Tag: hope

To All Who Still Wait…

Pregnancy is a state of flux, and understandably so.  So much is changing that sometimes it makes my head spin.  The night-and-day differences in my life now versus my life a year ago are cuh-RAZY.  Sometimes I can barely comprehend it all.

As an infertile, there was this thing pregnant moms did that always annoyed me – more or less from jealousy, I suppose.  You know when a pregnant lady is in mid conversation and then suddenly her face goes blank?  She takes on this inward gaze, and maybe her hand travels to her belly of its own volition.  It’s just a fleeting moment, and then she’s back with you, but it’s there.  You don’t know where she just went, and it hurts when it’s not you and you can’t understand what just happened.

Now I understand.

There’s this movement inside of you that feels like a little fish swimming around (or sometimes, like a nice hard kick to the spleen), and you subconsciously reach out to still this little being, or feel more intensely so as to be more a part of your child’s movements.  You aren’t seeing what’s before you, but what’s within you.  You aren’t looking at the present, but the future, when that child will be in your arms.

It’s one thing I’ve grown to love, and yet another way that life has changed so immensely for me.  I tell you about that so that I can next tell you about this…

I sometimes think about those dark, intense moments of frustration, sadness, disbelief, anger, fear, and grief during the thick of infertility.  During those times, I would think to myself about the future where I had a child of my own in my arms, and I’d wonder if future me would ever look back at those dark moments and remember what it was like.  Those thoughts were what kept me going.  The thought that in the future, I could be happy and complete, and that the past wouldn’t have impacted me the way I worried it might.

In those dark moments when all seemed hopeless, the future – THIS future – was what kept me putting one foot in front of the other for one more day, one more month, one more year.

And so I say to all who still wait – there is hope.

I can’t tell you that your future will definitely see you with a child in your arms, or if it will, how long it might be, or that you won’t struggle and suffer and grieve on your way to that future, but I can tell you that the old cliché is right: it’s always darkest just before dawn.

I used to hate hearing that… It’s almost like your great-grandmother’s version of “everything happens in its own time, honey”.  It was annoying to think about, but from here I can see how true it is.

The problem with the statement is that we have no idea how close to our journey’s dawn we are at any given moment.  In the first couple of years we tried to get pregnant, I thought I was a month away EVERY MONTH.  I figured one month must equal one hour ticking by on my journey’s clock.

I was wrong.

So maybe each hour that ticked by was a year, but I had no way of knowing that back then.  It was dark all those years, and it got darker as time went by.  The problem is that when it’s dark all around you, how can you really tell if it’s “darkest”?

The truth is that you can’t.  You lose sight of lighter days with which to compare your current state.  It’s all objective anyway, right?  The only way to really know if you are currently in your darkest days is to come out the other side, into the light.  Hindsight.  Ugh.

And so I say to all who still wait – the light is out here, and you’ll find your way through the dark.

I just wish I could tell you how long.

And the truth is that I can’t.

But you know what?  Each of our journeys is unique to us.  I needed to wander in the dark for five years.  Maybe you can do with less, and maybe it will be more.  Maybe your journey won’t end with a baby, but a new take on what a complete life can be for you.  Maybe a child will come to you in a way that you never expected, shining a blinding light in your darkness and rocking your entire world to its core.

The awful beauty of it is that it’s not for us to know.  We each have to live it for ourselves.

All I can tell you is to live.  Survive.  Fight, advocate, and strive for better treatment in whatever way works best for you.

Hope, dream, and don’t let go of that lightness inside of you that still believes.  Ever.

None of us can know what is right around the next corner, nor how the next day, month, or year in our journey will play out.  What we must always remember, however, is that we are more than the paths we’ve walked.


And so I say to all who still wait –


You are more than your circumstances.

You are defined only by the actions you take.

You are strong enough to not let this turn you hard.

You are capable of doing more and being more.

You dream for a reason – do not ever give up on those dreams.


You can choose hope or hopelessness,

but you, your dreams, and your future,

are worth so much more than giving up.

You are worth your hope.


And so I say to all who still wait –

Let your hope shine as a light in the darkness. 

It won’t tell you where you are on the path, but it will allow you to put one foot in front of the other for one more day.

And really, every step forward is one step closer to our dreams.


And so I say to all who still wait –

Keep moving forward.

Don’t ever stop.




The Unrelenting Optimist

If there’s one thing infertility has taken from me, it’s been my optimism from time to time.

Sometimes it’s been gone longer than others…

I try to keep a positive attitude, even when things are darkest, but it’s just not always possible.  There are times that I succumb to the darkness, and let myself think about all the terrifying what-ifs.

What if I’ve gone through all of this only to be unsuccessful in the end?

What if I’ve wasted five whole years on a process that will never work?

What if I’ve wasted time, money, and resources pursuing something that will never yield the results I want?

What if I’ve put relationships to the test unnecessarily?

What if I never get pregnant?

What if I never have a child?

What if this has all been for naught?

I used to be the ultimate optimist.  Sure, I was realistic about my expectations, but I could find the bright side of any situation.

There have been days in the past few years where I’ve struggled with that.

There have been days where I haven’t even had the energy or will to struggle.  There have been plenty of times where I’ve just allowed myself to wallow in self-pity and pessimism.

Those days, though I know I needed to experience them, are behind me.

I have my optimism back.

The sun is shining for me again, even when it’s a cold, rainy October day.

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but at some point in the past few months, I’ve found that hopeful spirit once again.  I can smile and the gesture reaches my eyes.  I believe the positive platitudes that come out of my mouth.  I can encourage others and truly mean what I say about having a sense of hopefulness for the future.

Maybe my internal optimist was never gone… Maybe she just took a backseat for a while.  I can’t blame her; I spent a lot of time beating her down when life wasn’t going my way.  Perhaps she just left me to my own devices while she gathered her strength.

Whatever the case may be, I feel like I’m finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.  Closed doors lead to open windows again.  Things are looking up!

For the first time in a long time, I’ve started allowing myself to consider other, happier what-ifs…

What if this treatment path is the one thing that works for me?

What if my last period was my last period?

What if I’m pregnant by Christmas?

What if I get to share the big news with my family over the holidays?

What if I have a baby by this time next year?

What if I get to attend my own baby shower instead of everyone else’s for a change?

What if I get to mother a child of my own?

What if I actually get to realize my dreams?

I have no way of knowing what the future of my life – or even this cycle – holds for me, but for the first time in months, years, I’m okay with that.

I don’t need to know what’s coming, because I know that no matter what it is, I can handle it.

More than that, though…

I can live through it.

I can learn from it.

I can grieve the past and enjoy the present.

I can have hope in the future.

I can take the bad with the good, and know without doubt that my positivity and my good humor will never abandon me.

I am the unrelenting optimist, and I’ve got my sunny disposition back.

Finally.  :)



Everyday Miracles

When the husband and I relocated to the Toledo area two years ago, I found myself living in a brand new city, surrounded by strangers (and some built-in friends and family), and starting a brand new job.

The very first person I met on my first day of work was my new boss, Lisa.  I could never have known that day how much she would impact my life, or how much her life had already been impacted itself.  I could tell immediately that she was a wise soul, but I wouldn’t know until later how much her life had been touched by infertility, loss, illness, and struggle.

Lisa became so much more than just a supervisor to me; she became a mentor, a friend, a confidante.  She was someone with whom I could be completely honest about my personal struggles, and someone who really understood and sympathized because she had been through it all herself.  She was an amazing support system for me almost instantly, which is one of the reasons why it was so easy for me to make time for fertility treatments while getting established at a new job.

After time, I found out that Lisa was sick.  She was suffering with a chronic illness called gastroparesis, which caused her debilitating nausea and excruciating pain on a daily basis.  She missed chunks of time at work, and was hospitalized almost weekly, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.  Her life was hell, and she was a complete angel to me…

It was incredible to me that a person who had suffered for years to conceive her daughter, and then received that miracle only to be thrown immediately into chronic illness had enough compassion left in her for other people, but Lisa was one of the sweetest people you’d ever met.  She had a smile for everyone, and was well-known for her shopaholic tendencies.  I began to rely on her to keep me afloat on days when I just wanted to curl up and die; I knew that I might be having a little sad-uterus pity-party, but that she was struggling with pain and illness and somehow still had it in her to encourage me to get up and try again.

I think that if it hadn’t been for her, I would have run out of determination a year ago after the miscarriage.  Lisa talked me through that whole process, and was one of my biggest cheerleaders as I returned to work and took the world by the balls.  She was my inspiration as I tried to get my head  and body right, to get myself ready to fight again, just like she did every day.

One day though, things for Lisa got worse.  She would be out of the office for a week.  Then two.  Then she’d be back for a day or two, and then she was in the hospital for three weeks or four.  Her doctors recommended not one, but two completely experimental procedures to attempt to alleviate her symptoms, but though they helped for a short time, nothing was working…

By early this year, Lisa was no longer working.  She was sick and in pain daily, and in and out of the hospital with regularity.  The doctors were not optimistic about her chances at controlling her illness, and things were looking bleak.

At Easter, she landed in the hospital while visiting some out-of-town relatives a few hours from home, and was soon in the ICU.  At one point, Lisa was being prayed over by the hospital chaplain.  Things were dire.

This is when a doctor she had never met decided to run a very common test, just in case something basic had been missed in the past.

That doctor’s intuition was right, and it literally saved Lisa’s life.

Her chronic illness had been misdiagnosed. 

She had her gallbladder removed immediately, her body began to heal itself, and she is a completely different person today.

I had dinner with Lisa last week, which never would have happened when she was sick because she couldn’t actually eat food, and it is still amazing to me to see the transformation in her.  In the past year, she had gone from a hopeful, colorful person, to a deflated version of herself, and back again.

She’s almost as good as new today, and that, my friends, is a miracle.

Lisa’s story gives me hope, perspective, and the courage not to give up.  It’s also an excellent example of why we should always advocate for our own health, even with the doctors and professionals who are supposed to do that for us, and who are only human as well, and therefore may also make mistakes from time to time.

Lisa never gave up, and now she has her life back.  She is back to shopping, and laughing, and spoiling her miracle baby rotten, but one thing hasn’t changed:

She is still keeping hope alive for everyone whose lives she has touched.

If you want to read more about her story in her words, you can visit her new blog here.  I promise you’ve never met a more spirited, determined, and joyful person, and that all comes across through her words.

Miracles don’t just impact the recipients… Sometimes just being in their presence can change the lives of those who experience them, the same way my life has been impacted by Lisa’s miracle.

If you’re struggling – whether it’s fear, depression, infertility, illness – don’t give up.

Don’t ever, ever give up.




Guilty Pleasures

I’m becoming concerned that I may be the only one who does this one thing… or at least, the only one who’s still trying after




who still does this thing.

It’s sort of embarrassing.

It’s just… my thing.

It’s maybe a normal thing for any of-age woman dreaming of having a family of her own, and totally a normal thing for someone who’s expecting to become pregnant soon.

For a nearly five-years-deep infertile who alternates between hope and hopelessness on a month-to-month basis?

Probably not healthy.

Either way, it’s my thing.

My guilty pleasure.

And I think I should admit it to all of you…

*deep breath*

Here it is:

Every month, regardless of natural, medicated, or completely wonky cycle, I calculate my approximate ovulation date.  Then, once I’ve ovulated, I enter this information into a due date calendar – you know, on the off-chance that I actually do get pregnant – and that’s where the madness starts.

Let’s say I got pregnant this month (hahaha)… My due date would be May 14th; just a hop, skip, and a jump from Mother’s Day!  How sweet is that?

I’d round out the first trimester in early November, which would be an amazing time of year to start sharing with the general public news of our impending bundle of joy.  We’d know the gender by Christmas, and it would make the holidays so special.

I wouldn’t need to make one single New Year’s resolution, because I’d have everything I’ve ever wanted.

I could have maternity photos taken around Easter, and what a cute theme that would be what with all of the eggs and bunnies and baby chicks.  Oh, I can just see it now!

Oh, and don’t forget the pregnancy announcement itself – I would love to have early fall photos taken at the end of September or beginning of October, maybe in a pumpkin patch.  Maybe a graphic designed to announce our “little pumpkin” sent to family and friends, or posted to Facebook… I don’t even care how cheesy that is.

And don’t even get me started on my baby-naming dreams.  I have lists, people.  LISTS.


Almost every month, I allow myself to wallow in these lovely, pastel-colored pipe dreams.  And, without fail, every month those dreams are stomped, deflated, and left for dead until the next ovulation rolls around.

Am I the only one who does this?  Is it a sick fascination brought about by endless hoping for pregnancy and too much time spent on Pinterest?  Is this a subconscious way for me to keep hope alive, or a way for me to escape from the reality of the situation, sticking my head in the proverbial sand?

I have no idea if this is normal, and I have no clue how to stop it – or even if I should stop it.

All I know is that I have these black and white dreams, and every month, I give them color.

Every month that color gets washed away, and I get to start fresh the next month…

Whether that’s healthy or not remains to be seen.

I guess at least I’ll always have a pocketful of creative ideas for my friends and family members who find themselves expecting their own little bundles. 

Oh, you’re having an Easter-time baby shower and need theme ideas?  I’m your girl!

Maybe one day I’ll be able to use one of my grand ideas for myself…


One day.


I would never… but still… HAHAHA!



Four Year Journey

I don’t remember the day the husband and I decided to start trying for a baby.

I don’t remember when I started thinking about somewhat foreign concepts like ovulation and cycle length.

I don’t even remember talking to the husband about having children.  I just knew that we would, and that we’d probably get started right away.

We got married when we were 28.  The husband’s birthday had been a few months earlier, and mine was just a couple of weeks before our wedding in December of 2008.  Two of my best friends (and bridesmaids) had gotten married in the late summer of that year, and I remember them both saying that they were waiting until after my wedding to start trying for babies themselves.

Having lost my job a month before our nuptials, I was an unemployed newlywed in January of 2009.  I did everything I could to keep busy, spending hours and hours each day applying and interviewing for jobs, organizing our wedding gifts, and eventually getting us moved into a larger apartment where we had more room for our new accumulation of “married people stuff”.

By the time we had moved into a two-bedroom place in February of 2009, I had started formulating thoughts about what that second bedroom could be used for, aside from crock pot storage…


And so, in March of 2009, I started getting a little more serious about baby-making.  At that time, I didn’t know much more than what I’d learned in high school health class, so I figured I’d just start trying to have more sex with the husband two weeks or so after my period started.  It was never easy to do, as I had all the time in the world, but the husband worked a crazy shift that saw us apart for much more time than we were together.  Often he would be working while I was awake, and by the time he was home, I was fast asleep.

Two ships passing in the night – or day – and all that jazz.

We didn’t get pregnant that month, obviously, but I wasn’t discouraged.  I knew that it could take a month or two, or sometimes three, to get pregnant.


My best friend, and maid of honor, got pregnant the next month.  I figured I would soon too, and kept along our merry way.

I got a job working in bridal retail, and expected to be a fat little bridal consultant in no time at all.

A few more months rolled by, and nothing.  My other friend and bridesmaid who had married just before me found herself pregnant as well.  Our first anniversary came and went, along with the births of a niece, a nephew, and my two bridesmaids’ kiddos.

I got a kitten.

I also started doing a little online research about speeding up this darn conception process.  The first step seemed to be pinpointing ovulation, so I went out and bought ovulation prediction tests.  The more I researched, the deeper in I fell…

I ordered a thermometer online and started temping.  I learned all about cervical mucus and started charting that.  I had been keeping track of the length of my cycles for a couple of years, and found it simple enough to just punch all the data into an online program, and thus my love/hate relationship with FertilityFriend was born.

From there, things moved quickly.  I realized that I was rather underweight, ovulating late in my cycle with a short luteal phase, and having quite a few digestive difficulties I thought might be IBS or a thyroid problem.  I went to my primary physician first, and then to my OB; I was turned away from both with no real answers, and the OB even had the nerve to tell me to have more sex and come back in a year.

I found a new OB quickly, and by the summer of 2010, she had me tested for all of the basics that would point out an obvious reproductive issue.  She started me on Clomid for two months unmonitored, and after no pregnancy occurred, she referred me to an RE.

By this time, I had started a new bridal position, and was feeling very stressed out, both in work and in life.  Three years ago, after having tried unsuccessfully for a baby for just over a year, I was feeling depressed and discouraged.

(…If only I had known then that this journey could – and would – go on so much longer and get so much worse…)

My first visit with the RE was in June of 2011.  The preliminary testing done by my OB helped get me on the path to medicated cycles more quickly than I had anticipated, and I started Femara with an Ovidrel trigger just a few weeks later.  I was monitored, and found to have a good response, but after several cycles of that protocol, we still weren’t pregnant.

At this same time, the husband and I had also made the decision to move.  I needed to get away from my stressful bridal salon management job, and we were feeling that we needed to live closer to family and friends – whether mine or his, as we lived at least an hour and a half from any major support system.  We felt that we may need the support as we got further and further into the treatment game.

August of 2011 found us moving to the Toledo, Ohio, area to be closer to the husband’s family, and many of our friends.  We continued with the RE, sometimes monitored and sometimes not, through the fall, and by the time the holidays rolled around, I was ready for a break.  The distance to see the RE was getting to be a problem, and I had started a brand new job that I didn’t want to be affected by my failure of a reproductive system, and I really didn’t want to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas all hopped up on meds.

After Christmas, I had intended to transfer to an RE that was actually in the area, and even had an appointment set up, which I cancelled twice.  I think my heart just wasn’t in it, and our insurance wasn’t covering a dime of these treatments or any of the monitoring.

In January of 2012, I heard a radio ad asking for women in my age group with unexplained infertility to call if they wanted to inquire about a clinical study… Which I did.  I started the AMIGOS study in February 2012, and had four medicated IUIs with a blind medication (it was Clomid), Novarel trigger, and monitoring.  By June 2012, I was done with the study, and still not knocked up.

Obviously frustrated at this point, I called the local RE again and set up an appointment I would keep this time.  In mid July, I met Dr. K and he was very confident that injectable meds were the way to go.  I started Femara and injects that same week, and found myself pregnant for the first time just a couple weeks after.

I was impressed, and my faith in the process was restored.  I still felt uneasy, however…

Nothing was exactly right with the pregnancy from the very beginning.  My beta numbers were very low, and though they doubled, that wasn’t an encouraging sign.  I had what I think was an anxiety attack one day at about five-and-a-half weeks, and was sent for an ultrasound.  The nurses couldn’t see anything, but I was assured that it was too early.  My subsequent betas came back lowish as well, and weren’t really doubling, though I was also assured that was normal.

By late August of 2012, I was feeling somewhat pregnant.  I didn’t exactly have morning sickness, but I did have a mad case of the baby-bloat.  The husband and I had some wonderful pregnancy announcement photos taken by some friends of ours who were also going through their own conception woes.  We planned to announce our baby on board at 8 weeks, in mid September…

Our first ultrasound just before 7 weeks was not a pleasant one.  There was little growth, no real formation of the sac, and no heartbeat to be seen.  I was seen again four days later or so, and there was no acceleration…

We would miscarry two weeks later.

I spent most of the fall of 2012 devastated by the loss of our Gummy Bear, the baby that never got to be.  By December though, I was ready to start trying again, even if I wasn’t very enthusiastic about our odds.

After unsuccessful injects cycles in December 2012 and January 2013, I broke.

There were no answers as to why I couldn’t get pregnant, why we had lost our only pregnancy to date, and why we had perfect test results all around.  I spiraled into an anxiety-ridden state of frustration and panic, wherein I was on the phone with Dr. K’s office just about every day asking for further testing, and trying to pinpoint just WHY I don’t have a baby.

All of that brings us to today.

March 4th, 2009, is the first day of the first cycle I entered into FertilityFriend after our wedding.  As previously stated, I don’t remember the exact date we officially hopped on the baby-train, but I suppose the first day of the cycle that I know we started getting serious about it is official enough.

Today marks four long years of trying to conceive.

Four years of hope built up, and hope dashed.

Four years of desperation, frustration, elation, and devastation.

Four years of watching the world go by without us.

Four years of engagements, weddings, first and second babies being born to people who didn’t even know each other when we started down this path.

Four years of being stuck.

Four years of picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off for the next round of pills, injections, and ultrasounds.

Fours years of somehow managing to have a shred of hope every single month.

Four years of dreaming of our take-home baby.

Four years of getting stronger every day, even on days we feel the weakest.


Four years of trying to conceive.

Four years of trying.

Four years.


I never expected to be 32 and to be still trying to have my first child.  I never thought it would take this long, be this hard, or cost so much, both financially and psychologically.

I also never expected to feel as though I’m coming through the darkness…

Every day is better than the one before, and while Year Four had its share of extreme highs and lows, I feel that it showed me how to focus on what I really want, and how I should go about getting it.

I feel more emotionally sound today than I have in three years.  I feel strong.  I feel like I can handle this.

I feel like there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

I’m hopeful, but not in such a cautious way as I have been in the past.

Yes, we’re entering our fifth year of this journey to parenthood, and yes, we’ve seen some awful days come and go, but we’re still standing, and we’re still strong.

Bring on Year Five.

We’re ready, we’re tough, and we know this is our year.



Dreams Out of Reach

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about why exactly I am on this particular journey.

I keep going back to my, ahem, formative years; did I take birth control for too long?  Did that cervical cancer scare and subsequent LEEP procedure somehow hinder my future efforts?

Did I just plain wait too long?

Was I too prideful at the beginning?  Did I put off more aggressive treatments and waste time and resources that can’t ever be renewed?

Is it my diet?  Am I eating too many processed foods?  I microwave plastic sometimes; can that be the problem?  Maybe I grew up under some electrical lines!  Oh sweet Jesus–could my love of bacon be causing this???

Some of this reasoning is maybe more plausible than other options, and yet, these are the concerns that plague me daily.

Another school of thought is that it’s all just random selection.  This happens to millions of women, and I am just one of them.

Okay, sure.  Maybe I am.  There still needs to be a reason for it, so you’re not getting off that easily.

And then there’s the spiritual argument:  I was selected for this because God knew I could handle it.

Maybe so, but at the risk of blasphemy, sometimes I feel like he is overestimating a bit in his assessment of my strength.

I have so many questions that cannot seem to be answered, and so many dreams that seem so beyond my grasp.  Some days it’s tough to muster up the courage to face the world with all of its pregnancy announcements and Teen Mom reruns.

Some days I don’t know how I manage.

Here’s what I do know:

  • I have a fabulous marriage.  I may have married later than some of my friends, but I married well.  I knew I was joining my life forever with that of my best friend, and I knew that his family was going to be my family in every way but blood.  I knew that we would be able to withstand anything thrown our way; I just didn’t anticipate that hardship in the reproductive capacity would be something I ever had to consider.
  • I am strong.  I may have moments of weakness, but I feel that I can survive anything.  Sometimes strength comes from not having any other choice  but to keep standing.
  • I have faith.  I get discouraged like anyone, but I have a sense that this is only temporary.  Somehow, someday, I will be a mother.
  • I am realistic.  I know that this is only going to get harder the older I get, and I am fully aware that I may never give birth to a child of my own.
  • I am flexible.  I can see that getting pregnant with, carrying, and giving birth to your own flesh and blood child is easy for some women.  For others, that will never happen.  I am open to alternative situations like egg donors, surrogacy, and embryo adoption.
  • I have support.  I am lucky in that I have a supportive family, and while I still occasionally have that one aunt who tells me “You really need to stand on your head after sex!  That’s how I got pregnant!”, I know that they love me and will do whatever they can to help me along on this journey.
  • I have an outlet.  This blog–my readers, my friends, my family–this is what keeps me going.  I know that I am not alone because of the online community of others going through this exact thing.  The Infertility Veterans inspire me to keep my head up, and those still in the trenches inspire me to keep my nose to the grindstone.
  • I have the will to keep going.  For all of those reasons above, I will not give up on this dream.

While this might be a dream that is currently out of reach for me, that doesn’t mean that it will be forever.  If I keep moving forward, keep exploring every avenue to motherhood open to me, I will eventually find myself within grasp of that which I so desperately desire.

One day.


While I Breathe, I Hope.

“Dum spiro spero.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

I’ve been thinking about this tattoo for a long time.  I knew what I wanted it to mean, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I wanted it to say or look like.

A couple of months back, I was raiding the book shelf for an old book to lend to a friend when I came across my Latin textbook from high school.  I took a few years of Latin, which seems like a total waste of time unless you’re going to become a doctor or a lawyer – neither of which I am.

I loved Latin for the sheer fact that I love the written word.  I was in love with the way words started out, morphed into something new, and transcended languages in order to become this universal understanding in a few simple letters.  Latin for me was all about English, strange as that seems.

When I ran across this book, dusty from years (and yeeeeears) of neglect, I sat down for a minute to flip through the chapters.  Stuck in between the pages was a piece of college-ruled notebook paper, and written in pencil was this:

Dum spiro spero. 

While I breathe, I hope.

I can only assume this was part of some homework assignment from back when I was sixteen years old.  Back when I knew nothing of what it meant to truly hope.  Or before I knew what it meant to just breathe through the pain, hoping for relief on the other side.

The paper, the handwriting – my handwriting – hit me like a ton of bricks.  The statement was something I’d studied and long since forgotten, and yet it’s a lesson I am still learning, every single day.

Knowing what I wanted to say was half the battle, but knowing how to incorporate it into a design was something I had trouble imagining.

I have always loved birds.  All kinds of birds.  I have my grandmother to thank for that… I learned to read from her Audubon field guide.

Steadfast robins, chipper chickadees, regal cardinals, spunky sparrows, beautiful bluebirds, even raucous blue jays.  I love the freedom in the form of a bird; a creature that can literally leave a situation by taking flight.  The purest form of freedom, as their troubles cannot often follow where they fly.

I started researching bird tattoos and came across some information that solidified my choice.  The traditional swallow tattoo was one that mariners and sailors received after logging five thousand miles at sea.  They received their second after ten thousand miles.

The swallows were said to represent a long and arduous  journey and hope for calm seas and a smooth passage home.

I’m no sailor, but I’ve been on a journey of my own.  If miles were dollars spent in the attempt to conceive, I’d have a flock of swallows tattooed on me by now.

This ink is something I’ll live with forever.  Something to remind me always of this journey, whether it has a happy ending or not.  A permanent manifestation of hardship lived, freedom from strife reaffirmed, and the hope of calm seas for the rest of the journey.

I know that my journey is not over; in fact, it may only have just begun.  There may be more struggles ahead for me, but even when things get stormy, to my last dying breath, I will always have hope.


Tattoo Day!

Today is the day!

It’s not my first tattoo, but it’s been so long since the last one that I’m nervous!

I’m also super excited.  I am currently planning an outfit to wear to my tattoo appointment.

I might be crazy.  Oh well.

Anyway, stay tuned for updates… and photos!  :)




June 25th, 2011.  CD24, 11DPO.

So, aside from feeling kinda PMS-y, giving in to the urge to eat every sweet and salty thing in sight, and this weird twinge-y feeling in my general pelvic area, I have reason to suspect that this cycle might give me reason to hope–more so than previous cycles have allowed…

Eleven days past ovulation is almost a record for me!  And I’m not even on any meds!  That’s got to mean something!

Maybe my reproductive system has been scared straight with all the “You better shape up, Uterus, before I take you to the RE!” threats I’ve been making.  Maybe my bite-my-fingernails-till-I-bleed, stress-inducing boss-lady being in Europe for a month was just enough time to coax my frightened little eggies out of hiding.  Maybe this is just the “right time” that everyone keeps talking about.

Maybe I “just stopped trying…” And, well, you know the rest.

Hah!  That would happen to me.  Can you imagine the irony?

Anyway, jokes aside, I could very well be expecting that raging bitch Flo any moment, but for now–for this moment–I’m choosing to remain positive.  I could be expecting something very different.

It could happen.

I could wake up tomorrow without a crime scene in my pants.  I could pee on a stick, wait three minutes, and have a good reason to wake my husband up early on a Sunday.  I could be pregnant.

I know the odds are against me, what with my history of not ever being pregnant and all.  But still… I’m letting myself hope.

For now.

As for tomorrow, we shall see what the morning brings.  At best, a positive pee-stick.  At worst, Aunt Flo and some Midol.

Either way, I see a giant breakfast with lots of salty breakfast meats and too much syrup in my near future.

We all deal with things differently, and I like to feed my feelings with bacon.

All of my feelings.

Mmm… celebratory bacon…


Mothers Day With Tina Fey

I know that as Infertiles, Mothers Day is supposed to make us bitter and resentful at the universe for our unending barrenness.

That sentiment seems a little selfish to me.  I mean, I may not have children (yet), but I do still have my mother, my mother-in-law, and my grandmother-in-law in my life.  This should be a day used to celebrate those that we still have with us, those women who brought us up.  Today should be the day to honor the women in our lives who have changed our diapers, yelled at us for crossing the street without looking both ways, stayed up all night waiting for us to sneak back into the house, and not telling Dad how late we got home or who it was that dropped us off.

For me, this is a day to honor them that I do have, not a day to cry about what I don’t.

Besides, I celebrate that every other day of the year…

And so, in honor of Mothers Day (and in honor of not taking yourself too seriously in life), I present to you an excerpt from the mind-blowingly awesome book I’m currently reading–Bossypants, by Tina Fey.

Read More

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