Showing posts from 2014

The Magic of the Season

Today is Christmas Eve, the penultimate event on the Christmas calendar. Today, families all over will gather together to celebrate the joy of Christmas and the special bonds that tie them together. Some of these families will be "genetic" relatives and some will be families formed not through blood, but through the bonds of love.
Christmas is an incredibly busy season. I know I have been busy-- shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating, traveling and visiting. But, sometimes we lose sight of the wonder that is an inherent part of this season. I know I have been guilty of losing sight of this in the hustle and bustle of Christmas. For me, part of it is by design. If I occupy myself with the details of planning for Christmas, then I don't have to worry about experiencing the child size hole in our family.
Facebook is my window into the lives of many people with children. I have seen status updates for weeks about wrapping and shopping--how it will never get done, how tired …

A Very Belated Thanksgiving

Since Christmas preparations are in full swing and we're staring down the big day, it is only fitting that I take a step back and offer up my very belated thoughts on a thanksgiving in spite of infertility.

Thanksgiving is a difficult time of the year. My mother passed away ten years ago on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. On the day before Thanksgiving, her Oncologist told us it would probably be her last with us. So, that entire day, we knew our hours with her were numbered. We knew our family would never be whole in the same way. As such, it has been extremely difficult for me to feel truly thankful when Turkey Day rolls around each year.  Couple that with the devastating loss we suffered when Jeremy's father was ripped from our lives by a man whose motivation no one understands, and it's hard to see what we should feel thankful for.

Fast forward to my struggle with infertility. In short, infertility makes feeling grateful even more difficult for me.  I know the green eye…

At least the "girls" are normal

First things first. I will admit that I failed miserably at 31 days of blogging. But, I stuck it out much longer than I originally thought I would. Ultimately, it was blogging or my sanity. I chose my sanity, largely in part to Jeremy's guidance. I won't be trying that again any time soon.

Jeremy and I are poised to begin fertility treatments once again, starting when the new year rolls around. We haven't tried any with Dr. D, so we are going to give it a go, knowing he wants to try new meds, a new approach and I am a whole lot lighter. So, I guess it's worth another try... even if my heart doesn't really hold much hope at the moment.

One place where hope seems to remain supreme in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary is inside the office of Dr. S. Each time I have a routine appointment with him, he talks about "when" I get pregnant. After 2 years, I really think he would be tired of the fantasy by now. But, he props up my delusion and makes me …

Anti-Testosterone Thursday... Why Are Infertiles Easy Social Pickins?

Society is becoming more politically correct every day. As society evolves, fewer and fewer groups are marginalized by society. Years ago, you were either a rich white Christian male or a second (or third, or fourth, or etc.) class citizen. As society has progressed, we have become more encompassing of other groups based on race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. While I do not even begin to propose that society has advanced to a point of enlightenment towards each of the aforementioned categories, being an infertile, sadly, is not one of them.
Beck has spoken many times on the things people say to an infertile that mean well, but still come up feeling hollow, callous, and/or cruel. We have all heard the “it will happen when it's supposed to” or the ever popular “relax, it'll happen.” In honor of what Beck has called Testosterone Thursday, let me tell you about the most emasculating and hurtful comment I have ever had directed at me as an infertile.
In my former job, …

The Best Job I Never Thought I'd Do

Some of you know me well, but others of you only know me through this blog. While you might know I am a teacher, my long and winding journey to get here might be a bit of a surprise. You see, I never planned to be a teacher. I scoffed at the idea when I was in high school. I rejected the notion that fueling the minds of the next generation could be fulfilling for me.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

When I started college, I majored in Political Science and English. When I graduated for years later, I attained both of those degrees. I believed I was headed to law school, but I never imagined that I would practice law. So, I headed to Clemson and started a grad program, which held little appeal for me in the long run.

Fast forward about 5 years. In that time, I worked in the non-profit and for profit sectors, never feeling fully satisfied after putting in my days. I remembered my childhood, when my mother was tired but exhilarated at the end of her days.

Until I stated high school,…

The New Normal

Today was the day I almost cracked. It was almost too much and I almost gave up short of my goal.

No, I'm not talking about infertility and giving up on becoming a mother. I'm talking about the 31 Days of Blogging.

I've pretty much decided I'm talking to about 11 people on this blog. So, fabulous 11, HELLO!

I think 12 is too large a number. I believe about 11 people consistently read my blog. Included in this number are: my mother-in-law, my sister, 4 of my "infertility sisters," my own "self-check" of the blog, at least 3 miscellaneous family members, and some person that is wondering why there aren't egg recipes on this site. Notice I don't say Jeremy. He binge reads once he thinks about it.

In all seriousness, I think my readership has dwindled the harder I push. So, I have backed off and I don't promote the blog much on my personal Facebook page. When a topic really feels right, I share. However, for the most part, I keep it to mysel…


Today, one of my students started a conversation that I never thought a seventh grader would engage in-- he asked me if I will ever adopt a child.

I don't know why he assumed I can't have children. I definitely don't talk about infertility with my students, no do I suspect he has any evidence of it. But, today, he asked if I would ever adopt a child because he was sure I would be good at being a mom since I would be "just strict enough."

I didn't get angry, I didn't get upset, and honestly, it didn't really bother me. I told him it was a very personal question to ask someone and I shrugged it off with a "who knows what life has in store for any of us" kind of comment. But, as I am prone to do, his comment pushed me into more thought.

Is there something about me that just screams INFERTILE? How did he know?

Always Proud of My Home Among the Hills

Yesterday, Jeremy and I went on a wild ride without ever leaving out living room. We cheered on our West Virginia Mountaineer football team as they took on the #4 ranked Baylor Bears. Many people were calling for a Baylor victory in Morgantown, and, to be honest, our expectations weren't high.

But, the Mountaineers prevailed in an emotionally exhausting game. I can only imagine what it was like inside of Milan Puskar Stadium. I know the energy that exists there and how, when that largest city in the state of West Virginia is cheering in unison, emotions transcend the moment and it is easy to get swept away. I know, for two Mountaineers in Tarheel country, we were beyond excited in our transplanted Mountaineer abode.

When time expired and the 'Eers were victorious, the celebration began. If you know anything about WVU and Morgantown, you know they love their celebrations. It starts with the post-game John Denver sing along, and move to the houses, apartments and other locations…

The Wrong Message in the Stars

If you haven't read, or watched, The Fault in Our Stars, and you intend to, you might want to stop right here. I'm going to give some of it away. As a teacher of adolescents, I try to read the popular fiction in the Young Adult genre. A while back, I read this book, well before I knew it would hit theaters.Jeremy knew I read it and he decided to pick up the DVD for a little downtime this weekend. That was tonight's entertainment.

The movie centers around two "star crossed" young lovers, Hazel and Augustus, who are both "cancer kids" (their words, not mine). The movie shows how they learn about love and life together, and grow up fast as I am certain anyone grappling with cancer at such a young age would be prone to do. There are some trite cliches, yes, but the book does a fairly good job of conveying authentic emotion and crafting characters in whom we can see flaws, but whom we also like.

But, as I have a knack for doing, I watched this movie and was …

Five Minute Friday: Long

Once again, I am participating in Five Minute Friday. If you're interested, visit these ladies to see how you can join up.

The premise is simple. I write for 5 uninterrupted minutes, and with minimal editing, post the results to share on my blog. Each Friday, a new topic is offered up. This week the topic is a word that immediately dredged up emotions for me: LONG.

So, here we go.

Long. It's a word that holds so much more meaning than it did when I was younger. I thought the time between the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas was long. Boy, I had no concept of long.

My path has been long in this world of infertility

It's been years and years of infertility. I have been pursuing fertility treatments for over two years. Two years. 730+ days. More than 17500 hours. More minutes and seconds than I want to count. All of them riddled with promise and disaster, simultaneously teasing me with hope and wrapping me in despair.

It's been a long year of forgoing any fertility treatm…

Testosterone Thursday: Sometimes, you just need to hold on a little tighter

I've made an executive decision. I'm calling all of Jeremy's Thursday blog posts "Testosterone Thursday" since it's the injection of the necessary male energy around here. He hasn't failed me yet, but boy he must want some brownie points with the sweet things he says in his posts. Here's the latest installment about the way infertility has changed us as a couple. 

Infertility is a crucible. We have been “successfully” married for 10 years, faithfully, to each other. Yet I feel as if our struggle with fertility is similar to those who are going through any major even that shakes the very foundation of the institution, something akin to infidelity. You think that you are defective, or that the other blames you, or that they would be better off without you, or that you are holding the other back from their hopes and dreams, or... any other on a laundry list of inadequacies. There are really only three ways the struggle of infertility can end: becoming pa…

Giving Voice to My Truth, My Pain, My Journey

Resolve is gearing up for #GivingTuesday on December 2nd. As a lead-up, infertility bloggers like me are "giving voice" to our infertility stories and sharing the reality of dealing with the struggles associated with infertility. We're counting down the weeks until the big event on December 2nd! Stay tuned for more posts in the #Giving Tuesday series!

Last week, I talked about "outing" myself as an infertile, despite the fear, pain and shame of infertility. If I had it to do again, I would only change one thing: I would have done it sooner.

One of the hardest parts of the infertility journey has been setting aside my people pleaser personality to live my life in a way that is true to who I am and what I am experiencing. For most of my life, and still in many respects, I like to please those around me. I want to make people happy and want to accommodate people when I can. Giving to others, helping others, and making others feel good makes me feel good. Living wi…

Just Wait

Today is another Microblog Monday. Check it out over here at the Stirrup Queens. I was looking for inspiration for this blog today, just to keep up my 31 days of blogging mojo. Some days, the words flow effortlessly... on days like today, it is more like... well... those days in the stirrups. Anyway, I found inspiration when I hit play on my playlist this afternoon. :)

Jeremy and I have very different musical tastes-- he likes EVERYTHING (from twangy country, to death metal to classical) and I have very narrow tastes that begin and end in the rock realm. We overlap in a few places, one of them being our mutual love for Blues Traveler. We've seen them in concert more times than I can remember, and they absolutely never disappoint.
Today, one of my favorites was cued up first on the random part of my playlist-- a song I haven't heard in a very long time. Staring down my 34th birthday tomorrow, it was just what I needed to get my perspective back to where it should be.
I've b…

Happy Birthday, Grandma Jane!

This month, Jeremy's grandma, Jane, is turning 95 years young. I'm sure anyone can appreciate how awesome it is that he still has his grandma. For those of you who don't know Jane, the true accomplishment is how feisty she is, regardless of her age.

Jane lives back in West Virginia, still living on her own in her own home. She cooks for herself and does manages her day to day life. But, don't mention these things to her. You see, she doesn't think it's the least bit extraordinary that she still does these things. It's just living life to her.

Grandma Jane is still a pretty sharp lady. She loves to chat and can tell stories she heard yesterday or 50 years ago. In her golden years, she's acquired a love for shopping and jewelry, to go with her lifelong love of sweet treats.

As you might imagine, there are very few things she needs anymore. She is pretty content with her life and doesn't really need gifts. But, she LOVES to hear from people. So, as her…

A 2012 Time Warp: The Moment I Knew

Once again, I'm joining the infertility blogging community to share my story of discovery. This time, I'm sharing the moment when I first learned the truth about my fertility challenges.

The moment I knew, my entire world shifted on its axis. Time simultaneously stood still and moved forward at breakneck speed. Nothing would ever be the same again.

August 2012

When Jeremy and I moved to a new place, I made a promise that I would find a new doctor right away, that I wouldn't put off my annual exam "one more time" like I had done for far too long. Losing my mom when she was merely 48, I knew it was important to visit my OBGYN regularly. But knowing and doing were two VERY different things.

I stood in the conference room at work and scheduled an appointment at a well respected, local OBGYN practice that emphasized being "for women, by women." During the call, I was initially slated to see a different doctor, someone besides the now infamous Dr. S. But, as l…

Care on Five Minute Friday

In this 31 days of blogging experiment, I'm trying out a few new things. The thing I have found to be the absolute hardest is blogging on Fridays after working (ie leaving my heart and soul in my classroom and with my students) for five solid days. Other days might be slightly challenging to get just right, but Friday is DISASTROUS! 

Enter my new find-- 5 Minute Friday.
The premise is simple. I will look at the blog for the prompt and write for 5 uninterrupted minutes without much self-editing or concern for grammatical perfection. I remember this exercise from middle school language arts... so it's worth a go... especially if it fills the Friday writing void. So, here goes nothing.

Annnnnnnnnnndddddddddddd..... GO!
It's a simple word, really. One that brings me back to my earliest years and the Care Bears that covered my walls back in the 80's. It's the notion I learned first in this world, at the hands of my mother and grandmothers. Something that was ever-prese…

Death and Non-existence: The same thing.... almost

It's Thursday during the 31 days of Blogging October. Guess what that means? Yep! Jeremy is blogging again (and promises another for each Thursday in October!) Enjoy his perspective that genuinely brought tears to my eyes... more than once. Definitely worth a read.-- Becky

When we started this process of fertility treatments (and failed treatments month after month), Beck said she was feeling the same kind of loss as when members of her family passed away.Fortunately for me, at the time, I had not yet experienced that feeling. Sadly, as those of you who read this know, that changed this past January with the unexpected passing of my father. For those of you who have lost a loved one, you have some understanding of what we are going through each day from here until... well, who knows.
Let me back up a second. I think that Beck was talking about an acute and constant loss that she experienced, or at least that is how I understood her actions, emotions, and thoughts during all of thes…

I don't want "no stinkin' baby dust"

There is a sharp divide when it comes to women who want to get pregnant. There are those who are new to the scene and those who are seasoned veterans. If you go to an online forum for these types of issues, it may seem difficult to figure out who is who. But, once you're in the know, it's easy to spot the "newbs."

How, you might ask, could this be so?

One phrase. Two words.

Baby dust.

Women, most of whom are naive as to the real difficulties of infertility, often use this phrase as a closing in posts or email. They send their wishes in the forms of "baby dust, xOx0 baBydUStxOxO, **sticky baby dust** or some other crazy abomination. The premise, I suppose, is that wishing someone "baby dust" means you are wishing a pregnancy for them. Sticky baby dust, it stands to reason, must be for a successful pregnancy.

I don't want to sound callous but, well...I don't want your baby dust... sticky or otherwise. Here's why.

1. The idea that babies are c…

Giving Voice Despite the Fear, Shame and Stigma of Infertility

Throughout the months of October, November and December, RESOLVE is asking infertility bloggers to be part of their Giving Tuesdays, focusing on awareness for infertility related issues. The theme for the month of October is GIVE VOICE. I'm a week behind, but thanks to my friend Jessica at My Journey to Motherhood, I am now on board with other infertility bloggers around the country.

Resolve to GIVE VOICE: Giving Tuesdays

I remember the early days of infertility. The initial consultation appointment with Dr. S.  The Clomid pills in the bottle. The nerves from my first ever surgery.

I was so confused about why my body wouldn't do what it was meant to do. I was angry at myself for waiting until my thirties to find the medical help we needed. I was scared the future Jeremy and I had always imagined was something that would never come to fruition. I was afraid of more failure and of the astronomical expenses that were tied to fertility treatments.

But, my biggest fear was something…

A Twisted Perspective

I'm once again participating in Microblogging Monday.

Jeremy and I went to see the movie Gone Girl this past Saturday. While I enjoyed the movie, and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to spend an excellent couple of hours. However, my infertility was the third wheel on my date night.
I won't give away the plot, but there is mention of a fertility clinic and the notion that one go at the clinic is all it took for someone to get pregnant.
All that went through my mind was "Seriously? Her?"
I know it's fiction, and I know I should have checked my emotional baggage at the door. But, I didn't and it was at the front of my mind.
Is that what a girl has to do to get a pregnancy around here?

I Don't Know What to Say: A Guide for Friends of Infertiles

Throughout my journey through infertility, many friends and family members have reached out to me at one time or another to let me know they are on my side. Usually, it's a message or email saying they read the blog and are waiting for our happy ending. I love each and every person who has reached out to me, letting me know that others are thinking of me and wishing me well.

The major thread, besides the good wishes, that runs through every one of these statements is the notion that they don't know what to say. They all want to let me know they are supporting us, but they aren't sure what words work in that moment.

I've spent a lot of space considering the things that are inappropriate to say to infertiles, so let me share with you the things you should say to your friend or family member facing infertility.

6. Anything. Seriously, anything. Except stupid, insensitive, thoughtless platitudes. So, anything that you REALLY mean.

I have some friends and family members who…