Wednesday, March 20, 2013

bump #48: A day in the life

A while back I did "a day in the life" post here. Today I am taking that same theme but from a little different perspective:


Let me preface this by saying that we are currently (for 2013) taking a break from "hardcore" fertility treatment. Read: no more blood work, ultrasounds, x-rays, surgery, inseminations, or doctor's appointments. So what I am including here is more of a lax approach to daily life as someone struggling with infertility or "infertility lite" if you will.

Let's look at this hour by hour, because it turns out that's about how often I think about it.

6am: alarm goes off. Grab thermometer. Take basal body temperature whilst remaining perfectly still so as not to sway it by even a fraction of a degree. Dot BBT chart and rub the sleep out of my eyes in attempt to make sense of it. Proceed with morning routine... sleep in until 6:30, if that really counts as sleeping in. It doesn't by the way.

7am: Take femmenessence vitamin to restore hormone imbalances. Depending on what cycle day it is either stick an estrogen patch under my belly button, or apply progesterone cream to assist with potential implantation in the luteal phase, or drink Chinese herbs (Zao Jiao Ci) dissolved in hot water to help bring on ovulation, or take a big fat naproxen to alleviate menstrual cramps. I don't know if any of that really amounts to much, but it feels good to know that I'm at least trying something. Oh and I always remember to eat a couple pretzels so I have something in my belly to absorb the vitamins. Nothing like feeling nauseous all morning with "phantom morning sickness" brought on by vitamin overload. I'm not a breakfast person, but I make up for it with second dinner :)

If I'm feeling particularly hopeful I might take a prenatal vitamin. {I haven't taken one in 4 months.} Remember, I'm working on choosing joy. Hope fell another rung on the ladder.

Somewhere in that hour I make a coffee, but I hesitate to drink it because I know caffeine is a big no-no in baby making efforts. But I ultimately decide to drown it in creamer and figure that cancels out the caffeine content. It's like the rule that calories don't count if you eat an even amount. Hey, that rhymes so it must be true! Turns out I lack proper reasoning skills. But my Coconut Cream heaven in a cup is approximately 264 calories, (even) so it isn't even worth mentioning.

8am: Drive to work. I find my little 10 minute commute to be the optimal time for prayer. I pray for my friends and my family, that they'll be safe and happy, healthy, seeking God's will. And then it ultimately turns to me and my barrenness. Oh barren brennie! I can only imagine that's what God refers to me as lately. It's Barren Bren again. (Almost sounds like Michael Finnigan. He had whiskers on his chinnigan. At least I don't have electrolocized that problem.) Moving on... I pray that God will prepare us for parenthood. Or not. My prayer life is admittedly apathetic right now. I always thank Him for my husband, my family, and my dog of course! But the thanks end there.

Confession: A typical day in the life of this infertile is not characterized by thankfulness. I contemplate doing Ann Voskamp's 1,000 gifts journal to focus on all the good things God's doing. But I hit every red light (literally and figuratively- on my way to work and on this bumpy road) and make a pouty face instead.

9am: Take attendance {I substitute teach 6th graders} and make a mental note to remove a couple names from my running list of baby name options. There's always a few stinker students that I associate with certain names.

9am - 12pm: Teaching... an excellent distraction. Until one of the students inevitably asks how old I am. I guess they see how short I am and associate my lack of height as being younger, but then they see the bags under my eyes and aren't sure what to think. I usually just say their question is kind of rude and they come back with a guess of 24. Lucky for them 24 was a good year and I'd be happy to stay that age, but I let out a little "cough-twenty-ahem-nine" because honesty is the best policy. Or whatever. I'd be happy if the conversation stopped there, but alas they press on with "How many kids do you have?" "None."  ::Shocked:: They respond with "My big sister is 22 and she already has 3 kids." I come back with "Well isn't that special" in my best Dana Carvey Church Lady voice, of course. My sarcasm goes right over their heads and I console myself by thinking that their sister is going to be a grandma in her 30's. Ha! Joke's on her.

12pm: Lunch. Oops, in all my back-and-forth about the coffee conundrum this morning I forgot to pack a lunch. Drive 4 blocks to McDonald's and consider getting a salad. Order a spicy chicken sandwich and an ice cream cone instead. Whatever. I'm a grown up with no kids to set a healthy example for, so I should at least be able to eat whatever I want, right? At least I didn't get the fries I wanted. Next time.

1-4pm: Teach 3 more classes. Same old. I wonder if wearing a t-shirt that says in bold letters "I'm 29 and childless" would make the day flow more smoothly. Probably not. Plus, it would clash with my outfit adding insult to injury. At some point I pull out my planner. Yes, that same one I bought last year during my epic Valium-hangover sponsored shopping trip to Target after my HSG x-rays. I do some "period math" but gone are the days when I would anticipate this being the month I get a positive pregnancy test, count forward 12 weeks and come up with a cutesy, creative way to announce it. Nope. Period math is now just a way for me to determine when I might be ovulating and to add another month to the still not pregnant list {30}.

4pm: Catch up on blogs and Facebook. 5 more people are expecting. One is pregnant with her 6th. Wow.

All of a sudden I'm queasy.
Infertility ruins everything.

Check my email and RSVP "No" to another evite for a child's birthday party. I of course thank them for the invitation because that's very nice, really it is. But spending all day Saturday at a children's museum with no children of our own mostly feels wrong. At best we look like babysitters and at worst we're just creepy.

5pm: Take Maddie for a walk and pass by 3 families with strollers and kids learning to ride their bikes with training wheels.
Look away.
Look at Andrew.
See the same sad look in his eyes.

6pm: Eat dinner. Hang out with hubby and discuss plans for our next vacation (Boston in May). Talk about the concert we went to last night and how funny the keyboard player's hair was. When Andrew's hair is long it resembles an afro too. I envision what our little boy would look like with a chia pet head of hair and think about maybe adopting. Joking.

7-9pm: Shop online (Amazon, Sephora, Ikea), research places for us to live in San Diego. Go back and forth on renting an apartment or a house because we have been living in a big house in San Antonio which is fun, but it feels so empty being just the two of us. Maddie loves having her own room and all, but it's a little frivolous don't you think? It would be different if I knew we would be expanding our family, but with so many unknowns we might as well live in a teeny place and start saving for our adventures at the next fertility center.

Eat second dinner, of course I didn't forget about that! Take more vitamins. If nothing else they make my pee fluorescent which is mildly entertaining.

9pm: Think about putting on some pretty pajamas and seducing husband. Remember I'm not ovulating for 6 more days and I gotta conserve my energy, so I opt for sweat pants, Dancing with the Stars, and a bowl of popcorn instead. #wifefail. I do share my popcorn at least. Oh, I still have that 3 hour Bachelor finale to plow through. DWTS will have to wait.

Currently: writing this admittedly lame blog post, but at it's core infertility is admittedly lame as well.  On the bright side, it's helping me fall asleep.
Saturday, March 02, 2013

bump #47: choosing joy

This verse is written on the chalkboard on my wall, in my agenda in my purse, on my calendar on my fridge, and imprinted on my heart.
I see it everywhere, but it's not sinking in.

I originally titled this bump "finding joy" like it is something lost you have to seek out.
But I know joy is not something you find like keys in a couch cushion or a penny on the ground,
joy is a choice.
Life is made up of a gazillion choices and you ultimately decide how you want to be and who you want to be. We are not destined to be Debbie Downers.

This season has been a tough one. I know you can relate. Beyond infertility, as all-encompassing it's toxicity is, everyday life is ridden with challenges of its own. Everyone is weighed down with burdens. The thing is, I have let those burdens rob me of the joy that the Lord has given all of us.

Instead of choosing joy, I have chosen pain, anger, sadness, and more anti-joyful things.

It takes almost no effort to harbor resentment and be impatient. It takes a lot of effort to look beyond the hurt and reclaim the joy.

I want to be joyful, really I do. But sometimes it's easier to be numb, to not feel. My logic is that if you don't allow yourself to feel the joy, you don't have to suffer through the pain. As if there is some middle road of indifference.

But joy is not a pendulum. It is a constant.
We can experience joy even in the midst of our pain.
I am still learning what that looks like.


I am praying that God will meet you right where you are and provide for your every need as He fills your heart with joy.



And now for some smiles...

An amazon review I read for "fertili-tea"
which I did not end up buying, though it sounds pretty effective :)