Random Facts

Have you seen it?  The new trending post on Facebook?  Basically, it’s the “random facts” –  except it’s completely about pregnancy.  I don’t begrudge  women being pregnant.  Well, maybe a little.  Ok, a lot.  Those posts kinda feel like a big fat squeeze of lemon into a gaping, oozing wound.  Yeah.  Ouch.  Most days I do really good.  But some days, the bitterness consumes me.  I can fight and fight that little green monster but there are days that I’m exhausted just from smiling!

smiling

This past week, I finally saw an endocrinologist.  I’ve been suspicious of some issues for quite a while, but I guess I’ve been partly afraid to actually address them.  Mainly because, if they come back positive, it is going to mean a RADICAL change in lifestyle for me.  The Dr that I saw said that he was “AMAZED at the array of autoimmune diseases” in my family.  We REALLY are a smorgasbord of them, I’d not really thought of it before!  One of the autoimmune diseases that seems to run rampant in my family is Celiac.  Tonight, I found and read through a list of 300 symptoms that absolutely SHOCKED ME!!  I literally caught myself gasping a few times!!  Anxiety, asthma, chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, heartburn, irritability, sperm abnormalities, miscarriage, infertility.  Seriously mind-boggling stuff!!  I’m incredibly anxious for the results to come back.  But regardless, there are going to be some major changes to meals in the McNabb household!!

no_junk_food-211x300

ANYWAY!  I decided – since so many people are sharing their random facts about their being pregnant, that I would share some random facts about my NOT being pregnant!  The decision that I made to share what we are going through was not an easy one.  I had MANY, MANY nights of sleeplessness before I actually made the decision to just put it all out there.  I still have sleepless nights, but mostly just because of hormones now!!  Sharing isn’t for everyone.  This journey is still very private and even embarrassing and this is just a glimpse into some of the emotions and struggles that we deal with every single day.  I had to make sure that my husband was okay with my sharing as much as I have also, because he is RIGHT NEXT to me through this whole thing.  I haven’t forgotten for one single second that this affects him just as much as me!

So, I am giving myself the number 5!  Ladies on this journey, PLEASE, put your random facts in the comments!!  I LOVE learning about people!

  1. My “aunt” first came to town when I was 10 years old!  And she was BRUTAL when she did!  I even remember one doctor telling me that I “may have trouble” getting pregnant when I was older.  BOY, was he right!!
  2. Our infertility issues were originally thought to be contributed to my PCOS, but have more recently been termed “unexplained” by my RE.
  3. It drives me absolutely INSANE when women complain about being pregnant!!  I wish I could make them see what a GIFT it is!!  I wouldn’t complain to someone with no legs about how I hate standing up for long periods of time!
  4. We have had one miscarriage and three failed IUI attempts.
  5. I hate it when people tell me to ‘just’ relax or that we can ‘just’ adopt.  There is no ‘just’ doing anything.  Relaxing will not make more eggs grow inside of me.  Adopting will not cure my infertility, just a symptom of it.  Everything that is done on this journey is calculated and pondered and prayed about for a long time.  So when/if we get to the point of adopting, we won’t be “just” doing anything.

I realize that I probably make a LOT of people uncomfortable with how open I am about the journey that we are on – but I don’t share for “them”.  I share for me…

silent

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I’m still here

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written.  If I’m being honest, it’s kinda been nice.  It’s nice to step back for a while and just be me.  To not worry about exactly when I’m ovulating or if this is going to be “our month” or if “that symptom” means something.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s always in the back of my mind… but it’s been nice to not have it be the ONLY thing on my mind.  I guess there has been a part of me that has thought “Maybe, even as much as I HATE hearing ‘just relax’, is exactly what I need to do.”  And then one cycles passes.  Then two.  And I remember – it’s a medical condition, not a mental condition.

November 4th was my husband’s and my 2 year wedding anniversary.  We made it 2 whole years without killing each other!!  We had talked about taking a small vacation – Lord knows we needed it, especially after the last few super emotional months – and after talking with his parents about it, his mom actually decided to purchase plane tickets and even go with us!  I know, most people would think that In-Laws on an anniversary vacation would be a major buzz-kill, but that wasn’t the case at all!  I’ve been very blessed with the in-laws that I have!!  We went to Ormond Beach, Florida and it was AMAZING!  I knew that we needed a vacation, but I didn’t realize just how much until we actually got there.  Surprisingly, I didn’t think about work at all!! Tough to imagine, I know.

waterfront

While we were there, we spent 2 nights at the Royal Floridian Resort RIGHT on the water.  The weather wasn’t perfect while we were there but it by NO means ruined our time.  There was quite a bit of rain, but we got to enjoy the sunshine as well and one day, as we sat on our balcony, I noticed that a break in the clouds had the sun casting a ray in a direct line onto the water.  My mind started to wonder about what was going on beneath the surface of the water in that spot.  Were the animals that lived there basking in the gift of warmth that the sun was offering, or were they content in the icy waters?  I often find myself wondering what is happening beyond what my eyes can see when I stand in front of the majestic sea.  Life scurrying about.  Animals seeking shelter and food.  One of the days that we were in St Augustine, I was able to sit and watch about 10-12 dolphins jump and play and toss fish back and forth – and I can’t remember a time I felt more at peace, even with all the emotions I was feeling at that moment.  I’ve always possessed a great passion for the ocean.  There is just something about it that is so peaceful and calming.  Strong, unrelenting, ever-changing – yet remaining the same.  I could sit and listen to and watch the waves roll in for hours and never get bored.

ray of light

The last couple months – like the many before – have been filled with pregnancy announcements, news of loss and all the other happenings that comprise our daily lives.  I can’t quite use the word “normal”, as our normal is so different from most.  I’ve had some time to search my heart some in the last couple months.  My heart still hurts when I hear of a woman who is pregnant or see a woman with that telling bump, but accompanying that ugly green monster lately has been a new perspective – Did she struggle with infertility? Did she get pregnant naturally or have to deal with medical procedures also?  For most women I see, I may never know the answer, but it’s made me feel as though I’m actually making progress in the war against bitterness.

think positive

The emotions that I felt after learning that my best friend was pregnant still shock me beyond belief when I think about them.  A friend of mine called it an “a$$-kicking surprise” and I can’t think of a better way to categorize all the emotions!  But lately, a new feeling about it has been creeping in…  a feeling I expected to feel right away.  I’m excited!  I’m going to be an aunt again!  I’m going to have a precious baby to spoil, and then send home!  I’m going to be able to kiss and hug and love and overall smother this child!  But as strong as those feelings of excitement are, they still wage war with the emotions I’m trying my best to tamper.  I haven’t told her about the excitement yet, and I hope that she will forgive me for having to read it here instead of hearing it from my mouth – although I did warn her (again) that I was blogging in part about her.  I guess it’s easier for me to keep my emotions in check when they’re shared in a broader range – plus I’m sure she’s TIRED of hearing me trip over my words in an explanation of what I’m feeling and how it isn’t her fault!!

We started a YouCaring account a bit ago in hopes of lightening the burden of IVF, and have had some wonderful people donate.  We are saving and adding to it as we can.  My husband has an amazing talent for woodworking and will be selling the projects he’s done, and is going to do, in order to donate to our fund.  I also have discovered a passion for photography that I am going to be using to donate to our fund also.  God is so awesome that He already had something lined up for me before I even knew it!  We also started a Facebook page that tells a little about us and references to this blog and our donation account.  If you are interested in checking any of them out, the links will be at the bottom of this blog!

piggy bank

Speaking of this blog – what an amazing outlet this has been for me.  I love that I can write what’s on my heart for all to see.  People always say that think I’m “amazing” and “so strong” for dealing with this… and I know I am.  I may not feel amazing and strong as much as I do broken and discouraged, but what I want people to take from this more than anything is HOPE.  We know that God has a plan for us.  He reminds us every day.  His plans are better than our dreams, and that is what keeps us going.  Thank you for being a part of this journey.  And this blog.  And my life.

hope

www.facebook.com/munchkinmcnabb

www.youcaring.com/munchkin-mcnabb

Awareness

wave of light

Today is a tough day.  It’s National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  And while my heart still hurts when I think about it, my heart is heavy for those that have recently, or are currently, experiencing it.  Tonight at 7pm begins the “Wave of Light.”  Whatever time zone you are in, light a candle and let it burn for one hour.  When that hour is up, someone in another time zone will be lighting their candle, and so on and so on.  A single act done by one that multiples and lights the world, if only for a short time.

My husband and I differ on whether we should participate in the sentiment of this day.  He feels that, while remembering is good, that we should move on and focus on the good that’s to come.  I FULLY appreciate where he is coming from, and agree even – to an extent.  To me, this day isn’t just about remembering what was lost, but remembering the hope for what was, and what’s yet to be.

I made it

Last week was rough for me.  Particularly Friday, yet if you asked me to give a concrete reason why, I couldn’t.  After a day filled with tension and frustration, I decided to walk to our local grocery store – I’d basically be killing two birds with one stone because I’d be getting exercise in and, I’d be getting wine!  Walking along the storefront, I passed this man pushing a cart with the most gorgeous, peaceful, sleeping, brand-new baby girl in her precious pink carrier – and I lost it.  In front of the grocery store.  In front of a bunch of people.  In the little town I live in.  I tried SO hard not to cry.  My lip started to quiver and the knot built in my throat, but I FORBID any tears from falling.  Apparently, they didn’t get the memo.  I’m learning to let myself feel my emotions in order to move past them, but I did NOT intend to feel those emotions at that particular time!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines awareness as “knowing and understanding a lot about what is happening in the world or around you”.  I think that most women that have experienced or are experiencing infertility have realized that there is a SERIOUS lack of awareness.  People often think that we share what’s going on in our lives for sympathy or pity.  But rather, we do it because it’s a part of who we are – whether we want it to be or not.  Education is the only way to raise awareness.

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I know I live in a very small part of the world, and no matter where I am, my part of the world stays as small as I make it.  But I’ve talked to some amazing people on this journey, and I’ve gotten a response that I didn’t expect.  Love.  Understanding.  Compassion. Prayer.  And hopefully, I’ve been able to touch just one person in this exploration of who *I* am through all of this.  But if not, I’ve learned a WHOLE lot about ME – and I kinda like me.