What I am Learning Through Infertility 

February 12, 2016 § 1 Comment

I’ve said here before and I will say it again: I have PCOS. I found out almost two years ago. The process has been slow-going partially because of the shock and not wanting to admit something was wrong and partially because fertility treatments and appointments are expensive. 

In the last five months I’ve realized I can’t keep living my life feeling held down because of PCOS. Honestly, since we found out I have spent days crying my eyes out, days angry, days where I haven’t wanted to speak with anyone. I didn’t even want to talk to my husband. That’s really not a way to live. 

What have I been learning? 

  1. I can’t do this alone. I’m blessed with women in my community who know and understand my pain. I’m grateful for a husband who loves me unconditionally even on my worst day. I have faith that God sees ever tear I cry  and hears every  prayer I pray. 
  2. I have to keep pressing forward. Yes, miracles happen but I need to do my part, too, for changes to happen. 
  3. I have to be vulnerable. For me holding feelings in makes the problem worse. So if friends or family ask how fertility stuff is going, I answer honestly. Through my vulnerability I’ve gotten overwhelming support. That just proves my first point of not being able to do this alone. 
  4. I’m aloud to have emotions about my infertility. On days where I can feel the anger or sadness coming I allow those emotions to come. I process them by asking myself questions like “what caused this emotion to come?” “Is this a surface reason or is something deeper tugging on me?” I try not to allow emotions take over for more than 24 hours. For me, it takes me to a depression I hope to never experience again. 
  5. Self-care is the best. My self-care includes the occasional new book to read or new Minnie Mouse coloring book to color. Currently, I’m learning how to crochet. It’s fun to work with my hands and also have my mind focused on something other than trying to make a baby. Thank the Lord for self-care.  

These are just a few of the things I have been learning through my infertility. I have some great days with no tears or anger but I also have some days where those are the only things I can feel. Thankfully, my hard days are fewer and farther in between. I can feel myself turning a corner. I feel like I’m in a good place. A place where I am learning more about myself. 

I hope this is helpful to my fellow women struggling with infertility rather it’s PCOS or Endometriosis or other fertility issues. Know that you are not alone and there is support and prayers for you. 

Love to you all! 

Emilie

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Bitter 16

January 24, 2016 § 2 Comments

 

A sweet 16 is a birthday most kids look forward to happening.  They will likely get a license or at least a driver’s permit, a big party and maybe even a car. Well, today being 16 years since my mother died, it’s not so sweet. Instead bitterness feels my mouth like burnt chocolate.

You would think after 16 years that a girl would know how to manage her feelings on this day. Nope. I’m actually not entirely sure how I feel this year. I know for certain sharing my thoughts and feelings helps me not to get depressed.

I used to think if I shared my thoughts on this day that  people would be annoyed or pity me. I also never wanted to hear the words, “She (my mom) has no more pain. God healed her.” Do you know that even at 10 years old I wanted to punch people in the face for saying that? Are you kidding me? I’m allowed to be sad sometimes or even angry that mom my is gone. All I want on this day is to be heard and understood. Saying insensitive things like that are not ways of showing understanding.

The community I have been around the last year and a half has been supportive, loving and gracious when it comes days like this. I have learned through this community that showing vulnerability brings love, understanding and peace. My community also returns the vulnerability to me. We know how to rejoice with others and we know how to mourn with others. I’m thankful for these wonderful people.

So, as today treads on, I know that sharing my vulnerability with the loss of my mom, I will find the love and understanding that I need.

I love you, mom. I hate that you have been gone 16 years now. I miss you.

With all my love,

Emilie

Making Better Choices

January 8, 2016 § Leave a comment

Part of making this year a better one for myself is making healthier food choices. I’m making a concerted effort to meal plan so that the healthy choice is the easy choice. It has truly been a concerted effort that I will definitely be refining throughout the year.

The first thing I have done that I realized has been a major help is preparing breakfast the night before. Hear me out. Each night I set out all the things I need to make breakfast. Last night in particular I put together an overnight smoothie mix together. I woke up this morning threw it in the blender and TA-DA breakfast was served. Here’s a link to the smoothie I made- http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2015/08/05/chocolate-overnight-oatmeal-smoothie/

Meal planning takes time but so far it has been worth the effort for me. What are some of the ways you make the healthy choice the easy choice in your day-to-day?  I’d love to add some recipes to the mix so post links for those too!

Love,

Emilie

Moving Beyond My Feelings

January 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

2015 came and went. There were some moments that went by too fast and other moments that would have been okay to pick up the speed. We moved to a new apartment. We started learning more about our journey with infertility. I dealt with depression that I had not experienced since my mother died. My feelings toward 2015 are as follows: Bye, Felicia!

Now, not every moment was terrible. We started developing some friendships that I honestly believe will last for the rest of our lives. But dude, my emotions really took a toll on me. I got to the point where I stopped putting myself out there for people to know me. I didn’t want pity if I shared my feelings. I also didn’t want people saying I was a cry baby. I already had to deal with that in my life and I wasn’t ready to relive that. Instead, I stayed home, closed off to people. I was so in my head that I became screed to let anyone in. I couldn’t even let my husband in. Finally in November, I started letting people back in. It wasn’t as painful as I had thought. I actually found by opening up to the right people I could feel again. These people spoke truth and love in the most graceful, yet butt-kicking ways. I’m so grateful for the community that surrounds me.

How will I continue to move beyond my feelings in 2016? Great question. My plan is find my purpose and keep my heart open to those who have already made attempts to be apart of my life. I have some measurable goals of finding a job, making time in my week for friends, alone time and time with the husband. Finding things and people that feed my soul has helped so much. Even self-reflection/self-awareness has helped to move beyond the feelings. It’s definitely a process. I may have some missteps but its better than wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt.

I’d love to hear how you are making 2016 different from 2015. I know for me 2016 cannot be more of the same.

Love to you all!

Emilie

Yummy Recipes to Eat More Veggies

January 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

January is almost over and if you are anything like me, you made promises to yourself to eat healthier this year. You may have also fallen off the wagon a time or two; I know I have fallen off the wagon. It becomes exhausting to try to keep up the healthy eating but I try everyday to pick myself up and try again. I want to share some links to recipes that I have fallen back on to help me add more vegetables to my diet. These are all yummy and husband approved!

One way that I have added more veggies to my diet is to substitute carrots and sometimes cucumbers for chips. What a difference it has made for me. First of all, it’s cheaper to buy carrots than chips. Secondly, it’s better for you. Give it a try.

I have always liked vegetables way more than fruit. I’m not entirely sure where that comes from but this soup is yummy and full of veggies that I love: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/vegetable-quinoa-soup/. It’s a great lunch for the week because it reheats well. The vegetable quinoa soup is also a good way to warm you up on those cold days. Another yummy veggie filled dinner I like to make to help warm up is this Turkey and Vegetable Skillet: http://reciperunner.com/turkey-vegetable-skillet/. It’s full of flavor and a variety of veggies. I would say this is one of my most favorite dinners to make because it’s quick and easy to make. Spaghetti squash has become a staple on my grocery list because it can be combine many different ways. You can add spaghetti sauce to it, add some cannelloni beans and sautéed spinach or my new favorite recipe, http://rufflesandtruffles.com/2010/09/spaghetti-squash-with-grilled-chicken-sundried-tomatoes-broccoli-and-peas/. You can make the spaghetti squash the day before or even earlier in the day for this recipe. I love all the veggies in this recipe. I would also like to note that I have never made it with the sun-dried tomatoes mostly because I forget to buy them at the store.

These next two recipes are great side dishes to go along with any dinner. You can even use the leftovers to put on a salad! Butternut squash has become a new favorite food of mine. I love to make this and use the leftovers on a spinach salad with balsalmic vinaigrette. Here’s the link: http://rasamalaysia.com/garlic-parmesan-roasted-butternut-squash/2/. Growing up in the South I have a huge love for green beans. I really like them cooked with bacon/bacon grease. That’s not always the healthiest way to eat them. When I found this recipe, http://www.therisingspoon.com/2013/05/balsamic-oven-roasted-green-beans.html, I was so excited. I make these at least once a week. So. Dang. Good. I actually never have leftovers of these green beans. Hubs and I gobble them right up.

Don’t give up on trying to eat healthier. I fall off the wagon because I have a sweet tooth. I try to keep better snacks around the house. I even keep a bag of chocolates for those moments when I am feeling weak. I try to limit myself to three chocolates, but I’m not perfect. I hope these recipes I have found inspire and help you to eat better and be a healthier you.

I’d love for you to share links/recipes you have found to be healthy and easy to make. Please share!

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015?

January 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Happy New Year! The last week people have been reflecting on 2014 and all the great things that happened and what their plans are for 2015. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t completely excited about 2014 and I’m very unsure of 2015. Don’t get me wrong; some really fun things happened in 2014 and I will cherish those memories. But, some not so fun things happened that are slowly changing my life, mostly for the better.

I’m sure you are wondering what could be bad but yet change you for the better? I found out this year I have a condition called PCOS. Basically, it makes it more difficult for me to get pregnant because my cycles are out of whack, my hormones get a little crazy, my weight is an issue and a lot of other things. (For more information this helps explain a little bit more in-depth: http://www.pcosdietsupport.com/pcos-symptoms/pcos-explained-partner/). Now that I am aware of this, I have been striving to make healthier choices for myself and my family. I have learned a lot about myself through this process.

This year has just been such an emotional roller coaster figuring all of this out. I’ve learned that when I get sad, I really need to find something fun to do that is also relaxing. I turn to coloring in those moments. I realize that sounds childish but it is so therapeutic for me. I also write. Sometimes I write out feelings and other times I write my prayers to the Lord. Again, this calms me and brings me away from the sadness or anger that I am feeling in a moment. I have also been cooking like crazy. Pinterest has helped me to find so many new and healthy recipes. Patrick, my husband, has been loving the new food! I’m glad he gets some of the benefits of my calming strategies.

That’s something else good that has come out of the chaos of this emotional roller coaster. Patrick and I have learned even more about each other and we have grown together. He touches my heart in my blow up moments and my breakdown moments. He’s there with tissues, a glass of water and the best hugs. Patrick has my heart held tightly and I’m so thankful for him. He has shown me what a man is supposed to be to his wife. He’s as understanding as a guy can be when emotions are running crazy. My dearest love, Patrick, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!

How do I move forward in 2015? I fully intend on continuing my food adventures through Pinterest making healthy but delicious food and I plan on doing the things that make me happy. Together hubs and I are trying to lead a healthier life by committing to working out even if it is just a walk around our neighborhood or even walking to dinner when we go to some of the restaurants close to our place. I also want to invest into some of my friendships that have just started and continue to grow friendships that are established. This may be another year of an emotional roller coaster but I am glad to have my husband, family and friends supporting me. Here’s to 2015, whatever it may hold, may God give me the strength to continue to move forward.

*Please note that I do not want pity. Instead, just be supportive. Your prayers and words of encouragement help. You can also read this blog post, http://lovelylittlelife-hannah.blogspot.com/2013/07/9-things-infertile-women-want-women.html, to more fully understand what I need in this time.*

Thank you for reading, understanding, prayers and words of encouragement.

When you feel like a Failure

September 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

I have been trying this week to commit myself to writing more whether it is on my blog or in my prayer journal. I have written everyday since Tuesday. That’s not a lot but it’s more than it was over this summer.

A friend and his family gave Patrick and I a book, “Praying God’s Word” by Beth Moore. I wasn’t sure where to start in the book because it has several different chapters on different topics ranging from forgiveness to depression to guilt and loss. The book allows you to skip around and focus on your struggle. Moore gives some commentary at the beginning of each chapter and then gives you several scriptures turned into prayers that you can pray over yourself, family or friends. I have already been moved by this book. I have read maybe five pages but I have found scriptures/prayers that are exactly what I need for the moment. Below is an excerpt from the book that opened my eyes to my struggle of failure.

The question of authority is one we are challenges to answer every single day. The concept of rededicating our lives to Christ only at infrequent revivals or conferences can prove disappointing and defeating. Joshua 24:15 suggests a far more workable approach: “Choose this day whom you will serve” (emphasis Moore’s). Christ repeated the concept when He called us to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. Do you want to know something wonderful? A daily recommitment is not to ensure that we’ll never fail, but to help us develop the mentality that every single day is a new day. A new chance to follow Christ. Obedience to God is not some diet we suddenly blow. It is something to which we recommit every single day, no matter how we blew it the day before. Victorious living is not an instant arrival. It is the pursuit of one victorious day at a time until the sun sets on enough to begin forming victorious habits.  (pg. 152)

This paragraph has had me thinking a lot the last few days. I may not have a schedule of when I spend time writing or spending time with God, but I have made sure that I do it everyday. I might fail over the weekend on writing or spending time with God but I am thankful that every single day is a new day for me to try. I know I am not perfect at anything in this life but isn’t that just part of our life? I never make a meal perfect every time I make it. Sometimes I forget an ingredient so I improvise. Sometimes it turns out great and sometimes it tastes disgusting. I am just thankful there is a “next time” for making a meal or writing or spending time with God.

I hope you are encouraged today. I know I have been struggling and I have been lucky to have family and friends praying for me and being willing to listen when I need to talk. I want to leave with one of the prayers I have been praying this week. It’s from Psalm 21:1-2; 5. “O Lord, like David, help me to rejoice in Your strength and say of You, “How great is my joy in the victories You give!” Father, please grant me the desire of my heart to be free from this stronghold and do not withhold the request of my lips. Through the victories you give, may Christ’s glory be great!”