Waiting for Baby Bird

Diary of an Infertile: I’m Tired

“I don’t know how much longer I do this,” cried the words of my heart as I looked over at my husband. Together we sat at our dining room table and as the tears flowed, and so did my raw emotions. Just hours earlier, while at church, I was stopped on three different occasions by three different women asking me how I was feeling (I must have had “that look”). Without hesitation, I smiled and said “fine” before quickly darting off in the other direction. However, “fine” was not how I was feeling. I was anything but “fine.” However, it sure is a lot easier to say and far less awkward for the other person to hear than if I were to be honest and spit out that I am at my breaking point. Because the truth is, even though I can see God’s powerful hand working in my life, and despite believing 110% in His promises, I still feel weighed down by His Sovereign will–trapped by circumstances I cannot seem to change no matter how hard I hope, pray and declare.

I am beyond frustrated and increasingly impatient with God and His ways as I feel stuck in the same storybook chapter of my life. How much longer is He going to make me wait until He starts writing the next chapter titled, “Motherhood?” I just want to shake my fists to the heavens as I scream and yell at the top of my lungs that if He doesn’t start writing it soon, then I am done!  Because I don’t know how much longer I can stay hopeful…how much longer I can keep surrendering my plans and control…how much longer I can shrug off the naysayers and eye-rollers. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can go on doing this. I am ready to move on from always talking about God’s promises, to cuddling them, rocking them, and showing them off to the world around me.

Raw emotions, uh? 

Don’t get me wrong, God is good and He is faithful to keep His word, but I’m just tired. Tired of what? Tired of being stuck in this “ugly chapter” and screaming from the rooftops my faith in God’s promises. I’m tired of feeling as though God has me in this holding cell and I’m unable to move forward or go backwards. I am just sitting here stuck as I wait on Him to finish writing my story; and while I sit here waiting, He has asked me to continually tell my story to as many people as possible so that He may get all of the credit for what will happen before it happens.

However, I am tired of telling my story. I’m tired of blogging and having everyone know my business. I’m tired of walking around feeling like I have a big question mark above my head as people wonder if this promise of a child was actually spoken by God or simply created from my emotional invention. I’m tired of sitting in this holding cell and being spit on as others call me a fool, mock my faith and laugh at my belief and love for a child that hasn’t even been conceived yet.

I am starting to feel overwhelmed at the very thought of still telling this same part of the chapter of how I am hoping, believing and waiting for His promise to be fulfilled five, ten, or even twenty years down the road. The longer He waits to fulfill His promise, the more intense the persecution, slander, judgement and doubts from others will arise. Will I have the strength to continue? Will I be able to handle it? Will my “hope tank” even last that long?

But the thing about this life that I am living is this: I have a free will. It’s my choice to either stay in this place that God has led me to and allow Him to continue to write my story, and in turn have me tell it to the world as He puts each new sentence on the page…or I can walk away and go back to living a comfortable life inside my own little bubble away from judgement, persecution, and opinions from others regarding our belief that God will give us the child He has promised. The choice is difficult because following Him and going down the path He wants me to travel is not comfortable and the story He is slowly writing is not easy for me to read to others. Nonetheless, if I want to live an abundant life filled with all of His promises, then I have to obey when He tells me to speak. I have do what He tells me to do or don’t do. I have to trust that ultimately His plan is far greater than mine and His story ends far better than the one I could ever write for myself.

Therefore, despite being at my wit’s end and feeling the sudden urge to hastily scribbled the words, “The End” on this chapter of my life and move on, I’m choosing to keep my hands off the pen and let Him finish writing the story He started in the first place. I am mustering up all my courage to say,

“Lord, I will humble myself under your mighty hand and I submit to You and Your way even though I want to break free. I trust You and will continue to wait for You to lift me up, relieve my suffering, and finish writing Your version of my story with the happy ending you have promised. May Your will, and not mine, be done.”


**This post was written on Sunday afternoon when I was probably at the lowest I have ever been since trying to conceive. However, I’m happy to report that where I was on Sunday, is not where I am today. After hours of praying and having the “ugliest cry” over what I would describe as the “ugliest chapter” of my life, God has given me the strength and renewed my hope to keep continuing on this journey and to keep shouting from the rooftops all that He is doing and going to do in my journey towards motherhood. I had no intentions of publishing this post after I wrote it since my tears have dried up and I’m feeling stronger than ever to keep going; but after thinking about it, and going back and forth with my decision, I decided that I needed to. Not only for me to look back on one day (as in some sort of diary), but I also want all my readers to know that there will be times when you feel like you are at your breaking point–when you can’t go on any longer and that’s okay. What is not okay is giving into those feelings by giving up and letting the enemy win. 

It’s during these moments when you are at your breaking point that you take your eyes off your circumstances, off your body and off others opinions and put them squarely on God because only He can give you the patience, strength, joy, peace, and even motivation to keep going…keep believing….keep hoping. It is by the grace of God that I woke up on Monday morning with a smile on my face and the strength to keep telling everyone the story of how I am an enormous (not pregnant) fool believing in an amazing God who doesn’t make promises He won’t keep and who doesn’t start something He won’t finish. **

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

Hey You Don't Give Up okay


I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!

 

Love and Marriage

Reigniting the Spark

Froelker-EverUpward CVR-LGSeveral weeks ago, author and blogger, Justine Brooks Froelker, gave me the honor and privilege to read a chapter of my choice and then write a review for her soon to be released book, Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to own a Childless Life. There were so many interesting chapters to choose from, but the one that stood out and grabbed my attention the most was “Reigniting the Spark.” This is such an important topic as too many times throughout the struggle to conceive, one of the biggest challenges a couple might face is maintaining and protecting the intimacy within their marriage.

Within this chapter, Justine discusses how IUI, IVF, timed intercourse, irregular cycles and financial difficulties can all put a strain on one’s marriage and intimacy level.  Unfortunately, I know first hand what she is talking about. My husband and I have been married for eight years and within the last three, we have endured the stress of long cycles, timed intercourse, doctor appointments, tests, the lack of ovulation, IVF, and a very heartbreaking early miscarriage.

Marriages and partnerships, just like relationships, will either evolve and flourish or wither and die in times of trauma and hardship. ~Ever Upward

As a result,I have often times let the enemy, who is like a moth, slowly eat away at our marriage without even realizing or taking notice. He hasn’t taken big bites or cause us to contemplate divorce, but rather he has taken little nibbles here and there that has caused tension, fights, and a lack of interest in one another. For the last three years since trying to conceive, the purpose of intimacy has no longer been about sharing our love, but rather producing baby; not to enjoy each other, but accomplish a goal. Each cycle I try to schedule our time together based upon the reading of an ovulation prediction stick and whether we felt like it or not, we have done the “deed”. My thoughts have been more focused on the baby I hope to conceive and as a result, there is no more romance. There has been no more spontaneity and little passion as our love-making has become more about “business than pleasure.”

It’s no doubt that these stressors have reduced our ‘spark’ to a mere flicker. However, just like Justine pointed out in her chapter, you have to be diligent to not let it stress or put a damper on your intimacy with one another and in doing so, a couple must make their relationship and connection with one another top priorities. One way she recommends doing this is planning and even pre-purchasing dates for each month within the year.

What better to find ourselves again, bring us back to us, have fun and spend quality time together than to make sure we have a planned activity for every month of the coming year. ~Ever Upward

I thought this was such a fantastic way to stay connected and rekindle the spark that I took her idea and planned 12 special “dates” for my husband and I to start taking in the month of September. I purposefully picked seven “dates” that have been on our bucket list for years while the others are simply because they sounded like mischievous fun. My plan is on the first day of every month, have my husband and I open the envelope together and plan the special weekend in which we would fulfill the promised date night (or weekend). My hope throughout the next 12 months is to have fun, connect, and reignite the spark.

Thank you once again to the amazing Justine for giving me this opportunity to take a sneak peek inside just a small portion of her infertility story. Her story has helped me remember the importance of not being too focused on working towards making a baby, that I forget to work towards making our marriage strong so that it will last the ups and downs of this thing called life. I encourage anyone who is struggling to conceive or has struggled in the past, to purchase Ever Upward which will become available October 1st, 2014 via her website or in bookstores early March.

Engagement Picture

 


IMG_8555
Justine Brooks Froelker is a Licensed Professional counselor and a Certified Daring Way Facilitator (based on the research of Brene Brown). She resides in St. Louis, Missouri and is the author of her blog, Ever Upward, as well as an infertility advocate for breaking the shame and silence of infertility and fighting to recover thereafter. She also writes for St. Louis Health & Wellness magazine and appears regularly on the mid-day television show Great Day St. Louis.
The Comic Section

I Must Be Pregnant Because…

Let’s face it, it is a well-known fact to any woman trying to conceive that the millisecond something new happens to your body during the dreadful two-week wait, you automatically think BAM! I must be pregnant! You know that your logical reasoning tells you a pregnancy can’t be confirmed until you get the two pink lines on a pregnancy test stick, but it doesn’t stop you from believing that anything and everything starting on day one after ovulation, is a sign from the heavens above that you are pregnant. Am I right? Or. Am. I. Right? But then again, maybe it’s just me.

For instance, the first three days past ovulation you had the following symptoms and you just knew your egg and his sperm had a hot and spicy date night:

  • The milk in my cereal tastes funny…I must be pregnant! 
  • My hair is more curly today…I must be pregnant!
  • I sneezed three times in a row and that never happens…I must be pregnant!
  • I keep running into walls…I must be pregnant!
  • My coffee tastes funny…I must be pregnant!

bitter coffee face

And it was during days 4-7 that you had the following symptoms and began planning a surprise pregnancy announcement for your husband, your parents, his parents, your grandma, all aunts and uncles, the post man, your neighbors, and anyone else who has ears to hear…

  • I think my nose is a little stuffy…I must be pregnant! 
  • My breasts are a little tender when I give them a squeeze…I must be pregnant!
  • My pee looks a little cloudier than normal…I must be pregnant!
  • I just stood up and got dizzy…I must be pregnant (never mind the fact I haven’t eaten in hours).
  • I lost more hair than usual in the shower this morning…I must be pregnant!
  • I cried during the snuggle commercial…I must be pregnant!
  • I was craving hamburgers for breakfast and cereal for lunch…I must be pregnant!

eating hamburger

And during days 8-13 you had the following symptoms and just knew implantation had occurred and so you started measuring for curtains in the nursery and cleaning out cabinets to make room for bottles…

  •  I had a sharp pain on my right side…I must be pregnant!
  • I went to the ladies room three times before noon…I must be pregnant (never mind the 32 ounce soda I just drank)!
  • The dog didn’t jump up on me when I got home…I must be pregnant!
  • I have heartburn…I must be pregnant (never mind the jalapeno I just ate)!
  • The cat won’t stop rubbing on my belly…I must be pregnant!
  • I am constipated…I must be pregnant!
  • I had a crazy dream…I must be pregnant!

However on day 13, one day before the expected arrival of your period, you become convinced more than ever as a new symptom emerges. What is this latest and greatest symptom? Hiccups! That’s right. For the past three days you have been randomly hiccuping throughout the day. The first day you didn’t think anything of it. However, by the second day you took a little more notice, and today, well today, you are 99.999 percent convinced that this must be an early sign of pregnancy. So what do you do? Duh! You do what you did with all of the other signs and symptoms! You page Doctor Google and ask in every possible form of a sentence, “hiccups an early sign of pregnancy” and low and behold what does the trusted doctor of the trying to conceive community say? YOU MUST BE PREGNANT!

So with all of these amazing signs and symptoms of an impending bun in the oven can you imagine not even getting a squinter on a pregnancy test the next day?! Me either!  Buuuut it happened. Go figure.

funny monkey

Thank you for stopping by and reading this edition of “Laughing Your Way through Infertility” and if you need a little extra humor or missed the last post, “My Breasts Will Have the Answer”, then you can find it here.

As always, I hope you have a great week and don’t forget to find time to laugh and enjoy the journey while you are on the path to reaching your destination.

Have a great day


I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then click here to find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird”, as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!

Waiting for Baby Bird

The Two Week Wait is Over

The two-week wait has come to an end and it was far less exciting than I had hoped for. There were no cramps or nausea. No food or smell aversions. No extra trips to the ladies room or tender breasts. But most importantly, there were no double lines or a missed period. Unfortunately, my first smile and Daniel’s attempt to pollinate my flower did not result in a pregnancy this cycle. However, as I sit here this afternoon writing “feminine products” on my shopping list, I am not crushed.

This cycle has brought me so much hope for the next, as it was the first time I saw a smile on an ovulation prediction test and it was also the first cycle in nine months in which it lasted less than 40 days. All morning long I have been dwelling on these positives and believing that because of the significant changes in my body, God is doing a new thing. In fact, He has affirmed it to me twice. The first affirmation came this morning when I read the following verse in my devotional and then again this afternoon when a friend sent it to me in an email (she was unaware my cycle had begun). The verse reads,

former things are gone

I know many of you might think the ovulation test and shorter cycle could have been a fluke or the scripture was just a coincidence, and honestly it is easy for me to travel down that same thought pattern as well. My logical reasoning says that due to my past cycles, I should be skeptical and doubt that anything has changed or will be different next month, but I’m not going with my logical reasoning. I am choosing faith and as hard as it is, I am looking at verse 18 and forgetting about my former past of long, anovulatory cycles and instead looking forward with hope that my cycle lengths are becoming more regular and ovulation will forever be a natural occurrence as God is doing new things! I believe that He is bringing complete healing to my body and making a way in my dry and barren land for conception to take place and soon. You may not perceive it, but I do! This is why when I go to the grocery store in five minutes, I am buying the smallest box of “feminine products” I can find because I am trusting that He will continue to do new things so that I am able to add another “first” to my list next month…my first missed period.


I would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!

 

Waiting for Baby Bird

My Two Week Wait

Am I pregnant 2

It has been almost two weeks since I posted about seeing  my first smile (ever) on an ovulation prediction test stick and as embarrassing as it was, many of you then became aware of the exact night of when the magical and romantic moment of timed intercourse occurred and Daniel attempted to pollinate my flower. sigh.  Therefore, since everyone is anxiously sitting on pins and needles, waiting for me to hopefully make an announcement in the upcoming days as I end my two-week wait, I thought it would be fun to share with you the early pregnancy signs and symptoms that I have been experiencing during this highly anticipated wait.

So, without further anticipation, are you ready to see my detailed list of all the signs, symptoms, and clues that point to this cycle being the one in which my promised baby bird hopefully flies into this Mama bird’s empty nest?  Drum roll please…

da, da, da, da, da (or however you would spell it)

early signs and symptoms nnz

Sorry to disappoint you Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends, and nosy neighbors, but you have read correctly.  I have nada, nothing, zilch to report.  I am just as bummed as you are because I would like to point out that I haven’t had a “known” two-week wait in over two years due to long, sporadic cycles; therefore, one can only imagine how excited I have been in the last several days to finally have the opportunity to anxiously wait, stress out and over analyze every single back pain, cramp, twinge, food aversion, dizzy spell, trip to the bathroom, upset stomach, and sore breast.  However, I am feeling completely normal and there has been nothing to stress out about or over analyze.

I am not peeing any more or less than before and I have zero food aversions to report.  I still love fried chicken, pizza, bologna sandwiches, and boneless wings, while continuing to always hate green peppers, celery, peas and lobster.  I do have this weird craving for tons and tons of mayonnaise smothered in between two slices of whole wheat bread, with a tiny squirt of mustard and Pringles potato chips smashed inside (meat isn’t required), but I always have this craving, so it doesn’t count.

The smell of Daniel’s poop, the trash can outside, and the breath from my cat do make me gag, but it would for anyone.  The only cramping I am experiencing is right before my morning…well, you know…poo.  And my breasts?  You know the REAL indicator as to if I am pregnant?  Well, they are exactly the same as before, if not smaller.  There isn’t even the slightest bit of tenderness or pain when I test them out by jogging down the sidewalk, running down the stairs, or poking and prodding them while cooking dinner, standing in the shower, or waiting at a red light.

I am also not bloated and if you must know, not constipated.  Perhaps you might be wondering if I am more fatigued.  Nope!  Still waking up at 6am and drifting off to la la land around midnight (or later).  Moodier than normal? Once again, nope!  Before ovulation or after ovulation it doesn’t matter, WWIII will still erupt over my husband’s failure to put his socks in the dirty clothes hamper, dishes in the dishwasher, or shoes by the back door.  I know, I sound like an obsessive compulsive clean freak who likes everything in its place.  No shame because I am and I do.

So there you have it folks. Within my two-week wait I have not been able to see nor feel anything that physically points to or affirms that this cycle is the one.  However, despite the lack of early pregnancy signs, I am still hopeful.  I can’t help but be anything but hopeful because I believe the day before a person’s whole life changes forever, could feel like any ordinary day.

I am sure the day before God fulfilled His promise of a flood to Noah felt like any other day, maybe even filled with lots of sunshine and very few clouds.  I would even bet to say that the day before Zachariah was told by an angel he would finally be a first time father in his old age also probably felt like any other day.  I can’t help but think about the leper, the woman with the issue of blood, the blind man, and the paralytic who were all healed instantly by Jesus.  Wouldn’t you assume the day before their miracle took place it felt like just more of the same as they were experiencing sickness, disease and feelings of hopelessness and defeat?  What about Paul and Silas who one day were shackled by chains in prison with no hope of ever being released, yet the next day were miraculously freed by an earthquake?  How about the testimonies that I have posted here?  Do you think it’s safe to say the day before they learned of their miracle it might have also looked like a typical day?

You see, the day before a person’s life changes forever, could feel just like any ordinary day because God performs miracles and fulfills His promises suddenly and when we least expect it.  That being the case, I am going to walk by faith and not by sight as I hold tightly, with white knuckles to the hope that tomorrow, God will take my ordinary day filled with my impossible circumstances and change it into something extraordinary filled with miracles.  Will you hope and believe with me? 

The day before your life changes

For those of you who are like me and are experiencing or have experienced one or multiple miscarriages, failed cycles, a failed IUI or IVF, I encourage you to never give up, lose hope, or stop believing.  Let’s make the choice together to always press forward and have faith to believe that what has happened in our past, will not necessarily happen again in our future.

“For nothing is impossible with God.”  ~Luke 1:37