Faith, Hope, Love — July 10, 2017

Faith, Hope, Love

1 John 5:14 He heard her.  And not only that, but in due time, He will answer.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about our journey through infertility. I have all the faith in the world that what is supposed to happen will happen. But I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to have a super power to see the future. Having faith in the universe is what keeps me going. The faith my husband puts, not only on me but our marriage and hoping one day things will be okay. This brings me to my next word: Hope. I remember talking with dad about what the progress is and what it means for us. For those not in the inner circle there are a lot things I have to explain because it’s all quite confusing. I had called my dad just needing to talk to him, get his advice. He said something that stayed with me. He said ” The worst thing to have is hope”. Now for most people you’re probably thinking “what in the world?” or “why would he say that?”. I understood immediately what he meant. Russell and I had just had our first IUI at this point and I was in that dreaded two week wait period. That’s when my dad said hope is the worst thing to have because you can get let down so easily. Take for example, about 3 months ago I gave myself the trigger shot to release an egg and we were to try on our own. Once we were waiting for what could happen I was already rearranging the bedrooms and daydreaming of what a nursery would look like. I went and got paint samples to see what would look best in a gender neutral room. I cleared out the office to make room for a baby crib, glider, functional yet usable pieces of furniture, a dresser with changing table and dreamed of the decor for the room, and I didn’t know if a baby had been created or not. Two weeks later we all know what happened… Aunt Flo decided to show up shattering my dreams. The next month was our IUI and the same shattering dreams, pit in the bottom of my stomach feeling came over me. The constant throughout all of this has been love. Love from my husband. Love from my family. Love from my friends. Love from people trying to understand what endometriosis is and askin questions so they understand. Love from some of the best co-workers a girl could ask for. Love has shown me that it can be hard, real hard. It can be stressful, it can be heart breaking. But in those heartbreaking moments I try to find the light. Without the love from everyone I would be lost. For example, I saw a woman who had to be about 8 months pregnant today. I waited on her and her family and I kept catching myself starring at her belly, wondering if I’ll ever get to experience that feeling. The feeling of life growing inside you but also that undeniable connection between a mother and her baby. Will I get to kiss a little newborn baby’s face and watch them grow from little babies all the way up to becoming an adult? I don’t know the answers to those questions. But I continue to have hope. Hope that one day someone will call me ‘mommy’. In the meantime I have to realize things happen when they’re supposed to and that each person’s journey will vary greatly.

As usual, please feel free to prayer, send positive vibes, and hope that one day Baby Young will make an appearance!

Until Next Time

xoxo

Misconceptions about being Infertile — May 23, 2017

Misconceptions about being Infertile

There are many misconceptions about having infertility that I am not quite sure people are aware of. I’ll be going through some of them because they have affected me in more ways than one. Here goes my list of misconceptions.

  1. All people with infertility will be resentful of those who are able to get pregnant. This isn’t true…not fully anyway. When I was first diagnosed (and everyone knew this) it was very hard for me to process what I couldn’t have. I basically had tunnel vision and was only focusing on myself and a year and half later I realize that wasn’t the right thing to do. However, I learned a lot from last year. One major lesson was that I could be happy for my family and friends that are pregnant because I know that’s where they are at this time in their lives. They are getting married and planning on expanding their families. I am not upset or angry but actually the opposite. I am extremely happy for all my friends and family who have been able to get pregnant and have babies. Shout out to my sister who is pregnant with her first child! I am very excited for her because I know this is something she’s wanted for quite a while! I am very happy to love on this sweet new addition to our family and become an aunt again!!!
  2. I have a HUGE support system when in reality I have a handful of people who truly care. This isn’t a post to shame people but to be honest. There are very few people who’ve reached out to find out what’s going on. This journey has been very tough and unless your my husband, my mom, my dad or someone super close to me, you probably don’t know every single detail. This is because when something like this happens a lot of people don’t know what endometriosis is and can’t understand why plans are cancelled or why I’m just not feeling up to getting out for coffee or lunch. It’s not your fault, I just need lots of rest in order to feel like I can function. Plus, flare up’s from endometriosis are no joke. They last for any length of time and unless you have a serious game plan of how to get rid of them, you just have to wait it out. Shout out to my friends and family who have been my side, come to visit me in the hospital, and called or texted to check up on me. You all are the people I know I will have by my side for a long time to come.
  3. I’m not always sad. There are days that I have that are discouraging or not exactly the result I was hoping for but I pick myself back up and keep going. I know I’ve said something similar in a previous post but I allow myself time to mourn or wallow in pity. I do this because if I don’t my emotions will build up leading to a disaster. Sometimes I feel like when we go two steps forward we go one step back. I knew that going into this that it wouldn’t be easy. I knew this would be all consuming and that’s something I am still trying to manage. Don’t get me wrong there are still some days when I just want to lay in bed and wonder what the future is going to bring but I won’t do that. I pick myself up, get ready for the day and remain hopeful of what the universe has in store for us.
  4. I think this is the biggest misconception and annoyance for anyone going through infertility issues. “How to get pregnant advice”. This could not be more frustrating for me. I have people say “you need to just get drunk one night and do it…that’s how people get pregnant, you’re putting too much pressure on yourselves. But I don’t know much about what you’re situation is so that’s just my advice.” First of all, this is not only offensive but unnecessary. Do you honestly think if it were that easy I’d be going to reproductive endocronologist who has an extensive background in helping couples with fertility issues get pregnant? No, I wouldn’t. I am seeing this doctor because I have a disease that prevents women like myself from getting pregnant. It would be so easy for me to brush it off and act like that’s what I want to hear because that person thinks they’re being helpful but in reality they’re just making things worse. Telling me to relax and not stress is much easier said than done. When you have to seek these opinions of professionals because you don’t have any other options there is going to stress involved. I just think people should keep their how-to-get-pregnant-advice to themselves because they have no idea how much hurt they can cause a woman with infertility; especially if the “advice” was unsolicited.

That’s just my late night brain dump. I am always writing about random topics… mostly that tie into what’s going on in our world with fighting this disease. Please continue to send positive vibes and thoughts our way as we are getting closer and closer to one day bringing baby Young into the world.

xoxo

How are you feeling? — March 7, 2016

How are you feeling?

Do you ever just have something happen to you and you look back and see what you could have done differently to prevent it?

Well that’s been me for the last few days. To say I’m in some pain would be an understatement. I was finally able to change my bandages and look at my wounds for the first time. It’s definitely not what I thought it was going to look like. I thought since they went in laparoscopically my incisions wouldn’t be so bad, but I was wrong. Two of my incisions are quite large and my belly button has two more incisions with another small incision close to my left hip. The pain is constantly throbbing and my back almost always hurts.

Here is what they did to my body: Going into surgery I knew that my uterus was going to be reconstructed because it was somewhat damaged. However, my OB found that both my ovaries were conjoined, which were attached to my uterus, and my uterus was attached to my bowels. So basically all my parts were frozen together, giving me all these crazy symptoms when I was on my normal period. During surgery my left ovary and fallopian tube were so enveloped in scar tissue that they were damaged beyond repair. Once they took out my left ovary and tube it was time to take care of my right one. My right one wasn’t perfect, it had some damage that they were able to fix but in the end I am left with half of my right ovary and a fully functioning tube. (YAY) Of course after that was done the rest of the endometriosis was removed. From what I understand there was a lot of damage done an it was very hard to fix (surgery was 4 hours)but they got the job done which is all I wanted.

The main question I keep getting asked is this: How are you feeling? Well honestly, I have no idea. I’m out of work for two weeks if not three, I can’t do much of anything because of the amount of pain I’m in, and we only have a 25% chance of conceiving a baby the natural way. So the answer to “how are you doing?” is not so great. I feel like I have to say I’m fine or that things are going well because people don’t want to hear about the awful stress my body and my emotions are going through. There are plenty of times in the hospital that I cried because I don’t have all my lady parts. I cried for Russell because I feel like he is marrying someone he is always going to have care of. I wonder if I would have taken better care of myself if this could have been avoided. I wonder how I got so lucky by having someone love me as unconditionally as Russell. He is always willing to take care of me even on days when he isn’t feeling well or he’s having an off day. Sometimes I feel like he deserves to be with someone who is healthy and can do everything he wants to do. But I’ve come to realize that’s not life. Life is growing old with someone, taking care of them because you love them, being selfless in a time when you probably deserve to be selfish.

Finding out that I have stage 5 (extensive) endometriosis it felt like my world was falling apart. I felt like I was being kicked in the gut. Each day brings a new struggle. Each day a new emotion arises that I have to face head on. Today I am feeling overly emotional because I want a baby. I want to give Russell a family. I want to feel what it’s like to give birth to a baby. I want to be up all night feeding and changing diapers. But what people don’t understand is that this disease can rip those hopes and dreams away from a woman in a heartbeat. I want to be one the women who can beat this. I wan to be able to say I have “x” amount of children. It may take a while to get there but I have to keep faith that everything is going to work out. My plan for life has already been mapped and I just have to keep following it.

xoxo

 

An open letter to my best friend — November 8, 2015

An open letter to my best friend

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Caitlyn

To say I’m proud of you would be an understatement. Your hard work, persistence, and never give up attitude landed you in the Top 15 of Miss Ohio USA. Watching you last night on stage was one of the highlights of my year. This journey hasn’t been easy for you ( but how boring would it have been if it was?!) but you pushed hard, made sacrifices, and knew that with God on your side you could do anything you set your mind to. Preparing for a pageant is more difficult than anyone can imagine. You worked harder than ever; working out, practicing, and even watching what you eat (btw I hope your enjoying a donut as you read this!) to make sure your body was in top shape, and you looked amazing!

Caitlyn, you are one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have ever met. You show me day in and day out what it means to let God show your way. Throughout this entire process you have known all along that God has a bigger plan for you than you can imagine. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that is. Watching you grow and become more confident in yourself has been such a joy.

I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thankful for all of our conversations. Thankful to have a pageant sister like you that goes to the end of the earth for her bestie, even if we do live 3.5 hours away from each other. I am in awe of your grace and how much your give of yourself. I am so thankful for the friendship we share and can’t wait to see where your path will lead you.  Thank you for being the role model, an inspiration, and more importantly for being a strong woman of God.

With love

Making a difference, one pair of shoes at a time — July 30, 2015

Making a difference, one pair of shoes at a time

I wanted to share with you all my “WHY” for wanting to raise more awareness for Shoes4theShoeless and have 100 pairs of shoes donated. There are so many reasons I wanted to do this but my first two are my most important. My main reason is for the kids whose families simply can not afford to buy a pair of shoes. These kids are already living below/ well below poverty. The last thing they should have to worry about is having a pair of shoes that fits them. Some, if not most, of the kids that we have serviced have signs showing their feet are being developed improperly because their shoes don’t fit right. Development issues result in kids not being able to walk properly or even run because their feet hurt. In the winter, their feet get cold because their shoes are so worn that snow gets in the bottom of them and gets their socks wet. We all know Ohio winters can be brutal. Could you imagine what it’s like to walk around school with your feet cold and wet all day? I know I can’t. The second reason I want to do this is for Bob. I can remember asking him if he knew of any organizations that I could join as apart of the volunteer portion for my pageant requirement for Miss Ohio Latina. I remember him telling me he had one in mind but he didn’t know if I was able to handle it because of how emotional I am. (Bob knew that seeing people in need broke my heart and children would just break me emotionally) After he told me about Shoes4theShoeless I knew that I had to join this organization. Because of Bob and how generous he was with anyone in our community, I knew this organization was made for me. The first delivery I did was at a school that was very impoverished. However, these were the sweetest kids I have ever met. They didn’t have much and giving kids shoes was very special. I’ll never forget going to work the next day and telling Bob about how amazing my experience has been. I’ll also never forget how proud he was of me that day. For anyone that knows Bob, he was a man of few words, and when he said “I’m proud of you” it meant the entire world to me. Being able to help carry on his legacy means so much to me, and by getting 100 pairs of shoes to donate, I know he would be proud.

It’s been a year since I started volunteering for Shoes4theShoeless. It’s been an incredible year. Not only have I been able to meet such wonderful and amazing kids, I have proven that you don’t have to be rich and famous to make a difference. Making a difference in our community means helping those in need. As one little boy said, “family helps family”. Making a difference in someone’s life is giving them something invaluable. To these kids a pair of shoes is invaluable. A pair of shoes means they can run free. A pair of shoes means they don’t have to see the worry in their parent’s eyes. A pair of shoes means these kids can go to bed without worrying about how their shoes smell or look, or whether or not they will be wearing socks that day. Please help me by donating a pair of shoes and finding out more about the organization that has changed my life.

http://www.shoes4theshoeless.org

Until next time

xoxo10351578_10153897572658912_5725348780926656617_n 11741017_10155786799885307_7299231244832560626_o