>> Friday, March 25, 2011

I have been thinking lately that I need a new support system related to infertility. I have two friends I talk to about it on a somewhat regular basis, however both are living with incredibly hard life situations of their own right now. I know that listening to me talk about my struggles more would not be a burden to them...however I sometimes feel exhausted after talking about their issues, so that when the conversation turns to me it just seems like too much effort. I also much admit that there are somethings I hate to discuss with them ie. the effect TTC has on our sex life, my struggles with wanting to drink alcohol or smoke (simply as rebellious acts that only non-prego people can do), etc. I know that my friends would not judge me for these things, but it does not make it any easier to share the things that hurt us the most, with those we have to see every day.

So I have been thinking instead of friends, why not share my thoughts with strangers (not blogging strangers but instead real life strangers). I went on the Resolve website and there is a peer support group that meets in our area once a month. In general, I am a big fan of support groups and counseling and things of that nature. I say that because often times people who do these things professionally like I do, say that they feel like it is silly to go to counseling because they already know all of the things a therapist would say to you. I see how that could maybe feel pointless but on the contrary I find it helpful to hear the words come out of someone else's' mouth..regardless of if I already know their theories/strategies/etc. I also will admit that my feelings about therapy were solidified when I went to counseling for the first time in 2009. We had been struggling with infertility for about a year and my whole life felt out of control. I went to a psychologist thru our employee assistance program and I loved every second of it. I found that I was anxious before attending however I just spewed my guts the entire time I was there...I am not even sure how much the lady got to say. Anyway, I only went for a few months but she helped me recognize my coping skills and she helped me remember that I have to take time to grieve and cry and be sad, because these things do suck and I do have those feelings inside regardless of how much I can rationalize them. Anyway, I digress...

So, I emailed the girl who runs the support group and found out all the wonderful details. Apparently it's a new group that has only met for 2 months and it has been all women in attendance so far. She said that a couple has already RSVPed to attend in April, so I should invite my husband if I want. I will invite him and I know he will go if I want him to, however I honestly don't know what I want. I know it would be beneficial for him to hear other stories and relate to other men in this situation, especially if we move forward with assisted reproduction. But I admit there is also a selfish part of me that does not want to have to share my new found support system with him. I don't want to think about what I say before I say it and I want a place to vent about how infertility makes me feel without worrying about if I will hurt his feelings in the process. I know that i should be able to say all of these things to him and I could, I just know he carries guilt about everything. And since our infertility is somehow being linked to him, I feel like when I am sad or upset about it, he automatically feels bad like it's his fault. I can tell him over and over that I know it's not his fault, it's just nature, it's just life, it's just God's plan...but he still feels bad. Honestly, the reality is that I would choose him again tomorrow even if I knew we could never have kids because it's him I can't live without....but it doesn't change that it hurts to continue to live without kids too!

So, I am offering this support group idea to God. I am unsure when I will tell Kevan about it or whether he will want to attend...but I know that this support group, just like infertility, must be a part of God's great plan and the right thing will come from all this if I just continue to trust in Him.



adopt and buy earplugs

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So, although we have never had a real conversation about adoption, it has been on my heart a lot recently.

I know it began a few weeks ago when I picked up a book at my public library by Scott Simon, a journalist for NPR and other programs, titled "baby, we were meant for each other". I am not sure why it called my name in the library or if it just was an easy pick from the "new release" shelf, but either way the book came home with me. It is described on the cover as "a praise of adoption" and I fully agree with that description. It shares details of the Simon's trips to China while adopting their two daughters. It also shares stories from other persons who adopted children of their own or were adopted previously in life.  One significant point that I took away from the book is that adoption takes great preparation of your heart for the trials that will come, both while trying to adopt but also during the life of your child. The realization that people will say hurtful things to you that are never meant to be hurtful, like "can you really love someone else's child as much as your own" or "do you wish you had a real child" physically birthing a child is the only thing that makes it real. The scenarios rushed into my head as I read the book and I thought to myself "I could handle those things" because I would see those comments for what they were...not people being malicious, instead just people talking without thinking of how their words could affect others. You see, I have a habit of feeling like I can handle bad behavior or otherwise difficult things as long as I can justify why they occur...because honestly i do not think that most people intend to do harm. Regardless, I read this book thinking that it would be hard, however I could handle the comments that came with raising an adopted child...if I could just have that child to love.

Then the other night my illusions of strength were brought into reality when spending time with friends. A girl was talking about her dog and it's difficult/odd behaviors such as being skittish around large groups and chewing on things. She then discussed the fact that the dog was a rescue animal and it had never had a real home before her, not to mention that she was not sure what type of difficult things that the dog might have endured before it was placed into her care. She then said "you know it's like when you adopt a child at like a year old. So before you get it, it hasn't been held much and then is bound to have some attachment disorders or other things wrong with it".

I sat shocked in my chair.

She basically said that all adopted children were defective from the start (as was her dog) and that there is nothing you can do about it. Now, I will not take the time to get into why I think that this statement was completely wrong from a developmental standpoint ie. Erikson, Freud, Piaget, etc. Nor, will I address all of the other reasons that her dog may act out the way it acts out. However, I will say that for the first time I sat there feeling personally feeling offended by a statement about adoption. Now, I know we have not adopted a child nor have we decided if this will even be an option, however I saw my possible future and felt hurt for myself and for my imaginary adopted children.

I recognize that this event is a time when I must extend God's grace to others. There is no way that my dear friend meant to paint all adopted children (or animals) with such a broad stroke. And if she truly did, then who am I to sit and judge her opinions or ideals about the world. However, as I step away from her comments and from Scott Simon's book, I have a new gravity that comes to my situation. I am realizing that by telling people about our infertility, I am also opening myself up to their opinions. Their thoughts, convictions, judgements, and ideals about adoption, IVF, or living in a childless marriage. I know that people share their feelings about decisions that I make for my life of a regular basis, but I admit that I cannot imagine people feeling like they have a right to cast an opinion about if or how I have a child, until they have been in my shoes, period. This struggle and heartache just feels so personal, so raw, and so uncertain in my own heart, I admit that I am terrified today to think about also dealing with how other people see my decisions.

So today I reside to the truth. The reality is that 3 weeks after finishing "baby, we were meant for each other", i now recognize that to survive adoption or assisted reproduction I will have to develop a tough skin and an ample supply of the Lord's grace. It also means that I will have to face my insecurities about telling people that we cannot conceive and I will have to learn to let their judgements and statements roll off my back  - since God's judgement is really the only one that matters. I pray that we will reach a decision about adoption or assisted reproduction and I will feel so confident and so at peace with my choice that I will not even hear the questions that other people will raise about my situation. However, I know that to achieve this peace it takes a surrender to God's plan that I am still struggling with on a daily basis. Lord, please provide me with joy and peace while I continue to struggle.


"Do not worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 4: 6-7 NLT


best way to get pregnant

>> Friday, March 11, 2011

I hung out with friends from college last night. One of whom is pregnant, not on purpose, but still excited. She talked about the pros/cons of pregnancy and I didn't feel jealous or hurt, just excited for her. She did tell a story about when she went to her OB to confirm the pregnancy and she told them she wasn't trying to get pregnant that they said...but that is the best way for this to happen. The other girls there (both single) agreed that the OB was crazy because why would you want it to happen without trying?? I just sat quietly thinking to myself....that is the best way to get pregnant, because there is nothing worse then having to try and try and try only to fail and fail and fail.

Later in the conversation they confirmed my feelings about not wanting to be open about our infertility struggles. They talked about another friend from college and how she had just confirmed that pregnancy was a doubtful option for her after TTC for years. My prego friend discussed how hard it was to be excited around her and talk to her non-prego friend about the new baby. I know she does this to spare her friend's feelings but God help me when people start watching their words or actions around me just because I can't get pregnant. All I think is "what would make things worse than feeling all alone and infertile?" - how about all of your friends stopping talking to you during their pregnancies and births!!

I also must add that I think on some level people do not feel comfortable taking about babies in front of infertile friends, not only to be sensitive to feelings, but instead because it is uncomfortable for them. It makes me think of a friend of mine who lost her infant child to a congenital heart defect. She often laughs that she wants to wear a button that reads " I am sorry my grief makes you uncomfortable". I think that is an incredibly true and incredibly hard statement. Our society avoids talking about hard topics because we don't know what to say, and by avoiding these topics all we do is further isolate those who need the most support. I know I am choosing not to share my trials with others at this time, but I am praying about it and hoping God will help me chose the right time and the right people to confide in.

Regardless, I think if I do start telling people we are "infertile", then maybe I could get a button to wear to baby showers and sip-n-sees that reads "i am sorry my empty womb makes it awkward for you to be pregnant".



Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
Franklin, TN

This Blog is....

A glimpse into my journey to grow my faith and my family. Each day I am trying to trust in God's plan for my life, while I struggle with my own desires for my career, my marriage, and my hope for a family.

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