Wednesday, July 28, 2010

4 Years Have Passed Quickly...

I'm composing this post on the eve of my 4th wedding anniversary.  Most of tomorrow will be spent on a plane headed to the West Coast, so time to celebrate now!!

The past 3 years have felt a bit frustrating to celebrate each anniversary childless.  However, this year, those feelings seem more like battle scars that we can say, "We got through it."  I don't feel more "complete" per say; just more grateful.  Last Saturday we saw our friends who recently adopted their adorable boy from South Korea.  I told my hubby that IF had been worth it; God used our struggles to push us towards adoption, which made us recommend it to our friends, who are now parents.  And I can't begin to list the many graces and friends that have come forth as the result of IF.

I continue to think back to that pivotal question during the C.atholic Rite of Marriage: "Will you accept children..."  The short question holds within itself a multitude of "ifs."  Will you accept children if they take a long time and much effort to conceive?  Will you accept adopted children?  Will you accept a child of another race or ethic background?  Will you accept the long, long wait?

Throughout the past 4 years we've had our share of ups and downs. By far the biggest burden has been infertility.  From day 1 my husband has held me while I cried about the latest pregnancy announcement, another failed test, another round of uncomfortable meds, a misunderstanding OB. I agree with many of the other IF-bloggers: IF made my husband and me stronger as a couple.  I thank God every day for the gift of the love of my life, and I'm grateful He brought our lives together.  My hubby never ceases to make me smile.

Here are some pictures from our wedding.  Yes, blue is my favorite color.  The church just happened to match my color scheme! 

I carried pink roses in my bouquet in honor of St. Therese. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Miracle in the IF Blogosphere

This quick post comes after a tiring week of putting our bathroom back together (remember the pathetic toilet leaning on its side on the garage floor?) in time to get our house appraised for a Re-Fi.  Additionally, I leave for the West Coast on Thursday.  What timing.

Anyway, I am jumping up and down to report the exciting adoption news of a fellow blogger.  She has endured failed adoptions and years of IF heartache.  God has turned her sorrow into joy!  Her baby girl is absolutely adorable. :)  Congratulations, R!

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Interview & the return of BOOs and YEAs

About 6 months ago, Lisa of interviewed me about infertility and the SHE group.  I knew she would post the subsequent article when she had a chance; thus, the interview completely slipped my mind.  Well, to my surprise the article was posted today on the website!!  I feel so touched and honored that she would make more people aware of infertility.

BOOs of the Week:

1.  Back to School sales.  Even though I work as a teacher, these sales hearken the end of summer.
2.  My city has decided to embark on numerous construction projects...simultaneously.  On most of the busy roads.  Great timing.

YEAs of the Week:

1.  The priest who officiated at our wedding came to visit us on Wednesday and Thursday.  He offered Mass in our home on Thursday morning before leaving...WOW.  Completely awesome! 

2.  Spiritual direction: what a difference a meeting makes!

3.  I couldn't keep my nose out of The Boylen Inheritance, a historical fiction novel by Philippa Gregory.  Although some risque and inappropriate scenes appear in the book, the overall plot is fast-moving.  One theme really struck me: the desire for a child, specifically a son.  Two of the women in the novel (Ann of Cleves and Katherine Howard) were under tremendous pressure to provide an heir to the throne.  Any failure to do so was considered the woman's fault, no matter the age of the husband.  I think of the stresses of the IF journey; how horrid it must have been to endure IF and the demands for a child.

Our baby girl moves (when I can feel her) about twice a day.  Sometimes she makes me a little seasick.  Still, I'm grateful for these movements, as they help reinforce the fact that this pregnancy is not a dream.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thoughts On Finding Out...

Some time ago I meant to write a post about this topic, but like many blog post topics, it fell by the wayside. At least this week I can claim the excuse of a catching a sinus infection just after the 4th of July.  And just a disclaimer: I composed this post 2 hours ago before reading Wheelbarrow Rider's excellent post on her little one on the way.  This is not a response, just my musings.  As an added bonus, today I got to have caffeine, which always helps the words to flow more freely. ha!

I haven’t posted any pregnant belly pictures yet because there really isn’t one. Prior to pregnancy I had dropped some pounds, but not enough to make my tummy flat. Now at 21 weeks, I don’t look all that pregnant. The PA at my doctor’s office even asked me yesterday, “You’re pregnant, right?” Still, I’m sure the belly is coming one of these days, so I will post a picture when that happens. My appetite is slowly returning, which ought to help my hubby, who has been heroically finishing my meals!

One of the questions we have been asked frequently is, “Will you find out the gender of the baby?” Every couple needs to answer this question on their own. I definitely admire the couples that choose to wait.  For my husband and me, we both agreed the answer was YES. I personally wanted a deeper connection to the baby by knowing its gender and calling it by name. The control-freak, planner side of me also liked the idea of knowing which colors to buy (not just pink, but colors that coordinate with it).

Something else that surprised me was an instant bond that formed upon finding out about our little girl. I had approached the first 12 weeks of pregnancy with caution, fear, and a bit of distance. Yes, joy became mixed in there, but fear was ever prevalent. The pessimistic and control freak side (see a pattern here?) wanted to be ready in case of miscarriage, since I had assumed I would never get pregnant. Again, these feelings are common in women who get pregnant after IF. However, something changed upon seeing our baby girl on the fuzzy ultrasound screen. I felt more like she was mine. Recently she has started to kick a bit, which makes it even more real.  Like I said, this is my personal experience.  As any pregnancy book will point out, each pregnancy and baby is different.

And with every kick, please know that I am praying for my IF friends. :)

p.s.  Here are the cupcakes I made for a 4th of July party.  I love experimenting with frosting colors.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Photos, BOOs, and YEAs!

Thanks for your encouragement in my last post about the Catholic Radio show.  Everything went well and my NaPro doc and Creighton Instructor were very articulate.

A couple of bloggers have commented lately on the fruits that came from years of Infertility.  While I hope to devote a future post to the topic, let me say that I wholeheartedly agree.  At the top of the list is a definite closeness to my husband.  Further down the list is my diminished fear of blood test needles, although the very thought of an IV still fills my veins with fear.

This past Monday I had a 20-week ultrasound.  My belly was so sore afterwards, as the tech had to press VERY hard in order to get the baby on camera.  It also didn't help that our Baby Girl spent the majority in the time in the fetal position (ironically, my favorite position for sleeping!) turned towards my backbone.  Shyness?  Maybe.  Stubbornness?  Maybe. Thankfully, everything looked OK.  We had been warned by a couple friends that at some 20-week ultrasounds, the doctor will tell you absolutely everything that could be a problem.  Praise God that this didn't happen.

3 Random BOO!s for the week:

1. The droning sound of vuvuzelas at the World Cup.  While muting the TV could work, I would also miss the commentary of those reporters with wonderful Scottish and British accents. :)

2.  For the past 4 years, only two people have lived in our house: my husband and me.  However, if you look at the massive amounts of junk we have accumulated over the years, it looks like we have a basketball team living under our roof!  My job this summer is to purge and make room for all the forthcoming baby items.

3.  A local movie theater charged $9.50 for a matinee!?!  Good thing I really wanted to see Toy.Story.3.

3 Random YEAs for the week:

1.  Better photos of our Baby Girl!

2.  The kindness of a friend who will accompany me tonight to register at Babies.R.Us (translation: el grande labyrinth of baby necessities and frivolity).  Seriously, I have no clue what to put on the list other than a Boppy and a Starbuc.ks onezie.  My friend has 2 kids with another on the way, so her opinion will really help a rookie like me!

3.  Here are my "bibles" as the pregnancy continues.  Fertile Thoughts talked about how much she loved her 40+ pregnancy planner and now I see why.  Of course, I had to add a West Coast touch to the cover (pink flip flops).  What to Expect is a comprehensive book that tells absolutely everything about pregnancy...I'm saving some chapters for later as my stomach can't take them right now.  Finally, Baby Bargains (thank you, Lori!) has become the "bible" for registering.  The book's authors (husband & wife as well as parents) write about the best and worst of everything from car seats to diapers.  The recommendations are based on comments of parents around the country and quality tests.

Happy Canada Day to our neighbors in the north and Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans!