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Monday, April 29, 2013

Being a Mom (With a Year Experience)

Deklan turns ONE this Friday. I honestly don't know where time went. It flew. I wrote a two whole posts ALL about Deklan on my family blog HERE and HERE. This post though is about what I have learned this past year- maybe to help a few of you soon to be moms out there, and maybe to give myself a reminder later on down the road. :) Few things to remember:

Being a mom is hard work.

Not as hard as WANTING to be a mom with every ounce of your body though. I still remember what that feels like. However, I have moments like every mom out there does where you want to pawn your child off for a few precious moments for some alone time. At one years old Deklan is into EVERYTHING. And I do mean everything. Toilets, plugs, bugs, plants, and pulling out every toy in his toy box over and over again just for the heck of it.

There is A LOT of GUILT that comes with being a mom. You feel guilty for not spending enough quality time with your baby when you don't, or spoiling them to the point where they won't go to anyone else when you do. Guilt comes with the food you feed them, you feel guilty when they get sick, and when they get hurt. Holy moly I am the queen of guilt. Although this morning I was on youtube and saw this news report of a sweet baby girl named Briana who was brutally murdered by her mother, uncle, AND grandpa in New Mexico. I balled ALL morning and held Deklan so tight. I tried to remember that I do the best I can. The one thing I can look back and know for sure is that HE KNOWS I LOVE HIM. That boy knows I am obsessed. I kiss and love on him all day. Regardless guilt does seap in. Be patient and kind to yourself and know that you're doing your best. Your children WILL get hurt. You can't raise them in a bubble.

Another thing- once you get the hang of things THEY CHANGE IT UP ON YOU. They are changing SO fast there is no way to stop it!

Dealt with this one A LOT : People will always want to judge your parenting skills. Guess what? It doesn't matter!! YOU are the parent now! That feels strange sometimes but it feels good to know that it doesn't matter that Aunt Susie thinks you shouldn't feed your baby a bite of ice cream- YOU choose! So LET IT GO when they decide to give input. It doesn't do any good to hold onto that frustrating feeling.

Last and MOST importantly being a mom is THE most rewarding job in the world. Knowing your baby loves you unconditionally kinda makes you melt. Every giggle, smile, and snuggle makes every hard thing worth it. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for our little family of three.

P.s. He LOVES cake. :) That's all.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

On Reaching Out

I got asked by a friend to write a guest post about my story and my experience with infertility. She also asked other friends to post THEIR story to help promote awareness this week to infertility. Go check these stories out. They are a beacon of hope in all the darkness. I can't stress enough the importance of   relationships in all of this. Through my blog I have met real life long friends. I have even gotten to meet two of them and their miracle babies. At one point none of us were sure if babies would ever be in the picture. And now we are amazed by every movement they make.

I FIANLLY got to meet Aubrey and her adorable baby Brinley. Deklan and Brinley were insta- friends :)

The blog feature of Deklan is HERE. Hope that some of these stories Aubrey shared can help you as well. :) So far there is a success story of infertility to twins, Deklan, and a family hoping to adopt. Hopefully it can help give some encouragement. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

National Infertility Awareness Week

I decided to keep this blog. I may not have a lot of readers now but we will be doing in vitro round two all over again soon and I would love to be able to still write my experience in a safe place. I feel safe here.

 As many of you know it's National Infertility Awareness Week. If you have never struggled with infertility, or even if you have, it's an important reminder to be aware of those around you. Chances are that someone close to you is struggling with this very issue. They may not be as public as I am about it though. 1 in 8 couples struggle with this very sensitive trial. Remember that infertility is a form of grief. You grieve for the baby that you may never have the chance of meeting. If you are struggling with infertility and have no one to talk to. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. It's okay to feel sad. It's normal to feel hurt and alone. Most importantly YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The best thing I did for myself was to build this community of like minded friends. has SO many great articles and ways to relate to others dealing with this very issue. I have posted this before and I will post it again. Here is some great tips to remember when dealing with someone who is struggling with infertility. Rules or etiquette to live by:

Don't Tell Them to Relax

Everyone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren't infertile but just need to "relax." Those that remain are truly infertile.
Comments such as "just relax" or "try going on a cruise" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.
These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, "If you just relaxed on a cruise . . ." Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.

Don't Minimize the Problem
Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.
Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.

Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could Happen
Along the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?
Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.
People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.

Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be Parents
One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.

Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man's sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"

Don't Be Crude
It is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this-Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.
The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.
Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."
I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

Don't Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant
For some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.
Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.
Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.

Don't Gossip About Your Friend's Condition
Infertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.
Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.

Don't Push Adoption (Yet)
Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a "stranger's baby," they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy's eyes and Mommy's nose. Adoption social workers recognize the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, "Why do you want to adopt a baby?" Instead, the question was, "Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?" Our social worker emphasized how important it is to shut one door before you open another.
You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn't her "own," then adoption isn't the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.
Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, "Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.") However, "pushing" the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.
So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lessen the load. Here are a few ideas.

Let Them Know That You Care
The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.

Remember Them on Mother's Day
With all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.
Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.

Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments
No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.
Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.

Love all of these! Sending good vibes and baby dust to ALL of you are trying for your miracle baby! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Not sure anyone is still reading.

I am debating on what I should do with this blog...keep it, make it private, or just get rid of it all together. I do LOVE an outlet for infertility- and I LOVE my friends I have made along the way. If you guys are still reading this please let me know!!! That sounds super annoying I know! Just not sure what to keep on- or if I should simplify things. Simple sounds better...but not everyone likes to hear about my fertility dealings and cycle problems I'm sure.

 Well for those reading- I am feeling SO much better today. Been running all week and eating better. I am already feeling my energy come back. Plus watching some of you discuss baby number 2 gets me excited!! :) Still thinking 6 months- but again- I am excited to feel "that" again! This a face makes me excited for what the next one will look like :) Okay quick mamma question too- when do you ladies start potty training. I am figuring this is a ways away for me but I read something crazy online of people starting when they are SUPER young! What the? I can't imagine Deklan understanding something so complex!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This Month

This month was the month I SHOULD have brought home baby #2. It's a strange feeling. I wonder what this baby would be like, what life would be with this little one around. I wonder what happens to their tiny spirits when they don't make it very far like this one. I have decided to not focus on getting pregnant right now. I'm not NOT trying obviously- but timing everything just makes me a little crazy. It brings back bad feelings for me- and makes me realize how much my body doesn't work on this end of things. My cycles are back to being screwy, my weight is up, and I am feeling pain on my ovaries A LOT. Brief way to put it- PCOS is back in full force. Instead of focusing on my pcos my focus will be on health. I want to get as healthy as I can before I try to do in vitro again. I'm SO super nervous to do in vitro again because I feel like with frozen embryos it's a lower chance of working. EEK! So- I got myself a running partner in crime. We both had babies this past year and want to get in shape- PERFECT! I am guessing we will want to look at doing another round in maybe 6 months. I am excited to GET excited about all this again. Right now I don't feel that- so I know it's not time. I want to just enjoy my time with Deklan right now. This time no crazy crash dieting- just life changes. It's hard to do with traveling but totally possible. we go. I am doing lots of updates with pictures on the other blog! :) We have been BUSY! Hope everyone had a good Easter!!!