May 9, 2017 § Leave a comment
Memories of the first Mother’s Day without my mom are faint. I think my dad tried to ignore it happening. I’m sure we took some flowers to mom’s grave. We likely went to my grandma’s house to eat lunch afterward. I’m not sure why I don’t remember much from that day. Maybe it’s something I still block out because I don’t want to feel that pain.
However, I do remember the first Mother’s Day after finding out I have PCOS. I bawled my eyes out. Watching all these posts about my friend’s getting Mother’s Day gifts, whether it was their first Mother’s Day or fifth, I got emotionally stabbed all day. I got to point where I had to put my phone in another room so I wouldn’t be tempted to pick it up and scroll through all the posts.
Today, I’m feeling a little bit like that Emilie from a few years ago. I realized this is the first year I’ll be flying solo on Mother’s Day. Hubby will be celebrating his brother’s graduation in Oklahoma. It’s also challenging because of the amount of friends that have had babies this last year. My heart is hurting that I’m not in the mom ranks. This pain had left for awhile but of course it comes back to gut punch me. I admit, I’m jealous of all these women that are moms. But, I love and support these women because I know it’s not easy raising kids: sleepless nights, less time out and about without the kids, dealing with tantrums. Yet, everyone of these women are strong and fierce not because they can do it all, but because they know so much about vulnerability. They include me in their conversations even though I don’t 100 percent understand, I can empathize with them. Those wonderful women also don’t try to minimize my pain. Anytime I reach out about hurting, they lift me up with encouraging words, hugs and listening ears. I love and cherish these women so much!
So, as Sunday is Mother’s Day, I plan to treat myself with a little lunch out. Maybe even a movie. I also plan to celebrate my friends who are moms with my whole heart. If this last year has taught me anything, it’s choosing joy even in the tough moments that makes this life so much richer.
May 3, 2017 § Leave a comment
My birthday is just two days away and I have been reflecting on this past year. Lord knows a year ago I had nothing really happening in my life. I was depressed and had accepted it as my life. I felt weak and scared. Nothing was the way I ever thought or dreamed it would be for me.
27 came and I cried as much in this last year as the year I lost my mom. Basically, Niagara Falls fell out of my eyes. I spent last summer infuriated. When I saw friends and they asked about life, my answer was always, 1) I’m still alive and 2) I’m still married. Reflecting back on that statement, I realize that may have been confusing to a lot of people. But it was my truth without airing all my grievances. I sat in my misery for four months before I decided I was sick of it. I got it together and found a therapist.
Over the five months I saw my therapist I started realizing I didn’t have to be a victim to my life. As my friend Becca would say, I put on my big girl panties and I got to work. I finally landed at a job that is walking distance from my apartment. Now that I have been there for four months, I feel like I’m really getting the hang of it. I feel my self-confidence boosted. I’m beginning to feel like Emilie again.
Even though things are feeling better now, that doesn’t mean everyday is perfect. I have anxiety that tries to creep in to tell me I can’t do this. Anxiety that I’m going to royally screw up at work or that I’m not good enough. In those moments, I grab those thoughts and start reaching out to my friends and put on worship music. As I do that, it’s almost like I’m the bogeyman to those thoughts because they run away.
Things still aren’t exactly like I pictured them, but I’m grateful for the lessons I’m learning in this season. I’ve been reminded continuously what I really want for my life and the life I want to create for my family. Strength and courage go a long way in helping dispel fear and anxiety. It will be interesting to see where things are in another year as I continue to practice my strength and courage.
April 26, 2017 § Leave a comment
This week my feed has been filled with women sharing their stories about infertility and how they have been dealing with it. They have also been using this week as a platform to reduce the stigma around infertility. I’m proud to be amongst this group of women. I am 1 in 8 women that has to deal with some form of infertility. Finding this out just over three years ago absolutely devastated me. I felt my dreams of motherhood shatter like a broken glass falling into a million pieces.
In these last three years, I fell into a depression that rested deep. It gave me fear and anxiety that caused me to feel paralyzed to make any decision. I allowed infertility to control my life. I thought that if we just set up the right situation through monitoring and doctors help we could make a baby. At the end of 2016, when I found out I was getting hired at Starbucks, I started letting go of the control of trying to make a baby. I’ve been focusing more on self care. That has included making time for reading, going out with friends and finding myself again. My heart has been so full of joy. That’s not to say that some days aren’t hard but they have become fewer and farther apart. I’ve even been able to go to baby showers and hold babies without going home and crying for an hour afterward.
Honestly, that would not have been possible even 18 months ago. I sit here now, having so much hope for my future. I’ll be 28 in 10 days and I know that the end of this journey is still a ways off. But when I do get the opportunity to be a mom (however that happens) I will get to share a story of pain turned to hope and joy with my child(ren). I hope that through my story my child(ren) will know that they can do the hard things in life and live to tell the tale.
Thank you to my loving community of friends and family that have been with me on this journey. Your prayers have meant the world to me. God has shown me so much grace in and continues to teach me to be graceful with myself and others.
September 28, 2016 § 2 Comments
Time has passed so quickly and yet still so slowly these last five years. The things I wish I could say to 22 year old Emilie include but not limited to:
- Keep working on yourself
- Exercise more patience
- Let the tears come
- Find a community the loves you and sits with you in the pain
I’m thankful now that I either have those things above and I’m working on being a better me.
A lot can happen in five years. I remember the cute 22 year old going into the gynecologist to get checked out to make sure everything was good for my husband and I to start trying to conceive. Within six months of getting the “okay” to make a baby we decided to move to Los Angeles. Being in the early part of our twenties we thought everything would be fine and we could get pregnant whenever. Once we felt settled and decided to start trying again, that’s when it all started to seemingly fall apart. People all around us were getting pregnant. We went to check again with the doctor to make sure everything was okay.
We found out I have PCOS just before my 25th birthday. I felt defeated. I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do. It was also at this time we were in yet another transition. I found a community that loved me and supported me in the mess I was in.
Now, here we are five years after our initial doctor’s appoint for the okay to procreate. I don’t have a baby of my own to hold everyday. But, I haven’t lost hope because God still does BIG things. I’ve had the honor to help my friends who are moms and I became an aunt to the most adorable little boy. I’m overwhelmed that I can pour out love to so many sweet families. I trust that God has a plan for me. I trust that His time is so much better than mine.
Five years later and still my arms are empty. But I feel content just where I am: becoming the woman God created me to be.
Love to you all,
June 2, 2016 § 2 Comments
Just wanted to share some good news with everyone who has been following us on our journey to parenthood.
Yesterday I had my HSG, a dye test to see if my Fallopian tubes are open. Thankfully, that test went well and my tubes are open! WOOHOO!! It was a painful test but thanks to the hubs and some great friends I felt like I had an endless supply of gluten-free pizza, gluten-free cookies and ice cream. I’m feeling great today and praising God for the good news!
Now the next step is being monitored so that we can do the baby making. Sorry, not sorry, if that’s too much information for some but I know many of you would ask “what’s next?” So there it is, folks. We’re believing and working toward expanding our family. God is faithful and we’re so happy for this good news this week!
May 23, 2016 § Leave a comment
As Patrick and I celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary we also celebrate the positive news and next steps we got from our doctor. Most of you didn’t know but we actually got our appointment changed to Sunday because our doctor was doing a procedure at the office on Sunday morning. She thought it would be a good idea to have our conversation then. It worked in our favor because Patrick wouldn’t have to miss work to go to the appointment. God has been faithful in this journey by showing us His love, grace, and kindness even on our darkest days.
Now that I have filled you with anticipation, I’ll clue you in as to what’s next for the House of Southern:
- I have to update my blood work because it has been a year since my last series of tests were completed.
- I have to go back on progesterone to get my cycles regular again.
- I have to do an HSG. Basically it’s a dye test to see if my Fallopian tubes are clear.
- If HSG goes well then we will be doing some monitoring and clomid in July.
Our Doctor was very hopeful as she talked us through results of tests and giving us the next steps. It was wonderful to hear her positive tone.
I’m so grateful for all your prayers, positive words/attitudes, and encouragements the last few weeks. There’s no gurantee that our fight is over but there are a lot of good things happening right. Please keep those prayers coming. You have know idea how helpful they have been for us. I’m praying for you too. No matter what God is faithful and my hope is in Him.
I plan to continue to do my part with healthy eating and exercise because those are good things and it keeps the positivity going. Thank you to our family and friends for supporting us in this journey. Love to you all! Also, happy seventh anniversary to my handsome and amazing Patrick!
May 18, 2016 § Leave a comment
Marriage is never easy. I would know because I’ve been working on my marriage for almost seven years (our anniversary is Monday). Patrick and I have been through a few trials already.
When we got married we were both still in college. He had one year left and I had two years left. How we made it through those first two years still blows my mind. Both working our butts off to make ends meet and to graduate with decent grades. Then as we approached year three of marriage we had been trying for a baby and also decided to move to LA. Oh man, we had guts then. We put the baby thing on hold so we could settle into LA. Patrick got an awesome full-time job after our one year anniversary of moving to LA. So when insurance kicked in Fall 2013 we thought it was the perfect time to grow our family. We were in for a surprise.
Spring 2014 rolled around and I started nannying part-time. The mom I was with most often is a midwife. She asked one day if I had been to the doctor recently. I told her I had not been to the doctor and she suggested I go. The appointment I made after that conversation was the appointment I found out I had PCOS.
Now, I have had some amazing women step into my life to give wisdom, advice and countless prayers since learning about PCOS. But my husband has been there through every appointment, every tear cried, every anxiety attack, every shout of anger, etc. Other than God, Patrick has been a constant in this journey. I’m so grateful for the trials we have already weathered because it helps us in our right now.
Even though everything about growing our family seems challenging in this moment, I know we will get past this together. Lord knows we thought trying to go to college and have jobs making enough money to pay bills was a long shot. We thought surviving LA for one year would be a challenge. I’m hopeful that we can more than survive this infertility journey. I’m hopeful that we will overcome and expand the House of Southern in ways we would never have imagined. I love you, Patrick. Thank you for being an outstanding man and sticking with me through every challenge thrown at us. I’m grateful for your unconditional love.
May 16, 2016 § Leave a comment
Upon turning 25 I learned that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Enter quarter-life/mid-twenties crisis. This was not how I wanted to start off my birthday in 2014. I was ready to figure out the problem, do the fix, and start growing our family. I feel like the joke has been on me the last two years. Just when I feel like maybe we are getting something to help it turns out to only be a little helpful or makes me sick and emotionally all over the place.
Now, here I am at 27, wondering what is coming next. Our pastor said in his message yesterday, “Your past doesn’t define you. Jesus uses it to fuel purpose in your future.” That message can be found here. Thank goodness for God’s grace that the last two years do not define my future. I had made a decision back in December that 2016 was not going to be anything like 2014 or 2015. I’ve taken serious steps to embrace my inner Elsa to no longer hold in all the anger and hurt I have been feeling about my fertility issues and even some personal issues that have held me back for some time. This has not been an easy task. I know that I have failed and exposed my dark side at moments because I lost self-control. Again, those moments of frustration and anxiety are not indicative of my future. I can, through God’s grace, choose to love, choose to be patient, and choose self-control. Choosing those things is not an easy task but when you are ready for things to be different you have to choose a different attitude.
I’m sure that there are still some trials ahead especially in my fertility journey. Holding on to all this anger has not gotten me any further in my pursuit of becoming a mom. Maybe it’s in this time I’m learning more about the characteristics of a mom but also learning more about the characteristics of God. As frustrating as things have been, I definitely feel like I am becoming more of my true self.
May 11, 2016 § Leave a comment
Here we are about 12 days out from our next fertility appointment. I’ve been trying to stay positive because we are getting the next phase of our plan. But honestly, I’m so scared for what’s next. I hate the unknown. I want to know exactly what’s going to happen before it happens. Life doesn’t work that way, though.
Now, I know it sounds like I need to calm down. We will have more answers and a plan in 12 days. It’s challenging to remain calm when I’ve been actively trying to get pregnant for almost 5 years. I want to be pregnant like yesterday.
Another reason I think I’m anxious for this appointment is that it is on our wedding anniversary. I’m one of those people that likes celebrating on “the day” an event happens like birthdays and anniversaries. I realize we can still make the day special by going to dinner and what not; but it doesn’t distract from the fact that I’m still scared about what will happen at the appointment. I am trying to remember it’s exciting that we get to continue our fight for our family on a day that is already so special to Patrick and I. Ugh. So. Many. Emotions.
Thankfully, I can reach out to family and friends to be praying. I can be praying. God so graciously gives His Holy Spirit as a comfort and strength in times like these. So for those that pray here’s what I am asking:
- Strength– Patrick and I cannot get through this on our own accord.
- Peace– I need this so I can get rest between now and the appointment date.
- Patience– This attribute is one I’m constantly working on. With patience I stay calmer and I can more easily choose love.
Thank you for the prayers and words of encouragement. I’m thankful I don’t have to walk my road alone. I will definitely be taking advantage of my coloring books and reading some books here in the next few weeks to refocus when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Sending love to you all!
May 7, 2016 § Leave a comment
For the last 16 years Mother’s Day has been a challenging day for me. First, it was challenging because I lost my biological mom to cancer. Now, it’s because of my own longing to be a mommy. Though these are reasonable reasons to struggle with a day like Mother’s Day, I want to share some love to all the women in my life no matter what stage they are in.
To the moms: I don’t want to pretend I know all the struggles you go through as you are raising your children. I do know that I love and care for each of you. Many of you are praying for me as I am walking through my journey to motherhood. I am so grateful for those prayers. I’m praying for you too. I know motherhood isn’t always pretty. I am grateful that when I get to be a mom I have so many women that I can look to for wisdom. Thank you for being a role model in my life. Thank you for encouraging me to continue fighting for my own family. You are all near and dear to my heart.
To those struggling with infertility: I’m with you. I know it’s a road many of us didn’t expect to be on. The great thing is that we are not alone even though it often feels that way. I want to encourage you to reach out to friends or family on those tough days. When those emotions start drowning you call, text, Facebook message a friend. Be honest with what’s happening. Every time I’m honest with a friend about how I’m really feeling especially on those days the emotions are overwhelming me, I am met with love.
To ALL the women in my life: Each and everyone of young matter where you are in your life, (mom, working through fertility, married w/o kids, single, dating, etc.) you are valuable. Each of you show strength, vulnerability, compassion, grace, and beauty in such unique ways. I’m grateful for each of you. Don’t lose your sparkle because you think someone else has more value than you. Love to all the ladies in my life!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms! We need women like you to show us how to love unabashedly and selflessly. Thank you for all that you do for your families!