Friday, September 27, 2013


One of the nagging questions I've experienced during my IF journey is, "When is it going to stop? When am I going to completely heal from this? When will I stop feeling the pain? When will I stop grieving?"

I remember that after a rather long period of peace, grief started knocking on my door again and for some time I tried blocking its entrance. I thought that I had grieved enough and that I had "healed", but over time the knock got louder and louder and louder and I couldn't ignore it anymore. I gave in. The grief wasn't as strong as before and the pain I felt wasn't as crushing, but still the need to grieve couldn't be ignored. I wrote a long post about it (Funeral of a Dream) and gave myself permission to cry my eyes out.

As time passed by and new and old feelings came up, I began to realize even more that it's not the destination that counts. Trying to think of when I'm going to "fully heal" is only making me frustrated. Trying to protect myself from possible harm (other people's questions, annoying ass-vice given by random people, etc.) is tricky because it's really unpredictable when I'm going to feel stabbed by something I hear or something I see (although I admit it's handy to try to prepare and remember smart comebacks for the usual questions that people throw at us). What I can tell is that the longer I spend on this road to healing, the less often I experience heart stabbing moments (which in the past would actually make me feel like bleeding profusely inside or feel like I was being punched in the gut). 

I find that whenever I try to fight grief from consuming me, it drags my feet instead, making it harder for me to walk further away along my healing journey. It's like all of a sudden I was walking in a swamp. The height of the swamp increased the longer I postpone my grieving process. However, the minute I let go, the minute I let myself drown, even though the process is very unpleasant and tiring, at the end of it it feels like a refreshing, cleansing bath. A catharsis. The weight of the swampy water is no longer dragging me, no longer clinging onto me. I feel cleaner because I have accepted all that is that I'd been feeling inside and let myself be. I stand face-to-face with all those feelings and embrace them and they let go of their grip onto me.

I think this is one of the toughest parts of this journey. Because this journey is wrought with so many layers of loss, sometimes when the grief overlaps due to the many losses we feel at one time, it's so overwhelming that we're afraid of letting ourselves drown in them. So we keep fighting them and that tires us even more, which is not helpful at all. Everyone has different journeys and different pain triggers, different life situations and different challenges. The only thing I can say that helps me whenever I get frustrated because I don't feel like I'm moving forward at all in my journey is this: take it one day at a time. One day at a time...and someday in the far future, when I look back on my journey, it'll be easier to gauge just how far I've come. 

P.S. I admit on some days it's harder to follow my own advice LOL!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More on Shame

I watched another video of BrenĂ© Brown's talk again and was reminded of how powerful it is. 

One quote that rang loudly when I heard her talk was this: 

"The two most powerful words when we're in struggle is 'me too'."'

I think it's especially true for disenfranchised grief. :-D

OK, I'm not going to write too long. Enjoy the videos! 

Here's the transcript for the first video: Listening to shame

And as a complement of the one above, let me share this one, too (a shorter video):

Here's a link to the summary of the second video, though not exactly the transcript: Finding Shelter in a Shame Storm

Last but not least, I'd love to thank each one of you who's been really supportive and who's left kind and encouraging words. YOU ROCKKKKKKK!!!!! God bless each and every one of you in your own journeys!!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Then vs Now: Warring Thoughts on Pregnancy

My period cycle ranges between 31-43 days, averaging 35 days. In the beginning of time (2010) after we sort of decided to live life without kids (though not really 100% sure yet), whenever I got closer to my period, I would have those warring thoughts again, "Oh, maybe I'll get pregnant this month. Maybe my period won't come. Maybe I'll get to feel a child growing inside me. Hmmm...I wonder how he'll look like...then next year we'll have to stop travelling until the child is big enough etc. etc. etc."

I remember one time my period was 2 days late (so 45 days) and I started daydreaming again about our possible child etc. etc. etc. and as usual another part of me scolded me, "Are you CRAZY?!?!?!?! Do you wanna go through it all over again? The disappointment? The grief? STOP IT, stupid brain!!! (add some expletives here)" 

And you know what? A couple of times I even had these thoughts when I wasn't even sure that we made love on my fertile days (because I'd stopped counting). Then started the war all over again. The "But imagine how your child could look like and how happy your parents and in-laws are gonna be etc. etc. etc." versus "Are you delusional? You don't even know if you made love on your fertile days, how is it possible to get pregnant?" Crazy, I know. No wonder some people may consider me obsessed he he...

However, I've noticed a shift since more or less last year (as far as I remember). Last year I had a scare. Again my period was 2 days later than normal and I was actually scared of getting pregnant. I had been focusing on this thought "we're a complete family just the two of us" that I really wished my period would come. And I was sighing in relief when my period finally came.

Have you ever had these types of warring thoughts, too? 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

No vs Not Yet

Kathleen's post on how we answer the question "Do you have children?" made me think of my own answers during my IF journey. I remember that in the past, even in the beginning of time after we made a decision to live life without kids, I still automatically answered either "Not yet" or "No, because it didn't work for us."

For a long time I mostly used the first answer. I only used the latter answer whenever I felt defensive. When I started feeling more at peace with our decision to live without kids, I was mad at myself whenever I automatically blurted out "not yet." Now when I ponder upon it, it was actually "easier" to say "not yet" because more often than not, upon hearing the answer, others would simply respond, "Oh, you still have time" or something like that. And the topic ended there.

However, whenever I offered the latter answer, more often than not, people would offer unhelpful-but-well-meaning suggestions. One guy I hardly knew even nervously joked about our infertility because he didn't know what to say (I had a hard time forgiving him and for a long time I kept on repeating the joke over and over in my head which made me fume even more, but now that I'm typing this, I realize that I have no more grudge against him. HALLELUJAH!!!! I'm FREE from that shackle!!! :-D)  

Anyway, I realize that these days my answer has changed into a "no". I was disappointed at myself for a while for having automatically given the answer "not yet" on a few occasions (not many people here ask that question unlike what happens in Indo), so I tried practicing the answer "no" a dozen times in my head, but I never had a chance to use it yet.

However, last week my much younger coworker (21 y.o.) asked that question and I said no (and I didn't feel the need to explain anything to her = I wasn't feeling defensive). 

She asked, "Why not?" I explained to her that it didn't work for us. 

Then she said, "You can always adopt."

I explained to (educated) her briefly that adoption was a complex process and that our ages also had an influence on it. And I added that we were fine even without kids. 

She then asked me how long we'd been married and I replied almost 7 years. Then she stopped asking me more questions because we had to get on with our work. :-) 

P.S. Here's something I made when I was raking the autumn leaves outside. Click to view it in a bigger size.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Positive vs The Negative

Lately I've been wondering why negative events/comments/emotions seem to have more impact on myself. Am I really that hard on myself? I think over the past decade I've learnt to be my own best friend MUCH better than I did when I was younger, so is there something wrong with me?

Out of curiosity I browsed online and I found this really interesting article along with a brilliant piece of advice on how to balance it all out:

Like the author, after reading the article, I feel glad now that I'm not the only one and I'm not being too hard on myself he he he...

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Happy Moment

My brother has been sending me pics of his second son periodically ever since the boy was born so that I can see his growth. For practicality's sake, let's just call him JM (the M isn't his surname, but his second first name). As I've mentioned in a previous blog post, the M actually came from me. My bro asked me for some name suggestions prior to JM's birth and I mentioned to him that I had always liked a particular name (after I had sent him about a dozen of names I found online that I thought he and wife would/may like). He and his wife added 2 letters to the end of the M, but the original part that I liked was still intact.

Anyway, the first few times he sent me JM's pics, he wrote: "Here's J's latest pics."

However, the last time he wrote: "Here's a pic of mom with M" ---> mind you, he didn't write the two letters that they had added to the second first name, so the name that he wrote was the exact name that I had told him I had always liked. When my eyes caught the name, I literally choked inside and I got teary-eyed. I suspect that he deliberately wrote that, though I don't know for sure, but it was a very heartwarming moment that I'd like to record here in case I forget about it. All I want to say is, BLESS YOU, brother! Bless you!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spreading the News: The Cycle (Sept 27, 2013)

Just wanna spread the news about The Cycle, a wonderful public forum for people diagnosed with infertility that will be held in NYC on September 27, 2013. Whether you're still trying or you've adopted or thinking of adopting or you've let go of the dream and move on or you have an infertile friend and would like to learn more about it, this forum is for you. For more info about the event, go here

Anyways, today I just had my dam broken. You know one of those moments when you've watched or read or heard something that just suddenly touched some tender parts inside of you and then you just can't help yourself but cry? The kind of crying that is cleansing, I mean. Not the kind of "woe is me" type of crying.

I read "Not Just Baby" and the dam just broke. It felt like I was being held by a friend who truly understood what I had gone through because she herself had gone through a similar path, to whom I didn't need to explain myself in great lengths on why IF affected me so much and why IF-related thoughts could appear out of the blue even when someone else was talking about something completely mundane to me. I felt justified to be in my IF-scented world. I just love this kind of cleansing experience and for that, I'm SO thankful.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Second Pap Smear

I've been so busy with going back to work and starting new tasks last week that I just ran out of energy to blog and blog-hop. I'm always a bit worried about going back to work after my holiday because of several reasons.

Anyway, last week I had my second pap smear invitation from the government. It's offered for free every 5 years, so yes, of course I'd gladly go and have myself checked up. I had never had any pap smear back in Indo and my first experience was so gentle. The gyno talked in Finnish very very slowly so that I would understand everything and I'm really glad she was that thoughtful. 

Today I was checked up by a different woman, but at least I know already what was going to happen, so it was all good. She asked me some stuff, including whether or not we used birth control. I said, "No, because making babies isn't happening for us." Then she asked if we still had baby fever. I said no. Thankfully she didn't say anything else about that and she continued with the next questions. Bless her! :-) She said that from what she could see, everything looked good, but I'm gonna get the result in 1-4 months anyway via snail mail. 

After the baby boom last month (a cousin's son, my bro's second son, a friend's grandson plus I found out another friend is preggy), one thing popped out. I was totally fine with the births of the sons and seeing the preggy friend's pics and seeing little children and pregnant ladies during our holiday. What was tough to witness (surprise, surprise!) was my friend's joy and exhilaration on becoming a grandma (it wasn't making me bleed inside, but I felt a little thump after several postings). I think the reason is that I haven't really grieved fully this kind of loss - that I'll never be able to witness a son's wife's or daughter's pregnancy and I'll never become a grandma.

At one point I almost wanted to hide some of the things she shared, but I didn't. I did, though, take time to acknowledge and grieve the loss and I took some time away from Facebook before I commented on her posts and photos about becoming a grandma. I think being busy at work has also helped me in that area. :-) At work I don't have time to use my mobile phone, so I can focus on other things instead. And here's to hugging myself mentally whenever I'm in pain!