Purging the past

Tonight I decided to clean out my inbox. Let’s just say this task was LONG OVERDUE. I’ve been hoarding emails since I switched to my Gmail account in 2012.

It’s funny how much baggage can be found in someone’s email.

In the year 2012 alone, I found emails relating to:

  • Tracking my ovulation cycles
  • Friends asking if I was pregnant yet
  • My feelings when my SIL got prego with #2
  • Baby item wish lists I had sent to my husband
  • Newborn photography package inquiries
  • Lists of baby names

Man oh man!

If I only knew back then what I know now… timeline, treatments, ugh. I was so naive, yet so hopeful and excited.

Anyway, moral of the story is: email is a form of clutter. HIT DELETE and take a weight off.

Whew. Feels good. 

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I still remember

I changed my Facebook profile photo today. I got new glasses, so most people will assume that’s the reason why.

But really,  I changed it because I couldn’t bear to think that it was hurting someone else.

You see I’m an admin on our local infertility support Facebook group. A few weeks ago,  I changed my photo to one of Wyatt and I. In the moment, it seemed like the right thing to do. I was having a good hair day and a cuddle with my son.

image

Since then, I cringe every time I post in the group and see my little profile icon with that image of me as a mother. I know there are so many other women in that group longing for what I have.

I just can’t do it. I can’t flaunt my transition beyond infertility even if some think my story may inspire and give hope. I know all too well that photos like that poke at the emptiness in your heart when you are longing for your own baby to cuddle.

I love my son beyond words, but that doesn’t take away the past. I know how much it used to hurt, how much it can still hurt reflecting back on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. I know exactly how it feels for every woman in that group still waiting for their babies. And I don’t want to inflict any more suffering on them… even if a profile photo is such a subtle gesture.

For now, I’ll limit my profile photo to be a solo shot of me.  I’ll use my cover photo for the family or baby pics as it’s not so in your face.

And I’ll keep hoping and praying that each and every one of those women find joy and happiness no matter where their journey leads them. ❤

All the dates that matter

One year ago today, I was arriving at the fertility clinic to prepare for my egg retrieval.

Following the retrieval, my eggs met my husband’s sperm and the magical process of fertilization began.

Our babies were created.

I guarantee you if I asked any member of our families what happened one year ago today, none of them would know the answer. It’s dates like this that only we remember.

When you face infertility and pregnancy loss, you remember so many moments along the journey that were significant to you.

The first trip you made to the doctor…

The moment you received diagnostic test results…

The instant you found out your baby wouldn’t make it…

The date you realized you were pregnant again…

All of these moments were life changing.

All of these dates mattered.

Be proud of your special moments. Reflect on them with positivity and gratitude.

Allow yourself to feel sadness on the dates that broke your heart.

Celebrate your milestones.

You’ve faced so many challenges. You’ve grown as an individual and as a couple. If you and your partner are the only ones who remember these dates, then so be it. You don’t need anyone else to acknowledge your journey. You know in your heart how far you’ve come. ❤

heartmind

Reflecting on our IVF journey

One year ago today, I had bloodwork and an ultrasound, then started my stims.

I crossed over into the world of IVF treatment not realizing what was in store for me.

I think reflection is an important part of life. Not reflecting on the negative all the time, but reflecting on the challenges and seeing what became of them.

In the past year, I’ve experienced:

  • A cocktail of fertility meds
  • Over 120 self (or husband) injected needles
  • Close to 50 blood tests
  • 2 surgeries
  • 2 embryo transfers
  • 2 pregnancies
  • Grief and heartache following a pregnancy loss
  • A mild case of OHSS
  • Borderline Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Lost friends
  • Gained friends
  • A newfound sense of self
  • A closer connection to my husband
  • A better understanding of my body
  • Love at first sight
  • All of the “pregnancy firsts” (first ultrasound, first heartbeat, first anatomy scan, first kick)
  • 3 changes in my job position/title
  • Paying off IVF costs
  • Preparing for baby
  • Stress
  • Relaxation
  • Fear
  • Hope

I’m sure this list could go on and on…

Was this past year easy? Hell no, but I would never change it.

The challenges were worth the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, and the strength I’ve gained.

If you asked me 1 year ago where I thought I’d be today, I would have said on maternity leave with a 3 month old baby girl.

Instead, I’m 32 weeks pregnant preparing for the birth of our baby boy.

Life changes and we can’t control it.

All we can do is look back on it and appreciate how far we’ve come. ❤

The journey never ends. It merely twists and turns us in another direction.

journey quote

Two big milestones in one day

Today, I’ve officially reached the 3rd trimester AND it’s my 30th birthday.

I laid in bed this morning contemplating where I thought my life would be at 30. It didn’t seem odd to be pregnant, but if you had asked me years ago, I would have assumed we would be pregnant with Baby #2. The funny thing is that this is true. Baby #1 just took longer than expected and didn’t get to come home with us.

The past few weeks have been a period of reflection. At the beginning of 2015, I set a goal for peace. I’ve recently realized that any time I don’t feel peaceful, I need to turn to acceptance and gratitude.

For example: Some days, the aches, pains and nasty pregnancy symptoms start to add up and can turn your mood fowl. Instead of dwelling on the “why me’s”, I turn my focus to gratitude. I am so grateful to be pregnant. Each side effect or symptom is proof that my body is working hard to provide nourishment and a safe home for my baby.

Sometimes it’s easier to let our chaotic minds take over, rather than recognizing the advantages to our situation. It’s all a matter of perspective. And that slight change in perspective can ease many worries and anxieties; and bring you peace.

Reaching the 3rd trimester definitely seems surreal. I wasn’t sure how I would feel today, but I am happy to have (potentially) 12 weeks left to prepare for my little boy. I’m looking forward to becoming a mother. I can’t wait to see my husband hold our son for the first time. I’m actually interested in experiencing labour (says the crazy woman- ha!) and all of our baby’s “first time” experiences as well.

I’m not upset about turning 30. I’m actually kinda happy to leave my 20’s behind. They were a period of many challenges, but each experience turned me into the person I am today – a strong 30-year old woman. I have a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a successful career. I am a mother to two children and my fur-babies. I can honestly say that I love myself much more now than I did when I was 20. I am confident in who I am. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and exactly where I am today.

I’m ready to enter my 30’s and hope that they bring many, many blessings. ❤

30thcard

^ Since I can’t have the wine today, would you be willing to do that part for me? 😛

Reflections on Beta #4

I wrote my last post, Beta #4: on ectopic watch, from a place of fear.

I’m not saying that fear is completely gone, but I did have to spend some time tonight finding a place of stillness.

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary.

My husband was as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning waiting for that phone call this afternoon. As luck would have it, he was home from the farm for the day. I left work a bit early this afternoon and had a nap while we waited.

When the call finally came through, I didn’t expect to hear what the nurse said, “Your results are still low. We need to keep monitoring you. You are on ectopic watch. If you experience any pain, go straight to the emergency room.

Each time I think this fertility journey is looking up, I am faced with another challenging situation.

As I hung up the phone, I was in panic mode. Mr. Google was the first person I turned to researching ectopic pregnancy symptoms and then, success stories of low and slow rising betas.

It’s true that you will ALWAYS find a success story out there for each and every fertility scenario you face.

Does that mean it will happen to you? Not necessarily, but it lessens the fear. 

Developing my own intuition has gone hand in hand with my fertility journey. For months now, I have believed this IVF would be a success. I saw my baby’s due date long before we even had our retrieval and transfer scheduled. I have connected with my baby girl many times and she has reassured me that she is on her way to me now. But, each time my patience is tested, I step back from trusting my own intuition.

I decided to reach out to my one of my close intuitive friends (who has actually connected with me 3 times over this beta limbo period). Tonight, she validated that she is still seeing a pregnancy in the womb that is connected to much joy and love. She instructed me to stay calm and patient, to stop researching the scientific stats and to remain connected to myself and my baby. When I look outside of myself for the answers, I weaken my connection to my baby girl. I need to remained focused on being her mother for this journey.

She also mentioned she kept seeing angel wings. At first this freaked me out. All I could think of was Angel Baby (coming from a place of fear). Once I settled down, I realized this related to what a very kind friend said to me last week,

Don’t be afraid. Let the Angels take care of this.

My husband and I ate supper together and then I told him I needed some alone time to reconnect with myself.

I lit some candles, poured some oils in my diffuser, rearranged my crystal grid and meditated for about half an hour.

Once I was done, I asked my husband to join me. We laid together on our bed with our fur babies. I place my head on his chest. If I can’t listen to my baby’s heartbeat right now, I can find comfort in hearing my husband’s. 

At the end of the night, I have found stillness amid the chaos of the medical system.

I believe we still have a chance.

There is truly nothing I can do at this point but hope for the best possible outcome.

I will remain patient and calm. I will be strong for my baby.

What are you letting steal your happiness?

The other night, my husband and I were arguing. It was a typical fight for us. I bring up something that is bothering me –  usually an issue with his family. He doesn’t want to talk about it, so he shuts me out. I get mad that he doesn’t want talk. I yell. He refuses to talk. I yell again. We both say hurtful things (that we always try to take back afterwards). We try to go to bed on peaceful terms but the stench of the argument still lingers in the air.

Often in these moments, we both bring up “what ifs” from the past.

“Remember that time YOU DIDN’T do this…”

“What if this never happened, then where would we be, HUH?” 

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this article on MindBodyGreen: Are you letting others steal your happiness?

Wow. Talk about putting things into perspective. 

You can’t change the past. You can’t undo what has already happened.

“What if” moments are energy-draining, life-sucking and POINTLESS.

You will never know the answer to “What if we started trying to conceive sooner?” or “What if we tried to have sex just one more time that ovulation week?“.

None of it matters because none of it can be changed.

Reflection is only worthwhile if a lesson is learned.

I gave my husband some much needed alone time last night to digest everything that has been going on this week – with himself, with me, with his family and with trying to conceive. We got to a place where we both could calmly discuss the issues.

This time, our lesson is that we can’t let my husband’s family steal our happiness (because we sure as hell know they aren’t spending the time worrying about us). We need to let go of the hurt from the past 2 years of trying to conceive and focus on what we can do support each other moving forward. Our happiness is our #1 priority.

Be in the here; in the now.  Trust that you are where you are supposed to be.

Don’t let the “what ifs” steal your happiness.

Watch this video to hear Jennifer Pastiloff talk more about maintaining your happiness: