Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Julie, I want to tell you something...

This post is about that uncomfortable topic for family and friends.  How to tell your seemingly crazy infertile friend Julie that you yourself, or your wife is pregnant or maybe even just starting to "try".  I'm being really specific for a reason in saying, "telling Julie" because the solution to this is different for each person dealing with infertility.  What works for others may not work for me and vice versa.  Therefore, I encourage those of you reading this post who are on the "telling" side and want to be sensitive to be proactive and have this conversation with your infertile friend ahead of time.  

We will use me as the example.  You could write a note or just have this conversation:  

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Dear Julie,

I know you are going through a lot of pain dealing with infertility and I want to be sensitive as I approach this topic.  XXXXX and I have begun trying to start a family as well and to be respectful of your feelings and ours and it is important to know ahead of time how you would like us to approach the topic of pregnancy when the time comes.

We want you to know you are in our prayers and hoping that both of us can add to our families soon!

XOXOXO,

So and So
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This allows me to do a couple things:

1.  Think about how I WANT to be told in the event that you become pregnant.  Honestly it takes a few pregnancy announcements to find out which methods of "telling" works for you.

2. Mentally prepare myself for the announcement.  Trust me I am going to be happy for you, but it will still hurt when it happens.  We have been giving our mind, bodies and souls to trying to have a baby for over 3 years and for many it happens so easily.  It is very difficult to process the feelings that come along with an announcement, but I REPEAT...I WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU!  

3. Not break down into a terrible fit of tears when you tell me via the "wrong method".  Day to day is different on the roller coaster of infertility.  One day I'm as happy as can be and the next I am so low that finding out your dog is pregnant might send me into a tearful disaster.  That is why knowing ahead of time will make this process much easier for both parties.
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Okay so without further a do...these simple DO's and DON'T may apply more in situations where you are close friends or family.  I can only imagine you have made it through this post because you want to be a sensitive friend and truly care about delivering your news in the most sensitive way possible.

DON'T: Take an infertile by surprise and expect pure joy back.  You never know she may have just had a failed IUI or IVF and while it is great that you are pregnant, she may not be in the state of mind to be told.

DO: Follow steps above to find out preferred method.  I myself would prefer to be told over an email.  This gives me time to compose myself, cry if I need to cry, and respond in whatever way I feel is appropriate.  I don't feel like a text is appropriate.  You never know if I could be somewhere where reading a text may cause a total breakdown.  Email gives time to be a little more thoughtful and read at the appropriate time or place.

DON'T: Hide your pregnancy from your infertile friend.  This may be difficult, but keeping your pregnancy a secret from them may hurt them even more in the long run.  Finding out about your pregnancy on facebook or through someone else could ruin a relationship.

DO: Follow steps above.  If you didn't already have the conversation with your infertile friend, EMAIL is always the best.  You can explain in the email that you didn't know exactly how to tell them that you are expecting and wanted to give them time to process the announcement.  Most often she won't be offended if you are taking measures to be sensitive.

DON'T: Take your infertile friends reaction to your pregnancy announcement personally.  More than likely she is hopped on hormones as much as you are.  It would be easy to think that she is mad at you personally, but it isn't true.  She is more than likely mad at the world, mad at her situation and sad it wasn't her turn.

DO: Give her time to process the announcement.  Then continue checking in on her even if she doesn't want to talk about your pregnancy.  This may be hurtful to you because you want to share your joy, but if you want to maintain the friendship this is a must.  Be respectful of her wishes.  She may not wish to attend your baby shower because it is too painful.

DON'T: Stop communicating.  Infertility is a lonely road.  It causes weak relationships to crumble and tests even the strongest of relationships.  

DO: Talk about your feelings with your infertile friend.  You can openly say, "I was nervous about approaching this subject with you because I know what you are going through is difficult."  Each person is different, if they are open and willing to talk, lend an ear and if they don't want to talk about it be sensitive and bring up a different topic.
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As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I wrote this post based on my own circumstance and each  person is different.  However, I communicate and read blogs and forums where this topic is frequently discussed and the majority of this information is pretty universal.  I hope this helps those looking for advice on this topic!  Feel free to add any other ideas in the comment section for those of you who have suggestions to add!

Julie

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lost & Found

Ever lose something and never find it again and it drives you crazy not knowing where it is?  This happens to me on a regular  constant basis.  It started when I was young...I lost the remote to my new stereo.  I searched everything, the whole house, endlessly and it never showed up.  Where on earth could it have gone.  I never took it outside so it had to be somewhere.  I don't think I ever found it.

This happens a lot to me when it comes to jewelry.  I take it off, put it in my gym bag, my purse, a random tote bag, travel bag, box...etc. and then it sits there.  Over the years I have taken to doing a sort of jewelry inventory.  I look through all of those things above and usually am pretty satisfied finding the one lost earring or pairs that I didn't even know I was missing.  I did this last night and much to my happiness found quite a few pairs including these below which had just slipped off my earring holder and onto the floor, but under a stool:


This definitely was a happy victory for me!  Then there are those things that go missing and you don't really care because you wouldn't necessarily wear them anymore, but finding them brings up a lot of good memories like this horrible green headband I wore every day for a good stretch of time in 2005:


My husband absolutely HATES it and I found it last night while doing jewelry inventory.  He also hated the sweatpants I was wearing.  This is a loaded photo because I am wearing a fleece that also went missing over the years and was never found, but on the bright side I also found my Blink182 t-shirt from the very first concert I ever attended.  LOL!  Then there are things like this sweatshirt *below* that have been missing, but still in use by someone else:


Thanks Dad...I won't be needing that back.

The problem with me is once I find things I tend to lose other things.  For example, somehow this weekend my makeup bag went missing.  I've looked high and low for it and still not found it, BUT I found this:


My set of spare keys that have been missing 2+ years!  Every week for the past two years it has been on my TO DO list to go get a new set made (much to my husbands dismay I hadn't gotten around to it yet.), but now I don't have to!  If I had never lost my makeup bag, I never would have found these little puppies hiding under the passenger seat in my vehicle.  So...am I just irresponsible because I lose everything, or do I just lose things so I can find other thing?  Who knows!?  Am I alone on this?  Do I have some sort of MISPLACEMENT DISORDER?  Now where is that darn makeup bag?

******A special thanks to my friend Laci who somehow magically appeared in each of the photos with things that had gone missing...hmmmm****** LOL!!

Julie


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finally hoping for a NEGATIVE Result!

I completed phase 1 of prepping for IVF which was STD testing.  I was excited to finally have some tests that a negative outcome was what I wanted.  I seem to be very good at that!  Thankfully I could just go to my regular doctor here in town but unfortunately I was feeling kind of snippy (the poor nurse).  She went through the tests..."chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV, okay so a cervical swipe and blood test".  I responded with...OH!  My two favorite things to do!  She just kind of looked at me and with a sad grin said, "so you've been at this awhile, eh?".  She was very sweet and actually made me feel better.

The Mr. has to go through some similar testing (not the cervical swipe) and then we have to take an IVF and injections class before we can get started.  I'm not sure with the holidays if we will get that done before or after the new year.  Speaking of the "holidays" right now they are uncertain for us.  We don't know if the Mr. will be working or not yet.  That will pretty much dictate what we are able to do, but I'm not too worried about it.

What is bothering me is that this will be the first Christmas without my Grandpa.  It will be difficult because Christmas was always kind of Grandpa's holiday.  He loved singing, "Silent Night" and his birthday is a few days before Christmas.  It just won't be the same without him.  The family has decided to really make this Christmas special and make the focus on Grandma.  Each family member is going to give her an ornament with our names and tell a story of a favorite memory of spending time with her.  This year I will also get to bring along my guitar and play since I have been practicing Christmas music the past few months and my family LOVES to sing!  I know Grandpa will be smiling down from heaven!

Alright I need to end on a silly note so I need to bring this back from last year for any new followers.  Enjoy!

Julie

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Very Nerdy Christmas Party

This weekend the Mr. and I hosted a Very Nerdy Christmas Party!   I love a good theme party and (maybe in the future I will do a run down of all the theme parties I've hosted over the years) this one was a success!  









Even Bosko was in the Nerdy Spirit!  Thanks to everyone who came out!

Julie

Friday, December 7, 2012

Making My Hope "Sign" Permanent - Tattoo #2!

Happy Friday to All!  So today is pretty special for me.  I wrote awhile back about some mixed signs that I had been experiencing and more recently I wrote about my hope sign which is seeing a hummingbird.  I want to go into this a little bit more because tonight I will be getting it permanent in tattoo form!!!

I have been thinking about this for quite awhile.  Again I have always loved hummingbirds and taken great joy in seeing them.  I put a feeder up this summer and got to enjoy them almost every day.  Anyways, when I  was considering getting a tattoo (we'll call it my hope sign tattoo) I wanted something special that really symbolized how I am feeling right now while dealing with infertility.  Well here is something I found that I thought made the hummingbird symbolize my perfect hope sign.

Hummingbirds, called new world birds cause they are native to North America, Central and South America, are considered to be symbols of peace, love and happiness, moreover, ancient pagans held them sacred for their tireless energy and anxiety. 
In Native American culture, a hummingbird symbolizes timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It's a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.
They are really spectacular birds, and have a lot to teach a person about self discovery and healing. 


So tonight is very special to me.  I will share a picture of what it looks like when it is done so you will have to check back :).  There is one more key to this tattoo.  I will be getting it in black and gray only, (for now).  I want it to be a transitional tattoo that once we have resolved our infertility (have a baby, adopt a child, decide to live childfree) I will go back to get the colors filled in.  It will mark our transition to the next phase of life no matter what that ends up being.


What is your hope sign?


Julie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Someone must have put something in my drink...

Why you ask?....For the first time in awhile I felt happy.  Not just happy, really happy.  I'm not saying it lasted that long or that I have been continuously happy, but it has been long time in this miserable IF process that I have felt just plain old happy.  I cleaned my house, went for a run, did all those little tasks that sometimes just seem impossible.  I felt good while doing them.  I cranked up my little red radio with some Luke Bryan and went crazy doing laundry, dancing, wiping cobwebs, vacuuming, singing, doing dishes and baking cookies.  I cracked a bottle of wine, rented a movie (Magic Mike!) and went out and had some drinks at the bar with my dear sweet hubby (who was bartending).  It felt good!  This week I even made a hair appointment!!  (Long story BUT: last hair appointment I had scheduled was after my 1st or 2nd failed IUI and prior to the appointment I was a mess and had too much wine and let the girl hack up my hair so now I have been growing it out and scared to go back.)

The only time this month I stopped to check where I was in the fertility scheme of things was when I had to schedule that darn SHG (had to be between Days 5-12) and yes I still am observing my CM and giving the Mr. the old wink wink when it is time (I'm such a romantic), but I don't feel so psychotic about it.  So I am not sure whether it is the meds. (20mg of Prozac daily for those who are wondering), the break we are sort of taking or the holiday buzz starting to kick in, but I wanted to document a few bright spots along with the negatives.

This weekend we are hosting, "A Very Nerdy Christmas" Party at our house.  I can't wait, we have outfits all picked out, suspenders, glasses, super awesome Christmas shirts ...oh and for me above the knee green and red striped socks and a plaid red skirt.  Will there be pictures...you bet!

And for all my IF sisters out there, PLEASE take time to make a big deal about the happy moments.  Often they are far and few between, and they might come at unexpected times but when you have them, they are very special and you should celebrate them!

Julie

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Perfect Broken Uterus

Happy Monday!  Once again the test results came back NORMAL from my SHG last week Friday.  Everything looked perfect.  Okay...then WHY DOESN'T IT WORK!???  Grrr...this is exhausting!  It was kind of a funny situation, we arrived at the RE's office just on time and checked in.  We had gotten coffees for the drive in and I need to "go".  So I got up to go to the bathroom, just finished when I heard an urgent knock on the door.  "DON'T GO"...I responded back with ..."TOO LATE!".  I guess I needed to take a pregnancy test (guess what it was negative) and thankfully I could still squeeze out the 5 drops needed to do it.  Would have been nice to know ahead of time.  At least the snotty receptionist remembered my name this time.

Okay so the plan is a few more tests (STD testing mostly) and an injection class/IVF seminar and we are slated for mid-late January to begin stimming.  This weekend I was cleaning up the house and I was putting away my hummingbird feeder.  I was kind of sad because all summer whenever I saw a hummingbird I thought it was my special sign of hope.  It was so great because they just seemed to appear whenever I needed them (which was quite frequently).  Anyways I was bummed to think about all winter how I won't be able to see my precious hummingbirds.  Then in one of the million emails I got this morning I found this:

So I bought myself a little early Christmas gift.  I just couldn't resist!  I feel guilty because we are trying to save up every penny for IVF, but I guess I need to treat myself once and awhile.  Another hectic week ahead, hope everyone has a good week!

Julie