AngelMom, pregnancy

A dream within a dream

The other night I woke from a dead sleep. Bolted awake by the strangest and most heart wrenching dream. I have nightmares quite a bit, always have… sometimes hubby wakes me yelling and crying in my sleep, but this one my eyes just snapped open and I laid there frozen, trying to catch my breath.

In this dream… it had all been a dream.

Let me explain.

It was a very strange web of make believe. It started with a very pregnant me, being in a fatal car accident. When the impact struck, instead of waking up like I normally would during a car accident dream, it only lead me into another dream. Still peering in as it all played out, I watched myself wake up horrified to discover that thought of me being killed in a car accident wasn’t even the worst part. In the first layer I was pregnant, and the second I was not. Watching myself realize that and that gut punch feeling … it had all just been a dream…..

I woke unable to breathe and grabbed my big pregnant belly and immediately felt her, kicking and squirming as if to say “it’s ok Mom, I’m still here”… thank god. Thank god for her!

I laid in bed clutching on to my belly, feeling relieved and grateful and also sad for the old me. The me that had to wake up to dreams like that. Wondering what the heck my life would even look like if it wasn’t for her!?? She’s not even here yet and my whole universe already revolves around her. Waiting, and anticipating whatever the world will look like once she’s here!!!

Today, I am 28 weeks pregnant and entering my 3rd trimester!! The anxiety I felt in the early stages of pregnancy is shifting. Still there a bit but it’s muffled by excitement, and also by the list of things I need to accomplish in the next three months. Moments like this jolt me back into it and I’m forced to spend a lot of quiet time with my meditation app. Time for quiet. Time for deep breaths and gratefulness.

Countdown to HER continues. It’s more than a dream, it’s my dream and this time it’s real. She’s real.

TTC

The WHY I write…

Three years ago…. I wrote from a hospital bed. I wrote because I was broken. I wrote because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t bare to keep it in anymore. I decided that to suffer silently wasn’t only too much for me to carry, but it’s not fair to every other woman, man, couple that struggles with infertility who feels like their voice doesn’t matter. That their struggle should be kept silent.

The first time I ever opened up about our struggle:

I truly don’t know why it feels like we should keep our struggles to ourselves. Maybe because a lot of it deals with sex? Your personal life? Being vulnerable? Expressing feelings, feelings of failure?? Not wanting to bring down the mood??

So many of us who have walked a difficult road- whether it’s infertility, cancer, depression, anxiety, whatever the case may be — I bet you know this feeling. We keep quiet for a variety of reasons — some real, some imposed upon us by society. I didn’t know then the impact my writing would have, I just knew I needed to get it out. These feelings, this fight was a toxin in my system and I needed it OUT!!!

I began to write publicly about our struggles with conception, and loss and have for the last 3 years. It is hard. Just going through it is hard. There is so much you just have to figure out by trial and error, by failure, and by hoping others are sharing their experiences so that you can learn from their pain and failure without having to put yourself through that too!!! That’s why. That’s why I write.

A lot of it is self serving, the whole getting the icky thoughts out thing is real. But, for me every time I read something relatable I feel less crazy and I wanted to be able to give a little bit of that back to others that may need that level of comfort too!

Today, the life I’m living seems more like a dream than a nightmare. I mean, don’t get me wrong, even in infertility there’s a lot to be proud of, thankful and excited about in my life – I designed it that way! Spending a whole year with a Disneyland Annual pass sure made that particular year of healing palatable! But it doesn’t negate the fact that a lot of those years were spent struggling, worrying, crying and just generally being frustrated that I was locked in a phase I couldn’t seem to escape. Sound familiar??? So many struggle with some THING that makes you feel like you can’t move forward!! It’s a horrible feeling.

Looking back on it all now, where the view is sweet… it just takes my breath away. All those times I hoped and prayed that it really would all be worth it … not knowing if it truly would…. that, that is the real nightmare. I feel lucky to have survived it all, and to be able to provide any kind of comfort, insight or hope to anyone else is the real service.

For anyone fighting.

I see you. I hear you, even if your voice is quiet. I say keep fighting!! And if you can– turn that volume up. Whatever you’re fighting, you’re not alone. Someone else is clawing against the same demons, and sees themselves in YOU I guarantee it….

TTC

Darling, you’re a shooting star!

I’ve been sitting out here for about a hour now. In my very own piece of the world… my quiet backyard. Feeling the wind ruffle through my hair and hands. Listening to the soundtrack of my life as played by the rustling trees….. I do this often.

I spend my time gazing up at the stars. Watching them, following them… and of course wishing on them. Light years away, I wonder if they’re looking down on me as I struggle and as I conquer…

A tear gleans down my cheek…. for almost no reason at all. It’s just so beautiful, and tragic … I plead up at them for a sign, any sign … close my eyes take a long deep breath with the current and feel a full stream of tears fall.

I open my eyes to bid them goodnight, as I always do … and just then… the perfect moment for the universe to acknowledge me…. a shooting star! I mean, what are the chances anyone else was watching at that exact moment in space time…. no, I have no doubt– it was for me. A wink and a smile from the kind and generous universe to keep going. Keep looking up, keep making wishes darling….

Please let this be a sign that my miracle is on its way, spinning all the star stuff together to send a precious miracle my way.

Goodnight planet Earth….

TTC

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Universe

Sometimes I have a very complicated relationship with the universe.

I’m not terribly religious. I grew up Christian, but I have issues balancing the math when I see how some Christians behave. I just scratch my head and I can’t quite get all the way on board. I subscribe to a more universal spirituality always trying to shift my own energy to a positive place, be nice to people and let the universe sort out the judgement part. I believe, that the universe understands what I need and is making a way to provide it to me…. most days.

But days like today, it’s hard. Day 13 of 14 in the very first two week wait as we start trying to get pregnant again…. I’ve felt very certain that everything had finally aligned (not unlike every other time we do this mind you) and there were symptoms and signs pointing toward finally attaining this miracle only to wake today and have all signs pointing the other way.

I don’t know.

There’s a lot to be thankful for.

There’s so much good here, and luckily we have the opportunity to keep at it. It was certainly the most “fun” I’ve had while TTC in a really long time! Felt less like a “job” or a chore than it had during all the months of treatments we’ve done in the past….

But damnit. Again with the hard math. Sometimes I just really wanna FIGHT with the universe and shake it!!! Screaming and crying and asking WHYYYYYY!??? But the it doesn’t work like that. That’s not the energy I want flowing, I don’t want to feel robbed or mislead… or like the universe keeps breaking their promise to me! How does one keep the negative thoughts at bay??? My daily struggle.

For now… I just ask for peace and calm in light of more waiting which I am lousy at. Bring patience and faith because I seem to be running low all of a sudden. Help me let go…..

TTC

My Mother’s Day Wish

Every year, on this day… for the last decade I’ve made the same wish. Please, let this be the last year. The last year I have to hide from the internet, smile when I don’t want to, and act like I’m not being torn apart from the inside out. Please let this be the last year that I have to spend Mother’s Day with an honorary title…. not that I don’t love being a “Dog Mom” or Auntie– it’s just not enough for me. It’s not. So like the ones before it here I am this Mother’s Day, with tears in my eyes making the same wish.

Man. Shit is complicated these days!!! There isn’t a word for how I feel… and I feel like there should be and THAT makes me feel things! I’ve tried several times today to catalog the feels, to write them out and failed. Tried again and failed harder. This draft… might see the light of day, but I’m still debating. All day long I’ve tried to gift wrap this… these feelings. At one point I just thought…nope it’s not gonna happen. Just maybe, don’t acknowledge it at all. Who says I have to?? But that feels disingenuous too…. so here I am. Trying to scotch tape these feelings into something I can explain to the world….

I dunno… lonely. Lonely is a thing I feel. But not like, how you normally think of it. My oldest and best fertility friend is now pregnant. I can not express how wonderful that is, and how freeking excited I am for her– she DESERVES THIS!!!!!! But…. I’m alone now. And it’s hard…

We are going to start trying again… soon! Finally…. it’s exciting. And terrifying. There are a million questions racing through my brain at any given point … none of which I should be asking. Not the least of which goes something like…. “wonder if this is gonna work”… And the only answer I can muster I boosted from Captain America….

I’m doing my best to be positive and to say nice things, but if I’m really honest I’m terrified. Terrified of all the questions I can’t ask, and can’t answer. I’m terrified that I’ve come all this way only to have the door slammed in my face – or worse – opened for an instant and then slammed with the explosion of a failed pregnancy–again! I lived through the horror once I don’t know if I could make it out a second time and OF COURSE I’M SCARED OF THAT!!!! But I have to try!!!! Even with all that fear how could I not TRY!?!!!

*internally screaming … and sobbing real tears* this is what I mean… there’s no word for this. Truly…. I’m Hopefully Terrified Confused Apprehensive…. and just a little bit Numb. I need that word… whatever it is.

So today… as usual, I made my wish. I pictured the life I want so the universe can send it to me. I promised myself and the universe I would believe that what is meant for me will always find a way… and really yearn to trust that my most perfect life is somehow on its way.

To every manner of woman who is or desires motherhood… I see you. I appreciate all the tiny sacrifices that make a Mom no matter how that looks in your world.

AngelMom, TTC, Weight Loss

Fight the good fight!

If someone would have told me, that I would have to go through the most devastating heartbreak in order to end up on the path that leads to my best life… I don’t know that I would agree to that??? Would any of us?? Really?? I mean, especially not if we actually knew the depths of that devastation– who would be on board for that kind of turmoil!?? Certainly not me….

Yet, here I am about two years after that most terrible event thinking to myself … is it possible to be grateful for that?? Never would I ever imagined that ANYTHING good or positive could come from all of that pain!?!? So much has changed, so much unexpected joy and accomplishment has come from that one event that tore my whole world apart…so that I could have the chance to build a better one. And make no mistake, if that loss had never occurred the life I have now could NEVER have been realized.

    I am over 100lbs lighter, husband is 170lbs lighter!!!
    I have a stronger bond with my husband having gone through, loss (emotional and physical)
    We have learned how to eat- so we can teach our kid(s) the things it took us a lifetime to learn!
    We’ve both accepted therapy and gotten emotional support with handling loss and anxiety – we are stronger for this!
    We’ve had to fight for the life we want. I tend to think we will be more appreciative of it when it gets here.

So it’s true what they say, “sometimes things have to fall apart, so better things can fall together.” It’s never easy to accept, and it’s gonna hurt like hell all the way there, but it is a beautiful thing once you realize you’re on the right path.

I long for the life I had to give up. However, I’m learning to use that longing to my benefit. I use it as fuel for the fire that I need to get to the finish line, instead of letting it burn down my spirit and consume me.

I’ve fought too hard, risked and lost too much to give up any ground now!!!!

For those that are fighting for your best life — keep fighting. Keep notes, for every micro victory rejoice and be proud. For that’s the best and hardest advice to follow!

TTC, Weight Loss

Deal… or No Deal

Hey!! It’s been a minute!!!! It’s been several actually since I had enough headspace, clarity and wit to compose anything worth publishing. I have all of those things now, so here we go.

I had a pretty rough week. It wasn’t all bad, it wasn’t great but it was rough. It was emotional, I discovered some shit and I’m happy to share- as usual!

To update, at this point in my weight loss I have lost 106lbs and it’s FUCKING AMAZING! It has been 11 months, I’m off all the pre-diabetes meds and watchlists, my cholesterol and blood pressure are all in the perfectly normal ass kicking range, and my A1C was 4.9 – so I am ALL GOOD when it comes to those boxes that had been needing check marks. But, I’m still not done. I haven’t met my overall weight loss goal of -170lbs and I’m not at the waist measurement yet to complete the program.

I’ve known for a while now that I was going to ring up shy on the 1 year time goal that we set upon starting this thing and I think subconsciously I’ve allowed that fact to bum me out and slow down my weight loss. I’ve allowed a series of smaller cheats and leeways in the plan just to keep from falling completely off – which shows progress, but is still not awesome. Hey, you do what you can to survive but I’m capable of more.

This week though, I felt particularly low. My husband finished the program last week and is now going into maintenance mode… of course he is – men can sneeze and lose 10lbs!!! I’m ridiculously proud of him and so thrilled he has been beside me the whole way on this–none of this is easy and he’s been SUCH a champ!! My hero! That being said, it’s tough watching him be able to have regular food now at will while I am still on program.

Adding to the perfect storm of meltdown madness was the resonating fact, that when we started I gave myself an end point of 1 year. 1 year to lose all the weight I need to lose in order to get pregnant…. and here we are within 30 days of that and I know I am about 70lbs shy of the goal.

There was a time when just thinking of losing 100lbs was like a fairy tale! Like if I could just do that everything would be solved!!!! Yet — here I am and still have a mountain to climb before I can be done. Trying to figure out how to get to the end and how long it’s going to take from here — I just found myself digging in a giant hole I couldn’t get out of … I broke.

“Everyone else gets to move on accept for MEEEE!!!!” ….

…. the words vibrated off the walls of my brain and I just lost it. The tears could not be stopped. It’s hard. It’s hard to keep clawing and fighting. I’m tired, frustrated, and worn the hell down.

For someone who’s ultimate goal weight is … pregnancy…. this is all just too hard sometimes. Sometimes you have to break to break through… and that’s ok too.

I broke at the best place I could, the diet doctor’s office. We had a long talk, I cried, then I asked questions, questions I hadn’t been brave enough to ask before and she gave me answers. And more than that, she gave me a plan. A goal… and a deal- but we’ll get to that!

Turns out one of the things I’d been missing was a micro-goal. I have had this huge mountain of weight to get through and have been swinging for the fences just collecting pounds and throwing them into the “finished” pile. Now that I’ve lost more weight than I have left, I’m on the downhill slope now so I need something closer. Something that I can see, that I can TARGET and move toward. I have that now.

The deal— Diet Doc could see the desperation and pain in my eyes. “When doc!?” *pause, wiping away tears and snot* “When…. when will it be enough for us to TRY again!??”

[she asked us in the beginning to wait until we lost the weight to try for baby again]

She flipped through my chart, looked at me with tears in her own eyes… choked them back and handed me a tissue and continued flipping…. after a few moments of puzzling she looked up and said “I have a deal for you, do you want to take it?”

Oh geez does she think I’m nuts? What if the deal is 1 more year of this? What if the deal is “sure try but eat nothing but broccoli for the rest of your life!”???? I dunno man….. I paused and must have nodded yes.

“The deal is”, she continued — “Take 2 Days. Go eat whatever you want. No limitations…. just get it out of your system. After those two days are up it’s GO TIME! I want you to give it EVERYTHING YOU HAVE And after 30 days if your weight is acceptable (she did give me a # and it’s attainable y’all) you’ll have my blessing to start trying again.”

Deal.

That one interaction was all the things I needed.

Compassion. Understanding. Support. A GOD DAMN GOAL. And some real motivation to achieve it.

So, here’s my advice…. in case you want some – from the non-expert!!

  1. Make some “deals” with yourself – you get a little something you GIVE something! It helps!
  2. If it’s part of the plan you CAN do just about anything.
  3. You’re not going to accidentally succeed (at least not consistently) so make some goals micro and macro ones and crush em!!
  4. Give yourself the room you need to breathe and then go get it — whatever IT IS.
  5. Tell everyone. I’m not that person that can quietly carry on just crushing their goals in silence. So I say tell the world, get cheerleaders cause you’re gonna need em!! Goodness knows my cheerleaders have a full time gig and I’m grateful for every one of them! ❤️