Thursday, December 31, 2009

Aha Moments

Here are my "aha" moments today:

1. I never thought that "hope" could be such a "dangerous", "painful", and "tricky" thing to have until I was face-to-face with IF. This "hope for a baby" is such a tricky thing. I remember reaching my peak of hope for a baby when hubby and I went back to Indo in 2008 (it was our 5th month of TTC). 

Back then we were both "relaxing" (on a holiday) and we had frequent sex (almost every day) and I did try the trick of "holding up my legs" for as long as I could after we made love and then lying down for 30 minutes to "keep the sperms" inside me. I remember thinking very clearly and hoping very joyfully, "This is it! This is the month when I'd get pregnant."

That month was over a year ago. Nowadays after my fertile day passes by, my brain's still automatically "counting down" to the day when AF (Aunt Flo = menstruation) comes. I still have that flicker of hope that AF will not show up, but that flicker of hope is getting dimmer and dimmer as time goes by - the good news is that as my disappointment gets smaller and smaller in proportion when AF does come. Again. And again. And again.

I think the dip in hoping for a baby came right after our 12th month of trying, the day when AF came and I realized that we were then officially reproductively challenged. On the 12th month, I still had a bigger amount of hope, thinking that one close friend got pregnant then, so maybe - just maybe - I could also be pregnant then. However, this lessened hope doesn't make it less painful.

2. I learnt more about grief through this article: Grief - Wandering Through the Maze. In it it's said that grief is a journey/process unlike a race where there's a clear start and finish and you just need to keep on running from that one point called the "start" until you reach the finish line.

Let me just quote the paragraphs that give me enlightenment: 

Nowadays, counselors more accurately describe the grief process as a journey where we move in and out, back and forth, across and over these phases as we work our way toward a new emotional balance. Each phase is not characterized by a clear beginning and ending, but rather a blending from one to another, overlapping and intertwining along the way.

The journey may have a specific beginning, such as a miscarriage or a specific test result, but the grief of infertility doesn’t have a specific ending. The loss of a child, a pregnancy, or the loss of your dreams is something that you weather and survive, but it’s not something you forget and never revisit. It’s a part of what defines your life story.

That means I'm NOT crazy whenever I feel like I "should be over it" but then again WHAM SLAM BANG!!! Grief strikes me at the most unexpected hour, making me bleeding raw again from the core. It's perfectly NORMAL to experience that. YES!!!

3. While combating IF, I've been over-sensitive towards what other people say, including what other people say to other couples whom I know have had trouble getting pregnant. I've also been interpreting other people's words the wrong way or taking them too seriously or taking them as a personal "attack" or "intrusion". I've felt "so rotten" whenever I become over-sensitive like this, especially when I make people who are dear to me (even sometimes those who are not so dear to me) feel that nothing they said would be "acceptable".

One thing I've done lately is to let people know how I want to be supported and what kind of words would be the best ones to say to me so that they won't - so to speak - "rub me the wrong way". 

However, there are also other people who don't know what to say when they face someone like me and I still don't know what to do when I'm so sensitive and then they speak of words that rub me the wrong way. May heaven help me when/if those occasions happen!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Song of Comfort

Words of Affirmation

1. No matter how hard it is to deal with IF, at least I'm given a chance to embrace this "world of IF" with all its turmoil and mess so that in the end I may grow and grow and grow and become a more enlightened person.

2. No matter what I face at the end of my IF journey, I believe that God will never give me anything beyond my powers and if I ever feel like I'm too weak, He's only a shout away to help me. He, the Source of everything, will be able to sustain and support me even when I'm sucked away by the worst quicksand of self-pity, resentment, and jealousy.

3. My marriage (the relationship between me and my husband) is more important than this "baby quest", because if I ruin this marriage, it's the same as ruining what I want to have before a baby comes our way: a solid relationship and partnership between a husband and a wife.

4. It's okay to feel shitty and messy and unlovable at times, esp. when I feel so cynical and bitter as long as I don't allow myself to drown in those feelings for too long. It's NOT okay to deny any feelings at all 'coz it only makes it harder for me to pass through my mourning and healing process. In order to heal, I must acknowledge all the feelings inside me and be able to find out the sources of those feelings, let it all out, then give enough time to mourn. 

5. Just because I feel jealousy, resentment, cynicism, and bitterness doesn't mean that I've become all of those feelings. It's just a phase I need to go through and the bottom line is that I am going through all of those - with God's help. 

6. Being given the chance to fall to the darkest pit in my entire life is beneficial for me in the future 'coz it makes me understand aspects of life that I may never had understood had I not experienced IF. And for that, I'm THANKFUL for the opportunity to learn so many facets of feelings even if I don't necessarily enjoy feeling all of them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Two Separate "Entities"

In my struggle with infertility, I think I have managed to separate two entities inside me: the "boo-hoo-pity-me" entity and the "it's-not-the-end-of-the-world" entity. In order to function well during tough times, the second entity must be stronger than the first one. The second entity must be able to comfort the first entity and be able to somehow "brainwash" (or "heartwash") the first entity so that I may enjoy life despite IF.

In browsing through infertility blogs, I recognize many expressed sentiments and by reading some of them, I feel oh, SO SANE. However, I also have this fear that the bitterness may take the best of me. I've experienced how bitterness can take away every good thing I have in my life when facing IF and I DO NOT want that to happen.

I can only pray to God that He will help me get rid of all the bitterness whenever it strikes my way, especially when I'm feeling too weak to battle it all out by myself (read: when the first entity is overwhelming me and kicking the second entity's ass with its desperation and frustration, making the second entity battered, bruised, bewildered).

There are times when I feel that God isn't there for me, but I always remember these:

1. "When you can't see God's hand, trust His heart." That's what a friend told me years ago and I've always remembered that.

2. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Just because I can't "see" God's hand doesn't mean that He's not there. Just because I can't "see" God at work doesn't mean that He's not weaving His best plan for me - no matter how hard it is for me to believe, still I hope He will sustain my belief. 

3. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13).

At the end of every rough day, this is my prayer:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reproductively Challenged?

Hi, people! (re-edited on Feb 12, 2013)

What shall I write here as an introduction? Well, I'm an Indo girl who moved to Finland to be with my Finnish hubby (I'm 31, hubby's almost 39). We've been TTC since May 2008. I started taking BCP since August 2006 and I stopped taking them in January 2008. We started using condoms for 3 months and then we stopped using any protection. At first we were still half worried and half excited about the prospect of being pregnant. I think I started REALLY wanting to be pregnant about two months after our first try.

A year after TTC, I went to the lab to get my blood tested (well, the gyno told me to do that first). I did two blood tests and they came out OK. Then I got busy doing other stuff (so taking more tests was put on the lowest level of priority) and then I visited my family back in Indo for a month alone, so now that I'm back to Finland again we've talked about what to do and we decided not to pursue any kind of medical treatments. We decided not to get tested any further.

The past few months I've been browsing around for infertility blogs and so I decided to create one 'coz I just don't want to bombard the regular readers of my main blog with this kind of topic. I just thought it'd be better if I created another blog mainly to write about my infertility journey and the ups and downs...or I can also write about other things here. We'll see about that.

Anyway, back to our decision. Why make this decision so early? First of all, I don't want any one of us to feel bad if it's found out that one of us is having "problems". If both of us are having problems, maybe it won't cause too much "trouble" (maybe, I don't know). Secondly, if we pursue any kind of medical treatments, I'm TOO afraid of getting our hopes HIGH up there to cloud number 9 and then if they fail, it's gonna hurt SO MUCH MORE. It already hurts so much now (and there are some months when I feel that I'm WAY too obsessed about counting down to the day when I'd get my period "late")...what do I expect to feel when medical treatments don't work? I just don't think I'd be able to handle it.

That's why we came up with the decision. I don't know if it's a temporary decision or not. Again we'll see about that. I've had some bad months and some rather easy months. I'll write more about this later, I guess. I think for now this introduction should be enough.

Photo taken from here

P.S. So far I've only used ovulation test kits 4 times. My menstrual cycle is quite long (around 31-43 days - I'd say on average it's around 35-36 days), so I get less chance to get pregnant in a year than women who have a shorter menstrual cycle. During the 4 times I used the ovulation test kits, it showed a + sign on CD 21 and 22.

Additional info (22.10.2012): We've been surrendering to life without kids for the past two years (or maybe a year and a half 'coz in the beginning I kept going back and forth to wanting to have kids again). We've told both sets of parents about this decision. We're focusing on making the best of our life together as a couple and enjoying each other's company and cherishing our relationship. Bye bye TTC and hello "empty nest" period! :-D