The Lucky One.....

I realize that this blog is often filled with stuff about fertility, and family, and PCOS and doctors appointments... but this blog is titled "These Unexpected Miracles of Life" and I thought this fit right into that category...

I've been needing to write this blog or note for a while now, but just couldn't find the right words, or the right feeling to speak about everything. A friend of mine, well actually two of them told me to watch a movie by the name of "The Lucky One".

One was Bella, and the other was my friend Katrina. Both kept telling me I needed to see this movie. I kept putting it off because I was busy, and the timing just was not right. Today, I finally watched that movie, and the emotion that came out from that movie was something I never thought I would feel again. There were so many that were stuffed away... and I'm glad I did...

The movie opened up with a very intense war scene. The Marine was going in and out of conciousness, and you could hear "Aces" and a few other names being called. That Marine ended up living, but the one called "Aces" died in combat. The particular Marine ended up spending half his life looking for a woman in a photo to try to give it back to her. The Marine ended up being hired to work on her farm house, and the two ended up falling in love. It showed her son, and her ex husband, who was a Sheriff, and how they didn't really have the best past, but he was still involved in his son's life. In the end, It turns out, the woman's photo was her brother Drake, who was killed in action, and that the Marine's had crossed paths during an invasion. I won't give you the rest of the story, you will just have to watch it yourself... but the movie hit a spot with me... a spot so deep...

In a few areas... One, about how everyone cross' paths at the right time... and two... my brother John...

I don't know about you, and if you believe in fate, or God's will, or what you choose to believe in, but I believe that in life, everything happens for a reason, whether a diety of your belief is involved or not is your choice, and is irrelevant.

Everything I've gone through in my life, has made me a better, stronger person, and for some reason or another, the people I cross paths with are with me for my entire life. Even if they leave, they always come back... for one reason or another, life takes me on a path, that path involves some form of a circle.

With my brother John, I find it hard to talk about things, because I get teary eyed, and miss him. But the feeling of missing someone, or something is always there... That never goes away...

John and I met on Grunts Military Cadet Forum, years ago. His name was Drill4Life, Mine was MP_Girl. We met back when Jason and I had just met, and were still together. Back when things were rough in my life. Back before I joined the US Military and Enlisted.

A photo of Me, in my ACU's after I enlisted in the Army National Guard
If I recall correctly, it was in 2006 sometime, when he posted about needing advice. Everyone used to make fun of him for his spelling, and because he was a little bit wierd in their eyes, and often people would be telling him that he better wise up if he wanted to be a Marine. But that's all he ever wanted to be, was a Marine. He had wanted that since he was a little boy.

I don't know if it was fate, or God's will that he and I started talking, but we did, and we just got each other. I would stick up for him, and give him advice where things were needed. Even though he struggled in spelling, or maybe needed a little guidance, I knew... I knew he would be a Marine someday, and come back and show everyone he did it... 

John and I would talk for hours. Text message, Facebook, Call. One day, after I started working for an At Home Company out of Atlanta called Seeing Angels 2 By 2, through Arise Corporation, back in 2009. I offered to meet up with him at a local McDonald's since I would be up in Atlanta area anyway. He passed it off, and I remember him saying "Nah, I don't really do the whole meet up with people I meet online thing" and we continued to talk. He and I would often have in depth Christianity Talks about our walk with God. We would also talk about things like abuse and JROTC, because I was a Cadet and he was a Cadet.

He, along with everyone else on the forum who I got close to, could tell I was not happy, and I was miserable. I made some good friends along the way, who I recall, Chris (ANG1SGT) and Mike (ARNGSC21B) and kids who were Cadets like John and I were (Alex, Arnold, TJ Crennan, David Geary, Dustin Hill to name a few) Who could also clearly tell I was not happy in the relationship, but I think they admired me alot. Mostly, because after my daughter was born, I went back to try to make things work... I didn't want my family to be split apart...

One Day, John and I had a really long in depth talk about marraige and under-God. At the time, it was when Gabriella was around maybe 2 months old. Jason and I had wanted to do what was right, especially where we were not wanting to get baptized and still be unpure... So we decided we should get married... John asked me "April, you know when you get married, you are taking an oath under God right?" and I said "Yeah, of course, you know I don't believe in divorce" and he said to me "Well, me and the others *no idea what others he was referring to* think that you should think this through. You seem a bit miserable, and were worried that you might be making the wrong decision just because you have a child" and I said "Do I sound miserable to you bro? and he said, to be honest, whenever you and I talk, all you do is complain, if your so unhappy, why dont you leave" and that was when I truly started to think about things... 
Jason and I were set to marry on August 16th 2009, and an unfortunate set of events occured. My best friend Kim had taken me down to get my marraige license. She was set to be my maid of honor, along with Shelly (Yes, I was having 2 MOH's) and when we got home that day, Jason and I got into a fight, I forget over what... but we got into a fight, and he raised his hand... I remember telling my mother that Jason and I were fighting again, and it was over something stupid and he raised his hand to me... and my mom looked at me and said "does he beat you?" and I ignored the question. Jason never beat me, but he did raise his hand at me... and I was raised to not have to ever worry about a man treating me that way... Jason called our wedding off at the alter, that day, saying the reason was, he could not trust me...

Now this is where I go back to saying everything happens for a reason. Was I miserable? Yes. Was I unhappy? Sometimes, but I wanted to try to make things work. But you know that if you have no trust in the relationship, than you have no relationship. The same goes with communication.

I remember after this event occured, I really tried to make things work... I kissed Jason one night, and it just didn't feel the same... there was nothing there... and I had a conversation with a friend of mine Valerie, who told me that the moment that happened, then there was no salvaging the relationship, because the spark that kept you going was gone... I wanted to make things work, really, I did, but it just was not there... so I left...

A lot happened in 2010, which had limited discussion between John and I, but we had text messaged a lot, as it was more convienent. I remember messaging him when I was working, and he was in class. He was excited to finally be Delayed Entry in the Marines, and was working on meeting the PT Standards. I had re-brought up the idea of meeting up in Atlanta, and he laughed, and said "Well, since your mentioning it again, how about we meet at a McDonalds" and I remember laughing and saying "Really, a McDonalds? Okay... when and where" and he would text back and tell me the location... and we did meet...

In May of 2010, I ended up going to Atlanta, and I met up with John. I walked into that McDonalds, and was shy, and was also really kind of expecting to not have him show up, but John was a gentleman, when he said he would do something he meant it. He came in, sat down, and we started having a discussion. For a while, there was a bit of an awkward silence, and he said "Well are you going to say anything? or are we going to sit here in silence" It was a really nice meeting... He laughed a lot, he smiled a lot, and we spent around maybe 1-2 hours just talking. Talking about religion, talking about Cadets, talking about the Military and Jobs, talking about Grunts, talking about my daughter.... and boy, did he love my daughter... he would always ask me how she was doing... and when it was time for us to go our separate ways... he laughed, stood up, gave me a big hug, and said "Until Next Time" and did an about face, and walked out...

I kind of wish I had my camera to take photos, but that was a moment that I will never forget...  We talked for a while, and then he had something happen with his facebook deleting people... I told him to change his password, and he said he did... and then I didn't hear from him for a while...

I remember when I found out he had gone to Boot Camp, I was so mad, because his mother Carolyn had posted the address to write him on his page, and I was like "that little stinker didn't tell me he was shipping out" lol. I remember when he got back... I sent him a message telling him Congrats on the title. I knew he would proove everyone wrong... That was on September 24th 2010... and I remember I used to flirt and mess around with him a bit, we always enjoyed cracking jokes with one another... and he asked me how life was treating me, and asked about my daughter... and I sent him a "sibling" request, and he didn't get around to accepting it for a while..... but we always called each other "bro" and "sis" and he would always ask me how my daughter was, or more specifically "how is my niece doin"  and I would tell him she was doing just fine... growing and getting big, and he would say "I know, I saw the pictures"

About a week before he deployed, I remember chatting with him and how he was at LeJune, and I was going to send him a bunch of my mixes that I made, and he said to me "I would like that, it would give me something new to listen to" John always liked different rap music, and different mixes, and it was nice that he and I were able to text one another before he left. It was also nice because I could send him letters, and it would make me feel good about myself, especially where there was not too much internet access when he was training... and he deployed, on May 5th 2011, and I remember when I talked to him, I told him the famous quote I always hear every Sunday at Church... "May The Lord bless you and keep you; May The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; and May The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace." and then I said to him "Promise me you come home" and he said "I can't promise that, but I will do my best" and I said "Are you scared?" and he said "A little" and I said "What if you die over there" and he said "Than I died a hero, serving my country doing Gods will" and that was the last I heard from him for a while...

We talked about once a month after that, and I would send letters and packages. I figured once a month was better than nothing at all. He would always ask me how my daughter Gabrielle was doing. and I would ask him how A-Stan was, and he would reply "It sucks, all I do is patrols, but its over in November" and I would tell him I love him...

In August, I told him we were going to be in Atlanta for Dragon*Con and asked if he would get R+R and he said "No, I'll be over here" and I said to him "Well, we will have to grab a few drinks when you come home" and he said "Sure"

In September, I talked to him on September 24th, two days before my 22ed birthday, and he said to me "I can't promise but I will do my best to stop in for a moment to say happy birthday, but if I miss it, happy birthday" and I said "Thank you Bro keep safe" and then he said he had to go and do a mission...

That was the last I heard from John... I never got to tell him I love him again... and when I heard, it was on September 29th... through a conversation with Arnold... and I just didn't want to believe it... the rest of that week felt like a blur to me...  the things that go through your head about someone you love, never being able to talk to them again... never telling them you love them again... never hugging them, never seeing them smile... all of it gone... in an instance...

My brother John isn't biological, he isn't blood... but I loved him, as my brother, and he loved me as his sister... His mother Carolyn never knew me... but she knew my love for her son... she saw the posts I made on his wall... that week I spent my time trying to find a way to Atlanta for John's homecoming... it was important to me... and I did everything... I even went as far as sending provocotive photos to a friend who promised me to buy my ticket to see my brother... and of course, he didn't do that... and when I asked the Red Cross, the Red Cross tried, but could only provide tickets for "blood" family, and so I was torn...

All I could do was cry... Every McDonald's I walked past, or walked into, I felt like he was there, and it would remind me of him.. So I dealt with my greif by making a memorial video of him... to work through my emotions... told myself John wouldn't want to see me cry... this is where I go into detail with why I believe everything happens for a reason, and everyone has a connection...

I've always had a hard time dealing with death and losses. I feel like even through John's passing, even through my anger with God, he blessed me with a friendship, and a second mother... because John's mother Carolyn and I exchanged e-mails after that point... we prayed for one another... we talked about our lifes, shared photos, and communicated... and I told her I loved her...

And in August, I had a dream come true... We (Alex, Gabriella and I) met Carolyn in Atlanta on our last day. I had sent her an e-mail hoping she had seen it, and something told her to check her e-mail, and she told me she was glad she did. She, Alex, Gabriella and I all ate dinner, and talked that night. We had a great time. We talked about how we miss John, but that we will see him in our after life, and how he wouldn't want us to be sad, but to remember the good times, and we tried to not make a topic out of dinner on it.. And like the caring, wonderful, woman she is... She took Johns uniform out of a bag...and she gave it to me... And she said "Take this, I know the way you loved my son John, and I know he would want you to have it" and it touched me in a way I could not even speak of... and it seemed, at that moment... that time stood still, and we had a connection through my brother John, like no other... it seemed like the perfect moment in time... and all I could mutter was "Thank you"

We left that day, exchanging numbers, and telling one another we love them, and to keep in contact... and when I got home, I sent her an e-mail and told her just how much it meant to me what she did that day... 

"I am REALLY glad that we got to meet each other. I wanted to thank you for doing what you did for me with John's uniform.I am going to get a special frame to place it in, and keep it all nice. I know he took pride in his uniforms, and would want to do the same. It meant the world to me.I have lost a lot of friends, and something I don't have with them is something physical/tangible that I could touch. When I explained to you that I could never give John a hug again, and you told me that you would like me to have one of his uniforms, I got teary eyed, because now I can have that something physical... when I miss him, I have the memories... and now something tangible as well. I know it is not the same and we would much rather have him here, but I just wanted to tell you how much that meant to me.I consider you family, and if you and Andrew ever need anything, just let me know.Thank you so much for everything, and we will keep in touch."

And She Responded:

"Good to hear from you. I had just opened my computer to find out.  I also enjoyed meeting you, Gabby, and Alex.   You will always be my friend. Consider yourself family.  I know John thought a lot of you and I want to continue that friendship. You are always welcome in my home. Love, Carolyn"

In October, I sent her photos that Puzzle Piece Photography Shared, and she said

"Thank you, thank you, thank you.   I love the pictures.   I am going to choose one to print and frame for my family wall. You guys look so good and I miss you. I love you too!   You look like such a loving, wonderful family.
I am praying you always stay that way. Love,  Mama Carolyn"

And In December, I got a package for Christmas from her, and a package went out to her, with a photo and a note in it.

and I've realized through this entire ordeal, that life has a plan for all of us. If its fate, or if its Gods will; or simply a meaning, or a connection that was meant to happen... It will happen, and It did happen, you don't need to be blood to be considered family, and I've realized, I am the lucky one...  

Rest In Peace John, I love you and Miss you Forever...

A Different Way to Look at Infertility...

So, what do you think people would say to you if you were paraplegic instead of infertile? (author unknown) 

1. As soon as you buy a wheelchair, I bet you'll be able to walk again! 

2. You can't use your legs? Boy, I wish I was paralyzed. I get so tired of walking, and if I were paralyzed I wouldn't have to walk anywhere! 

3. My cousin was paralyzed but she started shaving her legs in the other direction and she could walk again. You should try that. 

4. I guess God just didn't mean for you to be able to walk. 

5. Oh, I know exactly how you feel, because I have an ingrown toenail. 

6. Sorry, we don't cover treatment for paraplegia, because it's not a life-threatening illness. 

7. So... when are *you* going to start walking? 

8. Oh, I have just the opposite problem. I have to walk walk walk - everywhere I go! 

9. But don't you *want* to walk? 

10. You're just trying too hard. Relax and you'll be able to walk. 

11. You're so lucky... think of the money you save on shoes. 

12. I don't know why you're being so selfish. You should at least be happy that *I* can walk. 

13. I hope you don't try those anti-paralysis drugs. They sometimes make people run too fast and they get hurt. 

14. Look at those people hiking... doesn't that make you want to hike? 

15. Just relax, you'll be walking in no time. 

16. Oh do my legs hurt, I was walking and walking and going up and down the stairs all day. 

17. I broke my leg skiing, and was on crutches for weeks, and was worried I'd have a permanent limp, but I'm 100% healed. 

18. I'd ask you to be in my wedding party but the wheelchair will look out of place at the altar. 

19. You're being selfish, not coming on the hike with us, and looking at all of my track & field trophies. 

20. Don't complain, you get all the good parking places. 

21. If you just lose weight your legs will work again. 

22. If you would just have more sex, you could walk! 

23. You don't know how to walk? What's wrong with you? Here let a real man show you how to walk! 

24. You are just trying too hard to walk. Give up, and then you'll walk. 

25. Here, touch my legs, then you'll walk! 

26. Just take a vacation, and the stress-break will be sure to get you walking!

27. When *we* were young we only had to worry about having to walk too much. 

28. And I bet a paraplegic going to a bookstore doesn't find books about paralysis stacked next to all the books on running... 

So here's a little hint. If someone you know tells you that she's trying to get pregnant and it's taking longer than expected, DON'T tell her to just relax. Don't tell her to adopt and then surely she'll get pregnant with her own child. Don't tell her that God has a plan for her. Don't say, "At least it's fun trying!" Scheduling sex with the person you love isn't fun. Getting vaginal ultrasounds every other day and intramuscular injections in your ass twice a day isn't fun. Finding out every single month that - yet again - it didn't work this month either is Just. Not. Fun. 

DO tell her that you're sorry she's going through such pain/grief/frustration. Do tell her that you're glad she told you. Do tell her that, even if you don't bring it up (because you want to respect her privacy and understand that she might not feel like talking about it sometimes), that you're there for her if she ever wants to talk or vent. 

And DON'T feel that because she told you that it's okay for you to tell your other friends, children, co-workers, neighbors, cousins, mailman, whomever - unless she tells you that it's okay to do so. Your need to share news pales in comparison to her need to maintain a shred of privacy and dignity.

An Infertility Poem...

“It’ll happen one day”
10 years trying, 10 years
My body just doesn’t work as it should
It might, granted, it might!
And pigs may fly – as true as that.
It could, I understand that
But it hasn’t
And as odds stand, its unlikely to happen by itself
But 10 years trying, 10 years
It just as easily might not happen one day

“You just need to relax”
10 years trying, 10 years
My body won’t release the eggs it should
My husband and I are in a loving relationship
We are very relaxed in each other’s company
We relax at home, we relax on holiday
And as odds stand, I spend more time relaxed than stressed
But 10 years trying, 10 years
If relaxing were the answer, where is the proof?

“Stop thinking about it”
10 years trying, 10 years
My body doesn’t think or work as it should
Have you tried not to think about family or whats for tea?
What about your biggest desire?
This is what I want, this is my biggest desire.
I keep myself busy to take my mind off and enjoy life as much as I can
And as odds stand, I think about it less than experts say men think about sex
But 10 years trying, 10 years
If I could stop thinking, I would, but I can’t

“This friend of mine…..”
10 years trying, 10 years
My body isn’t like your friends, its not doing as it should
It maybe a suprise to learn I too have friends like yours
Women have them every day, where bodies don’t betray
Many of whom have been trying for years
And as odds stand, don’t you think I already know this?
But 10 years trying, 10 years
I wish your friend was me, but she isn’t.

“You’d make a great mum”
10 years trying, 10 years
My heat and my mind yearn for this chance
An aching and a longing that won’t go away
Monthly tears and frustration
Christmas Day, Mother’s Day pass me by
Leaving a scar in their wake
And as the odds stand, I know I’d be a great mum
But 10 years trying, 10 years
Won’t someone please give me the chance

“Don’t give up”
10 years trying, 10 years
My hope won’t give up, its doing all it can
Officially too old – according to the rules
Officially too fat – according to the rules
The reason being the same reason I can’t
On one long eternal diet
And as odds stands, I’m a very positive person
But 10 years trying, 10 years
How much longer do I have to wait?

The Bad & The Ugly of Fertility & Infertility for that matter...

This was written by a dear friend of mine, and I am going to share it with you all. I fall into some of these categories, but not all, but it does really kind of put perspective on what someone who has been trying for years has and is going through. So without further adue, Infertility: The Bad & Ugly of Fertility, and Infertility for that matter

I don't know if Miss Manners, Martha Stewart or any other blond woman keen on handing out the rules of genteel and polite society has come out with a primer on things best not to say to women who have been pumped full of mind-altering hormones and endured an alphabet soup of invasive procedures (ART, IVFs, ICSI's, IUI's), one or more miscarriages and/or had failed adoptions.

So even though I am only a redhead who occasionally confuses my desert fork with my salad fork, I thought I would take this matter into my own hands and create a guide of what not to say to someone who is infertile, going through infertility treatment or has just had a miscarriage. Perhaps if I do this I and others who are in my position will stop enduring these comments that hurt more than a progesterone shot in the rear.

For those of you who have endured any or all of these statements you might want to print this and pass it out to all your family and friends to stop them from further inappropriateness. And, those who work in a reproductive endocrinologists office, you might want to give copies of this to each patient and have them give it out to their friends and family as they begin treatment. I am only half joking about this. Really, people need to learn what is okay and not okay to women who have extremely high levels of stress and estrogen.

These following statements are just not okay:

1. "You must not really have wanted to have a child or you would have one." Really, is that the problem? Me and Alex... we just didn't want it enough. Thanks.

2. "You must have some psychological block that is preventing you from getting pregnant." I am guessing that means Jamie and Britney Spears are totally free and clear of psychological issues. Good to know.

3. "If you would just change your beliefs about all of this, you would get pregnant. Have you seen 'The Secret'?" This question always makes me want to ask the well-meaning questioner if they have seen my middle finger. I believed I would get pregnant -- I mean, I believed. I believed so strongly that I had names and furniture and preschools picked out. If I didn't believe, I wouldn't have shelled out $100,000 in my attempt to conceive, and I certainly wouldn't have endured that kind of pain and suffering.

4. "If you would just quit trying you would get pregnant," or, "If you would adopt you would get pregnant." No, this myth is just that: a myth. According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, "Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt" -- and the percentage of people who get pregnant after failed infertility treatment is even smaller. I find the notion of adopting in order to get pregnant totally unconscionable. If you want to adopt then you adopt, but you don't do it as a means of getting pregnant.

5. "God has another plan for you. God doesn't want you to be pregnant," or, my personal non-favorite, "God wants you to be in service and if you had a child you couldn't do God's will." Please, please, I beg you, unless God has phoned you up or shown up in your living room with choirs of angels, would you please do me a favor and not be a spokes person for any deity on my behalf. Only I know my relationship with God, and God doesn't really have much to do with having sex, and creating a baby... a sperm and an egg do that... chromosomes do that... God is just a belief, something I believe in, and not everyone else can believe the same, nor do they choose to. I choose to believe in God, but sometimes, when it comes to fertility, its a lot easier to not go the route of "God didn't want this" or "God has another plan"

6. Another of the God ones that should to go unsaid: "Maybe God knew you wouldn't have made a good parent." Following this logic one would have to infer that all the people who have children are great parents. One trip to Mc Donalds will disprove this absurd theory. "God" gives all manner of incompetent people children. I know many parents that any higher power in its right mind would have never chosen to care for a houseplant let alone a helpless child, and I also know many parents who don't really deserve to be parents...

7. "I am thinking about having an abortion." No, do not tell me this. I am all for choice. Really, I am. I just cannot hear about your choice just now, because I am wanting a child so so bad, and your choosing to murder your child, why?

8. "I had six kids, and as soon as I had them I realized I didn't want to be a mother." It was 6th child that made you realize this? When talking, it is important to be aware of your audience. This is not something you say to a woman who was not able to have one child.

9. "I have a very small family, I only have four kids." Please be quiet.

10. "You can be a mother to your friends kids." I know people mean well by this. But, to those of you who say such things, let me tell you that babysitting for your kids is not the same thing as being a parent. It just isn't.

11. "Well, why didn't you try and adopt?" I did, and it hurt more than the IVF when the mother decided she had changed her mind and she would instead go on welfare and drop out of school so she could keep her child. I can't do it again. And by the way, even if I managed to adopt, I would still be grieving the loss of not being able to have my husband's child.

12. Here's one I am getting a lot of lately: "Get over it." I am not likely to get over it. This is a wound and emptiness that will be with me forever. Infertility is, as Shelagh Little writes, "like a low-level, lifelong bio-psychosocial syndrome. My physical inability to produce children has emotional and social consequences that I struggle with, at least to some extent, every day."

13. "You are soooooo lucky not to have kids." I can take this one now and then, but on the day after a failed IVF, I could not stand to hear how lucky I was and how horrible kids are. I know it may be true. I know the statistics about how childless couples are happier and have more satisfying marriages -- but we were going to be the couple with the house filled with kids, bikes on the lawn, and a tree house in the yard. We would not be the couple who spends holidays at others' homes -- we were going to have a family, or so I thought.

14. "Don't ever give up. Keep trying. You can't stop now. Maybe just one more IVF and you will get pregnant." This is one that really gets to me. I once asked a friend of mine who has worked with the terminally ill if when people in the late stages of cancer decide they can't bare any more treatment if they are met with this same kind of attitude. She assured me that they aren't. With cancer and other terminal diseases there seems to be a collective understanding that at some point that the compassionate thing to do is give up and die with dignity. The same kind of understanding does not seem to be there for us infertiles. I suppose that it seems to an outsider that there is always something more you can do and that if you "really wanted a baby you would do it." We did IUI, IVF, and ICSI. That is as much as we could do. We could not do egg donor or hire a surrogate or attempt another adoption. There was a time when we could do no more. There was a point when trying to have a baby started to feel like it was killing my spirit, damaging my relationships and draining our finances. However, since there are more things we could have tried, I often get the sense from others that I don't deserve to grieve over our childlessness, that we should keep going, and only when we have exhausted every option do we then deserve to grieve.

Infertility treatment, according to the statistics, is likely to cause anxiety and depression equivalent to that experienced by those with cancer or H.I.V./AIDS. With infertility there is guessing, hoping, and odds that are often different in theory than in practice. Infertility treatment takes a significant toll on your body, relationships and finances -- and it is up to each individual to determine when she can take no more.

My suggestion on what to say when you learn that someone is suffering from infertility is very simple: If you find yourself at a loss what to say or an impulse to say any of the previous things that you shouldn't, just say a heartfelt "I'm sorry" -- that is plenty.

I could add a few more:

15: Are you crazy? Just wait until you are a grandmother.
16. One of these days you won't even think about it.
17. Advice of any kind-Giving unwarranted advice on any matter is not a good idea. Infertility is no different.
Did the woman ask you for advice?I have never asked anyone other than my husband and doctors for advice on this topic infertility, and yet many people feel it necessary to contribute their two cents. This is the most intimate and personal of all subjects, please refrain from giving unrequested advice.Do you regularly discuss a woman's ovaries, cycles, fertility signs, and methods of intercourse? Do you have no shame? Even if I didn’t struggle with these issues, I would never wish to discuss these topics. Ever. Never. My inability to conceive shouldn’t make these topics fair game for coffee conversation. Please have a little modesty.
18. Advice Disguised in the form of the Question: What you say: “Have you tried...? Am I supposed to or even allowed to answer "yes"? Do you really want to know the answers? Am I supposed to answer at all? Can I just pretend you didn't ask me those questions?
19. I just heard about.... (fill in the blank)... and immediately thought of you...a hybrid of the "Have you tried?" and the unwanted advice with an additional humiliation. "I just heard about this (doctor, method, theory, pill, shot, cream, herb, hormone, supplement, gel, suppository), and immediately thought of you." Imagine yourself in this situation: someone comes up to you in a public place, rests a hand tenderly on your arm, looks deeply into your eyes, is positively bursting with excitement, and says with the most eager anticipation possible, "I just heard from one of my friends who read an article in a magazine about your condition. There's this gel cap suppository for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the second I heard about it, I thought right of you!"

Really? Does that instantly conjure up my image in your mind?

Please know that, this effects me so personally and deeply, I have done exhaustive research on this subject. I know you just heard about this (fill in the blank), I'm grateful that you want to help, but I've eaten, slept and breathed this topic for years. If I haven't heard about it (which hasn't yet been the case), I trust my doctor has and I'll discuss it with him soon. But please... next time you see a daisy, think of me.

20. Religious Consolation
What you say: “It'll happen in God's time.”
What I hear: "You don't trust God." "You're not patient enough." "I have insider knowledge that He will eventually give you children."

This statement shouldn’t be taken harshly, because the person who says it is almost always a well-meaning little old lady. But it can be very hard to hear, for while intended to be consoling, it’s actually quite loaded. It assumes:

- that you know what God will or will not do for me (He WILL grant you children, just not right now)
- that I'm not accepting His will for me right now
- that I'm not being patient because I dare to desire children now instead of waiting passively

We will die in God’s time. It will rain in God’s time. Everything happens in God’s time. You’re actually stating the obvious and it’s not really relevant to the conversation. It gives hope for something that may never happen, and berates the woman in the meantime. Far from being helpful and consoling, this statement used to rile my feathers more than most of the others. Now I just smile and nod.

21. Affirming the Gift of Life While Insinuating…?
What you say: "This must really make you understand that children are a gift, hm?"
What I hear: "Kids are a gift and you ain't got ‘em."

This is actually a new one, and yet I’ve heard it more than a few times in recent months. Well, yes, I am in a unique position to understand that reality more than most people. And… so… you've been given several gifts and I've got none... what's your point? How exactly would you like me to respond?

22. You've already had two, a boy and a girl....that's perfect. Perfect for whom? What are you saying? I'm being greedy for wanting to have more children? With my beloved husband who hasn't even had one biological child that we have raised together from birth?

23. Everyone’s Perfect Solution
What you say: “Why don’t you just adopt?”
What I hear: dagger plunge, twist, thrust, rip heart out, leave her there to bleed to death

“Why don’t you just adopt?” Oh, that the answer to all of life’s most crushing pains could be so easily answered by such a simple solution.

“It’s never going to happen for you. Why don’t you just give up all of this nonsense of conceiving a child in the life-giving love of your marriage, growing bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh within your womb for nine months, sacrificing your body while giving birth, nourishing your child with her mother’s milk, bearing a child with your husband’s radiant eyes and sheepish smile… you’ll still have a kid and will be helping someone else out, too!”

Adoption is a calling, it’s not a fallback plan when all other methods fail. You don’t tell a woman in her mid thirties who hasn’t found a spouse yet, “Why don’t you just become a nun? Clearly you’ll never find a man so why don’t you just give up, give of yourself and go don the veil?”

Of course it’s a worthy call! Of course it’s a good thing to do! But you can’t guilt a noble calling upon someone because the desire of her heart isn’t happening.

Adoption doesn’t cure infertility, it eliminates childlessness. Something very real… entirely integral to what it means to be a woman, the primary purpose of her marriage, the centrality of her very being, is lost by the inability to conceive and bear children, to procreate. You can’t just plop a baby on her lap and expect everything to be all better.

And you know what? Maybe we do want to adopt. Maybe it is our calling. But your question requires a response I may just not want to give you.

The question proposes a quick and easy solution for a process that is far from quick and easy. The question assumes we can handle wait lists (especially for infants) that could last several years. The question assumes we are prepared for an adoption that can fall through at the last second, causing unspeakable emotional agony. The question assumes we have a separate bedroom in our house and a stable enough income to pass the home study. The question assumes we have the $30,000+ required to adopt.

But by all means...that is so totally your business.... Let me open my house, my bank statements, and my heart to you to answer your “simple solution” question.

Adoption isn’t as easy as going to the local group home, picking up a cheery cherub and taking her home. That’s what your question makes it sound like. Please, don’t think a) your simple solution hasn’t occurred to us, or b) your simple solution is, in fact, so simple.


“God has a plan. Trust Him.”

God has a plan. OK, so I read about this kid, a teenager, who grew up in Rwanda and saw his parents shot before his eyes just before being kidnapped by a rebel army that turned him into a killer.

“God has a plan.”

What? Did God’s plan involve this child becoming an orphaned murderer against his own will? Does ‘God’s plan’ involve babies dying?

Being a believer doesn't mean you have to be so stupid. God may have a plan but there are environmental and medical factors causing fertility issues, and it is more and more common. Would you tell someone dying of Cancer or AIDS that “God has a plan”? Do you mean to say that God gave them cancer or AIDS?

I have a new slogan: “God has a plan: shit happens.”

Agree or disagree....

So What DO You Say?

Must you say anything at all? Tragic as its malfunctioning is, I don’t really see how my reproductive system should ever be our topic of conversation. But I assure you, if I ever do need to talk about it, I’ll broach the subject with you, my dear friend… my sister… my mother… my adult child.... not you, a casual acquaintance in a chance meeting.

No, I feel the need to say something. Alright, if you must say something, then please let it be a simple but empathetic:

“I’m praying for you,”

Especially if you actually are. I would never turn down a prayer! I truly appreciate them. I cherish them. I live on them.

Insulin *sigh*

Well, I really *dislike* this but I knew it was coming. I now require Insulin in conjunct with my 2500mg Metformin... my beta cells in my pancreas only have little left... :( and will require it all throughout any pregnancy... 

I got a nice lecture about properly taking my Synthroid, and properly taking my Metformin... And about how I can only help myself they cant force me to help myself, and there is nothing they can do to make me, I am only making myself worse...

My TSH in December was 2.6 and that was down from November being 5.0. Dr Redy (my Endocrinologist) put me on 100mcg of Synthroid on Sunday, and the rest of the week take 50mcg. 

Looking at those labs, and getting education on how to properly take the Synthroid (i.e. not with iron pill, not with calcium, or antacid, or magnesium or with food ect) the nurse Shelly put me on 88mcg of Synthroid. So now I will take 88mcg daily of Synthroid, and then of course my 25ml of Riomet (Equiv to 2500mg of Metformin) daily, and if my blood sugar goes over 150, I take 2cc of the insulin...

So note to others reading this blog, diabetes doesn't and isn't caused from poor eating habits all the time, sure it can be caused from that, but diabetes can also be caused from years of insulin resistance which does damage to your pancreas cells... Once damage has been done, than unfortunately, you can't reverse that damage, only treat what the damage did... so what is done is done, sure diet, weight loss, exercise and whatnot will help, BUT unfortunately once your pancreas beta cells are completely gone, or almost gone, like mine, you can't really do much to help it, and diabetes will be brought on...

Communication and Doctors...

So, I went to my doctors appointment today, with my primary care doctor Jessica, who I love dearly, and she is referring me to a different hematologist-oncologist. She said she wants to refer me to New Hampshire Hematology-Oncology, as I've had bad experiences through Norris Cotton, and She says its important that the Hematologist-Oncologist, my OBGYN and her all be on the same page regarding this MTHFR, and clotting issues. 

She doesn't like how my OBGYN and present Hematologist-Oncologist through Mass General Hospital can't come to agreement on things like Lovonox, and feels like the current Hem-Onc is only focused on remission, which is fine by her, BUT we need a doctor who is going to treat the clotting issues, and provide Lovonox during pregnancy, not one who is going to brush them off as nothing, especially where achieving a pregnancy is the ultimate goal. 

She also agreed that with MTHFR, it is common, but explains a large amount of my issues, so it should be treated properly as well. She is ordering some labs (not sure what) and she is also referring me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (I guess different from a Fertility Specialist??) Who is going to do my HSG... so that's pretty much what is going on with me... 

I set up my follow-up appointment with my Endocrinologist for tomorrow at 1:45pm, and then I have my Diabetes Nutrition appointment on Feb 8th at 1pm, and directly after is follow-up for infertility with my OBGYN. I have to tackle down Florida for the records however, because they REFUSE to send records to NH for some reason. I hate having to pay a bunch of $$$ for my own records, its annoying... anyway... thats pretty much it... 

9 Months...

9 months is how long a pregnancy lasts... in 9 months you conceive a child, and bring it into the world... it goes from a ball of cells, to a fetus, to a newborn in your arms...

9 months is also how long I've been TTC for... Actively trying. No protection. No birth control. No condoms. Nothing. BBT Charting and Temping, Cervical Mucous Charting and Tracking, and Cervical Positioning, and nothing. And to make matters worse, Aunt Flow is on with a vengeance. Oh Joy. 

I'm going to be miserable today... Try harder? Like we haven't been trying our hardest. *sigh* Maybe soon... but I feel like soon isn't enough. 

I'm bummed, because doctors won't take my MTHFR and Clotting issues seriously. I need help, and help is not what I am getting. Sadly, I think that I'm getting to the point of just giving up. If I can't get Lovonox Injections after ovulation, and during pregnancy, and I can't get my RX for Methylfolate, Methylcobalamin, and the other things my body needs, than how the hell am I going to be able to carry a baby without another loss. 

5 miscarraiges, 1 chemical, and 1 stillborn. I don't want to have to experience another loss... its unfair... it really is... I take the stupid Metformin and the Synthroid daily, and that isn't doing ANYTHING. 

Its a nasty emotional roller coaster, and Alex is doing his best trying to be supportive, but the issues are ME not HIM. His Semen Analysis came back normal... I hate my body and my genetics seriously.. and I hate arrogant, condescending doctors.... 

I pray the Lord bless us soon with our miracle...

*baby dust to all*