Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Little Recap/Update

I am going going to be completely honest with you all…I keep hoping to get more regular with my blogging but lately it's not even the time factor. I have been really down and have had a rough couple of weeks and well I didn't only want to post more Debbie downer posts and I just haven't had the heart or motivation for the lighter posts so I just didn't write. I thought you all deserved an update/recap on what has been going on with me (if you were wondering). During the next few weeks I don't know how much I will be able to post, my parents are getting in town on Sunday and then I hopefully have my surgery that Friday (more on that) and well again it's just been tough and although it feels good be able to write it all out I have realized that I have to be cautious about what I put because I don't know who is reading this and I don't want to make anyone I personally know feel bad. So enough with all that..just bear with me and hopefully I will snap out of this sometime in the near future :)

Now onto the recap/update:

Last week was a blast getting to spend Christmas with both mine and the hubs families. We decided to do sort of a destination Christmas (i.e. no one actually lived in the area that Christmas was spent). On the Sunday before Christmas we headed to San Antonio and after many plane delays for my folks all were together by 3:30am on Monday morning. It was a ton of fun getting to catch up, relax, run outside (I never though I would be so happy for that), eat and eat and eat, and shop of course. We got to check out some of the local favorites and I totally fell in love with the Alamo Café which featured homemade fresh tortillas..yum! We also got to enjoy a fabulous dinner at Fogo de Chao and now I have met my meat quota for the month :)

We stayed on base in two different "houses" and most of the time was spent in the main one where both sets of parents and my sis were staying. It had a full kitchen so we were able to eat in a few times. It was really nice because it felt like a home and we were able to do a normal Christmas complete with all the yummy food we usually make. Since we were actually flying back on Christmas day we celebrated two days before. It was so much fun but it totally threw me off because I thought that everyone had already celebrated and when we went over to a friends house on Christmas eve I was totally confused as to why they still have wrapped presents under the tree (yes I did figure it out quickly). All I have to say is celebrating Jesus' birth along with family, friends and yummy food..well what more could you ask for?!

Now I will get into the not so fun part. I think I have mentioned before but I have been working in a temp job for the past three months. When I first took the job I was told that it was going to be a three month assignment ending at the end of December. Once I got into the job I saw how much work needed to be done and there had been some talk about extending my assignment. At first I was totally excited but the more I have worked (and I love the job so it's not that) the more I realize that I don't like working full time. The hubs is always home way before me, I haven't cooked in like forever and my weekend involves getting as much housework done as I can before the work week starts again. I do realize that I am blessed to have this job and the extra money has been nice. However, with the upcoming fertility stuff I decided that I wasn't going to extend. After talking it over with my boss she convinced me to keep working part-time (20 hours) and see how that goes. It is a lot to train a new person on so I totally understand where she is coming from. I was a little hesitant but I figure since I already had the surgery all planned out and kind of knew what was coming up with the fertility, well that it might work out really well. The week before I left for Christmas was my last "full" work week and this weeks started my new schedule. It’s a trial thing on both ends and if it doesn't work out then that is fine too. All this to say, when we left for San Antonio I was feeling pretty good about everything.

That was until on Tuesday when I received a call from Dr. Female's office (my new fertility doc) saying that she has gone out on emergency medical leave and won't be back for at least 30 days. She is the only one in the practice who does the fertility stuff and they couldn't guarantee when she will be back. The nurse was really nice and said that as far as the surgery there were a couple other doctors who could do it and although they aren't specialists they have performed the surgery before. They set me up with a consultation for one of the Doctors and said that he has done the surgery many of times and has also checked tubes for blockage before (which was something they are going to do during the surgery). They want me to meet with him on Tuesday the 4th and then if I am okay with him doing it and he is able to it will still be done on Friday the 7th. However, it might have to be moved back a week or two depending on his schedule. I feel like I have been waiting for so long to start again and I didn't want to have to wait another month or more for my doctor to get back. I barley held it together on the phone and once I hung up I started bawling. I don't even know why but this set back just hit me really hard. I also started freaking out about work and the potential of having to change everything up. Even if I get the surgery done by this doctor, if mine doesn't come back in the 30 days I am going to have to find another doctor and start all over again (I am hoping to only have the surgery once). I have since talked to my work (when I got back I was ready to quit for good) but they said that they would be very flexible and it didn't matter how much I need to change my schedule as long as I got my hours in.

I am really trying to trust God with all of this but it is getting so difficult to hope the more impossible getting pregnant seems to become. I am just feeling very discouraged and honestly don't understand why it's not happening. To make matters worse I think I am going to swear off all forms of electronic communication because pregnancy announcements seem to becoming a daily trend (I'm not really going to but it is tempting). It goes back to the whole thing of being really happy for the couple(s) but is getting more and more painful to hear about. I am praying daily for God to take away my bitterness and to give me only pure joy for all my friends who are being blessed in this area.

So yeah, right now I am feeling very down and confused and broken. I am not doubting God and His power but I am having a hard time accepting his timetable. I think deep down inside I have this horrible fear that it's never going to happen and I'm just not ready to accept that yet. The hubs has been amazing because I know that this is so hard for him too. Every time he would ask me what I want for Christmas I would say a baby but I realize that isn't fair to him because he wants it just as bad as I do. We have started praying at night together about it and I know that as long as we are seeking God he will do what is best for us.

Anyways sorry for the long and kind of depressing post. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas..(with Pictures)


I meant to post this a lot sooner but this week has been a little bit hectic (and having to get an root canal in the middle of it didn’t help things much).

Tomorrow we leave to San Antonio to spend our “Christmas” a few days early with both sides of the fam :)

Since I am in the middle to packing this is going to be mostly pictures..

So get ready..

For Christmas decorations..









DSC02912 DSC02913







DSC02919 First year I have had to buy snow boots!

DSC02921 And our favorite decoration of all :)


Have a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What to say (or not to say) to an Infertile Friend


I have thought long and hard about what to write here. I want to give fair warning to anyone reading this (especially if you are going through your own fertility struggle) that this is just my opinion and what I have seen as helpful and not helpful. One key thing to understand is that each person is different, their situation is different and they handle things differently (physically and emotionally), so take what I am about to write with a grain of salt. I am finding that I am kind of a rare case (in that I often share too much about our struggles with random people) among the infertile community so my views might be different than others going through the same thing.

Okay, so enough warnings …let's get this show on the road :)

I was approached by a fellow blogger (who is not sure what to say to their friend struggling with infertility) and they asked me to address what might be good or not so good to say to a person going through this struggle. As I thought about it A LOT I began to realize that it is not really in what you say. Now that might sound confusing but hang with me and I am sure I will make sense of it. You see, as we all probably have experienced a lot of times it's not what a person says (i.e. the words used) but the feeling behind it and the way that say it that has the most impact on us. Now don't get me wrong, words can cut like a knife and I am going to address that next but first I want to talk about the "un-said" parts. You have to be willing to be flexible and really pay attention to how your friend is reacting and feeling each time you talk.

Remember, whether they are going through treatments or not, whatever is making them infertile is probably also messing with their hormones and causing their emotions to be all over the place. Your friend also has to realize that although this is very hard for them, it is okay if you don't completely understand it or say the wrong thing (see it is on both sides). Hormones are valid but they can't be a catch all excuse and if your friend is acting like they are then they might take everything you say or don't say wrong. I think one of the most helpful things that my friends and family have done is just to listen to me vent or just be with me. Sometimes I need those answers or reminders that it will happen, other times I just need to be told that this sucks and they are praying for me. To me prayer always helps and when someone lets me know they are praying for me, no matter how bad or moody I am feeling that day, it makes me feel better. Today during my devotions I read something in "Faith Deployed" that I think really speaks to this and I want to share it with you. Rebekah Benimoff states "When someone is struggling with their faith, don't say simply "Oh, God has a plan, it will all work out." Allow the person to walk through the trials so that her faith can be tested and refined. When the wound is raw, put aside your own discomfort and your own desire to have an answer, and just BE with the person."

I have found that my struggle with infertility is also a struggle with God and trusting his will. It is definably a faith strengthening time because ultimately I have to learn to completely rely on Him for the desires of my heart. Yes, we can use modern medicine and other helps or remedies but ultimately it is God that forms this life in us and he can do it with or without all the extra measures we feel are necessary. As a person going through fertility struggles and treatments it can be overwhelming and although I know deep in my heart that God has a plan, hearing others tell me that is not always the most well received in my mind. This is where your judgment comes into play (I know, but again everyone is different); if the friend you are trying to help seems to be receptive to hearing about God's plan (and even go one step further to say it themselves first) then I think reminding them gently of that is good and can help. However, if your friend is either avoiding the subject or really upset about it then a little empathy is always nice. A lot of times I just want to feel like I am accepted and understood and during those times hearing friends tell me that my feelings are valid or they feel like that too or it just plain sucks…well it helps. If you are a person that hasn't struggled with fertility, then just the act of trying to understand and even say "I don't understand but this sucks and I am always here for you to vent" can make a world of difference. When I am able to talk out my feelings with my friends or husband or mom I end up working through a lot of the frustrations I am feeling (and most of the time they are just listening). Be careful though that it doesn’t turn into a complaining fest..it is good to vent but don't go overboard. Also if they are avoiding the subject then don't talk about it. Ask them about other things in their life and things you talked about before all the fertility stuff started (it's nice to just get away from it all sometimes).

Oh and hearing success stories is nice but also make sure that you aren't going overboard because when I hear them all the time I start to get discouraged and feel that it is never going to happen to me. Again, it goes back to reading the situation, knowing your friend and acting upon what you are perceiving. Sometimes we are just more receptive than others.

I honestly believe that if you are coming to your friend with an open mind and heart, taking the time to read how they are feeling that day, and just speaking to them through your love for them, then even if you do say the "wrong" thing at that time it will be okay. If you say something and can tell right away they were hurt or didn't take it the way you meant them to then it is okay to point that out say "I'm sorry I shouldn't have said that or I didn't mean for that to come out like it did".  You also have to be willing to give them space if they need it. I know there are days where I just don't want to talk to or see anyone and having people respect that is a relief. Now if they are locking themselves away for weeks at a time then you might want to get a little concerned.

Another thing, although pride can be dangerous but it makes me feel better sometimes when my friends tell me they are proud of how I am handling everything. This is a hard subject because everyone is so different. Some people are really private about their struggles and some aren't. But letting your friend know that you don't mind talking about fertility stuff and you want to be there for them and then leaving it in their court is good.

I know that I have probably been all over the place in this post and I hope you were able to make some sense of it. I'm not an expert and this is just my own experiences talking. I know that I shared in a recent post some of the emotions that I experience on a daily and weekly basis and if you haven't read that go here and read it because that might help you understand a little more about what your friend is going through. I am sure there are about 5 million other things I could talk about here so if you have any questions for me or need additional advice please feel free to e-mail me at bakogrl at gmail dot com and I will get back to you (there is no guarantee how fast the response time will be though I will try to be quick).

Bottom line though, you are already a great friend by being concerned with their feelings and I applaud you for that. I know that it can be exhausting sometimes not knowing what to say or always talking about the same thing. Hang in there and show them love but also show them that they still have a life and it is not only about getting preggers (that tunnel vision can really kick in for them). They are lucky to have a friend like you and they need to realize that as well. And if nothing else seems to help, well just keep praying for them because God can do some crazy stuff!

I hope this helped and if not ..well thanks for reading it anyways :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Charles and Coffee just don’t Mix..

I know that I have a couple posts that I need to get my but in gear and finish (so don't dismay they are coming)! In the mean time I thought I would share with you all a nice little Charles story (since he has actually been pretty good lately and therefore not good at providing writing material). In a previous post I mentioned that we take the Charles to puppy daycare two days a week. Usually I will take the rascal and the hubs will pick him up since he gets home earlier than I do. Lately I have been noticing that the Charles has developed this bad habit of trying to climb on the center console thing and into the front seat (and we all know he is not a little guy)! He is really good about getting down when I tell him to but then something will excite him or he will get nervous and try to do it again.

Let me also point out that the Charles has no center of gravity I believe and any sudden stops or turns (or even when they are not sudden) send him flying across the back seat of the car. Kind of funny but I try to be a nice mom and not laugh too much. The Charles also likes to be petted while I drive which involves him sticking his head through the small opening by the top of my seatbelt and putting his face next to mine. As soon as I stop petting him, well he sticks his face under my arm and lifts my arm up as if to say "why are you stopping..you're not finished yet". That's about the time that I start laughing so hard I almost get in an accident (not really but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened).

So anyways, on this particular drive to puppy daycare we turn the corner onto the street where the daycare is and the Charles starts going bonkers. I try to ignore him hoping that he will calm down and we will make it to the place safely. I had been telling him the whole drive to get off the console and sit in the back. As I turn into the daycare place though, another car was turning from the opposite side of the street and although I had the right away and clearly had my blinker on, it startled me and I didn't notice that the Charles with his zero sense of graving was standing on the center console. By then it was too late and as soon as we turned his paws went sliding up to the front dash and straight into my nice hot steaming oh so yummy paper cup of coffee. I didn't realize it at first..all I felt was wet and wondered where it came from. Then the Charles started freaking out b/c hot coffee was all over his paws (which he so kindly tracked all over the back seat). To make matters worse, my open gym bag (well more like jcrew paper bag with gym clothes) was on the floor of the front seat where most of the coffee went. I took him into to puppy daycare and then I tried to clean up the car as best I could with just a few subway napkins. I managed to clean up most of the car and salvage my gym clothes and about 1/2 the coffee (luckily I had an extra paper cup at work to transfer the coffee into).

About a week later though my car still smells like coffee every time I get in it..you would think that would be nice, but well not so much. Now I am extra careful to make sure the Charles is in the back seat anytime we turn or stop :)