New Focus…New Plan

It’s been several months since I last posted.  A lot has changed for both Mitch and I.  Our focus, specifically, has drastically changed.  The things we wanted so desperately at the beginning of the year have faded and we have new wants and desires.  It’s kinda funny how quickly God can change your perspective and vision.

The change in focus or vision for us is that we are no longer so set on having a baby right now.  Now, don’t take this as us not wanting children.  That’s not true at all.  If we were to get pregnant right now that would be amazing, but it’s no longer a be all, end all in our lives.  We have begun to realize that God’s plan is so much bigger.  I know I’ve said that for a very long time, but I’m just now starting to see and believe it.  I would love nothing more than to have a child and be a stay-at-home mom, eventually.  Right now though, our lives have taken a different path, a different journey, a different vision.

Our new vision is to be debt free and to start building wealth.  This vision comes from a stark realization of how much debt we had and how we aren’t doing nearly as well as we thought. We bring in more than enough money per month, with both of us working, that we should be able to do and give and enjoy so much more than we do.  The reason we can’t do those things is because we are being weighed down by our debt.  While sitting in the sound booth, running the Financial Peace University videos for Sunday school, we realized that we needed to do something about our financial well-being.  We were not honoring God with our money and that had to change.  It took us some time and some hard work, but we are now following the Dave Ramsey baby step plan and are digging our way out of the debt.  So far, we have paid off a credit card and a line of credit.  Mitch is working crazy amounts of overtime to get us to debt free as quickly as possible.  I’m doing everything I can to make it easier at home for Mitch and also working 2 jobs.  With the pace we have set, we can be debt free by December 2014.  This also means that beginning in 2015, we can start saving money and moving on in ways I could never imagine now.

So, what does this mean for our infertility journey?  Well, our focus has changed.  It has changed to something we can work on now.  It means that when we are debt free, we can save for an adoption or infertility treatments.  It means I can be a stay-at-home mom without the constant money stresses related to credit card bills and debts.  It means we can save for a safe car of our choice that we pay cash for that we can tote kids around in.  It means we can save for a house and take out the smallest mortgage possible, if any at all.  It means we can pursue any option available to start a family and not feel guilty that we can’t afford it or afford the things we want our children to have.  It means we can build up wealth and give and live like no one else.  What can we do without payments?  Well, anything we want.  

Yes, we are sacrificing right now.  Mitch is sacrificing free time to work.  I’m sacrificing having help around the house.  We are both sacrificing starting a family (unless God surprises us).  But, in the end it will be worth it.  In the end, we will be in a place financially that will be peaceful.  

My blog posts over the next year and a half will be more about our journey to financial freedom than about infertility, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up the dream.  We’ve just paused it while we work toward a better future for us and for our future children. 

Things I’ve Learned…

I have learned so many lessons over the last few years.  Infertility has taught me a lot about myself, about my marriage, and about life in general.  While our journey is not over, I figure I’ll learn even more along the way, but I felt like sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.

1. Patience.  Oh boy, have I learned patience.  Patience is not an easy lesson to learn and one that I will probably continually learn.  I have learned to wait.  I have learned that I can’t have what I want, when I want it.  I have learned that working toward patience is painful and, for me, against my will.  I didn’t plan on gaining patience.  It’s really not something you plan.  It’s more like something God throws you into and you either sink or swim.  

2. Trust in God.  When everything you wanted is withheld from you, you learn to either trust or hate.  You either trust that God will provide and see you through or you despise Him for the struggle.  I decided to trust.  It hasn’t been easy or fun all the time, but trusting makes it doable.  We wanted a child of our own a couple years ago, but have had to trust that it wasn’t the right time.  I can look back now and see that God protected us several times.  I can’t imagine how hard and how much we would be struggling financially with a child.  We are paying off debts now and by the time we have a baby, we should be nearly debt free and things will be easier.  I truly believe putting my trust in God has made this bearable and helped me look back and not be bitter.

3. A Strong, Loving Marriage.  Infertility makes you step back and look at your marriage with a different perspective.  You look at it and go, is being married enough?  As in, if we never have children, is being married to this man for the rest of my life enough?  It sounds harsh, but it makes you look and think that way.  You honestly start to ponder whether you are ok with the possibility of never having children and you have to reevaluate your motives and your choices.  I can honestly say that being married to Mitch is enough.  Yes, I want children.  I want a family.  But, I also have a “family”.  It may not be the typical “family”, but it’s mine and I love it.  Mitch and I love each other, with or without children.  The strength and love we share is not based on whether we have children.  It’s based on a foundation set in Christ, an incredible friendship, and a choice to love each other no matter what.  We have a foundation that has weathered some crazy things and, I truly believe, will stand the test of time.  Now, because of this strength, we want to have children that we can love and nurture.  We want to share our love with a family of our own.  I think we will continue to work toward a family, whether through adoption or natural, until we are too old to do so.  I believe we will one day have children, but I can’t let that determine our relationship.  We have to work and grow together, both despite and because of our circumstances.  I love Mitch and he loves me.  Honestly, that’s what makes our marriage work and will continue to do so, no matter how our infertility situation changes or doesn’t change.

4. Who My Real Friends Are.  I know that sounds cliche, but when you go through something tough, like infertility, that lasts a long time, you start to learn who really cares about you and who doesn’t.  Real friends make sure that you’re ok in a situation that involves a newborn or a pregnancy.  They make sure that you aren’t completely blindsided by a pregnancy announcement.  They give you space to be upset if needed.  They invite you to baby showers and meet the newborn parties with a care and concern that they understand if you don’t want to come and that they love you beyond that.  They understand when you distance yourself from them because it hurts too much.  Also, real friends only bring up pregnancy stuff when you bring it up.  They don’t shove it in your face and act like their lives are the only thing important.  They love you when you are mad and upset that another month brings another negative.  Essentially, they love you through the good, bad, ugly, painful, beautiful, triumphant, and angry moments and never think twice.  They let you know that it’s ok to grieve every month if needed and to talk about it, even when it’s awkward.  Real friends are sometimes the people you may only talk to in passing every Sunday at church or the people whose shoulder you cry on every month.  Never judge a book by its cover or a friend by their appearance.  I believe you have to go through fire to see who you’re real friends are.

5. Life’s Not Fair.  While we always hear this growing up and on a regular basis, some life situations sort of smack that realization in your face.  Before infertility, it had never crossed my mind how many people get pregnant and don’t really want the baby they have been blessed with.  It’s sad and disheartening.  I want a baby so bad, yet I am denied.  I won’t go any further into this topic, but infertility has made it blatantly clear that life isn’t fair.

I think I’ll stop here for now.  There are more, but these are the main ones that I have been really struck with lately.  I would be thrilled to get pregnant at any time, but if it takes a little while longer I’m okay with that too.  We are working incredibly hard to pay off debt so that we can bring a child into the best possible situation.  I know God’s timing will be perfect.  I will rest in His grace and love for now and work toward our current goals.  This isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.  I truly believe that our little miracle will happen, but I have some more lessons to learn and more growing to do.  One day, one lesson, one moment at a time.

A New Year

As 2012 ended, it’s a sharp reminder that another year came and went and I wasn’t pregnant and still don’t have a child.  But the end of 2012 was also a wonderful reminder that another year has gone with Mitch cancer free.  I can’t say enough how wonderful of a blessing that is.  2012 also brought us our new furbaby Minion.  He has been such a blessing we never realized we needed.  He lets me treat him like a baby and I love it!!!  2012 has some wonderful times and hard times, like every year, but it has taught me a few big things about infertility that I probably should have known.  It taught me that infertility and my body are unpredictable.  I don’t get to determine everything that happens, as much as I want to.  I have to trust that God knows best and that his timing is way better than mine.  I know that while this hurts now, once we have a child it will be so incredibly amazing and that it will mean more to us than if this had been easy.

Now that 2013 has begun, it’s a reminder that it’s a whole new year has begun.  It’s a reminder that just because things have been hard before, they don’t have to be now.  I’m not much for resolutions, but this year Mitch and I decided to make one.  While I would love to make a resolution that I get pregnant, I know that is setting myself up for heartbreak.  So, we made a resolution to be as close to debt free as our finances would allow by the end of the year.  We should be able to get everything paid off except my students loans by the end of the year.  Our trailer is even due to be paid off next January.  My hope is that by the time we are pregnant, we have most things paid off and we can be debt free or really close by the time we have a child.  I want to bring a baby into the best possible situation.  God has been faithful in so many thing and I trust Him to be faithful in this as well.  

While I would love to have a child in 2013, honestly I will just be thrilled to be pregnant before 2013 ends.  I believe that when God told us soon, he meant it.  Things may not go as we had planned, but God’s plans are way better and I’m going to trust in that.  

Why Not Me?

I have been meaning to update this forever and just haven’t managed to get it done.  So, here is an update that will cover everything over the last couple months.

Well, Mitch and I are still not pregnant.  We really thought this month was it.  I had promising symptoms, my period was late, and even Mitch was convinced.  I took a pregnancy test on Friday afternoon and it was negative.  I tried not to get too upset, sometimes taking them in the afternoon can create a false negative.  But, I also noticed a little spotting when I had taken the test, which made me more upset then the negative test.  I was still lightly spotting the next morning, but decided to take another test anyway.  It was negative again.  I was crushed.  I cried and screamed and was just mad and upset.  I was so sure this month was the right one, that it felt like a baby had been ripped from my arms.  My period officially started on Tuesday  though the spotting got gradually heavier on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Needless to say, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster.  I have been perpetually asking myself, “Why not me?  Why am I not like everyone else?”  I seriously don’t get it.  I never imagined that the thing I want so bad would feel so impossible.  I never imagined that my desire to be a mom would become the hardest goal in my life to achieve.

I know I’m sounding pretty depressing right now.  Sorry if you were looking for some pearl of joy in all of this, but I’m just not feeling it right now.  I am not always able to be positive and happy about our situation and right now I’m definitely neither of those.  Right now I’m angry, frustrated, sad, and rather whiny.  I want something that just isn’t mine to have yet and that just sucks!  I constantly agonize over what I could do differently or even what I did to deserve this.  I know I could seek medical intervention, but I’m just not ready to do that.  I feel stuck, lost, and frustrated.  Eventually, if I never become pregnant, we will move on to adoption, but that just doesn’t feel right yet either.  UGH!

Mitch and I have both started taking natural fertility meds.  I did some research and found a couple vitamin supplements that can improve fertility and Mitch’s testosterone, so we’re giving those a whirl for now.  These meds feel like a step in the right direction, but they take time to work and I honestly just want this right now.  You would think after 3 1/2 years I would have gained more patience, but the longer we go, the less patient I am.  And right now, my patience and attitude just suck.

I will ask that if anyone wants to reply with something about how I need to be happier and look at all my blessings I already have, please just don’t.  No offense, but I try to thank God everyday for all the wonderful things I do have.  Right now though, I need a moment to be grumpy and vent.  Right now, I need a moment to be angry about this.  I’m sure this will pass.  This isn’t the first time I’ve felt like this and probably won’t be the last.  I will regain my happy, loving, patient, positive self eventually, but some months take a really heavy toll on me emotionally and physically.

I will say I am so thankful that my hubby is so understanding of my mood swings and of all the disappointment.  It’s what keeps me sane when I’m at my lowest.  That, and a belief in a God that understands and is big enough to accept me even when I’m not at my best.

Now that I’ve got all that out of the way.  See, I’m feeling a little better already.  This month I have decided to go back to charting my BBT (essentially my body temperature) and using OPKs.  I’m hoping I can better pinpoint when I’m ovulating and use that info to increase our chances.  I’ve done all this before, but with these new supplements, I want to see if anything has or is changing.  I’m praying that my increased efforts will not be in vain.

I hope and pray everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.  I will probably post around Christmas with something that is fitting for how infertility affects me during the holidays and how people should typically respond.  Loves!

Meet Minion…

Well, I’m not pregnant this month.  I already knew that.  This month was so busy that I just knew it wasn’t the right month.  I’m doing pretty good with it, considering I knew before my period came.

Also, we got a new puppy!!!!  Meet Minion!  He is a rescue dog that we got from Friends of Animals in Park City, UT.  He is a super sweet and shy little boy.  They said he was a poodle mix at the rescue, but he looks a lot like Princess, so I think he has quite of bit of Bichon in him.  The first day at our house he would lay in one spot and shiver.  By day 2 he was walking to the food bowl.  He has now been with us for a week and he now follows Princess everywhere.  He follows Mitch and I around and loves to curl up while we play video games or watch TV.  Him and Princess are best friends that chase each other around the house and sleep on each side of Mitch or I.  He’s been a great distraction for the infertility stuff and a wonderful new addition to our family.  We now have 2 cats and 2 dogs, so we have all the pet children that we wanted.  And, when we have children they will have lots of furry friends to play with.  :)  

While it’s another month gone, but it’s been a good month with a wonderful new addition to our home. Image

Ugh…Cramps!

Well, my period is here right on time.  I’m cramping like crazy.  Occasionally I get a doozy of a period and this month is it!  Not super thrilled it came, but if we get pregnant next month I would be due in June, which is when I was born.  And my cousin Laura is due in February which is when she was born.  We were very close growing up, so it would be really cool if we had babies with the same age difference.  The thought amuses me, so I am really hoping this next month is ours!  Not much else to say.  Ready to try again next month for sure.  ;)

Soon…

Ever since I realized that we would struggle to get pregnant I have cried out to God to give us a child of our own.  At first I wasn’t sure what God was telling us about the situation.  Then, it became clear His answer was “wait”.   I’ll be honest, I hated that answer!  It frustrated me.  I didn’t understand why we needed to wait.  I still don’t entirely understand why we had to wait, but I do understand it a little better now.  It would have been soooo hard to have a baby while Mitch was going through chemo and all the surgeries.  Financially it would have been an immense struggle even after he was better.  We had medical debt everywhere we turned as well as student loans and the regular bills.  We’ve been through so much in the last 4 years that there were very few moments where it would have been reasonable or “the right time” for a child.  While that hasn’t made it any easier, it’s made me grateful that God hasn’t given us more than we can handle.

Now, that was all to lead into what God is telling us now.  A few nights ago I was having trouble sleeping (very rare for me, I’m usually out cold for a good 7-8 hours) and finally rolled on my back and just started talking to God.  I was crying out to Him about how desperately I wanted a child, among other things.  I have cried out to Him many times on this subject and I always heard the same thing, “Wait!”.  This time was different though.  This time I heard, “Soon!”.  I immediately stopped my yammering and whining and went, “What?”.  Once again the answer was, “Soon!”.  I was humbled at that moment and sooo thankful.  Something in me just knew that God hadn’t been ignoring me all that time.  He was just waiting for the right time.  Now, “soon” to God may not be exactly the same “soon” as it is to me, but it means our “wait” is drawing to an end.  It made me believe again that I will be pregnant and that I will give birth to our child one day.  I also think we will still adopt in the future, but now I know that God has His timing for this as well.  Every ounce of me wants it to be NOW, but SOON means it could be now or maybe a little longer and soon sounds so much better then wait.  It’s renewed my joy and hope in conceiving.  It’s made me realize that God still has a plan and that He knows my deepest desires.  He will provide!  Sometimes I just have to stop the whining and listen.