Look up "pregnant".
Find that its synonyms are: abundant, fertile, fruitful, hopeful...

Antonyms are: insignificant, trivial, and unmeaningful...

This is exactly what most media, and unfortunately, a lot of people make you feel when you must announce that you're "trying to conceive".

This blog is an attempt to teach.

No longer should infertility be something to be embarrassed about or swept under the rug. No longer should women and couples deal with the stinging comments of family and friends who know no better.

If you are dealing with infertility and need encouragement, please seek me out. If you know someone struggling (and chances are you do) please read on and listen with your heart.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Before I Became 'Mama'

Before my son was born, I was a 'mom'. I lost a baby in December of 2010, who we named Grace.
Before my son was born, I was a 'mom'. I had been a nanny for many years 'filling' Mama's shoes while they were away.
Before my son was born, I was a 'mom'. Many girls had called me their 'second mother' when I taught them in youth Sunday school and I adored them like I was.
Before my son was born, I was a 'mom'. I was a teacher at a daycare and I took many childhood education classes and filled many requirements.
Before my son was born, I was a 'mom'. I had fulfilled all the requirements to become a licensed foster parent with my husband.
Before my son was born, I was a 'mom'. However, I had no experience in being a parent.

When my son was born, he not only made me a 'mom' he made me a parent. Before that day I thought I knew it all. It was simple. I would never do [this] and I would always do [that]... whatever [this] and [that] may be. I knew all the 'right' things to do, and I had all the training. I was able to manage a classfull of infants, toddlers, and children... surely I could manage just one of my own.

I was a friend to those who were hurt by their moms. I kissed the booboos away. I was involved. I did a lot of leg work. I knew their favorite color, their favorite band, the current crush.

I read books, I took classes, I had years of experience... surely, I would dominate this "mom thing".

And I did.

But then I became a parent.
Being a parent is no longer about knowing the right things, or loving more than your heart can handle, or being the best of friends to a child... it's about parenting. And parenting, my dear friends, is a whole other story.

There are days when I know what to do, the answer is in my head somewhere, but when I see my poor boy gagging, or crying, in pain, or even just smiling sweetly I can't access it.

I am no longer making the 'best' decision for a child, I am making the best decision for MY child. Before it was all about books and studies and what the experts say... but Sully has proven to me that I am the expert, even when I freeze on decision making. He isn't a statistic, and the 'right' choice might not be the one for him.

Before I became a parent I swore I would NEVER co-sleep, and I believe in crying-it-out, and I vowed to always teach them with educational toys and never allow them to watch TV in their pajamas at 2pm. And then I did. Because sometimes co-sleeping is just what he needs, and sometimes those late days in our PJs are our favorites. I no longer believe it CIO. He is a person, not just this thing I've promised to "train". And those are just the decisions we make as mommies. CIO might be the best thing for your baby, as well as formula, or co-sleeping, or cloth diapering... and that is why YOU are the expert in your child.

My advice?
1) Have confidence in your parenting. You are the only person who knows your child the way you do.
2) Try not to make any vows before you parent, because you may just eat those up like I did. :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

10 Baby Items You Do Not Need!

Alright, I may not be an expert on mommyhood (just yet- ha!) but I am an expert of buying unnecessary things. All too often I get caught up in whatever season of life I'm in and all of a sudden I'm like "Buy ALL the things!". It's unfortunate. Just like a bride, who buys everything white and wedding related, when I found out I was (finally) going to become a mom I just KNEW I had to have it ALL. Because, let's be honest, if my son wasn't going to come into the world having a spa-like bathtub, what kind of mom would I be?!
Truth is, I wish I would have read this blog I'm about to write. Well, that would have been impossible, but I think you know what I mean! Anyway, as moms-to-be we are swept up in the ads and the commercials and what our other mom-to-be friends have/had/dreamed about having and we want to give our unborn child it all! However, I suggest doing yourself a favor and skipping the 10 items I've listed here (because the more money you save on unnecessary items, the more money you can blow on all-too-adorable clothes! ... Let's be honest... the more money you'll have for take-out when you are just too tired to cook).

WARNING: These are my personal opinions. I am not a doctor or a baby guru. This is what worked for me, and this is what I've learned shortly after being a FTM myself. Please do not come to me three months after having your child swearing at me and telling me I need to pay your child's therapy bills because you feel like he missed out on the fancy-schmancies of life. Also, please don't be offended if you happen to get me these things on this list. You got me something far more valuable than an item, but you gave me wisdom. Most items were returned/sold to the next guy and I got something else for lil man.

1) Everything but the kitchen sink.
I registered for:

What I should have used instead:

When it comes to bathing baby you envision sweet bubbles and stroking your child's wet little hairs... but in all reality most of the time it's a get-in-and-get-out situation. I registered for this beautiful whirlpool spa bathtub before even thinking where I would put it in our home. It didn't fit on our kitchen counters, and I didn't want to stoop over and have it on the floor. So I cleaned off the dining room table and went from there. Just as I was elbows deep in water and suds and having 'that' moment with my sweet baby boy I hear my husband (who is running around us taking 'candid' snapshots of the moment) say "Um, where is all this water coming from?!" and then I realize it... I forgot to make sure the drainage plug was snug. The water line around my son was shrinking every moment and soon my toes were wet. I used that tub a few more times before I realized co-bathing was sooo much easier and totally the choice for me. The times I didn't co-bathe I just used the seat that came with the "spa tub" (literally 1/6th the cost!) and put him in the tub. When Nana wanted to bathe him she plopped him in the sink. In short, there are just more practical options when it comes to bathing your baby. Get the basics (if anything), it's just going to wash off spit up and poop.

2) Sweet dreams:
What I thought I needed:

What I should have used instead:

Oh my goodness the co-sleeper... You know it worked great for a while or two, but most of the nights he just wanted to be on ME. I got the co-sleeper for the nights when my son just wouldn't give it up, and I thought "oh he needs that warmth and that smell of me... I'll just get this glorified box and put it in between hubby and I and we will all snooze right into dreamland!" Nope. I was right about one thing: he did want that warmth and scent, but if he was going to sleep in a box his crib would do just fine. When the crib wasn't working he *GASP* slept on mine (or more often Daddy's) chest. I know. It was something I swore I would never do before I was a parent... but that's a whole other blog in itself. 

3) Sitting pretty:
What I registered for:

What I should have used:

This will teach him to sit, they said. It will keep him entertained for hours, they said. You've got to have it, they said. He sat in it a handful of times and each time it looked like a torture device. He couldn't sit straight up so he sat hunched over like an old man at Denny's over the last of the burnt coffee of the day. He didn't look comfortable. Instead, I did a lot of tummy time. It worked out his little tummy muscles just as much as everyone said the Bumbo would, yet the floor is FREE!

4) Excuse yourself:
What I stocked up on: 

What ultimately was used instead:
Oh man I swore I would be one of those moms that would still look decent and look like I had it put together still after baby... and then I had one. I couldn't believe how elusive these burp cloths (all ONE MILLION) seemed to be. When spit happens, it happens and it usually comes with no warning. Instead of burp cloths, but extra outfit changes for yourself (and maybe a tarp, apron, or poncho...).

5) Like out of a magazine: 
What I got: 

What I used: 

One of the first things I thought of getting when I found out I was pregnant was "THE Bedding Set". It had to be perfect, and it would make any room look like it came out of a magazine. Over $100 (for itty bitty blankets) was the norm, and it didn't matter if it was more than I paid for the bedding on my Queen size. I set it all up on the crib and took a picture. *Click* Then the baby books came... I read about no blanket until at least after 6 months. So I took that off. Then I read that the bumpers are now a hazard as well, so they came off. Soon I was left with the fitted sheet only, and I was feeling like I was a little ripped off. After grabbing a few more fitted sheets for less than 1/10th of the cost of the crib set I decided that I was officially stupid. I got so many amazing blankets (and even learned, and crocheted him one myself) that he hasn't really gotten to the bed set one yet and he is already nine months old. The picture of the crib waiting for baby may be worth a thousand words, but save yourself the "thousand" bucks.

6) Royal tush: 
What everyone is getting now-a-days:

What I was smart enough to get instead (whew, I finally got one!):

Sure, the wipes get cold. Sure, he fussed every now and then early on. BUT (ha), he sweet little tush must have gotten tougher because soon he didn't mind the mildly cool wipe to clean his tush. I could only imagine how the babies react when they are used to their warm towelette and have to get a butt change out there in "the real world". My God, hold on to your seats! No thank you wipe warmer!

7) Piggly-wiggly: 
The dream I dreamed: 

The reality:

Know what I found out? The best shoes for baby from birth until about one year old is... NO shoes. Bare feet help them get their bearings easier, and are proven to help reach milestones earlier such as pulling up and walking. After getting about 10 pairs of too teeny tiny tootsie covers I found this out. Besides out growing them before you can cut the tag off, it's just not realistic to spend crazy amounts of baby shoes. One (two at the most) are totally enough. Seriously. Everyone thinks their cute when you take little picture of them when you are pregnant, but no one tells you just how many times your child will actually wear them (once in a blue moon) or how much time you'll spend looking for the "other one" (a bajillion hours), or just how silly you'll feel when you're wearing your $2 clearance flip flops from Old Navy and you try to put on your baby Chuck Taylors, Toms, or Hunter rain boots and they don't fit. Fail. Go with the sweet tootsies their born with, and for a second option go with thick socks from Target. The Circo ones are the best and they are sold in a 6 pack. 

8) Snug as a bug:
What we got a lot of:

What they are used for:

Seriously tell me the reason for receiving blankets. They were too small to swaddle my child in, too big for burp cloths, and too thin to use for warmth in the car. I really have no idea what these are for and why everyone decides they are an awesome gift to give. They are not. Sorry, but maybe just grab a $10 gift card instead. I wound up cutting a few of ours up and using them for cloth wipes. In that case, they are super cute!

9) Oh boy:
Cute impulse purchase:

What actually saw the light of day:
(or of course any diaper will do!) 
When I found out I was having a boy I found this cutest little basketball pee pee teepee. I brought it home with pride and showed my husband. "This goes on his penis so he doesn't pee on us during diaper changes" I explained... HA! That cute little basketball teepee hasn't left it's drawer since that day. Because you know why? 1) They really never stay on and 2) You are too busy CHANGING A DIAPER to use one! I don't know what I thought I was going to do while my son's dirty diaper was off, but apparently it might have been making a sandwich or painting my nails. Just take the dirty off, wipe, and throw that clean one on. Soon it'll be in record time, and whether you have a bundle of boy or a sweet bundle of girl you WILL get peed on. There aren't enough teepees or diapers or whatever to save you from it. AND that's just the beginning of the fluids. 

10) Knowledge is power:
What I thought I wouldn't be able to live without:

What I learned:

As Spock said (no, not the Star Trek guy), "Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." At nine months I just found my "What to Expect" book and realized that I had made it three quarters of the way through without no book at all. Sure, Google and WebMD and other mommies on Instagram helped me from time to time... but in the end I learned that my son isn't a statistic. He isn't going to grow in a way ALL the babies grow, and he isn't going to learn how EVERY baby learns. In the end, I am his and he is mine and we will figure it out as we get to know each other. 

(This blog post could save you literally $405.71 if you follow it according to Amazon.com as of this moment. You are most welcome. Please make checks payable to me instead if you wish!)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Where Are We Now?

I can't type the title without thinking of some cheesy VH1 special of where "that one guy in that one movie is", however some days I feel like that's pretty relate-able at best.
When Walter and I were TTC we were THAT couple. The couple that people talked about, mostly behind our backs, either good or bad. We got the hushed stares of strangers and the comments about how we were "too young" and "not giving it enough time". We didn't know anyone our age who had done IVF and we felt pretty lost. I spent a lot of time google-ing and reading  blogs and studies. I wished so badly to be able to go and get coffee with someone who had "gone before me", but there was no one around to fill those shoes.
There are times I think of how sad and scary that sounds, and I am so proud we made it through... but there are also times I am so very thankful to have known no one. I had no one to compare embryo grades with; I had no one to tell me what I should expect; I had so much confidence. The first round I was so ignorant to the cruel world of IVF. I thought, "We are young, and we are doing IVF... we most definitely will get pregnant this first try!" But then I didn't. And this world came shattering around me. I wondered if anything would ever work for us. All hope and ignorance was lost.
Going into the second round was almost the opposite. I was so sure we were doing this second round as a failsafe. I was going through this round, betting myself I would come out on the other side to look at Walter and say, "See?! I TOLD you so!" when another round had failed. But it didn't.
Since our IVF rounds I have met so so SO many amazing women who have also endured the IVF waters. This community has accepted me and we encourage each other to keep trying, and to never give up. Some of us have had our miracle babies, and some of us are still waiting. Keep trying! Never give up!
Now I have this blessing of a baby boy in my home, and time has just been FLYING by! Next week he'll already be nine months old! I cannot tell you what joy this boy has brought me! Oftentimes I could still, without warning, break into happy tears as I did just a few nights ago when we took our sweet Sullivan to see Sesame Street LIVE. It's silly, but this is what I have been dreaming of! Not Sesame Street, but the "mundane", "everyday" life of being a mother. I think to myself, maybe if I hadn't experienced infertility I would moan about taking him to such a show. The kids are loud and packing him up is such a chore. Instead, I cried. Cried to see his face light up. Cried to hold him close and be known to the world as his Mommy.

And now I wonder... could I share this joy, this love, with another baby?
Do I soak in every moment of this sweet boy, who I have waited so long for, and wait to give him a sibling until after he is in school and my days and filled with waiting again? Or do I start trying now, because the veil of immediate success has been removed?

I'm sure many mommies have been in this spot. Anxious to grow the family, and yet wondering when would be the best time.
When I was pregnant with Sullivan, I used to fear having a rough day with my boy and someone coming along saying, "You asked for this". I most definitely did. I wanted it more than I have ever wanted something in my life. Even on his rough days, I can't look into his face and not completely melt. However, did that mean I had all my ducks in a row? Absolutely not. Is space and time and money tight already? Most definitely. When I think of starting the journey to a second child the numbers just don't add up. Where will we put all the extra stuff? Sullivan is already capitalizing on most of the space we have. What about the budget? Where will we afford even more for another? What about time? My goodness, where would I get the time? I'm still rocking Sully to sleep most naps and barely getting a chance to pee during the day as is! Clearly a second child isn't in the picture right now... right?

I now fear pursuing treatments or adoption for #2 and yet again getting the "You asked for this" snide comments. Sometimes I still ache that the decision can't be made for me and an "opps" would appear in our lives. However, a baby must be planned for us and there just is no right answer when it comes to timeline I have found.

I still haven't had AF since our IVF-induced AF in July 2012, and I wonder when the best time to seek medical help in having AF return.

For now we are trying to eat healthy, love on our boy, train the dogs, organize the house, enjoy our free time, and be content in being a family of three (/five). It's easier than it sounds. We still have our rough days, but nothing that ever makes us think we are finished growing our family.

Thanks for being patient in being a blog reader (if you're still out there!). My family and I are transitioning and trying to figure out just exactly where ARE we now?! I hope you continue to read along for the journey, whatever (whenever) it may be.

Love to you!

(Sully is now 38 weeks at the time of blog)

Friday, December 13, 2013

A List of Things I Regret Saying

Trying to have a baby a lot of ignorant comments flew across my lips. Here a just a few, to those who are interested in the perspective.
  • "I'll never complain about morning sickness/stretch marks/ having to pee all the time!"
Such a lie. I did. Luckily, infertility taught me a way to handle it considerately. I talked to my husband; I whined to my best friend (who wasn't experiencing infertility issues); I called my mom... Posting it on social media is just rude. Facebook and Instagram are great, but they shouldn't be our best friends (and you're talking to someone who ADORES social media). Some things are better left to be said to your friend over coffee. Your friend may think you're a whiner, but what are friends for? Please save your acquaintances/co-workers (and possibly those who are struggling) your pregnancy woes. 
  • "Once I have just one baby I'll be happy and won't be selfish and ask for another"
Who is selfish? This girl. I thank a very special friend to me for (luckily) teaching me this even before I became pregnant. When you have a child, you cannot love that child more and you are opened up to this whole new world of love and what love is. You can't imaging loving anyone more... but you know your heart would just grow for another baby, and you want that growth! You want that sweet sibling love for the child you do anything for and you do not want to disappoint.
  • "I will never take a moment I have with my baby for granted"
Another lie. I would looooove to put up this fake front up and say I have NEVER missed a moment with sweet Sullivan, but it so a lie. Sometimes I Instagram while he cries. Sometimes I roll my eyes when he wants to be picked up again. Sometimes I think, "Can't I PEE in peace kid?!". Lying about getting frustrated with mommyhood is right along the lines of how you'll smile through all that heartburn. After infertility you may appreciate the heartburn and the sticky floors a little more but sometimes in the moment all you'll feel is how tired you are. It's impossible to be there every moment, and frankly I believe Sullivan doesn't want me up his butt all day long. However, I make the most out of my time with him for the most part and I am sure to take a little "me time" as well so I can come back to be a better mommy to him. 
  • "Because I fought so hard for my child I will love him more than other mothers love theirs"
Ouch. I really don't think those who are struggling mean any harm by this, but harm it does cause. Infertility is a disease that brings so much insecurity it's tempting to belittle others in an attempt to make us feel better. Usually it doesn't work. My best friend is (most likely) fertile. My sister is fertile. Shoot, my husband is fertile! Do I love Sullivan more than they love their children? I would be an ignorant witch to think so. The journey to parenthood isn't a straight line for anyone, and everyone has their own story. It's not a badge to put on our sleeves when it matches our outfit. Parenthood is something to be cherished and to admire and to encourage. TTC friends, let's find another way to encourage each other instead of putting down our fertile friends. It's not their fault they were born with wonderful genes. (LOL cool it on the comments)

I'm sure there will be more, and maybe over time I will think of a few more and add to this list. 
For now, let's just all agree to take a step outside our crazy hormone worlds and consider how we are making our partner or friend feel... or maybe just how silly we may feel in a year when we have to eat our words.

Infertility definitely takes us on a journey, and I am only trying this blog from my own experience. These comments certainly tasted bitter when I realized just how wrong I was and had to eat my words.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Snapshot of Now

After struggling with infertility for a while, I have been blessed with many friendships in the TTC world. It's a blessing to be able to pray for them, and see their dreams come true as well. Sometimes I feel like a fake or a phony to still be a part of the TTC community. Here I am not actively trying right now (AF still hasn't came for me actually) and posting tons of photos of my sweet boy and I have my "mom problems".
However I try to be encouraging and supportive, because I have been there and I didn't have a community when I went through it. It was such a scary and lonely place. I think that is a big reason why I try to be so outspoken and so accommodating to the TTC friends I have. When I was doing IVF the first time I only knew of two other women who had done it. An older woman I once went to bible study with, and a friend of a friend who I (at the time) had never actually met. I tried to meet the woman from my bible study after we hadn't spoken in two years, but as a mom with two children it was hard for her. We tried to meet for lunch and when it fell through we didn't try again. The other woman had a successful IVF and had boy/girl twins! While we weren't able to meet up at the time, she was very supportive in the late night text messages full of questions and doubts and prayers.
Anyway, now social medias have opened me up to a world of TTC/infertility/IVF that I've never known. I'm appreciate that this women are able to look at my photos of my son and allow me to be a part of their journeys. I know there was a time in my past that I wouldn't have been able to stand who I am now!
I often think of the many different attitudes I've had over the past few years while TTC...

I've hated seeing pregnant women. I couldn't stand seeing them out and about, or doing things I (at the time) thought to be inconsiderate. Working at Starbucks, it killed me to see a pregnant woman get a caffeinated drink. I couldn't stand to see them by smoke, or looking tired or uncomfortable. They didn't deserve the blessing of pregnancy in my eyes.
I can't believe how much hate was in my heart. I can't believe how cold I was. Who made me the god of deciding who was worthy? As a pregnant woman I often drank coffee or Coke. I even had a few alcoholic beverages, took many hot baths, ate red meat (not even cooked well-done), and was (rightfully so!) uncomfortable! My goodness. I can't believe I thought I was going to be the first pregnant woman ever to not complain about being uncomfortable! Granted, I did it appropriately. I didn't need to whine on Facebook or to my TTC friends... but there were times where my husband and my mom got an earful. I couldn't sleep, my hips were constantly in pain, and I was just so anxious to have my baby boy in my arms.

After I found out I was pregnant I (of course) was ecstatic! I was nervous and scared, but I was thrilled. It didn't take long for the "survivor's guilt" to weigh on me though. I constantly asked myself "Why me?" but it was no longer in pity because I was dealing with infertility. I often asked God why I got blessed with round two. Every day I was meeting more and more women battling infertility and IVF. They quickly, by simply living their lives, taught me a hard lesson. I was allowing myself to be a victim. I all-too-often let me struggle become who I was. I was Jen, the infertile woman, who would do anything for a baby. My hobby was researching protocols to have a baby, my marriage was all about having a baby, my job was preparing for a baby... I had nothing to talk about to anyone except my desire, my need, to have a baby. That conversation inevitably led to "Woe is me, I'm trying and nothing is working". So when round two worked and I got to meet all these great women I, pridefully, at first thought I had a lot to give to these women. Instead, I met women I'll never forget. I know women who have done cycle and cycle after cycle. Who not only don't let their identities become all about the struggle, but who still love God and all He is. These women still get up and put a smile on their face and just fight. I sometimes feel so unworthy to know them and call them friends. They are the true warriors.

Walter and I plan to have more children, I'm just not sure how that will be. I would like to say I don't worry about it, but I do. I wish I could be happy with the now. I promised myself I would when I was TTC afterall. However, there have just been so many things I have done that I swore I would never do. I've come to realize that that is just life.

There was a time I said I would never do IVF.
There was a time I said I would never complain during my pregnancy.
There was a time I said I would never drink caffeine while pregnant.
There was a time I said I would never let my child sleep in our bed.
There was a time I said I would never ask for another child if I just had one.

Never say never.

I will say though, to those beautiful friends of mine who are still actively TTC, to never say never. I hear you saying you'll never try again, or you'll never get that child you're dreaming about. I was there at one point in time. I was there thinking I would never have a baby shower, or never get to decorate a nursery. I would never get to experience baby's first kick inside my tummy or have a maternity photo shoot.
Don't ever give up. You'll get there.

You'll get to whine to your best friend about how you have to pee every five minutes. You'll get to ask your husband 1,000 times if he still thinks you're pretty with stretch marks. You'll get to tell your friends you plan to have your baby sleeping in his/her own crib from the first night. You'll get to make a liar out of yourself and co-sleep until he's 3. You'll get to buy cloth diapers with good intentions. You'll get to, you'll get to, you'll get to.

There were many times I thought of giving up, (even in my 'shorter to some' journey) but there was always something pushing me to keep going. Of course it was by God's strength that I continued, but it was also this snapshot I had in my mind. I was sitting in this rocking chair my grandma left me, rocking and nursing a sweet swaddled baby to sleep. I would sometimes be singing (in a much prettier voice than I actually have) and stroking baby's chubby cheek. I would try my hardest to smell that sweet baby smell through my vision. I would try to imagine what my child would look like or how their laugh would sound...

It was very much a Johnson & Johnson commercial. But it kept me going.

I've since learned that life with a baby isn't like those commercials. I wasn't able to nurse my son for three weeks and had a hell of a time pumping. I haven't sat in that hard rocking chair once. However, the baby scent, the laugh... What I had envisioned couldn't do it justice.

Keep dreaming mommas. Keep envisioning the very best you can- but know it will be even better.
You'll get there, you'll get there, you'll get there and it will be heaven.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm awake and it's 10PM!

Okay, I'll be the first to say it so we can just get it out of the way...
I've been a bad blogger.
I've been a lot of those things I swore I would never be. Things like: a mommy too busy for a coffee date with her friends, to blog about life experiences, or one who doesn't take the time to 'smell the roses'.
Honestly honestly honestly I don't mean to.
I've got a few messages about how "Now I'm a mom and too busy" or how I've "crossed to the other side now" or even that "it must be easy to forget the pain". No, no, and no. Shame on you all. I'm sorry, but I just had to say it.
I don't mean to be busy. I don't mean to not be able to keep up on reading other people's blogs or to call and to check in and to send cards and to keep notes... it's just the days blur together and before I know it it's next week again. Every trash day I'm shocked because I swear we just took the trash out, yet there's a mountain there again already, but wasn't it just yesterday? I swear I want to call you and talk to you friend, but we just talked the day before last... or was that two weeks ago?
Mommyhood has been all I dreamed it would be and more. I could literally stare and hold and cuddle on my boy for hours (and I do) and BAM the day is over and it's yet again another day I feel like I've failed in some aspect of my life. I have the best intentions to be the best mom and best wife and best friend and beat daughter and best church-goer and best dressed person in the world, but I feel like every day I can only pick one of those to excel on. And, at the misfortune of everyone around me, Sully has dibs.

However, I am here. I still love you sweet friends, and blog readers, and mom! lol I promise I'm learning every day at how to get better at spinning plates, and I swear I'm getting better at it! I think.
Thank you for your patience and your graciousness.

Also, know the phone works both ways. If you wish I would call, call me! You're not a bother! My phone is on silent and I answer it when I'm able to, and get back to people as quickly as possible. It's nice to know you're thinking of me too. :)

That being said...
Motherhood is amazing. I'm exhausted and giddy and critical and empowered and content all in one sitting. Like I said, the plates are spinning easier and now that I'm not going to bed when my son goes to bed anymore (I am such an old woman)! I promise to stay up later and blog a little more often.

Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

WARNING (updated)

WARNING: This post was written in a mixture of emotions.
I don't know what you've been told before, but the scars of infertility last a lifetime. They don't just 'go away'. So many people aren't so understanding of this because I've crossed to "the other side" and have my sweet baby boy... but the pain is still real.

His sweet face makes so many things better and easier to deal with, but some days I am still just managing. My husband and I are currently in the midst of the in-between. After years TTC, our son was born just three months ago, and we haven't been 'trying' long enough to be qualified as 'secondary infertility'. So am I fertile? No.

To be honest I've really been struggling with a few things when it comes to reproduction lately. Stuff I'm not ready to announce or talk about quite yet. However, pregnancy is over and mommyhood has began... and so so has many of my PCOS symptoms. I've started to get bald spots in my hair, because of the handfulls that fall out every time I wash it. My body is weak and lethargic, and I'm doing my best to again stay away from those foods that make me miserably more-so, but in a world of being a busy mom sometimes pizza delivery is the only answer vs going to bed hungry.

I'm struggling to find my place. A quote I have always loved is "Do not let your struggle become your identity". I've prided myself on not doing so...

or so I thought.
Lately I've realized a lot of my life (social media, the words I use, the conversations I tend to have) all lead me back to infertility. Despite the quote, I am not positive this is a bad thing, yet it is something I would like to work on changing a bit. Infertility sometimes is all about categorizing. I really feel like it's our need to control SOMETHING because we are living in a hell we cannot control. So we put people into boxes. Is this person "IVF" or "IUI"? Trying "long enough" or "new"? "Infertile" or "Secondary"? "His problem" or "Hers"? Up until recently I felt like I knew where I fell.

Now because I carry my sweet boy in my arms I feel like I oftentimes try to mask the problems I'm dealing with. I mask how often I feel sick, and how often I feel down, because I've reached "the other side".

Truth is, infertility lasts a lifetime and I'm still hurting.

I'm still hurting when I feel the pain and symptoms of PCOS. It still kills me that I have to check my face daily for facial hair, have weight cling to me, have to deal with skin tags, headaches, stomach aches, and more. It's embarrassing.

I'm still hurting when I can't sleep at night wondering about if I'll ever give Sullivan a sibling. When I was struggling in my infertility, a friend of mine opened up to me about her secondary infertility. At first I thought she was selfish and greedy (I'm sorry!), but I soon realized the hurt that it still brings. Just because you have a baby doesn't mean you don't feel broken anymore. It doesn't mean miscarriages no longer crush your spirits, or that you don't struggle with depression. I'm so thankful she taught me to be understanding about secondary infertility early on. I'm terrified about where we may have to go on that road in the future. It often consumes my thoughts. I understand I have many friends who may be reading this and thinking I am selfish and greedy, and that's okay. That's a road everyone has to walk through during infertility, and maybe I can be 'that friend' to help you through those thoughts. I used to struggle with the thoughts of not being able to give my husband a child, and now I just struggle knowing I may not give my son a sibling. I was an only child, and I promise I won't give up easily on getting him a sibling. Only children should be illegal. Just kidding... kind of.

This past week has been very hard on me because of the feelings of infertility that still stick.

As hard as I try...
It still hurts when I hear about a woman falling pregnant so easily, I wish I could do that so badly.
It still hurts when jokes are made, and complaints are made about pregnancy. I would take it all in a heartbeat. I really think it's all about the attitude, and my attitude is so willing to put my head in a toilet bowl again to give Sullivan a sibling.

Maybe most of this is normal for a pregnant woman, and my pregnancy was the abnormal one after all the infertility bull... but I'm just being honest by saying it still hurts.

It's nothing against my fertile, pregnant mommas, I need you to know that. It's just that once infertility comes into your life it almost changes your chemical makeup. Things said hurt when they hadn't before, actions sting when they were commonplace before, and every movement becomes a little more planned out to spare the feelings of others.

I have forever changed, and I'm just learning on what that means for all three of us for right now.
What does it mean for me as a mommy, as a wife, as a friend, as a sister-in-law... ?