“I Will Not Disappoint”

It’s been a while since I last posted, about 10 months or so. At the time my husband and I were struggling with sharing our infertility with people, while also wrapping our heads around ivf and the 18 month waiting list for our one shot at making two become three. 

We decided to make the most of what we had. We decided we would enjoy being child free while we waited for our ivf turn. We dreamed and schemed an “amazing” child free 18 months. But at the back of our minds wondered what if. What if our one shot fails. What if we never become parents – what then? What was God’s plan and purpose for us?

We decided to let it go. Let go of the worry. Let go of planning and controlling the situation. We decided to make the most of now and enjoy the season God had in store for us. 

It wasn’t easy. 

It’s never easy to let go your deepest dreams and desires. But we did, or we tried our hardest too. We chose to live in the now, while hopeful for the future, we decided to be present in the now. 

It had been a month or so of living this way when my husband and I were in the supermarket. “I should get a pregnancy test” I said to hubby. 
He looked at me bewildered. “Actually, scrap that. I have no idea where that came from” I hastily added. 
I literally had spoken without thinking. I had no reason to need a pregnancy test, and I had some at home anyway. 

The next day (Monday) I couldn’t stop thinking about the pregnancy test. I decided to ignore myself. Tuesday, the feeling that I needed to test grew stronger. That night I vowed to take the test the next morning to quieten the crazy voices in my head. By the time morning came I had talked myself out of testing. There was NO WAY I was pregnant. All day I was completely consumed with this need to test. But yet again I talked myself out of testing. I was only going to set myself up for heartbreak. Thursday was even worse, I was a complete space cadet at work. At lunchtime I text my husband and said I was going to take the test that night while he was at work. That way when it said not pregnant I could have a good cry without making him feel awkward. I figured this would be very cathartic for me and maybe a release of bottled up emotions. I decided to take it at night because there was more of a chance of it being negative. Crazy I know
So I get home, make and cook dinner for one and finally manage to get up the courage to test. I’m ready for my big cry session. 

I take the test. Looked down and…..only one line. 

Not pregnant I noted. 

Just as I thought. Why would I expect anything different I berated myself. 

I finished up in the bathroom and picked up the test to throw it away when something caught my eye….

The second line had appeared. 
I stared. 
Two. 

One. Two. 
Lines. 

I laughed. Nervously. 
Before slowly walking out to the kitchen where I placed it on the bench before going into the lounge and continuing to watch tv.

Every so often I would walk back to the kitchen to look at the test before going back to the lounge. 
Back and forth I went. In complete. numb. shock. 

After sometime I realised I could pick up the test and take it with me. I spent the rest of the night holding the test, checking every 30 seconds that the lines were still there. 

I had to wait 6 hours for my husband to come home. 
The longest 6 hours of my life. I was in so much shock that I didn’t think of how to tell him. I had no ingenious or creative ideas on how to tell him. I just waited, agonisingly, for him to get home and then shoved it in his face when he leaned in to kiss me hello. 

Husband, was of course, shocked. His immediate response was, “how did this happen?!”
Ahhhh honey surely you know about the birds and the bees by now!

What unfolded though wasn’t the most magical, incredible time of my life. 
Instead I became consumed. Consumed with fear. I was CONVINCED that this baby would be taken from me. I could not see this pregnancy coming to fruition. It was too good to be true.

While I believed God could do a miracle, I just didn’t think I would recieve one. What logic that was based on, I’ll never know!

I didn’t want to tell people, or even blog- even after the 12 week “safe” period because I was waiting for the inevitable loss. It got so bad I had to reach out for prayer. The more I was consumed with fear, the more I was sure it was going to happen because I was stressing myself out about it so much.

Prayer worked. I began to feel a peace and a joy about being pregnant. I decided to choose not to let the negative thoughts weigh me down. Instead I decided to focus on the positive and because of this I was able to finally enjoy my pregnancy. 

My due date was estimated to be the 10th of August 2014. However, after over 50 hours of labour, finishing with an emergency c section, my husband and I welcomed into the world, on the 24th of August, our own little perfect miracle – a SON!

There was no medical intervention, no ivf, nothing was planned or charted. Instead we gave our dreams of parenthood over to God and decided to let him take control. 

We are consumed in love for our miracle. We are in awe of God’s great mercy, grace and kindness. 

In Jeremiah 29:11- the message version, It talks about Gods great plan and purpose for our lives, and it ends with “and I will make sure you are not disappointed.”

For those of you who are still waiting for your miracle, do not lose heart. God had a great plan for your life. He will not disappoint you. I pray for you ladies, that you will know the joy of parenthood and that fear and loss will not be a part of your lives. Take heart, God has something great in store for you!

I know you’re probably thinking, it’s easy for me to say these heartwarming, faith filled things because my prayer has been answered. While it has, the truth behind these words still remain true. God only has the best in mind for everyone and has a great, deep, abiding love. Trust in Him, the best is yet to come!

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Going Public

Not a lot of people know about what we’re going through.

Every now and then the discussion comes up – should we tell more people and if so, how?

It came up recently after we had our housewarming party. As people checked out our place there were the questions and statements….
“which room will be the babies room?” And “now that you have a house it will be time to start having babies” and “when are you going to have babies?”

I know I’m in a good place when someone asks me these question and I don’t want to
A. Rip their heads off
B. Run away, hide and cry
C. Awkwardly announce that we can’t have children and make it so horrible they never ask anyone that question ever ever again
D. All of the above

It didn’t grate my nerves at all. Rather it felt more like an annoying big brother poking a two day old bruise – uncomfortable and tender but entirely bearable.

(Although Grant is currently in the a,b,c,d phase, so while I can grin and bear it, he struggled with it. Luckily he doesn’t normally get the ‘questions’ nearly as often as I do.)

But it still raised the question – do we expand the circle of those in the know? And is there any point with our hiatus from actively trying until April 2015?

There are some friends and family members who know and they are amazing. They know us and know how we work. They can sense when to ask about the journey and when to leave well alone. They know how to broach the subject in a way that is sensitive and with care and understanding.

Then there are others who either insensitively ask and push, even when politely told that we don’t want to talk about it yet because we aren’t in that space. It’s hard because these are people we love and when they push it hurts. It hurts us because it’s painful to talk about and it hurts our friendship.

There are others still who ask question after question after question. Repeating again and again. It’s tiring. I know they’re trying to understand but it’s draining. They question the doctors, the information, the tests. Everything. I want to avoid these people permanently. But you can’t when they’re family.

Others just don’t get it. They are the complete opposite to the previous groups of people. It just doesn’t register with them the emotional, physical and spiritual toll this journey can wager. They know what’s going on yet they talk to us like nothing is going on. They still ask when we’re having kids or make jokes about me being pregnant, knowing full well the situation. They don’t ask how we are going, show any interest or concern about us.

This makes us want to not tell people. It’s hard enough dealing with my own issues, and my husbands, without the minefields that our friends and families make us walk through.
I totally understand that some people just don’t know how to act or what to say, and it’s their awkwardness that can cause them to unwittingly cause Grant and I discomfort. But why would I want to open that up to more people? People see it as an invitation to share their opinions, faith, quirks and to have an input that’s not always wanted.

Also, why make colleagues, extended friends and family feel awkward around us? And us around them? Where do we draw the line of who knows our personal business? And once we’ve decided on who to tell, how do we tell people – in person? How do you work it into conversation naturally? And if you do manage too it’s a real buzz killer. Consider your fun, entertaining night over. What about on Facebook – that really takes the privacy away but it does spread the news in one foul swoop. But then, it spreads the news far and wide… I don’t want everybody knowing our business.

I also struggle with telling people in a positive way. In that, I don’t like saying “we can’t have children” as it seems so negative and I don’t want to speak that over my life. I’ve previously tried wording it so it wasn’t put across this way but I guess the intended message became too obscure and they didn’t get what I was trying to say or the gravity of the situation. So it raises the question of how to tell people as well.

It’s a hard call to make.

Right now we are going on a case by case basis – as the need to tell someone arises we do, otherwise we just keep it quiet. So far this system is working, and with time to spare with the ivf waiting list I think we will employ this strategy for a little while longer. When we get close to April 2015 ivf time maybe more people will need to be in the know. I guess time will tell!

Working Through This, Together

I had a recent comment on one of my posts about men and how this infertility journey for them can sometimes seem so different to ours, mainly because they aren’t quite so vocal about it. Which I think is true. 

Grant has been an awesome supporter of me in this journey. He’s held me while I’ve cried. He’s listened and not tried to fix things. He’s offered advice and reminders (although not always wanted!) about being a good friend to my fertile, pregnant friends. He’s attended appointments and asked questions. He’s been involved and he’s shown up, strong and resilient, through all of this. And he’s been willing to put up with crazy mood swings, the most awesome side effects of the drugs, even without the highly desired end result. 

I started writing because I felt so overwhelmed by this whole infertility journey and emotions and it seemed as if Grant didn’t feel the same. I could tell that he was upset by the doctors report, but it just didn’t seem like he felt the same way as me. He wasn’t as vocal as me. 

I’ve really been working on how I’m feeling and dealing with everything. Trying to be honest and real and allow myself the opportunity to really process each emotion. While at the same time trying to move on to acceptance and peace. And I think I’m starting to get there. I’m starting to feel like, for now, I’m in a good place. 

And that’s when my husband voices his feelings. 

This past week he’s made a couple of passing comments. When I told him I was feeling nauseous (a very out of character feeling) he said, “maybe you’re pregnant.” At first I laughed it off. It was just a passing comment. But he kept finding different ways to mention it. 

So tonight I asked him about it. Because clearly I’m not pregnant. (It’s not that I don’t think God can perform a miracle and I can get pregnant naturally. It’s just I’m not pregnant right now.) 

He replied that he was speaking it out. 
He was speaking pregnancy over my life. He was speaking hope, and expressing his desire for a baby.  

I’ve always worried that this journey will affect his faith. And here he is speaking in faith. (Thank you God!) I don’t ever want to knock down his faith and I wouldn’t dream of asking him to stop his comments, now that I know his heart behind the comments.

He did couple it with bringing up how yesterday we heard of three different people being pregnant. He spoke of how unfair it all felt. How he doesnt want to become bitter, but that he was sick of hearing about other people. 
Basically, he is feeling all the things I have been feeling for the past year and is finally voicing it to me. 

The silver lining I’m choosing to see here is that I’m in a good place, and he’s now chartering a course I’ve already sailed. It’s now my chance to be his rock. To listen, to sympathize. To help him navigate this journey. I’m so glad now that I asked him about his comments this week because he opened up in ways I never could have foreseen. 

This journey is far from over. Although we are biding our time til April 2015 we obviously still have a lot to work through together. And we are going to take it one step at a time. I’m looking forward to the day where we are both in a good place of peace, hope and faith – whether we have children or not. 

The Path Of Life

The Path Of Life

Glennons blog, Momastry has become increasingly popular and it’s not hard to see why when she posts amazing thoughts like this post. As I read it I felt so encouraged and inspired to keep walking this rocky path of life (and infertility.) I love her catch phrases like “we can do hard things” and “life is brutal and beautiful – life is brutiful.”

It’s been an interesting week for me and the rollercoaster has been running at a steady pace, but thankfully not full force. I put it down to sleepless nights and being sick. On the whole though I am feeling more relaxed and more at peace with where we are at for the moment – cruising along, not actively trying and trying to enjoy the childless lifestyle.

A Change of Direction

Its been a while since I last posted something on here. Time has quietly passed on here for a number of reasons.
Firstly because we (finally!!) moved house and we had no internet.
And secondly because I didn’t know how or what to write. And at times I didn’t want to write. Because writing it down, or saying it out loud, somehow makes it more real.
 
So here goes…
 
ivf is our only option. We have one shot left of making a baby.
 
I know we are EXTREMELY lucky to qualify for funding. There is actually no physical way we could afford to pay for this ourselves.
 
There is an 18 month waiting list, so our one chance has been allocated to April 2015
 
Right now 2015 seems like a whole lifetime away but Grant and I are going to take this in our stride. We have been talking about how good it is, how it means we can really prepare ourselves (as much as possible) emotionally, physically, financially for this. There’s also talk of a wee holiday which makes me excited.
 
So we’ve known for a couple of weeks but we’ve really only started telling family and friends (the ones who are already in the know about our journey) these last couple of days, because its hard to tell people to say the words out loud, some days its just hard to talk about and it can be hard to carry their reaction/one thousand questions as well. 
 
Its hard knowing that our hopes, dreams and desires rest on this one shot in 2015.
 
I’ve been working on letting it go, and for the first time feel like I’m actually letting it go and not just talking about letting go. I guess its easier to let go when you no longer have anything to control.
 
I’ve stopped tracking my cycle for ‘getting pregnant’ purposes.
I have also stopped trying to time our ‘relations’ for when I think I’m ovulating.
I’ve stopped taking herbal supplements.
I’ve stopped monitoring my sugar/bad food intake. (Yes Im still going to manage what I eat and be healthy, but not for the purposes of getting pregnant.)
I’ve also given away all the baby stuff I was hoarding for my future children. I do this not in a defeatist way but have actually found it surprisingly liberating and its been nice giving away ‘the best’ things to my friends. To them its just another baby item, but to me it means so, so much more. I’m giving them my hopes, my dreams but also the ‘best’ designed items – because I would only ever have the best for my kids. And it hasn’t been as hard as I anticipated. It was harder thinking and deciding on doing it than actually doing it. Instead, I felt good giving it away, in a blessed kind of way.
 
I think I am finally starting to come to terms with the idea that we may never have children. Trust me, it got a little dark there in places. While I put on the happy, brave face, what was going on inside was a different story. And I understand that this is a journey, a process, and that some days I’m going to believe that I have reached the destination of acceptance and peace only to wake up the next day and realize I wasn’t at the destination, but rather at a rest stop along the way.
 
In one such dark space I started compiling a list of “I will never”
This was a list of all the things I will ‘miss out on’ because I am not a mother.
It was both a pity party and quite cathartic.
 
It was my intention to post it on here – my big whinge on all that was being robbed from me.
The day I was going to post it I was reading through some blogs that I follow and I read one entry who did the same thing, but made it thoroughly positive. Well damn.
It was a fun and entertaining list of all the things that were great about not being pregnant/having children.
Maybe one day I’ll write my own and post it on here.
 
While Grant and I are still on this infertility journey 2015 is a long way away and because of this I feel that the nature of my blog is going to change, is going to need to change. I don’t think I can go 18 months talking about infertility because I’m going to run out of things to say. We are still on this journey so I will still address what I’m thinking and feeling but I believe these types of posts will (read should) become less frequent.
 
I still believe that I am called to be someone who occupies hope and that I am to share this with others. I believe I can encourage others in their journeys. And this blog is one way in which I can do this. I’m not entirely sure of how this blog is going go but I’m going to take it one step at a time and see where I end up. I hope you will continue to come along for the ride.
 
Much love,
Anna.

The Waiting Game

My Dad was away for a lot of my childhood, his work took him traveling around the world so when he was home he often wanted to rest or he had jobs to do and things to catch up on. So I clearly remember it was a surprise one rainy Saturday when he came to my brothers and I and suggested a game of monopoly. We eagerly agreed.

Things turned sour though when one of us decided we’d had enough and started counting the money to see who had the most (and therefore the winner.) Dad interrupted our counting to announce that a game didn’t end when you’ve had enough, the game ended when everyone, bar one player, was bankrupted.

A long game ensued. Loooooong. And painful.

And that’s how I’m feeling now.
It feels like everything is far more difficult than it should be. That this waiting is long and painful. And I just hope that it doesn’t end with emotional or spiritual bankruptcy.

I hate waiting.
I’m sick of being patient.
I’m tired of hearing scripture about patience.
Waiting sucks.
It’s long and painful.
The weeks are limping along and I hate wishing my days and my life away.

We have to wait at least a week and a half to find out if Grants second sample test attempt is good enough for oi injections or whether we will need to skip them and go straight to ivf. Because the specialist who makes that call has gone on holiday. (Lucky them)

If we do go on to ivf, it has an 18 month waiting list.

We’re also waiting two weeks to move into our new house because we can’t move in sooner for a host of reasons, one being that the moving truck is booked.

I’m so frustrated.
I just want to know now.
I want it all now.
I want to move now.

I’m feeling very impatient.

I understand that this could be seen as a good lesson in patience and trust in Gods timing. But it’s a lesson I don’t want to learn (stamps foot and tantrums enough to put a two year old to shame.)

I know God has perfect timing. I have seen it so many times. God has come through in ways I could never imagine. Most recently this has been with our house. At the time it felt like we were missing out on some great houses because the timing was all out. But now, on the other side of the waiting we can see how God has moved and how this house is so so perfect for us, more so than all the other houses we ‘fell in love with.’ This house is a complete blessing, I see that now. And I know deep down that this infertility journey is going to be a similar situation. I know God has perfect timing. I know he works all things for good. I know he has a plan for us. I just wish he’d hurry up about it.

Fathers Day

Here in good ol’ New Zealand it’s Father’s Day today. At church there was a big celebration, songs and items, prayers and blessings for the fathers.

And that’s when it hit me. Again.
I should’ve prepared myself, but it honestly didn’t enter my head. All week at work we’ve been making and creating crafts with the kids and it didn’t enter my head once.

Grant may never be a father.

And I can’t help but feel like I’ve let him down. It’s my fault.

I know it’s not something I wanted to happen. No one chooses infertility. People choose to not have kids, but they have the choice.

We may have that choice taken from us. Decided for us.

And it’s all because of me.

I know that Grant doesn’t see it this way. He’s nothing but supportive, encouraging and kind. He doesn’t blame me or feel like its my fault. And I know deep down that its not. But sometimes that’s where my thoughts go. Somedays I’m not a happy bright ray of sunshine. Sometimes I have dark wandering thoughts.

So suddenly sitting in church became hard. It was hard to sit there and hear the prayers and stories and praise and encouragements for fathers. Because I know that my Grant will be an awesome dad, just like his dad and just like mine. And I hate that he may never get the chance to be one.

Our Pastor also spoke about plans and purposes today. And it was just what I needed to hear and be reminded of. I believe that God has a plan for Grant and I. I believe that this journey we are on has a purpose and that at the end, whether the end is parenthood or not, there will be something beautiful and good. Because that’s just who my God is.

One of the biggest things for me about infertility is if we don’t have kids what kind of legacy will we leave?

My thinking around legacies is changing. Just because we don’t have children doesn’t mean that we can’t leave a legacy. I just need to change my view of what our legacy can be. I don’t have any answers yet, maybe a few vague ideas at most, but I’m excited and hopeful about the prospect that God had a plan and a purpose for our lives. And right now it may not be what we thought it would be but I know that God is in control. And He is walking with us, beside us, before us, every step of the way along this journey.