8.28.2013

Clinging

I've reread my last post 3 times in the last 2 days.

If I was celebrating hope 10 days ago, I am clinging to it. Clinging to that feeling. But feeling it start to slip away.

It is P+11 and everything points to AF arriving, just in time to try and ruin the first football game of the year.

Those feelings of hope, of being alive, they are waning. Reality is setting in, this was our last cycle before marking 3 years of TTC.

And then, I'm minding my own business on FB (ha!) and I see that the lady from church (who I've written about before that I reached out to and never even acknowledged that her pregnancy could cause pain, in fact she complained about it to my face a couple of times) asked the parents of our first goddaughter to be her daughter's godparents. Ok, I realize that's a little confusing to follow. But she updates FB all the time - usually complaining about something related to motherhood (I know being a mom is not all sunshine and roses, but maybe, just maybe a cheerful post every now and then...) and tonight she posted about a play-date they all had together.  Ahem, anyway...

At first I was all jealous that she had asked K & E to be godparents, I was all territorial and wondered why she couldn't get her own friends. And then, I realized what the real problem was. Because, as I've said before, while the post was the trigger, the emotions are about my pain.

Yep, on this day of clinging to hope instead of celebrating it, this FB post was a reminder of what I'm missing out on. Play dates and mommy-talk and fitting in and all of it.

I'm trying hard to pray for this lady. To be grateful for her sweet daughter. And to offer up this feeling of loss for her. I don't say that to be all "look how holy I am," please don't misunderstand. I say it because if I put it here, then at least I've done it once At least I'm trying. I'm going to fail way more than I'm going to succeed, but I will try.

As a friend said tonight, I'm great at "forgetting to Fiat", so this is my reminder to myself to say "Let it be" as I cling.

8.19.2013

Celebrating Hope

I've written about Hope before, many times. Most recently, I said this:

I have also found that hope, even when unrealized, is good for the soul. It brings life and light to fear and darkness. At least that is my experience. I've learned to let myself ride the hope wave (while being realistic) and to accept the crashing that comes with it - for even in the crash of waves there is beauty, sometimes it just hurts.

As it is the beginning of another 2WW, I find myself feeling full of hope, however unrealistic it might be. I will admit it is spurred on by an unusually healthy looking luteal phase last cycle (unmedicated) and some good timing this month.

I went to Mass at Fr. D's parish on Thursday for the Solemnity of the Assumption. I have "issues" with Marian feast days, though I am getting better, but I knew I was in a safe place being at his parish and it worked out well for my travel plans too. 

And yet, the first words of his homily brought the tears. The tears I wasn't expecting.

Today, we celebrate hope.

It was how he began to explain what the Feast of the Assumption is about. It is the hope in the promise of the resurrection of our bodies, of our union with Christ. And it is Mary's faithfulness that we are to follow. Her assumption gives us hope.

Even in the gospel (Luke 11:27-28):


While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed." He replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

Jesus points out that it is the faith of his mother (blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it) that is more worthy than the physical fertility of her. There are days that I would have shut down at the end of the first sentence, completely missing the second part. I would have been fixated on "womb that carried you" and "breasts at which you nursed" and completely missed what Jesus says. But now, it gave me hope and reminded me that fertility is not just physical.

And so, as Fr. D continued, I found myself going back to his very first sentence:

Today, we celebrate hope.

And my past thoughts about hope came to the surface, especially what I said above about bringing life and light to fear and beauty even in the pain when hope is not realized.

From this, I realized that while I do think it is important to share the struggles and pains of infertility, there are times when, for good reason or not, there is hope. Hope that there will be a miracle. Hope that a baby will someday call me "mom."

Just like with physical fertility, these hopes ultimately point to that greatest hope of heaven. So, to only ever share the hard times here would be like only sharing in Jesus time on the cross and not in His resurrection. And while I am keenly aware that these days of hope are likely short-lived (say, 2 weeks), without them, the pain of CD1, of my cross would be too much to bear.

For the sake of the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross. ~Hebrews 12:2

These moments of hope that defy logic, they are glimpses of the joy that lay before us. 

It is in these moments of hope that I feel most alive; in these moments when the pain of CD1 seems so far away; in these moments when I truly believe and trust that God can heal our infertility.

So today, I celebrate hope.

8.12.2013

Updates

As I was doing my quick takes on Friday, I realized there was so much I hadn't written about - yikes!

So, in list format, here are some updates:

1. My 3rd godchild was baptized Aug. 4. The Man and I are working on a wall gallery for our house to display pictures of our godchildren, I can't wait until it's finished. Maybe before the first one graduates from high school I will post a picture of it here. For now, here is a photo of me, Ella, and her mom:


2. My Nan had major surgery again on Aug. 6. As of this writing, she is recovering well, but has a long road ahead of her. It's so hard seeing her walk in to surgery making jokes and in great spirits and coming out unable to walk across a room without help. Unfortunately the surgery was necessary as she continued to have bowel blockages caused by hernias and the bowel blockages are extremely dangerous should her intestine rupture. We are praying that she recovers well and gains some quality of life.

3. Since I'm on the topic of surgery, I'll say that both Sara and my Dad are doing awesome! Sara is training for a marathon; my dad and I enjoyed a trip to Cedar Point with my little brother and ran all over the park riding coaster after coaster. Truly grateful for answered prayers!

4. I'm starting grad school in a couple of weeks. Why yes, I have lost my mind. As I've been getting ready, I will admit I've wondered what in the world I was thinking while at the same time being super excited. I'm getting a Master's Degree in Theology with a Concentration in Moral Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. It's a distance learning program, so that means lots of on-line work and having to pace myself. Have I ever mentioned what a great procrastinator I am? Prayers are appreciated!

5. This weekend I am off to Mahoment, Illinois (read: small town, USA) for a half-marathon, but more importantly a girls' weekend with Michelle and Sarah, and hopefully Katie! I'm picking Sarah up on my way through Indianapolis and having dinner with my Indianapolis friends, Jenny, and three other ladies! Seriously, I think I have more IRL friends in Indianapolis than I do in Morgantown. Ha!

6. A couple of weeks ago I got to hang out with Ecce Fiat at a conference we were at together and on Saturday we went for custard at Ted Drewes and to see Les Mis at the Muny (an outdoor theater in St. Louis). It was awesome. Before I knew you weren't allowed to take pictures at all, I got this one:



7. The Man and I spent a week at the beach last month. I'm not sure a week of relaxation and doing ab.so.lute.ly. nothing was needed more. Well, The Man did build a sandcastle for my friend's daughter. Here they are sitting in the castle, please notice Sara is on her throne and The Man is on a regular seat ;). We've already booked our house for next year!



6. Football season starts soon. Yes, I know I mentioned this on Friday, but...well, do you really need an explanation at this point? :)

7. We also had a busy weekend this weekend. On Saturday Stephanie  hosted a great cookout for fellow IFers. I said it was the best kind of cookout to get an invite to: the desserts were all gluten-free and there weren't children everywhere! (Yes, I realize there is a degree of "that's just sad" in that statement, but seriously, after my work picnic a couple of weeks ago, I SO needed this. It was also great to have Lora and her DH spend the night with us.

8. Finally, yesterday after Mass, we packed up Mei Mei and went to visit Fr. DeViese and Maximus for a puppy plate date and dinner. Fr. DeViese made homemade noodles for he and The Man to eat and homemade sauce (I had gluten-free pasta, but I did have the homemade sauce and taste the noodles). It was awesome! The pups had a great time as well. I wish I'd taken some video of them chasing and playing in the field, but I was too busy running around with them. Here they are just before collapsing into two giant heaps (a puppy play date just isn't complete without Mary watching over you!):

9. I also recently had another appointment with Fr. D for spiritual direction. He challenged me once again and left me with so much to think and pray about and reflect upon. It was helpful and really helped The Man and I to make decisions regarding what comes next. I'll blog more about it when I can wrap my head around it a bit better, but I will be calling Dr. D. to schedule an appointment and will likely be having a second surgery later this year.

Well, I think that's all that is new and has been going on. Have a great Monday and an even better week!

8.09.2013

Quick Takes: Pinterest Edition

I thought I'd share 7 pins I'm loving today with some thoughts about each one. You can follow me on Pinterest here if you'd like. (All pins link to their source or at least their spot on Pinterest.)

1.


As I'm training for my marathon (14 miles to run this weekend, *gulp* that's a new distance record), I really am learning that it is much more mental than physical. I've been drained lately with so much going on that the mental really is tough. This gave me perspective, reminded me that it will all be worth it but that it won't be, nor should it be, easy.

2.


As I find myself beginning grad school (yeesh, I feel like I could do a whole 'nother quick takes on updates) to study theology, I want to remember this. It is the love affair that drew me back home to the Catholic Church and is what will lead other to Her. Keeping the connection between my head and heart open is so important - in both directions.


3.



Yea. I love everything about this.

4.

The first time I read this it took my breath away because it summed up infertility so well. The day to day inability to mend coupled with the CD1s and not enough time to grieve before having to start the next cycle of trying. I find myself so often just wanting more time. I'm not sure there is enough time in the world though.

5.

I am so grateful The Man wants to understand me. I've been all over the place lately - emotionally and literally with travel - but he remains patient, forgiving, and tries to understand.

6.
I love elephants. I love this.

7.
Football season is less than a month away! I am so ready. My hopes are very low for this season, but I'm ready to let it play out on the field!

Have a great weekend and be sure to visit Jen for more Quick Takes!

8.01.2013

But.

This time last year I was having chest pains almost daily and I knew they were related to stress and anxiety. I knew I was going on retreat in the middle of the month and I was desperate for something. I didn't even know what, I just knew I needed something.

The year that has followed, well, let's just say in so many ways my head and heart are still spinning. Still processing. Still wondering.

I see the beautiful story God has been weaving.

I see the healing.

I see how He is using me.

I am humbled.

I am honored.

I feel like He has given me so many answers to the questions I had.

I feel like He has answered my prayer for grace in ways beyond my wildest imagination.

But.

I am no less sad.

I feel no less left behind.

My heart doesn't hurt any less.

The 3 pregnancy announcements in the last week coupled with CD1 today still bring me to tears.

I wonder if I am being ungrateful. If I am taking the gifts He has given me and tossing them aside.

And, it is now August. Because Dr. D schedules so far out, it is now time to decide if we schedule surgery for November and get back on the TTC roller coaster or if we really are done.

There is so much more and there is nothing else.