I will never understand this…

April marks 100 months since we started TTC. Our daughter will be 9 in June. She has been asking for a sibling for years and I would love nothing more than to give that to her. But my body is failing me. 

I hate the bitterness I feel. I hate the fear of seeing and hearing others’ pregnancy and birth announcements. But most of all, I hate the vulnerability I feel with my faith. I don’t understand why God gives me a desire and longing for children I can’t have. I don’t understand why he allows thousands of women who abort their babies abd then get pregnant, sometimes over and over again. I absolutely HATE this!

I was so hopeful that this would be our month. I started to feel symptoms earlier this week. I’ve been planning how I’d tell my husband, how we would tell our daughter, and how she would share it with everyone else. I’ve even been talking to my potential baby and rubbing my belly. I was so sure there was life inside of me!

Instead, today is CD1. I feel absolutely devastated. I feel like I’ve lost my child who was already alive in my heart. 

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Cancer Scare

I know so many people who have been touched by cancer. It seems to be everywhere! And yet when I my doctor brought up the possibility that it might be what I was dealing with, I was shocked!

My doctor told me the Monday before Christmas that I needed surgery as soon as possible. He said that if it wasn’t the week before Christmas, he would do it sooner. He said that he my bleeding, the bloodwork, and the ultrasound caused him to be very concerned that I had endometrial cancer. Then he started talking about treatment, a gynecological oncologist, and other things that I never really heard…

To be honest, my bigger concern at first was, what if I have to have a hysterectomy! Physically that would be difficult. Emotionally it would be devastating! Then, I started to try to figure out how I would deal with it…logistically. Who would do the wife/mom stuff that I take care of? Who would teach my students? Everything was just so overwhelming!

My family and friends all began to storm heaven with their prayers. I couldn’t believe the sense of relief that I felt because of their prayers! I felt that even if I did have cancer, everything would be fine.

On the day of my surgery, I was calm and prepared for whatever God had planned for me. Everything went very well. The doctor told my husband that what they had seen on the ultrasound was not there! There was still bleeding and a thick endometrium lining, but nothing like he had seen from the previous images. He said that everything looked good and a few days later, the biopsy confirmed that everything was normal.

Last week, I went in for my post-op follow up. Again, my doctor said that given my bleeding, bloodwork, and ultrasound, he thought he was going to AT LEAST see pre-cancer cells.  What a sense of relief for all of us.

I know that God ALWAYS answers our prayers. Sometimes we don’t get the answer we want, but all prayers are answered. I’m so grateful that in this case, God’s answer was what we prayed for.

But, I’m also wondering, why me? Why was I the lucky one? I almost have a sense of guilt about it. So, I am currently saying a Novena to St. Peregrine for those fighting cancer. I’m also offering up any worry about my fertility with the hopes that it will give someone the peace they need. (I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to worry, but I’m really going to try to put it on the back burner for at least the next nine days to focus on this novena.)

If you’re interested in joining me, click the link.

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Happy New Year – 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything because life has become very busy. While we continue to wait for an addition to our family, I went back to work full time. I took a position as a resource teacher at my daughter’s school. After being a classroom teacher for 12 years, this new position has been a nice change. I still get to teach several middle school classes focusing on reading comprehension, executive functioning, and study skills. But, most of my work is with students 1:1 or in small groups. I LOVE it!

I also love teaching because it affords me the opportunity to be off with my daughter during her breaks and the summer. I always want my first vocation to be to my family as wife and mother.

On the fertility front, or lack thereof, I’m starting fresh. I turned 39 last week. I’ve had some very unusual cycles since August. Yesterday, the last day of 2014, I had surgery. The purpose was to stop my heavy bleeding since mid-November and to check for endometrial cancer. My doctor did a D&C, a hysteroscopy, and a biopsy. The preliminary results look good, but we’ll get an official report from the pathologist in a few days.

I’ll be honest, this all had me in a tizzy last week. But, our family and friends surrounded us in their prayers and by the time we went in yesterday, I was as calm as a cucumber. My husband, not so much, but he didn’t show it…just filled me in after all was finished.

In some ways, it couldn’t have come at a better time. We get to start a new year with a clean slate. We’re hoping and praying we can start fresh. Between getting my cycle back on track, working on weight loss, and giving it all to God, I’m hoping that this will be our year.

My New Years resolution for this blog is to update weekly. Even if no one reads it, it is important for me to journal. I’m hoping it will help me to stay on the positive path during this journey.

Happy New Year and many blessings to all of you!

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Good reads…

I randomly came across two articles today. I wasn’t searching for either, but both touched me so I’m sharing both.

The first is from a blog that I follow called Chasing Rainbows. It can be found here

The second is from Life News. I felt like I could gave written it myself. It can be found here

Despite my bitter mood at the moment, I’m ever the optimist so I wish you all babies in 2014. Love and prayers!!

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Brokenhearted

This week has been a tough one.  I’ve been having “normal” cycles for the past few months.  Around the time my period was due, I started to feel some signs of pregnancy – queasy, dizzy, and very tired.  Then, the period never came.  I was soooo hopeful, but now 17 late and four negative pregnancy tests, I’m feeling heartbroken!

I don’t know how to deal with all of the emotions I’m feeling right now.  Is it crazy to grieve a hope?  Is it time to move on?  Am I missing God’s answer because it isn’t the answer I want?  I just don’t know what to do or where to go from here.

After work this morning, I went to mass and then to the adoration chapel.  I prayed and prayed, not only for a baby, but for answers.  I felt like Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-16), pleading with God for a child. Every picture, every song, everything seems to be breaking my heart right now.

Last night, my beautiful miracle child brought home a religion sheet from school.  They were talking about the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe yesterday and she learned the words our Blessed Mother said to Juan Deigo:

Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you.

Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance;

Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain.

Do not allow those who hate my Son turn you away from Him;

Be steadfast; your reward in Heaven will be great.

I am really trying to let these words sink into my soul.  I am trying to trust God and His will for me and for our family.  I feel like I’m failing in my endeavors.

December 11, 2013 , 2:41 pm Acceptance HERNDON, VA 20171
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Bloom Where Your Planted

Some days you have to take infertility and deal with a little bit differently than normal. Today, I got up and got Sweet Pea ready for school. I read my reflections for the day and did my Bible study and I decided it’s time to go back to bed.

Hubby is very supportive of this, in fact he suggested that I sleep all day. I don’t know that I’ll sleep all day but I do need to take some time to relax and heal and deal because yesterday was a tough one. And today is feeling like more of the same.

I haven’t mastered the emotions of infertility. Most days I mask my feelings because I don’t want other people to have to deal with my emotions. But some days I have to feel it all. Today is one of those days that I need to feel the sadness, anger, grief, and heartache of infertility.

Today, I’m going to try to refresh, recenter, and regain my strength. I’m going to bloom where I’m planted. In bed.

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Is everyone pregnant but me?

Do you ever have one of those weeks when there are multiple baby announcements?  It’s one of those weeks.  Baby born on Saturday.  Baby born on Sunday.  Baby announcement on Monday.  AND IT’S ONLY MONDAY!!  Can I just crawl into a hole this week?

Every baby is a gift!  Every baby is a blessing!  And because of that, I want to share in each family’s joy when they announce the addition.  I’m supposed to be happy for everyone else, and I am, sort of.  BUT, I’m also really, really jealous.  And I HATE feeling jealous!

Feeling jealous makes me feel like there is no hope.  Feeling jealous makes me feel like I’m resigned to the fact that there won’t ever be another baby announcement from me.  And feeling jealous makes me feel like I’m lying to the world because I’m not the happy person that I want everyone to see.

So, today I cried, and bitched, and cried some more.  And now, at 7:40, I’m going to bed, because jealousy is exhausting!  

 

 

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The Gift of Siblings

Hubby and I were both blessed to grow up with siblings.  I am the oldest of 8 and Hubby is the middle of 3.  We both continue to be close with our siblings and appreciate the wonderful relationships we have with each of them. 

I NEVER imagined that my child wouldn’t experience the same.  In fact, I never imagined having to say, “my child” for more than 2 years because I always believed that we would have our children one after the other.  

Each year I count the age gap between Sweet Pea and any future children we may be blessed to call our own.  It worries me.  If we have more children, will they get along?  Will they bond?  Will they have a close relationship despite the age gap?  In my heart, I believe they will be absolutely fine, but that nagging feeling in the back of my head still worries.

Sweet Pea asks almost daily when she’ll get to be a big sister.  This child is not only a desire for Hubby and me, it is for our family.  Lately, I feel like I’m failing her because my body won’t give her what Hubby and I were, and continue to be, so very blessed to have.  

I hope and pray that one day, Sweet Pea will know the gift of a sibling (or siblings).  I know that she will be a loving, caring, protecting, and probably bossy, big sister.  God has blessed her with so many wonderful gifts to share.  May he give her the gift of a sibling as well.

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A New Day

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  While some find this season in the church to be barren and dismal, I find it to be a season of renewal and hope.  It is a time where we put aside our desires and focus on God’s will for us.  When we think of giving up something, it sounds like a loss.  But when we put the emphasis on God’s will, it is a gain that we cannot begin to measure.

So, this year, for Lent, I’m giving up the control that I want so badly to have (but I don’t) and putting myself into God’s very able hands.  My focus for the next 40 days is my physical, mental, spriritual, and emotional health.  I could say I’m giving up certain foods and activities, but I’m looking at it from a different perspective.  I’m choose to eat foods and do things that are better for my health.

 

In preparation for Lent, I read a book titled Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind and today the cleansing begins. This isn’t just a physical endeavor, it is a sprititual journey too. It is a 30-day cleanse, but I plan to make most of it a lifestyle upon completion. During Lent, I’m also reading more about nutrition and fertility so I can do everything I can to make my body prepared for a child. I hope and pray that God’s will for our family is for more children.

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Pregnancy with Sweet Pea

Like calling my husband “Hubby,” I’ve opted to refer to my daughter as “Sweet Pea” which is a nickname we’ve used for her since she was born.

Our little Sweet Pea made me something I have wanted to be for as long as I can remember – a MOM!  The journey to parenthood came quickly.  Just three months after our wedding, hubby and I found out I was pregnant.  We were ecstatic!!

From the beginning, we couldn’t keep it a secret.  Hubby and I called our parents the night we found out who shared in our joy!!  The next day we told our siblings and then we couldn’t wait to tell the rest of our family and friends.  I even shared it with my students by the end of the week.

My pregnancy was so exciting!  I loved feeling every movement and cherished each time I felt Sweet Pea respond to me.  We were head over heels in love with her long before we saw or held her.  She was our dream come true!

A few highlights from my pregnancy.  Hubby and I went back an forth about whether or not to find out the gender of the baby.  I was leaning toward waiting, but I’m glad that I ultimately gave in to Hubby.

Initially, I was thinking we were having a girl.  But my mom, a mother of 8, was convinced it was a boy and since mother knows best, I started to think she was right. 🙂  When the day came for the ultrasound, I was sure I was going to hear, “It’s a boy!”  But, things didn’t go as we expected them too.  Our little one was being very modest and we for a while we thought we might not get to find out.  After some position changes, drinking water, and prodding, baby finally turned and moved her legs…”It’s a girl!” was the announcement. (We hope she is always as modest as she was that day and keeps her legs crossed until she’s married herself).

I immediately started picturing life with a daughter.  I thought of all of the dresses and dolls I’d buy for her and the relationship we’d have.  I was tickled pink!  Hubby was a little taken aback.  It wasn’t because he was disappointed in having a daughter, but because he realized that this would be his little girl.  Without a second thought, he announced, “I better start cleaning my guns!”  The ultrasound tech and I laughed, but he was serious.  He knew in that moment that he would do anything and everything he could to protect his daughter!  And he has.  She is definitely Daddy’s Little Princess!!

A few weeks later, I woke up in the middle of the night with terrible pains down my side and in my lower back.  I was sure I was having contractions, but at only 5 1/2 months, I knew it was way too soon.  Hubby drove me to the hospital where I was admitted to the labor/delivery floor.  Almost immediately, I was connected to wire and monitors only to find out I wasn’t having contractions.  But, the pain was very real so the doctors started dong other tests.  Kidney stones.  Apparently, they don’t give epidurals for kidney stones, but I was so relieved that the pain seemed to bother me less.  They were able to give me some medication that was safe for me and Sweet Pea and a few days later I was back to normal.

One final pregnancy note for now…cravings.  I couldn’t get enough mango and pineapple when I was pregnant.  Chocolate didn’t tempt me at all, but fruit was my best friend!  Hubby even made a few trips to the grocery store late at night – what a guy!

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