10 Things to NEVER Say to Singles

April 27, 2013

I'm a big fan of reading the "yahoo" news when I go check my email.  Today I found an article called "10 Things to Never Say to Singles."  It was almost creepy how similar most of the points where parallel with things to never to say to women struggling with infertility.  I'm posting the 7 that totally connected and my thoughts. 

I'm also posting a HILARIOUS video at the end of a woman saying all the things you SHOULDN't say to people struggling with IF (it's the first one on the left).  There is humor is this mess.  I have heard almost ALL of the stuff she says :)

1. "Why aren't you married?"
This question almost universally pushes single people's buttons. "Perhaps the answer is 'none of your business,'" says *Grace from Detroit. In fact, it's rude to assume singles are looking for a relationship.

#1 Infertility aka “You have been married for awhile, why don’t you have kids?”
Many people ask us, "Do you guys want kids?"  As they ask, flashbacks of shots, and failed pregnancy images, and egg retrievals and tears race through my head.  I smile.  "We really do someday."  It's such an innocent question but man does it bring up a sting.  Students are constantly asking me if I want kids.  One student went as far as to tell me "just go home and have sex with your husband tonight."  Lol.  While her health teacher gets a gold star for scaring her into abstinence, it's not that easy. 

2. "Have you tried online dating?"

True, people
find relationships online. But this assumes your friend is clueless and hasn't thought of it herself. "I can't tell you how many people have suggested online dating like it's never been suggested before," says *Idora from Boston.

#2 Infertility aka = “Have you considered adoption.” 
We are not clueless of our options.  Most people that so freely suggest adoption have never considered it themselves and have no idea the costs and emotional risks that come with that (IE. birth parents changing mind at last minute).  OF COURSE we have talked about adoption.  We are not clueless but we are most likely WAY more informed of the own risks of adoption.

3."You'll find the perfect guy when you're not looking."

This is a lose-lose comment. On one hand, this assumes your friend is on the hunt when she may be content with single life. On the other hand, "This comment is disempowering if your friend actually is seeking a relationship," says Dr. Friedman. "It's the equivalent of saying, 'Just sit and wait for someone.'"

#3 Infertility aka=”When you stop trying it will happen.” 
GRRRRRRRRRRR.  This is the most angering.  And just like the above point, it's disempowering.  Since I actually have ovulation issues, it's like telling a cancer patient "stop trying and it will go away."  I can't "just stop trying." 

4. "What ever happened with [insert ex's name here]?"

This is one of the worst things you can say to your friend, according to experts. "When a relationship ends, there's usually some degree of sadness, even if your friend is the one who initiated the breakup," says Diana Kirschner, PhD, author of Find Your Soulmate Online in Six Simple Steps. "Dredging everything back up is hurtful."

#4 Infertility aka= “sorry you had a miscarriage.  At least you know you can get pregnant.”
In all honesty, I ever said this to myself after our first miscarriage.  At least it implanted, at least it can work.  But then with 2nd failed attempt the doctors started to wonder if we have genetic issues.  Meaning maybe EVERYTHING will be a miscarriage.  1 miscarriage doesn't mean I now know 100% I can get pregnant and carry it to full term. 

5. "You're so lucky to be single!"
Even if you're reminiscing about your own carefree days of singledom, no one wants to hear this. "Just because I've never experienced marriage doesn't mean I don't miss that experience or think of what it might mean to me," says Grace. "I'm sure people in a relationship think the independence of being single is preferable at times. Yet singles have all the responsibilities of life without someone to share them."

#5 Infertility aka =“Enjoy your freedom without kids...do you want mine? (insert overbearing laugh).”
I cannot tell you how painful it is to hear stupid things like "just wait till you have to change diapers" or with a screaming child in the room someone smiling and saying "you sure you want kids?"  Infertile women LONG to hear a screaming child in the middle of the night.  Period. 

6. "If you'd get out there, you'd find someone."

"This rubs me the wrong way because you have no idea what I've tried or how aggressive or passive I might be," says Grace.

#6 Infertility aka=“Have you considered IVF?  My aunt’s friend’s sister’s third cousin’s friend did it and had triplets!”
People that have kids easily don't realize that IVF isn't fool proof.  I was told I had a 70% of it working and it didn't.  IVF is the most aggressive attempt we can make at this dream but it doesn't mean it will always work. 

7. "You should smile more/flirt more/wear your hair differently/wear more makeup."

It's hard to imagine anyone finding these useful, but singles say they frequently hear these rude suggestions. "It's smug to think that because I'm single, I clearly am doing something wrong," says Idora.

#7 Infertility aka=“Have you tried putting your legs up after sex?  Does your husband wear briefs?  Read ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility.’ Eat pineapple core.  Sacrifice an animal (fine I added this one).
The tough thing about this is that as humans we naturally want to help each other out.  People just don't realize that by this point, I can have my 2nd master's degree in "HOW to get Knocked Up."  Honestly, I know more than most non-infertile couples.  Just because I'm married I don't consider myself a "dating expert."  I just feel lucky.  Just because you reproduced, I don't need 80 trillion suggestions.  And I've tried it all.  NO, my husband doesn't wear briefs or drink ever or go in hot tubs or get overheated and YES he eats lots of vitamin C.  Yes, I keep my legs in the air as long as I can possibly bear it.  Yes, I've read the book and a trillion websites . I have specialist telling me what to do.  YES, I do acupuncture, I use PRE-Seed lubrication, I eat pineapple I avoid caffeine, I eat weird seeds and Chinese medicine.  I've tried femera, clomid, IUIS, IVF, natural, OPKS.  Am I making my point? ;)

"8. You're still young. You'll find someone."

#8 Infertility aka=you’re still young, you have plenty of time.
I am glad I'm 29.  I'm glad the REs told me time was on my side. BUT my age doesn't guarantee anything or make me feel that much better. 

9. "Maybe you're meant to be single."
You don't have a crystal ball any more than your friend does. "I want to share my life with someone; I don't need to," says *Nicola in New York.

#9 Infertility aka=“Maybe it’s God’s will for you to not have kids.”
This is supposed to encourage me?  If it's God's will for us to NEVER have biological children, I think He will let US know in our hearts and give us peace and love and desire towards adopting.  We will be parents.  God made the human body to reproduce and HE himself loves to create and put this burning desire in women to pro-create.  I have peace God will lead us to His will, but please don't tell me this.  It just brings me fear and pain.

All this is interesting to me because my "wait" to get married was very similar to my "wait" of becomming a mom.  Same pain, same fear, same hope that seems so distant.  To all my infertile friends, keep spreading the word and keep fighting.  Hopefully there is a bit of humor in this post to get you to smile! 

Infertility Awareness Week??? and Life

April 25, 2013

So many thoughts for today's post.  A bit random too just to warn my sweet readers. 

1.  This is the official "Infertility Awareness Week."  I am so grateful that IF is started to get a voice.  1 in 8 couples experience some form of infertility and it's time to break the silence.  I know in Europe EVERYONE gets to do IVF through insurance if they have no other children.  The government requires it to be covered once.  How awesome is that?  I get that wanting more kids (when you already got some) can be tough but I find myself secretly rolling my eyes when I see women on IF forums heartbroken they can't have their 4th, 5th, 6th (or 19 and counting) child.  Anyways, I was on "stirrup queen's" blog and read a post about how for us women who suffer, Infertility Awareness is not a week.  It's every second, every day.  It's in our dreams.  I'm glad there is a week but this week to me feel like every day of my life for the last 2+ years.

2.  I also found this ribbon that they are trying to spread the word on.  The idea is when an infertile
women finally gets pregnant, to wear this ribbon.  It softens the blow a bit to other infertile women who may feel jealous.  It quietly tells the world that I have suffered, prayed for, and often feared my stomach would never grow.  I'm a warrior.  Keep fighting.  I LOVE this!  It's so hard for me to hear pregnancy announcements but on these blogs I am actually HAPPY for people who become pregnant because I know their stories, their tears, their fight.  Some day I will wear that ribbon.

3.  Long shot.  It's so funny because the little smile face filled me with hope even though we have major sperm issues.  When I started getting period symptoms on Monday, I knew this cycle wouldn't be our miracle.  Even though I knew it was a LOOOOOOOOOOONG shot (did I emphasize long?) I couldn't help but calculate I would find out on my husband's bday (tomorrow).  I couldn't help about dream about the power of the miracle and not having to do IVF in the summer.  I couldn't help but over analyze the drops of blood that happened ONCE on Monday as POSSIBLE implantation bleeding.  You all know the drill.  On Monday I hit a low again.  Depressed.  Sad.  And most of all scared.  What if this is it?  Darren reminded me that my only prayer/goal was to simply ovulate (to remember that femera does work).  So, tomorrow is CD 1 and one more round on our own before returning to (read in deep serious voice) "THE RE OFFICE."

4.  Life.  I hate how much this consumes my mind but I don't know how to stop it.  To completely "let it go" seems insane as I don't ovulate on my own and have to track medicines, temps, opks, etc.  I do (believe it or not) have a life outside of trying to create a life (lol).  Here's some highlights:

I am junior class advisor and I put the PROM together.  It was a big success with just under 500 kids.  Here's me with the fam the big night in Portland:

I have been babysitting my 6th month old nephew Ryker on Mondays and if I can work really hard I can get him to laugh.  It's freakishly heartwarming.  Here's my current fav pic of him playing in warm towels!

Lastly, here's where I'll be next week.  Can I just say a vacay/2nd honeymoon/get out of the groove to the Caribbean is probably a really really really good place to head to around May 5th?

On the Radio

April 19, 2013

After the failed FET I couldn't pray for awhile.  I had so much faith for those 2 embryos and SO many people praying for us this time (when we did IVF the first time it was top secret).  It felt like a huge slap in the face.
After lots of anger, tears, confusion, I came to a place I haven't been yet in the journey.  Surrender.  Does this mean I no longer care if I don't have a child?  NO WAY.  The pain is still deep.  The miscarriage still fresh.  The longing and unsatisfaction are always present.  But I realize I can't control this.  I'm a Christian.  And God will do what He will do.  I've forced my mouth to say "your kingdom come, your will be done."  I will be first to say I'm not perfect at this.  I often feel frustrated other ttc friends don't have to "ask God" for His perfect timing becasue usually it aligns up with when they try to get pregnant.  It's not fair, but I ackwoledge that there is more to this I don't see.  I just want to know His way so I don't keep banging my head on walls and shooting my body up with hormones if it's pointless. 
I will continue to move on with our next IVF unless God makes it clear to stop.  I will still fight for our child.  But I am begging God for peace and joy and satisfication with whatever road he has selected.  I still cry. I still fear the unknown of if I will get to experience a kicking baby inside.  I still initally hate can't look at pregnant women.  I walk fast when I'm near the baby aisle. I still think about being a mom and loving a child every second.  I still sometimes allow myself to hope and dream.  But I'm also surrending my dreams. I heard this song today on the radio and it wa so weird how close it was to my prayers. 


Help Me Find

I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own
I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting
I’m finally letting go
I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You
If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it
I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone
Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go
I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You
I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need


Humbling Reality Check

April 16, 2013

God always seems to bring me back to reality when I spend too much time in "woe is me land."  Don't get me wrong, the land of 'woe is me' is real and worth visiting at times but hanging out there too long leads to jealously, bitterness, and deep deep unsatisfacation. 

In the attack in Boston yesterday at out of the 3 deaths, one was an 8 year old child.  I watched the news tonight.  He had just ran to give his father a congratulatory hug who crossed the line and then walked back to his mom.  Sweet, innocent, happy little boy.  Killed in an unexpected instant.  The news went on to day that his 6 year old little sister had her leg blown off.

I hate my miscarriage. I 100% loved that life growing in me.  I think of Jayden often and miss him/her and miss what could have been.   I never talked to him.  I never held him.  I never got to tuck him into bed.  Cheered for him at a soccer game. Gave him a sibling.  All those fun mom things. But I still love him although he was only in me a few short weeks. I've been married 3 years and I feel like I love my husband more now then I did when I met him years ago.  Quality time and life expereinces have bonded us closer, helped our love grow deeper.  I'm sure motherhoods is the same.  The loss of a child is sickening and painful but I think the farther a long it is, the deeper the cut.  This mom who lost her little 8 year old boy?  Whose daughter no longer has a leg?  She has investeted 8 years and 9 months of knowing him, loving him, being with him and then all the sudden he dies a senseless death.  She has reason to mourn.

I cried when I saw the news and I usually don't cry.  It was when I saw his face (pic above).  I know that mom must be feeling the pain so much deeper than I did.  It's not "fair" I lost my baby, but it's really really really not fair she did.  To such a stupid/evil reason. 

Infertility has been beating me up lately but the bombing reminds me to count my blessings in my own suffering.  Although I ofen envy fertile people, they have no guarantees themselves of keeping their child in this fallen world.  People have it way worse.  Period. 

The Trenches

April 14, 2013

I've heard different terms.  "The trenches."  "Infertility hell."  Basically anything that you would want to escape from and wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. 

When my SIL got pregnant with 2nd child (she had struggled with a bit of infertility) she said, "Sorry I'm leaving the team."  It's weird because that makes perfect sense.  Once an infertile mommy sees the beautiful "pregnant" term on the test, the gates of hell open, the trenches spit you out, you leave the team.  The people left in the trenches and in the hell are filled with a variety of emotions:

1.  Hope.  It happened to them, it can happen to me.

2. Jealousy.  Why wasn't it me?

3.  Anger/sadness.  Why them for reals?  Why did they get out sooner?  Why did you answer their prayers while I've been praying the same thing.  It's not fair!

4.  Guilt.  I'm a horrible person. Why am I sad/mad that something wonderful happened to someone.

5.  Acceptance.  Remind myself I'm happy for them.  I'm sad for me.  And choose to get rid of emotions #2-4.

6.  Repeat #5 many many many times.

When I got my positive pregnancy test on the first IVF, it was insane. In that magical second I felt a heavy weight lift.  I heard the gates open.  I saw light from the trenches.  It felt amazing.  Free.  Even in that moment I was filled with faith to pray and hope more than ever for the friends left behind.  I had to go back too soon.

My husband was frustrated with me last night because I was in a bit of a slump.  "We ovulated, we timed sex right" he reminded me, "you were so happy for that."  And I was/am.  But then the realistic history of 2 years of failed attempts, low counts, failed IVFs come laughing in my mind and I can't help but feel a bit defeated.  I worry it will never happen.  What happens if next IVF and FET fail?   What happens if I miscarry again?  What happens if I don't respond well to meds?  My pastor says "Worrying is planning negatively for the future."  I like that.  I try to remember it.  But my crazy brain is always on.  Always hoping, questioning, worrying.  I'm not "depressed" but I feel like a HUGE piece of my heart is missing.

If you have or are dealing with infertility I'm sure you get this.  Good days.  Bad days.  Today I can feel the flames in infertility hell.  I'm deep in the trenches.  And I really really want out.

Oh God, your kingdom come, your will be done.  Give me strength.  Give me more hope.  Give me peace.  Change my heart to your will.  Comfort all the women in any stage of ttc or pregnancy.


April 10, 2013

Hope is an amazing thing.  Despite the buckets of failure that have poured down so hard on our trying to conceive fire, it can not be fully distinguished.  Yes, there are moments that the glow is hardly visible and then there are moments where the flames are huge.  As time tics away the glimmer starts to dimmer as callous grow in to protect the heart.

I posted an article last week that warned against losing hope in the infertility journey.  The writer acknowledged that it is natural tendency to guard ourselves (which is good to some degree too) but to be weary of not allowing hope  at all.

After our miscarriage IVF, I put so much hope into my frozen embryos.  Every time I drove by the hospital I couldn't help but think of my loves in their freezer on teh 10th floor. 

When those didn't stick in our FET, hope hit an all time low.  Even the little excitement/hope I put in those frozen embryos made the loss that much of a kick-to-stomach and disappointment.

The author encourages the readers to hope.  No matter what.  To not put it out or try to guard it.  To hope 100%.  He goes on to say then to be sad 100%.  Do both.  Over and over and over.

I have been really nervous the last few days as Darren and I are going back to mating 101 this month (minus me taking femera to ovulate) and day 16, 17, 18, 19 came and went with no :) on the clear blue opk.  I freaked out that I can't even respond to high doses of ovulation inducing medicine, then it's over if IVF fails.  I made the mistake of letting my mind go to worse casenario and called my doctor to prescribe me period-inducing meds to restart the cycle.

This morning, looking happier than ever, Mr. Smile Face visited my clear blue digital.  Maybe it's partly because it's a positive SOMETHING after negative pregnancy tests and 10 days of negative
ovulation detections, but along with the cute smile face came an unexpected emotion.  Hope for this cycle.  Hope for our future IVF.  Hope for my baby.

I know I'm nuts.  Darren has low morphology and low count.  We've done this song and dance before.  But miracles happen.  Just the fact that we can "try" while waiting for IVF makes it a bit better.  I'm fully prepared that realistically I will do IVF #2 this summer, but that small glimmer re-appeared.  Who knew such a little tiny smiley face could re-light the fire of hope. 

Jesus asks us to hope and says that hope does not disappoint us.  I will keeping hoping until I hold our child in my arms.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

April 4, 2013

Coping is such a hard skill.  I feel like the longer we fight infertility, the crazier I become in the sense of at all times, always thinking about it.  I can enjoy life, but like I'm mentioned in other posts, at best it's like a sliver in my foot.  I feel it always, always know it's there and really want it out.  I have been doing just okay.  Here are some of the major events/thoughts/topics I wrestle with these days.

 1. Faith. I guess the biggest change is I have finally gotten the courage to stop asking God for a baby.  Heaven knows He knows that is our hearts desire.  I have humbled myself to say "Tell me what you want us to do.  Show us what you want us to do.  Make our hearts desire your desire."  As mentioned, adoption is not where we are at right now.  We have a Fresh IVF and Frozen IVF attempt ahead.  I am willing to stop these treatments if God makes it obvious enough this isn't the way.  We are taking a very short break from IVF because of our cruise in May.  This gives us a little time to listen for that still small voice.  I'm trusting God to give us peace in whatever He decides is best for our life.

2.  PGD Testing.  Just when I think I have done all I can to have a child (aka IVF) I find out there is yet another test and another huge expense.  My RE recommend PGD testing on the embryos.  He is a little nervous that even though I have "perfect" 5 day blastocysts, that maybe they are genetically abnormal (missing/extra chromosomes).  If this is the case, I will continue with negative pregnancy tests or miscarriages.  Since I already had 1 miscarriage it makes him raise his eyebrow.  At first I was totally on board (I thought it would be like 5oo dollars) but its 4K.  That's like the price of a frozen transfer cycle.  And it doesn't guarantee pregnancy.  Many women do the test, transfer "normal" embryos and still get negative results.  Plus, it brings in this whole new moral view because they could tell me if an an embryo had down syndrome.  Is that my place to decide if my baby has that or not?    We really really wrestled with this idea.  On the plus, they could put in the best of the best of the best and it could be our ticket out of infertility hell.  Or they could find everything is abnormal and then maybe we just stop IVF.  Sigh. From what I read, most clinics don't really push it unless you have had at least 10 healthy embryos transferred (we have had 4), 3 failed IVFS (2 for us if you count FET), or over 38 (I'm 29).  Tough call, but we declined.

3.  Embryo Adoption.  This hasn't really appealed to me yet but all the sudden it popped in my head.  Darren and I both agree we want the baby all of us or none of us.  We don't see eye to eye yet on adoption.  He wants to go internationally where I prefer the US.  I don't know why, but for some reason I want the child to kind of look like us for their sake.  I know plenty of well adjusted babies from different countries, but it's important for me.  Darren's big thing is he is freaked out in the US that the birth parents will change their mind or that the kid will come from a crazy background.  Embryo adoption solves all those problems.  I get to bond/carry child, we can adopt from US, AND we can read the background of family.  Interesting thought to throw into my blender of thoughts going off crazy in my brain.

4.  Pregnancy in my Face.  Darren's sister did a real cute announcement about their pregnancy on facebook.  It included ultrasounds pics.  For some reason, those really haunt me as they take me back to the day I say the empty sack where Jaden should have been growing.  The image on facebook threw me back a couple steps.  I had Dar switch my password so I could take a break for a bit on my spring break.  I hate it.  I hate that pregnant women have to feel like they are on egg shells with me.  I'm am so happy for them, but so sad for me. 

5.  Professional Help.  I returned to the Christian counselor that I saw back in college when Darren and I broke up.  It's crazy to me how similar the desire to be married is in comparsion the desire to reproduce.  Two things that are a huge fight/battle for many women.  It was helpful to talk with him although he told me to relax to help the sperm travel up the fallopian tube?  What the H-E double hockey sticks??  (Pet peeve alert)  Dude, we are WAY PAST fallopian tubes.  Everything else was fine.

6.  The Damned Smiley Face. As also previously mentioned, Darren and I are trying "old school" this month which means I'm on a crazy high level of femera to help me ovulate.  I forgot how hot and cold this medicine makes me.  It's nuts!  I'm on CD 14 and still getting flashes.  I've been religiously temping and using the clear blue ovulation predictor kit.  I get nervous I won't ovulate every time.  I looked at past cycles on this and I usually get the face day 16, 17, or 18.  I'm starting to feel myself panic a bit (which is silly since chances on our own are so slim), but hope will not leave my system despite the 24 slammed doors over the last 2 years.  I hate the smile face, but when it smiles at me, hope level increases a bit.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: