Why I Need Your Stories

There has been so much happy pregnancy-and-adoption-related news on the blogs lately. It is to be expected in a world of women posting about TTC and their struggles and their hopes and prayers.

And then Jenny had this to say about why she's been so quiet (I'd been wondering what was going on :)!). And, I think, her honesty and her vulnerability reminds us all why we love this community so much. It is the ONE place we can come and be ourselves. Share how we really feel and receive encouragement and prayers.

But, Jenny is also right. For so many of us (and frankly for so many of you who have been waiting so much longer than me), these posts about babies and pregnancy can hurt. I also agree that very often I look forward to reading about those who have crossed over and their journeys. It is a great source of hope many days. I love reading joy in places where there was hurt and sorrow, it is proof of the resurrection; proof that the cross is not the end.

Other times though, it is just too much. For me, this week, it was all too much. CD1 arrived, a first grandbaby was born to the person in the cube beside me, I gave an interview (general, not personal, but still) about Infertility Awareness Week, lots of baby-joy in blogland, and I realized that no, I will still not be pregnant when I turn 33 in a couple of weeks. It has been one of those weeks where all of the things I want seemed to be so much greater and louder than all of the things I have.

And on Jenny's post, TCIE said it all so beautifully (much better than I could ever dream of), but this part was what said most closely to what I was thinking at the time: "when they know they cannot handle more, they will make the choice not to read." Yes! That is exactly what I do. When I know that I'm at my breaking point, when I can't read or hear one more word about babies or pregnancy or children, I choose not to read. I star the post in my reader and I come back to it, because I know that given a few days, a glass of wine, and some more balanced hormones I will want to read about the joy. I will want to have my hope restored. Most importantly, I will want to celebrate with you; to pray with you; and to remain connected.

So friends, you who have passed over, who are sharing about your journeys, please keep writing. Yes, some days it will be too painful to read, but other days it is the best medicine there is. Please understand that if I don't comment for a few days it has everything to do with me and nothing to do with you. If I've learned nothing else on this road, it is that what I feel today will most likely change within a week; that the emotions I can't fathom ever having again (be it joy or sorrow) will come back and the cycle will continue. I need your stories of hope, of joy, of success to encourage me just as badly as I need the stories of sadness, frustration, and fear to let me know I'm not alone.


Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:
  • An understanding boss (I'm 4 - 4 on being late this week).
  • Holy week is next week!
  • Green - everywhere! The grass, the trees, everything is all nice and green and alive again (or getting there). Yay Spring.
  • All of your encouragement and prayers from my last post - thank-you.
What are you thankful for this week?


Not Surprised.

Today should be P + 12, but instead it is CD1.

I'm not surprised. It still hurts, but really, it probably shouldn't. Oh, hope, you are a cruel temptress.

Truthfully, it's been a rough month.

Because of my work schedule and general life & marriage stresses, we were only able to use one "good" day, and it wasn't a "best" day, so I didn't really have high hopes for this month Though the hope is always there isn't it? I mean really, people get pregnant on less-than-perfect-days all the time right? Oh yea, they are fertile-mertiles, not IFers.

Then, combined with my piss-poor attitude about only using one "good" day and the whole "no BB and no headaches" last month, I kinda decided that I wanted to see if removing the endo from my ovaries would help with progesterone production and didn't take my P+3 - 12 prometrium this month either.

Still no brown bleeding, but an 11-day luteal phase is exactly what I did before surgery, so obviously that progesterone support is still needed. *sigh*

So yea. It's CD1. I'm not surprised. And yet, somehow a little tiny piece of me died again with the sight of the red on the toilet paper this morning.

I wish I had some sort of beautiful, Lenten reflection to go with this depressing update. I don't.

I feel the anger coming back. And if it weren't for a good conversation with The Man on Sunday night in which we worked out some stresses we'd both been having, I'm pretty sure I'd be in a much worse state than I am. So I am grateful for that.

I'm ready for Holy Week. I'm ready for the dark and sadness of Good Friday. And I sure hope that I find some joy on Easter. There is that whole resurrection thing to look forward to, right?


Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

  • Awesome weather.
  • A few days off, I still have lots to do around the house, but I don't have to go into the office.
  • A neighbor who mowed our lawn and did the weed-whacking.
What are you thankful for this week?


Music Monday - Our Song

Katie at NFP and Me asked: What song did you first dance to as husband and wife?

We chose the Bob Dylan song "Emotionally Yours." I shared how it became our song here. And today, almost 8 years later, as soon as I hear the first few notes, I'm taken back to the moment we shared our first dance. It is one of the "guaranteed to make me smile" things in my life.


Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for

  • Beautiful March Weather.
  • Open windows.
  • Wi-fi.
  • Iced Tea.
  • My DVR.
  • Getting The Man's car back all fixed.
  • Insurance.
What are you thankful for this week?




It's been 2 months almost to the day since I last went for a run. And it is less than 2 months until the Pittsburgh 5k.

A week or so ago I'd gone for a {very hilly} walk and was very worried about how out of shape I seemed. Huffing and puffing during a walk was something I'd not done in a couple of years.

So, when I slipped into my running shoes and headed for the trail in Wheeling (with my boss - no pressure there) I was a little nervous as she proudly announced we were somewhere in week 6 of the C25K program, which meant a 5 minute run and an 8 minute run.

To make this story short. I made it. AND I was pleasantly surprised with how out-of-shape-I-wasn't. My boss reminded me that those hills we walked were big, steep hills (and they were) and I fel better.

And the weather? A.ma.zing.

It was just the good start I needed to getting back out there.

I admit, I've dragged my feet. I've made excuses to not go before yesterday. And I've hoped. I hoped that I would have a big, but actually tiny, reason to take it easy and maybe focus on walks with my pups rather than runs.

But I don't.

So, I stopped straddling the fence of "what if I'm pregnant" and put both feet back on the side of the life I have now. And I ran. And it was so needed.

I didn't run far. Or fast. (not that I'm every fast) But what I did do, was just what I needed.

Seriously. Why does it take me so. darn. long. to figure out what I need to do? Maybe someday I'll have an answer.

Today, I'm going to rejoice in the fact that my widget moved from 411 to 414 and I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other.


Monday Mumbles


1. It's Monday and it's time for Mumbles again (don't forget to visit TOOJE) because I still can't resist having that cute penguin on my blog :). I do have two sweet pups who would argue they should be front and center, you know, if they could talk, so I may have to do a post all for them some day soon.

2. I went to the Mid-Atlantic Congress for Pastoral Leadership this past week. In addition to all of the conference-y stuff being awesome, I got to attend Mass said by a Cardinal (O'Brien of Baltimore) for the first time ever. If you follow me on twitter, you know I was indeed extra holy after the experience - ha!

3.  Due to the conference, I am woefully behind on my blog reading. I think my reader had 70 unread posts in it this morning, and that doesn't count the few that I've read but starred to go back to. Ugh, I'm not sure I'll fully catch up so please accept my apology in advance if I've missed commenting on something important.

4. I've finally figured out some time to get back into my exercise-grove. (It's a good thing, because the Pittsburgh 5K isn't going to wait for me!) Let's hope the weather cooperates and I can stick to my plan.

5. Good news: WVU made the "Big Dance" and plays in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

6. Better news: The first round is in Pittsburgh! (Just under 2 hours away :)). (I won't be going, but love that it is so close).

7. Bad news: WVU plays Gonzaga in the first round. Gonzaga always wins their first round game. It is the easiest pick I make on my Brackets - Gonzaga, First Round, win! Ugh.

8. Good, and frankly, beautiful, hilarious, and ironic news: Pitt (you, know, that team I hate) didn't make the NCAA Tournament. So, WVU will be playing IN Pitt's arena, while Pitt watches from their couches. Yep, they didn't even get an NIT invite. Ah, the sweet joy!

9. Potentially horrible news: A WVU loss in the first round, in Pittsburgh, in Pitt's arena. I really don't even want to think about this. Why does it have to be Gonzaga? Ugh!

10. I was worried I wouldn't have 10 things to say. Yay for Basketball! (Huh?!?! Did that sentence really just appear on THIS blog?!?! How many more days 'til Football Starts again? *sigh*)


Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for (all work related):

  • Morning prayer. Every day. With my boss.
  • Mass at noon at the Cathedral. Every day.
  • An unexpected encounter on Tuesday at work that led to a new friendship over all of these emotions that no one else gets. She has a sweet new baby boy, but it was so nice to get a real-life hug and be told "I understand" by someone who really does.
  • My commute. It's "my" time. Somedays the music is loud; other days it's off; and others it is replaced by a rosary or audio CD.
What are you thankful for this week?


The 98% - Three More Days!

Just a reminder that the linky for "We are the 98%" will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, March 10 - that gives you 3 days to add your share and share the linky on your post :). That's right - remember, you can share the linky on your post, just click the "get the code here" link at the bottom of the list and follow the directions :).

We are so grateful to those of you who have already shared your stories of using contraception and not knowing/following/understanding what the Catholic Church teaches. Thank-you!


To My Knees

And just like that, the comfort of the darkness of Lent washed away and I was brought to my knees with the grief of it all. Yes, I realize that at CD5, I should be feeling better, but I'm a little slow, and thick-headed, sometimes. No, I did not spend the last 5 days thinking I could be pregnant, but I did spend them so busy I barely had time to stop or think.
And then there was my prayer meeting.
And then the drive home.
And then the tears. Again.
I have been brought to tears many times since starting on this road. But this was the first time I felt physically pulled to my knees by the weight of it. Physically. I went into our spare bedroom, the room that is meant for a baby - it has the closet with the afghan made by my great-grandma; the dresser that was my godmothers and then mine; and the rocking chair and bed that belonged to my great-grandma. It even has a child's night-time prayer on the wall and a crucifix suitable for a child's room. It has everything but the baby.
These things have been moving with me since I started college.
They've had their place in another room; in another house.
Even when my words and my surface feelings were ones of not wanting children, all of the plans and signs were there. The dresser was waiting; the rocking chair eagerly accepted; the afghan taken to save for a little girl someday.
And last night, for the first time, I allowed myself to go into that room and see it. Really see it. The dresser waiting to be refinished. The rocking chair waiting for new cushions. The afghan folded neatly on the shelf in the closet. I allowed myself to really see and consider it all. And to realize how badly it hurts that it hasn't happened. That there is no guarantee it will happen.
I have spent many hours in prayer on this journey; on my knees at church, in bed, in the shower, in the car. But today, I was pulled out of the rocking chair and to my knees in the middle of a room-that-isn't.

And I saw/pictured/felt (there just isn't a "right" word) Jesus behind me. Placing a hand on my back and looking upon me with gentle eyes, full of the same hurt that I feel. Reminding me that even when it doesn't feel like it, He is with me.

I was given a journal by Alison a while back. I knew as soon as I saw it what I would use it for: Letters to the baby we are hoping and praying for. I have only written in it twice. But now I know I will write in it more. I will do it in the room that is waiting. And I will tell the story of how the Grace of God and His Beloved Son are carrying me through.

Prayer buddy, I'm offerring this all up for you. Praying that whatever part of your house is waiting is filled soon. And to my prayer buddy, you must be doing some amazing praying because that image was so real and from so outside of me and exactly what I needed...thank-you.


Monday Mumbles


1. It's Monday and it's time for Mumbles...because, seriously, how can you resist that face? So, when you're finished here, go visit TOOJE and Mumble some more :).

2. I keep forgetting to say Thank-you! to so many of you who responded to my pleas and changed your blog settings to be mobile friendly. 'Tis much easier to comment and read and I am grateful! (I made the request and posted instructions in #2 here.)

3. I am loving praying for my Prayer Buddy this Lent. Though, it's so. stinkin. hard. not to tell you who you are! Oh well, it's a fun secret to keep, and it has an expiration date. And prayer buddy, I have been offerring up all of my tears and anxiety for you.

4. The sting of CD1 doesn't last forever (thank God), but the emotions that follow in the days after, and sometimes seem delayed for me because my schedule can be so busy with so many things that require me to keep it together that I get caught off guard by some of the seemingly smallest things. 

5. Winter tried to make a resurgence in the last couple of days - Kali, silly pup that she is, has been loving it.

6. Max has been conceding that if he is going to have another furry friend to cuddle with, it's going to have to be Mei Mei. I need to keep my actual camera nearby and not just my phone to get a picture of it. 

7.  I'm getting ready to head out the door for a Magnificat Intercessory Prayer team meeting. I always add all of you to our prayer intentions, I find such peace in praying for others. Keeps me out of myself and reminds me it's not all about me.

8. Not much else sends me into a panic attack quite like someone in "my" seat - ha! You have to check out this site (just click on the picture), it's great!
9. If I don't start running, swimming, and/or biking again soon the Pittsburgh 5K is really gonna hurt. Sara has way surpassed where I'm at, which is a good thing because she has the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon to worry about, but I'm planning to join in on some of her shorter runs. Cassie has a special white dress she's getting in shape for, so we are hoping to get in one run a week together. And then I'm quite sure Kali would not be opposed to getting some one-on-one time on a leash. That should cover my run days; the pool is always waiting; and soon enough it will be warm enough for the bike!

10.  And that's about all I've got for today. Except to say that while that penguin is adorable, I'd really like spring to come back. Winter - you had your chance and you passed, it's Spring's turn. 


A Favorite Blanket

Despite knowing that the chances were low, my hopes were so high.

Despite making a few friends crazy with my refusal to POAS, I did get the directions out on P+16 eve just to be sure I'd know what to do this morning. But the need never arose.

I'd said "I'd rather a late-in-the-day arriving AF to tell me I wasn't pregnant than a negative test first thing in the morning." I got my wish.

And Lent has finally arrived in my heart. Until yesterday, I was struggling to get "into" Lent. I didn't feel penitent or prayerful, selfishly all I could feel was the hope I was fighting so hard. But yesterday morning, the promise of P+16, was too much. My hands settled on my abdomen as I showered, I considered the fact that there might actually be another little person in there. I snuggled into the hope like a comfy chair. Then, just after lunch, the darkness of Lent settled around me like a favorite blanket.

It is this dance of hope and darkness that characterizes this journey. this road. Two days ago, I couldn't fathom feeling the way I do today. I tried. I marveled at how hormones and emotions go together and how emotions I knew I would feel seemed so far away. And today, it is reversed and I wonder how it was possible I felt anything other than this darkness. This darkness that I craved; that I chastised myself for not feeling as Lent began; that reminds me my suffering is not in vain. This darkness that is lined with the promise of the light of the resurrection.

I know there is a reason for all of this. I know I may likely never know it this side of heaven. Through the tears, I see the fruits of this. Through the pain, I see the good. I feel the love of God through so many kind words and prayers sent over long and short distances. It is the kind words, the text messages and emails, the reminders that we are thought of and loved that line this blanket of darkness with the brightest Light.

It is in these days, when the comfort of my Lenten blanket overtakes the comfort of my hopeful chair. My heart is broken and embracing the chance to settle in and walk with Jesus towards Good Friday, wrapped in a favorite blanket of darkness lined with the softest love of the Body of Christ, hoping in the Resurrection of Easter.


Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:
  • All of the great posts linking up with our "98%" post. The linky will be active until March 10 (next Friday) so you have plenty of time to link up with us!
  • February Thunderstorms (I love thunderstorms!).
  • Dinner with Cassie.
What are you thankful for this week?