Monthly Archives: October 2012

Today I Found Pumpkin Spice Creamer

I’m beginning to worry that my readers are on to my all-too-frequent trips to Target and/or obsession with beverages.  If I can no longer hide it, then I might as well share this story with you.

I have scoured the dairy section for pumpkin spice creamer at different groceries no less than eight times the past month but with no success.  I started to feel cheated and deprived (melodrama?  I don’t think so.).  As usual the Target trip to pick up my prescriptions felt like a bummer at the end of a long workday, not to mention the disappointing reminder of getting started on these meds yet again.  I did my routine drive-by in the grocery, couldn’t even find it listed on the shelf labels, and began to walk away, only a glimmer of orange happiness caught my eye.  In the middle of the jumbo creamers — there it was — one solitary pumpkin spice lovely, all alone and reaching for my buggy (yes, I’m from the south).  This totally made my day and gave me a chuckle that it seemed like a single bottle had been placed there just for me.  Now, don’t worry, I don’t think God sent down a creamer fairy (I suppose angel would be more theologically correct if we weren’t, in fact, talking about coffee creamer), but it did make me think about how He does love to show up and provide for us and make Himself known.

We stayed with some friends this weekend as we traveled out of state for a wedding and went to church with them.  Their pastor preached on Genesis 16 about Sarah and Hagar.  Seeing this in the bulletin triggered a fight or flight response but I thought about social acceptability and took a breath and managed to stay put in the pew.  I was surprised when he pulled from this passage that: God sees, God hears, and God speaks.  Verse 13, Hagar speaking, especially resonated with me, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'”  This is a message God has been — quite literally — speaking to me the past couple weeks, and yet again in this church miles away.

My last story.  I’m in church a couple weeks ago and a woman I have chatted with a couple times and who is known for her amazing prayer life pulled me aside.  She said to me, “I know I don’t know you very well, but I wanted you to know I couldn’t stop thinking about you last weekend.  You just kept coming to mind and so I kept praying for you.  I felt like I should tell you that God hears and that He remembers you.”  Needless to say I was enormously moved to hear that.  It felt like God offering me some assurance in response to all of my questions and grief lately.

Her comments nor her prayers made my pain or confusion go away, but it was a gift in the form of a reminder that He does hear and care and that He is present in this.  As I continually beg Him to provide in the way of a child and finances to somehow make it all possible, I’m also beginning to think of His very hearing, His very seeing, His very being there and reminding us of that as the provision itself.

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Today I’m Prepared

You know you’re infertile when your shopping basket looks anything like mine did last night.  Pregnancy tests?  Check.  Feminine hygiene supplies, unnecessary beauty accessories, and desired caffeinated and alcoholic beverage for when it’s negative?  Check check check.

I felt like the cashier had to know she was in the presence of an (in)fertile woman.  So the negative was there as expected this morning but as you can tell from the photo, I’m doing a-okay today with my new headband and purple nails and with champagne night on the docket.  (I’ve been craving the champagne since my friend’s bridal shower recently.  I hereby declare that all showers, bridal and baby alike, must involve champagne for the well-being of all attendees.)  I’m also a firm believer in being prepared with your very own infertility survivor kit.

I would enjoy hearing from you infertile women, and friends of, out there how you would finish that sentence stem: “You know you’re infertile when…” and/or what your favorite indulgences are.  Mine are helping me today!

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Today’s Metaphor

Ahhh…a week at the beach, amazing what it does for the soul.  I had a great week on vacation and away from technology.  It also was full of lots of observations and realizations, many difficult ones which made me all the more thankful that I was on vacation and had some space to take it all in.  Several of these observations came as a result of an unfortunate incident on vacation, so below I will share with you Today’s Metaphor.

Ways Infertility is Like Your Husband Losing His Wedding Ring in the Ocean:

1) Oh, crap.  Really?  That easy?  It was just here, within grasp, and now it’s gone!?
We assume all our lives that we will have a biological child, and yet seemingly so quickly the idea of that happening (or happening easily and naturally anyway) can slip away.  Seriously?  We’ve tried almost everything already?

2)  And there’s a sting ray in my face?!
And yes, a sting ray appeared right after he lost it.  Turns out you don’t just get dealt one bad card in your life, or in a month for that matter, like I used to theorize.  None of the other things this year have been dire, but I’m kind of ready for the poopy stuff to quit happening.  Don’t kick me while I’m down!!

3) This search is even more serious than “finding a needle in a haystack.”  It’s a gosh darn vast ocean, after all — that moves.  And titanium is light as all get-out.  This feels entirely impossible.
I will say it again, this feels entirely impossible.  That feeling of searching the water, the sand bars, the shores, the shells, it really was useless.  And felt all too familiar, too similar to our infertility journey.  Just standing there, searching feebly, getting hit by waves, sad and helpless.  If this is going to happen, it’s going to be completely the Lord.

4) “Nephews, we will give you whatever toy you’d like if you find the ring!”
Bargaining.  Third in the stages of grief, typically occuring after denial and anger.  Wishful thinking bordering on superstition, but it feels like it’s worth a try.  There was also something really comforting about having our family involved, everyone jumped in (literally) and helped with the search.  This, too, is what we need for infertility.  For folks to say “we’re in it with you,” to ask us about it, to not be afraid of our feelings, to get wet and maybe even knocked around in the waves with us a bit.

5) I’m grieving but it seems like everyone around me is frolicking happily along.
What an odd feeling to be searching for that symbol that has been a part of his everyday life in a physical way and a central part of our vow for so long, panicky and sad, but looking 20 yards over at people laughing and enjoying a beer and playing in the ocean.  It’s just an odd part of infertility, going along in your day and operating normally with grief close within reach all the time, but most people have no idea.

6) You could just stare at the ground the rest of your life and miss the beauty around you.
It was hard to not continue to keep one eye out even after we’d given up the search, and I would catch everyone else doing the same.  I’m trying so hard not to be obsessed with trying to conceive or all that I feel daily about it being so difficult.  I think there’s a real balance between glancing down occasionally, doing our part, but also remembering there’s a great big world out there for us to enjoy and engage in — the sun setting on the water, the enormous horizon seemingly all around us, family there, other things to talk about.  We don’t have to deny, but we also don’t have to let it rule us or (dare I say?) be an idol.

7) It could ruin your day (or vacation or life) if you let it but at some point you just have to accept it and say good-bye.
I wish I could say we found the ring, but no such luck.  There was something peaceful about accepting it was gone and that we could stop the search, say our farewells to the vast ocean that contains it, and mourn it.  (And I personally liked to imagine dolphins playing with it along with the four pairs of sunglasses, power ranger, headband, and goggles we also lost that week.)  Good-bye ring, and good-bye anguish with it.  No, we’re not there yet with fertility, we’re still hoping against all hope we will get pregnant, but I do continue to see the need for accepting where we are and even that conception likely won’t happen for us without IVF.  We are having to say good-bye to that picture we had in our minds.  There is something different for us and no matter how hard we fight it, we can’t make that easier path be true.

So those are my musings on those terrible moments, but really I felt like I was seeing a ton in them about infertility and about myself.

Other highlights of vacation, however, included riding waves on the sea kayak and toppling several times in front of hundreds of people on the beach.  I like failing when I don’t care, not to mention Hubs and I laughing a ton together.  We needed that.  I also got to talk to my dad more about what we’re going through and it was a really sweet moment.  I rarely in my life have cried or been very vulnerable with him, so it was good to let go and also to be comforted by him.

Perhaps the best moment, though, was taking the kayak out really far off the coast and Hubs and I screaming at the top of our lungs to infertility.  Don’t judge.  A hearty “F— you, Infertility!” or two works wonders.  I highly recommend it.

And finally, I put this label on myself about a year ago, but it is official: I am a severe pre-mourner.  As my sister and I planned the meals for vacation a couple weeks ago and we talked about our Friday meal, I started to feel sad already about the vacation coming to a close.  That was TWO weeks before the vacation even started!  I have a problem!!  She was kind to point out to me that there’s no wonder why I’m a pre-mourner as an (in)fertile woman.  Expecting you probably won’t get pregnant two weeks before it’s even possible — that’s the name of the game!  I guess to counter-act any potential hope crash.  So as I’m awaiting Thursday and the likely negative news (especially since we didn’t do an IUI this month), I’m trying not to feel sad about that yet or frustrated by all that’s ahead of us the following month.  The bigger deal is not pre-mourning a “no” with our final IUI and having to decide about IVF vs. adoption.  I want to strike the balance of thinking ahead enough to know where we’ll go next but also not borrowing feelings from tomorrow that do me no good today.  We’ll see how that goes.

So today my vacation is over and it is time to mourn that, but it’s also nice to be back to the pup, a warm fire in the fireplace, and the return of fall.  Maybe #6 is already sinking in!

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