Archive for April, 2012

A very good friend and coworker of mine just had baby number two, another had baby #4 last year, and another had baby #1 about 13 months ago. Although I have many dear and close friends, my coworker friends become so much like family with the incredible amount of daytime hours we spend together. I had the privilege of having front row seats to their pregnancy, and play-by-play recall of their childbirth, and the first year of their children’s infancy. I am proud to play surrogate auntie and so grateful they have let me into their lives.

I am also so grateful to hear every complaint. I have mentioned in previous posts, but I never fault a pregnant woman for complaining. I know that some women who have trouble conceiving might be the  “You should never complain about what the rest of us would give anything to have” kind of attitude. I just know that if I was the one going through it, I wouldn’t want anyone to take away my right to complain. I will even do one better, I welcome it. There is nothing in the world to make you feel more secure about never going through pregnancy and childbirth like hearing what it’s really like for most women, even under the best of circumstances.

With the fear of embarrassing my dear friends, I won’t go into too much detail. The coworker that had baby #1 had such a horrible childbirth experience, and without family close by, she did not recover enough to care for her baby for several weeks after having him. Another woman had complications and early contractions so she was on strict bed rest for the last 2 months of her pregnancy. The most uncomplicated of the three had her baby just a few weeks ago. She had relatively normal symptoms, difficulties, and childbirth but even then I had to witness how difficult it is to care for a 3 year old while dealing with these issues.  In addition to the three women I mentioned, the kindergarten teacher from last year was also pregnant for most of the school year. She had the worst and longest lasting case of morning sickness I’ve ever seen!

Why is all of this important?  Put yourself in my shoes: think about if you had been dreaming your whole life of the day you see the plus on the stick and know you have a living human being growing inside you.  You imagine telling your significant other with a beautiful joy that only you can share. You daydream of the months you spend growing them inside of you, feeling them move and kick. You picture an exciting rush to the hospital, painful, but worth-it delivery. The doctor resting your perfect bundle of joy in your arms and you smiling up at your supportive and wonderful husband as you three bask in the wonder of it all. *sigh* .  . .Then imagine that whole scenario is ripped from your field of vision without warning or control. Isn’t it nice to find out that that scenerio doesn’t exist anyway? Not quite that way. Here’s how I imagine it COULD be if I compile a few peices of knowledge I’ve picked up:

You take a pregnancy test after being days late of your menstrual cycle and feeling extra bloated and crampy. You are joyous to find out your pregnant, and you celebrate in just in time to become nauseous and gassy. You want to eat everything, but can’t stomach anything for at least 3 months. You are excited again when you feel the baby move for the first time, but celebrate only long enough until the baby starts to kick you in uncomfortable places. Now, you have to pee a lot (sometimes even when you’re not prepared to do so), you feel fat, you are uncomfortable in every way, you are too big to sleep and breath, you might have hemorrhoids (I hear that can happen), you’re hot and sweaty, and you kind of hate your husband. Oh, and you cry. Then, either the real contractions start naturally, or you carry the baby until you’re way too uncomfortable to stand it and get induced.Childbirth begins. Worst pain imaginable in your muscles and nerves, tearing, ripping, ridiculously enlarged needles going into your spine, exhaustion, and long term damage to your body that at BEST your bladder will never work the same again. Then, the after-birth recovery starts. Intense bleeding, hormone changes, and worse if the birth was difficult or c-section. All of this while trying to care for an infant and running on little sleep. Also, breastfeeding has maximum benefits to the baby, but the baby won’t latch. Even if they do, it’s extremely uncomfortable on your nipples and you keep getting infections in your breasts. Oh, and you kind of hate your husband.  

Boo! Feel much better about not having scenerio #1, am I right?

I am going to borrow this link from a friend who posted it on facebook, but I’m not going to put it in my links section just because it only portains to this post specifically:

To those who are about to go through any of this, I always say: Happy Pushing!

For almost a year I’ve neglected my blog out of respect to the stages of grief. Even with a 9 month hiatus I can confidenlty say I’m more devoted to this blog than I ever was to my journal. For what I’ve blogged so far, and for all the future blogging I’m about to do, I apologize for nothing. That said, I would like to share with any readers (if there are any left who might scan over this) the personal journey of spiritual awakening and self-awareness. If anyone knows me personally, you know that I do not share my true self often. Most of who I am to my average friend and acquaintance is the bare surface. I prefer to keep it that way.I fear that revealing myself too much leaves me exposed to be judged or criticized. I suppose that is why I started this blog. It is my way of reaching out, connecting, with those I would consider to be the closest, safest and most understanding people in my life.

I have added a few links to provide further information about a few topics I am going to share. My husband and I were introduced to a documentary made from a book called ‘The Secret’ a few months ago. Since then, we’ve devoted a lot of our free time and spiritual study on this and similar life changes. We’ve noticed a significant difference in our lives, and for me, learning to accept what may or may not happen with my fertility. I now realize that possibilities are endless, and I have power of mind to control what is brought my way.

Matt has used his study of The Secret to learn more about being successful financially. This didn’t surprise me. Since I’ve known Matt he’s been a frugal type of person, a natural fear of debt, and a certain sense of pride with earning and saving. I am enough the same way that our marriage has weathered any financial storm with very little conflict (thank goodness). Anyway, it was no surprise to me that he interpreted The Secret in his life to getting rich. Wealthy, not greedy, but a comfortable living without need for more. He found The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles which lead him to read some of his other books The Science of Being Well and Health Through New Thought Fasting, all dedicated to the idea that the mind has been scientifically proven to overcome all things if trained to think the right way. In the short time we’ve been practicing these simple life changes, we’ve seen results that prove (at least to us) that it can work. Matt’s success at work with promotions and raises, buying a the car that he wanted, making upgrades and small renovations to our home, vacations we believe were all made possible by the positive thinking and focus we practice.

I had seen how the power my mind had made things possible for me. I had pinned a picture of a bedroom set I had my eyes on to the desktop of my computer and within 2 months it was in my bedroom. How? I had been visualizing it in my bedroom, when an unplanned trip to the furniture store on a lazy Saturday, we happened to find that bedroom set in the sale corner of the store. I choose to believe it wasn’t coincidence. The Secret emphasises that in order for things you want to be attracted to you, you must live with the same happiness and joy as if you already have it. Even after seeing this working in our lives, I was still struggling with my infertility and why I couldn’t control that aspect of my life. I still felt that my body was out of my control, broken. What’s more, I didn’t want to give up my grief for positive thinking yet. Matt would get frustrated because I wasn’t using the secret to think positive, instead focusing on what I couldn’t have and how bad I wanted it. It just wasn’t that easy to let go. I wanted PERMISSION to be upset, angry, frustrated, devastated, and overwhelmed. Adoption is expensive. IVF is more expensive with little guarantee it would work. My hopes and dreams of starting a family seemed further out of reach every day.

What frustrated me most is how much focus Matt was putting on getting rich, and very little attention to having a baby make its way into our future. I felt, and still feel, that if it’s going to happen, we both need to be focused on the same goal. I never want adopting a baby to feel like getting a puppy. Me: “Can I keep it Matty, huh, can I?” Matt: “Weeeell, Ok. But you have to take care of it. Feed it, play with it. It’s your baby.” I need to know that he is just as much on board with the whole process. He never has seemed like it to me. He’s not all that comfortable around kids, babies especially.

Then, Matt comes to me and says. “I think if you really want a baby, you need to be visualizing it every waking moment. What I’ve been reading, if you have to remind yourself to keep thinking about it, you don’t really want it all that bad. It has to be as if NOT thinking about it would be like not having oxygen” I had to force myself not to roll my eyes. My first thought was, ‘You really don’t need to give me lessons on visualization. Being a teacher, artist, and actress (by hobby, not profession), I’ve perfected the art of imagination way past the age when it’s socially acceptable. How do you think I get through my life? Even now, I’m not typing my computer in my bedroom, but in a tropical beach somewhere with crystal blue water, palm trees, 75 degrees, and white sand under my feet. I’m the QUEEN of my own universe. Visualize that.’ My second thought was, ‘I’m not the one who needs to be told to imagine myself with a baby, think about a baby, visualize MY baby. YOU’RE the one who needs practice in this department.’

Matt admitted to me that thinking about himself as a parent does not come naturally to him. He thinks about success at work, making more money, more easily. Focusing on that keeps him focused and determined which is why the success has become more and more real. So I asked him, “But why? Why work so hard? Why work for a raise or a promotion? With both or our income, we do well enough to live comfortable and some left over to play with. So tell me, why?” He thought for a moment, “Because I want to make enough to afford adopting a baby and providing for you and the baby if you stay home to raise our children.” I said, “There, you see? We were both working for the same outcome. We just focus on it in different ways. All you have to do is take your focus on money a step further.”

Last night, Matt and I watched videos about ‘Tapping’ that intrigued me. Our path of study lead us to it after Matt read The Science of Getting Rich. Tapping is a form of acupuncture that replaced needles with tapping pressure points of the body. The idea is that while tapping, you talk through your stress and rewire your brain to form new habits. It has helped people lose weight, quit smoking, calm physical pains, as well as provide meditation and therapy to calm emotional stress. We watched some of the videos and began using the tapping method to calm more obvious stresses, and found deep emotional stresses that are the cause of it. This is how I came to be aware of the pain I felt for having not had a baby yet. I found that regret, self-consciousness, self-pity, sense of failure were all blocking my ability to feel well.

The journey to acceptance is not over (hence the ? in the title), but I have found these theories, methods, philosophies to be inspiring and helpful. I thought they might be helpful to others. I know that my faith in my church, Heavenly Father, my family, friends, myself have grown immensely. I feel a strong connection to the positive thinking exercises and my own happiness throughout the day, and the way I handle stress. I would be proud to share the wealth and I would like to know how or if it has any effect in your life.