National Infertility Awareness Week 2017

Time heals all wounds, right?

Wrong.

Wounds might be easier to deal with. The pain slightly easier to bear.

But they are never truly healed.

Some days it just hits you and today was one of those days.

Our fertility struggle started more than 5 years ago. Our loss 1202 days ago. I’ve had two beautiful, healthy, happy children since then.

But that doesn’t change the loss and pain we endured to get here.

While the sadness and grief no longer consume me, there is a piece of my heart that still mourns that lost little love, each negative pregnancy test, each time I was told no or maybe next time.

Today was a normal day, as I loaded up the kids and left for our MOPs meeting (Moms of Preschoolers).

Today’s speaker spoke about her journey through infertility and loss. Her story was tragic and heartbreaking, something no one should have to go through. I sat there and cried with her.

After our speaker finished, we were provided discussion questions to use at our table.

Today, I heard several very brave women, share their stories of fertility struggles and losses. It humbled me to watch their bravery unfold. They shared their pain. Their battle.

When it was my turn to share, I was surprised when I had to stop and try (not very successfully) to regain some composure.

I’ve been quite open about what we’ve been through. It’s been awhile since I really talked about that blazing, joyous moment of finding out we were pregnant to that heart-wrenching, life altering moment when we weren’t.

I remember thinking to myself how weird it was that I was crying, I feel like I don’t usually cry when I talk about our journey anymore.

As I’ve shared our struggled throughout the last few years, I’ve spoken with quite a few people who struggled too, with infertility, secondary infertility or miscarriages. But being in a room with so many wonderful people, many of whom had this shared experience was empowering. Even through all of the accompanying sadness, it proved, again, I was not alone.

I’m not.

And you are not alone.

 

Listen up.

Don’t suffer in silence.

Check out Resolve to learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week and more available resources.

Last Night Was a Good Night

There are some things that seem so distant, so unreachable, that you can never fully picture them.

You can’t visualize what something will be like because it seems so impossible.

But luckily for me, I had one of those magical, unreachable moments happen last night.

Every night when my husband is home, we put our sweet little guy to bed together.

Tonight I put him in jammies, we brushed his teeth and took him into his room. W read to him while I tried to snuggle him in his bed. Just like we do each night, but we swap, one reads while one stays.

But tonight L seemed like he wanted us both, so W laid down next to the bed so neither one of us had to leave him.

L wiggled and scooted around like he always does. But then…our Itty-Bitty started kicking. The strongest kicks I’ve felt with this pregnancy, high by my rib cage. I didn’t move for a moment, enjoying the happy baby.

I finally thought to get my husband’s attention, and he rested his hand there, and behold! A kick!  W hadn’t felt kicks like this yet. He’d been deployed almost my entire first pregnancy, coming home just days before the c-section. He’d felt movement then but not kicks like this.

This is never a position I thought I’d be in. Having my husband home is a novelty in itself it seems like. But cuddling with our sweet angel of a boy while he drifts off to sleep, while our second little miracle bounces around happily.

Thank goodness for these two little miracles we never thought we’d have.

And when you’re not looking…

So I’ve been sitting on this post for a few months now because I wasn’t sure I even believed what was happening.

After all the struggles we went through to have our sweet L, we knew we would start thinking about a sibling sooner rather than later.

So in March I called a fertility clinic out here, since obviously we’d have to switch since the move from Hawaii.

We had an appointment scheduled for mid-May. I wasn’t sure I was ready to go through that process again, to put L through it. I didn’t like how I felt on Follistim and I hated the person I became during cycles, counting days, timing things, watching the clock. It was exhausting and I couldn’t imagine doing that with a one year old around.

But we scheduled the appointment, wanted to see what our options would be here, and hoped that we’d be adding to our family by the end of the year.

Instead, we had a little miracle happen.

At the beginning of May, I’d been feeling awful. Short of breath, dizzy, exhausted. Just not myself. I was getting ready to call a PCM because I knew something wasn’t quite right and I was just days away from running my first half marathon.

I took a test to rule that out because I knew in my gut there was no way. Not even an option with our issues.

I was shaking and confused when I saw, very clearly, a positive.

I remember falling to my knees and sobbing. Sweet L, with no idea what was happening, came over and hugged me. As I sat there and hugged him back I said thank you over and over and over to him, for helping fix whatever was broken with me. He healed my broken heart and his existence made this possible. He changed everything for us.

Here are some photos we shared of our sweet guy, telling the world what an awesome big brother he will be!

How do you other moms function?

I’ve always had a difficult time with balance. For example, working a 40 hour week and being able exercise, cook, clean etc. Never could do it. It was either work and eat cereal every night and do nothing else. Or not work and do my best to attempt to exercise, cook, clean, errands, and keep on top of everything.

Now add in my sweet babe…and I cannot balance anything. My entire day is meeting each and every need of this little guy and then doing it all over the next day. I don’t know if he just needs more attention than some babies or what but I find I do very little in regards to regular life activities.

Here has been my day so far, which began at 4am.

4am – 5:15am: Feed baby, put baby back in bed. Baby wakes up, feed baby again, put back in bed. Get up six times to soothe him back to sleep.

5:15 finally crawl back in bed, hold breath to listen and see if he woke up, again.

5:35: Tell W his alarm went off and he hit snooze.

5:40-5:45: hold breath hoping W getting up and getting ready for work doesn’t wake L.

5:45-6:35 – SLEEP!!!

6:35- L is up. Change diaper, dress, play.

6:45-7:40- head downstairs, feed baby, drink coffee, W makes me breakfast so I don’t starve to death since I have no use of hands.

7:40 – 8 am: Feed baby, snuggle baby.

8am – fail at moving sleeping baby off my lap

8:02 am – change diaper, try to get baby to nap (he has puffy eyes and won’t stop yawning!)

8:05am, change diaper again.

8:06-9am: playtime, tummy time, change diaper again.

9:00:9:25- feed baby. snuggle sleepy baby, try to put baby down. Again.

9:30am: Baby wakes up and screams because he’s over tired. Change baby again.

9:35-10am: Rock baby in rocking chair to calm him.

10am – 10:10am – put baby in swing in hopes of him falling asleep.

10:15am – breathe sigh of relief.

Exhausting!

And now here I am typing away…Yesterday we did all of that above until he fell asleep at 2:30. He eats roughly every hour to hour and a half, anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Completely unpredictable. He woke up from his nap at 6 last night, then it’s time for fussiness, cluster feeding, bath time and bed!

So someone explain to me how I have a “social life.” I have a hard time making plans because I know I can’t stick to them. Screaming hungry baby? Drop everything, feed and soothe.

I’m not sure if this is a lack of my life balancing skills, new mommy hood or what. I don’t know when this changes or if this is what it is for now. I’m not complaining, hanging out with L and making him happy and meeting his needs is my entire priority. I am thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to be his mommy.

But I know it’s affecting everything else. I’m not capable of running errands. I have said for 5 days in a row that I’d go grab groceries and some needed supplies. Every time W has tried to come home and bring me the car so I could drop him back off at work and run errands, L has been asleep or I know he’s about to be hungry.

After W is home for the day? Sure let me grab my keys….and cue screaming hungry baby.

I think I’ve eaten with two hands maybe 6 times in 9 weeks and only because someone (mom, mother in law, friend, husband) took pity on me and held the angry baby so I could inhale my food.

And I will gladly do this each and every day.

But my inability to do a little work from home, run any errands (someone screams non stop in the car) or even see/talk to/text my friends…can get frustrating.

But I think the one hard part is I know other people are capable of doing it…and I’m just not right now. So to you awesome mamas who are pro status at this, keep on keeping on! I know my limits and my flaws, and I just can’t.

Unfortunately, I can definitely tell friendships are sliding, people are feeling ignored, neglected, etc. Things I would usually be able to keep up on, banking, paperwork, etc are falling by the wayside.

The same happened towards the end of my pregnancy. I was exhausted and stressed (and my awesome mom was here for a month!). So again, lots of me being useless to anyone but myself.

It also happened a year and a half ago when I had my miscarriage. I was completely consumed by grief for upwards of six months. I functioned at a very minimal level but I was emotionally unavailable and unreliable.

Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I’m weak. I made many mistakes and I will make many more.

These last three years have been wonderful and hard in so many ways. Great friends were made and then lost, due to the way in which I cope with and handle my life.

Thus my pattern continues as this sweet angel of mine takes up my whole heart and nearly all my attention.

So to the fun plans I have cancelled, or will cancel in the future, I’m oh so sorry! The birthdays I forget, the thank you cards I don’t send, the phone calls and texts I miss and forget to return, I’m sorry. And to those who are patient enough to put up with me, thanks. I know I have my flaws, thank you for accepting me as I am. I love every second of being with this guy but having a newborn has been so much harder than I ever thought!

Now while he’s sleeping…do I shower, eat, sleep, write, check emails, clean???? So many options and so very very little time!

Siggyforblog

Homecoming Take 2!

So the hubby returned from his second deployment about two weeks ago. Yay!!

I was pretty exhausted this time around with being 39 weeks pregnant so I didn’t make it a huge deal like I would have liked to but I tried to do a little bit!

I got a bunch of his favorite snacks, his milk, cereal, etc. so he would have all his creature comforts.

He left for training a week before I found out we were pregnant. He was gone for about 8 weeks and returned home for weeks 11 to 17. We found out the gender two days before he deployed.

When he left I was still skinny, trying to pretend that some bloat was really a baby bump, even though I didn’t “pop” for another six weeks or so.

So in honor of his return, and the whole him missing a lot of things, that inspired these. I made two signs, one to go in front of the house and the other to take with me to the airport. My mom posed as the photographer for this go-round. I also found a pretty cute maternity dress that I thought showed off the bump, since he had never seen it in person!

In front of the house I posted this:  IMG_1436

Kind of hard to read but says: You’re getting’ 1 hyper dog, 1 needy cat, 1 Mama ready to pop, 1 baby ready to be born. Welcome home! (Home is actually a sad drawing of our house.)

I know it’s not beautiful but I tried to paint this on the back of our truck bed…with a huge basketball like belly in my way, so it is what it is!

Pinterest sort of failed me with signs and quotes, I had a hard time finding ones that were specific to my situation. There were a lot of come meet your baby signs, but the baby was still four days away so that wouldn’t work!

Here’s the other sign I made, and this came to the airport with me.

IMG_1438

More posts to come later but I thought I’d share my fun signs! I seriously don’t have an artistic bone in my body so this is pretty much as good as it gets for me!

Have a good weekend!

Siggyforblog