Tag Archives: 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 ALL THIS TIME 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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!  :)  

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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… […]

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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.


Summertime Sadness

A safe space where I discuss the racing thoughts in my head, personal struggles, and day-to-day activities while struggling with mental health and mood disorder issues. My personal goal is to reduce the stigma that comes with mental health and mood disorders, by talking more about it.

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