February 24, 2015

Well That Was Strange

I have basically stopped using this blog, and removed almost all of my old posts... but they were still saved in memory of the blog. A few of them I like to refer back to periodically, but it was a pain sifting through all the other unpublished junk to find them. So I just decided to re-publish them.

I thought they'd magically reappear in the correct order, and still have the original dates on them. LOL. I guess not! So they're all up front, out of order, and way out of date.

I don't think I'm blogging again yet, but I wanted to have them out there where I could find them more easily. Huh. Weird to see them like that.

Anyway, don't be confused. These are all old posts, the most recent being almost 3 years old... and spanning back to about 6 years ago.

Answers and Encouragement

So this post will depart a bit from my usual. Feel free to read it, or not. I'm really just documenting it because this is the closest thing I have to a journal, and I don't want to forget. Might be totally boring for anyone else. And that's okay. :)

Life has been really really difficult for the last few years. Really difficult. You all know some of it, what with miscarriage, dad's cancer and death, etc. But there are a few, very large and painful problems which I don't feel free to share with people... and especially not on the freaking internet for the whole crappin world. Haha. But I think we're all that way, right? Some things are just too private. Anyway, I am NOT saying that I haven't been blessed... because I have been blessed tremendously... more than I expected or deserved to be. But that doesn't mean that my challenges aren't still... well challenging. And things have been getting worse, or at least coming to a head. (What a mental picture, eh? I think of a giant white head getting ready to pop all over my life.) I'm trying my very best to compartmentalize my life... to be happy for the happy things, and sad for the sad things... and not to let them spill over into all aspects of my life... because then I'd have to poke out my eyes and run screaming from the room. haha. I don't know if this is the BEST way to deal with problems, but it's a good coping skill for me now and keeps me sane and strong enough to keep going. It does have a big down side of shutting me down emotionally, because I just can't stand to face all of it all the time. But I figure that one day I'll just have a large nervous breakdown to make up for it, right? ;)

Anyway, lately I have been just plain old tired and discouraged and overwhelmed. Add to that pregnancy hormones, and the bed rest... which equals solitary confinement... and it's just not good. I've been trying to understand, and I've been praying a lot. Maybe this is just what life is going to be like from now on? Maybe I should just stop wanting/expecting things to change? Is this just my life now? Doing my best to work at these challenges but it's like trying to move a mountain with one of those little plastic spoons that you get with fast food. I can keep digging and working, but it doesn't really make much difference.

Last night was a bad night. I was so discouraged and overwhelmed and just plain old tired... more than tired... I was weary... physically emotionally and spiritually... just weary. I tried to pray about it, but I couldn't manaage much more than to just say "I'm too tired to do this anymore. I'm just so tired." I didn't even ask for anything or thank for anything... I just said I was tired and got into bed, expecting things to just remain as they were/are. But God doesn't give us challenges for us to change the challenge... He gives us challenges to change OURSELVES. My challenges remain this morning, but I am a different person facing them... and I hope it lasts.

I crawled into bed last night and opened a little book by Marjorie Hinckley, who is just the sweetest, most positive and uplifting lady ever. At first the things she said made me feel even more isolated. Her cheerfulness and unquenchable postivity seemed to have no place in my dark life last night. But then she made a few points that struck me... they struck me HARD. First she reminded me that "all have not every gift given unto them" and that I needed to stop comparing myself, my strengths weaknesses and gifts, with others... even with hers, as I shamefully coveted her cheerfulness. God knows who we are and He doesn't need or want me to be anyone but who I am... the BEST me I can be, but still just me... not someone else.

Next, and more profound for me, she talked about Esther. I love Esther, but then, who doesn't? She said that in our lives and challenges, instead of saying "is this what my life is going to be?" we should instead remember Mordecai's question... "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" ... The thought that the challenges I'm facing might be an assignment from God made me stop in my tracks.... She continues, "Perhaps what you are doing, whatever it is or however humble your offering, could be something that no one else could do." I think I read that line about 50 times, not kidding. I just cried and read it over and over. "However humble your offering" and my offering right now is very weak and humble, but it's enough. Just like bringing only a few loaves and fishes to feed a multitude, God will make my offering be enough... though my little plastic teaspoon isn't nearly enough to move this great mountain, yet God has promised that mountains WILL BE moved, so I keep digging.... IF this is an assignment from God, then a way WILL BE found to accomplish it. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." "Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." And "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

So if this is what my assignment in life is, then I'd better get to it and stop complaining. If God is telling me to do something, then He will provide a way for me to do it, even if it's one teaspoon at a time... it will still get done. I'm not all that different this morning, but I do feel a sense of purpose again. I was going through the motions of working through things, but was too discouraged to believe that it would make any difference. Now I feel like MY efforts might be too small to notice, but they are the small and simple things, the few loaves and fishes, which are my necessary contribution, my little offering out of which God will make a mighty miracle. Some day, it will be enough.

Thoughts on Infertility... and Trials

I've been thinking a lot about infertility the last few weeks. It probably seems strange to think about it during pregnancy. I guess it's because I'll turn 35 on Saturday and that's an ominous age for fertility. I really want more children, but will be grateful for whatever the Lord sees fit to give me.

I remember when I got pregnant with our first miracle baby, S. I thought I had "beaten" infertility. I guess I thought that once my womb had opened up and successfully delivered a baby, that was the end of all my troubles. *little laugh* That was as far ahead as I could see, just up to delivery.

So now that he is a couple WEEKS shy of being 4 years old, and I am a few DAYS shy of being 35... and I am FINALLY pregnant with my second child... I am grateful and humbled and overwhelmed. But I also have no delusion that this is the end of my infertility road. I want more children, so I will continue to struggle with infertility until the Lord directs my heart in another direction... or until the doctor forcibly removes my girly parts. Haha.

I have a good friend who also struggles with IF (infertility)... actually I have several, but I'm just talking about one here.... she already has 2 children, but she worked long and hard to get them... and she desperately wants more.... and of course the road of infertility is long and hard REGARDLESS of whether or not you've had any children previously. *I realize that's almost taboo to say inside of IF culture... it seems that most IFers feel how I did when I was pregnant with my first child... once you've had a child then you're out of the club. Which I understand, because I was once there and remember how I felt and thought... but which also leaves you more alone and without a support net as you struggle on for several more years.* Anyway, I can relate so much to my friend and can see myself *back* in her shoes in just another year. I see her often and ALWAYS my heart breaks for her silent sorrows. A sorrow that I still share, even though I'm pregnant right now. Next year I'll be back to trying again, temping, 2ww-ing, hoping for the ever illusive BFP.

I have another friend who has no problems with IF. She said to me the other day, "I wish I could give you some of my fertililty." *so cute* But I know that the Lord knows just who He wants each of us to be. He tries us with those things that will stretch us *individually* in just the right way to make us into who He wants us to be. I know there are MANY valuable lessons I've learned through my IF journey. Life is never the same after IF..... IF changes you for life... but so do many other things.

Everyone has hard struggles, and that's how it's supposed to be. I'm glad that IF has changed me, otherwise the struggle would've been in vain. God INTENDED for me to be changed by IF. God knows what I need in order to grow into the ME that He desires. IF is just another form of the refiners fire. And I am eternally grateful that He gave me not only IF, and not only children, but also other women... Sisters... who also have to endure the same challenges so that we have someone to lean on who understands. And I think that's part of the lesson too. He wants us to give, to receive, and to strengthen one another. None of us can make it alone. Sisters, we need each other.

Afterall, God is not only just refining us as individuals, but as a FAMILY. He expects us to turn to one another, and to cling to one another during our refining fire... it is ONLY in that way that He will be able to forge us together... to make us ONE... to make us into His Family. The strongest marriages, the strongest friendships, the strongest families... are NOT those who have few problems ... they are the ones who have braved the heat of the fire and clung together... they are Welded together by the power of God. If I have learned anything through this last year of miscarriage, caring for a dying parent, and holding his hand as he passed into the arms of God... I have learned that we NEED eachother..... Don't be afraid to reach out..... to comfort or to BE comforted. God wants it this way.

I am grateful for each of you who has strengthened and bouyed me up on this long journey. I wish to be able to do the same for you. Know that I think of you and pray for you. Whether you are struggling with IF or not... each of us has challenges. Job stress, family illness, death, financial woes, marital problems..... they are the fire. I pray for you, and would like to give you a glass of cool water.

I Remember Me

It's been a rough year or so. I've almost lost myself completely. I've been told that I've "lost the sparkle" in my eye and other such things. But I *think* I'm on my way back up. I'm starting to recognize myself again. Starting to laugh again. Able to smile more again. And I've started using sarcasm again, although it's been so long since I've done it no one knows how to take it. Haha. I'm getting back to the me that I know. I won't lie, I'm not quite there yet, but there are some hopeful signs. :)

Most notably, this pregnancy. I have been terrified and tight fisted over it; just sure I would have another miscarriage if I decided to relax and enjoy it. As if somehow my suffering and worrying would *help* my pregnancy? CRAZY! In the last week or so... about the time I got all that fabric... I have been able to let go of that craziness. I am pregnant now. I think it's gonna happen. And even if it doesn't, refusing to feel my joy right now won't take away the pain of losing it later. What's the old saying? "Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its troubles, it robs today of its joy." Or something like that. So POO ON YOU! to infertility and miscarriage! I am pregnant now, and I am going to revel in it and be ecstatic and giddy, and feel like a "normal" pregnant lady! This pregnancy is a gift from God, and I am going to enjoy every second of it.

And I'm going to opt for the repeat C-section. Two things really influenced me. First when I told my husband about it, I got all weepy and said something like "what's wrong with me? I can't get pregnant, then I can't stay pregnant, and when it's time to labor I can't get the thing out?" He said "You know, back in the day they had a name for women like you." I braced for the worst, just sure that some awful word like "sterile" was going to escape his lips. But he surprised me when he simply said "Dead." Haha. He said that I should be grateful there's modern medicine to help me get my children here... you know without me dying. Haha. Such a simple answer, but true. And the other reason is that I found out that if you opt for trying a vaginal delivery after c-section, they generally won't let you have an epidural. WHAT!!! Deciding to not have an epidural during labor is tantamount to deciding against novicaine during a root canal. Sure you "could" do it and prove you're tough, but WTH? *disclaimer, if your labor is only a couple of hours then it's probably not so bad, but my 28 hours of labor was a special kind of hell until I got that blessed blessed needle.*

Also, I've been invited to 2 seperate girls nights out this week! Honestly this past year has been a bit of a blur, so I may have been invited to others and have totally spaced them or just felt too emotionally frail to parade my crying arse through the world. But I am actually excited to go to these! It's so strange to actually WANT the company of other people. The first one is a dinner with a bunch of friends from high school. That should be a rip roaring good time of laughter and food. :) The second is a bunch of girls from church... most of whom I don't know because they are new... or at least are new in the past year and I haven't been able to get to know anyone. I guess with all the trauma, I just buckled down and did the basics to survive. I didn't have any extra energy or emotion for anyone or anything. I was vaguely aware of all these beautiful young girls moving in around me and thought it was nice in an abstract way. But I'm amazed that one of them actually thought of me to invite me. I think I've spoken to her one time.... for 2 seconds. Excited to get to know some new people and start living life again.... though I will be honest and say that it also scares the crap out of me. What if I'm not really ready, and someone asks me something about dad or the pregnancy and I start freakin crying in the middle of scrabble or something? Or what if I go and start to feel out of place with people who can laugh freely, and withdraw and don't know how to talk to "normal" people anymore? *sigh* Pushing those gnawing doubts out of my mind, I am very excited to start putting myself out there and trying again. Taking it slow, but still starting out. :)

And just a little update. Zofran FOR SURE gives me migraines. Bad migraines. I've been down all weekend with a monster migraine, and am not quite over it yet. So I'm done with that. But I think I'll try the Phenergen they gave me. It's supposed to make me tired, but that's better than puking. Although, no matter what I do, I almost always puke when I brush my teeth. It's the grossest thing ever. So bad that I've started only brushing my teeth in the morning. I know, gross. But have you ever had minty fresh puke breath? It's not much better. And I hate needing to clear my throat because puke got all caught in my vocal cords. GROSS. So I brush in the morning and then chew gum if I have to be in public. Hopefully it hides all signs of vomit and bad breath. If not, don't tell me, just don't stand so close. :)
Well, it was a long hard road, but it's over. Dad passed away last night surrounded by his family. He took his last breath at about 9:15pm on Wednesday night. Funeral set for next Wednesday.

Strange Blessings

So today I am thankful for how difficult this song is to sing. :) I'm supposed to sing at church on Sunday... and yesterday they changed the song I'm singing... and the new one is HARD!!! At least, it's hard if you only have a couple days to learn it and have up to performance standard. I'm SO struggling with this. Don't want to suck. But I am grateful that this song is so hard, because it's making me practice A LOT. Which is good because of 2 things... #1, it's very cathartic to bellow loud high notes all day, even if my dog is starting to howl along. And #2, it is an AMAZING song and just what I needed right now. Feeling like I should share the words....

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born
To eternal life.

-A Prayer By St. Francis of Assisi

Amazing because I've REALLY been struggling lately to know what to pray for. So many things, so many thoughts, so many angles. I don't want to push God for what I want, even though I want it SO much. I want to make sure that I'm praying for what He wants me to pray for. And THIS is a beautiful prayer.

BBT Charting Question

So, you know how you're supposed to take your temperature FIRST thing in the morning, BEFORE even getting out of bed?..... Do you think it still counts if you're reaching for the thermometer in the dark, and accidentally fall out of bed instead? :) Just curious.
Incidentally, today I am thankful that yesterday I didn't put my clothes away, but just decided to throw them on the floor. It made a nice pillow for me. Haha.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all ate yourselves sick!