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An unintentional gift.

4 Jan

If you haven’t already, please head over to Jjiraffe’s post to read “The Devastation of Pregnancy: A Profile of Courtney…,” where she describes my history with pregnancy loss in order to profile what it really means to live with infertility.  If you’re not familiar with Jjiraffe and her fantastic and inspirational blog, for months she has been tackling the New York Times’ inaccurate coverage of what it means to be infertile.  She is a brilliant writer.  I’ve been trying to figure out why they’re not busting down her virtual door and begging her to write these profiles for them.  Oh wait…that’s because she’s not interested in highlighting the 1% of infertiles who can afford unlimited IVF treatments just because they thought it would be cute to have another baby well into their forties.  Right.  So please, if you haven’t yet read her piece, please do so now.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to read this before she posted it, and as I read each beautifully crafted word, tears fell in a steady stream down my cheeks.  For the first time in two years, I was getting to view my story from the outside looking in. As I read about this woman and her devastating pain from each of her four losses, I was profoundly sad for her.  I cried for her and what she had gone through.  I was awed by her resilience.   I wanted to reach out to her and wrap my arms around her, to tell her how very sorry I am for her losses.   Not once did I get angry at her for “allowing” those babies to die.

Ever since that fateful day in February of 2010 when I lost my second pregnancy, I have blamed my body for being inadequate, for not doing what it’s supposed to do.  That blame, of course, was heightened when I went on to lose a third and a fourth.  I refused to be kind to the body that stopped my babies’ hearts.  Through what feels like hundreds of sessions, my therapist has been urging me to be kind to myself, to nurture my body and support it like I do for so many other women going through this.  But despite our work, I’ve been unable to find the compassion for myself and for what I’ve experienced. I can’t get past the fact I feel like I’m to blame, that my body failed me.

When I read Jjiraffe’s post, the compassion I’ve been seeking for myself and my unimaginable loss, came flooding in.  Although the post was meant to highlight the inadequacies in the NYTimes’ coverage, it did so much more for me.  It was a gift.  After reading her words, I want to take care of that woman and her grief.  I want to nurture her and love her, not berate her and blame her.  The woman in her story doesn’t deserve that.

Jjiraffe, I will never be able to properly thank you for the gift you gave to me with this post.  The woman inside of me that has had to deal with my lack of compassion for two years straight, thanks you.  I’m wrapping my arms around you, too.

Now, if you still haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?  Go now.

Bathroom stall philosophy.

16 Nov

bathroom stall

Your dreams are almost always here!

So there you go.  No more worrying if your dreams will come true or not, they’re all already here.  You know it must be true if it’s written on the wall of a bathroom stall.

It’s just like if you were to call Jenny, you know you’d have a good time because it says so right there above the toilet next to her number!  Then again, there’s the chance she could make a special kind of dream come true.  *wink, wink*

Aaaaaaand….32 it is!

27 Sep

waterfall

Today, on my 32nd birthday, I’m filled with hope.

I look back on the last 2 years and think of the hell that I’ve been through, and today, I feel strong.  Stronger than the woman 2 years ago that didn’t yet know pain.  And although, even now, the pain of each loss is still so vivid, the devastation so clear…here I am on the other side and I’m still breathing.  My breath may be weathered, but it now knows how to fight for the air I need to survive this little life of mine.  I’m left with scars that will forever be on my soul…but I’m able to sit here and tell the world about it.  For that, I’m proud.  I made it through it all and came out a better person.

Maybe I feel this way today because I just spent the weekend with an incredible group of friends, who gave me the energy to feel empowered.  They love me for who I am and always will, and a weekend of laughter with my favorite girls in all of the world, is a good way to get your energy back.  It was a weekend full of babies and pregnancy and consistent talk of both….and although in the beginning it was difficult, the love I have for them far outweighed the struggle that was going on in my head and I succumbed to it.  And I honestly think it’s just what I needed.  (It helped that my friend’s babies had smiles that could melt even the toughest of hearts.)

My life may not turn out the way I had envisioned it, but it still has the possibility of being great.  I have so much love in my life, and I feel so incredibly grateful.  And maybe that’s enough for me.

My horoscope today says: “Today’s New Moon in your sign signals a sudden break from your past if you are ready to place your new intentions into action.” I think it sounds like a good plan to break from my past today, and I’m ready to put new intentions into action.  2 years of this is enough, wouldn’t you say?  I’m also thinking the fact the New Moon is falling on my birthday is an even greater omen.

Today, I have hope.

32 may just be the year it all turns around.

—-

One year ago today: Hello, 31.

 

Because they say it so much better.

7 Sep

In case you haven’t heard me say it before, I hate Facebook.  I don’t go on because it instantly makes me feel like I’m missing out on so much; not to mention every time I get coerced into signing on because for some reason people use that as their form of communication (have they not heard of email?!), I have to see someone else who is pregnant that I didn’t know about.  And, well, that’s always a bundle of laughs for me.

It’s because of my detest for Facebook that I guess I didn’t feel a huge pull to write about the Breast Cancer Awareness fiasco because I didn’t experience it firsthand.  But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t upset and confuse me, that I don’t stand behind every word the amazing women in this community of mine are saying.  It was unnecessary and at the expense of so many; I’m left baffled and justified in my decision to stay off of the Book.

Please go read these posts so you can know what I’m talking about.  Take with you that I stand behind them 100%.

Yolk: Pretending you’re pregnant isn’t cute (the original post); and her incredible follow-up posts that leave me speechless in their wake – The breast cancer game continues, Shame on you and So what’s a fertile to do?  I feel like she is able to give words to how I so often feel but fail to be able to express myself – not just with this, but with so much of this battle.

Too Many Fish to Fry:  On “That” Facebook Meme and Coming Out of the Infertility Closet  Goosebumps.

Mommy Odyssey: More Facebook Acton – In Defense of Infertiles  A good explanation of why Facebook is so hard for those of us in the trenches of this hell.

Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed: I’m 0 Weeks and Craving a Baby  Keiko offers a great alternative for a status update.  If it didn’t require me to go on Facebook and see all those pregnant women, I’d totally make it mine.

I often find that my voice in this fight against infertility and repeat pregnancy loss comes out more like a whisper among some incredibly powerful fighters.  It is times like these that I feel honored to be a part of this group.  I get shivers from your words, feel empowered by your fight, and pride overwhelms.

Thank you for being our collective voice.  Because of you, someday no one will have to feel alone when faced with this because people will be talking about it and not hiding it.  You’ve made all of this worth it.

My obsession.

3 Aug

courtney

I’ve been test driving cookbooks from the library before I buy them, and after reading Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller, it moved up to the top of my wish list.  Maybe if I’m a good girl, someone will take me next door to Napa and I’ll get to try the dishes firsthand.  *ahem, cough cough Tim cough*

 

Hate the wait.

25 Mar

Sometimes, comments can really hit you in a profound way.  And since I haven’t had any hate mail yet, so far this has always been a good thing.  On yesterday’s post, I received one of these that made me stop everything I was doing, and let her words sink in.  I wanted to share it here because I have a feeling it might help you if you’ve been feeling pretty similar, too.

I don’t know why, maybe it’s the fact that she had exactly the same number of losses as me, or she wrote it with tears in her eyes as she watched her child before her, but her words struck me in a different way that similar advice hasn’t before it.  I mean, seriously, do you know how many people have told me, “you just have to believe,” or “you just have to keep the faith?”  To the point where I can’t help but roll my eyes to the person saying it.  You try and do that it if you think it’s so easy!  And honestly, at this point it just goes in one ear and out the other.  It’s been near impossible to keep that hope when every single day there is evidence around me of women who get knocked up and have babies without even noticing.  And me?  I have a 3-time failure record.  It’s a little hard to keep the hope alive.

Perhaps it was because she worded it differently, I don’t know.  But it made me stop and access that part of me that I’ve squelched for so long now, the intuition part of me that has unfairly been bullied by my head and heart for over a year now, afraid to speak up.

I searched inside me for any clue into whether or not I honestly believed I was meant to have a child.  And I do. I honestly believe I am going to have a baby.  Like L said above, I do feel like there is a little one out there calling to me, and the best I can do at this point, is distract myself until that happens.

From this moment on, I’m going to do my best to not let my heart and head crush my intuition, my dream.  They’ve been ganging up for way too long now, and it’s time the intuition starts taking things over again.

Thank you, L, you have no idea how much your words meant to me.  Thank you.  I only hope I can do the same for another woman in my shoes when I finally have my little one.

One down, many, many more to go.

18 Mar

Last night I met up with the friend I’ve mentioned briefly here to talk about everything that’s happened over the past year and how we’ve hurt one another during that time.  I was nervous heading into the meet-up, but at the same time, determined to look at it with nothing but positivity.  Finally, I was going to be able to explain to her what this year has been like.  No speculation.  And I did just that.  And I was genuinely happy to see her.  When we were close, before all of this, I enjoyed her company, I really did.  But all of this happened and I pulled away from everyone pretty much and things got all mucky.   We cried, we laughed, she said things that touched my heart.  She even apologized for not being there like I needed her to be.  That right there made all the difference in the world.  I left feeling so much lighter.  This has been weighing on me for a long time.  I hate feeling like someone is disappointed in me, even if I feel I haven’t done anything wrong, it still feels heavy and upsetting.  And now I feel like we’ve put everything behind us and can move on from here.  It’s good.

It has hit me even more now, though, that we need to keep getting our collective voices out there.  We need to keep finding ways to reach out to those outside of our (amazing) blog community to let them know what this is like for us.  We need them to know how to talk to us and how to help us.  I know we spend a lot of time here bitching about how they don’t understand (and we have every right to because if we can’t get it out here, where can we?), but we need to get them to understand, too.  We need to get our stories to them so we can start to be understood and maybe, just maybe, we can help the next woman that’s going to go through this and doesn’t know about us yet, to not feel so alone.  Talk to your friends and family, tell them what it’s like.  Even if it’s the last thing you want to do.  All of it is just one big misunderstanding.  One big hundred-years-of-silent-suffering misunderstanding.  If we weren’t in the midst of this, would we know how to handle it?  Would we know what to say to someone that just lost a 3rd pregnancy?  We wouldn’t.  I love this community and the support we have for one another.  But if you’re not already, I feel like we need to start talking to those that don’t have a clue what it’s about.  Maybe one by one, we’ll slowly get to the point where women feel the support from the very beginning.

Havaya metakenet, perhaps?  I think so.  At least a version of it, anyway.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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