when to say when

Knowing when to say “when” is not my strong suit.  Ask my husband.

I am the queen of bad timing and timing misjudgments.

My timing issues tend to center around my inability to leave the office, but have also seeped into other areas, including when to leave a party, when to leave church, when to leave dinner, when to go to bed… etc, etc.

And when to let go in an argument.

I have to say I’m getting better at the last one.

Ask my younger sister Cait, she’ll tell you that I used to always try to get the last word in ALWAYS.  I’ve been like that since she’s known me.  Her first day home from the hospital as an infant and she was like, “darn, girlfriend, have a bottle and CHILL!”

When should I let go of the fertility biz?  When is enough truly enough?  How many shots, scans, opinions, tests and screenings can I handle?

This isn’t to say that I think we are at the end of our time in fertility treatment world.  I’m not ready to give up yet.  I know Frank isn’t ready to give up either.

But I know there is  a chance that a time might come where I might have to recognize that we fought the good fight and there is no more we can do or pray for, at least regarding having a biological child.

At the end of the day when I am beyond tired, that is usually when I decide to bake cookies, wrap Christmas gifts and wash the floor.  When I should rest, I find that I am too tired to sit still.

That is why I worry that God will give me all the cues that we cannot go any farther, and I will miss the cues because I am too tired to see them – too focused on searching for the solution, the next option and the next treatment to realize that the game is over and the crowd went home.

After reading a few blogs about women at varying stages of this process, with several of them undergoing treatment for three to five years, I just can’t even fathom what that is like to go through that emotional and physical marathon.

I am amazed by God’s tremendous grace and blessing.  God gave me a husband who is an expert at knowing when to say “when.”  Frank puts 100% into everything he does, but he knows when a situation is done.  He knows when the party is winding down, when the game is over and when it’s time to turn the lights out and go to bed.

So we’ll keep chugging along and I’m hopeful that if I miss God’s cues, Frank will see them.

bah.

I don’t know what else there is to say about the BFN today.  I was hoping that some elegant words would come to mind, but most of the words that have come to mind have been less than elegant.

Mostly the words are born out of frustration and anger.  Oh, and a ton of sadness.

This month was more difficult than most.  It marked a full year of trying.  Yes, I totally understand that most people try for a year before they think something is wrong and get checked out.  We were just fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough that it was evident that we had a problem on our hands four months in to trying.

For the past eight months I have been on and off of Clomid.  I have been stuck and poked and prodded countless numbers of times.  I am pretty sure I could give myself an ultrasound if the technician were to accidentally pass out.

This is not how I imagined how this process would go.

I know that I am blessed beyond comprehension in so many ways.  I remind myself of that daily when I get sad or upset about this situation.

But this situation just sucks.

God's odds

I believe, as a Christian, that God is everywhere.  That God is in everything that is true and good.

And I also believe that something doesn’t have to be labeled “Christian” to be true or good.  If there is something true and/or good, then I believe that it is from God.  And not all things labeled “Christian” are guaranteed to be true or good.

So about five years ago I started reading this book called Fabric of the Cosmos – and I’m still reading this darned book! It’s basically quantum physics/mechanics explained.  The author does a wonderful job explaining why time moves in the direction it does and sparks great curiosity in me to understand why the world works the way it does.

I loved reading this book because  in the plainest possible English (which is still quite difficult to understand), this author explains (to the best of the scientific community’s knowledge) how the intricate fabric of our universe works, including space and time, and it left me in awe of the Lord who created everything.

One of the things the author talks about is possibility and probability, specifically when he was talking about why time moves in one direction only.  As a girl raised on science fiction novels about time travel (the first novel I read with my dad was The Time Machine by HG Wells), I was disappointed that the author of Fabric of the Cosmos hadn’t cracked the code for time travel – but I digress.

In Emily-speak, basically the author describes an egg falling off a counter and breaking when it hits the floor.  There is before, and there is after.  There is dispersion.  Now, according to quantum (as best as I understand it) physics, it is entirely possible that the egg will fall off the counter, hit the floor and NOT break.  There is a possibility that it will maintain its shape and continue on without  a problem.

It’s just that the probability of that happening is so slim, I don’t have enough time or energy to calculate that out.

Same thing when you open a can of soda.  The “Woosh” sound (mmm, I love that sound) is the sound of gas escaping from the can and dispersing into the air around the can.  There is a possibility that this gas could disperse into the exact shape of a can of soda.  Again, the probability of that happening is a small number.

All things are possible, but when you graph it on a probability curve, certain things are more probable than others.

That is a beautiful thing to me.

Why?

If all things are possible, although statistically some things are less probable, then nothing is impossible.

It’s like God saying, through science, anything can happen.

We’ve been riding this fertility roller coaster for almost a year now.  The odds of pregnancy are getting slimmer and slimmer.  If this IUI cycle doesn’t work, my current fertility doc is referring us to a whole different clinic because in her experience, the odds are better over there.  But really, anything is possible.  I’ve had friends who were told that the PROBABILITY of pregnancy was slim to none – and they have healthy children.  I know a woman with 1/8th of ONE ovary and she has 5 kids.

I know our probabilities are shrinking, but I also know that with God, anything is possible.

The other thing that I believe is that sometimes the thing we think we need is not the thing we actually need.

Take Jesus for example: the Jews thought they needed a political savior.  They believed Jesus was going to rescue them from their political oppressors.  Jesus, ever the big thinker, was actually meant to reconcile the world to God – to bring the world back into harmony with its creator.

I take comfort in that because it encourages me to think big.

Anything is possible.

Think big.

Got it.

2.2 miles of therapy

I think running is therapy for me.

It’s me, proving to myself, that I can run.  I can make it each quarter mile further.

Each step is me not caving.

Each step reminds me of the verses in the Bible that say to rejoice in suffering and trials.

Each step reminds me that because I took one step, the next time it will be easier and faster and lighter.

People have said that you run against no one but yourself.

And that’s true.

But you also run for no one but yourself and because God gave us the ability to choose to run.

I run for me and to be closer to God.  Even if I say nothing and He says nothing, it’s sort of like an aligning of me with His Spirit.

I run as fast as I can mentally and physically and emotionally.

Tonight I started crying while I was running, but I kept going.  I ran through the tears and found a good pace and felt better.

I was crying because the thought occurred to me that the saddest and hardest part of what we are going through is the thought that if we don’t have children, who will tell future generations how much Frank and I loved eachother?  Who will tell future generations the great things that God has done in our lives?

And you know, I don’t have anything else to say about that.  It’s just sad.  And yeah, maybe we will have kids.   And maybe we won’t.  I think I’m just sad.

The cool thing about running is that sometimes it gets really hard.  Sometimes I think, “I just can’t go on, I’ll never make the next mile.”  And then, I push and I make it.  That gives me a lot of hope.

So maybe right now it’s hard and I’m just sad, but I will persevere.  And God’s Word says that perseverance builds character and character gives us hope.

In sadness I can have hope.  And that is awesome.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

comparisons

The other day I was driving along, thinking about our fertility situation.  And I realized  that the hardest part of the journey has been the comparisons.

Medical Comparisons – I often find myself thinking of friends I’ve known going through  infertility.  We talk and we compare notes and often I will say, “Hmm, I am worse off because I didn’t get that positive result on that hormone test like Betsy, but I am better off because I ovulated unlike Suzi.”

***

Situational Comparisons –Sometimes Frank and I will say, “Why is it that we can’t get pregnant but XYZ high school student got pregnant thinking about sex??”

***

Comparisons as Comfort –I have experienced this, and I have seen it in action.  It happens a lot when people miscarry – well-meaning friends say, “Well, I know a couple who lost their 2 year old.  At least you didn’t lose a real baby.”  To someone who is pregnant, that child is a real baby and they are experiencing real grief.

Even still, I found myself thinking the other day, “Well, at least it’s not like I’ve gotten pregnant and lost the baby.  I should feel better that at least I just haven’t been able to get pregnant.”  It didn’t make me feel better, by the way.  It still hurts.

***

Comparisons as Advice -Or others will try to make us feel better and say, “Our friends Lynn and Gary were in the same exact situation, but then they adopted/stopped trying/did something else, and it worked! And now they have 5 kids!”

***

I find myself experiencing, thinking or witnessing a lot of these comparisons. I was trying to turn my own attitude around the other day by telling myself, “It’s not like losing a child or a baby.”  But it didn’t help because I still felt loss –  losing the hope for a child or a baby that month.

Everyone has their own problems and issues.  Sure, having babies is difficult for us.  But there are so many other ways in which God has blessed us.  Others might say, “at least you have jobs”  — and they are right.  There are so many positive things going for us.  I rejoice to God in those things and I give thanks to God for those things.

Even though it is so tempting to compare myself and our situation to others, I have to fight it daily because there is no peace in the comparison.  How can there be?  I am not Suzi or Betsy or anyone else.  God has given Frank and I our path of life because He knows us more intimately and more profoundly than anyone else.  He knows how many hairs are on my head (and Frank’s too), He knows all the days of my life.  He knew what today would be like before I did.  In so many ways, He has graciously prepared this season of our life for us by putting people in our lives that have been down this road, have felt this heartache and have glorified God in the process.  What a kind and loving God He is!

Most of my closest friends “get” where I am at and are truly encouraging and comforting and amazing.  But on several occassions, I have had to bite my tongue and listen to people say things that they clearly haven’t thought through.  I find that I actually have a lot of compassion for those people .  It has to be hard to be in their shoes, looking at me and not knowing what to say.  I totally get that.  As someone who regularly sticks her foot in her mouth (and I have HUGE feet), I often say the wrong thing.  And going through this, I feel like I am more qualified to provide a few pieces of advice to anyone wondering what to say to someone like me.

Listen.  Really, really listen.  Grieve with your friend.  Ask questions.  The ability to not get pregnant is difficult and every month that we are not pregnant feels like a loss.  Only it’s not a visable hurt – it’s a quiet hurt.    Don’t cut your friend out of activities or events because children will be there.  Your friend(s) will politely decline if it’s too much for them or they have other plans.  At least give them the option.

And please, don’t tell them “at least you can adopt or foster.”  It’s such a personal decision and it is not a “fix” for not being able to have biological children.  Adoption is a fantastic route for starting or expanding a family, especially if you are at a place where your heart is open to it.  But you wouldn’t say to someone who lost their spouse, “Well, there are other fish in the sea.”

And hey, I totally know that 99.9% of people mean well.  If you see someone hurting, then you try to tell them things to help them feel better.   But sometimes part of healing is hurting.  And that is ok.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine