Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Regaining Faith

Faith is such a difficult thing to maintain when you're going through a crisis or a series of crises. I know this first-hand. I felt my faith slipping earlier this year and I did nothing to try to maintain it. I let it slip from my shoulders like an old sweater I no longer wanted to wear.

Infertility, marital stresses, spousal unemployment, changes at work and several other things led to my distress, but they were things I could have worked on. Things I could have taken responsibility for. Instead, I chose to blame God. I yelled, I ranted, I raved, I screamed, I cursed and, finally, I distrusted. I felt that the Lord should be helping. I felt like I'd been told my whole life that He would never put us through more than we could handle, He was with us always, He would carry us when we were walking through the storm. I felt like I was under more than I could handle. I felt utterly alone.

I continued to feel this way for almost 7 months. I almost completely stopped attending church. When I did go, I found fault with things said, things done. And things continued to get worse. Four cycles of Clomid failed, The Hubs continued to be unemployed, finances continued to be stressed, work got even more stressful. Yet I still failed to see this was my test.

A week ago, I had an epiphany.

I realized the problem wasn't God. The problem was me. Here I was saying I loved Him, I trusted Him, yet I blamed Him when things went wrong. I didn't stop to look at the things that had gone right in the same period of time. I didn't thank Him for The Hubs whom I had resolved some serious issues with and grown much closer to than we had been in years. I didn't thank Him for the mother I have who has been generously helping us when she could. I didn't thank Him for my being employed when so many others are not. I didn't thank Him for the roof over our head or the food in our bellies. I didn't thank Him for the love of our awesome furbabies sent to fill the void until we have our own children. I didn't thank Him for the peace I feel in small moments, untouched by reality. I didn't thank Him for still loving me even though I had given up on Him.

But things change and occassionally we're offered a beam of insight.

So here I sit today, The Hubs still unemployed, finances still stressed, still infertile, still in a stressful job situation, but with a better frame of mind, with a heart full of faith and trust. Because, no matter what life brings our way, I know we'll make it through to the other side. We may be nearly broken when we get there, but we will get there. He promised this.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friday Five - A Little Late

During my ICLW visits today, I ran across Not a Fertile Myrtle. She's a very funny lady, so go check her out! Anyway, she had posted her Friday Five, which is something I used to participate in years ago on my old blog. I used to really enjoy it, so I thought I'd give it another go! I'm a little late this week, but here goes:

1.What are the titles of the last three books you read all of?

Just Take My Heart - Mary Higgins Clark, The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards, and Strawberry Shortcake Murder - Joanna Fluke

2.What are the titles of between three and five magazines you subscribe to or used to subscribe to?

Used to subscribe to Reader's Digest and Family Circle. Would like to subscribe to People (I love that magazine!)

3.What’s on your night table?

Alarm clock, lamp, meds and BBT thermometer

4.What are the three best things that happened to you in the past seven days?

I got the grade on the first of 2 research papers back and made 98%, one of our cats had kittens and I made a break-through in the crisis of faith I've been having over the last 7 months.

5.What was your senior yearbook quote, and what would your yearbook quote be this year if there were such a thing?

I think it was something like "Enjoy life to the fullest!" and now it would be "If you want something out of life, do it now. Don't wait. Don't put it off for another day. Life is too short, so Love Big, Live Full and Pray Hard!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Show and Tell - Vol 3



About 3 years ago, The Hubs and I took a trip to Atlanta and went to the Georgia Aquarium. I remember the day well! We had such a great day! We both love sealife and had been to a couple of the larger aquariums in England, but neither of us had been to one in the States (nope, not even me! Had never been to one before going with The Hubs). So we choice the Georgia Aquarium.

I loved seeing all the fish, turtles and other creatures, but I remember being completely fascinated by the jellyfish. They were so beautiful! It just amazed me that something that was really just a blob could be so beautiful to me. I was fascinated to learn all about them. There was one photo I took that I thought was great. It shows their tentacles flowing out behind them.



There was one other photo I took that truly amazed me! I was surprised I could capture the moment like I hoped. One day, this photo will grace the walls of our home.



See what the rest of the class are up to here!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Confusing...

The Hubs' appointment today didn't go as planned. The pre-employment assessment he had to do was an ethical questionnaire. No problem, thought The Hubs. Now you should know, The Hubs is the most scrupulously ethical person I know in a professional capacity (he has had his moments personally, but I digress). So this questionnaire should have been a breeze.

However, it seems that a couple of The Hubs answers were flagged. When asked the question Have you ever been tempted to take anything from an employer? The Hubs answered yes because, he thought, who hasn't been tempted to take office supplies? He was asked what item he had been tempted to take from his employer. The Hubs answered that he couldn't think of a specific example, but he was sure he had been tempted but he never had. He also expressed that he thought this was a common occurence.

A second question Have you ever been tempted to cheat an employer in any way again earned a yes answer from The Hubs, as he figured most people had at some point in time visited a non-work related internet site. This time he was asked what he had cheated his employer out of, so he gave the aforementioned answer. We've all done this, haven't we? I know I have (in fact, I do it most days). Besides, the question was had you been tempted to cheat an employer.

The Hubs said the interviewer seemed okay with these answers, but did not send The Hubs for his drug screen. Instead, he said he would have a talk with the HR Manager (interviewer is the Operations Manager) and, if they decided to call him back, be in touch. No date to expect a call this time.

We feel that's probably it and another job opportunity is gone. Having said that, did The Hubs really want to work for a company that stressed over being tempted to do something no one would ever do? I, mean, even Jesus was tempted.

The wait continues. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Busy, Busy

Today was a blisteringly busy day at work! I didn't even have a second to look at any blogs! (One might add that I shouldn't be looking at blogs at work anyway, but that is beside the point :D) Tomorrow will be equally as busy as I am stuck in training. I really dislike training courses, but I guess it will be okay. It'll be over soon enough anyway.

Positive news from today: The Hubs got a call back from the company he interviewed with on Friday! They want him to go in tomorrow for a pre-employment assessment and, assuming that goes well, his drug test! They'll also check his visa to verify his eligibility to work in the US (he's been here almost 4 years and had 2 jobs, so this shouldn't be a problem). So, as long as the assessment goes well, he'll be back in work soon (praying, please please please!).

If that is the case, then there will be some changes happening soon, but I will go into more detail when/if it becomes necessary.

Beyond that, it's been a fairly quiet day. Hopefully tomorrow will be a big news day!

Btw, for those who are interested, our puppy still hasn't turned up. We have his siblings and mom still and we have our Isabel, but our Teddy puppy is gone. I fear we won't see him again :(

Also on CD66 with no O or AF. The long cycle continues.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Again....Ugh

It's Monday morning again. I'm not a Monday kind of girl. I really don't like starting out a new week. I should feel like its the start of something positive, but I just usually feel like its the start of another long 5 days until I have a weekend again.

I'm also a major grouch on Monday mornings. For example, this morning, while coming into the building dragging my heels and running slightly late (as usual for a Monday), I was acosted by some co-workers who were laughing and joking. My immediate reaction? Thought in my head: You people are entirely too happy for a Monday morning. Get away from me. Portrayed to said co-workers: A gritted teeth, fake smile that actually seemed to be taken as me being happy to see them and hear their laughter this early on a Monday morning. I must be a better actress than I give myself credit for.

So here we are again at the beginning of another week. I really do hope its a good news week. After the year The Hubs and I have been having, we could really do with something positive occurring. This weekend was not a good one (why do I look so forward to the weekends when they seem to disappoint me more often than not?). It started out pleasantly enough. The Hubs had a good job-hunting day on Friday, then on Saturday we slept in since normally I'm up at 6am. However, things started to take a dive on Saturday evening. We went outside to play with our dogs (in addition to Isabel who is an inside dog, we have a collie mother and 3 half-collie, half-beagle puppies outside) only to find that my dog (a sweet, loveable, adorable runt puppy who is so smart and completely stole my heart) had disappeared. Without a trace. We searched everywhere for him, but we still have found no sign of him.

As if that wasn't enough to set anyone's teeth (and heart) on edge, on Sunday we overslept and missed church. Then my brother (who has moved back in next door with my mother after the breakup of his FOURTH marriage - do I need to say more?) decided to blow up at me and threaten to hit me. And, of course, my mother (as usual) sided against me, saying I had provoked him (by asking if he had seen a pair of socks I had left at my mom's house - WTH?). I have no idea when she's ever going to make him grow up and face responsibility for his actions. So far for his entire life she has been making excuses for him and his outbursts. He's 43 years old and when he gets upset with anyone, he explodes and threatens (and often follows through) with hitting them. Then in rides our mother to the rescue to get him out of his latest bit of trouble. It truly is sickening sometimes. But, I digress.

So after an unappealing weekend, I should be quite happy to see Monday. Alas, I am not. So, I guess I should get this day underway.

One good thing about today? Its the kick-off to International Comment Leaving Week! Go get involved and visit some blogs! Spread the love! This is my first month and I'm hoping to become an Iron Commentor by visiting every participating blog.

Have a great (well, as good as it can be) Monday!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Show and Tell - Vol 2





Our dog Isabel is very funny about her toys. She loves to have toys, both stuffed and the vinyl kind. But, the reason she seems to love them is because she gets to destroy them! She loves to tear the stuffing out of the stuffed ones so that she can get to the squeaky bit and chew it up. Then she'll carry around the shell of the toy forever. The vinyl ones she just loves to chew up into bits. I don't know why she likes to do this, I just know it makes her happy and, as long as there is nothing to choke her left, I don't guess it matters that she destroys the toys.

This photo is of her with a brand new toy. It lasted approximately 2 minutes before it was ripped slightly at the end and the stuffing was all over the living room floor. She happily watched, tail wagging, while I cleaned the stuffing off the floor. She now sleeps contentedly with the canvas carcass of her latest conquest!

Like Show and Tell? See what the rest of the class are up to!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thoughts on the IF Journey

Alone.
So much alone
On this journey.

Though many go before me
And still others follow
In this journey I am alone.

Even he who walks beside me
Holding my hand down this path
Can not know my pain.
It is mine alone
As his belongs solely to him.

Though a dream shared,
A battle both have fought,
Disappointment simultaneously felt,
In this ache we are both still

Alone.


The Hubs and I were talking last night about our IF journey and how far we had come and how far we still had yet to go. We were discussing how each of us felt at this point in the journey and how we felt others might be feeling when they reached this point. These words just came to me while we were talking, so I grabbed a pen and wrote them down.

I think that, while we all share this journey, the pain is ours alone. We can't know how each individual feels. We can't know exactly how even our partner feels. Pain is such an intimate private thing. It can't be explained. It can only be felt in each person's own way.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thoughtlessness

The girl that I am covering for at work is due to deliver her twins at any moment. She is having twin boys. She did not undergo any fertility treatment to conceive her twins. She and her husband were not trying to have a baby. She told me that she had not planned on having children for several years but she wasn't upset about it. She wasn't, however, overjoyed by the turn of events. She said she would "deal with it" though. I bit my tongue to keep from telling her how lucky she really was and had no conception of her blessings.

I have to travel around our workplace several times each day to collect the information I need to do my job. Everyone is, of course, very excited about the impending birth. They also, of course, question me about how mother is doing and if the babies have been born yet. I understand their curiousity. I really do. Secretly, though, I wish they would ask our supervisor, our other co-worker, the ladies who clean, the man who repairs the copier, anyone other than me. Its like a knife cutting through me when I have to relay that she started dilating last week, that each twin weighs almost 6 lbs, that mom is on bedrest and is expected to deliver at any time. I know why this duty falls to me and I am happy for her, I just, unfairly, feel a bit resentful.

The fact that we're trying is not a secret. Everyone knows. Yet I keep hearing "don't worry", "when the time's right it will happen", "you're still very young", "you've got plenty of time", "it'll happen when you quit trying" (how this is supposed to work, I'll never know, everytime we BD I think about it!), "the Lord just doesn't think its right for you to have a child right now", "you're too young to be worrying about children" (in the same breath they're saying how great a mother my co-worker is going to be despite being 6 years younger than me), "maybe you're not meant to be a mother", "the Lord knows who needs children and who doesn't". Honestly, these comments range from thoughtless to down-right cruel. Don't they understand that none of these statements help. I would rather they just not mention it, but they feel compelled to comment on it everytime they ask about the impending birth.

Would it be rude to cover my ears and run away screaming when someone makes one of these comments?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bitterness and Jealousy

I feel really bitter today.

Lately, it seems every way I turn, someone else is pregnant. And I really am happy for them. I really wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone, but I can’t help but think why can’t that be me? I feel awful for the jealousy that engulfs me, but, short of locking myself in a room somewhere and never coming out, I don’t know how to not feel the evil green monster every time I see a baby belly or a small person.

The truly awful thing about it is that I even feel jealous of ladies who have suffered a pregnancy loss. I know that sounds horrible of me and I really, truly feel for them and wish it had not happened to them. But in the same breath I think how in six years I haven’t ever had a BFP. I’ve never seen two pink lines. I’ve never felt a flutter in my tummy that was my child moving. I’ve never felt the excitement that comes with knowing there is a life inside of you. I’ve never been able to dream of the potential held in that one little moment when it seems life is finally coming full circle. I’ve never been able to give my husband the gift of telling him he is a father. So many things I’ve never been able to do and then there is the worry. Will I ever be pregnant? Am I even able to get pregnant? What if it never happens for us? What if, for some unknown reason, we’re unable to adopt a child? Are we forever destined to be without children?

I know that by having never suffered a loss, we’ve been spared the heartbreak of having our dream within our reach and then having it snatched away. I know I don’t actually want to suffer a loss and I really do feel tremendously awful for feeling this jealousy. And I want to take this time to apologize to anyone who has suffered a loss. I honestly am not intending to make light of what you’ve suffered. I truly do ache that you’ve had to endure it. No one should have to go through something like that.

I just wonder. What if? What if I never have the opportunity to be a mom? Is that where I’m headed?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering

Eight years ago

I was sitting at my desk at the radio station where I worked with my feet propped up on the desk and reading a magazine when my co-worker rushed in and said "A plane has just hit the World Trade Center!" Our first reaction was shock and commenting on how awful it was, but we had no inkling how terrible it would actually turn out to be. His next announcement, just a little while later, was "Another plane has hit the other tower of the World Trade Center! They're saying we're under a terrorist attack!" Those words turned my blood to ice. Even now, remembering his words I feel myself shiver slightly.

It was the first time in my life I had ever felt insecure about my safety. Previously, I had always felt that we, as a country, were one of the Untouchables. Never in my lifetime had the United States experienced anything like this. The last time anything even remotely similar had happened had been Pearl Harbor, some 60 years earlier, when my dad was only a few months old! It was a feeling I will never forget.

Shortly after those first announcements, real panic set in for my family. Although we were in Georgia and well out of the path of danger, my eldest brother was not. You see, at the time he lived in Pennsylvania, but he worked in New York City. As a foreman for NYC transit, he had spoken to my mother only days previously and had told her how he would be working on the subway system near - you guessed it - the World Trade Center. We watched our televisions with bated breath as hell unfolded on the unsuspecting people who had gone into the world that cool September morning expecting nothing more than an average day, all the while my Mom was constantly phoning, phoning but unable to get through. The phone lines were jammed.

I continued working and did my on-air shift, our radio station tuned entirely to news, worry for my brother's safety eating through me the whole time. As we heard news reports come across of the casualties in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, my mind kept playing different scenarios of what may have been happening to my brother and I admit now that none of them were positive or pleasant. I worked enormously hard to keep my composure until I could finish my shift. As soon as I could legitimately leave, I quickly made my way home to be with my mom and pray.

Unlike many people that day, our story has a happy ending. After sixteen grueling hours of panic, worry, prayer and almost continuous dialing, my mom was finally able to reach my brother. By some wonderous miracle, the Lord saw fit to give my brother and most of the members of his crew the flu. Due to having only two members who were not ill, the whole team had been relieved of their duties for that day and told to be prepared to work the next day. They had all been upset to have caught the flu, but it is proof that while we may not know what the future holds, there is a higher power who knows and prepares. I thank Him so much that He saw fit to spare my brother's life and, in the same breath, I say a prayer for those who were lost that day and for those who lost their loved ones. Please know that there are those who will never forget the suffering that continues with you this day and your loss is still with us.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Finding New Projects While Waiting

CD54 today. Still no O, still no AF. The pain in my left side is back. You've gotta love PCOS. Its a bit like a game. Currently the score is body 1 - 0 mind. My body is getting cocky though. It thinks its going to win. But my mind knows better. It may be another week, it may be another month but eventually the body will give in. It always does. Until then though....

DH and I have a new project. We've decided to take the 40 Day Love Dare challenge. Today is Day 1 for us and our dare for the day is "Demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to your spouse." Really this is not a very difficult dare. We are generally very good about not being negative to one another. A few months ago it may have posed more of a problem, but these days we communicate with one another more and have a much stronger marriage for it.

The only thing that may pose a problem for my patience is that my brother is moving home today. He and his wife split up a couple of weeks ago after a short marriage (his fourth). He has bipolar disorder and had to be hospitalized after the break-up, so today is his first day out of the hospital and he'll be returning to my mom's house which is next door to ours. Now, I know this makes me sound heartless, but he and I don't get along very well so I'm praying nothing will flair up today. It would be so nice if I could materialize a way to keep things calm with him, but situations seem to always develop which sees either him or myself losing our temper. However, I am going to make a concerted effort to be more grounded this time. And whenever DH is once again employed, we can make plans to move to a new home. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Show and Tell - Vol 1



I just discovered the Show and Tell thread at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters (which I was just directed to by Maybe Baby?) and thought I would give it a go!



This photo is the last one taken of my husband, his sister (up front) and me prior to our immigration to the US. SIL lives in Liverpool and it was the first time we had ever been to her new home (she and her partner had just bought a new flat). It was only a few days before Christmas and, although the family were going to be spending Christmas in Liverpool at their home, DH and I were not going to be there because our dog couldn't go in the kennel for fear of picking up something that would make her unable to travel. She wouldn't be able to go with us because there were going to be too many unfamiliar people around her.

This was a day that really cemented a relationship for me with my SIL. Because I'm a Christian and from a conservative upbringing, I felt as though my SIL (who has a same-sex partner) felt that I was judgemental of her relationship. I wanted to make sure she understood that, as her brother's wife, I supported her and felt that she was also my sister.

This trip was also my first going around Liverpool, so SIL and her partner took us to a favorite restaurant of theirs. The meal was fantastic and the conversation was amazing. I found out loads of information about my SIL that I had never known. She relayed to DH and I some of her fears about how the family would react to her relationship (everyone already knew about it, but no one had really talked about it) and we reassured her that we were supportive.

The rest of the day was as refreshing and eye-opening as the meal. SIL and DH got reacquainted (they had been close prior to SIL moving off to university, however, they had grown apart during the years she was away) and I got to know SIL and her partner. It was an awesome day. The photo was taken as we were leaving their flat to catch the train back home.

Last year DH and I returned to England for our only visit back since we moved. Our trip was to attend the committment ceremony of SIL and her partner. It was a moving experience for all of us and I'm proud to show off a photo of their big day.

Commenting Without Engaging Brain

I am employed at a Pediatricians' office. I love my job. Working with children is very rewarding for me and I'm good at what I do. I work well with people and I am an exceptional secretary (sorry to toot my own horn, but I've been told this by many different people and I've finally come to believe it must be true). My job is good for me. However, I was recently seconded to the hospital who owns our office to cover for a colleague who is on maternity leave (to deliver her twins for whom she did not seek fertility treatment to concieve and stated to me she hadn't wanted to have for another few years - but that's another story). I enjoy working at the hospital less than I enjoy the Pediatric office.

One of the main reasons I enjoy the hospital less is the co-worker with whom I share an office. I don't think she intends to be as prickly as she is, but she manages all the same. If I ask her a question, she repeats herself several times in slightly different ways despite my acknowledging that I understand what she's saying. She acts as though I don't grasp these bits of information she's sharing with me. I find it highly agitating. An example of a recent conversation:

Me: I think we're going to have to reschedule this test. I don't have a precertification on file from the insurance, so we won't get paid if we do it without the precert. I'll call the doctor's office to schedule it for the next day and to get the precert.
Co-worker: Oh, but on that insurance we used to see them even if the precert has not yet been approved.
Me: Oh. Well, I was told by [supervisor] that we could not see them without the precert being approved first now. We didn't get paid last time this happened.
Co-worker: I'm just saying, we didn't used to have to have the precert first.
Me: I understand. However, [supervisor] said that we had to have a precert in place first. I'm going to do what I was told. I'm only filling in and I don't want to go against what I was told.
Co-worker: Yes, but I'm just saying we used to see them whether the precert had been approved or not.
Me: Yes, I get that. We don't do it that way anymore.
Co-worker: I'm just saying......

You get the picture how this conversation went. I know what she was telling me. I just find it very difficult to get through to her that I understand but had been told to do it differently.

However, the pressing conversation that has me shaking my head today went as follows:

Co-worker: These stupid people get on my nerves!
Me: Oh?
Co-worker: Yes, they come up here coughing, sneezing, running fevers....don't they know when you're sick you stay home! You don't come to a place of business to get the people who work there sick. Its selfish of them and stupid! They're showing no care for anyone else. They need to go their butts home! I don't want their sickness!
Me: {Stare blankly at Co-worker, shake my head and return to my work.}

I mean, HELLO?!?! We're a HOSPITAL for crying out loud! Where are sick people supposed to go if not to a hospital?!?! I thought it was a clear sign of her commenting before engaging her brain to think about what she was saying.

I will keep you abreast of any other {shake head} moments.

In IF related news - still no sign of AF or O. *Sigh*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Anovulatory Woes

Today is cycle day 52 for me with no sign of AF or having ovulated. I feel completely defective. I have been having a sharp, nagging pain in my left side for several days now, however I haven't had a temperature spike indicating I have ovulated, so who knows!

DH and I haven't even BD'd much because we haven't known the optimum time! I wish it didn't always feel like it was about making a baby, but we want one so badly that its difficult to try not to think of it.

I'm really at a loss as to what my next action should be. I feel we should probably call my doctor and get her advice, but I know her advice will be to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) which would be fine with me except for that pesky little fact that DH is still out of work. I guess we should just put things on hold for now (like we'd ever be able to do that!).

That's it for today. No humor, no wit, no flowery interesting stuff to read. Just me, whining.