Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

#Wave of Light

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Despite having the best of intentions I don’t blog anymore. After the birth of my daughter, I wanted to become a new mommy blogger, but that didn’t quite pan out. Then, I thought about reinventing myself as a toddler mom blogger. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Lately, I think about reclaiming my blogging self as a preschool mom blogger. Still hasn’t happened, but hey, anything is possible, right?

I’ll always write this post, though. You know the one, the October 15th one.

I’ve read a lot today about the importance of acknowledging our babies we never got to meet or only knew for a short time. A lot of times we are so wrapped up in the raw grief, even years later, that it is difficult to honor what once was. Some suggest naming your babies. Some suggest holding a special remembrance ceremony. Others recommend lighting a candle as I have done for many years.

I think about my lost babies often but I thought about them more today.  My first baby would now be five years old and meeting an important milestone in her life–starting kindergarten. This reminded me of this thoughtful, powerful and incredible letter I found online a few months back.

Welcome Letter

For me, the letter not only demonstrates the power of words to heal broken hearts, but also the kindness others can show us in acknowledging and remembering our babies. I’m not the most open person about letting other people see the real me, but the writer of this letter gives me the encouragement to try.

As this evening draws to a close, it is my hope that you were able to acknowledge your lost babies in a way that feels comfortable and meaningful to you.

Together, our wave of light shines bright.

 

 

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Wish You Were Here

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Here we are again–National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day or if you prefer, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

It’s now been 5 years since my first miscarriage and about 4 1/2 since my second. I know this day is about remembering and honoring what was lost, but it’s hard not to remember without feeling the sadness and the sting that goes with it.

Yes, I still look at the candles and wonder what might have been, but my heart also hurts for everyone else who has suffered. Someone very close to me endured a devastating pregnancy loss earlier in the year. I carry this child with me every day and I wish for all the world that he could be here.

So these candles are for me and they are for her and they are for you. Remembering what was lost and hoping for dreams to be realized.

 

 

 

Tell the World

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Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Tonight I have two candles burning to honor my own personal losses.

Ask any woman who has experienced this type of loss. She doesn’t need a day to remind her of what once was. I am no different. My circumstances have changed favorably since last year and I am very grateful. Still, past memories haunt me.

This post will be short. I come here not to relive the past or talk about how difficult infertility and loss are, but to acknowledge and celebrate babies who were conceived and gone too soon. There is one thing I know to be true: these babies mattered and still do.

I also celebrate any man or woman who has the courage to give a name and face to loss. These are the people who possess the courage to tell the world about their grief and pain and they do so with a grace that is not easily found. Many of their stories are absolutely gut-wrenching, but they still tell them, hopefully finding healing in the process.

But they also do something else. By telling their story, they remove the stigma that is attached to infertility and loss. For this I am personally grateful. It gives me hope that some day I will be able to look someone in the eye and say, “I am one in four. I had babies that I lost. My babies mattered.”

As I get ready to extinguish the candles for the evening, I think of all my real-life friends and online friends who have endured loss. The sheer number of losses combined is astonishing. Please know that your babies’ lives hold meaning and have a place in this world.

 

 

 

Baby Bumps, Sonograms, and Pee Sticks, Oh My!

I subscribe to a lot of blogs and I actually read what I subscribe to.  Like many of you, I have found them to be a source of strength through tough times. One day, just a couple of days ago actually, I was scrolling through my reader and found a few pictures of baby bumps.  Interesting, I thought, that there were so many posted on the same day.  I scrolled a bit further and found some pee stick photos. Yep, all posted within 24 hours of the baby bumps.  Even more interesting I thought.  Right below those were posts that had links to ultrasound photos.  Same time frame.

That was the day I almost quit blogging.

For good.

Yes, I have positive feelings about your good news, but at the same time seeing a visual representation of it brings back all my feelings of despair. It’s funny.  People say that silence speaks a thousand words.  I guess they underestimated the power of a photo.

I’ve more or less been an infertile for the last 2+ years and have experienced the lowest of lows that come with that.  Not just feelings of inadequacy or frustration–sheer blown despair and devastation.   I know you have experienced these emotions, too. How do I know what you have experienced, you ask?  Am I psychic?  No. I read your posts.

Among what I have read in the past, one thing I remember clearly:  many (but, not all) of you said that it caused you a lot of discomfort seeing ultrasound and baby bump photos in your reader.  Some of you even implied that when you became pregnant, you would never post such a thing.

But, you have.

To be perfectly clear, this post is not directed at one single individual nor am I trying to come across as angry and accusing though I am afraid I am doing just that.  I just want to ask this:  Is it ok to post these types of photos in your reader, even if you know how it feels to be on the receiving end of them?  If the answer is yes, what makes it ok?

I think I know the answer to the second question.  When you suffer for so long and a miracle finally happens, you simply want to share the news.  You’re beaming, bursting with joy and relief.  The news is 100% share-worthy, at least according to me.  Pictures of your body through it’s various stages of pregnancy?  Not as much so.  I cannot articulate why this brings so much grief, just that it does.

I also think people post these photos to reassure themselves.  They need to see evidence that everything is going ok.  They need to see that what they are experiencing  is real.   Let’s face it.  In the land of IF, nothing is ever certain.  Clinging to whatever reassures you, seems to be acceptable.

But still. . .

What about to those of us still left in the trenches?  We are happy for your happiness, but we are still left in a place of suffering.  That same place of suffering that many of you once inhabited.

If I could say anything to newly pregnant bloggers it would be this: Don’t ignore us and don’t leave us behind.  Be considerate of us because you have walked our road and know what it feels like.  Think about it.  Just for a minute.  We are still here and we are still standing and yes, we are still reading your blogs.  Your circumstances have changed favorably while we are still waiting for ours.   Want to tell us you are pregnant? Go ahead.  Want to share what happened at your latest doctor appointment?  I’ll listen.  Can’t wait to share your ultrasound, baby bump, and pee sticks?  Go ahead, but please put them in another folder on your blog where they don’t show up in your reader’s feed.  If I’m given a choice whether or not to look at it, I may just surprise you and do so.

And, yes, I do speak from my own experiences and not anyone else’s. There is a good chance that maybe I’m just too sensitive and should be over all of this by now.  Maybe I automatically make the egotistical mistake that other people feel the same way I do. Besides, people are going to do what they are going to do. I can’t change it, but maybe I can persuade them to look at things from another perspective.

I do know this, though.  I don’t want to cut myself off from others by unsubscribing to a blog because someone makes me uncomfortable.  What kind of supporter would that make me?  A fair-weathered one, I suppose.  I guess, at the end of the day, like all days, I”m looking for a bit of understanding.  Aren’t we all?

Leap of Faith

 

In just a few days fall will be here. I know many who say fall is their favorite season. These people are crazy.  Some like the excitement of the football season (around here, if you don’t pledge absolute and utter allegiance to Carolina or Clemson  football, you are branded a traitor to your family, your country, and God). Others like the promise of cooler, crisper weather which is a relief from the scorching summers. Many, like myself, simply appreciate the landscape–crimson and amber-colored jewels one minute and something even more breathtaking and brilliant the next.

For me, fall has never been a favorite season. It is more of  a reflective time and I know it is for others as well. I have no clue why this season is so reflective in nature. Maybe it has something to do with the shorter days. Whatever the reason, I spend this time thinking, not necessarily about the previous year, but years gone by. I don’t necessarily think about bad things that have happened.  Rather I am reminded of what still lingers.  Memories I have long since tucked away, and yes, of memories that I still want to make.

For the longest time, I’ve wished that I could be the person I was before infertility.  That person has always lingered within me, even in my darkest times. I’ve clung to her, even romanticized her.  But now I realize that I will never be that person again nor do I want to be.  I want to be a better, different person.

People say that happiness is a choice and I both agree and disagree with this.  When things go badly for a long time, you tend to question the good things when they finally come your way.   You find yourself retreating into that cloud of doubt, not because you prefer it, but simply because it is what you know.  Infertility does that to you and unfortunately the memory of it cannot be erased.

So, how do you find the faith to accept the blessings that are in front of you?  How do you become the person you want to be when the ghosts of infertility haunt you?  Like everything else, there are no easy answers.  For once though, I think I’m ok with that because I want the future that has been planned for me.  I want to create those memories, make those moments count.  It’s not easy, but I think it is possible.

 

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Zit?

When I was in my younger teens, I was paranoid that someone would know when I started my period.  I have no idea why I was so embarrassed by this at the time, but I would go to great lengths to make sure no one knew that it was that time of month for me.  Finally, I came to realize that no one knew I was having my period unless I told them and eventually I grew out of the secrecy phase all together.

Now as an adult, I feel like everyone truly knows when this gift arrives.  Not because my stomach grows to the size of a watermelon, not because of my weird food cravings and certainly not because of my you-better-get-out-of-my-way-or-else moods.

No.  They know because of the zit.  The zit from hell.

My skin does a funny thing during PMS.  It actually gets very clear, smooth, and fair, free of all irritation and redness. I look away for one second and then out pops an eyesore demanding its own zip code!

So for this reason, I feel like the world knows when CD1 is just around the corner.  Not that I care if anyone knows anymore, but it’s damn embarrassing to have acne at 36 years old! 

I artfully apply foundation and powder and it’s concealed–for about ten minutes.  Then the monster erupts from my pale skin and screams, “Aunt Flo!  Aunt Flo!”   I feel like I’m trapped in a 14-year old’s body without the skinniness.

Keep in mind that “the zit” is just that.  One large, fluid-filled pimple sitting on top of my somewhat smooth skin.  If I had a rash of acne, it wouldn’t be so bad.  That could be attributed to anything, like an allergic reaction.  But, no, I have one Mt. Everest size pore that announces to the world that I am one big ball of raging hormones.

This all reminds me of when Meg from Family Guy got a pimple.  See how she takes care of it:

Think I should give it a shot??

Cool–One of Those Thingies

The Future Fords tagged me in this simple question game.  Maybe you will get tagged, too.  If not, copy this anyway!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Post the rules. (These are the rules)
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
  3. Create 11 new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  4. Tag 11 people and link them to your post.
  5. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Questions I answered. (don’t copy/paste these–scroll down for yours).

1. What is your all-time favorite food?

Any type of comfort food–chicken, mashed potatoes, and those cinammon clusters you get from Chick-Fil-A.

2. If you went to college, what was your major? If not, what was your favorite subject in high school?

English major, though I read a lot, I don’t consider myself well-read.  I concentrated more on writing.

3. If you could change one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be?

I would like the super-flat tummy of a teenager, if those even qualifiy as tummies.

4. Beach or mountains?

As I get older, the mountains–I might get to see bears!!!

 I just want a little peace and quiet and I don’t like the look of leathery, oily, nearly nude bodies blistering in the sun, which is what the beach offers.

5. What is your favorite color?

Mostly pink

6. How tall are you?

I really don’t know.  I thought I was 5’2″ but when I stand against those height charts at the doors of gas stations, I look to be 5’6″ or 5’7″

7. If you could go any one place in the world (money is not a factor) where would you choose to go?

I’d go to Ireland because it seems beautiful in pictures and that’s where my ancestors are from.  Might be interesting to see where it all began. 

Antarctica at its finest

Antarctica at its finest (Photo credit: HamishM)

I also would like to go to Antarctica.  Though I detest cold weather like the plague, there is something appealing about saying that you’ve finally hit rock bottom–literally.

8. Who is the biggest role model in your life?

Probably my mom.

9. When you die, how do you want to be remembered?

Hopefully, someone who was able to continue a family lineage.

10. Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it?

I heart quotes!  “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”–F. Scott Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby

11. Tell us about you last injury.

My cat just clawed the CRAP out of me with her back paws!  It looks like I slit my wrists.  Now I’m going to start getting those looks.

Here are the tag-ees in no particular order.  I hope we can learn more about each other.

1. A Baby-Making Diary

2. A Journey to the Finish Line

3. My Path to Insanity & Beyond

4. Stress Free Infertility

5. The Cornfed Feminist

6. DogMomChasingTheStork

7. Barrenness In a Fertile Land

8. Pregnancy 101

9. Relaxed No More

10. The Hopeful Pink Lady

11. My Unfolding Truth

And here are your questions:

1.  Finish the sentence:  Don’t look now, but _______________________________.

2. What household product or beauty product do you prefer not to live without?

3.  Open your closet.  Most of your clothes are what color?

4. Wedge sandals or tennis shoes?

5. What is your favorite flower?

6. Do you any allergies?  Care to share what they are?

7. What is your favorite season?

8. Which TV family, past or present, do you think your future family will be most like?

9.  On average, how many hours do you spend on the internet each day?

10.  Ice-cream or popsicle stick?

11.  Create your own question, please!

Have fun!