometimes we forget that on the other side of these posts there are actual people with actual feelings, doing the same thing we are doing…trying to find some comfort. It is easy to lash out on someone online when you don’t like something they posted. It is a way for us to let out all the bitterness and anger that we hide away from people in our real lives. I’m sure most of us have had experiences where a friend or someone you know has said something insensitive or hurtful, but most of us don’t lash out at them. Instead we fight back the tears because we are afraid of showing them how damaged we really are. But if someone in the ALI community makes the same comment we immediately light the torches and tear that person down. Maybe it is because we think they should know better. But again, we need to remember, people are flawed.

So begins the Pain Olympics. Comparing your level of pain to someone elses. I’m going to be blunt and to the point here…this is not okay. I recently had an experience with a woman also dealing with infertility that I met through mutual friends. She had a miscarriage at about the same gestation as MB. I tried to connect or give a little comfort to this person, telling her that although I am by no means even close to “over it”, the pain does start to get better. Instead this woman decided to tell me that at least I was still young and would have plenty of chances to try again, that because of her age she might never have another chance. I sat there in stunned silence, because I felt attacked. How is the loss of my child any less than hers because of my age? Point blank – it isn’t.

But I don’t hold this against her. She was hurting and taking it out on me. That is okay, I’m a big girl and can handle it. I also don’t believe that my pain is more prominent because of the number of losses I have had in comparison to someone who has never suffered a loss. Our pain is different but one is not stronger than the other. My point is we all are suffering in one way or another. Maybe it is because you’ve had multiple losses, maybe it is because you’ve never been pregnant, or maybe it is because you have no more options to have a family. There are dozens of scenarios that surround infertility and each and every one of them are awful. We are all struggling and instead of comparing our pain we should be sharing our common thread. It will not take away your pain if you call someone else out. All you are doing is bringing more darkness and negativity into your own life. If you don’t like what someone else wrote or if you feel like you can’t connect with them because their journey is different from your own, I have a simple suggestion…don’t follow them. There are thousands of blogs about IF, and you have control over what you read.

Maybe this is just the hippie side of me coming out. I just hate when I read about people posting hurtful comments to someone. It really breaks my heart. We all are apart of this community for a reason…we need a way to cope through this journey and find others to help give us strength. Through this blog I have met INCREDIBLE people. I just wish we could all realize that although our paths are different, we all have one common goal. We can all get along, I believe that. We all just need to remember that the ALI community is not just an assortment of posts, but the thoughts of real people who are only seeking acceptance.

signature

11 Comments

Filed under Depression, Healing, Infertility, It's not always about me

Connection

On Christmas day I had a pretty incredible experience. You see, back at the beginning of this month I found out my cousin and his wife lost their precious twin baby girls at 22 weeks. My heart immediately broke for them. No one should ever have to know what it is like to lose a desperately wanted pregnancy, yet here was another sweet and innocent young couple that were facing just that.

I don’t see that side of my family often. I think I had been introduced to her only once and very briefly at that, but through this heartache and pain I felt a kinship with her. We gathered at our grandparents house on Christmas day, me fresh out of surgery for yet another loss, when they walked in. I stood up and embraced her. We both got teary and asked if the other was okay. I spent the majority of the visit speaking with her.

And it was amazing.

Somehow the topic of blogs got brought up (not by me) so I mentioned that I could send her a few links to those who have gone through similar losses. I also did something I have never done before, I gave her my blog address. The only other person in real life who I have allowed to read this blog is J. But I just wanted her to know that even though our journeys are very different, I get it. I understand the pain and so do many others.

The thing is, it was healing for me to connect to another person that way. I have experienced this before whenever I meet up with Tutti (who is pretty much my favorite person ever if you haven’t noticed). To be able to converse with someone face to face in such an honest and real manner, without fear of misunderstanding or judgement is liberating. To be able to express fears, frustrations, and anger.

This next year is going to be an interesting one. This time last year I remember feeling so much hope. I had just gotten my first un-medicated period since we had started trying, it was the Year of the Dragon, and I was sure it was a turning point. Little did I know. Sometimes I wish I could jump back to that more innocent me. The one who didn’t have any losses following her around. The one who was sure that once she got pregnant it would stick.

All bets are off now. The decisions we now have to face are critical. They will forever change our future and who I am. I wish I could say I had a lot of hope. Some days I do…but then something happens. A comment, or a memory, they creep up on me and psych me out. They make me feel like I am forever destined to be…this. Stagnant.

But I hold on to that connection. Knowing that I am not alone in my grief or fear. And hopefully my words were a comfort to her as well. I am not sure if she will ever read this or not. I hope this sweet girl finds a way to get through the difficult road ahead. I can hope very well for others, I’ve become very good at that. It is easier to hope for others than yourself, especially when so many times your world has come crashing down.

Tonight I remember this year. A year that has left not only me, but many others, scarred beyond recognition. This year has forever changed many of our lives. I can’t help but think of all those that had their hopes and dreams taken away this year. Tonight I’m sending all you, anyone who has experienced loss this year a big hug. Tomorrow starts a new day, and we are all still here to face it.

signature

 

13 Comments

Filed under Depression, Healing, Infertility, It's not always about me, Miscarriage, RPL

Sometimes words are not enough

Please keep my dear sweet Tami in your thoughts as she has recently found out she is going through her 3rd miscarriage this year. I wish there was something more I could say but alas, my heart is too broken for her to even try.

5 Comments

Filed under Depression, It's not always about me, Miscarriage

Swim don’t sink

Let’s get real. There have been some things floating around the blogosphere lately that have got me thinking. Heavy things but things that need to be addressed. It started with Bitter Infertiles latest podcast. If you haven’t tuned into these ladies, I highly recommend it. You will laugh, you will cry, you will shout “Hell yeah!”. It is wonderful. During their last episode the spoke about an anonymous listener who was struggling with depression after a miscarriage. She was concerned about taking anti-depression medication that had been prescribed by her doctor. As they talked about this situation I really related to all those feelings of concern, doubt, and even weakness. Then Belle made a post today addressing the situation. I have never wanted to hop through the computer screen and hug a blogger more.

I have been on anxiety / depression medication since I was 18. It started with something that is extremely hard for me to admit. I’m not sure if I have ever admitted this to anyone other than my mother. Not even J. But since I was young I have struggled with something called Trichotillomania. Basically it is where you deliberately pull out your own hair. When I was probably 11 I had no eyelashes because I pulled them all out. When I was in high school there were many times that I had to strategically part my hair a certain way in order to hide the bald spots where I had pulled out all my hair. It was just how I deal with stress. Most of the time I do not even realize I’m doing it.

Of course my parents took my to a psychologist but it didn’t work out. I kept feeling like he was trying to uncover some deep secret that made me act the way I did. But there is no cause. I had a great childhood, loving parents, and no trauma. I am just an extremely anxious/stressed out person. So they put me on medication.

It has helped. I doubt I’ll ever be “cured” but it is definitely under control. I no longer pull out my eyebrows or eyelashes and I haven’t had bald spots in years. But I still pull throughout the day. Sometimes it is only once or twice, sometimes it is much worse. Right after my D&C it was awful. I found that I was scared of myself and what I was doing. But I don’t know how to stop or how to channel my anxiousness elsewhere.

Why do I mention this? Because its real. It is who I am and something I will always have to deal with. Isn’t it embarrassing to admit this? Yes. Painfully so. My heart is pounding as I am writing all this out. I’m afraid that people won’t understand or say “why don’t you just stop doing it?”. But that, to me, is like telling an infertile to “just adopt”. I can stop about as easily as I can adopt tomorrow.

My point is we all go through things. Sometimes we are dealt with a rough hand and we have no choice but to try to cope with it. In my opinion, seeking help or medication is not a weakness. It’s a strength. To admit to someone else that you are not strong enough to deal with things on your own is not easy. People don’t like to feel weak or lose face. But by doing so we gain so much.

There have been a few times over the past 2 years that I have gotten off of my medication. The first time was when we decided to start trying. I was off my medication for 6 months. At first I did great, positive that my baby was coming and that I didn’t want to take anything that could possibly harm it. After our second round of Clomid I admitted defeat. This wasn’t going to be a walk it the park and I could feel a dark cloud constantly hovering around me. So I went back to my doctor and got back on my medication.

I stopped again when I found out I was pregnant in April. For 2 weeks I was happy but nervous. We all know how that turned out, but I was optimistic. Optimistic that it was a fluke and our take-home baby wasn’t far off, so I decided to try to stay off it. In June I started feeling down again. I made an appointment with my Dr. and got my prescription refilled. I was about to start taking it again when I found out I was again pregnant. Pure bliss. That was how I describe the next 6 weeks. I knew this was it, this was our baby finally, and I was happier than I had ever been. Then the fall. The day that still haunts my dreams. My baby was gone and I knew I would never be the same. I opened that medication bottle the next day without hesitation. I have never felt more depressed than I did during the next couple of weeks. There were times that I just didn’t want to go on anymore. But I forced myself to at least try.

I know it helps me. There are still days that I am down and rightfully so. But it also keeps me more even. I am planning on continuing my medication through my next pregnancy. My doctors are in agreement and I feel that it is for the best as I know any pregnancy I now have will be filled with nothing but panic and anxiety. For me the risk does not out-weight the benefits. I know if order to do what is best for my future baby I need to be in a good place mentally.

Do what you need to do in order to cope. The reality that we are all going through right now is not an easy one. There should never be any need to feel weak or scared to admit you need help. I’m not saying everyone should be on medication, but find what works for you. Be that RESOLVE, a therapist, running, or medication. Anything really.

I found a sense of strength in  a place I never would have imagined. In a necklace that I wear close to my heart.

Aquamarine for the baby boy that should have been born March 2nd. Blue Topaz for the unknown baby that should have been born December 16th.

At first I worried that this necklace would only cut the wounds deeper. But instead, during the day I find myself reaching up to touch the tiny birthstones and I think of my babies with happiness instead of dispar. I wish I could have known them. But now the are always near me and I think they know how much I still love them.

If you ever find yourself sinking and you don’t know if you can swim up, please don’t be afraid. Please know that you are treasured and that you deserve all the happiness that life can give you. It is never going to be easy but please try. And know there are people out there that truly understand. This journey is the hardest think I have ever been through and I have had to fight more demons than I ever thought I’d have to. But I’m determined not to let this win. I might not ever get a baby, but I won’t lose anymore of myself. I can’t let it take what makes me me away.

 

21 Comments

Filed under Depression, Healing, Infertility, It's not always about me, Living Life, Miscarriage