Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's A Good Thing I Love Adam Levine

Went to the doctor today on my one-month post op visit.  He took one look at my wrist, pulled out a big needle for a cortisone injection....

and said that I need to come back in two months for another surgery.

(queue screeching breaks and breaking glass)

Um, what?!

Talk about kill-joy.  Do you have any idea what a wuss I am?  I barely made it though the last surgery.  Good grief - I was practically in a drug induced coma for a week and threw up so bad coming out of recovery that I blew all the blood vessels in my eyes!  (ugly doesn't even begin to describe)

When I told Mr. Thompson the prognosis, I thought he was going to cry.  His only reply was, "I learned with the last surgery to pray that I will one day die before you, but that doesn't appear to be happening...".

Caregiving 101: send me Adam Levine.

So in addition to our (not gonna say final) IVF...it appears that another round of wrist surgery is in my near future.  Dr. H better advise.  Although the thought of pain pills to accompany those unforgiving daily shots in the butt makes me feel better all ready, I need to make sure that I don't bite off more than  I  Mr. Thompson can chew.

Oh golly - I have a new blog title that is going to be perfect!  Know anyone to help me redesign it?

(p.s.: I can't believe I just said "oh golly"...)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's About Love

First, the comments on that last post were amazing.  Simply amazing. Every last one of them.

Stand and lift.  That is what each of you do for me.  Especially when I am wandering around a little lost and confused, which occasionally happens.

I've read the comments multiple times because there were such good "nuggets" in each one of them. Thank you.  Seriously.  You were probably right when you said that I need to cut myself some slack.  Don't we all?!

As I thought about that, I realized that I also tend to get a little more emotional when I'm tired...and I've been feeling oh-so tired.  Work has been kicking my butt and after working all weekend (which I can honestly say isn't out of the norm lately) I decided to put my foot down on Monday to recharge and reconnect.

Take time out for "me". 

I called the office and said I wasn't coming in (surprisingly easy!) and then spent the day cleaning, mowing, washing, ironing, pulling weeds and resting on my hammock.  By the time Mr. Thompson arrived home I had dinner waiting on the table and dessert chilling in the fridge.  Honestly, it felt good to just be an old-fashioned wife for the day.  No work - no worry - nothing but the kingdom of my house and the stomach of my husband.  It felt simply perfect.

When these arrived that afternoon, telling me what a great wife I am, I realized that I should probably take time out (not to mention cook dinner) a little more often...

In my quest for balance, I also committed to joining a Book Club.  It is my first ever and it is hosted by the neighborhood ladies.  During that rest on my hammock, I saw a post on FB about their meeting on Thursday so took my neighbor up on her offer to loan me the book and decided to join in on their monthly conversations. 

Their current read was "Heaven Is For Real" by Todd Burpo.

I knew nothing about it before opening the cover but as I turned th pages I learned that it's the true story of a four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who experienced heaven during emergency surgery. The little boy talks about looking down to see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. In childlike detail the little boy reports that he met his miscarried sister whom no one ever told him about and his great-grandfather who died 30 years before the little boy was born.  He talks about how Jesus loves children and what it felt like to sit on his lap and feel his love.  It was a simple little story (and really quick read) which in the end, is all about the hope of heaven.

A few pages into it, I had to halt because the little boy's name was Colton and he was four when he made his miraculous journey to the other side...

Yeah, you do the math.  My little Colton would be four so it struck a sensitive cord.  Mr. Thompson saw me reading it later that night and asked if it was a good idea...but I persevered because I had given my commitment to the book club.

I'm so glad that I did.

There were definitely religious perspectives that people may or may not agree with (including the Book Club which startled me with it's very respectful and open religious conversation) but in the end it brought me a little more peace. 

I believe in God.  I believe in heaven.  And there was a phrase from the first chapter that I fell in love with.  The pastor used in in reference to his experience with his son and it went like this:

"God loved me with a miracle."

Isn't that a nice way to think about things?  It's a phrase that has been running through my mind all week and I love how it makes me feel inside my heart.  In all of my lamenting over the last four years about what I'm supposed to learn from this experience perhaps I needed to be reminded, both through your blog comments and a book, that infant loss didn't happen because I needed a lesson at all.

It's not what I lost through it.  But rather, what I found.

God loved me with a miracle.

I like that.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reflection

A few nights ago I woke up at 2:00am after a bad dream.  I have those occasionally, but when you consider what we went through with Colton's birth...I guess it is to be expected.

It was beyond traumatic on so many levels.

The impressions of sobbing on that cold tile floor in my bathroom with my dead baby boy laying on my stomach will never go away.  Never in a million years.  I know for a surety that it will be the deepest pain of my lifetime.

Infertility is hard.  But tasting a glimpse of the dream and having it taken away prematurely,  in that most horrible way,  is the hardest thing my spirit has ever gone though.  Period.

It is a memory that has plagued my dreams for 4 1/2 years and what always follows the rude middle of the night awakening, is quiet reflection until daylight finally arrives.  Those are the hours in which I lay in bed and try (quite unsuccessfully) to make sense of it all.

I believe in God and these nights usually end with me on my knees, pleading for understanding about what I am supposed to learn from this experience. There has got to be something.  Something that keeps me back from the things I hope for.

Is it about worthiness?...and/or the qualification for motherhood?  Is it to teach me what I value the most in my life?  Or is it to help me bless the lives of others?  Is it about less work and more church?  Less questioning and more prayer?   Or is it all about self control over chocolate and exercise and my endless battle with the refrigerator?  More balance?  Self-mastery on every level?

Is it about faith?

Humility?

The miracle of forgiveness?

Atonement?


I don't know.  I obviously haven't figured it out which is why I am still here asking the questions.  I thought about all of this a few nights ago, and the questions have been lingering in my mind ever since.

I don't ask "why?" anymore.  I ask "what?". 

What is this really about?  When you peel back the onion layers of infertility and infant loss - what is at the inner core?

I so want to learn this lesson.  I've watched enough Oprah to know that there are important life lessons that we all need to learn - and mine just happen to come through this.  Now.  Yours may come in a similar or different shape and form.  But we all get the basics and at the end of the day - when you peel the onion - it really has nothing to do with infertility and infant loss.

That's what I'm trying to figure out.  

What is this about?  For me.

So I can move on.  Progress.  Be a mom.  Have a family of my own with the man of my dreams.  Continue to live the good life.  Grow old and smile at my child and my children's children...


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Go Fish!

Fishing with the Mr. this weekend.



...and as I sit and act interested in the endless repetition of  "cast and reel...cast/reel...cast/reel...", I realize that fishing is a lot like infertility:

Catching one of the "swimmers" usually depends on the quality of the bait.

But in the end, catching something seems to be based more upon more luck than skill....no matter how long you've been doing it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Change Is In The Air

So, I am thinking that Viva la Vida needs a face lift.  And quite possibly a name change. Recommendations? (because I have no idea about blog design).

I am also working on my bedroom.  Because that needs a change too.  New headboard project should be complete this weekend. (Give it up for power tools and DIY!)

Then there are the window treatments for the living room. (Man, I just sounded like my mom!). I've been staring at the bare windows for four years, planning and plotting what I'm going to do beyond the boring white blinds. I think that it's about time that I got started on that.

Front door needs help.  Paint?  Decorative fall wreath?  Maybe both.

Shrubs in patio pots need to be transplanted. (Platt - when should this be done?) They look great but winter will kill them. And I paid too much to let them die...

Mr. Thompson still owes me that tree too.  For our 5th anniversary (represented by wood).  He swears you have to plant it in the fall.  I swear HE has to plant it in the fall.  More specifically THIS fall.  I just need to make my million dollar hole so we don't kill it.

Still working on that treadmill thing.  16 pounds until I hit my goal for making that IVF initiation appointment with Dr. H.  I better get cracking because we want to do our cycle before the end of the year! (pray for me.)

Lawn needs fertilized.

Bought $100 worth of fabric from the store this weekend on a whim.  When asked what I was going to do with said fabric, I replied "make things".  Now I just have to decide what "things"...and how to make them.

Boring bathroom mirrors are going to get transformed.  Framed.

.
.
.

. . . all while he sits from the comfort of the couch. Watching football.

Hello NFL.

Good-bye Mr. Thompson.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Odd Life

Confession:  there was an anonymous comment recently that I've been thinking about a lot.  And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.

In The Embrace post, I wrote about embracing the fact that "Mr. Thompson and Me" may ever have children of our own.  That we may always be a family of two and how I am working to make peace with that.

In response, the question was anonymously asked "Don't you have a step-daughter? She's certainly part of your family too, no?"

Short answer:  Yes!

Long answer:  If you are a step-parent then you will understand what I'm talking about when I say,  that being a step-parent is one of the most difficult roles that any adult will ever assume.  It is difficult not because Lil' A is difficult (she is actually quite the opposite).  It is difficult because...

Well, it just is.

The divorce between her mom and dad was messy.  And when I say messy, I mean messy.  The messiest.  As a result,  I realized early on that in Lil' A's eyes, I may never be considered more than an aunt.  I accept this role graciously because I never want her to feel more conflicted or confused than she has already been made to feel by a very angry and bitter mother.  So we go with that.  I'm her "JJ" - which is pretty much the same "JJ" that I am to my 25 nieces/nephews.

We see her for a total of about 48 hours each month and although we should have her much-much more ("should" being the key word...),  I do everything that I can within that short allotted time to make her feel like she is a very loved and wanted part of our family.  I adore her - and I know that she adores me.  As one of the greatest and most needed influences in her life, I work really hard to support the father/daughter relationship between her and her dad because it's critical to her healthy development towards men (her dad is the only male influence in her life. And when I say only, I mean only.).  But...it's hard.

I hope that makes sense.

As the fun step-mom/aunt, we always have a really good time - limited though it may be.  Last weekend we packed up Mojo (car) and went to the drive-in for a double feature.  Lil' A picked the movies and there was unbridled glee in her eyes when she told me that the first one was going to make me cry (she had already seen it).  

I love the drive-in so I sat back under a beautiful full moon to enjoy the show... 


 
I had no idea.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green. 

If you have gone through infertility and/or infant lost and are thinking about this movie... Don't. Do. It. Don't. Give. In. To. Temptation.

I had no idea what it was about but two seconds into the movie when an infertile couple was told "There's nothing more we can do", Mr. Thompson reached over to grab my hand with a whispered "you alright?".  By the end of watching this couple bury their dreams in the garden and then watching it all miraculously/tragically unfold, we had a death grip on each other.  As the credits rolled, I had to excuse myself to go to the front of the car where I sobbed my little heart out on Mojo's hood as wave after wave of infant loss emotions literally tried to drown me.   Big. Fat. Ugly. Sobs. (Luckily, the radio was blasting and it was dark so nobody could hear or see me).

Lil' A thought it was sad but had no idea it would affect me like it did because she has no idea about Colton.  Perhaps that is the most heart breaking part of it all - she doesn't even know that she has a beautiful little brother.  We don't plan on telling her anytime soon because, I'll be honest...I'll never let her mother have that sacred part of me.  It's off limits in a messy divorce where everything else has been drug through the mud forward and backwards.  So we wait.  

Lil' A doesn't know or understand about infertility either (she's 11) which is why she wistfully comments every visit that she wishes she had a little brother or sister.  Cuts like a knife.

At the drive in, after I finally came back to my lawn chair she asked with mischievous excitement if the movie made me cry.  I chuckled and said, "maybe" and then sat down and told her that next time she thinks that wants a little brother or sister...

She needs to go plant one in the garden. (if only it was that easy!)

The second movie of our double feature was a little bit more fun and relaxing... 


Brave.   Which reminded me what I really need to be...

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