The party has ended! Thank you! :)

Well, National Infertility Awareness Week is officially over, which means so is my first blog party.  I want to thank everyone who stopped by, liked, commented, or just viewed the party last week.  The party was a total success!  I met many new friends from all over the world, and I look forward to following along on all of their journeys.  

A Big Thank You

Here is a list of all the folks who commented on the party.  Please go check out their blogs and read their stories.  Some are currently struggling with infertility and others have come out on the other side, but still want to help those in the thick of it.  And some just wanted to help those who were going through hard times with a pick-me-up post or a yummy recipe.  

The Leaky Tube

Simply Said by Trina

My Beautiful Crazy

Lolly Bee’s Life

Our Greatest Desire

Natalie Vinh

Wanna Be Mama B.

Browns by Blending

Ellan Paige

 

While NIAW may be over, the battle with infertility is not.  Remember, 1 in 8 couples struggles with infertility.  It is a very real but silent disease that plagues too many people.

 I beg you…

  • If you are in the throws of it, do. NOT. give. up.   Be your advocate and share your story with others.  There are so many out there who care and are willing to help.
  • If you have fought this battle and won, HURRAY for you!  Congratulations!  Now, use what you have learned and all the strength you have gained to help others still fighting.
  • If you don’t have any experience with infertility, look around, chances are someone you know is going through it.  Keep your mind and heart open for the moment they will need YOU.

 

Most of all,  remember we all have our struggles…BE KIND.  

We are in this life together.  🙂

 

Furball Friday: A Dog’s Promise to His Infertile Mom (NIAW repost)

The Blog Party ends tomorrow evening!  It’s not too late to join!  All are welcome!  

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I am reposting my favorite post to date.  It is a poem I wrote from the perspective of a sweet dog trying to help his infertile human.

A Dog’s Promise to His Infertile Mom

Mom, I see you cry, and though I don’t know why, I feel you want me close.

On your lap I shall stay, until the tears dry away, because that’s what you need the most.

 

I listen to you speak of the soft little cheek that you would like to squeeze.

Though my face is quite furry, you don’t need to worry, you may hug me all you please.

 

I hear you sigh, as you try and try, to make your dreams come true.

When you feel defeat, I will stand at your feet, see I’m always here for you.

 

I feel your grip tighten, and my senses heighten, as we walk around the bend.

Out the corner of my eye, a baby carriage walks by.  Mom, it’s okay if our stroll needs to end.

 

I watch dad hold you tight, with all of his might, showering you with love.

With your emotions raw, I lend my paw, a sign from God up above.

 

Mom, the Lord has a plan, and I will try all I can to remind you on your way,

that when things are the worst, think of what God gave you first…

a puppy to brighten your day.

 

– By: Meghan @ Whistle while you wait blog

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Friends of the Infertile (NIAW repost)

All friends, check out my Blog Party that is going on in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week.  I have already made many new friends!  

For all those who are not infertile themselves, but know someone who is, this repost of mine is for you.  The infertile are not the only ones hurting during this journey.  We appreciate all your support.

 

Friends of the Infertile

My best friend recently asked me how our adoption is going.  Unfortunately, I had no news to share with her.  This is a conversation I have with many people, so I am used to disappointing people.  However, my friend’s response was different than I expected…

My friend knows the struggles “The Pilot” and I have been through with infertility and adoption.  She is always kind to ask how things are going, even though she knows that I would run screaming to her doorstep if I had any real news.  Normally, she commiserates with me, lets me complain, and then helps me to get my mind off it.   That is what I need. However, I never stopped to think what SHE needs.

Friend:  “Any news with adoption?”

Me: “Nope, same old, same old.  Wait and pray.”

Friend: Big sigh…”I just don’t understand.  You are a wonderful couple who will be amazing parents.  There are so many others who have kids, but are unable to take care of them.  Why doesn’t God give you a baby?”

Me:  “He will.  It just takes a WHOLE LOT of faith.”

Friend:  “Yea, honestly, I am having a hard time with that.”

 

She is having a hard time.  Our struggle is testing her faith.  And she is not the only one.

So often I focus on my own sorrow and struggles in this journey.  My pain is so raw that I have a hard time seeing past it.  I forget that I am not the only one bearing this cross.

I have had many friends and family members express their pain and frustration about our situation.  My poor mom went through 6 years of infertility herself and now is watching her daughter go through the same thing.  Every other day I learn of a new person praying for us.

So you see, this cross is not just mine or yours…so many people are having their faith tested through our cross.  We are not alone.  Maybe that is part of the reason for this difficult journey.

When our dreams come true (as I know they will), maybe more good will come from it than we originally imagined.

Maybe our cross can strengthen someone’s faith in God.

That, my friends, would be… pretty. dang. amazing. 🙂

Don’t forget to repay all those friends and family members who are praying for you.  Their faith is also being tested and they need prayers just as much as we do.

 

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Caught in a Downpour! (NIAW repost)

The National Infertility Awareness Week Blog Party is still going- join in!  It’s open to everyone!  Here is my second infertility-themed repost about a comical moment  that taught me a valuable lesson.

 

Caught in a Downpour!

Yesterday I was walking Bailey and out of nowhere it started POURING!  It was not just pouring cats and dogs…all of Noah’s Ark was pouring down on us!  We were stuck  clear on the other side of the neighborhood, so there was nothing to do but make a run for it.  And run we did…

I could not see a thing!  I have taken showers that were less wet.  About half way through, when I could see the rain was not letting up and Bailey, my Fit Bit, and I were soaked to the bone…I stopped running.  I stopped running and started to laugh…

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I laughed out loud, and I thought:

  1. Why have I never done this before?  Playing in the rain rocks!
  2. I hope my Fit Bit doesn’t die, but if it does, does that mean I can stop working out? haha
  3. This is the story of my life.

What I mean by #3 is this…Lately, I have been feeling pretty upbeat.  I recently switched jobs (which I will go into at a later time), I am really enjoying the blog world, and I am just overall happier.  But as I described in my last post, the pains of infertility can sneak up out of nowhere and… BAM!  You are stuck in a downpour of emotion.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I have good days because I know that all around the world there are women (and men) who are caught in their own downpour.  How can I have a happy day when so many others are struggling to walk through the rain, much less splash in the puddles?  But then I have to remember, that my happiness does not come at someone else’s expense.  I also remind myself that this is a roller coaster I am on.

Yesterday I was caught in a downpour and I was able to laugh.  I saw the beauty in the moment and thanked God for it.  However, tomorrow there might be another downpour…and this time tears may come, instead of laughter.

If you are caught in your own downpour, and you find yourself laughing, good for you.  Enjoy every second of it.  But if you are stuck in a stormy shower, unable to see your way out…hold on…the storm will end…the sun will shine…

and your rainbow WILL come.

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Join the blog party!/ You are not weak

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I am having my first blog party!  It is open to everyone.  Click here and join in!  Even if you do not have experience with infertility, feel free to share an uplifting post or even just a silly post to make a friend smile.  Use this opportunity to make new friends!

This week I am also reposting some of my previous posts about my infertility journey thus far.  This is one of my very first posts on my blog.  Enjoy!

 

You  are not weak.

I am the type of person who does not like to admit when something is wrong.  I try to handle everything on my own.  I detest going to the doctor for fear they will tell me something is wrong that I can’t fix.  I rarely ask others for help at work because I don’t like to look weak or incapable.  However, infertility has really given me a tough reality check.

With infertility, you have to ask questions.  You have to advocate for yourself.  You have to be vulnerable.  You have to admit that it is not your fault.  You are not weak.  In reality, you are so much stronger than you know.

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There are days when I feel like I can take on the world.  I go about my day with a can-do attitude, and a genuine smile on my face.  I love these days.  I revel in these days.  I don’t know when they will come again, so I have learned to embrace every second of true happiness that I get.  Because I know that at any moment, out of nowhere, the infertility train will come speeding right along…smashing me to pieces.

It is like being on a roller coaster…that JUST WON’T STOP.  Some days you are up, and some days you are down…waaayyyy down.

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I have been on this roller for over 5 years now.  I can’t say the pain has gotten any easier because it hasn’t.  However, I have learned to deal with it differently over time.

In the past, the dark days came a lot more often.  The roller coaster had far more dips than peaks.  However, I still did not want to look weak.  I wanted to appear strong, like I could face any cross on my own.  I put a smile on every day.  My motto was…fake it, till you make it.

But that was hard…and VERY VERY lonely.  I swear I have wrinkles from trying so hard to smile, even though I wanted to cry.

Finally, somewhere only in the past few months, I realized the lesson God has been trying to teach me for probably my entire life…YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  God does not want us to bear our crosses alone.  He wants us to reach out to Him and to the family and friends that He has given us.  It is ok to ask for help.  It is ok to cry.  That does not mean you are weak.  That means you are actually closer to God than you think.

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I can’t say that I have completely learned my lesson.  I still don’t like to be told what to do, even if I know I need help.  But I am learning and I am leaning…

Let’s lean on each other.  It doesn’t make this crazy roller coaster stop any quicker, but it’s a lot more fun to sit on the roller coaster together…with our hands in the air, screaming at the top of our lungs! 🙂

Infertility Awareness Week: Blog Party! ❤️🌈

listen-up

 

This week is (Inter)national Infertility Awareness Week.  We use this week to bring awareness to the problems facing so many men and women who are trying to conceive.  Did you know 1 in 8 couples experiences infertility?  Look around at your family and friends.  Chances are someone close to you will experience this very difficult cross.

How can we help each other?

Talk about it.  Be supportive.  Lend a listing ear.  Be a friend.

In honor of NIAW, I would like to throw my first ever blog party.  I am nervous, as I have never thrown a party like this, but I really think that this week is a time to stand together and support one another.  Instead of wallowing in our troubles, let’s make friends and inspire each other.  What better way to do that than a party?

NIAW Blog Party Rules:

  1. This party is open to everyone.  I especially want to encourage those friends who are experiencing infertility or have in the past to participate.  However, if you have not experienced infertility, but perhaps have an uplifting post that you think would be helpful to share with those in time of need, go for it!  Anything to make us smile! 🙂
  2. Share a little about yourself and leave a link to your blog.
  3. Comment on other posts, visit new blogs, and make friends!

I will keep the comments open all week, ending  on the 30th.

Feel free to share this party with others!

Enjoy!  I can’t wait to meet some new friends!

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Can we talk about something else?

For 5+ years, my life has not been my own.  My life has been consumed by a new identity.

I am no longer a teacher.

I am no longer a friend.

I am no longer a daughter.

I am no longer a wife.

 

No. Instead, I am the infertile girl.  And that is all anyone sees.

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Why should we censor our souls?

Friends would describe me as an upbeat positive person.  I don’t hold grudges and I don’t often let things get me down.  I try very hard to keep a positive attitude, not only for myself, but for the sake of others.  I want to lift others up with my presence, not bring them down by “burdening” them with my troubles.

As a result, I have a hard time expressing sadness, frustration, or anger with even those I am closest to.  For some reason, I have always felt weak for expressing these emotions, like by showing sadness or frustration, I was not being a good example of faith and strength.

But that is not the case.  Not. At. All.

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Pregnancy or adoption: Which is our first choice?

Whenever I tell people that we are on the journey to adopt, we are usually first met with smiles and a congratulatory, “That’s wonderful!”  But often times, the second sentence that comes out is, “You know what’s going to happen right after you adopt?”  Wink.   Wink.

I know that people say these words to be encouraging.  They have no ill-intent behind them, and so I do not get angry.  However, it does hurt my heart to know that people think adoption is our “second choice”.  It seems people often think that our real goal is to get pregnant, and we are just using adoption as a way to “fill our time” or “get to the true finish line.”  This could NOT be further from the truth.

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My hubby and I started trying to have children over 5 years ago.  We tried naturally at first, as that just seemed to be the typical first route.  After a year, we went to many doctors who gave us various different options for the next steps in getting pregnant, from surgery to medications to IVF.  At that same time, we researched adoption.  We wanted to be knowledgeable about all the paths to parenthood, not just pregnancy.

We then had a serious discussion.  What should we do next?  We still had options for attempting to get pregnant.  Should we exhaust those first?  Or should we listen to the voice in our hearts that was pulling us towards adoption? We both prayed very hard for months.  And what did we decide?

We are called to be parents.

A parent is someone who loves a child unconditionally and wants what is best for them.  A parent makes sacrifices for their child.  A parent puts their child’s needs before their own.

Giving birth may be one of the beautiful ways a parent gets to show their love for their child, or it may not.  However, if it is not, it does make them any less of a parent.  I know, without a doubt, that my husband and I are called to be parents.  However, it is not up to us to decide how that will happen.  No one path is greater than the other.  

Starting the adoption journey 3 years ago gave us more excitement than we had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant, as we now knew we were fully open to God’s will for us.  We may still get pregnant or we may not.  It truly does not matter to us, as long as we one day get to be parents to the children God has chosen for us.

Adoption and pregnancy are both our #1 choices.  Any paths that result in our children is #1 in our books.  Both paths are equally beautiful.  Both require love and sacrifice.  Both are gifts from God.

Both make us parents.

  

Wanting pregnancy vs. wanting motherhood

When I was 5 years old, I made an “All About Me” poster in kindergarten.  One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”    

My answer:  Mom and Doctor

I soon realized that being a doctor involved a lot of needles and blood, so that dream went right out the window (soon to be forever replaced by “teacher”).

However, the dream to be a mom has never changed or faltered.  What I did not know as a kindergartner though, is how many different paths there are to that dream.

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My husband and I started trying to have children as soon as we got married.  I had a family history of infertility and we did not want to waste time.

I read all the books.

I charted all my cycle symptoms.

We timed it perfectly EVERY  SINGLE month.

It was exhausting.

It did not take me long (about 6 months) to realize something was wrong.  I don’t just mean that we were having a hard time getting pregnant, but there was something wrong with our approach.

I did a lot of soul searching.  Prayer became my best friend.  During this time, we continued to try to get pregnant.  We got all the zillions of tests the doctors ordered, only to be told that our infertility was unexplained.  I was so confused.  I began to question our goal.  What is it that we want?  What is it that God wants for us?

Is our goal to get pregnant?  Is our goal to give birth?  

It took a doctor telling me that exploratory surgery was the only option, to finally make me snap into focus.  We could keep trying and trying and trying.  We could try every procedure under the sun, but we would still have the wrong motivation.  It was in that moment, as the doctor told me she would need to cut me open, making no promises that it would fix anything, that I finally remembered my kindergarten dream.

I want to be a mom.  I am called to be a mom.

There is more than one path to every dream.  If I am feeling boxed in, it’s because I haven’t opened all the doors.  I had been putting so much effort into the goal of getting pregnant, while losing sight of the real goal of being a mom.

So I cancelled the surgery, and we began the adoption process.  I felt more joy in that decision than I had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant.  I felt joy because we were finally opening ourselves to all the paths to parenthood that God had chosen for us.  I also felt at peace.  That peace came from the realization that:

 my desire to be a mother is far greater than my desire to be pregnant.

The journey is still very rough at times.  I may give birth to our child naturally or we may adopt.  Heck, we may do both one day! I have no idea.  But I take great solace in knowing that we are now focused in the right direction.  

I don’t need to get pregnant…

I need to be a mom.