Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Epiphany

I am currently reading, and almost finished with, a book called Broken Open that someone so thoughtfully loaned me. It's a book about using the hard times in your life to open yourself to change and connect with your soul. Throughout reading the book, the author has helped me to understand the feelings I am going through and to continue to move forward with the changes I have started. It has been very enlightening, especially this morning when I had a bit of an epiphany.

The author spoke about her resistance to change and how she is finally able to find peace when she stops resisting a certain change she is going through and instead embraces and accepts it. She says that even though she has gone through the "Phoenix Process" many times (which is the process of being broken open by some event or circumstance), she is still resistant when another one comes upon her, and she isn't able to move forward and find a way to be happy with the change until she recognizes it and stops fighting it. She says that we all experience death throughout our lives as little deaths - things that are coming to an end in our lives. She encourages the reader to analyze what is currently dying in our life right now and to address it as a Phoenix Process.

So, this morning, as I was reading about her experience with changes brought on by menopause, I realized that I have been fighting the death of my childhood innocence. I grew up pretty sheltered. I was very happy and didn't go through a lot of hard experiences. I always thought I could do everything and have everything I wanted. That mindset continued in college and through my 20s. However, when I hit 30, something changed. I began to understand my and other's mortality, as I think many people start to do in their 30s, and I started doubting my ability to get everything I want and losing confidence in myself. This has upset me because I thought we were supposed to get more confident as we get older and wiser!

But now I realize that I have always been confident because of my childhood innocence. Now my childhood innocence is dying, and I'm realizing all of the depression and hard experiences that people have to go through in life. I have been fighting this death because I like my innocence (because it makes me happy), but I realized this morning that its death is inevitable, and it will probably make me a better mother to my future children if I accept it and learn from it and choose to be happy in life despite all of the tragedies that occur. I need to be aware of all that life can bring, both the unbelievable joy and the unrelenting sadness, so that I can have a more rich and joyful life and so I can help my kids with whatever they may encounter.

It's hard to really find joy when you haven't also encountered sadness. As many people know, there is great value in opposites (poor and rich, happy and sad) because it's very difficult to truly appreciate and value the good things in life without experiencing some of the bad things. The author encourages us to live life open to all experiences, to accept that things are going to change and sometimes in ways we don't want, and that it's not about what we want to accomplish or gain in life that is important, rather it's about just living life as it comes and finding the joy in the unknown and unexpected changes and loving our family and friends.

These lessons are completely against my nature of planning and goal setting and wanting control. But I can't control life. I can control some things, but I can't control everything, especially what happened with Brady and what will happen with trying to have kids. So I will try to remember each day to let life come as it will, to enjoy what I do have and have faith that I will get what I want eventually. I know deep down that Paul and I will have kids one day. I can feel it. Sometimes the feeling is so strong I am amazed by it. The only thing I don't know, and that I can't control, is how we get those kids. So I will trust in God to lead me down the right path and eventually we will have children. In the meantime, we will enjoy what we have already, because one of the things I can control is how I view the world and my life and how I react to every experience I have.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A new perspective

This week I am taking a new perspective on life. I had some wonderful and supportive friends tell me about a book called "The Secret" last Friday night, so I started reading it this week. I also listened to my friends' advice about thinking positively and knowing that I deserve what I really want in life, all I have to do is think and feel positively about it. So this weekend, I had a much better attitude and felt a lot happier.

On Sunday, I even visited a friend from high school who just had a baby 4-5 weeks ago. I was a little anxious about seeing her baby, but I really wanted to see her and meet her baby, even if it upset me. I was actually able to hold her baby for a while and not get upset at all! He actually reminded me of how much I want a baby, and holding him renewed my confidence that I will one day be blessed with a baby, somehow someday.

I then started reading The Secret on Monday morning and continued reading it this morning, and I feel even better about things. I'm really trying to focus on the absolute fact that I will eventually be blessed with children, I just don't know how or when it will happen. Of course, as many of you know, not knowing the details and having to wait for something I really want has always been hard for me. So I have to work really hard at being patient and just enjoying the journey, rather than trying to jump to the end goal. I know plenty of people have told me this, but I just wasn't ready to listen until now.

So now I will focus on being happy, but I will also listen to my gut and do whatever I feel I should do in order to help us realize our goal of having children, but I won't force it. So we are going to try naturally for several months, but if I need to take progesterone and/or Femara to help us along, I will do that. I am also going to get an HSG to make sure my fallopian tubes aren't blocked, which I didn't do earlier this year since we decided to do IVF. Even if I don't have any major blockages, the HSG may clear up any minor blockages I have and has been shown to help increase fertility over the next few months after it has been done.

I think I also need to come up with some kind of special object that will remind me to relax and think happy, positive thoughts whenever I see it because I know that sometimes I will regress and slip back into feeling anxious or impatient, which will detract from my happiness. So I will have to figure out what that object should be, so that it's really obvious to me to help me snap out of it :)

I'm looking forward to finishing The Secret and also watching the DVD that goes with the book because I think they will really help me create my positive thoughts and feelings, so that they resonate with me deep down. I need to practice, so that it becomes habitual. I really like what the book says about thinking positively: it says to think about everything with love. I'm going to try to do that from now on. It may not be easy at first, but I know I can change my outlook with practice and determination. I love you all! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wishing this was easier

Every week, Monday is hard. I don't know why. Maybe it's because Brady was buried on a Monday. Maybe it's because I'm getting back into the work week and I'm working from home alone with not many distractions. I just don't know, but it just seems to be the pattern. Then each day seems to get a little better, but today has been a step back. I am having such trouble dealing with this still.

Of course, I'm still grieving Brady and miss him so much. But I'm also thinking about the future and starting to try to conceive again, and that's bringing up feelings of anxiety because the process was so difficult the first time. But we really want to try again right away because we want a child so badly, so we don't want to wait. I know I went through this anxiety last time we were trying, but it seems worse this time, and I think it's because I'm more vulnerable because I'm still grieving Brady, so I'm not able to combat the anxiety as much as I could before.

I think I'm also having feelings of worthlessness. My responsibilities in my job just don't seem that important, which is hard to deal with because I've been working on the same project team for so long and I used to feel a lot more important than I do now. But I was fine with this transition when I had motherhood to look forward to. Now I don't have a child to take care of, so I'm feel unimportant at work and at home. Apparently, feeling needed and important seems to be really crucial to my wellbeing. I'm just realizing this today, and it just adds to all the feelings I've been experiencing over the past several weeks.

This past Monday, Paul and I went to visit Brady's grave because they finally got his marker installed. It was really nice to go see him, even though I talk to him every night. Paul read another chapter from the book he was reading to Brady before he was born. It was really special, but also really hard and emotional.

My emotions also go berserk when I talk to or see friends with babies or who are pregnant. I want to be happy for them so badly, and I am happy for them, but it also hurts my heart because they have what I want. So I put myself through the ringer, so that I can spend time with these friends because I want to spend time with them and hear about their babies because my friends mean the world to me, but it's still hard and I never know how hard it's going to be until I put myself through it because I feel different each time.

One of the hardest things about this is the unknown. Will we ever get to have a baby? How much will we be able to fight to have one until we decide to stop trying and try to adopt instead? When I was going through IVF in the Spring, I didn't think I'd be able to go through it more than a few times because it's so emotional, but I know I won't be able to make that decision until we are actually in the situation. We have 3 frozen embryos, so if we aren't able to get pregnant naturally, we can transfer those, if they thaw without any issues, and not all of them will most likely. And if those don't work, we have to decide if we're going to go through the whole process again.

I just want to be pregnant again :( To have that connection again. In my first trimester, I complained about the nausea and exhaustion, but once we found out about Brady's condition, I tried to cherish every day with him. Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I miss it more than I imagined I could because I don't have that connection to him anymore. If he was here with me and I could hold him in my arms, I wouldn't miss the pregnancy, but since that was my only connection to him, I really miss it.

I want more than anything to be a mother of a living child - I know I will always be Brady's mother but it's so hard to feel like a mother without a child to take care of. I am so ready to give this unbelievable amount of love that I have in my heart to a child and to give all of myself to take care of a child. I should have been granted this gift in a month and a half when Brady was due, but now I don't know when I it will be granted to me, and that is the hardest part. I am not a patient person, and this is definitely the hardest test of patience I've ever had to go through.

Every day I pray for the strength and patience to get through this grieving and waiting period without too much sadness and anxiety. I just hope it gets better and not worse...only time will tell.