About my blog’s picture…

Logging on to my blog today, I can’t help but to think where I was at when my husband snapped this picture of me.  It was our first official month that we were being INTENTIONAL about TTC.  February 2011.  We had been off birth control for 3 months.  We were temp tracking, optimistic and felt for sure that we would be pregnant in no time.  We were on our first cruise together….sailing around the Eastern Caribbean.  Midweek, our hopes and dreams came to a quick and shattering halt.  This was NOT going to be our month.  Even that first month, we were devastated…hurt, and disappointed.  We shed our tears and just as quickly, dried them off, put our unmet expectations behind us and moved forward.  Little did we know the part of our story we were just stepping into.

I came across this picture yesterday.  I am trying to put together a scrapbook of our lives and activities since we have been married.  I used to be so diligent about these things.  But since SD cards have replaced film, I have very few pictures to show for it.  But I am working on it…utilizing Shutterfly’s project center to help me out.  Anyway, when I saw this, I knew it would be perfect as the main picture on my blog. The essence of the picture a powerful metaphor for my current struggle with infertility.

In the picture, I am staring out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean…there is not a boat or another piece of land for miles….just the ocean, consuming the entirety of the horizon.  And me…just one person, on this powerful boat, making my way through it.  Waiting for land to appear.  Waiting for the sun to set, for the sun to rise, for sea life to show it self from below the deep waters.  Waiting for a change in scenery.  Hopeful, expectant.  Waiting for what I know I will love…but for now, I journey.  I allow this vessel to carry me through the waves.  I allow it to teach me its lessons.  I can always feel the wind upon my face.  It ruffles my hair, reminding me that I AM making forward progress.  I am not stagnant.  I will see land.  I will walk on land again. 

I remain ever hopeful.

 

Advertisements

New Theme and M&M cookie recipe!

I figure it’s time for a new look. I am anything but tech savvy, so I always gotta stick with the basics…but thought this would look at least a tad more personal.

I have just finished my first ICLW week (the blue link on the bottom), and noticed that so many bloggers over at blogspot.com or ebloggers have THE cutest blogs ever. Either they have a TON more cutesy themes or are just EXTREMELY creative people…or both!

Anyway, I am alone for the weekend…without my sweet hubs. I am really looking forward to him getting home tomorrow! I miss him immensely. It makes me so thankful to have my cuddly labradoodle. He has not left my side.

I’m a few days behind on my LITTLE joys…so thought I would post this oh so DELICIOUS picture of the M&M cookies I made for my husband and his buddies for their big camping trip.

These cookies count for at least 5 Little JOYS!!!

YUM!

The Recipe….in brief:

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp corn starch

2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

4 packets of M&Ms or equivalent

Cream butter/sugars. Separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Then stir into butter/sugars. Add vanilla, egg, and M&Ms. Bake at 350 for 8-9 min or until done according to your liking.

DELICIOUS cookies!!!! They’re already gone around here!

Don’t Ignore Infertility.

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I am posting my “Don’t Ignore” Essay:

Don’t Ignore Infertility.

Grief, loss, waiting, hoping…

So many emotions.  You stop, you think…I know this story.  I have seen it in the lives of others… the death of a loved one, the loss of a dream, the diagnosis of cancer.  These are just a few of the events in life that we associate with these emotions.  But there is another one.  One you may have never considered.  One that is silent, one that dares not speak out for fear of rejection, for fear that it may be brushed aside and undermined.  That event, that state of being, that place is called INFERTILITY.  It is dreadful, painful, and consuming for the those that bear its curse.  It’s not just one death that your heart suffers, but its cyclical and raises its ugly head month after month, cycle after cycle, sometimes year after year.  It’s a season mostly lived in the valleys with the very occasional mountaintop.  It often appears to be a battle of the will and a test of the human spirit.  Who will ultimately win?  Will you fall victim to infertility, to its mighty weight of disappointment and the onslaught of depression? Or will you transcend its current, and hold fast to hope.  Trust that your Lord has a purpose, that He is perfecting you. Trusting that one day you will have the family you seek.  Trusting that time will reveal the means.  For now, you endure the hows.

Living beyond infertility is a prayer that remains unanswered for some time, for many…it takes years.  It holds fast, strong and steady, with little relief.  There is always another test, another ultrasound, another appointment just around the corner.  It means juggling your schedule, giving up your favorite foods and beverages, and funneling your meager financial resources towards the ultimate goal of having a family.

You may think…what’s the big deal?  There are thousands of children in need of a forever home.  Yes, this may be true, but in saying so you dismiss the God-given desire, the God-given hope for a family of our own.  Though many of us will one day end up adopting, many of us will utilize the modern sciences to bring about the life within our womb we so long for.  We need your empathy, your love, and your support.  We don’t need your quick fixes and your advice.  Until you have walked a thousand days in our shoes, please withhold your comments and consider the journey through our eyes.  We are tired.  We are weary.  We are in need of rest.  We come thirsty.  We wait.  We excel at waiting.  We are left will little choice but to learn to endure.  We learn the art of healing our own broken heart that has been crushed countless times.  Our hands are delicate, our minds introspective.  We see the world in new ways and are quick to understand the grief that others walk in and live with.

Please try to understand ours.  Don’t ignore infertility.

Thank you for reading this.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

TWW – Little Joys – Day 3.1

Since I didn’t quite get to the joyous parts of my day in my earlier post, I figured I had better redeem myself.  So here they are:

The little joys on this fine day….

  1. Sleeping in on my day off.
  2. Having two helpings of my favorite homemade buttermilk brownies (with ice cream). Why? Because I can. And because I needed to get them OUT of my kitchen.  All too tempting. (Recipe to follow in an upcoming post.)
  3. Silence. A day at home…the only sounds are those of the hum of the fridge and the wind blowing the tress around outside.
  4. …and just like that, I am HOOKED on the Hunger Games. Talk about a great way to get through the TWW – just read your way through! : ) I gotta get a few more good books. Such a great distraction as I find myself lost in the story line.
  5. A good ride on our stationary bike.
  6. Getting to wear my PJs for as much of the day as I want. : )
  7. Not having to put on make up.
  8. A bath for my doodle. He smells so good and is SO soft right about now.
  9. No agenda. LOVE that!

Overall, a great day full of many little, wonderful joys! Thanks for reading.

20120425-171739.jpg

TWW – Little Joys – Day 3

Today as I was reflecting on the little joys in my life, thinking about my next blog post, my husband just happened to chime in…via text. He was sharing just how thankful he is for his job. Despite a sometimes grueling day with a “Mr. No Personality” intern who he has to mentor through his clinical rotation, he feels BLESSED to have such a great job. Blessed that he finds his job satisfying and fulfilling – at least the majority of the time.

His own reflections have further stirred up my own. It has been so much harder than I can even imagine to really dig deep and allow yourself to experience the little joys of your day sometimes. Of course, its pretty easy when life is going good, when life is smooth and things seem to be going in your way. But when you have been waiting for a LONG time to achieve what others seem to make look like child’s play, you can’t help but to see the world in clouded, gray images at time.

We went to Coldplay last night (Wonderful!), but for the first half of their concert, I was consumed with an interaction I had had with one of the Anesthesiologists at the end of my work day. I am a perfectionist. Always have been and unfortunately, will probably always battle this. I am also a people pleaser, which I think, can often go hand in hand. As I am finishing up my day and just about to roll out of there, he stopped me in the hall and questioned a decision I had made the previous day when we were working together. His comments caught me off guard and tried incessantly to ruin my evening. Once I explained to him what was REALLY going on in the operating room and WHY I made the decision I did, he softened and said it made more sense to him. Despite his concession, I was shaken and frustrated.

And yet…this is life. There will always be people, situations, sometimes even our own mind and hearts who will be against us or shall we say, question our efforts. What role will we allow these comments to have in our life. How seriously will we take them? Will we allow them to disrupt the entirety of our inner peace and throw us into a dreadful bought of anxiety? I have so much to learn. I really wish I was one of those who could just brush off these moments and conversations. But I am not. Just another lesson in overcoming the bad and the ugly and learning to focus on the little joys.

Little Joys – This is SOOOOOOOO my lesson right now.

Oh…and it really was an amazing concert! : )

20120425-105447.jpg

20120425-105505.jpg

20120425-105520.jpg

20120425-105535.jpg

These fantastic little wrist bands lit up and were responsible for the beautiful twinkles of light you see out in the audience. So fun!

TWW – Little Joys – Day 2

recap – During my current TWW, I am focusing on the little joys in my day.  I am attempting to transcend the pulls of my emotions during this period so that I may focus on the beautiful things; the wonderful opportunities that present themselves to me each and every day. I yearn to get back to my roots and have fresh eyes that can see and appreciate the world unfolding around me.

Tonight we are going to see COLDPLAY.  Probably my favorite band EVER.  I know, I know…so cliche..but I really can’t help myself.  I have been an avid fan for the last 11 years of my life.  As my close friends know, pretty much up until recently and the current digital age, you could always count on one of the coldplay albums residing in my car’s CD player….ready at any time to blast it’s smooth sound and powerful melodies.  I am so excited.  I have never been to one of their concerts.  A definite little joy…a true and memorable forever highlight.

Thanks for reading!

TWW – Little Joys – Day 1

I have been trying to figure out a good strategy to get through this TWW I now find myself in.  We are on day 3 of our window and I know how these things go.  You’re okay for a little bit…feel very positive about your timing and how much of an effort you made to make things happen.  You remain hopeful…but then time moves on and as you move closer to the end, you can’t help but to put up the defense mechanisms again.  You begin to protect your heart and prepare for the worst….or what you determine to be inevitable…that AF is just around the corner…on her way, yet again, for a little visit. I am tired of these draining cycles…wondering, waiting, hoping, reading into symptoms.  Thus, I am starting something new.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit…I only have two weeks, but I really just want to stay positive throughout this journey…even more, I want to get outside of it and become better able to appreciate the little joys in my life each day.  Last month, Belle over at Scrambled Eggs put together a photo challenge.   I found it so uplifting and a nice distraction.  Well, I want to take it a step further and make it more applicable to my own needs.  And what I need is to BELIEVE in the impossible and wake up to the GREAT things that are going on in my life apart from infertility…no matter how small, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time!

So here goes nothing!  Little joys – day 1 – commence:

As I was finishing conference this morning and headed back to the operating rooms, I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the glorious morning I found myself in.  It was one of those perfect, rare April mornings…warm and fresh.  The fountains are filled and a reminder to me of new life and hope.  It was breathtaking, hardly able to be captured in this photo…but it was one of those moments when you realize your mother was right: Sometimes you just gotta stop and smell the roses.  Forget the fast pace job, the stressful patient, the infertile state of your uterus…and just enjoy the beauty of creation all around you.  It is gift.  A wondrous gift that can bring such joy to my heart and really help me feel better about my life and where its going!

Thanks for reading!!!

Hello fellow ICLWers!

Hello!!!

I’m SO happy you stopped by!  Sorry for late intro post. This is my first ICLW and I’m so thankful to have joined in on the action.

My name is Danielle and I live in the LOVELY Pacific Northwest with my sweet husband and labradoodle, Higgins.  We have been TTC for a year and a half.  The road has been fraught with angst, grief, and hope.  Yesterday we completed IUI #4.  Currently, we are practicing “the power of positive” thinking. *smile*  We have often had little faith in our journey, dismissing treatments as failed attempts before we had even started them, before they even had had a chance to reveal differently.  Lately, we have felt that we lack belief.  Belief in our God, belief that the impossible will soon become possible for us.  That we CAN and WILL someday have the beautiful child we so desire, we just lack the insight into the means and the HOW at this point.  It feels really good to have this paradigm shift in our thinking and we are running with it!  THIS is OUR month.  This is the months we will conceive.  I gotta believe in this.

Anyway, we love adventures and are heading out to France next month for what we hope to be our last hurrah!  We enjoy cooking together, hiking the rugged trails of the mountains and coastline around us.  We enjoy working on our house and a good dinner together with friends.  Life really is pretty wonderful…despite all we have been through, these tremendous pains, the unending waiting – it has only taught us more about ourselves, the people we want to be, the people we are becoming, and the hope that is ours if only we learn to walk with faith.

Thanks for stopping by!  Take care!

Spring is here!

Yeah!  I am so excited for sunshine, for warm weather…and a SUCCESSFUL IUI!!! (#4)

It has been a great day.  Our IUI went very smoothly.  The dreaded catheter was friendly today and went right where it was supposed to.  Apparently my cervix was very “receptive”.  Always a good sign, especially considering our last few IUIs.  It has been such a traumatic experience for us, so we were extremely grateful that it was quick and easy.

Tonight we are holding our first official BBQ of the season.  My husband is still super close with 3 of his HS friends…as close as brothers.  They are unique as far as guy friendships go as they are super deep and intentional with one another.  Something I have rarely seen amongst men.  It’s a beautiful thing, really.  One the boys is in town from San Diego this weekend, so its PaARTaY time!   All the essentials – Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, WATERMELON,  Kettle Chips, salads, buttermilk brownies and ice cream – will be included…with a game night to follow.  It’s a perfect afternoon for a BBQ. The sun is warm and we will be able to spend a good portion of the evening on the deck…something that rarely happens until July in the Pacific Northwest.

Anyway, I’m so glad the sunshine of spring is here…Here are a few pix I snapped  this afternoon of my flower planters I have been working on.  I have anything BUT a green thumb, so I’m always thrilled just to get the planters going.  My puppy was awfully cute with fetching the stick and I love this beautiful tree in blossom in the front yard.  Only lasts about a week, so I thought I would capture it and post it. Pictures just never seem to do some things justice!!!

Here’s to the joy that fills my heart today and the warmth of the sunshine on my back (currently typing this out in the SUN)!

Depths and truths.

Lately, I have been consumed with fighting a lurking, ever near bout of depression.  It lies ready and waiting, waiting for me to give it a foothold.  Ready to destroy me.  It seeks to render me useless, denigrate my spirit and steal my joy.  As a result, I have noticed I am having an increasingly difficult time recognizing or shall I say appreciating the blessed things, the wonderful things, the joyful things that are going on in my life.  In my current bible study, we are encouraged to write down each evening the ways in which we have seen God move and work over the course of the day.  Most nights I can’t think of any “God sightings” in my own life.  Somehow, I can see His hand upon those around me…but mine?  Not really.

And so I think, what is wrong with me?  My vision is clouded, my ability to perceive the supernatural…gone, often without a trace.

Well, I am FIGHTING to regain my ground in this area.  I am no victim of infertility.  Infertility is ONLY going to make me a stronger, more beautiful, more compassionate individual.  I will be better able to relate to people, better able to love people, better able to feel people’s hurts.  I will know how to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those with rejoice.  For I have walked the road of hopelessness.  I have felt the pains of despair.  I have experienced the inconsolable cries of a womb longing to bring for life from its depths.

My words to myself: Receive God’s love.  May my eyes be opened and my heart be filled with JOY!

After all, I did get some GREAT news this morning!  + OPK.  YEAH!  IUI # 4 will commence tomorrow.

I am so thankful for this. I will not have to call in sick to work…my husband and I can just fit it into our morning routine before a little brunch with friends.  A gift from God.  I am gaining ground.