Another Door Slammed

J just heard back from a job he interviewed for over a month ago — a Big. Fat. NO.

I remember him coming home after the interview, he was SO excited. He basically said he’d never had an interview go so well. He told me every detail, and it did sound like it went really, really well.

UGH. So much for that.

J’s had such a bad experience with jobs the last five years (see earlier post), and my heart just breaks for him. He’s one of those people who seeks out a lot of purpose in his work, really works his butt off… and the jobs he has been in have essentially cut him off at the knees and never really allowed him to grow. They make him feel suffocated and completely disheartened, day in and day out.

To put it in perspective, the level of personal torture this has put him through is up to par with the level of torture I put myself through in TTC — but mine has only lasted 10 months. Multiply that by 4+ years.

How long will this go on, God?!!

Trying to be still...

Trying to remind myself that He’s fighting for us…

Two very good jobs, jobs he was perfect for, were just within his grasp — and both fell to pieces. We were completely blind-sighted by the first. Sounds all too familiar.

I don’t know how to encourage him. I try, but what can you really say when your husband is hurting? All I can really do is hug him and tell him how much I love him. I can’t say this will end soon, because we don’t know that. I like to be comforted, for people to talk my struggles through with me; it’s in my nature. But he’s very different. He may open up about it with me, but he doesn’t necessarily want to talk it out. That just makes him feel worse, makes him feel defeated. I can’t talk about God’s bigger plan right now, because I know I wouldn’t want that shoved in my face the day I got a crushing blow. That’s the kind of thing you may see for yourself, down the road, but not for someone to point out when you come home broken.

It’s just frustrating that we’re fervently praying about this, have been for years, and door after door just gets slammed in his face. I’m sure it’s for the best but right now I just can’t see it. Like I said before, I know God is up to something big, I just don’t know what. We have faith. We have hope. We’re just so tired. 

This year has been one of the worst for him, with two huge let downs. Compound that with our miscarriage and TTC again, and 2013 has just been ugly. The year to endure. The year of holding our breath.

I guess all I can do is keep praying…keep trusting. I’m sure one day we’ll look back on this and see God’s hand in it, see that it was worth it. His Word promises that He makes everything beautiful in its time.

Clinging to that…

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Voice of Truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again,
‘Boy, you’ll never win…
You’ll never win.’

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story
And the voice of Truth says ‘Do not be afraid!’
And the voice of Truth says ‘This is for My glory’
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again,
‘Boy, you’ll never win…
You’ll never win.’

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story
And the voice of Truth says ‘Do not be afraid!’
And the voice of Truth says ‘This is for My glory’
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth

…But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I’ll soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me!

The voice of Truth tells me a different story
And the voice of Truth says ‘Do not be afraid!’
And the voice of Truth says ‘This is for My glory’
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.

This song takes me back to a dark time in my life just a few years back. I was adjusting to my first job out of college in a new city, with no friends, and somehow fell into a very rough depression. I had no idea what it was because I had never experienced it before — all I can say is that I knew feeling completely desolate and hopeless every single day was not normal. I was also incredibly anxious and fearful all the time. It was a miserable time in my life, and I was scared. But I committed to seeking God everyday. He was the only hope I had. And while God allowed it for a season, for reasons I don’t know, He eventually lifted me out of it. He was faithful. He always is.

In the midst of my depression there were several Christian songs on my iPod that I would listen to on my commute to work, day in and day out. Lifesong by Casting Crowns, Cry Out to Jesus by Third Day, and this song, Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. This song was the one that kept me going, the one that resonated the most. The giant would daily laugh in my face, but the voice of Truth told me to hold on, keep going, and He would put that giant on the ground.

And here we are again. The voice of Truth is keeping me going. I just got out of praising God in the shower (yes I sing in the shower!) and I feel uplifted. I am once again choosing to listen and believe the voice of Truth. I know He’s going to throw this giant on the ground, too.

More recent songs that keep me going are Blessings by Laura Story and Lord I Need You by Matt Maher.

These songs (and reading His Word) are how I hear from God on a day-to-day basis. They are how I can praise God in this storm. They are what literally keeps me going.

By the way, that city that I didn’t have any friends in — that’s where I met J. I also met my now best friend and a ton of other life-long friends. Not only is God faithful, but He will surprise you.  

Ovulation?

chart oct

*This post is just details about my cycle I’m writing down for myself, so it may be a bit boring to read. But if any readers see this and have advice or reassurance to offer, I’m all ears!

So my chart is looking relatively better since those two very low temp LP days.

With that said, I thought I ovulated on CD 17 or 18 (Wed or Thurs this week), by looking at my temps, my cervical opening, and my OPK+s. I’m pretty sure I had EWCM sometime in CD 14-18 window, but because of BD every other day I can’t be sure (I still can’t definitively tell the difference). It helps to know that I typically ovulate around CD 17-18, too.

[Although the month I got pregnant I had back-and-forth fertile cm for almost two weeks, which turned into delayed ovulation at CD 23, after I had essentially given up on that month. And bam — pregnant. WTF. I don’t get that much fertile cm anymore, not since my miscarriage. I now get about one day of it, maybe two if I’m lucky.]

Anyway, this morning I had a huge temp dip, on what my educated guess says is 2 DPO. I’m pretty sure I can chalk it up to sleeping with my mouth open and having a cold that I just developed yesterday. I couldn’t breathe through my mouth last night! But I’m wondering if it is really because I haven’t ovulated yet. So… temp disrupted, or cycle disrupted? My cm is creamy/sticky today and my cervix is fairly closed. ???

I know it’s a simple problem with an easy fix, as far as conception goes. Essentially, we just have to keep doing the dance. I’ll tell the hubby and he’ll oblige, although I hate making it a thing we have to do.

But it’s a little frustrating to have such a spiky chart, month after month. It causes me a lot of stress. Since August, it’s been a common thing for me to see an up-to 1 degree temp shift one day to the next, a couple times in the LP and a couple times in the FP, all in one cycle.

I’ll have to keep an eye on my temp the next couple of days to see if it goes up. If it doesn’t, I worry I might end up in a (gasp) anovulatory cycle.

And seriously, I can’t take a %*@*$!!! anovulatory cycle right now. I’m in a good place and handling the day-to-day okay, but that might just push me over the edge. Especially now, around the time I was due.

If it’s delayed ovulation, I don’t know that I can take that either. I’m starting to think that because I conceived the first time on CD 23 that my egg quality might have been bad, and may have been the reason for my miscarriage, or at the very least a contributing factor. Anything I can do to track down a reason, I guess. But I do not want that to happen again if I can see it coming.

Why I Write This Blog

For months, I’ve read posts of other bloggers in our ttc community, thinking, “Gosh, I can’t write like these women do.” I read their posts and want to re-do mine. Even now as I write this I want to highlight all–delete.

grace

I feel so wordy most days. I feel like I can’t put into words what I’m really feeling, what I really want to say. Or if I do, I just start blabbing and never seem to communicate a clear message. One minute it’s about God and the next I’m yelling about how Facebook pregnancy announcements make me feel — all in one post.

These other bloggers, they are so eloquent. Some talk about their faith so definitively, so humbly. I want to be like them. I feel what they feel, and know exactly what they mean when they talk about God’s love in their struggle. Why can’t I better express what’s on my heart? Why can’t I put on “paper” how I have seen God’s hand intricately involved in my life this year, or how I feel about His character and His love? I want my readers to see what God truly means to mewhat Jesus has done for me, and why I love Him so much — how it’s not a religion or an obligation, or for show, but a deep love for and friendship with the One who holds my hand every day, the One who wipes away all my tears.

who you are

Then there are days I feel I talk about my relationship with God too much. When I feel I’m coming across as aggressive or obnoxious in talking about my hope and my joy, when others may not be experiencing that. Am I pushing people away? Am I angering people? I have days when I’m jealous, petty, angry, and depressed, too. It’s all part of the journey. I’m definitely not exempt from needing grace. Constant grace.

I can’t seem to figure out what this blog is about — my experience, or my faith in my experience. I didn’t have an agenda when I started it. I was just grieving.

I now find myself writing for approval. Writing so people will want to read my story. No offense to anyone reading, but I hate that I’ve come to that place. I started this blog thinking, “People probably won’t find me. But that’s okay — this blog is for ME.” And that’s when I felt most free to write. That’s when I didn’t second guess myself or wonder how I could have said it better. That’s when I wouldn’t stall for days with blog post ideas in my head that never come to fruition.

I often wonder if people can really relate to what I’m saying. Sometimes I keep myself from writing something because I think, “No-one else would write this.”

god's plan

And other times I feel I’m not worthy to write about my experience — my one miscarriage and (so far) brief attempt at trying to conceive again. So many women in our ttc community have seen so much more pain than I have, or at least, it seems that way. Struggling for years to get pregnant. Experiencing multiple (and I mean multiple) miscarriages — not just one. Learning they have endometriosis, PCOS, hypocoagulation… the list goes on. Reaching an age where they are truly worried if they have any time left. Or some combination of all of the above.

My story probably doesn’t seem like a desperate one. I’m desperate for God to bring my story to a good ending, but I feel that I don’t qualify for the desperation label, having had only one miscarriage and just starting to try again.

But what I’ve come to realize is that that doesn’t matter.

I may not have the world’s worst ttc story. I may not feel that I belong in a community with those in a desperate ttc situation, no matter how desperate I may feel some days. I usually don’t know the best way to get my thoughts, feelings, and convictions across. And many days, I have ideas for posts that don’t get written.

purpose

I may not always feel up to the task of eloquently expressing what God puts on my heart. But all of this is okay.

I’ve been thinking lately about why I write this blog. It started out just for me, but I believe now that God had a bigger plan for it all along. It has become the way I communicate God’s love to others who are hurting. It has become a resource for me to look back and see how He has been faithful to me, and others, and will continue to be. I still regularly read the lyrics by Sara Groves on the sidebar of my blog, and I am reminded that He is faithful. The words in that song completely pierce my heart, they are so real to me. All I have need of, His hand will provide. He’s always been faithful to me. 

And this week, as I was feeling all of the above insecurities creeping in, God very quietly, but very clearly, showed me that He doesn’t want me to shy away from writing about my faith, or worry about driving people away. He wants me to stand boldly for Him. To show others that not only is it possible to have faith, hope, and joy in the midst of our tragedies and our desperation — but that He is what our hearts are desperate for. It’s how He designed us to live — fully immersed in Him, and realizing our desperate need. For Him. That is where the joy is found.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

season

I’m going to write what I feel, what I really believe. It may not be eloquent, but it will be real. It will reflect who I am, where I am at on this journey, and not who I think others want me to be.

Some days I will stand confidently in my faith, I will be full of hope, and God will shine through. Other days my raw, unchecked thoughts may not be so pretty. But God accepts me on my worst days so I should give myself a little grace, too. This struggle is not easy, He knows that. The important thing is that I continue to allow God to change my heart, to humbly allow Him to lead me and have His way in my life — even when I’m crumpled on the floor in tears. That’s what 2013 has been about for me, but I can honestly say that through it all I have never felt more alive, more loved, and more able to see–and accept–God’s bigger plan. I have never been more excited about what He’s doing, even though I can’t see it all right now or I may not like it right now. It’s not about me, anyway.

95.96

This month's BBT chart so far. I'm currently on CD10. (Ignore day 4 -- I drank some the night before and it gave me a high temp in the 98's so I discarded that one.)

This month’s BBT chart so far. I’m currently on CD10. (Ignore day 4 — I drank some the night before and it gave me a high temp in the 98’s so I discarded that one.)

That’s how low my pre-O temps have gotten this month. I’ve had that temp 2 days in a row now. (And look at the 2 days before that — way up and way down.) I KNOW I can’t be ovulating yet — I’m on cycle day 10 and I usually ovulate between day 17-19. So I’ve got at least a week before temps should be lowering. But not this low, right?

The lowest I’ve ever gone is in the 96’s, on the day before and the day of ovulation (and that only happened last month). My pre-O temps are usually between 97.0 and 97.7 — average, right? BUT, my charts are very spikey. All over the place.

So I don’t know what to think.

I told my nurse that my charts have been spikey and she said to try to get pregnant for 6 months, and then bring my temp charts in and get tested if nothing is happening.

Thanks, that’s real helpful. How about I just punch you in the face.

I like my nurse and new doctors but I’m so tired of hearing textbook answers — specifically, try to conceive for 6 months before you can do anything about it. Why don’t you just punch ME in the face?! Because that’s what that feels like when you say that. UGH!!!

Should I be concerned about these super low temps? I read somewhere recently that temps below 97.5 and into the 96’s could indicate hypothyroidism. Now I know that’s just a generalization, but is there some truth to that? Gosh, if so I want to get my thyroid checked NOW — not after we’ve tried, hoped for a BFP, and come out disappointed 2-3 more months. And especially not after we’ve conceived, if it happens between now and then. If we conceive I will demand thyroid testing, but I don’t want to endanger my baby’s life if I know I can check something now.

I don’t know what to do. Can (or should) I insist on getting at least my thyroid checked? Or am I jumping the gun?

As a side note, I really feel that OBs and their nurses should treat women who have had a pregnancy or infant loss differently than others simply trying to conceive. Trying for 6 months means something totally different to us. We are hurting. For many of us, myself included, getting pregnant again as fast as possible would be so emotionally and mentally healing. I really wish more doctors understood that and were sympathetic to it. I really wish they would be more open to letting us do something about it if we feel there may be something wrong — and all that stands between us knowing and not knowing is a simple blood test. COME ON.

Sunshine Award! Yay!

A big thank you to my friend over at A Calm Persistence, who nominated my blog for a Sunshine Award! I love the sound of that — Sunshine Award — an award that goes to writers who brighten other people’s days. Sometimes I feel that I write way too heavy, or all I do is ramble, but apparently there are people who think I brighten their day… so to A Calm Persistence and any others who see my writing as uplifting — THANK YOU for the kind thoughts! 🙂

sunshine award

The writer at A Calm Persistence has been quite uplifting to me as well. She is a brave Christian woman with a big heart, and quite the fighter… someone who is not settling for second best in her life. She is such an inspiration to me and to so many others on this kind of journey. Check out her blog — you will not be disappointed. This is one of my favorite posts. She is just very real, very candid, and I love her for that.

The rules are:

  • Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
  • Link to the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
  • Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

So here we go:
Why do you blog?
I blog to vent. Even though the miscarriage rate is very high, I still don’t know many people in my personal life who have miscarried and who, consequently, “get it.” This is where I get my thoughts out without being judged or being subject to unsolicited commentary, advice, or “comforting” words. It’s anonymous because many acquaintances and extended family members don’t know about my pregnancy or my miscarriage.

What are you most proud of?
Honestly, I am proud of where I’m at on this journey, and the strength and faith God has been able to cultivate in me over the past 6 months. The old me would have fought Him tooth and nail on this, gotten pissed at Him, insisted on control, turned my back on Him and pouted — for months, probably. And it would have only resolved when I begrudgingly accepted that there was nothing I could do to change my lot. This year, God has done a number on me, molding me into a woman after His own heart. I can truly say that most days I am joyful, hopeful, feel His presence in a very real way, and earnestly seek Him. It’s unbelievable the affect God has on you when you’re willing to give it all to Him.

What is one thing you want to learn how to do?
Haha, change a tire! J actually showed me a couple months ago when we came back to a flat tire in the parking lot after a baseball game… but I won’t remember it. I’m sure it’s easy enough but I just know one day I’m going to be stranded, staring at my tire, and going, “what the heck was I supposed to do?!”

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Oooh that’s a good one. Probably the ability to time travel. I’d love to be able to go back to the early 20th century, the American Revolution era, and all the way back to the first century. Maybe I’m a dork but that would be too cool.

What is your best piece of advice?
Articulate to yourself what it is you want, what it is you are truly searching for. Then take steps toward that. Baby steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed and quit. But move forward rather than settling for being paralyzed with fear, laziness, complacency, or indifference. Doing something is crucial. As another blogger put it, “Trust God, and do the next thing.”

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
I would keep probably half for my family, building a nest egg for my kids and okay I’ll admit, buying a new car and a vacation home. The other half I would split among charities or ministries whose missions align with my life’s passions: Those advocating the right to life and saving unborn babies, those reaching people for Jesus around the globe where the Bible is scarce or banned, those saving women and children from sex trafficking, and probably now some to research for those struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss.

What is your favorite season? Why?
FALL. The bright red and yellow leaves, the cool sweatshirt weather, glorious college football, chili with a huge spoonful of sour cream on top, the holidays around the corner… I could go on and on. LOVE fall.

What is your all time favorite meal?
All time? Dang that’s hard. Probably my mom’s fried chicken, fried okra, biscuits, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Can you tell I’m Southern?

What is your favorite song?
So many. I love anything Colbie Caillat. Blessings by Laura Story has really spoken to me lately.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I’d love to travel outside the U.S. but don’t feel I could ever live abroad permanently. I’d probably choose to live in Charleston, SC, or Nashville, TN. I live in the South, but the city I live in isn’t my favorite, even though it’s close to my family.

And the blogs I nominate for the Sunshine Award are:
1. Amanda’s Blog
2. My Silver Lining
3. My Hope and My Future
4. Womb Warrior
5. My MMC Story
6. Abnormally Normal
7. My Journey Through This Amazing Life
8. Finally Pregnant 2012
9. My Story
10. Waiting to Expand

Nominees, here are your questions! Take it away!
1. What is the one biggest lesson you’ve learned this year?
2. What is something you hope to become better at?
3. What is your favorite holiday?
4. Who is/was your celebrity crush?
5. What is the weirdest habit you have or thing you repeatedly do?
6. Would you prank call someone and if so, what would you say?
7. What is your 4-letter personality type?
8. What is something you say a lot?
9. What college and/or professional sports teams do you root for?
10. Why do you blog, and do you think you’ll keep blogging for a while?

Remembrance Day

pregnancy-infant-loss-remembrance-day

What a beautiful concept — a day set aside to remember the precious little lives lost, and the women everywhere who are grieving for them.

October 15th.

To all the women who have experienced the agony of losing your child, or multiple children — whether it be at 4 weeks, 12 weeks, 20-something weeks, or maybe even tragically after you brought your sweet baby home — as you remember your child today, know that you are not alone… and know that there is hope.

Your child never had to experience pain, grief, or suffering. He/she has never shed a tear. All your child knows is the exceeding joy and exquisite beauty of heaven.

I hope you are experiencing God’s perfect love in the midst of your suffering. Allow Him to cover and consume you with His love. We — and every single one of our children — are so incredibly special to Him, in a way that we can’t fully comprehend. 

He is right there with us when we grieve, and when we feel joy. He is for us. He’ll never abandon us… all we need to do is call out to Him. And He has a purpose to bring good out of everything. Even the worst things. He gave our child life — and has a purpose for that life, however short. 

———————

I love you, William. You would’ve been here with us in just 3 weeks; it’s hard to believe it’s almost that time. But I know that God had a purpose for your short life, and it wasn’t to be here with us. We miss you so very much, and more than anything we wanted to meet you now, but we know His plan is greater. One day we will get to meet you. Until then, I cannot wait to see your sweet face and hold you in my arms.
Love forever,
Your Mom

———————

For you formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
My soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
Intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
In your book were written, every one of them,
The days that were formed for me,
When as yet there was none of them.
–Psalm 139:13-16