Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts

Hope Hope Hoping

I am hope hope hoping that the Cade Foundation selected us for their 2011 grants cycle. They will be announcing their awards before the end of September and I am counting the days. I really think that we would be an awesome couple to represent their work, for so many reasons.

I hadn't realized that the month was almost over until this weekend when my mother in law asked about 'the grant'. She was visiting us for the weekend. She is so sweet and well intentioned, but doesn't always deliver her loving comments the way we'd like to hear them. It was the first time she's visited us since our wedding over 6 years ago. I know it meant a lot to ML to have her come up to see us and see our home.

Ohh, Cade Foundation, please make your announcement soon.


Just Because - Favorite Children's Books

I remember our home always being rich with children's activities. We had books galore, and always had someone to read to us.

Kakunaa wrote a great post about her favorite Children's Books, and it got me thinking about all of my favorite books.... the books that I want to include when I build on my vision for my Someday Family. When I picture my future with children's things scattered around the house, I picture these things laying around.

I think that The Runaway Bunny might be my all time favorite book. It is so sweet and shows the unconditional love of a mother for her little bunny. Sometimes I feel like our journey to parenthood shadows this story.

“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother, "I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”

“If you become a rock on the mountain high above me," said his mother, "I will become a mountain climber, and I will climb to where you are.”

“If you become a bird and fly away from me", said his mother, "I will be a tree that you come home to.”

Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel is another one that I love. I think that I have probably read it a thousand times, as it was one that I used to carry with me in my babysitting bag of tricks and all the kids I watched loved it as well. Again it is a story about loyalty and unconditional love, mixed in with determination to persevere thru the most hopeless and challenging conditions.

Reading it now, I relate to the outpouring of love and support that helped fuel Mike and Mary Anne (his steam shovel) to achieve what seemed impossible.

I recently discovered this series of books by Sibylle von Olfers. I love the illustrations and the way that each story connects nature with imagination. I actually bought a whole bunch of these books off ebay - some of them are for gifts, but there is a complete set sitting on my bookshelf for My Someday family.

Someday, I will read these stories to my children and talk about the seasons, and imagine that snowflakes are really little snow children.

Please tell me that you all remember this record... I LOVED this record as a kid. I remember listening to this record in the living room while my mom put my little sister down for her nap. I was 3, maybe 4 years old. The record was a mix of songs and little stories, all with the message that you are perfect just the way you are.

There was a 25th anniversary edition book published recently that I randomly found at the book store. It is crazy how all of my memories of these songs and stories came rushing back to me. I bought a bunch of copies of the book, and have been giving them away as birthday presents.

It feels so good to think about the future so positively. I really do have a section of my bookshelf reserved to hold the growing library of books that I will someday read to my little ones. Until then, I am grateful for this space and for being able to share these books with you.


Hope is a big word

I spent the afternoon today with a couple girlfriends.

I'd wanted to go to the spa, where I could get some much needed pampering, and lie in the sunshine next to the pool. They are two really great girls, always happy to go with the flow, very supportive, and always a good time. Getting them motivated to get out of the house and focus on an outcome can be a challenge though. We'd talked last night about spending the day at the spa, and again this morning confirmed our plans.  I got dressed up and packed my bag this morning. I really could use a good massage and envisioned the day wearing a plush robe with cozy slippers curled on a lounge next to a firepit.

By the time we got out of the house it was much later in the afternoon than I'd expected, and not really worth the money anymore to head to the spa. The treatments are expensive, but worth it if you can make a day of it and enjoy the facilities. So instead, we drove around for a while, searching for some sunshine, and ended up crashing a garden party at a fancy hotel.

We had a conversation about hope, that started when one friend recited an Emily Dickinson poem:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me. 

I'm not going to be able to re-create the conversation, but it was striking. Like a snap-shot that perfectly captured why it I feel so alone sometimes.

They started talking about how great it is that hope is ever-present, that bird in our soul that never stops singing. I disagreed, saying that hope is delicate and fragile and requires constant attention. The hope that I know takes so much energy to cultivate.

We talked about despair, the opposite of hope. They felt that it was despair that required the emotional energy.

Starting this blog was a manifestation of hope that had been so elusive for me. Being able to envision my "Someday", one that included a family, took me a long time. For nearly a year after our diagnosis I felt no hope. There was no bird. The song had stopped.

Finding hope for our future again has taken a lot of work on my part. Kind of like a garden that I have to plan and tend to, that takes time to grow, and needs the right nutrients and water and sunshine. I've worked so hard to regain a sense of hope and nurture it. Whereas despair takes energy, I have to give huge amounts of energy to maintain hope.

I don't know if they understood what I tried to explain. It was actually a depressing conversation. I hadn't realized how depressing I might sound to the people around me. But this is how I feel.

Wikipedia defines hope as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

I want so much to believe that our circumstances will turn out for the best, and intend to keep nurturing that idea.

How do you maintain and nurture hope on this journey?



I've been working hard to build my resiliancy so that I am prepared for the road ahead of us. I think that I am generally a happy positive person. I like to have fun, I smile a lot, I try to always see the best in people. I've had periods of my life where anxiety and depression took over, but I've always bounced back. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines resilience as:
1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

I've always thought about resiliancy being like a rubber band that is stretched but then snaps back to normal. The thing is that its hard to snap back when other things keep stretching me, and the things that are stretching me are changing my original shape. It also feels like rather than an acute 'snap', it is a long slow process. I am resilient, but it has become a constant state of being that requires my constant attention. 

Mayo Clinic's website lists the following tips to improve resilience. 

Working on your mental well-being is just as important as working on your physical health. If you want to strengthen your resilience, try these tips:
  • Get connected. Build strong, positive relationships with family and friends, who provide support and acceptance. Volunteer, get involved in your community, or join a faith or spiritual community.

  • Find meaning. Develop a sense of purpose for your life. Having something meaningful to focus on can help you share emotions, feel gratitude and experience an enhanced sense of well-being.
  • Start laughing. Finding humor in stressful situations doesn't mean you're in denial. Humor is a helpful coping mechanism. If you can't find any humor in a situation, turn to other sources for a laugh, such as a funny book or movie.
  • Learn from experience. Think back on how you've coped with hardships in the past. Build on skills and strategies that helped you through the rough times, and don't repeat those that didn't help.
  • Remain hopeful. You can't change what's happened in the past, but you can always look toward the future. Find something in each day that signals a change for the better. Expect good results.
  • Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. This includes participating in activities and hobbies you enjoy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and eating well.
  • Keep a journal. Write about your experiences, thoughts and feelings. Journaling can help you experience strong emotions you may otherwise be afraid to unleash. It also can help you see situations in a new way and help you identify patterns in your behavior and reactions.
  • Accept and anticipate change. Expecting changes to occur makes it easier to adapt to them, tolerate them and even welcome them. With practice, you can learn to be more flexible and not view change with as much anxiety.
  • Work toward a goal. Do something every day that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Even small, everyday goals are important. Having goals helps you look toward the future.
  • Take action. Don't just wish your problems would go away or try to ignore them. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action.
  • Maintain perspective. Look at your situation in the larger context of your own life and of the world. Keep a long-term perspective and know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.
  • Practice stress management and relaxation techniques. Restore an inner sense of peace and calm by practicing such stress-management and relaxation techniques as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, visualization, imagery, prayer or muscle relaxation.

I have what I call my Toolkit. All the things that I have in place to support me and help me get through this journey.
  • My lover and our communication with each other.
  • This blog journal and the wonders of writing.
  • My sister, mom, and bestie who know everything and love me so much.
  • This online community and the ability to read your stories and know that I am not alone.
  • My happy pills.
  • My wonderful therapist.
  • My emergency happy pills for especially trying times.
  • The Resolve group I recently found.
  • Nail polish to keep my fingers and toes beautiful.
  • Pilates - that I really need to go to more often.
  • Permission to cancel any plans at any time for any reason.
  • A boss who is supportive and understanding.
  • A job that is rewarding and challenging and flexible and has meaning.
  • my puppy and kitty who are so soft and cuddly.

I also have so much to be grateful for. So much. No matter how low I feel, I always come back to the many things that I have to be thankful for. And while I think that having that perspective is important, I feel like it is important to experience the feelings that I am having at any point on this journey. There is a balance. The feelings I am having are real and valid, and I want to honor them. However I don't want to take for granted any of the many wonderful things in my life. 

One of the most wonderful things in my life is my bestie. I met her when we were in second grade. Our family moved in to the house next door to her. I 'met' her as she was escaping through her bedroom window. We became best buddies that day and have been besties ever since. I LOVE her and I LOVE her family and they LOVE me. She kept me company yesterday while I wallowed on the couch. Her adorable little daughter flirted with me and offered me so many sweet hugs.  She is a wonderful mom and I love being around her and her babe. I want to tell her about this blog, but I am hesitant to open it up to others in my real life. ML is the only one who reads it, but in the spirit of strengthening my support system, I think it could be a good thing.  I almost told her yesterday, but stopped. What do you think?

For the time being, this someecard says it all: - I can't handle the pressure of making my own salad

(check out Katie's post for more postcards, and a good laugh.)



Gonna pick myself up off the ground
When that old feeling comes around again
I’ve had enough of feeling down
There’s something I’ve lost that must be found again

Sometimes it seems like such a hard life
But there’s good times around the bend
The rollercoaster’s got to roll to the bottom
If you want to climb to the top again

Driving down the highway in the rain
Look out of my window and see that southbound train
It’s headlights still shining in my brain
Stayed right alongside me just to ease my pain

Sometimes it seems like such a hard life
But there’s good times around the bend
The rollercoaster’s got to roll to the bottom
If you want to climb to the top again

Well the snow is gone and the springtime’s here
And the rivers song is buzzing in my ears
Sit and watch the treetops sway
Here comes a breeze to blow my cares away

Sometimes it seems like such a hard life
But there’s good times around the bend
The rollercoaster’s got to roll to the bottom
If you want to climb to the top again


Miracle for me?

Sperm takes about three months to produce. ML has been on the FSH therapy for nearly 3 months now. The UR gave us a 50% chance of the FSH resulting in enough sperm for ISCI. I don't think that the FSH is actually going to work, but at the same time I have a secret hope that it will work so well that it will completely restore his sperm production and I'll have a surprise pregnancy. Its not likely, but it's what I want. The UR said that our case of late stage maturation arrest is so rare that he has only seen a few in his entire career. So really, the UR doesn't know what's going to happen. He can tell us that there is a 50% chance of the FSH working, He can tell us that even if it does work there will probably not be enough sperm to spill into the ejaculate, He can tell us that its going to be sunny on September 17th. He doesn't know.

I started my cycle today. Following the shortest cycle ever at 24 days. I am a very consistent 28 day cycle with ovulation on days 13-15.

Once before we were really trying, but after we'd quit really preventing, I had a 35 day cycle. I would have sworn that I had a chemical pg that month, until we got the azoos diagnosis, that is. I actually took a pg test after my period started. We jumped in the shower, I took the test and set it outside of the shower so that we could get the results together. That was my first pg test.

You always hear about women who swear that they had their period while they were pregnant. I admit that I watch all those TLV shows, and i just didn't / don't believe that my period is a sure sign that there is nothing else going on up in my belly. Azoos, on the other hand, is pretty definite in my mind. Since the Azoos diagnosis I have no doubt that there is nothing going on up in my belly.

So anyways. I started early today. and I have a secret hope that the FSH is going to work wonders. So maybe, just maybe, this is not my cycle, but instead its one of those pretend cycles that pg girls get. Maybe, just maybe, there could maybe be something going on up in my belly.  You think?

I don't believe it enough to do anything about it, like take a pg test or anything. But I do like thought, and I do like the hope.


Presenting My New Blog Design

Check it out! My new blog design! I love it. It makes me smile everytime look at it.

This blog has been a wonderful outlet for me. An essential tool in my toolkit of coping strategies. I wanted it to feel warm and welcoming when I visit. I wanted it to feel like 'me'. I wanted this space to hold my words and thoughts and emotions with strength and confidence.

Super awesome Alison, a fellow Azooser, at Giggly Girl Designs somehow managed to decipher the mess of ideas that I threw at her and come up with this beautiful design that I love. and in the process I got to talk with her on the phone, which may seem like such a tiny simple thing. It was however just what I needed to realize how much I really needed to get myself to a RESOLVE meeting. Little steps, one at a time, that lead me to places that I need to be.

I had a dream last night. I was pregnant. We'd just completed our first IVF cycle and I was in the 2ww, but I knew somehow. ML and I were overjoyed.  It felt so good, so positive, and so happy. In my dream I knew that we were only pregnant with one, although irl I have a sense/wish that there are twins in our future.

I've been reading and hoping for you gals (Rach,  JulieEmmy) who are PUPO right now.  Maybe some of that positivity showed up in my dreams, and I am so thankful to have this comforting vision to hang on to as we move forward and actually get to 'try' for the first time later this fall.

I wish I could send some of my dream positivity from last night over to Jenni, who is struggling with a different set of dreams. My nightmares are the pretty standard 'a bad man is after me' dream where I wake up screaming for help.  I've actually had them with much more frequency than normal and I am wondering if it is a side effect of my happy pills. 

The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to head straight to IVF regardless of whether we can use sperm from ML. First of all, I am in a solid emotional state at the moment, but I question my emotional fortitude for doing more cycles than absolutely necessary. Since IVF has twice the chance at success as IUI, I can only assume that it means less cycles will be required to knock me up. Secondly, the cost of IUI with donor sperm is not cheap. We've been quoted between $2-4K per IUI cycle. So, three cycles could end up costing us as much as one IVF cycle with an equivalent chance at success. Except with an IVF cycle I wold likely have extra embryos waiting for me to use with a FET.  Has anyone else thought about this and actually run the percentages and costs? I'd be curious to know what others think about this.

In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy my new design as much as I do!
PS: Vegas is great. I spent all morning in the pool soaking up the sunshine. Ahhhhhh :)

Resolve Meeting - It was Awesome

I did it. Finally. I went to my first RESOLVE meeting last Sunday. It was wonderful. WONDERFUL.

My mom and I were going to be near the City to visit my grandpa for Fathers Day. She'd offered to go with me to a RESOLVE meeting in the past, and so I asked if she would be willing to go with me. We had a nice drive up in the morning. On the drive she asked how I was doing and how the hormone therapy was going for ML (my lover). I told her, again, the timeline and options that await us in the Fall. I adore my mom and she is more supportive than I could have ever asked for... but, it feels like I have to repeat myself and tell her again and again the 'plan' and the 'options'. In reality its probably only been a few times, and I know it is a lot to expect that she be able to remember all the details after hearing them once, but still... I just wish that she 'knew', without me having to say anything at all.

We had a nice afternoon with my grandpa. My cousins also came to surprise him. I have two teenage girl cousins who are just begging for trouble. Last time they came to visit me for a few nights I had to have the birds and bees talk with them, complete with a trip to planned parenthood so they could get the shot. Oh My god I would just die if one of them got pregnant. Cousin #1 confessed that she tried pot for the first time the week prior. I made her pinkie swear that she wouldn't do it again until she came back to visit me again.

Moving on to the best part of the day. My mom and I arrived at the RESOLVE meeting. It was held at a facility that provided advocacy and information about women's health issues. We were the first to arrive. The leader welcomed us and showed us to the circle configuration of cozy chairs and a couch. She was really pretty and nice. There was a coffee table with Resolve materials laid out. My mom picked up one of everything and chose a comfy chair seat. I took a portion of the couch across the circle near the leader. We made some small talk and waited for the other ladies to arrive. She mentioned that some of the other male factor couples would not be attending that evening, but that there were a few women considering donor eggs.

I honestly can't recall the order in which people arrived or exactly how the conversation came together. I was really nervous, but I could tell that a few of the other women were too. There were 8 of us in total at the meeting, including me and my mom. The leader made some introductory comments, read a poem (or maybe it was a segment from a book), then suggested that we go around the circle to share. I was the first one to share. It was great, but in all honesty overwhelming at the same time. I shared, then the other women shared. Seeing them nod and tear up as I spoke was... so... validating, reassuring, comforting... they 'knew' what i was saying, in that way that I didn't need to give the background, they just knew. They were right there with me. And then they spoke, and I nodded and teared up. I just don't have words for the experience. I felt like, like I didn't want to leave, like I wanted to sit with these girls for hours, and talk, and listen, and nod, and cry.

We did stay for a little bit after the meeting, a few of us. Two other women are using the RE that I had my initial work-up with. They love him and the clinic, which was nice to hear.

It was a big deal for all of us to be there, it was obvious by the wringing of hands and cautious smiles. My anxiety level was high for the entire meeting, but I felt like I just might have found a place that could be considered 'safe' to let down my guard. I have to say that again, I just might have found a group of women and a place where it is safe to let down my guard. Can you hear my exhale as I write that?

I can't wait to go back again. It is a four hour round trip drive on a Sunday night, but I can't wait.  the next meeting falls on the fourth of july holiday so it is being canceled and the next meeting won't be for a month. I will be there.

(Don't get me wrong, you gals RAWK my world, but until I can sit in a room with you for a few hours, the RESOLVE group is going to have to fill that void!)

I'll be in vegas this weekend, visiting family. I would LOVE to spend some time at a Spa, one where I can spend a portion of the day wearing a robe and slippers, order a drink, sit by a pool, soak in a sauna, and get a massage or some other decadent treatment.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions! Or if you live near Vegas and might want to meet up with me at the Spa :)

Cards at Target

Okay, so I am going out on a limb here. My Lover is one of only two people IRL who know that I have this blog, and the only one who has the web address to read it. I wanted him to know that I was writing about our private story in this public yet anonymous space, and I wanted him to be able to read what I had to say, if and when he wants. 
So anyways, he might be reading, I don’t know. Babe - this post is about something that I am planning for you, so be warned that you might spoil the (little) surprise if you keep reading. 
I was at Target this morning, picking up ink so that we could finnish printing our Cade Foundation grant. I walked in, through all of the kids clothes noticing how cute all the little outfits are, but thinking that even if I had kids, I wouldn’t be spending tons of money on new clothes (since we’ll have all those hand me down, but also because we are pretty frugal.) I walked through the baby isle, those things get me every time, but then I thought about how fast babies grow and decided to put on a pretty pair of IF glasses and think that it was kind of nice that I get so much time to admire these sweet baby clothes without being sad that my baby is all grown up. 
I found the printer ink and headed back to check out, and walked past the cards isle. I love cards and always stop to look at the cards isle. The whole row was Fathers Day Cards. I sighed. I found a card for my dad. It was perfect and talked about what a great dad he was for me growing up and how much I still love him. I may have my issues with my dad, but I do love him, and nothing can change the fact that he was a great father while I was growing up. 
Then I saw these cards “to my husband on fathers day.” I have never seen a card like that before. I was stopped in my tracks. I pulled one of the cards up to get a closer look. I can’t remember exactly what it said, but I was hooked. I looked at every single one. 
and then I bought one. 
For My Lover.
I do love him, so much, especially on Fathers Day, because he is the only person I could ever want to experience parenthood with, because he has been so wonderful dealing with this IF journey, because he is willing to undergo examinations, and procedures, and injections so that we can become parents together, because he is patient and kind and loving and will be a most wonderful father someday.
I am going to have to edit the text of the card a little bit, since he is not a father, yet. But I am going to give it to him on Father’s Day, in celebration of our journey, and anticipation of the wonderful father that he will someday be.  
So I guess the limb I am going out on is that i feel a little like maybe this might not be an appropriate thing to do. Maybe he doesn’t want to be reminded that it is fathers day. Maybe this, Maybe that...  
As I am writing this, I am catching myself trying to guess what he might or might not want.  I was going to ask for your thoughts and ideas about how to deal with Fathers Day, and these “to my Husband on Fathers Day” cards. 

The reality is that I want this, I want to give him this card, I want him to know that I am thinking about him on this day and loving him with my whole heart. 
Sweet, its settled. and I feel great knowing that someday, My Lover will be a wonderful father. 

The Upside of Azoos

I think about our fertility all the time. Seriously. All the time. Sometimes there are specific thoughts, other times the thoughts are generalized mobs of wordless emotions. Its like I am looking out at the world through a set of infertility glasses.  I wear the glasses all the time, but sometimes the lens of IF is much thicker than other times. Its been my goal to try and pick out the prettiest most positive frames for this pair of glasses. I think that I’ve been doing a pretty good job.

Every now and again I think to myself, gosh, there are silver linings with this Azoos. Rather than focus on all of the sad thoughts, I want to take this space to celebrate the benefits - the Upside of Azoos. Maybe you have a few to add to my list.

Career Advancement. I can do a job I really enjoy without feeling like I am giving up the ability to be with my kids. I spent so many years setting up a career that would let me work from home, but then this job opportunity came along and it was so special that I couldn’t say no. It requires so much of my time and energy, but the work is so important and I would feel so lucky that I can give so much of myself to it without feeling like I am cheating my family.

Birth control, smirth control. We’ll never have to worry about that! I can remember being on vacation once and realizing, at the wrong moment, that we hadn’t packed our bc. We’ll never have to worry about that again!

Love Children. Have you ever wondered if someday a kid will show up claiming that they are your husband’s love child? It’s the kind of thing your hear about every now and then.  I know that My Lover had a lot of fun before I met him, so I sometimes wondered… It is nice to have one less thing to worry about these days.

Hand me Downs. Bring them on! By the time we finally have kids, we’ll be getting hand me downs from everyone we know. They will all be long done having their kids and we’ll get our choice of all their best gear.

Longest Love Making Session Ever. Some guys brag about being able to last for hours. They’ve got nothing on us! I would argue that I’ve been in the most intense love making baby making session with My Lover for almost a year now. Other people brag about the love making toys they use. Yeah, well, you wouldn’t believe the love making toys that we are using.

Cocktails & Coffee. With Azoos, there is no monthly 2ww. My Lover and I relied on the pull and pray method for years before we actually started trying to conceive. I was always very aware of where I was in my cycle and cautious about the beverages I consumed during the couple weeks every month that I might be pregnant. I take delight now in every cup of coffee and every cocktail I consume knowing that I've got nothing to worry about. 

* * * * *
I've been looking at the beautiful flowers at Farmers Market for weeks. There are these little bunches of sweet peas. They are so beautiful and delicate. At my girlfriend's house the other day, I admired her sweet pea bouquet and told her about how I've been seeing the flowers at the market recently. She laughed at me and suggested that I buy myself a bunch. We laughed together when she said, its okay, you can make that decision, it's not such a big decision. With so many other big decisions consuming us lately, somehow I ran out of power to make such a simple little choice to buy myself a $3 bunch of pretty flowers. 

So yesterday, in between two fairly intense work meetings, I stopped by the farmers market and picked up a little bunch of sweet peas. I brought them to my final meeting of the day, so they wouldn't wilt in the car, and felt so proud of myself. They are sitting with me now, in a pretty little vase, emitting the most sweet subtle fragrant smell. 

So beautiful. So simple. So sweet. 

A trip to Australia by Diane Armitage

I've seen this posted here and there. I think it was originally written about adoption, but sure seems fitting for all of us grieving the ability to conceive naturally.

"Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip. So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait--and wait--and wait. Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!" After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat." "By BOAT!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat. It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. (Isn't that the truth!) You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip. Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather then by air. People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are about to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy." You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself."

By Diane Armitage printed in the April 21, 1995 "Dear Abby" column.

Vees Imagination

Oh my goodness, these images took my breath away.  These images communicate a raw emotion that only a picture can convey.


These images spoke to me in a way that I felt heard.

My Expectations of Life

One of the things I have really appreciated being a part of this community is that it is safe to explore. To explore other people's stories, to empathize with those who are just starting this journey, to feel like I am not alone with those who at the same point in their treatment/diagnosis as we are, and to learn from those who are moving on to options that I never thought we would consider.  When we started there were options I was sure I would never consider, but even then I reserved the right to change my mind at any point. Maybe part of that close-mindedness was the grief that I felt over the loss of natural conception. And the fear - the fear that I still can't seem to match words to. 

At first it was so hard to focus on anything other than the loss of a dream. Being a mother was the only thing that I have ever expected out of life. I've never known what I wanted to be when I grow up, I didn't have a vision of the man I would share my life with or the kind of wedding we would have or the house we would live in, or anything like that. I just knew that I would someday be a mother. Lucky for me my life has turned better than I could have ever dreamt it could possibly be. Somehow I met and married the most amazing man who I adore and respect and absolutely love sharing my life with. We have a beautiful home and the sweetest dog. I have a job that is both challenging and so rewarding. I look at my life and am overwhelmed with gratitude. 

Since I've known my husband, my dream of someday being a mother has only grown stronger, seeing little glimpses of the amazing father that he would be someday. My dream expanded to being a parent, with him, of us together raising our family. Seeing him years ago with our new puppy, so lovingly anticipating and meeting the unmet needs of this helpless little animal. The first night we had the puppy, back when we thought it would sleep in its crate, climbing into bed, hearing the puppy cry, and watching him so quickly get up and bring the little animal into our bed where it would be safe and warm. As my love for him has grown over the years, my desire to share with him the experiences of parenting have only grown stronger. I see everyday the way that his strengths compliment mine and just know that we would be such a great team as parents. 

Clearly we've encountered some speed bumps on this journey to parenthood. But I have a renewed faith that we will someday get there. In large part thanks to this community. Thanks to  being able to see that there are so many who have been here before us and successfully moved on to make choices that I once considered impossible to make. 

Lemon Cheesecake

We made my mom the most delicious lemon cheesecake for Mothers Day dinner. It was so good, and I ate way too much.  I thought that Mothers Day might be hard, but it was fine. I am grateful to have such a wonderful mom and family. I am happy for my friends who have perfect little ones and are expecting perfect little ones. It was my mom who brought it up, who expressed her grief for me and hope that maybe next year there will be reason to celebrate.

Hope has been so elusive, and although I feeling a thousand times better recently, I still can't bring myself to think that "maybe next year at this time" we will be parents. There is way too much hope in a statement like that.

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I read a study that there are a disproportionate number of female bloggers. The researchers found that teens and young women were empowered in communicating their thoughts and feelings and ideas and fears in the form of a blog. Blogs offered a mix of diary-writing and public validation. I've been thinking about this blog for a long time and ready to give it  try. I need my voice now more than ever.

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